Southern Italy & Sicily with Apulia & the Amalfi Coast
Dates: April 18-May 2, 2023
Delight in a special exploration of Italy’s southern climes, from striking Sicily and the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to unheralded Apulia, the alluring “boot heel” where a vivid history, unique architecture, and bountiful plains join the sun and sea in creating a prized (and crowd-free) region. Add Italian hospitality, outstanding cuisine, and notable lodgings for la dolce vita, small-group style.
Southern Italy and Sicily
Dates: April 18-May 2, 2023
Please note, all prices are for a standard, double room unless listed otherwise.
Land Only (transfers not included): $4,595
From San Francisco*: $5,674, inc. taxes
Single Supplement**: $1,295
*Other cities listed on brochure, which can be downloaded on the overview tab of this trip. Airline prices are subject to change, and airline upgrades will be additional to the costs listed above.
**Please note that this is an additional cost.
Your Tour Price Includes:
- Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
- 13 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
- 26 meals: 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 8 dinners
- Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
- Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
- Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
- Luggage handling for one bag per person
- Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
- $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Travel Dates: April 18 – May 2, 2023
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
We arrive today in Catania on Italy’s autonomous island of Sicily then transfer by motorcoach to Taormina and our boutique hotel overlooking the Ionian Sea. Tonight we gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Highlights of our morning walking tour of this delightful medieval town include the spectacular ancient Greek theater dating to the 3rd century BCE, the popular 13th-century cathedral, and grand Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. This afternoon is at leisure; perhaps to relax by the hotel pool; visit a lovely Taormina beach; or stroll along Corso Umberto, lined with shops and restaurants. With lunch and dinner on our own today, perhaps a culinary adventure is in order … and thanks to Sicily’s strategic Mediterranean location that lured many invaders, Sicilian food incorporates Italian, Arabic, and African influences into a singular, and delicious, cuisine.
Friday, April 21, 2023
On today’s excursion we visit the “Valley of the Temples,” the archaeological zone of Agrigento, whose Doric temples and sanctuaries date to Greek rule in the 5th century BCE. Known in its heyday as the “most beautiful city of mortals,” Agrigento’s highlight is the stunning, well-preserved Temple of Concordia (c. 430 BCE). A visit to the museum here lends context to our explorations. Late this afternoon we return to our hotel, where we dine tonight.
(B, L, D)
Saturday, April 22, 2023
This morning’s tour ventures to Europe’s largest active volcano. The ancients believed Mt. Etna to be the forge of Vulcan, god of fire; today, modern-day Sicilians have a very personal relationship with the volcano, which frequently erupts but is seldom destructive. Centuries of lava flows have resulted in a rich, fertile landscape where citrus groves and vineyards thrive. Mid-day we enjoy a small group highlight: lunch at a family-run working farm amidst acres of lemon and kiwi. After returning to our hotel mid-afternoon, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Sunday, April 23, 2023
We leave Sicily today for the mainland region of Basilicata, a day-long transfer that includes a ferry ride from Sicily to Calabria. Late this afternoon we reach Matera, whose historic troglodyte churches and dwellings (Sassi) have been designated a UNESCO site and where our hotel is a renovated cave dwelling in the city’s historic district.
Monday, April 24, 2023
Today we explore this city of art and folklore, with its unique ancient urban structure still intact. Home to more than 100 rock churches, Matera resembles ancient Jerusalem and has been used by international film directors as a stand-in for the holy city. Following a guided walking tour, the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore independently before dinner tonight at a local restaurant.
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Departing Matera this morning, we stop in Alberobello, whose 400 or so trulli – whitewashed conical houses with greystone roofs – rank as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We take a walking tour along the pristine cobblestone alleys, stepping inside an artisan’s workshop or trullo tipico, a recreation of an inhabited home. After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue on to Lecce, one of the oldest cities in Apulia, (Italy’s “boot heel”), in time for dinner together at our hotel.
(B, L, D)
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
We discover the “Florence of the South” on this morning’s tour, so named for the unique decorative style for which Lecce is known: barocco leccese, the ornate and intricate sandstone carvings of cherubs and monsters, fruits and flowers that adorn local buildings from top to bottom. We see Palazzo Vescovile (c. 1632), the exuberantly decorated church of Santa Croce, and the Duomo with its lovely piazza. This afternoon is at leisure to explore this town of 100 churches as we wish; tonight we enjoy dinner together
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Today’s excursion takes us to the beautiful walled town of Otranto, overlooking the Adriatic. On a walking tour here we see the imposing 15th-century Aragonese castle with its traditional moat, and the Romanesque cathedral whose impressive wall-to-wall mosaic floor was created in 1166. We continue on to a local winery for a tasting and lunch then return to Lecce mid-afternoon. Dinner tonight is on our own.
Friday, April 28, 2023
This morning we depart by coach for Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples. En route we stop for a traditional trattoria lunch in the small town of Polignano a Mare. Dinner tonight is on our own in lively seaside Sorrento.
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Today we visit the excavated ruins at the evocative UNESCO site of Pompeii for a guided tour of the city frozen in time by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE (the city was accidentally rediscovered in 1749). Late this afternoon we gather for a hands-on Neapolitan cuisine cooking lesson, followed by dinner to savor the fruits of our labors.
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Today we travel by hydrofoil to the storied Isle of Capri, a popular resort since Roman times. We explore cozy Capri town; visit the terraced Gardens of Augustus with stunning views of the azure sea; then enjoy free time for lunch and to explore on our own before we return to Sorrento early afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy this city with views of Mt. Vesuvius as we wish. Dinner tonight is on our own in Sorrento.
Monday, May 1, 2023
We embark this morning on a breathtaking drive along the winding, cliff-top Amalfi Coast road between Sorrento and Amalfi above the glistening Tyrrhenian Sea – with stops for photos along the way. This afternoon is at leisure; tonight we bid “arrivederci” to Italy and our fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
This morning we transfer to the Naples airport, where we connect with our return flight to the U.S.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Local Conditions and Physical Activity
We will do our best to adhere to our printed itinerary. Occasionally, though, unexpected obstacles – and opportunities – may arise that will force us to deviate from the itinerary as written. We would ask you to be open-minded and flexible should we vary the itinerary slightly. In addition, please note that airline schedules are subject to change. We will provide you with updated flight information closer to your
departure. Additionally, this trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins, and you should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.
Odysseys Unlimited provides state-of-the-art audio headsets for all guests to use on this tour. These devices enable you to hear the commentary offered by your tour director or guide during visits to museums, historic sites, and other stops on your tour where crowds may make it difficult to hear. They also allow you to stay a few steps behind as your group moves forward. Please note that a limited number of hearing aid-compatible headsets will be available as well.
Rome – On Your Own
Total Price: $795
Single Supplement: $295
Explore the Eternal City at your leisure.
Your Tour Price Includes
- 4 days, 3 nights
- Private transportation Sorrento/Rome
- 3 nights’ accommodations at Monti Palace Hotel (Superior First Class)
- 3 meals: 3 breakfasts
- Transfer to airport
Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.
The Eurostars Monte Tauro enjoys an incredible location in Taormina. The hotel cascades down a hillside at the edge of the town’s center, offering an easy walk to many shops and restaurants and also an unspoiled view across the sparkling Ionian Sea. Amenities of this 98-room hotel include a restaurant and bar overlooking the water; outdoor swimming pool with water views, hydro-massage jets, and a lounge area; spa services; laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Each air-conditioned guest room has a private deck overlooking the water and features private bath with hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.
This 32-room hostelry recalls millennia of cave dwellings – but with contemporary comforts and modern amenities. Passageways cut into the rock, external staircases, and elevators connect all four levels of the hotel. This hotel is in the heart of Matera’s Sassi historical district, close to the city center. The hotel has a bar; air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, Internet access, and TV. Please note that because of the unique nature of the hotel, room sizes and views vary.
A former palazzo, the Patria Palace Hotel is superbly located in the heart of Lecce’s historical center, opposite Santa Croce Basilica. The 63-room hotel boasts many of its original flourishes, though it has been artfully refurbished in an art deco style with Lecce stone and original frescoes. Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar, solarium, and Internet access. Individually-styled guest rooms with decorative paintings have private bath with hair dryer, air conditioning, in-room safe, TV, and phone.
This historic hotel sits in the heart of Sorrento on Piazza Tasso, the main square, close to shops and restaurants. Amenities of the intimate 53-room hotel include an outdoor swimming pool, solarium, lovely gardens with a citrus grove (which supplies all of the oranges and lemons used by the hotel), lobby bar, outdoor snack bar, and breakfast room. Art nouveau-style guest rooms have private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, Internet access, TV, and phone. Air conditioning is available from May through October; heat from November through April.
Sitting just a 10-minute walk from Rome’s famed Colosseum, the Monti Palace Hotel occupies a 19th-century building in the heart of the Eternal City. Amenities of this stylish and contemporary hotel include a rooftop bar with terrace overlooking the city, library bar and lounge, 24-hour fitness center, laundry services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.