Relish your introduction to the must-see beaches, the majestic history, and incredible cuisine during your custom-tailored tour of Southern Italy and Sicily. Savor your time in the white sands that lead to clear turquoise waters in Calabria, and then learn about the complexity of flavor in traditional Pugliese olive oil. Explore the enchanting ambiance of cave-dwellings in Basilicata, and then traverse the fuming craters of an active volcano in Sicily. The endless marvels of Southern Italy hold...
Day 1 - 2
Bari - Discover the Northern Towns and Olive Groves of Puglia
The lively city of Bari encapsulates the marvels of Italy’s southern region of Puglia with lavish architecture, colorful fishing boats, and grand boulevards that bring traditions to modern life. Bari is a shining example of Southern Italy’s lavish past and contemporary vibrancy overlooks the shimmering turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea. The scent of grilled calamari and shrimp topped with salt and a squeeze of lemon citrus drifts down the cobbled lanes, and you will immediately feel welcomed and comfortable.
Your flight will land at Karol Wojtyla Airport, where your private transfer will greet you upon arrival. Your two nights in the fascinating city will begin with settling into the comforts of your luxury hotel. You can step out and explore the charms of the captivating streets as fresh fish are brought into the marina by active fishers alongside the stunning Norman design of the Basilica di San Nicola. The structure was erected in the 12th century as a place to house the relics of Saint Nicolas, also known as Santa Clause, which were stolen from Turkey in the 11th century. The interior bursts with the scent of myrrh, which is said to emanate from the remains of the saint and contain special powers. The wooden ceiling glints with gilded details added in the 7th century, for a lot of beauty to take in.
Outside of Bari, your private driver will lead you around the marvelous Pugliese countryside to visit the Castle del Monte, a dramatic depiction of 13th-century medieval architecture with Gothic cornice towers, Romanic lines, and a unique octagonal design. The mysterious project utilized the number eight to create dynamic symmetries during the winter solstice and summer equinox accentuated by the limestone and quartz façade. The interior retains counter-clockwise staircases rising to the top of the towers, as well as broken pieces of marble and mosaic once decorating the grand halls.
Visiting a local olive orchard outside of Bari will introduce you to the fantastic flavors and specific, treasured production of olive oils in the region that accounts for approximately 40% of Italy’s olive production. The dry soil and shading leaves provide herbaceous aromas as you explore the variety of olives around the orchard, which possess different depths of flavors. The orchard retains their heavy plates from which they produced olive oil before mechanization, offering you a demonstration on how they would stuff the olives between the stacked plates and press down, harvesting the oil running down the sides. In the tasting room, your guide can explain the differences between the levels of oils, the best-known of which consists of “extra virgin.” You can sample the olive oil and find peppery notes with a slight bitterness stemming from the natural antioxidants.
Day 3 - 6
Lecce - Traverse the Cities, Towns, and Beaches of Southern Puglia
Day 7 - 8
Lecce - Continue Uncovering the Majesty of Italy's Southeast
Day 9 - 10
Matera - Explore Basilicata's Distinctive Culture and Architecture
Day 11 - 12
Tropea - Enjoy Calabria's Coastal History and Coastal Charm
Reggio Calabria - Delight in the Beauty of Reggio Calabria for Day
Day 14 - 17
Taormina - Ferry to Sicily for Beaches, Mt. Etna, and Culture
Day 18 - 20
Syracuse - History and Heritage at Agrigento and Syracuse
Catania - Depart for Home
- Relax on the stunning beaches of Calabria along the celebrated waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea on the shores of charming Tropea
- Traverse the stunning cave-dwellings of Matera, used as homes and as shops until the mid-20th century
- Delight in the fortified flavors supported by the mineral-rich volcanic soils of Sicily when sampling wines on the foothills of Mount Etna
- View the sensational details and staggering height of the ancient Greek Riace Bronzes in Reggio Calabria
- Embrace the gorgeous landscapes, lavish architecture, exuberant ambiance, lush beaches, and fascinating ancient history of Taormina, Sicily
- Wander the streets of Alberobello to enjoy the fairytale ambiance of the distinctive trulli homes
- Discover the majestic depths of the longest cave network in Italy at the Grotte di Castellana
- Learn the extraordinary art of harvesting olives to craft luscious olive oil on a family orchard that produces magnificent Pugliese extra virgin olive oil
- Immerse yourself in the captivating ancient world that is layered over the streets, the cuisine, and the architecture of Syracuse, including a stunning Greek Theater
- Explore ancient Greek temples of Magna Graecia around the ruins of Agrigento, home to one of the largest preserved temples of the ancient world
Traveling from the sun-drenched heel of Puglia to the coastal cliffs of Sicily will take you on a unique 3-week tour of Southern Italy that will encompass the beauty of the landscape and the charm of the culture. You will experience the contemporary luxuries of grand accommodations that overlook the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian seas for unforgettable views. You will be able to embrace the fascinating histories of towns that stand on a rugged gorge, sip wine on the slopes of Mount Etna, and discover the wonders of Southern Italy and Sicily. With coastal villages, vibrant Baroque cities, preserved medieval castles, and magnificent Greek ruins, your eyes will scarcely be able to take it all in.
Your exciting tour will begin with your arrival in Bari for nine nights in the region of Puglia. Discover the beauty of extravagant churches and seemingly endless seas of olive trees that spread down the heel of Italy’s boot. The Baroque architecture of Lecce, the stunning castle gates in Otranto, and the whitewashed walls of Ostuni embody only the surface of the region’s majesty. Clear turquoise waters splash against the cliffs of Gargano, and the marvelous symmetry of Castle del Monte provides a unique perspective of medieval design. Two nights in the region of Basilicata will highlight the unique properties of Matera and its famous cave-dwellings known as sassi in the regional capital city of Potenza.
Your three nights spent in Calabria will focus on the joys of contemporary life in a region overflowing with meandering streets, rocky coastlines, medieval towns, and soft sandy beaches. The sweet life for which Italy is known remains specifically local and undiluted for tourists. Whether lounging on the coast to bask in the sun, visiting the Archeological Museum in Reggio Calabria, or relaxing at an open-air café in the heart of a cobblestone square, you will indulge in the lesser-known beauty of the region overtaking the toe of Italy’s boot.
The final leg of your journey will take you to Sicily for seven nights. The island is connected with Italy through culture and history but retains a separate charm that derives from the beautiful coastal towns and distinctive layers of ancient history. With the sparkling azure colors of the Mediterranean Sea, the gorgeous landscape reflects a crossroads of trade in the diverse landscape and dynamic cultural treasures. From the coastal cliffs of Taormina to the captivating life of Syracuse, the foothills of Mount Etna to the ancient Greek temples of Agrigento, Sicily celebrates its classical past, Baroque grandeur, and gorgeous scenery. Consider reading some of our travelers’ Italy tour reviews for more ideas to perfect your dream Italy vacation.
$5,770 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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