The Best of Italy & Sicily (LL) - 2016

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15 Day Tour from Rome to Rome


The Best of Italy & Sicily
Visit the great Colosseum in Rome
Visit the great Colosseum in Rome
Visit the world famous Roman Forum
View of St Peters Basilica from the square
La Piazza Della Signoria
The Ponte Vecchio at night
The Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
Visit stunning Florence and the Ponte Vecchio
Visit the ancient Roman Forum
Saint Peters Square in Rome

Vacation Overview

Italy is a country with so much to offer—amazing scenery, ancient ruins, a rich history, sumptuous cuisine, architectural treasures, splendid art, designer shops, and friendly people. On this Best of Italy & Sicily tour, you’ll experience some of Italy’s and Sicily’s most popular cities and historic sights, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Assisi, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Taormina. You’ll also take an overnight ferry from Naples to Sicily.

Tour highlights include Agrigento, where you’ll see ancient Greek structures that have survived for 2,400 years! Also visit Taormina, where you’ll visit the 3rd-century BC Greek Amphitheater, the second largest of its kind in Sicily. Photos and words cannot adequately capture these sights—you must visit them in person! Your time in Sorrento includes a visit to the Isle of Capri with a jetfoil ride across the Bay of Naples and a funicular ride to Capri village.

If art is your focus, you’ll be delighted by Michelangelo’s David in Florence and his ceiling paintings in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, which you’ll also see on this tour. Watch glassblowers in action as they create their beautiful art in Venice. Or if historical churches interest you, you’re sure to be delighted by the 12th-century Norman Cathedral in Monreale, famous for its 50,000 square feet of precious byzantine mosaics; St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; the 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, where St. Francis is buried; Ravenna’s 6th-century Basilica of St. Apollinaris in Classe, famous for its mosaics; and more.

These are just a few of the many highlights on this Best of Italy & Sicily tour. So if you want to see Italy, let Globus handle the details—including special experiences such as wine tasting in Marsala and a private water-taxi ride in Venice—and focus your energy on experiencing this marvelous country.


ROME
Welcome and farewell dinners at a local restaurant; guided sightseeing, visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Colosseum, and Roman Forum

PISA
Marvel at the legendary Leaning Tower

FLORENCE
Guided walking tour, visit Michelangelo’s David and Signoria Square

VENICE
Private boat rides; glassblower's demonstration; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite private water taxi ride by night; guided walking tour, visit St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, Doges' Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs

RAVENNA
Visit St. Apollinaris in Classe

ASSISI
Visit St. Francis’ Basilica

POMPEII
Guided walking tour of the excavations

NAPLES
Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Enjoy a cappuccino and sfogliatella at Grand Café Gambrinus

NAPLES–SICILY
Overnight cruise in two-berth cabins with private facilities

PALERMO
Guided sightseeing, visit the cathedral, the Norman cathedral in Monreale

MARSALA
Visit a salt mill; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite wine tasting at the Florio wine cellar

AGRIGENTO
Guided walking tour of the Valley of Temples

TAORMINA
Visit the Greek Amphitheater

STRAIT OF MESSINA
Ferry crossing

SORRENTO COAST–CAPRI
By jetfoil

CAPRI
Guided visit of Capri village, including a funicular ride;
Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite boat cruise around the island

Headsets throughout the tour


DAY 1Arrive in Rome, Italy

Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and leave the hotel for a special welcome dinner with wine at one of Rome’s lively restaurants. (Dinner)

Enjoy the gorgeous views of Rome Enjoy the beautiful architecture in Rome Saint Peter 
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DAY 2Rome

Enjoy Globus’ unique guided sightseeing, including inside visits to all highlights of religious and ancient Rome: the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà, the amazing COLOSSEUM, and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more. (Breakfast)

The Baroque inspired Spanish Steps connect the Trinita dei Monti church to the square below The Sistine Chapel is world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings The interior of the Pantheon painted by Giovanni Paolo Panini Visit the great Colosseum in Rome 
The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum


"Visitors can be a little confused by the Roman Forum; at first glance, it is a rather lifeless array of marble fragments. But we must remember that in ancient times, this space was far more than the temples and monuments whose ruins we can explore today. It was filled with bustling, noisy life as the popular crossroads of the city – the predecessor, in fact, of the modern Italian piazza. Every morning at dawn, average Romans would escape their cramped, dark apartment blocks (called insulae, or “islands”) and spent their days outdoors. "
The statue of Laocoön and His Sons can be seen at the Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums


"In the early 1500s, Rome was full of neglected ruins from the days of the ancient Empire, which still contained artworks buried amongst the rubble. The Renaissance had seen a sudden growth of interest in all things classical, and the popes – cultivated men who were in touch with the intellectual currents of the day – were the richest art collectors in Italy. They began offering substantial cash rewards for any sculptures, until Rome was scoured by freelance treasure hunters on the hunt for pagan masterpieces. The most dramatic discovery occurred in 1506, when a Roman father-and-son team of excavators reported a promising find near the ruined Baths of Titus. The artist Michelangelo himself excitedly hurried over to help with the work, followed by the pope’s official agent, Guiliano da Sangallo. When the excavators brushed away the dirt of 1,000 years, they found an enormous marble sculpture, perfectly intact, of a muscular Trojan hero being attacked by giant snakes. Guilano cried out in amazement, “This is the very Laocoön described by (the ancient Roman author) Pliny!” The sculpture was carted off to the Vatican Museum."
Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain


"Rome is one of the most filmed cities on earth, with its signature set location being the Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, a romantic, 85-foot-high baroque masterpiece depicting the god of the sea, Neptune, and his Tritons. Not surprisingly, the best time to visit Fontana di Trevi is late at night, when the crowds have gone, the din of Rome’s traffic has died and floodlights dance magically on the water. In fact, the whole centro storico takes on a calm, timeless aspect after dark, and it is well worth stretching your legs after dinner on your own Fellini-esque promenade."
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DAY 3Rome–Pisa–Florence

Enter Tuscany and arrive in Pisa to marvel at the legendary Leaning Tower. Take your pictures pushing back the tower before continuing to Florence, the “Cradle of the Renaissance.” This evening, you may wish to try out Tuscan specialties. (Breakfast)

Tuscany is known for its landscapes and its artistic legacy Visit stunning Florence and the Ponte Vecchio The Ponte Vecchio at night See the vineyard covered hillsides of Tuscany 
Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa


"It was the most perfect experiment in the history of science. Holding both a cannon ball and a small musket ball, the 30-something Pisa native Galileo Galilei scaled the steps of his city’s famous Leaning Tower, and held them dramatically over the edge. Eight stories below, the town’s most learned scholars and priests were gathered as observers. They watched as the two balls dropped to the ground at the same speed – disproving, with a single stroke, the ancient idea that objects fall at different rates depending on their weight and size. This archaic concept, which had been espoused by the ancient Greek author Aristotle, had been accepted without question for more than 2,000 years, Galileo’s great innovation was to put it to a practical test of observation. Unfortunately, this famous story is probably not true. Galileo never wrote about it himself – it was recounted in a late biography penned by his secretary, Vincenzo Viviani. Most historians now believe that it was Galileo’s imaginative disciples who invented the Leaning Tower tale in order to make the theory so clear that even a child could understand it. "
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DAY 4Florence–Venice Island

This morning, focus on Florence. Your walking tour with a Local Guide features the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. A highlight is a visit to the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS to admire Michelangelo’s David. Time to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry sold by the ounce, for which the city is famous. Cross the wooded Apennine Mountains and arrive in Venice. Enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT and arrive on the island of Murano. This evening, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite enjoy a ride by PRIVATE WATER-TAXI to ST. MARK'S SQUARE to discover Venice by night. Exciting optional excursions are available: dinner in one of Venice's excellent restaurants and a gondola ride through its canals. (Breakfast)

Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world 
St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark’s Square


"The best way to arrive in the Piazza San Marco, the pulsing heart of Venice lapped by the waters of the Lagoon, has always been by boat – and today, landing there by ferry is still an unforgettable experience. Despite the crowds, the vendors and the pigeons that occupy the plaza, we can easily imagine landing here in the late Renaissance, the period when Venice was at its height of imperial opulence. In the mid-1500s, the approach must have been a dazzling explosion of color: the palazzos that lined the Grand Canal were newly-crafted and gleaming with fresh paint, gilt flourishes and fine marble statuary. Travelers would step onto dry land more or less where the ferry stop is today, and first enter the Piazetta (“little square”) of San Marco. They would carefully skirt the two columns erected in the 1100s, one topped by patron saint, St. Theodore, another winged lion. (Venetians were superstitious about walking between them, since criminals had once been strung up here.) "
La Piazza Della Signoria

La Piazza Della Signoria


"What’s the best vantage point to ponder the most illustrious town square in Florence, the Signoria? An outdoor table in the venerable Caffè Rivoire – preferably over a delicious, if not painfully expensive cioccolata con pane, a dark and mud-thick hot chocolate. Late at night, when the crowds have gone, you can search the long shadows and imagine that very little has changed here since the 1400s. The Signoria is the most elegant sculpture garden in Europe. Masterpieces include the splendid Neptune Fountain by Ammannati, Hercules and Cacus by Bandinelli and a precise copy of Michelangelo’s David, all strategically poised in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. This grand public space has been the centerpiece of Florence since the 15th Century, the golden age when the city was established as the most beautiful in Europe. Eminent merchants in their ostentatious finery met here to discuss business in the midst of Florence’s raucous daily life."
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DAY 5Venice Island

This morning, watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner, before boarding your PRIVATE BOAT to ST. MARK'S SQUARE. Meet your Local Guide for a walking tour including visits to the byzantine ST. MARK'S BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Then, enjoy Venice at your own pace or join an exciting optional lagoon cruise to the colorful island of Burano. (Breakfast)

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Venice

Venice


"It is no accident that one of history’s greatest explorers, Marco Polo, came from Venice. His hometown had been Europe’s gateway to the East long before he set sail in 1271; the influence of the Orient could be seen in its art, its fashion and its architecture, creating, in the words of one historian, “the most colorful, sumptuous, and sensually bewitching civilization that history has ever known.” Thanks to Venetian conquests in the eastern Mediterranean, the 17-year-old Marco had the first leg of his travel route mapped out for him – he was able to island-hop through friendly territory as far as Constantinople, from there he was seduced by China for more than 20 years. When Polo returned to Venice in 1295 as a bearded and vaguely Eastern middle aged man, even his relatives did not believe he had been in China the entire time."
St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark’s Square


"The best way to arrive in the Piazza San Marco, the pulsing heart of Venice lapped by the waters of the Lagoon, has always been by boat – and today, landing there by ferry is still an unforgettable experience. Despite the crowds, the vendors and the pigeons that occupy the plaza, we can easily imagine landing here in the late Renaissance, the period when Venice was at its height of imperial opulence. In the mid-1500s, the approach must have been a dazzling explosion of color: the palazzos that lined the Grand Canal were newly-crafted and gleaming with fresh paint, gilt flourishes and fine marble statuary. Travelers would step onto dry land more or less where the ferry stop is today, and first enter the Piazetta (“little square”) of San Marco. They would carefully skirt the two columns erected in the 1100s, one topped by patron saint, St. Theodore, another winged lion. (Venetians were superstitious about walking between them, since criminals had once been strung up here.) "
The Bridge of Sighs in Venice

Bridge of Sighs


"The world’s most poetically-named bridge, Il Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs, was built in 1614 so that prisoners of the Venetian state could be transferred in secret from the Doge’s Palace to the so-called Nuovi Prigioni, or New Prisons. The wistful name was actually conceived by the English poet Lord Byron in the early 1800s that imagined the horror of prisoners taking their last glimpse of Venice before going underground to captivity. "
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DAY 6Venice Island–Ravenna–Assisi

Follow the Adriatic coastline to Ravenna. Here, see the famous mosaics in the 6th-century BASILICA OF ST. APOLLINARIS IN CLASSE. In the afternoon, arrive in peaceful Assisi and visit the massive 13th-century lower BASILICA OF ST. FRANCIS built above the Saint’s grave. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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Assisi is a town in the province of Perugia, Italy

Assisi


"Saint Francis may be Assisi’s most internationally famous son, the charismatic preacher who has been the subject of numerous bio-pics. But his female counterpart, Saint Clare, evokes almost as much devotion amongst Italians. Her life story reads like a medieval inversion of The Sound of Music: A beautiful young woman born into a wealthy family, she was betrothed at an early age to a dashing local noble and seemed destined for a conventional life of luxury and pleasure. But her future was transformed in 1210, when she saw the handsome young Francis, espousing the sacred virtues of poverty in the streets of Assisi. Clare immediately cut off her long golden hair, took a vow of celibacy, gave away all her fine clothes and began to dress in a simple cassock. She soon founded her own religious order for women, the Poor Sisters of Saint Clare, which demonstrated a devotion to good works that matches the all-male Franciscan order of monks. In fact, she is often known to Catholics as alter Franciscus, another Francis."
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DAY 7Assisi–Pompeii–Naples. Overnight Cruise To Palermo

Arrive in POMPEII, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. A guided walking tour through the excavations features patrician houses, public baths, and commercial districts that strikingly recall day-to-day life when Rome was at the apex of her power. In nearby Naples, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite a cappuccino and sfogliatella await you at the famous Grand Café Gambrinus before boarding your FERRY in Naples for the overnight cruise to Sicily. (Breakfast)

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Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy

Pompeii


"While wandering the superbly-preserved streets of Pompeii keep an eye out for the cauponae or early fast-food restaurants beloved by the ancient Romans. Located on several corners and looking like open-air bars, these one-room establishments were where busy citizens could grab a quick meal and glass of wine on the run. They were identified by colorful signs over their doors (one place excavated in Pompeii had a Phoenix, another, an elephant and pygmy). And like modern coffee bars in Italy today, customers stood at an L-shaped brick counter to order. There were jars full of hot and cold food, as well as amphorae of wine, which they could consume on the spot or take out to a few wooden seats provided on the street or, in some cases, a small back garden."
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DAY 8Palermo

After disembarkation, start your sightseeing with a Local Guide. Visit the ornate Piazza Bellini, Capo Market, the baroque Church of Immacolata, and the CATHEDRAL. Drive up to Monreale for a panoramic view of the Conca d’Oro and a visit to the 12th-century NORMAN CATHEDRAL, famous for its 50,000 square feet of precious byzantine mosaics. (Breakfast)

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DAY 9Palermo–Marsala–Agrigento

In Marsala, visit a SALT MILL, then a true highlight: a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WINE TASTING at the famous Florio wine cellar to sample and learn about Marsala wines. Next, drive along the western coast to Agrigento. Here, your Local Guide will take you for a spectacular walk through the magnificent VALLEY OF TEMPLES. Even travelers who have visited Athens and Delphi are awed by the gigantic yet graceful Greek structures that miraculously survived 24 centuries of tormented history. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Delphi, Greece, known in ancient times known as the Navel of the Earth Delphi Ruins Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece 
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DAY 10Agrigento–Taormina Riviera

This morning, enjoy the scenic beauty and treasures of the island’s heart on your way to Taormina, where you will visit the 3rd-century GREEK AMPHITHEATER, the second-largest of its kind in Sicily. Situated above the city, it affords spectacular views of the bay and Mount Etna. (Breakfast)

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DAY 11At Leisure in Taormina Riviera

Today is your chance to join the exciting half-day optional excursion to Mount Etna. Afternoon is at leisure to relax or for individual activities. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 12Taormina Riviera–Sorrento Coast

Board your FERRY and cross the Strait of Messina to land at the toe of the Italian boot in Calabria. Continue to the delightful coast of Sorrento, where you will stay for the next two nights. (Breakfast)

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DAY 13Sorrento Coast. Excursion to Capri

Speed across the Bay of Naples by JETFOIL to the Isle of Capri, an ancient retreat for Roman emperors and renowned ever since that time for its beauty. Ride the FUNICULAR to Capri village for a guided visit of this pretty town. Free time to explore the little shops on the charming piazzetta. Then, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite enjoy an exciting BOAT CRUISE (weather permitting) around the island. Spend time in the charming town of Sorrento, before returning to your hotel. (Breakfast)

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Capri is an island off the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Gulf of Naples

Capri


"Rising like a whale from the ocean, the spectacular island of Capri has held a particular attraction for celebrities trying to “get away from it all” over the centuries. In former times, it lured the writers Goethe, Oscar Wilde and Graham Greene; these days, it attracts American stars like Leonardo di Caprio, Harrison Ford and Mariah Carey. But Capri first became famous in 26 AD, when the Roman Emperor Tiberius “dropped out” here to escape the political in-fighting in Rome. For 16 years, he ruled the Empire from his luxurious cliff-side palace – flashing his orders to the mainland via a lighthouse. Protected by 500 foot cliffs, Capri had only one landing point, and his villa, located on a remote headland offered sweeping 300 degree views of the ocean. B"
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DAY 14Sorrento Coast–Rome

Back to Rome, the “Eternal City.” A special farewell dinner with wine and opera entertainment awaits you at La Carovana restaurant as a proper way to say arrivederci, Roma! (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 15Rome

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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Transportation

Motorcoach; private boat rides in Venice; overnight cruise; ferry crossing; jetfoil; funicular ride and boat cruise in Capri. Free wi-fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies



Full buffet breakfast daily; 5 three-course dinners with wine, including special welcome and farewell dinners in Rome


With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

SIMONETTA PELLICONI

Years of Experience: 21 years

With its wide variety of scenery, historical background, and famous works of art, Italy is a little world of its own. I enjoy being a Tour Director in Italy, because every day brings a surprise!

Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles

VIP Access
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.

Perfect Hotels
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.

Tour Directors
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.

Transportation
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.




UNESCO World Heritage Sites


The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the The Best of Italy & Sicily:

  • Vatican City
  • Archaeological Site of Agrigento
  • Archaeological Site of Pompeii
  • Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco
  • Historic Centre of Florence
  • Historic Centre of Naples
  • Historic Centre of Rome
  • Venice and its Lagoon
  • Arab-Norman cathedral of Monreale
  • Historic Centre of Rome - various properties Vatican City