Our Secrets of Southern Italy tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Discover the "stories of the stones" with immersive visits to the majestic ruins of Rome, Pompeii, and lesser visited Herculaneum
Enjoy a unique hotel stay in the whitewashed trulli roundhouses of Alberobello, with their conical slate roofs, and learn all about the local cuisine with a Pugliese cooking class
Uncover the wonders of historic Sicily, from its ancient Greek heritage to its blend of Norman and Arab culture and architecture
Discover Tivoli's two greatest villas in one beautiful day. Take in the ancient majesty of Hadrian’s Villa, followed by a visit to the stunning Renaissance water gardens of Villa d’Este
You can holiday to Italy without having to quarantine either on your arrival in the country or on your return to the UK. There are also no travel advisories in place against travel from the FCDO meaning you can book with complete peace of mind.
Visit a traditional gelateria in Sorrento, where you’ll learn the secrets of making this delightful Italian treat. Cut and juice your own ingredients and help process and freeze the gelato before tasting your creations. Afterwards, take home a recipe and relive the flavours of the Amalfi coast whenever you wish.
Discover the unique architecture of Basilicata and Puglia. Visit the extraordinary cave town of Matera, whose church and houses are carved directly out of the rocky landscape, before heading to picturesque Alberobello to discover the history behind the town's whitewashed trulli roundhouses and their conical slate roofs.
Discover Sicily's rich culinary heritage. We'll taste it all, from historic Marsala wines to street food specialities like arancini and cannoli in Palermo. In hilltop Erice, meet Maria Grammatico, a famous pastry-chef who learnt her skills growing up in a Sicilian convent in the 1950s.
Fly to Rome. You will be met at Fiumicino Airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will be met by your Local Guide or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. Later this evening, join your group for a briefing and welcome dinner.
Discover the vestiges of the powerful Roman Empire with a walking tour of Rome's historic centre. Begin at the field of the Circus Maximus and nearby Colosseum before moving on to the Roman Forum. Here stand the impressive remains of the monuments that once formed the beating heart of the Roman world; from the iconic senate house to the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Temples of Saturn, Caesar and Romulus, among others. Continue to the fountain-lined Piazza Navona, passing by Trajan's Column and Agrippa's Pantheon en route.
Our day begins at the incomparable Vatican City, one of the grandest collections of Western art in the world. Sit down to a refreshing lunch before returning to central Rome to visit Palazzo Massimo, one of the most charming museums in the city. With excellent bronzes, impressive frescoes and enchanting animal mosaics.
Less than an hour from the hustle and bustle of the city, Tivoli is a peaceful rural town that has been the escape of Rome's elite for centuries. Here, visit two magnificent, contrasting villas; the idyllic ancient ruins of the Emperor Hadrian's Villa, and the Renaissance-era Villa d'Este. The latter is considered one of the most outstanding examples of Renaissance culture. From here, drive through the beautiful Lazio countryside to Naples, where we spend the night.
Depart Naples and travel to Pompeii, and its lesser-visited cousin, Herculaneum. Both towns were impressively well-preserved following the eruption of Vesuvius; Herculaneum is much smaller, but home to many impressive gems such as the Neptune mosaic, which remains in situ. Transfer to scenic Sorrento, our home for the next two nights.
Today, we explore the delights and delicacies of the Amalfi coast, the picture-perfect playground of the Campania region. Begin with an morning hydrofoil to Capri, where we enjoy the town and (weather permitting) the famous Blue Grotto, an astonishing sea cave 60 metres long and 25 metres wide. Enjoy lunch on Capri before returning to Sorrento for more sightseeing around the peninsula.
Enjoy a scenic drive along the famously beautiful Amalfi Coast, known for its clifftop views and the pastel-painted towns that line the route. Our destination is Matera, a unique and extraordinary town comprised of cave houses and homes carved directly out of the rocky landscape of the Basilicata region. Enjoy an orientation tour of the town, which you may recognise from such films as the recent Bond film 'No Time to Die'. Overnight in Matera.
Transfer to another unique town – Alberobello, in Puglia (anglicised as Apulia). This town is characterised by its abundance of whitewashed trulli roundhouses with their conical slate roofs. Enjoy a cooking class in Puglian cuisine, known for its use of fresh local produce, before settling down to enjoy your creations for lunch. This afternoon, drive out into the countryside to learn about the revival of Puglian winemaking. Tonight, we'll stay in a trulli hotel in Alberobello.
Drive north to Castel del Monte, a 12th century octagonal castle built for Holy Roman Emperor King Frederick II. Stop for lunch in Bari before boarding an afternoon flight to Palermo in Sicily. Check into the hotel and freshen up before heading out for a special 'dinner on foot' an evening food market tour including a range of Sicilian street food specialities such as arancini and sfincione.
Discover the wonders of Palermo, a city that has flourished under many rulers across the past two millenia. Sicily and especially Palermo has been a true melting-pot of influential cultures; admire the results in the Norman Cathedral and Palatine Chapel with its breathtaking art and decoration. The latter, begun in 1132, is particularly celebrated for its fusion of eastern and western styles: Norman architecture meets Arabic arches and ceilings, topped with a Byzantine dome encrusted in golden mosaics.
Head west along the coast to the town of Erice, where we visit the famous pasticceria of Maria Gramattico, who has been selling her treats here for decades. Your guide will treat you to some of Maria's pastries before a light lunch in Erice. This afternoon, continue to Marsala to visit the Florio Wine Cellars, founded in 1833. Enjoy a cellar tour and tasting of three wines with small food pairings as you learn about the heritage of fortified Marsala wine, famous since the Roman era. Continue to our hotel in Agrigento on the south coast.
No visit to Sicily is complete without visiting the splendid Valley of the Temples. Enjoy a tour of these spectacularly well-preserved Greek temples and take in dazzling views of the Mediterranean before lunch. This afternoon, drive to Mount Etna, where we visit the impressive Silvestri craters on the slopes of the volcano. These craters are inactive, but incredibly scenic; at a height of 1900 metres above sea level, they offer incredible views along the Sicilian coast. This evening, we arrive in Catania and check in at our hotel, our home for the next two nights.
Today, enjoy a day trip to Taormina, one of Sicily's prettiest towns. With its beautiful views over the Mediterranean, and Etna rising high on the horizon, it is a wonderful place to end our tour. Visit the well-preserved Greek theatre and enjoy lunch in town before returning to Catania in the late afternoon. This evening, sit down to a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer from the hotel to Catania Airport for your onward flight.
Places Visited: Rome – Naples – Sorrento – Matera – Alberobello – Palermo – Catania
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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