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  • The salts-pans area in Nubia, Trapani
    The salt pan area in Nubia, Trapani
  • Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
    Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
  • A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
    The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
  • A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area
    Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area

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The Amalfi Coast & Sicily


13 days – 12 nights

Magically suspended between the blue sky and the iridescent colored sea, the Amalfi coast seems to be born from the palette of a painter who wanted to use the warmer color gradients for creating a landscape that enchants the visitor at the first shot, giving thrilling experience and such evocative view to doubt, for a moment, it is real. The Costiera has thus always attracted tourists, since Grand Tour to the thousands of more humble visitors of the late 20th century. Many literary visitors have written eulogies of its qualities and generations of artists have depicted it in different media. They have been brought there to see its architecture, its natural beauties such as the magical Grotta della Smeraldo, the deep fjord of Furore, and the tine beaches.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural landscape on 1997 the Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentina Penisula in the beautiful region of Campania located in Southern Italy. It is is an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values resulting from its dramatic topography and historical evolution, an area of great physical beauty and natural diversity. It has been intensively settled by human communities since the early Middle Ages. There are a number of towns such as Amalfi and Ravello with architectural and artistic works of great significance such as the Torre Saraceua at Cetara, the Romanesque Cathedral of Amalfi and its “Cloister of Paradise,” with their strong oriental influences, the Church of San Salvatore de’ Birecto at Atrani, where the Dogi of Amalfi were elected, and Ravello with its flue Cathedral and the superb Villa Rufolo.

The rural areas show the versatility of the inhabitants in adapting their use of the land to the diverse nature of the terrain, which ranges from terraced vineyards and orchards on the lower slopes to wide upland pastures. In some parts of the Costiera the natural landscape survives intact, with little, if any, human intervention. It supports the traditional Mediterranean flora of myrtle, lentisk, broom, euphorbia, etc, which can withstand the windswept aridity of much of the area.

Southern to the Amalfi Coast, the enchanting isalnd of Sicily with  its immense beauty and vast cultural, historic and natural heritage. 

A journey of a lifetime.

Highlights
Amalfi coast: UNESCO World Heritage Site, 
Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Capri
Palermo: Norman Palace, Palatine Chapel, Oratorio Santa Cita, Opera House
Segesta: Greek Theatre and Doric temple
Erice: medieval village
Menfi: top winery
Selinunte: archeological park
Agrigento: Valley of the Temples
Piazza Armerina: Roman Villa del Casale
Taormina: Greek-Roman Theatre
Catania: UNESCO World Heritage Site, historic fish market
Mt Etna: UNESCO World Heritage Sitetop boutique winery
Syracuse: archaeological park, Ortigia baroque historic centre
Aeolian Islands: Lipari, Stromboli

ITINERARY & PROGRAM

Day 1 – Rome/Naples – Sorrento

Arrival at Rome or Naples airport. Transfer by deluxe sedan to Sorrento and accommodation at the selected hotel and guided visit of Sorrento. Lunch and dinner at your own leisure.

Day 2 – Amalfi – Positano – Ravelllo
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day guided visit of the highlight of the Amalfi Coast with stops in Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula of which Amalfi is the main town in the 1920s and 1930s it was a popular holiday destination for the British upper – class and aristocracy and today it is still an important tourist destination included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Proceed to Positano of which Steinbeck wrote“It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone”. Ravello is  listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site for its scenic beauty. Thanks to the Cathedral with the “Pulpit of the Gospel” on the right of the central nave, built in 1272 by Nicolò Bartolomeo from Foggia and Villa Rufolo built by Nicola Rufulo, one of the richest Patricians of Ravello, on a ledge and it has become a famous attraction for thousands of visitors. The Villa mentioned by Giovanni Boccaccio on the Decameron and it is the place where Richard Wagner in 1880 was inspired for the stage design of his opera Parsifal.
Lunch dinner at your own leisure. (B)

Day 3 – Capri
Breakfast at the hotel.  Transfer to Sorrento port for embarkation to hydrofoil to Capri, weather permitting, and full-day excursion of the island with time at leisure. Capri visited over the centuries by intellectuals, artists and writers, all enthralled by its magical beauty. A mix of history, nature, worldliness, culture and events that daily blend together and bring the Legend of Capri to life; a legend that sees no comparison anywhere in the world. Return to Sorrento by hydrofoil and back to the hotel by private transfer.
Lunch and dinner at your own leisure. (B)

Day 4 – Naples – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Naples Airport and flight to Palermo. Meet and greet with our ES driver escort and transfer by private deluxe vehicle to the GH Villa Igiea in Palermo. Accommodation and time at leisure. (B)

Day 5 – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Palermo for a full –day guided excursion. Located in the northwest of the island, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Palermo is renowned for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence. It is over 2.700 years old, founded by the Phoenicians but named by the Greeks as Panormus meaning always fit for landing in. Palermo became part the Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Empire for over a thousand years. From 827 to 1071 it was under the Arab rule when it first became a capital. The Arabs introduced many agricultural item which remain a mainstay of Sicilian cuisine. In 1072, Palermo returned to Christianity. It was under Roger II pf Sicily that Norman holdings in Sicily held at Norman Palace. The Kingdom of Sicily became one of the wealthiest states in Europe and much construction was under-taken during this period, such as the Cathedral. In 1194, Sicily fell under the control of the Holy Roman Empire and Palermo was the preferred city of the Emperor Frederick II, the Stupor Mundi. Palermo ruled by Angevins, Aragons, Spaniards, French and Borbons, until the unification of Italy in 1861. The city tour includes its most important treasure: the Palatine Chapel with the splendid mosaics of Byzantine tradition and the Christ Pantocrator, the Arab – Norman Cathedral, the Oratorio of Santa Cita with its rich stuccoes by the Gagini, a unique masterpiece of the Baroque – style sculpture, the Opera Theatre, one of the most beautiful Opera Houses in Europe.
Lunch and dinner at your own leisure. (B)

Day 6 – Segesta – Erice – Menfi
Breakfast at the hotel. 
Located in the northwest part of Sicily, Segesta was the political center of the Elymian people, one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily, and in eternal conflict with Selinus the modern Selinunte. The ruins of the city are located on the top of Mt. Barbaro at 305m above sea level. The hilltop offers a view over the valley towards the Gulf of Castellamare. Current archeological works indicates that a Muslim community occupied this site in the Norman period. Excavations have unearthed a Muslim necropolis and a mosque from the 12th century next to a Norman castle. Evidence suggests that the mosque destroyed after the arrival of a new Christian overlord at the beginning of the 13th century. The city appears abandoned by the second half of the 13th century. On a hill just outside the site of the ancient city of Segesta there is an unusually well preserved Doric temple built sometime in the late 5th century BC circa. On the opposite hill, at about 440 mt above sea level, there is the Theatre. Despite Segesta was not a Greek town, the theatre has a Greek style. Built to host 3000 people, and used as a summer performance.
The Elymians settled also in Erice, an important religious site associated with goddesses of fertility, located on top of Mt. Erice, at around 750m above sea level, overlooking the city of Trapani, the low western coast towards Marsala, the dramatic Punta del Saraceno and Capo San Vito to the north – east, and the Aegadian Islands, providing all around spectacular views. Destroyed in the First Punic War by the Carthaginians and from then on declined in importance. Erice ruled by Arabs over 3 centuries until Norman Conquest in 1167. Nowadays, Erice was well – preserved medieval towns in Sicily with much of its character intact. Wander thought its ancient streets and visit some of the most famous homemade pastry shops, world – know for marzipan candies and other delicacies such as almond and pistachio pastries.
Transfer to your wine escort in Menfi, home to world famous wines, is located between Sciacca and the archaeological park of Selinunte, where the beaches are amongst Sicily’s most beautiful and the countryside is given over to vineyards and olive production.
Lunch and dinner at your own leisure. (B)

Day 7 – Selinunte  – Agrigento
Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning visit of Selinunte the most westerly of the Greek colonies in Sicily, and for this reason was early brought into contact and collision with the Carthaginians and the native Sicilians in the west and northwest of the island. The former people, however, do not at first seem to have offered any obstacle to their progress; but as early as 580 BCE the Selinuntines engaged in hostilities with the people of Segesta, a non-Hellenic city, whose territory bordered on their own.
The archaeological park of Selinunte is one of the most impressive of the ancient Greek world. The city was forgotten until the middle of the 16th century when a Dominican monk identified its location. Excavation began in 1823 thanks to two English archaeologists. The site is divided into the acropolis, the ancient city, the eastern temples and the Sanctuary of Malophoros, spreading over a vast area over a hill, one of the largest in the world.
Departure to Agrigento with visit of the Valley of the Temples one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1997. The Valley includes remains of ten temples, all in Doric style among which the Temple of Concordia ranked amongst the most notable edifices of the Greek civilization existing today due to its good state of preservation.
Accommdation at your five star hotel with a unique view over the temples.
Lunch and dinner at your own leisure. (B)

Day 8 – Piazza Armerina – Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning departure to the Roman Villa del Casale, an amazing Roman Villa which owes its fame to its magnificent mosaic floors, though to be work of North Africa artists, which are striking for the variety of colors used and subjects depicted. Proceed to your hotel in Taormina, accommodation and walking visit of this small town, defined as one of the jewels of Sicily: from its impressive the Greek – Roman Theatre we can admire an amazing view to the Etna Volcano and the Taormina Bay. Walking along the main street named Corso Umberto we will visit Palazzo Corvaja, the Church of Santa Caterina and that of San Pancrazio, the Naumachie.
Enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure.
Lunch and dinner at your own leisure. (B)

Day 9 – Catania – Etna
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Catania, a fascinating city, once a Greek colony and now Sicily’s second largest city, cultural and economic center. This morning’s walking tour of the historical center will introduce you to our food and culture highlights: our lively fish market and the ornate Sicilian baroque palazzos for which Catania nominated World Heritage Site by UNESCO. On special invitation, private visit to Palazzo Biscari, one of the most impressive example of Baroque style in Sicily, a private noble palazzo where the Prince Biscari family still lives.
Proceed to Etna, included on June 2013 in the UNESCO World Heritage List “defined one of the most world’s most active and iconic volcanoes, and an outstanding example of ongoing geological processes and volcanic landforms. The stratovolcano characterized by almost continuous eruptive activity from its summit craters and frequent lava flow eruptions from craters and fissures on its flanks. Humans have documented this exceptional volcanic activity for at least 2.700 years – making it one of the world’s longest documented records of historical volcanism. The diverse and accessible assemblage of volcanic features such as summit craters, cinder cones, lava flows, lava caves and the Valle de Bove depression have made Mt. Etna a prime destination for research and education.Today Mt. Etna is one of the best – studied and monitored volcanoes in the world, continues to influence volcanology, geophysics and other earth science disciplines.
Mt. Etna’s notoriety, scientific importance, and cultural and educational value are of global significance”.
Lunch at Barone di Villagrande, a local top boutique winery on Mt. Etna.
Proceed to Taormina seaside area and accommodation at the hotel. (B, L)

Day 10 – Syracuse
Breakfast at the hotel.
Syracuse is famous for its rich Greek history, culture, amphi-theatres, architecture, , and as the birthplace of Archimedes.  This 2,700 year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the top powers of the Mediterranean world.
Once described by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”, it later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica.
The Archaeological Park of Neapolis includes the most spectacular Greek and Roman monuments bearing testimony to the past of Sicily: the magnificent Greek theatre; the Nymphaeum zone; the sanctuary to Apollo; the imposing altar of Hieron II (king of Syracuse in 265-215 BC); the Roman amphitheatre; the great stone quarries, also known as the lautumiae.
The island of Ortigia is the historical heart of the town, with its nice Baroque-style buildings, palaces and narrow streets.
Here, you will find the Cathedral, former a great temple devoted to Athena, the Fountain of Arethusa planted with papyrus, the Galleria Bellomo Museum where the Annunciation by Antonello da Messina is kept (optional) and the Badia di Santa Lucia, near the Cathedral,  home of the Caravaggio’s Bury of St. Lucy.

Day 11 – Milazzo – Lipari  (Aeolian Islands)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure to Milazzo port for embarkation and hydrofoil transfer to Lipari. Accommodation at your hotel and rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the largest of the volcanic archipelago of the Aeolian Islands.
Lunch and dinner at your own leisure. (B)
Remarks: not suggested in winter time

Day 12 – Lipari – Stromboli
Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure by motorboat to Stromboli to see Sciara del Fuoco, the majestic permanent eruption ofthe flank of the volcano.The volcano has erupted many times and is constantly active with minor eruptions, often visible from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea, giving rise to the island’s nickname “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”.
Return to Lipari late night.
Lunch and dinner at your own leisure. (B)

Day 13 – Lipari – Departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer by hydrofoil from Lipari to Milazzo port. Meet our driver escort and proceed to Catania Airport for departure.

Meal legend: B (breakfast)   L (lunch)   D (dinner)

FEATURES

General info: “The Amalfi Coast & Sicily” is an escorted trip. It is a private tour for individual travellers and can  be adapted to a small group of travel companions. It is available all year round on request. It is designed to create a good comfort and let participants enjoy all the areas at best. Accommodation provided is first-class, strategically located. The food is always typically local, with a blend of regional delicacies and top wines. Transportation is top quality. Your drivers/escorts or tour escort is qualified, pleasant and with a long experience in the field.

Departures & Prices: all year-round, upon request

Flights: we generally recommend that our travellers to arrive one day before the trip starts in order to get their bearings and ease in to the new surroundings.

Travel Services: we would be happy to assist travellers in case of any further services: i.e. pre-post nights in Sicily, Amalfi Coast or Malta. Do not hesitate to ask for info.

Reservation & Payment: a deposit of 30% per person is required at the time of reservation. Final payment of the tour is due 60 days prior to departure.

Book this tour OR ask for a customised proposal info@isolabella.it
Please, feel free to browse all our luxury tours.

 

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