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St Peter's Basilica and the Tiber, Rome at night
Caption: St Peter's Basilica and the Tiber, Rome at night
Caption: Teatro Greco, Taormina with Mt Etna in the background, Sicily
Caption: Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, Sicily
Caption: The ornate interior of Monreale Cathedral, Sicily
Caption: Milan's iconic Duomo Cathedral
Caption: The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Milan's cathedral to fashion
Caption: The fortified entrance to Sirmione, Lake Garda
Caption: Venice's iconic gondolas
Caption: The famous domed roof of Florence's Cathedral
Caption: The Ponte Vecchio crossing the River Arno, Florence
Caption: Tuscany's famous rolling countryside
Caption: St Peter's and the Vatican, Rome
Prices From
GBP £6,982.00
 Deposit £500 per person.
Prices are per person based on 2 people sharing a cabin/room. Single room supplement £557.00.

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Book online or call Call us on:0844 3350 197 Monday to Friday 09:00 - 18:00 GMT

Book your journey

Choose from the list below to book your journey

Available journeys:

  • 16 Jun - 02 Jul, 2022.
    Cash Only Option
    16 Jun - 02 Jul 2022 from £6,982 Sold out
Book online or call 0844 3350 197

Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: Enticing Italy
From Sicily to Rome
Duration: 17 day / 16 nights
Flight information: Flights from London Airport [LON] to Catania Airport [CAT] on Day 1 and departing from Rome Fiumicino [FCO] on Day 17 back to London Airport [LON].
Pickup location: Catania Airport [CAT]

Overview

16 Jun - 02 Jul, 2022 - LAST ROOM

A grand Italian adventure full of history, culture, art and of course, food! From the southern Italian island of Sicily, to Milan, Venice, Tuscany, we work our way to Rome, the Eternal City on this journey of discovery 'la bella vita'

A fantastic tour offering all that is the very best of Italy! Starting in Sicily, we discover the ecclectic mix of history art and culture that have shaped Italy's fascinating volcanic Mediterranean island. From Ancient Rome and Greece, as well as Byzantine, Moorish and European history, we'll discover temples, mosaics and bustling markets. 

We then work our way north, flying back to the mainland to Milan, the fashion and financial capital of Italy. The striking Duomo as iconic as the locals in their sunglasses. We will work our way east through historic Verona, skirting the edges of the picturesque Lake Garda before heading to the floating city of Venice. From here we work south past Bologna to the Tuscan hubs of Florence, Pisa and Lucca. Our final destination has to be Rome - the Eternal City.

We will pass through some of the most striking scenery, visit some of the most famous churches, cathedrals and museums, sample some of the best food and drink, and of course walk in the paths of thousands of year's of history as we trace our way through all that Italy has to offer. Our journey from Sicily to Rome will really show why Italians live 'la bella vita'.

Itinerary

Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Benvenuti in Sicilia
DAY 2 - Taormina & Mount Etna
DAY 3 - Piazza Armerina & Agrigento
DAY 4 - Valley of the Temples, Monreale & Palermo
DAY 5 - Discovering Palermo
DAY 6 - Palermo's Hidden Markets
DAY 7 - Arrivederci Sicilia, Benvenuti a Milano!
DAY 8 - Milan Sightseeing, Glorious Lake Garda and to Verona
DAY 9 - Verona to Venice
DAY 10 - Venetian Highlights
DAY 11 - Bologna & Tuscany
DAY 12 - Fantastic Florence
DAY 13 - Pisa & Lucca
DAY 14 - Chianti Vineyards & Rome
DAY 15 - Ancient Rome
DAY 16 - The Vatican City
DAY 17 - Arrivederci Italia
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Benvenuti in Sicilia

Welcome to the Italian island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Catania Airport you will be met and drive north, along the coast, to the world famous hill-top resort of Taormina.

Tonight we will enjoy and welcome drink and get-together, followed by dinner in a local restaurant/trattoria.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Diodoro, Taormina 

DAY 2 - Taormina & Mount Etna

This morning we will visit Taormina's greatest tourist attraction, the Teatro Greco, a Greco-Roman theatre built into the rocky hillside. Although generally known as the 'Greek' Theatre, Taormina's historic open-air theatre owes much of its present appearance to the Romans. Designed with an unsurpassable backdrop of blue sea, coastline, distant smoking Etna, and inland mountains, we will wander around the theatre complex, the stage and backstage areas, as well see panoramic views from the curving rows of seats.

After some free time to get some lunch, we will depart by coach for a guided excursion to Mount Etna which is among Europe’s tallest, and the world’s most active, volcanoes. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, the volcano has shaped Sicilian history and continues to impact life on the island today. We will ascend the volcano by coach to Piazzale Rifugio Sapienza (6,200ft). For those who wish to ascend further to around 8,200ft there is the option of a cable-car/funicular (payable direct).**

Back at the hotel, the evening is at leisure.

(**This does not take you as far as the crater, which is further uphill)

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Diodoro, Taormina 
Optional extras: Cable-car/Funicular (please ask for details) 

DAY 3 - Piazza Armerina & Agrigento

We depart after breakfast towards Agrigento, one of Sicily's finest ancient cities. On the way we will stop at Piazza Armerina, a pretty and historic town nestled in the heart of Sicily. Whilst here, we will visit the truly astonishing classical mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale, an important UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to it containing the most complex and largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world - there are 3,535 square metres of them!

We will continue to our hotel in Agrigento and dinner will be together this evening in a local restaurant.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Mose, Agrigento 

DAY 4 - Valley of the Temples, Monreale & Palermo

We depart after breakfast for a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples, a magnificent collection of seven ancient Greek temples from the 6th and 5th centuries BC and Sicily's most enthralling archaeological site. The most well-preserved and striking of them, the Temple of Concordia, is arguably the best-preserved temple in the world outside the Hephaistion in Athens.

From here we will head north to Monreale, a historic hill-town just outside Palermo, a picturesque place most famous for the fine mosaics in the town's great Norman cathedral which we will tour and visit. The cathedral and cloisters at Monreale are frequently cited as the island's greatest Norman buildings. The upper part of the cathedral's interior is completely covered in gleaming gold mosaics; more than 6,000 square metres of mosaic.

Continue to Palermo, the island's capital city and our hotel for the next 3 nights. The evening is at leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Federico II, Palermo 

DAY 5 - Discovering Palermo

This morning we will head out to discover the historic city of Palermo. Nestled on the west of the island, it is the island of Sicily's capital and most populous city - the 5th most in Italy!

We will have a guided visit and backstage tour of the famous Teatro Massimo - Sicily's premier opera/concert theatre with its stunning interiors and detailed exterior. It is the biggest in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe, renowned for its excellent acoustics and holds over 1,300 seats.

Then we will visit the Palazzo dei Normanni (Royal Palace) and the Cappella Palatina. Home to Sicily's regional parliament, this venerable palace dates back to the 9th century. However, it owes its current look, and name, to a major Norman makeover, during which spectacular mosaics were added to its royal apartments and magnificent chapel, the Cappella Palatina. Visits to the apartments take in the mosaic-lined Sala dei Venti, and Sala di Ruggero II, King Roger's 12th-century bedroom.

The rest of the day and evening is at leisure for you to discover Palermo at your own pace.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Federico II, Palermo 

DAY 6 - Palermo's Hidden Markets

This morning we have a treat in store - a guided visit and tour of one of Palermo's historic open-air markets. A Palermitan street market is a cacophony of sights, sounds and scents and the tradition dates from the 9th century Saracen rule of the island, which explains their striking similarity to Arab souqs. They are a great place to soak up some local atmosphere even if you don't actually buy anything, but you'll have to know where to find them, hidden as they are from the main streets - that's why we recommend you tag along on this tour.

Tonight we will enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant, our last night on the island.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Hotel Federico II, Palermo 

DAY 7 - Arrivederci Sicilia, Benvenuti a Milano!

Today we will leave Sicily for Italy's mainland, heading for Milan.

After breakfast, we will make our way by coach and transfer to Palermo Airport for our flight to Milan. 

On arrival, we will board our waiting coach and transferred to Italy's fashion and financial capital. The rest of the day is at leisure before this evening we will join for dinner together in a nearby restaurant.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: NYX Hotel, Milan 

DAY 8 - Milan Sightseeing, Glorious Lake Garda and to Verona

We will depart after breakfast for a panoramic guided coach tour of Milan. Sights will include La Scala, Milan's world renowned opera house, the Sforzesco Castle and the famous, iconic, Duomo Cathedral, amongst others.

We will then depart Milan and head east for the historic and artistic city of Verona. En-route to Verona, we will stop at one of the picturesque towns at the southern end of spectacular Lake Garda, Desenzano or Sirmione, where there will be free time to explore and take lunch at leisure.

We will then continue to Verona for an overnight stay. Dinner together in local restaurant/trattoria.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Best Western Hotel Firenze, Verona 

DAY 9 - Verona to Venice

This morning we will have some free time to explore Verona at our own pace. Verona is a very easy city around which to walk, with plenty of shops, bars and cafes, as well as some world renowned attractions. Highlights include the impressive 2,000 year old Roman Arena, which is still used for concerts and events today and well worth a visit! The array of fabulously decorated churches and the famous 'Juliet's Balcony' are also within easy reach. After we have had time for a spot of lunch, we will head towards Venice where we will spend the next two nights.

After crossing the bridge into the iconic Venice Lagoon, upon arrival at the city, we will be transferred from the coach to our hotel by private boat shuttle. Tonight enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant/trattoria.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice 

DAY 10 - Venetian Highlights

Venice needs little introduction, but the maze of canals, alleys and bridges with palaces, churches and musuems dotted amongst is a sight to discover. After breakfast, we will enjoy a guided walking tour of the main sights of Venice, including the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basillica.

The rest of the day and evening will be free to explore Venice with your 24hour ACTV Tourist Venice Travelcard (unlimited travel including the water-buses). Perhaps take a boat tour to the islands of Murano and Burano where the famous glassware is produced or treat yourself to a tour of the canals on a gondola!

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hotel Carlton on the Grand, Venice 

DAY 11 - Bologna & Tuscany

This morning, we say goodbye to Venice. After breakfast, we once again board our private boat which will take us to the coach, from where we will continue our tour south towards Tuscany.

En-route, we will stop at the historic 'red' city of Bologna, Italy's culinary capital and, yes, the home of Bolognese Sauce! It gets its name from the colour of the stone used in the buildings, but also its political leanings. The home of one of the world's oldest universities, it is a centre of politics and education in Italy.  We'll have lunch before continuing on our journey south to the spa town of Montecatini Terme.

Our base for the next 3 nights, Montecatini is an ideal base from which to explore Tuscany and to experience what this stunning region has to offer. Montecatini Terme is a delight in itself, a beautiful spa town located 38 miles from Florence. If time allows during your stay, it is worth taking the funicular to the summit of Montecatini Alto village, home to the Torre dell’Orologio, a medieval clock tower, plus the Romanesque church of Santa Maria a Ripa and sweeping views.

Dinner will be together in the hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Hotel Boston or Hotel Leonardo Da Vinci, Montecatini Terme 

DAY 12 - Fantastic Florence

After breakfast, we will make the short walk from the hotel to Montecatini's nearby railway station and board a local train for the short journey to Florence, the capital city of Italy's Tuscany region.

On arrival in Florence, we will be met by our local guide and taken on a walking tour of this world-famous, historical city. We will see a host of famous sites such as the Galleria dell'Accademia, the Uffizi Gallery, Brunelleschi's Dome, Giotto's Bell Tower, St. John's Baptistry and the Ponte Vecchio amongst others.

Late afternoon, we'll make our way back to the station for our return once again by train. DInner will be in the hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Hotel Boston or Hotel Leonardo Da Vinci, Montecatini Terme 

DAY 13 - Pisa & Lucca

Following breakfast, we will board our coach for a full day tour to two of Tuscany's most famous cities - Pisa and Lucca.

Our first stop will be Lucca, for a walking tour of this highly attractive entirely-walled Renaissance town. Walking through the historical centre along the cobblestone streets we will see the Casa di Puccini, where the great opera composer was born which is now a house museum. There will be time for lunch before we board the coach again and head off to Pisa.

In Pisa, we will meet our guide for a tour of the Campo dei Miracoli (Miracles Square) comprising the Duomo, Baptistry and, of course, the famous Leaning Tower. There will be some free time and plenty of photo opportunities before we return to Montecatini Terme. Dinner will be together at our hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Hotel Boston or Hotel Leonardo Da Vinci, Montecatini Terme 

DAY 14 - Chianti Vineyards & Rome

As we leave Tuscany behind, we will drive through the picturesque Tuscan countryside and the Chianti wine growing region, where we will stop at a classic Chianti vineyard. Here we will enjoy a presentation and tasting of the renowned vino rosso, including local snacks/light lunch.

After re-boarding our coach we will continue south to the Eternal City that is Rome for the next 3 nights. Dinner will be together this evening in a local restaurant/trattoria.

Included meals: Breakfast, Light Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Palatino, Rome 

DAY 15 - Ancient Rome

“Rome is not like any other city. It’s a big museum, a living room that shall be crossed on one’s toes.” – Alberto Sordi.

There is so much to see and discover in Rome, its hard to know where to begin. This morning we will start with Ancient Rome, enjoying a guided city sightseeing tour by coach. Whilst we see many sights from our coach, there will also be visits to the iconic Colosseum and the Roman Forum (including skip-the-queue tickets and headsets).

The rest of the day and evening will be free to explore this amazing city, making your own way back to the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast  
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Palatino, Rome 

DAY 16 - The Vatican City

Today we discover an area that is not technically Rome - the Vatican City. An encalve within Rome, the seat of the Catholic Church is actually its own independent country.

Today we visit the Vatican and it's fantastic museums, including St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel (including skip-the-queue tickets and headsets).

Spend as long or as little as you like wandering the many halls of the museums before making your way back to your hotel at leisure. 

This evening we will enjoy a Farewell Dinner together in a local restaurant/trattoria.



Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Palatino, Rome 

DAY 17 - Arrivederci Italia

Sadly, it's time to say 'Ciao for now' to Italy as your Italian Adventure draws to an end. We have arranged transfers to Rome's Fiumicino Airport for your onward travel home. 

Included meals: Breakfast 

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • ATOL Protection
  • Flights from London Airport [LON] to Catania Fontanarossa Airport [CAT] on Day 1 and departing from Rome Fiumicino Airpot [FCO] on Day 17 back to London Airport [LON]. Regional airport departures available for a supplement. Please enquire at the time of booking.
  • One way internal flight: Palermo Airport [PMO] - Milan Malpensa Airport [MXP]
  • Arrival Catania Airport-hotel transfer & Return departure hotel-Rome Fiumicino Airport transfer
  • Accomodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers/touring and excursions in air-conditioned deluxe motor vehicles including necessary ZTL permits.
  • All entrances, English-speaking guides and visits as indicated in the programme.
  • Porterage at all hotels including luggage assistance for the Venice boat transfers (1 piece per person)
  • Tourist taxes
  • Services of a Big Journey Company Tour Director throughout

What's not included

  • Additional food and beverage unless otherwise included in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers outside of the journey dates
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Optional excursions/entrances
  • Gratuities 
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2pm and check out is before 11am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable and final payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
Once in a lifetime

Book your journey

Choose from the list below to book your journey.

Available journeys:

  • 16 Jun - 02 Jul, 2022.
    Cash Only Option
    16 Jun - 02 Jul 2022 from £6,982 Sold out
Book online or call 0844 3350 197

More time away?

Choose a tour extension to extend your trip.

We have found the following tours that are perfectly placed to add on before or after your trip. Tours shown here will be available to add at the time of booking.

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The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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