Uncover the legends and immerse yourself in the history of Southern Italy. Spend a week in Sicily and a week on the mainland, hopping between three millennia of ruins, cultures, cities, and charms. Authentic local experiences mix with grand historical remains and plenty of coastlines, with just about every major European civilization having a role to play. Handcrafted for senior travelers who seek to both explore and experience, this is an in-depth tour full of fascinating details.
Palermo – Touching Down In Sicily
Check-in at your Palermo hotel and listen, as from the balcony comes the sounds of the city with traders calling, bells ringing, and a late-afternoon hum from street-side cafes. Take a short orientation walk, and your first impressions will continue to form as you see Byzantine mosaic, a Benedictine Abbey, local fishers, artisans, and nuns all walking past. This island has been invaded and taken over by a succession of civilizations, each of them creating a little piece of today’s Sicilian culture. Palermo is the crossroads where all of the influences collide, and the best way to experience this is to do nothing at all. Your guide will lead you to Piazza Bellini, and there you can sit back and watch how the island unfolds.
Palermo – Traditional Markets and Authentic Palermo Highlights
Erice – Ancient Greece and A Night Above the Sea
Agrigento – More Greek History on Italy’s Boot
Enna – From the Valley of Temples to Roman Aerobics
Siracusa – Mazy Streets, Mount Etna and More
Taormina – Greco-Roman Meets Arab and Catalan
Paestum – Untouched Ruins and Doric Tales
Pompeii – A Laid-Back Waterfront and Sleeping Besides Ancient Rome
Pompeii – Exploring the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento
Montecassino to Rome – Early Christianity and Imperial Legacy
Rome – Rome for Senior Travelers
Rome – After Hours at the Vatican Museums
Rome – Departure
- Delve into the authenticity of Palermo, tasting at food markets and joining locals at cafe terraces
- Discover the art of ancient Greece by visiting Sicily’s glorious temple ruins, including Selinunte and Agrigento
- Explore the Vatican Museums after hours, so you fully appreciate the works of Michelangelo et al
- Spend a full week on Sicily, shifting between a blend of Arab, Roman, Norman, Catalan, and local highlights
- Uncover Pompeii, a staggering Roman city once buried beneath volcanic ash
- Travel through the heart of Rome, from the Colosseum to a Baroque city
- Discover more with local historian guides, sites like Paestum and Taormina far more impressive when accompanied by stories
- Spend a night on the coast at Erice, wake up at the Pompeii ruins, and travel through the legend of Montecassino
Southern Italy connects cultures as ancient Greek temples stand on windswept hills, Byzantine mosaics fill Norman churches, and Roman amphitheaters stand in the shadow of tumultuous volcanoes. Over 3,000 years play out across the landscapes in the form of archaeological ruins and traditional cities. It is not a place that is easy to understand, as so much has happened between Sicily and Rome, there are not enough encyclopedias to record it all. There is no clear-cut tale, and no single story to sum it all up, and that is why Southern Italy is so enticing. Southern Italy is a region that rewards the time you spend, a destination that encourages you to both explore and experience. You will want to go in-depth as you travel, and that is what this handcrafted tour is all about.
Created for senior travelers, this intimate tour covers the historical and cultural highlights of Southern Italy, spending a week on Sicily and a week on the mainland, including Rome. This is a tour designed for those who have visited Europe before and seek something beyond classic sights. Local historians lead the way, and it will be their knowledge that helps to fill in the gaps. Sites like Agrigento and Paestum are all the more enjoyable when you understand how and why they are there. Not that this tour is all archaeological remains, however, as Southern Italy is packed full of atmospheric towns and villages, so traveling back in time also includes experiencing local traditions as well.
Sicily is a surprisingly large island, and getting around on the mountainous roads is slow. Having a single base does not really work in this region, so to save travel hours, you will hop across the island, starting with two nights in Palermo before overnighting in Erice, Agrigento, Enna, Siracusa and Taormina. A one-way route minimizes time on the move, and the villages you stay in are perfect for senior travelers. Take a look around, and you will probably feel young, as these are villages where seniors continue with their traditions but youngsters migrate out to cities. You can dine in typical trattoria, informal yet delicious local restaurants, and spend languorous evenings in surreal little places.
Walking time and distance has been minimized throughout the tour. You can save your energy for the archaeological sites or a short stroll around the hotel, rather than traipsing across mountains and cities. Each day there will be somewhere to explore, and once on the mainland that means discovering Paestum, Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, Sorrento and Montecassino. These neighboring destinations fill four days before you get three nights in Rome, a city of so much legend it likely does not require an introduction. You will experience the best of it, including an after hours tour of the Vatican Museums. Your two weeks will pass quickly, but there is a lot to take away, not just the sights and destinations, but all the local food and people as well. Looking for the best Italian travel experiences? Consider browsing our Italy for Seniors travel reviews page.
$5,007 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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