This 9-day Italy tour takes you on a journey to discover world-renowned treasures in art, architecture, and history. You’ll begin in Naples – home to centuries of some of the most important art and architecture Italy has to offer.
Throughout your guided tour of Southern Italy, you’ll visit royal residences, as well as ancient Greek archaeological marvels, before arriving in the Mediterranean-style town of Cellino San Marco. You’ll find the perfect respite from your sightseeing adventures with an overnight stay at the Salento estate of singer and winemaker Al Bano Carrisi. This peaceful countryside estate – near the Adriatic Sea – offers delicious wine from its vineyard with other delicacies, including local produce, olive oil, and homemade pasta. Stroll the grounds or lounge by the pool before embarking on discoveries in Lecce and Otranto.
This Southern Italy escorted tour will introduce you to local favorites in delectable pastries and coffee, as well as truly remarkable architectural and historical structures. You’ll visit a traditional Trullo in Alberobello, and you’ll discover amazing ancient treasures that await you in Paestum – as you traverse from the “heel of the boot” of Italy across to the opposite coastline to Sorrento. As the picture-perfect ending to your Southern Italy vacation, you may also choose to join an optional excursion to Positano on the spectacular Amalfi Coast.
Truly a feast for the mind, body, and soul, your escorted tour of Southern Italy will satisfy your curiosity in art and history – as well as your spirit of adventure – with hidden local treasures waiting to be discovered along the way.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Welcome to Madrid! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
The capital since 1561, Madrid today is a strikingly modern city, the showcase of a country resolutely turned towards the future. Your Local Guide takes you to the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Espana with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, elegant Calle Alcala, and Paseo de Castellana. Then, the highlight: a visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM with its priceless art treasures. To make the most of your stay, exciting optional excursions are available. (B)
Drive south through the arid landscapes of Don Quixote’s La Mancha to Cordoba, where sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the Alcazar, the Roman Bridge, and the medieval Jewish quarter. Tour the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper. Then, continue to Seville, the vibrant, festive capital of Andalusia. (B,D)
Start with a visit to magnificent PLAZA DE ESPANA, used in the movies Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars. Meet your Local Guide, and hear about the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Also visit the magnificent CASA DE PILATOS, a mixture of Moorish and Roman architecture with a splendid collection of Roman sculptures. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER. For those interested, an optional extended guided visit to the cathedral is available. Tonight, for a truly Andalusian night out, reserve a seat at our optional Flamenco show. (B)
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features Granada’s main attraction: the ALHAMBRA COMPLEX. The mighty yet graceful citadel was planned by 13th-century Moorish ruler Al Ahamar. A fantasy of “lace in stone” surrounded by arabesque gardens and fountains, it affords superb views of the Old Quarter and Sacromonte, a mountain occupied by Gypsy cave dwellers. Also amble through the magnificent WATER GARDENS OF THE GENERALIFE, the royal summer residence. (B)
Cross Mora Pass and pass troglodyte cave dwellings, hollowed out of the soft tufa stone, near Purullena and Guadix on your way to Valencia, once a royal capital. During your guided walking tour, Valencia’s Roman, Moorish, and Spanish history comes alive. Sample a traditional Horchata drink, and tonight, a special paella dinner with wine has been prepared for you at La Marcelina restaurant. (B,D)
Enjoy a scenic drive along the coast to Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city and host of the Olympic Games in 1992. (B)
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Columbus Monument, Plaza de Cataluna, and Paseo de Gracia. Visit the spectacular SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA, Gaudi’s masterpiece, followed by a panoramic view of the city and harbour from Montjuic Hill. This afternoon, an optional excursion to Montserrat can be arranged, and this evening, enjoy Sangria and a special farewell dinner with wine at La Fonda del Port Olimpic restaurant to say adios to your travelling companions. (B,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)