COACH TOUR: Enjoy an evening walking tour of Rome, take in sweeping views of Naples and eat real Neapolitan pizza on this 11-day coach tour. Discover the ruins of Pompeii, enjoy a day trip to the island of Capri and take an overnight ferry to the Mediterranean island of Sicily. Here, highlights include sightseeing in the capital of Palermo, wine tasting in Marsala, and a visit to Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in Europe.
Welcome to Rome!
Welcome to Italy! On arrival in Rome, make your own way to our start hotel. Our tour begins at 19:45 so if you arrive early you will have time to do some independent sightseeing - perhaps head to the Colosseum?
When better to explore this most romantic of cities than with a sunset walking tour? Our expert local guide takes us to highlights including the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Della Rotonda, home of the Pantheon. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain for good luck and taste some authentic Italian gelato. After our tour ends, the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Please note: Pick-up from the hotel is at 19:45 for our evening walking tour of Rome, so please make sure you arrive in Italy in plenty of time on day 1 or before, to avoid missing the tour!
Naples & Pompeii
Rome - Naples - Sorrento. Setting off from Rome, we head south, passing through Lazio and Campania to reach Naples, the birthplace of pizza! We'll take a short hike up Vomero Hill to enjoy panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, Capri, Ischia and Naples below.
Then we make the short drive to Pompeii, in the shadow of Vesuvius. Lunch is included so you can try some authentic Neapolitan pizza before our tour of Pompeii.
In the year 79 AD, the residents of Pompeii, a prosperous and sophisticated Roman city, were going about their day. Suddenly and without warning, the normally quiet Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the city in up to 6 meters of ash and pumice. Whilst many Pompeiians escaped, approximately 2,000 people were buried and perished. The ash perfectly preserved the city, and on our guided tour we will see some of the surviving artifacts, mosaics and buildings, and will find out more about the eruption and what life was like in the city before this fateful day.
After our tour of Pompeii we head along the picturesque Sorrentine coast to Sorrento, where dinner is included - please dress smartly as it is a formal dinner!
Overnight: Sorrento | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sorrento - Capri - Sorrento. Today we explore the beautiful and exclusive Mediterranean island of Capri. Weather permitting, we will visit the Blue Grotto sea cave by row boat. You can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before there is free time to explore the island. Capri was a summer home for the Roman emperor Augustus and today is popular with celebrities. After our visit, we return to Sorrento.
Overnight: Sorrento | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ferry to Palermo
Sorrento - Palermo. There is free time this morning for you to explore Sorrento. Perhaps enjoy some shopping, or sample some local limoncello. In the afternoon we drive to the port of Naples, and board the overnight ferry to Palermo, capital of Sicily.
Overnight: Overnight ferry | Breakfast
Palermo free time
We arrive in Palermo and disembark the ferry before transferring to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to head out and explore Palermo.
Overnight: Palermo | Dinner
Monreale & Palermo sightseeing
This morning we visit Monreale, located in the fertile valley of La Conca d'Oro and renowned for its almonds, citrus fruits, and olive oil. We'll visit UNESCO-listed Monreale Cathedral and there will be time for some lunch and shopping if you choose.
Returning to Palermo, we enjoy a guided walking tour of the Sicilian capital. This 3,000-year-old city has a rich history which our local guide will share with you. Step back in time as we explore the narrow streets of the Old Town and visit the impressive Palermo Cathedral. After our tour, you will have free time to further sightsee independently.
Overnight: Palermo | Breakfast, Dinner
Medieval Erice & Agrigento
Palermo - Erice - Saline della Laguna - Marsala - Agrigento. We enjoy a busy day of Sicilian sightseeing today! Departing Palermo, we head to the medieval village of Erice, where little has changed since the 6th century. Hewn into the side of Monte San Giuliano, Erice offers incredible views and delightful labyrinthine lanes to explore.
Our next stop is Saline della Laguna, a historic salt pan. We then continue to a traditional tavern in the wine-producing region of Marsala. Here we can visit the wine cellar before enjoying included wine tasting and lunch. Then it's onwards to Agrigento, on Sicily's south coast.
This afternoon we visit the Valley of the Temples, one of the most outstanding surviving examples of Ancient Greek architecture in the world. We take in the incredible Temple of Concordia, Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Jupiter, which was once the largest Doric temple ever constructed. Reaching our hotel, the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Agrigento | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Piazza Armerina & Ragusa
Agrigento - Piazza Armerina - Ragusa. This morning we drive to Piazza Armerina to visit the sprawling Villa Romana del Casale. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Roman villa is home to one of the largest and most complete mosaics in the world, covering more than 3500 square meters and dating back to the 4th century! The mosaics show mythical creatures and portrayals of Roman life including big game hunts, ships, and sporting events.
Continuing to the hilltop town of Ragusa, we visit the enchanting historical center, known for its Baroque palaces and churches. We see the old gate of San Giorgio, and the Giardini Iblei, a picturesque public garden with sweeping views of the surrounding area. Then we head to Piazza Pola to visit the Baroque Church of San Giuseppe, a hidden gem in the city. We also see the elegant Cathedral of San Giorgio and Cosentini Palace, a beautiful Baroque villa protected by UNESCO.
Overnight: Ragusa | Breakfast, Dinner
Ragusa - Noto - Syracuse - Taormina. Our first stop after departing Ragusa this morning is the picturesque town of Noto. We visit the Cathedral of San Nicolò, rebuilt in the years following an earthquake in 1990.
Driving along the coast, we then reach Syracuse, at Sicily's southeastern tip. There's an included visit to the Neapolis Archaeological Park. Highlights here include the 16,000-seater Roman amphitheater and the Ear of Dionysius, a limestone cave with particularly good acoustics - it is said that the tyrant Dionysius (432 - 367 BC) used the cave as a prison, as the prisoners' whispers could easily be overheard by listening guards thanks to the echoes.
We also visit Ortygia, an island that is also home to Syracuse's oldest area, with lots of medieval streets and Baroque architecture to admire. Continuing to Taormina, the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Taormina | Breakfast, Dinner
Mount Etna & Taormina free time
Today we visit the largest active volcano in Europe - Mount Etna. This stratovolcano last erupted in 2022, and you may well see signs of volcanic activity including smoke billowing from the top of the volcano. On our visit, we learn about this volcanic activity and see the lava fields from previous eruptions. Weather and conditions permitting, we have the opportunity to hike to the summit, 1,800m above sea level.
Returning to Taormina, the rest of the day is free for you to explore this hilltop coastal town. We recommend visiting the Ancient Greek amphitheater, Teatro Antico di Taormina, which is still in use today.
Overnight: Taormina | Breakfast, Dinner
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before our Sicilian adventure comes to an end.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Hotel St Martin, Rome
With a great central location by the Piazza della Repubblica and opposite the metro, the Hotel St Martin is a perfect base for those exploring the Italian capital. Rooms in this modern 4-star hotel are bright and spacious, with ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, satellite TV and a kettle. There is complimentary high speed Wi-Fi connection throughout the property. A continental buffet breakfast is served daily and there is also a bar. For those not wishing to head into the city to eat, fresh Mediterranean food is also served at the onsite Restaurant Sidera.
Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento
The idyllic Hotel Michelangelo is located in the heart of Sorrento, offering ocean views and developed around a rustic 16th-century tower. The harbour is located a 10-minute walk away and the historical centre of Sorrento is also just a short walk away. Rooms feature tiled flooring and wooden furniture, with ensuite bathrooms, TV and minibar. There are two onsite restaurants and a buffet breakfast is served daily, whilst guests can spend their free time lounging beside the outdoor swimming pool on the sun terrace. There is free Wi-Fi at the property and the rooftop terrace is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Naples with a cocktail in hand.
Hotel Mercure Palermo Centro, Palermo
The modern Mercure Palermo is centrally-located, a 15-minute walk from the city's iconic Cathedral and 10 minutes from the harbour. This contemporary hotel has a refined design, with wooden flooring and furniture, and rooms in smart black, white or grey finish. Each room features an ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, satellite TV, tea and coffee making facilities and free Wi-Fi. Daily buffet breakfast is served in the onsite restaurant and there is also a bar and coffee shop.
Hotel Della Valle, Agrigento
Set amongst beautiful gardens, Hotel Della Valle is located just outside the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. The hotel boasts an outdoor swimming pool, spa, bar and two restaurants serving both international and Sicilian cuisine and offering outdoor dining. Rooms are simply but elegantly furnished and come with air-conditioning, minibar, TV, and ensuite bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas.
Poggio Del Sole Hotel, Ragusa
Situated between central Ragusa and the Mediterranean, the Poggio Del Sole is housed in an impressive 19th-century manor house with a backdrop of the rolling hills of the Hyblean Plateau. Large rooms feature a modern finish, ensuite bathrooms, flat-screen TV and a minibar. There is a large outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace, as well as a wellness centre. Dining options are the informal Hosteria for grilled meat and fish, or the Ristoria dell'Angelo, housed in the former stables. A daily buffet breakfast is also served, and there is a bar and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Hotel Olimpo le Terrazze, Taormina
Hotel Olimpo le Terrazze is located in the tranquil commune of Letojanni, a short 15-minute drive from Taormina. Housed at the top of a holiday complex, the hotel boasts panoramic views over Taormina Bay and is walking distance from the nearest beach. The hotel features several swimming pools, wellness centre, shop and multiple restaurants, snack bars and lounges offering indoor and outdoor dining and drinking. All well-appointed guestrooms come with balconies, some with sea views. Rooms feature air-conditioning, an ensuite bathroom, minibar and TV. Glass elevators serve the multiple levels to the hotel, offering unrivalled views of the surrounding area.