FROM MESSINA, SICILY
TAORMINA & MOUNT ETNA (8 hours , lunch included)
Start with a brief orientation drive through Messina on your way to enchanting Taormina, a town with Medieval character.
Walking tour of Taormina takes you down narrow lanes, passing the Palazzo Corvaia, en route to the impressive Greek Theater. There will be time to wander at Corso Umberto. Leaving Taormina to Mt. Etna, the scenic road winds around the mountain, passing picturesque towns. After lunch at a restaurant on the slopes of this impressive Vocano, continue to Cratere Silvestri, situated over 6.000 feet above sea level. The major attraction is the crater and the remnants of the awe-inspiring streams of lava.
Note: there are approximately 650 feet of uphill walk from the coach parking to the crater area. We recommend you bring a windbreaker or light jacket as it can be windy and chilly at high attitude.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CAPRI, SORRENTO & POMPEI (10 hours, lunch included)
This scenic tour includes the most spectacular sites along the Campanian Coast, including amazing Pompeii, possibly the most famous excavation in the world. Start with a jet-foil ride to Marina Grande in Capri, a port lined with colourful old fishermen’s houses. A funicular will take you up to a terrace with a marvellous scenic overlook of the small island, the coast and the sparkling area. Walk to the Piazzetta , the heart of the town of Capri’s shopping and nightlife. You’ll visit Augustus Gardens with your guide, or if you prefer , explore the narrow streets , take in the magnificent views, or relax in an outdoor café. You’ll then continue to Sorrento by jet-foil where a delightful lunch awaits at a leading restaurant. After lunch, you will have some time to wander the chaming flower-filled streets or admire the high-quality handicrafts Sorrento is famous for. Head to Pompeii, where you will enter by the sea gate and visit the city’s baths, villas , theatres and wrestling grounds. Because Pompeii was so well preserved , you can see many fine details that reveal the lifestyles of the residents, such as mosaic floors and colourful fresces in some of the homes.
SORRENTO AND AMALFI DRIVE (9 hours, lunch included)
The coastal road, winding along breathtaking curves, takes you to Sorrento, perched high above the Bay of Naples . After visiting the historic centre you will have some time to browse in shops where local artisans display beautiful handcrafts. As the road winds its way along the coastline, you will marvel at the constantly changing views of intricately shaped rocks, deep gorges, the clear blue sea, citrus orchards, olive groves and fishing villages nestled in secluded bays. You’ll stop for lunch en route to one of the picturesque Amalfi Coast villages, where you will also have time to explore. Then the drive back to Naples takes you through the mountains.
POMPEI EXCAVATIONS (4 hours)
The once-prosperous commercial and political center with a population of 25.000 was hidden under 20 feet of volcanic ash an cinders during the fateful eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 ad. Originally a seaport , the eruption raised the land and left the ruined town far from the bay. You will enter Pompei through the Sea Gate and walk along the cobblestone streets to the Agora, surrounded by temples, porticoes and law courts. It was the religious , civic and business center of the city. Because Pompei was so well preserved , you can see many fine details that reveal the lifestyles of the residents, such as mosaic floors andolorful frescoes in some of the homes. As you wander through this ancient city, you can’t help but notice the still-active Mount Vesuvius towering above.
FLAVORS OF SORRENTO & POMPEII (8 hours, lunch included)
Start your morning with a visit to Pompeii. Here The once-prosperous commercial and political center with a population of 25.000 was hidden under 20 feet of volcanic ash an cinders during the fateful eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 ad. Visit the cliff-top town of Sorrento, a village with splendid views of the sea and the colourful marina below. Enjoy some free time to explore the flower-filled main streets and the Corso Italia lined with boutiques. Then it’s on to the hills above Sorrento , where a family owned farm produces outstanding home-made products. Tour the farm and its old wine cantina, learn the process of producing olive oil and hand-made mozzarella and then, during lunch, sample the local fare surrounded by a lemon and olive grove.
FROM CIVITAVECCHIA, ROME
ROME CLASSICAL CITY (9 hours , lunch included)
This overview of Rome’s classical era starts with an outside visit of the Colosseum, the symbol of the power of Imperial Rome. Proceed on foot through the Roman Forum to view the ruins and the Capitoline Hill. Spend some time soaking up the history and enjoy the opportunity to take some memorable photos. After lunch, you will head by coach towards St Peter’s Basilica. Your guide will lead you towards the vast square in front of St Peter’s. After a visit of the Basilica, you will have some free time to explore the area on your own.
ROME BAROQUE CITY (9 hours , lunch included)
We start with a stop at the Trevi Fountain, one of Rome’s most spectacular works of art. This is followed by a visit to the Pantheon, the biggest temple built by the Emperor Adriano and the best-preserved ancient Roman building. Head to Piazza Navona, the most beautiful Baroque square in Rome and home to the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers. Here you will have leisure time to roam around the piazza. Following lunch, you will go y motorcoach to St. Peters Square. After your guide’s explanation of the square, you will have additional free time to explore the surroundings or visit St Peter’s Basilica on your own.
ROME & THE VATICAN (10 hours , lunch included)
Although a quick pace and substantial amount of walking is required, your day will be extremely rewarding. In the morning, tour the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, boasting Michelangelo’s magnificent ceiling. You’ll gaze in awe at Piazza San Pietro, one of the world’s most beautiful squares that face the largest church in the world, St Peter’s. Some of its fabulous treasures will be shown to you by your guide during a brief visit. Continuing on an orientation drive through the “ Eternal City”, you’ll pass the Roman Forum , the Arch of Costantine and the famed Colosseum.
FROM LIVORNO, FLORENCE
SIENA & TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE (10 hours, lunch included)
In the center of Chianti country, sprawling across three sienna-hued hills, stands the showpiece of Tuscany: the walled city of Siena. The two hours drive through the Tuscan countryside is beautiful in itself. Arriving in Siena , you’ll meet a local guide and begin your walk. Visit the Basilica of San Domenico which holds relics of St Catherine. You’ll see the highlights of the city and visit the cathedral, an architectural fantasy in black and white marble. Admire the glorious frescoes by Pintoricchio at the libreria Piccolomini. See the magnificent Town Hall and Piazza del Campo; savor the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful cities I the world. Following a typical Tuscan lunch , you’ll have some free time to explore this magnificent city on your own.
EXCLUSIVE FLORENCE & PISA (10 hours, lunch included)
This tour has been designed for those who wish to combine a visit to the most important art museums of Florence with the world famous Miracle Square of Pisa, and do so in an intimate group. This exclusive tour has a limited participation and is operated by mini-bus. Stop in Pisa for a brief photo stop by the field of Miracles. Drive to Florence , stopping first at Piazzale Michelangelo to admire the views of the city from this vantage point. Visit the impressive Uffizi Gallery without standing in long lines; admire Piazza della Signoria and stop at Ponte Vecchio with free time. After lunch in a leading restaurant, pause in the fascinating Piazza del Duomo and admire its magnificence.
SPLENDOR OF FLORENCE (9 hours , lunch included)
The one-day visit gives you a magnificent sampling of the city’s treasures. As you approach Florence, you will stop at the Piazza Michelangelo for an overview of the city’s tiles roofs, steeples and domes. All the main attractions in Florence are centrally located and perfect for a walking tour. First, you will visit the Galleria dell’Accademia (without standing in long lines). Next , you’ll visit the Piazza del Duomo, the religious center of Florence in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Continue on to the Piazza della Signoria, and then walk to the Ponte Vecchio for a photo opportunity. After lunch, you will visit Santa Croce, one of the most beautiful Gothic churches in Italy. Then enjoy some free time for shopping before your return to Livorno.
SCENIC DRIVE & WINE TASTING (4 hours)
Italy produces some very fine wines and Tuscany is the place where wine is “tradition”. View some of the prettiest countryside in Tuscany with its low hills covered with vineyards , olive groves and oak woods. These slopes are where some of Italy’s finest wines and olive oils are produced. Drive to a vineyard, where you will be shown the process of winemaking and the traditional method of bottling. Then enjoy samples of Tuscan wines accompanied by local snacks before returning to Livorno and your ship.