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 Amsterdam! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions, and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner at one of Amsterdam’s lively restaurants. (D)
See the main sights of the 700-year-old capital with a Local Guide, such as the original Heineken Brewery, the Rijksmuseum, and more. A highlight is a leisurely CANAL CRUISE along the patrician mansions and gabled facades, the best way to get a good impression of how this city was built and how much still remains from the Golden Age. Also visit a major DIAMOND CENTRE. Later, you may wish to join an optional excursion to visit a cheese farm, a clog maker, and a working windmill, followed by dinner in the pretty fishing village of Volendam- a great introduction to Holland. (B)
A smooth drive past the Dutch region best know as the locale of A Bridge Too Far brings you to the Rhine Valley. Stop in Cologne and see the awesome twin-spired gothic cathedral. Overnight in Koblenz, where the Moselle River flows into the Rhine River. Why not join an exciting optional excursion to one of the more famous castles, Marksburg, from where you have spectacular views of the river below? (B,D)
Today is dedicated to a romantic RHINE CRUISE, including lunch, along the most scenic part of the Rhine River. Pass castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards, and trim, half-timbered towns before arriving in Rudesheim, capital of the Riesling wine. Here, a traditional WINE TASTING awaits before continuing to your hotel. (B,L,D)
Stop in picturesque Rothenburg for a walk through this medieval, walled town, famous for Christmas ornaments. Continue to Munich, capital of Bavaria, and see the Olympic Park and the 1,000-foot (305 metre) high Olympic Tower. Also visit MARIENPLATZ with its New and Old Town Halls. A highlight is a visit to the famous HOFBRAUHAUS, dating back to 1589. Free time for dinner before going to your hotel. (B)
Drive eastwards, following the Bavarian Alps to Austria. Arrive in Salzburg, where your Local Guide takes you for a walking tour through the historic centre. Admire exquisite MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, St. Peter’s Monastery, and magnificent RESIDENZ SQUARE, where some scenes of The Sound of Music movie were filmed. Also see Mozart’s birthplace in the charming Getreidegasse. Time to browse through the downtown market. (B)
A scenic drive brings you to Innsbruck, tucked among the Alps, where you join your Tour Director for a pleasant walk through quaint medieval lanes to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Next is Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Time to buy your stamps or other souvenirs before continuing to picturesque Lucerne in Switzerland. (B)
During your walking tour, admire Thorwaldsen’s emotional LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and the ornate patrician houses lining the cobblestone streets of the walled Old Town. Then, cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Afterwards, shop for Swiss watches and chocolate. Tonight, a special farewell dinner awaits at a local restaurant for a proper auf Wiedersehen. (B,D)
Morning transfer to Zurich Airport in time for homebound flights leaving no earlier than 10 am. Extra nights are available in Zurich, not Lucerne. (B)