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Italy and Sicily with Patricia Schultz

This exclusive one departure only trip see's Patricia Schultz, the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, join the trip and share with you her previous experiences of travelling throughout Italy & Sicily. Patricia is vastly travelled and a veteran travel journalist with over 30 years of experience, having written for Frommer's, Berlitz, and Access travel guides, as well as the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel Weekly, where she is a contributing editor. Italy and Sicily have a special place in Patricia's heart and this itinerary has been created to allow her to share her experiences and stories with you along the way.

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Day 1

Wednesday, July 1: Arrive Venice (2 Nights)

Welcome to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic sea, enjoy some free time to explore the island of Murano where your hotel is located in the Venice lagoon. Later, join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception where you discover the secrets to making the famous Bellini cocktail.

Hotel - Hyatt Centric Hotel Murano Venice

Included Meals - Welcome Reception

Day 2

Thursday, July 2: Venice Orientation and Dinner on Burano Island

'Dive Into Culture' and witness the centuries-old craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island. Embark on an orientation cruise by private launch to the gateway of Venice, St. Mark's Square. See the Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Cathedral and the Bridge of Sighs. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore more of the city's sights. Join us as this evening as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-colored houses - a real photographer's paradise.

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 3

Friday, July 3: Venice – Verona – Florence (1 night)

Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers feature on our stop in Verona where we'll view Juliet's Balcony and the first-century ancient Roman arena still in use today. Continue to Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance, once a vibrant republic under the rule of the dynamic Medici family whose love for art and antiquities created one of the world's most cultural cities. Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant where a selection of regional favorites is served, accompanied by a selection of local wines and live music. A truly unforgettable experience, with an atmosphere that is the essence of all things Tuscan. A scenic drive into the Chianti hills, past vineyards, brings us to a delightful hamlet overlooked by an imposing castle. Our destination is the ancient stone house of Machiavelli, where the great political theorist wrote his immortal work, 'The Prince'. After a welcome drink and visit of the villa and its wine-cellars, we'll enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine accompanied by great music and drinks, including of course, Chianti from the Villa's own vines. This is the essence of all great things Tuscan, past and present, condensed into one memorable evening.

Hotel - Grand Hotel Adriatico, Florence

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 4

Saturday, July 4: Florence Sightseeing – Assisi – Rome (2 Nights)

The magnificent marble Duomo, Santa Croce Basilica, Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria feature on our walking tour with a Local Specialist through Florence's streets. We drive south through the golden fields of Umbria to the green heart of Italy, stopping at the mystical medieval hilltop town of Assisi, most famous for being the birthplace of St. Francis. Join a Local Specialist for a walking tour of the town, which includes a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis to view its magnificent frescoes and carvings. Continue to Rome where we will be introduced via an orientation drive of the city - once the capital of the world and today the vibrant Italian capital.

Hotel - Barcelo Aran Mantegna Hotel, Rome

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast

Day 5

Sunday, July 5: Rome Sightseeing and free time

With our Local Specialist we venture to Ancient Rome to see where hundreds of spectators would cheer chariot riders to victory at Circus Maximus, followed by a visit to the imposing Colosseum. Afterwards explore the magnificent Basilica in the Vatican City, and then this afternoon kick back in a piazza soaking up the aromas of fine coffee while you watch the world go by.

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast

Day 6

Monday, July 6: Rome – Cassino – Pompeii – Bay of Naples

We pay homage to the thousands of brave souls who lost their lives during the Battle of Monte Cassino, stopping at the Commonwealth War Cemetery en route to the tragic city of Pompeii, which was engulfed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. For centuries, the city was lost to the world - its rediscovery in the 18th-century revealing a time capsule of well-preserved ruins that provides insights into the day-to-day life of a Roman city centuries ago. Join a Local Specialist to delve into the city's history before traveling to our hotel on the Bay of Naples.

Hotel - Hotel Miramare, Castellamare di Stabia

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast

Day 7

Tuesday, July 7: Isle of Capri Excursion

We cruise to the Isle of Capri where we'll enjoy a guided walking tour of Capri Town with a Local Specialist. Stroll through its stylish lanes, window shop along Via Camerelle and watch the beautiful people in the Piazzetta and enjoy a lemon granita. Back on the mainland, enjoy a late afternoon cocktail at the historic Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, where guests of yesteryear included Pavarotti, Wilde and Wagner. This evening join us for an evening of Neapolitan specialties at one of our favorite family-run restaurants. While you're wined and dined, enjoy a cultural experience performed by local artists who'll take center stage and demonstrate the famous Tarantella dance.

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 8

Wednesday, July 8: Wednesday, July 8: Bay of Naples – Taormina (2 Nights)

We travel south towards the seaside resort of Taormina, your home for the next two nights. Enjoy spectacular vistas and a taste of la dolce vita  in this hillside town. Climb by minibus to the heights of Castelmola, above Taormina, to enjoy the best views of this magical part of Sicily. You'll enjoy wandering the cobbled streets with interesting shops and cafes. Then, dine in a restaurant that has the best view in Sicily, with wine included.

Hotel - Caparena Hotel Taormina

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 9

Thursday, July 9: Mt. Etna Excursion

Travel to nearby Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanos in the world. Eastern Sicily's skyline is dominated by Mount Etna, being the tallest volcano in Europe and today we will ascend by cable car up the southern slope to take in scenic views from this UNESCO-listed highlight. A Local Specialist will take you on a guided walk through the volcanic craters and lava caves. After your descent back down to the base of the mountain, 'Connect With Locals' during a Be My Guest dinner hosted at a vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna.

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast, Be My Guest

Day 10

Friday, July 10: Taormina – Cefalu – Palermo (2 nights)

Take a drive along the blue coastal highway to the quaint medieval village of Ceflau. You'll have the chance to stroll from the long golden beaches into the winding Arab streets with your Local Specialist. Continue to Palermo, known for its lavish architecture and gardens. We join our Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour, which includes the Teatro Massimo and old 'La Cala' harbor followed by a fun food exploration on 3 wheelers where we will sample Palermitano street food during a wonderful opportunity to enjoy picturesque Sicilian everyday life.

Hotel - Mercure Centro or similar, 2 nights

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast

Day 11

Saturday, July 11: Excursion to Monreale and Dinner with the Duchess

A panoramic drive through verdant forest with spectacular views over the city of Palermo brings us to the summit of Mt. Pellegrino. Here we visit the grotto of Santa Rosalia, Palermo's patron saint. We continue to the town of Monreale on the slopes of Monte Caputo overlooking the orange, olive and almond groves of La Conca d'Oro, where we'll visit the magnificent 12th-century Norman Cathedral. This evening join us for a very special Farewell Dinner. Join the Duke and Duchess of Palma at their home Palazzo Lanzo Tomasi, the last home of Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the celebrated author of The Leopard. With a glass of wine at hand discover the history of their palazzo and the history of their family before enjoying a 4 course dinner in the dining room. A truly memorable evening to end our journey through Italy.

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Day 12

Sunday, July 12: Depart Palermo

For now it's a fond Ciao as we prepare to depart for our journey home. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.

Included Meals - Buffet Breakfast

Exclusive Trip Experiences such as:

  • Connect with Locals - Dine on the Slopes of Mount Etna

Visit Maria Marano's wine farm at the foot of Mount Etna for a walking tour through the estate, and enjoy home-made appetisers accompanied by local wine at a 'Be My Guest' dinner. (Day 9)

  • Dive into Culture - Learn About the Craft of Glassblowing

Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries. (Day 2)

  • Get a Taste of Local Life

Get the exciting chance to sample Palermitano street food as you explore with Patricia who will give you insights into picturesque Sicilian everyday life and talk about her special memories in this city, while soaking up the culture.

  • Sip Cocktails at an Iconic Hotel

Enjoy a delicious late afternoon drink with Patricia at the historic Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. She’ll tell you all about its intriguing past including details about its famous guests of yesteryear that included Pavarotti, Wilde and Wagner.

  • Explore the Birthplace of St. Francis

Journey south through golden fields to the green heart of Italy, stopping at the mystical medieval hilltop town of Assisi. Learn why this location holds a special place in Patricia’s heart and join a Local Specialist for a walking tour where your highlight is a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis to view its magnificent frescoes and carvings.

Local Specialist: For included sightseeing in Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Agrigento and Palermo

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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