Length: 7 Days. Group educational tour to Sorrento, Sicily and Rome for 12 or more students or adults. Self-designed custom tours typically led by teachers of high school juniors and seniors.
Highlights: Pompeii, Palermo City Tour, Monreale, Taormina City Tour, Mount Etna Tour, Rome Walking Tour, Rome City Tour, Colosseum, Vatican, Vatican Museum
Itinerary: Sorrento (1), Night Boat (1), Palermo (1), Taormina Area (2), Rome (2)
Day 1 – Air
Board your flight to Rome!
Day 2 – Sorrento
Welcome! Your private bus and guide will transfer you from Rome to beautiful Sorrento on the Bay of Naples. Perfumed gardens, orange and lemon groves, gleaming white houses and rugged cliffs make this tree-shaded resort the most popular in Italy.
Day 3 – Night Boat
Journey to Pompeii, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mt Vesuvius more than 2000 years ago. You’ll find the reality of Roman life in the bakeries, wine shops, groceries, villas and temples buried in giant showers of cinders and volcanic pebbles in 79 AD. Visit the Museum to see beautifully painted frescoes, mosaics and other Roman artifacts. Then on to Naples where you will board a comfortable night boat, bound for sunny Sicilia, the jewel of the Mediterranean.
Day 4 – Palermo
Arrive in the Sicilian capital, situated on the edge of a fertile plain bound by hills, on which lemon and orange groves flourish. A Palermo City Tour includes the 12th-century Palatine Chapel, built by the Normans, and the unique Cathedral, also built by the Normans, but every new ruling dynasty that came afterwards added their style to it. Journey to nearby Monreale to visit the ornate Duomo. The interior of the cathedral is splendidly adorned with Byzantine mosaics, which stand out against the pure gold backgrounds.
Day 5 – Taormina Area
Transfer east to the Taormina area, a resort located on a plateau below Mount Tauro. The area’s splendor, still evident today in its picturesque, narrow streets and lush gardens, survived the fall of the Roman Empire. A Taormina City Tour includes the Greek amphitheatre, built in the third century BC, and expanded by the Romans who used it as an arena for their contests. Views of Mount Etna and the sea beyond are breathtaking.
Day 6 – Taormina Area
Sicily’s greatest natural attraction is also its highest mountain. To the ancient Greeks, Mount Etna was the realm of Vulcan, god of fire, and the home of the one-eyed monster known as the Cyclops. Today’s full-day Mount Etna Tour introduces you to Europe’s highest active volcano. Take a coach up to Alcantara Gorge for a panoramic view.
Day 7 – Rome
Board a flight from Catania to the Eternal City of Rome. A Walking Tour with your guide introduces you to the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Piazza Navona and the Piazza di Trevi. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to guarantee your return!
Day 8 – Rome
Today you’re off on a guided Rome City Tour. See Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus (seating capacity: 300,000!), the Arch of Constantine, Piazza Venezia, the Monument to Vittorio Emmanuel, and visit the Colosseum. Then on to Capitoline Hill where you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of the Roman Forum. Next leave Italy behind as you enter the independent city-state of the Vatican. See Bernini’s legacy, St. Peter’s Square. The 284 Doric columns and 140 saints that ring this oval “square” encompass a 2000 year old obelisk. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world. Covering over six acres, St. Peter’s can accommodate 95,000 visitors. From St. Peter’s, continue to the Vatican Museum. Among the impressive works is the Sistine Chapel’s vault by Michelangelo. This stunning depiction of the Old Testament was completed in four years and is perhaps the single greatest work ever created.
Day 9 – Depart
It’s time to bid arrivederci to Italy. Jet home from the Rome airport.