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Sicily, Southern Italy, and Rome

Day 1 - DEPART USA  
Evening departure from Pittsburgh, meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 - USA…ITALY (SICILY)  
Arrive at Catania Airport in SICILY where you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in TAORMINA where, in early evening, you will enjoy a Sicilian dinner at the hotel.

Day 3 - TAORMINA  
After breakfast in your hotel, today you will enjoying touring TAORMINA, one of the most beautifully situated towns in Sicily.  Recognized as a world-famous international resort since times past, visitors today are as enraptured by its charming atmosphere as were the early Sicels, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Arabs, Normans, and Spaniards.   These ancient people chose this Sicilian town as their residential site thanks to its favorable position in the Mediterranean, its mild climate, and magical atmosphere.  Nowadays visitors can still find fine examples of Taormina’s golden times in its splendid Greek Theatre, the Roman "Naumachiae," the 13th century Cathedral of Saint Nicolò, the 14th century Palazzo Corvaja, the 16th century Palace of the Dukes of San Stefano, the public gardens, the "Badia Vecchia" (ancient abbey), and many other fascinating sites.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
 
Day 4 - TAORMINA...CATANIA…AGRIGENTO…PALERMO  
After breakfast in your hotel, you will travel to AGRIGENTO, one of the island’s principal tourist attractions with its magnificent Valley of the Temples.  The guided tour of this valley will include the temples of Castor and Pollux, Zeus, Concord and Hercules, as well as a visit to the Porta Aurea and the Tomb of Theron. Your next stop is in PALERMO whose continuously blossoming orange and almond trees add a marvelous scent to the already enchanting scene of snow-capped Mount Etna on one side and the metallic blue of the sea on the other.  Lunch will be in a typical Sicilian restaurant and dinner will be on your own.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 5 – PALERMO…NAPLES
After breakfast in your hotel, the morning tour of this marvelous city will feature the Quattro Canti, a splendid example of Spanish Baroque architecture; the palace of the Normans and its superb Palentine Chapel; the cathedral; and the famous Benedictine Abbey of Monreale.  Here you will admire the Cloisters and a XII century cathedral housing very fine mosaics representing the complete cycle of the Old and the New Testaments.  Back to your hotel for your check out and drive to the port of Palermo to board the cruise ship that will take you to NAPLES.  Dinner, overnight, and breakfast on board.  

Day 6 - NAPLES…SORRENTO
After breakfast aboard your cruise ship, you will debark in NAPLES where your waiting motorcoach will take you to SORRENTO to arrive in time for a delectable lunch of Neapolitan cuisine.  Overnight in your hotel in Sorrento.

Day 7 - SORRENTO (optional to CAPRI)
After your breakfast in the hotel, your day is free to spend at leisure throughout SORRENTO.   Explore the famous resort town of orange and lemon groves, do some shopping, or enjoy a stroll through the characteristic winding streets.  Not to be missed is a sampling of Italian ice cream as prepared in region.  For those who prefer to venture out of Sorrento, you might consider an optional excursion to the isle of CAPRI, the beautiful island resort which is only a quick 15-minute ride away by hydrofoil.   Discover the island’s dramatic cliffs and the luxuriant vegetation that have attracted the early emperors, then orders of monks, artists and writers from around the world, and now everyone else.  Disembark at Marina Grande, a small port area, to start your visit at the famous Blue Grotto, (weather permitting) which had been discovered in 1822 by a local fisherman.  You will be amazed by the magnificence of the cerulean blue waters.  Ride up to ANACAPRI for a visit to the Church of San Michele, the village's principal sight.  Looking down from an upstairs balcony, you will marvel at its tiled floor painted with an 18th century depiction of the Fall of Man – a lush work in rich blues and yellows, showing cats, unicorns and other whimsical creatures.  Board one of the local buses for the drive back to the main village of CAPRI so that you can take the funicular back down to Marina Grande for your return, by hydrofoil, to NAPLES.  While lunch will have been on your own for everyone today, dinner will be in the charming and romantic city of Naples with its view of the rainbow sunset on the sea.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 8 - SORRENTO…POMPEI… LENOLA…ROME
After breakfast in your hotel, enjoy a guided tour of POMPEI, the ancient city which was covered by volcanic lava 2000 years ago.  Visit her remarkably preserved ruins of temples, houses and public buildings.  Afterwards your motorcoach will pick you up for your ride north – to Rome.  Before arriving in the Eternal City, you will stop in a picturesque medieval town, LENOLA, where you will enjoy a rustic lunch of the central Italian cuisine at the restaurant, Ai Pozzi.  Dinner will be on your own in ROME after your arrival in the evening.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 9 - ROME
Your morning tour will highlight the ancient and modern aspects of this cosmopolitan city.  The highly-spirited Roman citizens blend perfectly into the ancient backdrop where emperors once walked.  Drive past the monument to Vittorio Emanuele in Piazza Venezia; see the Roman Forum; and stop at the Coliseum, a testament to Rome’s past greatness.  Continue on to the Arch of Constantine, the Circus Maximus, the Synagogue, Isola Tiberina, and Castel Sant’ Angelo.  Your last stop is at St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the Christian world, built over the tomb of St. Peter.  Spend the rest of the day at leisure and rejoin your group for a dinner at a popular Roman restaurant.  Overnight at your hotel in Rome.

Day 10 - ROME…VATICAN CITY
After breakfast in your hotel, enjoy a guided tour of the famous Vatican Museums, home of priceless paintings and sculptures from renowned artists of the Renaissance era.  Lunch is on your own.  In the afternoon meet up for a tour of the major basilicas followed by dinner in a typical Roman restaurant.  Overnight in your hotel.  

Day 11 - ROME
After breakfast in your hotel, the entire day is yours to enjoy as you wish.  You might consider a stroll through the magnificent boulevards or stopping by the many cafes around the city for a gelato.  The majority of the shops are concentrated in the historical center around Piazza di Spagna.  Take your pick of boutiques -- Armani, Gucci, Bulgari, Cartier, Ferragamo, Versace and many more.  For antique lovers, you might try the characteristic flea markets in Porta Portese.  In the evening, you will be accompanied by motorcoach to a local restaurant to enjoy a typical Roman cuisine in the section of Old Rome, Trastever, for your Farewell Dinner.  Overnight in your hotel.

Day 13 - ROME…USA
Morning departure by motorcoach to Fiumicino Airport for your flight home where you will arrive on the same day.

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