The Splendors of Sicily & Amalfi Coast Tour

A 13 day trip to Italy 
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Immerse yourself in the charms of the culture, the beauty of the undulating scenery, and the unforgettable flavors on your custom-tailored Sicily and the Amalfi Coast tour. Towns cast along the mountainous landscape of the Amalfi Coast, and the blend of classical cities with exquisite seaside views of Sicily are sure to enchant you. Rows of vineyards decorate the horizon. The Blue Grotto shines with iridescent hues. Locals overtake the fish market in search of the freshest catch and best daily deal. Ancient temples overtake the hillside and glow white in the Mediterranean sunlight. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Ravello, Capri, Palermo, Segesta, Erice, Menfi, Selinunte, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Catania, Mount Etna, Syracuse, Lipari, Stromboli 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Touching the Italian Coast

Sorrento is a stunning town overlooking the Bay of Naples. Cliffs rise more than 180 feet above the sparkling azure water. Colorful fishing boats wade in the gentle current of the small marina. Lush trees grow along the craggy hilltops. Cobblestones streets wind past 13th-century palaces decorated in the Byzantine and Arab architectural styling. A historic 18th-century mill decorates the depths of a deep gorge behind Piazza Tasso. Your private transfer meets you at the Naples airport upon your arrival and escorts you around the bay to your luxurious hotel inside the charming city. The scent of famous Caprese almond cakes overtakes the semi-salty aroma of the sea. The city walls continue to guard Sorrento’s edges. The walls were originally constructed by Greek settlers and fortified by the Romans. Locals rebuilt the walls after an attack by the Turkish army in the 16th century. Sections of the Greek foundations are visible near the Marina Grande Gate.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Treasures of Amalfi

The Amalfi Coast is considered a gem of Southern Italy. Verdant forests grow on the craggy cliffs ridged by the Tyrrhenian Sea. At breakfast, the rich aroma of espresso accompanies the indulgent scent of freshly baked brioche. The sunlight washes over the azure waters along the Bay of Naples. The looming peak of Mount Vesuvius creates the skyline across the bay. Your guide meets you in the hotel lobby after breakfast, and leads you on the first of many Sicily tours, to the edges of the Amalfi Coast, stretching 25 miles from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east. The narrow road hugs the cliffside, traveling along the natural ridges of the landscape. The mountains plunge dramatically into the sea.

In the town of Ravello, you find a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its beauty. Fragrant orange groves line the roadway to Ravello’s hilltop location, nestled in the Valley of Dragons. Historic villas give way to lush parks that were once private gardens. Churches, monasteries, and palaces date back to the 13th century. The baroque façade of the church of San Giovanni del Toro hides the age of the structure, which was actually erected in the 12th century. Geometric mosaics decorate the pulpit. One of the more famous panels depicts an unforgettable image of Jonah emerging from a whale. If you look closely, you can also find Arab script decorating the Central Asian pottery.   

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: The Island Life for You and Tiberius

In the morning, the aroma of fresh lemons drifts through Sorrento. Fishing boats return from their time on the Tyrrhenian Sea in search of a perfect catch. On Tuesdays, the market opens along the street with locals vending homemade goods, from ceramics to olives, along with the local liqueur specialty, known as Limoncello. After breakfast, you make your way to the port, where you board a hydrofoil set for the celebrated island of Capri. The Mediterranean breeze is refreshing. Sea mist splashes into the air from the mixture of the hydrofoil and the rolling current. Historical intellects, artists, writers, and even Roman emperors have treasured the island for its spectacular beauty.

You can see the rugged precipices of Carpi’s edges rising an inspiring 200 feet above the water’s surface. You reach the main port of Marina Grande. Small fishing vessels and luxurious speedboats line the natural harbor, highlighting the combination of luxury and charm. The ancient ruins of the Roman emperor Tiberius’s villa are well preserved in the northeast section of the island and covers 193,750 square feet. One of the most pristine and unique natural wonders of the island occurs in the Blue Grotto. You can venture out on the water on a small rowboat to view the spectacle. The cave ceiling rises nearly 50 feet but has an entrance of only four feet high. The sunlight refracts beneath the water, creating a dazzling and unforgettable blue glow.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Different Island Living

The image of Mount Vesuvius continues to climb into the sky beyond the Bay of Naples, a reminder of nature’s powerful history and the ancient worlds surrounding the region, including Pompeii. At breakfast, you watch the fishing boats roll into the marina. The aroma of a freshly brewed cappuccino drifts from the cafes. Your private transfer meets you in the lobby after your meal and escorts you to the Naples Municipal Airport for your domestic flight to Palermo, Sicily. Although the island is a part of Italy, the city of Palermo seems worlds away.

La Vucciria market covers a thoroughfare of side streets around Piazza San Domenico. Tarps shade the vendors. The aroma of spices and herbs is mesmerizing. It feels more like a bazaar in North Africa than a daily marketplace in Italy. Arab embellishments adorn Norman structures. Spanish Baroque buildings decorate open squares. Remnants of ancient civilizations and cultures from around the world have made their mark in Sicily, which is displayed in full splendor in Palermo. Your private transfer escorts you from Falcone-Borsellino Airport to your comfortable accommodation located in the heart of the majestic city.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 5: Capital Lifestyle of Sicily 

In the morning, you delight in the local flavors of breakfast, embracing a frothy cappuccino and sweet ciambelle, a soft fried bread similar to a donut and garnished with sugar. Soon your guide meets you in the lobby and leads you on a remarkable tour of Palermo. The markets brim with excitement. Vendors call out to passersby to showcase their fresh seafood and sensational produce.

You make your way to the Norman Palace, which was originally constructed by Arabs in the 9th century but rebuilt by Norman invaders in the 12th century. The Palatine Chapel is located inside the palace. The chapel was erected in the 12th century and is known for magnificent gold mosaics draping the walls and ceiling. Marble floors add to the elegance and extravagant display of religious dedication. You notice a honeycomb of wooden decoration known as muqarnas along the ceiling. The carvings embody the cultural complexity of Palermo throughout its history, especially when blending Norman and Arab settlers.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Layers of the Past

The ornate tiered basin Fontana Pretoria acts as the centerpiece to the Piazza Pretoria. Sculptures depicting nymphs and gods adorn the stairs and the fountain. Elegant churches border the square, blending the neoclassical imagery with religious architecture. After breakfast, you make your way to the city of Segesta, which was first established by the Elymians in the Bronze Age. The ancient city now stands as one of Sicily’s most majestic sites, comprising a stunning theater, and an unfinished, yet remarkably preserved, Doric Temple, which was erected in the 5th century BC.

The temple rises out of the landscape like a titan. The gold stone reflects the vibrant Mediterranean sunlight. The temple has a length of 200 feet and width of 85 feet. Olive trees grow along the undulating landscape. A steep but short pathway leads you to the edges of the semicircular theater that stands at an altitude of 1,312 feet. The natural countryside acts as the backdrop during performances. Locals continue to utilize the theater for Greek plays and concerts during the summer.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 7: Immersion into the Ancient

In the morning, you wake up in your luxurious accommodation, located on a private wine estate. Olive groves grow in the distance, alongside the sweeping emerald leaves of the grapevines rolling in the hillside. Today your guide meets you in the lobby and escorts you to the archeological park of Selinunte, an impressive image of the ancient Greek world of Sicily. The city of Selinunte was once rich and powerful and stood as the most westerly Greek colony. You do not just witness history but immerse yourself in it once you follow the paths shaping the ancient grounds. The city was established in the 7th century BC between two rivers. The city lay abandoned for more than two millennia.

Numerous temples, the Acropolis, and the Agora stand in dignified ruin. On the Acropolis hill, you find a narrow chalk massif with an edge plunging into the sea. The former settlement forms a large trapezoid edged by stone blocks. Remnants of five towers and four gates remain. The Temple of Hera was erected in the 6th century BC, on the foundations of an even older building. The columns climb to a height of 33 feet. Traces of the original stucco exterior coats the columns exterior. Multiple staircases create successive levels that aid the optical illusions typical of the era and style of architecture, including the tapering of columns. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 8: Extravagance of the Past

Rome and its settlements remain famous for their bold structures and elaborate indulgences. Images of grandeur and exuberance are ever present in the piety and historical significance of the world famous empire. After breakfast, you make your way to the remarkable Roman Villa del Casale, located outside the quaint town of Piazza Armerina. The estate was erected in the 4th century AD as a hunting lodge. The structure is notable today for its incredibly preserved mosaics encompassing an area of 376,736 square feet.

Thermal baths are located near the main entrance. A public hall and dining area are located near the elliptical courtyard. Your guide leads you to the mosaic known as “The Little Hunt.” The artwork depicts numerous men during a hunt for game. The colors remain vibrant. Dogs and horses accompany the men along their tour. Another unique image captured in a mosaic is one of the numerous giants fighting with snakes. The large and muscular giants battle numerous serpents, after having been struck with Hercules’s arrows. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 9: Lively Cities and Landscape

In the morning, you can look out over the cliff and watch the gentle current of the Ionian Sea lap at the shores of the Bay of Naxos. Taormina is a charming seaside city with history roots and fabulous contemporary luxuries. The aroma of freshly baked almond cookies drifts out of famous local bakeries. You sip your warm and refreshing cappuccino before venturing to the second largest city in Sicily. Catania is large and lovely, filled with images of its Greek settlement and symbols of its current acclaim as a historical center for food and culture. La Pescheria, Catania’s celebrated fish market, erupts with vibrancy. Table legs tremble under the weight of fresh seafood displayed throughout the marketplace.

Vendors call out to you in the hopes you will notice the substantial mass of their swordfish or the ruby-pink hue of their prawns. Women and men roam through the market in search of ingredients for dinner. Your exploration of the city takes you through the lively streets and baroque facades of the city, including Palazzo Biscari. The structure was erected in the 18th century and is known for its ornate interior, decorated in the rococo style. The exterior has a romantic ambiance with an elaborate door and window frames decorated with angelic statues. A double spiral staircase crowns the central courtyard. White doors, shining floors, Neapolitan ceramic tiles, and elegant mirrors help to create an unending array of light sweeping across the interior.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 10: Roaming the City Like an Ancient Citizen

Syracuse is a wonderland of contemporary lifestyle intertwining with ancient civilization. You make your way to the edges of the city after breakfast. Syracuse was once the largest city of antiquity, more powerful and wealthier than its contemporary of Athens, more than 2,000 years ago. The small island of Ortygia is a labyrinth of medieval streets and charming ancient structures that take you back to a different time. A natural spring has fed the Arethusa Fountain for millennia and continues to send bubbles to the surface, along with cultivating the natural wild papyrus growing in the fountain.

The pearly white stones of the 5th-century Greek theater overtake the hillside. The theater could hold up to 16,000 spectators and staged the performances of playwrights such as Aeschylus. One of the more recent discoveries of the medieval lifestyle of the city is the mikveh, a traditional Jewish bathhouse used for ritual cleansing. The mikveh is located underneath the city in what was once the Jewish quarter. Archeological evidence shows that a Jewish population existed in Sicily during Roman times, and the mikveh was created during the 6th century AD following the fall of Western Rome, building a total of five immersion pools.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 11: Subtly of Enchanting Islands

The sunlight washes over the Bay of Naxos and showcases the honey hues of the cobblestones lining the pathways of Taormina. The small ancient theater known as the Odeon highlight the importance of art and culture to the settlement during the Roman rule of Sicily. After breakfast, you make your way to the port at Milazzo where your board a hydrofoil to the Aeolian Islands. Lipari is the largest and most accessible of the archipelago and is considered the gateway islands father off of the Sicilian shore. The port of Lipari bustles with activity. Pastel colored homes border the seafront and create a vivacious rainbow visible from the horizon.

Windswept highlands overtake the skyline. Cliffs drop into exquisite cobalt waters. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the tranquil scenery and eclectic history across the island. Wandering the streets of the city emits true joy, emanating from the relaxed island atmosphere. Cafes and restaurants frame the main street of Via Vittorio Emanuele. In the evening, the street closes to traffic and locals venture out onto the cobblestones for a magnificent stroll. You can sit in café along Via Garibaldi, which overlooks the Marina Corta. You order a glass of wine and watch locals pass by you. 

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 12: Images of the Sea

In the morning, the beach of Spiaggia Valle i Muria is a picture-perfect postcard. Azure water brushes against the beach, bordered by sheer cliffs creating a cave-like atmosphere. The regional museum hosts a collection of ancient artifacts devoted to local discoveries, from Neolithic and Bronze Aged instruments to Greco-Roman ruins. After breakfast, you make your way to the port to embark on a sensational cruise around the Aeolian Islands, with the volcanic landscape of Stromboli Island acting as the crown jewel of your adventure. The wind picks up as you venture across the water. Craggy rock formations rise out of the glistening water with unique formations shaped by the elements.

Stromboli Island is an active volcano whose eruptions have been recorded for more than 2,000 years. Locals refer to the island as the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.” The mountain reaches a depth of 4,842 feet below sea level. Much of the island shines a lustered black from cooled lava. Numerous beaches have soft, grainy black sand set against the crystal blue water. Your guide leads you to the summit, up 492 feet above sea level, for an ineffable experience. The near constant activity of the volcano allows people to look into the caldera and see the active vents. The lava radiates heat and indelible orange hues against the dark rock.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 13: The Mainland Style

The Spanish erected the island citadel in the 16th century to envelop the town center and safeguard the settlement in case of pirates. The impregnable walls continue to run along the hillside above the newer borders of the city. In the morning, visitors make their way to the viewpoint of Quattrocchi, which means “Four Eyes.” Gray cliffs plunge with dramatic style into the bright blue water. Plumes of smoke rise from the nearby volcanic island of Vulcano. The contrast of colors is remarkable. After breakfast, you venture to the port and make your way back to the shores of Sicily by hydrofoil. Your private transfer greets you in Milazzo and escorts you to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer 

Price

Starting Price 

$3,570
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.