Best Connection Travel Inc - since 1988
Southern Italy and Sicily Tour
Sponsored by the Arnold Senior Activity Center
Oct 17 to 28, 2020
 
Link to Hotel Federico II Central Palace
Link to Hellenia Yachting Hotel
Link to MH Matera Hotel
Link to Towers Hotel Sorrento
Link to Donna Laura Palace Hotel
Link to Sassi di Matera
Link to Etna National Park
Link to Catania Market
Amalfi Coast
Read the insurance summary here.
Insurance is available that will reimburse your penalties should you cancel for a covered reason. If purchased within 14 days of making your deposit it will also cover cancellation due to work reasons and due to pre-existing medical conditions, which are excluded if purchased after 14 days.  Please click on the link above to learn the coverages and premium cost. It also includes emergency medical while traveling.
Must-See Inclusions
  • Venture to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast
  • Experience the excavated ruins of Pompeii at the foothills of Mount Vesuvius
  • Journey to "Sassi di Matera", the ancient town known for its cave dwellings
Culinary Inclusions
  • Wine is included with every meal
  • Indulge in a delicious regional dinner inside a winery
  • Sample local specialties at a family-owned limoncello factory
Collette Experiences
  • Be amazed by the Greek Theater in Taormina
  • Sample fine wine during a vineyard tour
  • Experience Mt. Etna Volcano National Park with a local expert
$4,199 Per Person, Double Occupancy
$4,699 Single Rate
Includes Collette Tour, Airfare from Dulles, Airport Transfers, 10 breakfasts, 6 Dinners
Does not include gratuities, trip insurance, meals not mentioned below, Collette Optional Tours
Deposit $500 Per Person. Final Payment Due August 12, 2020. You make make interim payments.
Itinerary

Day 1: Saturday, October 17, 2020 Overnight Flight The hidden treasures of Southern Italy and Sicily are yours to explore, for it is here that you’ll find breathtaking scenery, historic cities, centuries-old hilltop villages and wonderful cuisine. 
Day 2: Sunday, October 18, 2020 Palermo, Sicily - Tour Begins Your tour opens in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner featuring authentic Sicilian cuisine. (D) 
Day 3: Monday, October 19, 2020 Palermo - Monreale - Palermo Acquaint yourself with Palermo on a tour of its lovely squares - the Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria and Piazza Bellini - and discover an exotic mix of Moorish, Norman and Spanish Baroque architecture along the way. See the Palace of the Normans, La Martorana church, and the cathedral that houses the Imperial Crown of Constance of Aragon. In the nearby town of Monreale, visit a 12thcentury cathedral with its dazzling interior of multicolored marbles, paintings, mosaics and cloisters. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure to peruse the city’s shops and museums, or simply take some time to relax. (B) 
Day 4: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 Palermo - Agrigento - Giardini Naxos Travel over the countryside’s rolling hills, past peaceful farmland toward the town of Agrigento. Explore one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the stunning Valley of the Temples (UNESCO), where you’ll get an upclose view of the temples of Juno, Concordia, Hercules and Jupiter. Continue on to Giardini Naxos – the “garden of Sicily” – for your 3-night stay. (B, D) 
Day 5: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 Giardini Naxos - Taormina - Giardini Naxos Set out for beautiful Taormina with its charming atmosphere, historic monuments and flowering gardens. Alongside an expert local guide, see Corso Umberto, view the bountiful public gardens and marvel at the city’s well-preserved Greek Theatre. Enjoy free time to relax or independently explore. (B) 
Day 6: Thursday, October 22, 2020 Giardini Naxos - Catania - Mt. Etna - Giardini Naxos Journey to vibrant Catania where it’s your choice! Join a local guide to visit the cathedral and view other iconic sights of this historic Baroque city (UNESCO); then witness the daily spectacle of bartering for fresh fish and produce at the local market -OR- explore the Museo dello Sbarco (Allied Landing Museum), an emotionally moving museum dedicated to the Allied troops who landed on the southern coast in 1943. Later, gather to discover the impressive Mt. Etna Volcano National Park where a local expert introduces you to the park’s spectacular landscapes sculpted by nature. Return to Giardini Naxos for the evening. (B) 
Day 7: Friday, October 23, 2020 Giardini Naxos - Matera Venture to Messina for a short ferry ride to Villa San Giovanni on Italy’s mainland. Pass through the unspoiled, beautiful region of Calabria into the Basilicata region. Make a stop at one of the area’s local wineries where you’ll join an expert on a walk through the cellars and vineyards before sampling wines during a special tasting. Linger over regional cuisine at dinner in the winery’s own agriturismo restaurant. (B, D) 
Day 8: Saturday, October 24, 2020 Matera - Alberobello - Matera Explore the “Sassi di Matera,” an ancient settlement of carved cave dwellings. A local guide shares the history of the site and reasons why it has recently caught the eye of many film producers. Continue to a local shop for a chance to sample some regional produce. Enjoy free time in Matera to browse the boutiques or taste the local cuisine before heading to the mystical town of Alberobello. Marvel at some of the town’s most uniquely built homes (UNESCO) known as trulli, and their distinct, cone-shaped roofs. (B, D) 
Day 9: Sunday, October 25, 2020 Matera - Vietri Sul Mare - Sorrento Peninsula Stop in Vietri Sul Mare, the “gateway to the Amalfi Coast,” for time to explore independently. Here, generations of inhabitants have been producing precious majolicas, representing stories of their daily life. Remember to take a moment to admire the 17th century Church of St. John the Baptist with it’s beautiful ceramic dome. (B, D) 
Day 10: Monday, October 26, 2020 Sorrento - Amalfi Coast Drive - Amalfi - Minori - Sorrento Peninsula Savor time this morning in the lovely seaside resort town of Sorrento. Then begin your adventure traversing the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Stop in the charming town of Amalfi and spend time exploring its striking provincial beauty before heading to Minori. Use this opportunity to sample regional specialties at a family-owned limoncello factory. Later, sit down for a traditional Italian afternoon break at a local café and pastry shop. Enjoy an evening at leisure. (B) 
Day 11: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 Sorrento Peninsula - Pompeii - Rome Drive along the Bay of Naples to the excavated ruins of Pompeii, nestled at the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. A local guide gives you an in-depth view of this remarkable archaeologic site, where you’ll become immersed in history as you explore the preserved buildings of this 2,000 year-old Roman town. Later, travel to Rome to celebrate the end of your journey with a delightful farewell dinner. (B, D) 
Day 12: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 Rome - Tour Ends Your tour comes to a close today. (B)

Day 1: Saturday, October 17, 2020 Overnight Flight

Collette will transfer the group by bus from the Arnold Senior Activity Center to Dulles Airport for your overnight flight. The hidden treasures of Southern Italy and Sicily are yours to explore, for it is here that you’ll find breathtaking scenery, historic cities, centuries-old hilltop villages and wonderful cuisine. 


Day 2: Sunday, October 18, 2020 Palermo, Sicily - Tour Begins

Your tour opens in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Your room may not be ready but the hotel will store your luggage so you can begin exploring right away.Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner featuring authentic Sicilian cuisine. 

(Dinner) 

Overnight: Hotel Federico II Central Palace, Palermo


Day 3: Monday, October 19, 2020 Palermo - Monreale - Palermo 

Acquaint yourself with Palermo on a tour of its lovely squares - the Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria and Piazza Bellini - and discover an exotic mix of Moorish, Norman and Spanish Baroque architecture along the way. See the Palace of the Normans, La Martorana church, and the cathedral that houses the Imperial Crown of Constance of Aragon. In the nearby town of Monreale, visit a 12thcentury cathedral with its dazzling interior of multicolored marbles, paintings, mosaics and cloisters. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure to peruse the city’s shops and museums, or simply take some time to relax. 

(Breakfast) 

Overnight: Hotel Federico II Central Palace, Palermo


Day 4: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 Palermo - Agrigento - Giardini Naxos 

Travel over the countryside’s rolling hills, past peaceful farmland toward the town of Agrigento. Explore one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the stunning Valley of the Temples (UNESCO), where you’ll get an upclose view of the temples of Juno, Concordia, Hercules and Jupiter. Continue on to Giardini Naxos – the “garden of Sicily” – for your 3-night stay. 

(Breakfast, Dinner) 

Overnight: Hellenia Yachting Hotel, Giardini Naxos


Day 5: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 Giardini Naxos - Taormina - Giardini Naxos

Set out for beautiful Taormina with its charming atmosphere, historic monuments and flowering gardens. Alongside an expert local guide, see Corso Umberto, view the bountiful public gardens and marvel at the city’s well-preserved Greek Theatre. Enjoy free time to relax or independently explore. 

(Breakfast) 

Overnight: Hellenia Yachting Hotel, Giardini Naxos


Day 6: Thursday, October 22, 2020 Giardini Naxos - Catania - Mt. Etna - Giardini Naxos 

Journey to vibrant Catania where it’s your choice! Join a local guide to visit the cathedral and view other iconic sights of this historic Baroque city (UNESCO); then witness the daily spectacle of bartering for fresh fish and produce at the local market -OR- explore the Museo dello Sbarco (Allied Landing Museum), an emotionally moving museum dedicated to the Allied troops who landed on the southern coast in 1943. Later, gather to discover the impressive Mt. Etna Volcano National Park where a local expert introduces you to the park’s spectacular landscapes sculpted by nature. Return to Giardini Naxos for the evening. 

(Breakfast) 

Overnight: Hellenia Yachting Hotel, Giardini Naxos


Day 7: Friday, October 23, 2020 Giardini Naxos - Matera 

Venture to Messina for a short ferry ride to Villa San Giovanni on Italy’s mainland. Pass through the unspoiled, beautiful region of Calabria into the Basilicata region. Make a stop at one of the area’s local wineries where you’ll join an expert on a walk through the cellars and vineyards before sampling wines during a special tasting. Linger over regional cuisine at dinner in the winery’s own agriturismo restaurant. 

(Breakfast, Dinner) 

Overnight: MH Matera Hotel, Matera 


Day 8: Saturday, October 24, 2020 Matera - Alberobello - Matera 

Explore the “Sassi di Matera,” an ancient settlement of carved cave dwellings. A local guide shares the history of the site and reasons why it has recently caught the eye of many film producers. Continue to a local shop for a chance to sample some regional produce. Enjoy free time in Matera to browse the boutiques or taste the local cuisine before heading to the mystical town of Alberobello. Marvel at some of the town’s most uniquely built homes (UNESCO) known as trulli, and their distinct, cone-shaped roofs. 

(Breakfast, Dinner) 

Overnight: MH Matera Hotel, Matera


Day 9: Sunday, October 25, 2020 Matera - Vietri Sul Mare - Sorrento 

Stop in Vietri Sul Mare, the “gateway to the Amalfi Coast,” for time to explore independently. Here, generations of inhabitants have been producing precious majolicas, representing stories of their daily life. Remember to take a moment to admire the 17th century Church of St. John the Baptist with it’s beautiful ceramic dome. 

(Breakfast, Dinner) 

Overnight: Towers Hotel, Sorrento 


Day 10: Monday, October 26, 2020 Sorrento - Amalfi Coast Drive - Amalfi - Minori - Sorrento 

Savor time this morning in the lovely seaside resort town of Sorrento. Then begin your adventure traversing the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Stop in the charming town of Amalfi and spend time exploring its striking provincial beauty before heading to Minori. Use this opportunity to sample regional specialties at a family-owned limoncello factory. Later, sit down for a traditional Italian afternoon break at a local café and pastry shop. Enjoy an evening at leisure. 

(Breakfast) 

Overnight: Towers Hotel, Sorrento 


Day 11: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 Sorrento Peninsula - Pompeii - Rome 

Drive along the Bay of Naples to the excavated ruins of Pompeii, nestled at the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. A local guide gives you an in-depth view of this remarkable archaeologic site, where you’ll become immersed in history as you explore the preserved buildings of this 2,000 year-old Roman town. Later, travel to Rome to celebrate the end of your journey with a delightful farewell dinner.

(Breakfast, Dinner) Overnight: Donna Laura Palace Hotel, Rome


Day 12: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 Rome - Tour Ends 

Your tour comes to a close today. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Collette will meet you at the airport to transfer your group back to the Arnold Senior Activity Center.

(Breakfast)