Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri, Naples, Alberobello, Reggio Calabria, Matera, Taormina, Sicily, Catania
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
While in Italy, you can sink into luxury and let the ancient world spring to life around you. Mosaics from Pompeii remain vibrant with lifelike images and exciting colors as Greek ruins rise out of the mountaintops and plains of Sicily. The Mediterranean Sea brushes at the beaches and boulders that line the Amalfi Coast. Hidden waterfalls feed abandoned paper mills and a treasure trove of artwork decorates the galleries of the Vatican Museums. Your custom tailored tour combines the wonders of...
Rome – Arrive in the Lively City of Rome and Enjoy an Introductory Tour
Rome is a city that has outlasted the ages and shows the glory of a decadent empire with the perseverance of a unique legacy. Your flight will land at Fiumicino Airport where your private transfer will be there to greet you. In the city, settle into the comforts of your luxurious hotel that overlook the red-tiled rooftops of the old heart of Rome. Your guide will meet you in the lobby and lead you on a remarkable introductory tour of the city’s allure. The Trevi Fountain glows in the bright spotlights of the cool Roman evening as the aroma of creamy gelato drifts out of the gelateria along the arcade of shops that line the small cobblestone square.
The fountain was built in its current form in the 17th-century after technicians discovered the source of the natural aqueduct that feeds the pool. The fountain stands more than 85 feet tall and depicts Oceanus as a freestanding figure that overlooks the movement of the water. Columns flank the powerful form of the personification of the sea as the tritons and horses positioned around the pool provide a symmetrical balance through their different poses. The fountain creates a lavish and distinctive atmosphere to introduce you to the ancient décor of the Eternal City.
Rome – Explore the Art and Ancient History of Rome on a Full Day Tour
In the morning the flower stands that populate the corners of Rome open their stalls to flourishing petals that fill the streets with a fragrant aroma. Cafes set out tables along the cobblestone streets and are shaded by large umbrellas. The church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva stands on a base of a Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva. Your guide will escort you through the artistry of the cityscape, from the old churches to the remarkable museums situated in Baroque palaces. St. Peter’s Church towers above St. Peter’s Square as the original structure was erected in the 4th-century and rebuilt in its current arrangement in the 15th-century.
Inside the church, your guide will point out Michelangelo’s Pieta, which depicts the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus’ body. Michelangelo carved the figures from a single slab of marble, and the emotional display glows against the backdrop of marble walls. Enter into the Vatican Museum for a look at the marvelous artistry the Church has patronized and collected over more than 1,500 years. In the Raphael Rooms, uncover the gorgeous works of the Renaissance master Raphael, who composed the celebrated 16th-century work, School of Athens, that depicts Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle locked in debate. Your guide will point out the hiding figure of Raphael in the right corner.
Sorrento – Discover the Wonder of Pompeii and the Beauty of Sorrento
After breakfast, leave the bustling streets of Rome as the gilded dome of St. Peter’s Basilica glints in the skyline before it fades behind the horizon. Venture south to the Bay of Naples and stop at the entrance of the preserved ancient city of Pompeii. The scent of citrus emanates from the lemon groves that grow around the region as your guide takes you on a marvelous tour along the cobblestone streets of the ruins. Start in the Antiquarium, the antique museum with galleries dedicated to the artifacts discovered during excavation. The particular items on display were too fragile or weathered to be moved to other locations as the scent of terracotta and clay fills the exhibit.
Behind a glass case, find a plaster cast shaped by the perfect molds of the ashen bodies left behind after the eruption of Vesuvius. The casts bring the final moments of Pompeii into reality as the summit of the active volcano continues to loom proudly above the opposite banks of the Bay of Naples, visible from most streets of the city. At the House of Menander, your guide will point out the remains of a wealthy merchant’s home. The Corinthian capitals flank the entrance to provide the owner’s high status immediately. The interior rooms contain images from Homer’s Iliad as you glean an inkling of intimate knowledge of the home’s owner by the décor of the remaining rooms.
Amalfi – Traverse the Hills and Towns of Capri and Transfer to Amalfi
The seaside town of Sorrento overlooks the Bay of Naples with a relaxed air that is accentuated by the layers of maritime history. Palaces dating back to the 13th-century contain elements of Arab and Byzantine architectural embellishments. Make your way to the Marina Grande after breakfast and board the ferry for the island of Capri. Your anchor is lifted and drift away from the lingering colorful fishing boats moored in the rocky harbor. The island of Capri stands only three miles off the mainland shores of Italy but more than 20 miles from the marina at Sorrento.
The island comes into view with limestone cliffs that rise upwards of 200 feet above the sea. A collection of karsts moves away from the shoreline in view of the main town of Capri. Disembark your ferry and take the funicular to the cobbled main streets of town. The lingering scent of fresh grilled seafood and lemon juice drifts through the streets, eventually overtaken by the herbaceous aroma of the natural forests that drape the hillsides. The breeze carries the refreshing aroma of the sea upwards from the coastline.
Boats decorate the water near the boulders along the shore with locals and visitors alike eager to relax on the Mediterranean and enjoy the impressive spectacles of the sapphire sea and towering limestone cliffs. Make your way to Certosa di San Giacomo, a monastery founded in the 14th-century that now houses a school, library, and museum filled with 17th-century paintings. Inside the two cloisters, witness the faded sense of glory that once overtook the galleries.
Amalfi – Relish the Vibrant Shores and Villages along the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is a famous stretch of landscape that reaches 25 miles in length, with beautiful roads that hug the rocky outcrops overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The island of Capri rises along the horizon, its steep cliffs distant imitations of the Amalfi scenery. Verdant forest overtakes the hilltops as the cliffs plunge into the water. After breakfast, take the time to enjoy the serene setting of the town of Amalfi located at the heart of the coastline. The cathedral harkens back to the cities prevailing days of the 13th-century when the maritime power often traded with the Byzantine Empire situated in Constantinople.
The bronze doors were cast in the capital of Byzantium before being brought to the Amalfi Cathedral. More than 60 steps lead to the entrance arcade to create an air of ascendancy for all who enter the hallowed ground. Enjoy the scenic drive to the most westerly town of the coast of Positano. The scent of lemon trees fills the terraced streets as a small, pebbled beach wraps against the boulders at the base of the hillside. Peach and pink homes ascend the knolls as you meet with a local purveyor of the famous Italian liqueur of Limoncello and learn the art of making the traditional digestif.
The store’s main room showcases the different types of liqueur you can make from the simple base recipe of Limoncello, from an orange liqueur to a coffee and cream after dinner drink. The method is relatively simple as your instructor uses pure alcohol, sugar, lemon rinds, and the process of time to let the ingredients marinate for up to 40 days. After you make your own concoction, your will sample the private supply of your teacher. When she opens the bottle the room will fill with the zesty scent of fresh lemons.
Amalfi – Venture along the Scenic Coastal Drive for an Excursion to Naples
Fishing boats venture out to sea before sunrise and leave the small marina of Amalfi behind. When the boats return in the early morning, fresh seafood fills the nets. The fishermen venture to the local morning market to showcase their goods to the public. After breakfast, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and escort you to Naples for a day among the museums and palaces of the former capital of the Bourbon Kingdom. Chic pizzerias line the promenade of the refurbished harbor.
The 14th-century Monastery of Santa Chiara contains a cloister that resembles a seaside park more than a retreat for introspection. Majolica tiles made in the workshops atop the Neapolitan hill of Capodimonte provide vivid hues and design to the more than 66 columns that support the arcade. In the National Archeological Museu, enjoy an immense collection of the world’s antiquity, which includes exhibits from excavations of Pompeii, art treasures from the kings of Naples, and Farnese collections from Rome. The ground floor resembles an elegant villa with galleries dedicated to marble sculptures.
A magnificent Farnese statue of Hercules stands over 10 feet tall and watches down over the gallery from its perch. The statue was originally crafted in the 3rd-century AD, modeled after the original from the 4th-century BC. However, the work that grabs your eye is the more than 20-foot long mosaic of Alexander’s Battle, which was uncovered in a private home in Pompeii and maintains its vibrant colors and lifelike depictions of the renowned warrior-king. At lunch, your guide will lead you to a celebrated pizzeria, not only to taste the famous cuisine said to have originated in Naples but to learn how to make the perfect pizza.
Amalfi – Relax in the Splendor of the Amalfi Coast with a Day at Leisure
In the morning, venture onto the quiet streets of Amalfi and stroll along the narrow lanes that weave back and forth from the main road. The scent of fresh brioche emanates from the bakeries that provide their goods to the corner cafes in the small piazzas. The day is yours to enjoy Amalfi and the coast as you desire. You could spread a towel on a lounge chair along the beach and enjoy the sunshine or make your way inland to the Greek ruins at Paestum. For a unique view of the Amalfi Coast, you could visit the Valle delle Ferriere as the narrow stairwell leads to the trail winds along old foundry ruins.
Mills that once powered Amalfi’s renowned papermaking industry continue to pepper the hillsides. You can hear the waterfall splash against the pool before you find it as the trees open to a natural pond with the small falls crashing against the boulders. Vines dangle down from the cliff top as the moss glows emerald along the limestone wall. The water rushes away from the pool and into a small stream that once flowed to the paper mills. You will feel as though you’ve stepped out of the Italian countryside and into the Alps with the lush greenery and refreshing air. The trail ends in the medieval village of Pontone where you can relax with a rejuvenating espresso or relax with a glass of wine.
Alberobello – Travel to the Region of Puglia and the Town of Alberobello
In the morning, visitors make their way to the water’s edge to relax in the warmth of the drifting sun and enjoy the sparkling sapphire hue of the Mediterranean Sea. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel ready to lead you across southern Italy to the heel of the geographical boot. The town of Trani is often referred to as the “Pearl of Puglia,” celebrated for its relaxed ambiance and sun-drenched buildings. Palm trees shade the walkways along the Adriatic Sea as the seawalls open up to views of the water that provide a casual charm. Wandering the cobblestone streets provides the perfect day in town.
The Cattedrale di San Nicola Pellegrino dominates the seaside promenade at the water’s edge. The 12th-century façade stands pale against the glowing water of the Adriatic as the Romanesque style includes an elongated exterior adorned with a central rose window. The interior contains tall carved stone figures that support the magnificent columns. Up the shore is the Castello Svevo, a 13th-century castle erected during the reign of Emperor Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empire. The limestone streets lead you around the old-world architecture and inviting atmosphere of the seaside town before you continue onward to Alberobello.
Alberobello – Tour the Unique Architecture and Culture of Alberobello
In the morning, the true beauty of Alberobello comes into focus as the whitewashed homes glint in the spreading sunlight. The herbaceous aroma of fresh olive trees and vineyards sweep in with the breeze from the outskirts of town. After breakfast, your guide will lead you on a remarkable tour of the mythical structures. The quiet streets undulate with the hills of the region as the white homes with conical stone roofs are known collectively as trulli. Locals build the homes out of limestone, with dome roofs that morph upwards into a spire. The pointed symbols at the top of the roof have a different significance depending on who has built the structure.
For some, the symbol may be religious and for others, the symbol could be superstitious. There are nearly 1,500 trulli in town, which creates a unique snowy effect along the landscape. Your guide will lead you along the neighborhood of Aia Piccola, where friendly old men play dominoes outside of the charming cafes with the quiet narrow lanes to view the unique edifices. The period furniture inside the home of Trullo Sovrano turns the small structure into a lavish space. With the afternoon free, venture out into the vineyards near town to visit a local winery to craft delicious white wines that exude the aromas of citrus and limestone.
Reggio Calabria – Visit the Town of Matera en route to Reggio Calabria
Today your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and lead you away from the speckled white hills of Alberobello and the conical roofs of the trulli. Make your way southwest towards the Strait of Messina with a stop in the remarkable town of Matera in the region of Basilicata. When the town comes into view, spot the medieval structures along the hilltop that overlook the ravine. The closer you get to the town, the more you notice the cave mouths that are carved into the hills beneath.
The region contains 9,000 years of continuous human habitation with layers of history that culminate in the gray facades of the medieval district of Old Town. Locals inhabited the caves beneath the town as recently as the 1950s. For in immersive understanding of the town and its Sassi (cave dwellings), visit the Casa Noha as films project onto the walls to tell of the unflinching past and present of Matera located across the rooms of a 16th-century home.
You will walk the cobblestone paths past the castle and cathedral before you enter the cave dwellings. The stone keeps the air cool and protects the dwellings from the heat of the sun. What were once derelict homes of a forgotten southern town now contain vibrant shops and restaurants. One shop provides ceramics crafted by locals, along with traditional clay whistles known as cucu. The street Via Madonna delle Virtu offers a panoramic view of the ravine and the opposite hillside where caves speckle the landscape.
Taormina – Cross the Strait of Messina to Sicily and Relax in Taormina
The doors of the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia opens in the morning light of the port city and contains a collection of Riace bronzes, ancient Roman and Byzantine artwork, and even splintered rocks from the Low Paleolithic era. Before you make your way across the Strait of Messina, visit the remarkable museum to witness the sensational Riace bronzes, the famous 5th-century BC bronze statues discovered in the sea. The microclimate room protects the twin statues from the elements.
The gallery also contains other works from the 5th-century BC, such as the Head of a Philosopher, a bronze sculpture that depicts a man with immense character detail. After your visit to the museum, board the ferry to Messina as the narrow waterway has a width of three miles and reaches a depth of more than 800 feet. The coastline of Sicily is visible from the shores of mainland Italy, along with the snowcapped peak of Italy’s most active volcano, Mount Etna.
Your private transfer will escort you from the harbor to the luxurious seaside town of Taormina, which ascends the side of a mountain that overlooks the Mediterranean. Greek settlers founded the town in the 4th-century BC, and its gorgeous location became a draw for visitors from northern Europeans around the 18th-century. A stroll along the cobblestone streets leads you to the Teatro Greco, a horseshoe-shaped theater that opens up to unparalleled views of the volcanic peak in the distance. The Greek settlers erected the structure’s base in the 3rd-century BC and in the summer, locals continue to use the theater for festivals on art, film, and music.
Taormina – Delight in the Beauty of Sicily with Countless Excursions
In the morning, look out your window to find the Mediterranean Sea crashing against the rocks below Taormina. The quaint cafes set out their tables along the cobbles of Corso Umberto I as boutique shops open their doors and look out to the 10th-century Palazzo Corvaja. After breakfast, the day is yours to enjoy the delights in and around Taormina as you lounge on the beach at Spisone as sailboats drift along the sapphire water, and smooth sand paves the coast to the lapping waves. You could venture to Etna to experience the rugged landscape and unique views of the rolling craters. At the base of Etna, meet your guide for a walk through the mountains filled with forest and vineyards.
Board your cable car and rise in altitude to nearly 9,850 feet. The trees below look like a blanket of greenery rather than individual plants as your guide will lead you along the alpine trails to the summit craters another 1,115 feet above sea level. The air is cool and crisp from the peak and you can lookout over the landscape for a view of the undulating slopes and distant cliffs that slip into the Mediterranean Sea. The numerous craters along the summit smolder with activity as steam rises from the lunar landscape and dissipates into the air. The Southeast Crater was formed in the 1970s after the volcanic activity released pressure by opening a vent to spill ash and lava. The view is as magnificent as the experience itself.
Taormina – Revel in Seaside Charm and Adventure with a Day at Leisure
The trail of Via Circonvallazione travels along the cliffs and hills outside of Taormina to the precipice that supports Madonna della Rocca. The chapel was carved into the rock and utilized the cliff to form the ceiling. At the top of the trail stands Castello di Taormina, which reaches a height of more than 1,300 feet above sea level. The edifice stands atop the ancient Acropolis that once celebrated the Greek gods of the first settlers. Today you will stroll along Via Circonvallazione to visit the old castle ruins or relax on the narrow strip of sandy beach that connects the shoreline to the rock-bound island of Isola Bella.
In the morning, your private instructor and chef will meet you at the hotel and lead you through the local market of Taormina. What resembles gourmet goods, from produce to sun dried tomatoes are items used in everyday cooking in Sicily. You can imagine the distinctive Sicilian flavors most people think of when they enjoy Italian cuisine. The market has a vibrant atmosphere and is filled with vendors that call out to one another and passersby. Salami and various types of cheeses decorate the tables, along with baskets of eggplants and oranges that fill the market with a zesty aroma.
After shopping for ingredients, your chef will lead you to their private kitchen and the antique ambiance of the city combines with the modern ease of their workspace. Follow your chef as you peel tomatoes and dice onions. Roll out fresh sheets of pasta and as the sauce simmers, your chef will open a bottle of regional wine. Sip your wine as you taste your food to see how the pair compliments each other. In the end, you will have a veritable Sicilian feast complete with linguine al limone, frutti di mare, and a delicious torta cassata to finish the meal.
Catania – Depart for Home
The 15th-century Palazzo Corvaia once housed Sicilian Parliament and the nobles when meeting to discuss the issues of the country. The preserved palace contains elements of 10th-century Saracen architecture notable in the tower and its triple window adorned with elegant curved arches. The history of Sicily comes alive in the towns across the Italian island, from graceful churches to dramatic castles, along with the largest collection of Greek temples in all of Italy. Your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you to the Catania International Airport for your flight home. You could extend your vacation in Italy to spend more time to discover the luxury and beauty of Sicily, and visit the Baroque architecture of the inland villages or stroll along Syracuse’s ancient islet.
- Enjoy a demonstration on how to make perfect pizza during a course in Naples, the birthplace of the sumptuous dish
- Traverse the gorgeous scenery of rolling mountains, dramatic cliffs, and marvelous sapphire waters during a scenic ride along the Amalfi Coast
- Uncover the secrets to southern Italy’s favorite digestive liqueur during a private tasting and making of Limoncello
- Traverse the chic streets and captivating hills of Capri for a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea
- Stroll along hidden trails that meander through the historic fishing villages on the Amalfi Coast to find secluded waterfalls and ancient paper mills
- Visit the wonders of antiquity on a tour of Pompeii and the National Archeological Museums of Naples and Reggio Calabria, home to unique statues, including the Riace Bronzes
- Delight in the satisfying flavors of Sicilian cuisine on a private cooking class and market visit in the heart of Taormina
- Meander along the magnificent cultural whitewashed homes with conical roofs in the town of Alberobello in Puglia
- Discover the cave dwellings of Matera on a tour that takes you through the unique homes beneath the medieval town that were occupied as recently at the 1950s
- Wander through the splendor of the Eternal City of Rome on a full day guided tour to witness the ancient Roman architecture and artwork housed in the Vatican Museums
- Trek to the summit craters of Mount Etna to view the steam that rises out of Italy’s most active volcano
- Enjoy a relaxing wine tour in the heart of Puglia to overlook the bleached homes of Alberobello
- Indulge in a relaxed pace of life that allows you to embrace the little pleasures of the everyday along with the additions of luxury
The history of Italy stretches beyond the rise of the Roman Empire and connects with people from around the world interested in art, architecture, and cuisine. Your 14-day tour immerses you in the world of Southern Italy to highlight the distinctive culture that defines the landscape from Rome to Taormina. Your flight arrives at Fiumicino Airport in Rome where you will meet your private transfer. Once in the city, relax at your hotel before your guide meets you in the lobby to take you on an introductory tour of the Eternal City. Next day, wake up ready for your complete tour of Rome’s highlights to take in the Vatican City and the spectacular Roman ruins of the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Your private transfer will meet you at the hotel the following day and escort you south to the ancient city of Pompeii. Explore the streets as you continue to the charming town of Sorrento. Travel next by ferry to the gorgeous island of Capri to stroll along the cobbled streets of the stylish downtown, and visit the remarkable Roman villas that once belonged to Roman emperors. Board the ferry back to Sorrento and your private transfer will escort you over the hills to the stunning town of Amalfi at the center of the Amalfi Coast. Next, enjoy your scenic tour of Amalfi Coast and travel along the shoreline to visit Positano.
After strolling along the terraced streets, you will meet with a local Limoncello purveyor to learn the history of the liqueur and the secret to making a personalized cocktail. Then enjoy a full day in Naples to discover the underlying charms of the metropolis. Visit the Archeological Museum to view the stunning array of ancient artwork before you delight in a private cooking class and learn how to make your own pizza. In the afternoon, continue with your tour of Naples before you return to Amalfi. The next day is yours to enjoy the Amalfi Coast at your whim and desire. Bask on the pebbled shores with your toes in the Mediterranean Sea or venture along the various trails that connect the fishing towns to find waterfalls and the former grandeur of the coast’s paper trade.
Your private transfer will then escort you away from the Amalfi Coast to the region of Puglia, located on the Adriatic Sea. En route to the town of Alberobello, visit the quiet streets of Trani. Move next along the hills of the town in the town of Alberobello to see the culture in the form of the unique trulli, the whitewashed homes with conical roofs. In the afternoon, visit a local winery to luxuriate in the warm hills and the refreshing wine of the region. Your guide will meet you at the hotel the next day and take you to the city of Reggio Calabria, situated on the Strait of Messina. Before you reach the city, stop in the town of Matera to explore the medieval streets and the stunning ancient cave networks that are carved into the hills.
Move next to visit the sensational Archeological Museum before you take the ferry across the Strait of Messina to reach Sicily. Your private transfer will take you to the seaside city of Taormina where your guide will provide a comprehensive tour of the town’s diverse history. The next days are at your leisure for you to experience and enjoy the majestic excursions around Taormina; venture to the summit of Mount Etna or visit the ancient architecture of Syracuse. Lounge on the sandy beaches beneath the hillside town or trek along the trails that connect Taormina to the neighboring bay or indulge in a cooking course to learn the best flavors of the traditional Sicilian cuisine. Conclude as your private transfer meets you at the hotel to escort you to the Catania International Airport for your flight home.
$3,845 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.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.88 stars based on 4533 reviews
"We could not be happier with our experience"
Reviewed By Lilian P.
"Our travel planner was on top of every little detail, which...
Reviewed By Gabriel G.
"I would recommend this travel company to my friends"
Reviewed By Albert A.
"[Our travel planner] built us a fantastic itinerary that...
Reviewed By christine G.
"If we could give Michaela ten stars we would."
Reviewed By Veronica C.
"Giulio was excellent and was very quick to respond to my...
Reviewed By ahmed j.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era