Enjoy an in-depth encounter with spirited Sicily on this ramble 'down south', which includes some quality time in Rome and a visit to the feisty city of Naples. Take a drive to Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano and delve into Agrigento's Greek heritage in the Valley of the Temples. You'll dive head-first into the fun-filled capital, Palermo and engage with the island's centuries-old seafaring heritage.
Arrive Rome (2 Nights)
Kick-start your adventure to Sicily with a brief visit to the Italian capital. A day is a long time on the busy streets of Rome as you'll come to discover. Turn in a circle and you'll see ancient, medieval and modern all in one go. Check in to your hotel and embrace the frenetic pace of this lively city by ditching your siesta and heading out on your own. A few firm attractions under your belt, you'll meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a glimpse of what lies ahead before an optional sightseeing tour of Rome with a light dinner.
Rome sightseeing and free time
Dive right into the bustling streets of the 'Eternal City' with a Local Specialist. Visit St. Peter's Basilica and view Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà. Cross the Tiber next, to view the mighty Colosseum and the countless other ancient sites. There's time to explore Rome your way later, or skip the lines with our Optional Experience visit to the Vatican Museums to explore the heart of the Roman Catholic Church and its many treasures.
Rome – Naples (1 Night)
Begin your journey south this morning, passing the Abbey of Montecassino bound for Naples. A true architectural marvel, the Abbey has been the site of conflict and conquest for many centuries, most notably serving as a backdrop to some of the fiercest fighting in World War II. Arriving in Naples, you'll have some time to rub shoulders with the bold Neapolitans in their UNESCO-listed city centre. Follow your nose in search of the best Neapolitan pizza in town or join an Optional Experience delving into the city's fascinating archaeology. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.
Naples – ferry to Sicily – Acireale (2 Nights)
We leave mainland Italy today, driving south via Salerno through the picture-perfect Calabrian countryside. Hop aboard the ferry crossing the Strait of Messina to Sicily bound for Acireale, a pretty coastal city tumbling down the slopes of Mount Etna into the Ionian Sea. Take a deep breath and savour the fresh sea breeze, admiring the beautiful Baroque buildings that lie at the city's centre as you go for a wander. Embrace your Mediterranean surrounds and watch the sun set on yet another perfect day in Italy.
Taormina sightseeing and excursion to Mount Etna
Get up close and personal with Mount Etna today. The largest active volcano in Europe and one of the most impressive landmarks on the island, Sicily's volatile volcano appears to simmer in anticipation of its next eruption. Against its imposing backdrop, you'll visit the hilltop town of Taormina, strolling along its elegant Baroque and Gothic-lined Corso Umberto to Piazza Nove Aprile. Spend some time in the square at one of the welcoming cafés sipping a cappuccino and people-watching or go shopping for souvenirs and the Sicilian handmade lace for which the town is so well known. An optional Sicilian dinner with entertainment could be the perfect way for you to end the day.
Acireale – Agrigento (1 Night)
The kiss of the sun will be as kind to you as it is to Sicily's spectacular landscapes. Soak up all those Mount Etna views as you continue to UNESCO-listed Agrigento, home to the Valley of the Temples, on Sicily's southern coast. Agrigento's seven 6th-century BC Greek temples remain as a testament to the city's former stature as a leading city in the Mediterranean world. Join your Local Specialist for a guided walk along the fortified ridge, stopping at all the main sights. Take some time to admire the spectacular views from the ruins of the Temple of Juno overlooking the sea before spending the evening your way.
Agrigento – Palermo (2 Nights)
Making our way to Palermo, we'll stop in Erice, the 'City of a Hundred Churches', then the lively fishing village of Mondello, the summer holiday haunt of Palermo's jet set. This afternoon you'll tread in the footsteps of merchants, soldiers and monarchs, discovering the city of Palermo, whose centuries-old multi-cultural influences remain to this day. You'll have the evening to do as you wish, but we know you'll want to join your new friends for a fun-filled optional dinner.
Palermo sightseeing and free time
Start your day in the expert hands of a Local Specialist who will share all the sights and sounds of Palermo. You could choose to visit the city's ancient street markets and, perhaps, continue the adventure with an Optional Experience to the medieval village of Cefalù, renowned for its fortress-like cathedral, glittering mosaics and soaring twin towers. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.
Grazie Sicily! It's been a grand adventure treading in the footsteps of the ancients across an island that once held the distinction of being one of the Mediterranean's most important crossroads. Say ciao to your fellow travellers as you prepare for your return home with many memorable stories to share. Find out more about your free airport transfer at costsavertour.com/freetransfers.