Grand Tour of Italy
16 Days: Alberobello, Ostuni, Polignano, Matera, Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, Pompeii, Rome, Florence, Siena, Chianti & Cinque Terre
Experience the tour of a lifetime. Start with Alberobello and then on to Locorotondo to explore villages, vineyards, and olive trees. Next up–Cisternino, a small charming old town center that has remained virtually intact for centuries. Visit Ostuni, Polignano and Monopoli, more commonly known as the “White Town”, where you will see the fifteenth century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral. Travel to the third oldest city in the world, Matera, with its vast water systems and underground dwellings. Visit the town of Pompeii where the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius sealed its fate. Spend two days in the city of Rome, visiting the sacred Vatican in all its glory. Travel to the picturesque region of Tuscany, home to vineyards and enchanting villages. Take a stop in the walled city of Siena. Continue to the Renaissance city of Florence. Finally, travel on the canals to explore the city of Venice.
Day 01: Friday – Arrival
Arrival at Bari airport and transfer to your hotel. Welcome briefing and overnight in Alberobello.
Day 02: Saturday – Alberobello, Locorotondo & Cisternino (B)
After breakfast, meet your driver guide and start your exploration of Val d’Itria. You will visit Locorotondo and Cisternino and pass along beautiful small villages, vineyards and olive trees. Locorotondo is very close to Alberobello and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Here, the town itself is the main sight. It’s a pleasant place to spend an hour or two wandering, taking photographs and sitting at cafe tables. The historic part of town – the centro storico – is circular and perched on top of a hill. It’s a whitewashed maze of little lanes lined with historic buildings, some humble and faded, others retaining rather grand baroque archways and architectural details. The territory of Cisternino was already inhabited during the Middle Palaeolithic period by humans who reached the area from the north and the south of Puglia. These populations left numerous traces of their presence here, such as tools that they used like spears spikes, blades, scrapers and chisels to engrave bones. Cisternino is today a small charming old town centre that has remained virtually intact for centuries with its white houses, narrow streets, little churches and elegant central piazza with a series of panoramic viewpoints from which you can appreciate the around countryside, dotted with its rolling hills, dry stone walls and Trulli roofs piercing the green fields. Cisternino is nice to visit at any time of day, though the magical moments are the summer’s evening when the sun sets and the locals come out for their evening stroll. We will have a wine and cheese tasting followed by a farmer lunch in a beautiful Masseria, from where you will see the green of olives and the blue of the Adriatic sea. Return to Alberobello where you will have time to explore the city on your own. Alberobello is a fascinating place to visit, above all because of the trulli, the traditional dome shaped buildings made from the local stone. The town is surrounded by the olive groves and vineyards typical of the Puglia region.Trulli is a word that derives from the Greek “tholos” (“dome”), the typical shape of the buildings. Each whitewashed “trullo” is built without an lime or cement, and has a conical roof on the outside, which is dome shaped inside, and consists of a square central compartment that communicates through arcades with the kitchen and other rooms. Overnight in Alberobello.
Day 03: Sunday – Ostuni, Polignano & Monopoli (B)
Today, visit Ostuni, Polignano & Monopoli. Ostuni, perched on three hills 218 meters above sea level, is better known as the “White Town”, thanks to the characteristic whitewashed houses of its historic center, a tradition the inhabitants still keep on. The Fifteenth century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral dominates the town, with a façade sporting a 24-rays rose window of rare beauty. A series of churches and elegant houses embellish the old town, surrounded by Aragonese walls, where there are the two ancient town gates, Porta Nova and Porta San Demetrio. The small town of Polignano enjoys a spectacular position. Placed approximately 50 miles south of Bari is erected on the edge of a rocky gorge. The town is considered one of the most ancient establishments in Puglia and was populated by serial invaders ranging from the Huns to the Normans. People come here to view the crashing waves, visit the caves and crowd out the panifici (bakery) in the atmospheric historical center. In Monopoli you will experience the “Paese vecchio” as the locals usually call the heart of the town, where you will find an unusual concentration of cultural heritage and churches, positioned literally one next to another. You will find small and charming homes, once inhabited by heroic fishermen and expert farmers, whose children are still dedicated to producing great wines and unpassed wines. Walking among the narrow streets ,between arches and alleys, you will feel sea air and fragrances of freshly hanging laundry or tomato sauce cooked for hours. Overnight in Alberobello
Day 04: Monday – Matera (B)
Meet your driver and transfer to Sorrento with en route stop in Matera where you will have free time to explore the city. Matera is an ancient city that seems to have existed forever. It is the third oldest city in the world, after Aleppo and Jericho, with over 10,000 years of history. From natural cavities carved by wind and rain of the past to the first man-made caves we can discover how easy it was to shape the limestone material of the Sassi rock. Hence real underground dwellings, in the belly of Mother Earth, which will leave you speechless. A woven structure that has intrigued experts has also discovered how it had been possible to live with the absence of running water. There is still a lot to tell about the water systems created to collect water, one of the elements that has helped to give in Matera the title of a World Heritage Site. You can visit the most beautiful churches, starting from the Duomo on the Civita; walk through the beautiful streets and traffic-free squares, populated with people; you can enjoy the most picturesque alleys, and you will continue your visit in the heart of the two Sassi’s. You will have free time for lunch before continuing to Sorrento, where you will arrive late afternoon. Overnight in Sorrento Coast.
Day 05: Tuesday – Amalfi Drive (B)
The beauty of Amalfi Coast is legendary and has inspired artists, writers, and musicians over the century, widely considered Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastline, deemed by UNESCO “an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values”. These delicate fishing villages embrace the hillsides or stretch in deep green valleys, along a dramatic coastline, challenging the force of gravity. Your driver guide will lead you first to the town of Amalfi where you will have free time to explore the medieval part of the city with the imposing Dome of St.Andrew and ancient buildings dated from the times when Amalfi was one of the maritime power in the Mediterranean Sea. You will stop in Minori for a sweet tasting at Sal de Riso, one of the most celebrated pastry chef in Italy Later, you will ascend to Ravello, considered the most romantic and beautiful small towns in southern Italy. Perched on severe, terraced slopes, the French novelist André Gide was used to saying Ravello was closer to the sky than the sea. Covered with luxuriant gardens, peaceful and somnolent roads, you will find corners providing unforgettable views over the sky-blue coast below. Return to Sorrento late afternoon and overnight.
Day 06: Wednesday – Pompeii (B)
Today we will visit the ancient Pompeii. Pompeii is not a time machine but the closest thing you can find to learn about everyday life in an ancient Roman city. Once a vibrant town, Pompeii’s fate was sealed with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 7.9 A.D. Today, Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the most visited archaeological sites in all the world. Pompeii was a major port town for the Roman empire, which dominated the whole Mediterranean Sea. As a classic port, the town was filled with sailor’s hotels, bars, public baths, taverns, and brothels. The archeological site and continuous excavations give visitors the best look there is on ancient Roman days. Visit the Roman Forum; the theatre, whose acoustics are so good you don’t need microphones to be heard from the stage; the public baths with towering columns. Built-in 70 A.D., the Anfiteatro is the oldest-known Roman amphitheater in existence. Now covered in grass, it originally held up to 20,000 spectators. Return to Sorrento for lunch ( not included) and enjoy an afternoon of relax or continue your exploration of the city. Tonight enjoy a candle light dinner in Sorrento with sea view. Overnight in Sorrento.
Day 07: Thursday – Optional Discovery (B)
Today is a perfect day to relax or take the opportunity to continue the visit of the magnificent region. We suggest an half day visit of Pompeii Archeological Park, a combination of Pompeii with Mt Vesuvio, a day tour to Capri or a boat tour to explore Capri or the Amalfi Coast from the sea. Overnight in Sorrento
Day 08: Friday – Naples to Rome (B)
Transfer to Railways Station in Naples to catch the high speed train to Rome. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Late afternoon, walk to the restaurant and enjoy a tasty welcome dinner. Overnight in Rome.
Day 09: Saturday – Vatican & Heart of Rome (B)
After breakfast, you will enjoy a unique visit to Vatican Museum. Access the Museum easily with your skip the line tickets. Your visit will be memorable: our guides have drawn up a route to include all the major sights as well as some unexpected surprises. See the Belvedere Courtyard with Apollo Belvedere & Laocoön & His Sons, Raphael Rooms, the Galleries of the Candelabra, of the Maps and of the Tapestries, the Sistine Chapel Pinecone Courtyard, St. Peter’s Basilica and. At the end, exit on the St. Peter’s Square and enjoy the magnificent view of the imposing Cathedral. You will return to your hotel to relax after a challenging morning. Late afternoon meet your tour leader for a walking tour of the Baroque Town with Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna, the Italian Parliament and the fascinating narrow streets of ancient Rome. Return to hotel with your tour leader or enjoy a dinner in the very heart of the eternal city. Overnight in Rome.
Day 10: Sunday – Rome (B)
Today will be free at leisure. This tour has been designed to offer the best of each city visited combined with some free time to customise your travel experience as well as take your time to relax. There are many available experiences. Among these, we like to suggest to explore the Imperial Rome with Colosseum and Forum, to visit one of the most beautiful are collection in Europe at Palazzo Borghese or the near Tivoli with the astonishing Villa Hadriana, built by the Emperor Hadrian and Villa d’Este, masterpiece of Italian gardening. Alternatively, you may want visit Capri or Pompeii taking advantage of the new high speed train connecting Naples and Rome in just 1 hr or enjoy a wine tour in Viterbo area. Overnight in Rome.
Day 11: Monday – Experience True Tuscany (B)
Today we will continue to Tuscany our tour. Meet your tour guide at hotel in Rome and transfer to Florence by coach with an en route stop in Siena. The ride itself is a magnificent opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Tuscan hills, the view of small enchanting villages as well as the vineyards and castles the pointed the region. Upon arrival in Siena, enjoy a wine & food experience in the heart of the old town. In the ancient times, there was only one city that competed against Florence for power, wealth and artistic beauties: Siena. Here you will enjoy a walking tour to discover Piazza del Campo, the main central square where the famous Palio horse race takes place every year, as well as exploring quieter backstreets and learning everything about the Contrade, the 17 medieval city districts that compete against each other in the Palio. Continue to Florence where you will arrive later afternoon. Time permitting, en route stop in Monteriggioni. Overnight in Florence.
Day 12: Tuesday – Magnificent Florence between Food & Arts (B)
Start your exploration of Florence from the unknown and most picturesque sides of the city: visit the market of San Lorenzo where it’s possible to see the food arriving from the Tuscan countryside. It’s a chance to taste lots of varieties of local cheeses, fruits, vegetable, and breads. If you”re still hungry, there’s free time for lunch. In the afternoon, meet your guide in the hotel and get ready to explore the heart of the town. Lorenzo de Medici transformed Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance by attracting the best artists, architects and writers of the time; Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli who he commissioned to produce various works of art and architecture. We’ll visit Piazza della Signoria, walk by the Palazzo Vecchio, , the Duomo with Giotto’s bell tower ( from outside), Ponte Vecchio. Our walk through Florence will end with a visit to the Accademia to admire, among the many masterpieces, the jewel of Michelangelo: the statue of avid. Overnight in Florence.
Day 13: Wednesday – Optional Cinqueterre (B)
Today is free at leisure. Why do not join a small group tour to Cinque Terre? You will discover the most beautiful villages of Cinque Terre, enjoy a relaxed escapes from the crowds, through luxuriant panoramic seaside vineyards and Savour a delicious fresh Seafood typical lunch including Cinque Terre wine and experience an amazing boat trip to take the most beautiful pictures of Cinque Terre from the sea. Overnight in Florence.
Day 14: Thursday – Welcome to Venice (B)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Florence train station. Board your train to Venice. Enjoy the ride by high-speed train to Venice. The city does not have roads and cars but only boats and canals. It is built on several small islands linked by hundreds of bridges. Arrival late morning and transfer to hotel in the Laguna. Free time to explore Venice on your own. Overnight in Venice.
Day 15: Friday – Enjoy “La Serenissima” Venezia (B)
In the afternoon, guided visit of Venice followed by a gondola tour. Afternoon is the best moment to enjoy Venice, when most of the visitors leave the city, the cruise boats depart from the pier and the narrow streets became again fascinating and mysterious , a secret path to the Past. Our guide will help you to visit the main sights of the city but also to discover the real soul of Venice spending some time outside of the main tourist areas, places that you can reach by yourself only if you get lost. The tour will end with a Gondola ride. In the evening, enjoy a Venetian Dinner. Overnight in Venice.
Day 16: Saturday – Departure (B)
After Breakfast, transfer to Airport or Railways Station.
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|Alberobello : Palazzo Scotto, Le Alcove|
|Sorrento: Astoria / Majestic / Carlton / La Residenza|
|Rome: Londra & Cargill / della Conciliazione|
|Florence: Executive / Cellai / Pierre|
|Venice: Palazzo Selvadego / Gabrielli|
- 3 nights in Alberobello, Apulia
- 4 nights in Sorrento Coast
- 3 nights in Rome
- 3 nights in Florence
- 2 nights in Venice
- Daily Breakfast
- Arrival transfer in Bari Airport
- Tour Escort service
- Welcome briefing followed by Welcome dinner
- Excursion to Polignano, Monopoli & Ostuni
- Excursion to Cisternino, Alberobello & Locorotondo
- Wine tasting in Locorotondo
- Olive oil & Cheese tasting in Cisternino
- Farmer lunch near Cisternino
- Transfer from Alberobello to Sorrento with en route stop in Matera
- Free time in Matera
- Excursion to Amalfi & Ravello ( in Ravello optional access to Villa Rufolo)
- Lemon delicacies tasting in Minori, a little village near Amalfi
- Half Day guided visit of Pompeii
- Farewell candlelight dinner in Sorrento on a sea view terrace
- Transfer from Sorrento to Rome
- Welcome dinner in Rome
- Guided visit of Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel with skip the line reservation
- Walking along the heart of Rome
- Transfer from Rome to Florence via Siena by private luxury motor-coach
- Wine & Food experience in Siena
- Walking along the heart of Siena
- Fresh market’s tour of Florence
- Guided Visit of the heart of Florence, including Accademia with Michelangelo’s David, including skip the line
- Transfer from your hotel in Florence to Florence Station, including porterage
- 1st class seat reserved on high speed train from Florence to Venice
- Arrival transfer in Venice
- Guided visit of Venice + Gondola Tour
- Evening walking tour of Venice ending with a Farewell Dinner in Venice
- Departure Transfer
- City Tax to be paid locally
- Drinks on meals
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