Tour description

SOUTHERN ITALY SMALL GROUP TOUR

Experience the Southern Italy lifestyle with a small group tour! Distinctive and delightful, with crystalline seas, pretty countryside and endless sunshine, Campania is a land of natural beauty, warm hospitality and amazing food and wine. A unique, much-loved southern region. Dramatic mountains, Byzantine rock-hewn churches, sunbaked olive groves, stunning Romanesque architecture and some of Italy’s best beaches are tempting more and more visitors to the exciting little-known regions. Campania has an otherworldly landscape of tremendous mountain ranges, dark forested valleys and villages so melded with the rock face that they seem to have grown there. Its extensive coastline bears the marks of many conquering invaders: the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks.

We have a real passion for Southern Italy and look forward to sharing it with you!


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS

  • Guaranteed departure small group travel: small, intimate group limited to 12/14 participants only!
  • More than 10 included sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
  • ISLANDS PARADISE-Escape to these mythic islands for spectacular swimming
  • Visit popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Winery experience on Ischia Island
  • Discover romantic Positano
  • Local Tour Manager, experienced to accompany you throughout your journey
  • Tour city guides included
  • Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned Mercedes car or 19 seater van
  • All transfers while overseas, baggage transfers & porterage are included
  • Included gratuity for all city guides as per itinerary
  • No hidden extras
  • We strongly recommend arriving a day or more prior to tour start
  • Culinary inclusions: All breakfasts, 3 dinners, 2 lunches, (main meals include local wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only)
  • We strongly recommend arriving a day or more prior to the beginning of the tour.
  • Our unique Hotels: ROMA, or similar (2 nights), VIESTE, or similar (2 nights),MATERA, or similar (2 nights),POSITANO “Hotel Reginellaor similar  (2 nights), ISCHIA ISLANDHotel Regina Palace” or similar (2 nights); NAPLES or similar (1 night)
  • The tour will begin on Day 1 at Bari airport or train station and end with a morning transfer to Naples airport or train station on Day 12
  • Activity level: Good/Moderate
  • Terms & conditions/Single supplement: (View here) & FAQ (View here)
  • Trip interruption & cancellation insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-insurance.com to protect your vacation
  • Purchase of European Travel & Health Insurance is strongly recommended.
DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY
 

Day 1: Welcome to Italy & the Eternal city of Rome

Welcome to Italy & the magical city of Roma. Your driver will be waiting for you at Rome airport or train station, and will drive you to your centrally located hotel. At 18.30 meet your tour director and the rest of the group members in the hotel lobby for a welcome drink followed by dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in ROME

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Rome

Day 2: Highlights of Rome

Rome is, without doubt, one of the most captivating cities in the world, where ancient and modern blend perfectly. This morning, we have a sightseeing tour during which you will see many of the principle sights and monuments such as the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain – the list is endless. Probably nowhere else on earth is there so much history in such a small area. It owes its grandeur obviously to the Roman Empire which held sway over much of the globe for nearly 500 years and then to the Papacy which for a large part of its existence, commanded as much political influence as religious. Wealth flooded in throughout the Renaissance and beyond. The result is the abundance of places of interest you see today. But it’s more than buildings and galleries, there are quiet areas, tiny little piazzas, lovely bars, cozy restaurants where the waiters will talk all day if you let them. All this combined gives the uniqueness which is Rome. After an included lunch in a local tavern, the rest of the day is yours to wander through the Roman Colosseum and Forum, enjoy the panoramic city view from atop the nearby Victor Emmanuel Monument, or make a modern-day pilgrimage to St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Rome

Day 3: Ancient Tivoli & Enchanting Vieste in Puglia

Today’s tour takes you travelling from Rome to the fascinating Gargano region in Puglia, stopping in the nearby hills to learn about the Roman Emperor Hadrian, at the ruins of his monumental villa at TIVOLI. An enthusiastic traveler and builder, his legacy includes his great wall across Britain, the domed Pantheon, and his stylish beard. After lunch on your own, we’ll drive up and over the Apennine spine of Italy and on to the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Our destination for the next two nights is the tip of the rugged Gargano Peninsula, one of the most beautiful areas of southern Italy — and still unknown to foreign travelers. Our unique accommodation is a wonderful hotel located in the heart of Vieste. Overnight stay in VIESTE

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Vieste

Day 4: Highlights of Vieste & Private boat tour

VIESTE is one of Italy’s most attractive coastal towns, situated on a rocky promontory overlooking turquoise waters with beaches either side. A magnificent town of white house’s clinging to the coastline, narrow cobbled streets leading to stairways and agave covered arches. Today, you will visit the ancient village with narrow streets that climb towards the Cathedral, between whitewashed houses and colorful bazaar. After an included “foodie experience”, you will be sailing around fascinating Vieste and its prehistoric caves (weather permitting). Rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight, our dinner is taking place in a central rustic restaurant. Overnight in VIESTE

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Vieste

Day 5: The Adriatic coast, Monte Sant’Angelo & Biblical Matera

Perched on a rocky spur, the town of MONTE SANT’ANGELO commands great views over the surrounding Foresta Umbra. It was put on the pilgrim map after Archangel Michael was said to have appeared at a grotto here in AD 493. The Santuario di San Michele has a shrine to St Michael-its bronze doors were cast in Constantinople in 1076.After lunch on your on, we continue driving to the magical FORESTA UMBRA, an ideal respite from the sun under arcades of oak, larch, maple and ash trees. We will end our evening in MATERA, a fabulous troglodyte town, where we will stay for the next two nights at a boutique cave hotel.

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Matera

Day 6: Dive into the history of Matera

MATERA is rumored to be one of the world’s oldest towns, with records showing its earliest inhabitants in the Paleolithic era. The area is littered with prehistoric grottoes, cave tabernacles, and Renaissance homes, all excavated into the luminous  limestone tufa rock. These rock-cut cave dwellings, known as SASSI, date back to the Byzantine times. With the help of a locally-grown expert, we will explore these historic structures and learn all about the stories and treasures they hold. Matera is home to over 3000 habitable caves, including a medieval church with legendary frescoes. You’ll have the afternoon to explore this unique town on your own before we reconvene for a delicious cena (dinner) this evening in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Matera

Day 7: Ancient Paestum & Romantic Positano

After breakfast, we’ll travel to the UNESCO-listed Paestum temples, which are among the best-preserved monuments of Magna Grecia, the Greek colony that once covered much of southern Italy. Our knowledgeable local guide will also introduce the stunning Museum, which houses a collection of fascinating “metopes” (bas-relief friezes) from the Temple of Argiva Reva. Do not miss the 5th-century BC fresco of the Tomba del Tuffatore (Tomb of the Diver), thought to represent the passage from life to death. We then continue our drive towards the romantic town of POSITANO for your next two nights in a central boutique hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Positano

Day 8: La Dolce Vita in Positano

This morning trip takes you to unfold the beauty of the coastline of Positano with a private boat, the most photogenic village on the entire coast. Its steeply stacked houses are a medley of peach, pink, and terracotta colors. Its near-vertical streets are lined with voguish shops displaying jewelry, clothes, and other wares. Rest of the day is at leisure for more discoveries followed by an included dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Positano

Day 9: From frozen Herculaneum to the Green Island of Ischia

This morning meet your local guide for a tour of Herculaneum, an ancient Roman city that remained buried for 1800 years underneath the lava flow from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 CE. Then travel to Naples port for your speed boat transfer to ISCHIA ISLAND which boasts centuries of glorious architecture and art treasure, for your first three nights in a beautiful hotel located near the village center. This volcanic island is the largest of three islands on the Bay of Naples. A wonderful collection of spa towns, gardens, forests, white beaches, vineyards and picturesque Mediterranean sea views. Spend the next two nights at the central “HOTEL REGINA PALACE” or similar. After an opportunity to rest and freshen up, you’ll be treated for a dinner in a local restaurant. 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Ischia

Day 10: Highlights of Ischia, Villa Arbusto & Wine Tasting

ISCHIA is the largest island in the Bay of Naples and it promises visitors an eyeful of idyllic island life. The Green Island, as Ischia is locally known, due to its lush landscape, is also famous for the hot springs that bubble up from its volcano. Today we will circle the island by private boat, with opportunities to swim in the sea along the way. In the morning, we’ll step into the island’s past at VILLA ARBUSTO, a wonderful 18th century building designed by the Duke of Altri, which is today home to an archaeological museum packed with classical Greek artefacts. Your guide will show you around, then you can explore the botanical gardens. Next, there’s a short trip to FORIO for a guided visit of the charming Soccorso church, boasting an intricate tiled dome that adorns the ceiling of the nave. Our included lunch will be taking place today at a family-owned WINERY, where many of the ingredients are home-grown. After lunch, we’ll visit the fishing village of SANT’ANGELO, one of the best-preserved on the island and the medieval ARAGONESE CASTLE, built in 474 BC. Return to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Ischia

Day 11: Welcome to Naples

In the morning, we’ll travel by ferry to the magnificent city of Naples, a universe of its own, saturated with fantasy and fatalism, superstition and splendor. Upon arrival, our expert guide will walk us through the picturesque streets of Naples, with its historic sites, such as Maschio Angioino Castle, Piazza Plebiscito, and the Royal Palace. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore on your own. In the evening, enjoy an included feast of Neapolitan flavors with dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch on your own, dinner included

Accommodation: Overnight in Naples

Day 12: Arrivederci Southern Italy

Morning transfers to Naples airport or train station

TOUR PRICING & AVAILABILITY

2024/25 Tour Price: € 5,200      Single Supplement: € 1,000  currency converter

Prices are per person based on double room occupancy

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