Sicily and the Divine Amalfi Coast

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OCT. 10-19, 2014 From $3,295
Agrigento, Syracuse, Positano, Naples, Sorrento
UCLA Faculty on Tour Activity Level: Moderate Activity Hide This
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Overview

Sicily and the Divine Amalfi Coast

OCT. 10-19, 2014
Agrigento, Syracuse, Positano, Naples, Sorrento

Strategically situated between Europe and Africa, the island of Sicily is a cultural crossroads shaped by 3,000 years of complex human history. Today, travelers are struck by the awe-inspiring artifacts and structures left behind by legendary civilizations and the sun-dappled beauty of one of the world’s most captivating islands. Your adventure continues along the Amalfi Coast on mainland Italy. From the unforgettable coastline to fragrant olive and citrus groves to the stunning island of Capri, witness firsthand why generations of poets and artists have fallen deeply in love with this craggy, vine-covered slice of Mediterranean Europe.

Cost: From $3,295
AHI Travel
Activity Level: Moderate Activity
COVID-19 Information:
  • Discover the best of fascinating Sicily and the romantic Amalfi Coast
  • Explore ancient ruins and historic artifacts in Taormina, Agrigento and Syracuse
  • Visit the beaches where Allied troops landed during World War II
  • Meet a family that runs an olive oil mill on the southern Italian coast
  • Board a private boat to visit Positano, a coastal town that clings dramatically to the side of a mountain
  • Step back 2,000 years to a day in the life of Pompeii

UCLA Faculty on Tour

Geoffrey Symcox
UCLA Professor of History
Geoffrey Symcox has taught courses on the history of Italy from the Renaissance to the Risorgimento and Unification in the 19th century, from Unification to the present and on the history of the Sicilian Mafia. Teaching almost four decades with the history department at UCLA, he received a Distinguished Teaching Award and currently holds the rank of Research Professor Emeritus. Symcox has written numerous studies of the history of the Piedmont region, where he remains actively engaged in research. As a specialist in the history of Italy, he has traveled extensively throughout the country including Sicily.

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Itinerary
2014-10-sicily-map

DAY 1 | Oct. 10. Depart for Catania, Sicily, Italy

DAY 2 | Oct. 11. Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Upon arrival, transfer airplane to Taormina and check in to the Hotel Diodoro.
Independent Exploration: Explore Taormina at your leisure this afternoon. Tonight, attend a Welcome Reception and Dinner at the hotel. (D)

DAY 3 | Oct. 12. Taormina
Educational Focus: History of Sicilian Art and Architecture. Learn about the archaeological riches found in Sicily’s Grecian temples, Roman bridges and Norman castles.
Excursion: Taormina. Explore Taormina, situated high atop Monte Tauro, and marvel at the town’s scenic palazzi, 14th- and 15th-century palaces and striking view of the seacoast. See the ancient theater of Taormina, built into the rocky slope of the mountain by the Greeks in the seventh century B.C. and rebuilt by the Romans in the second century A.D. Remarkably preserved and still in use today, the theater features near-perfect acoustics and ancient reserved seating sections.
Local Flavor: Vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh herbs brighten Sicily’s enticing cuisine. Learn how to use these ingredients and bring home new culinary skills, thanks to a private pizza making lesson with a local chef. Afterward, enjoy a delicious pizza lunch.
Independent Exploration: Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Taormina. (B, L)

DAY 4 | Oct. 13. Agrigento
Excursion: Ancient Agrigento. Admire the magnificent ruins of the Valley of the Temples, founded by the Greeks about 582 B.C. and considered one of Western Europe’s most impressive classical sites. See the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, the oldest; the Temple of Concordia, the best preserved; and the Temple of Juno.
Local Flavor: Enjoy lunch during the excursion.
Excursion and Educational Focus: Operation Husky. Examine the events of Operation Husky, the World War II battle during which more than 160,000 Allied troops landed on Sicily’s southeastern beaches. (B, L, D)

DAY 5 | Oct. 14. Syracuse
Excursion:
Syracuse. Explore Syracuse’s Old Town, a showcase of baroque and medieval architecture, on the island of Ortygia. Stroll the elegant Piazza del Duomo and enter the Duomo. Continue to the Archaeological Park, home of the city’s ancient ruins, including the Teatro Greco, one of the largest and best-preserved theaters in Sicily.
Independent Exploration: Enjoy time at leisure to grab lunch and explore Syracuse. (B)

DAY 6 | Oct. 15. Vietri Sul Mare
Bid farewell to Sicily and take a ferry across the Strait of Messina to Reggio del Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot.
Educational Focus: Meet the People. Visit scenic Altomont, a small town boasting gorgeous views of the Calabrian countryside, then meet the family behind a local olive oil mill and tour the facilities.
Local Flavor: Enjoy a delectable lunch at the mill. Continue to Vietri sul Mare and check in to the Hotel Raito. (B, L, D)

DAY 7 | Oct. 16. Amalfi Coast
Educational Focus:
Inspiring Amalfi. Discover the allure of the beautiful Amalfi Coast and how it has served as an inspiration to artists and writers over the centuries.
Excursion: The Divine Coast. Watch the seaside tapestry unfold before you during a scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast. Stop in the charming town of Amalfi, a powerful maritime republic of yore. Stroll along its cobbled alleyways and admire the piazza and Duomo di Sant’ Andrea before boarding a private boat for a cruise along the rocky coastline to Positano. Clinging to a craggy, seaside mountain, Positano is adorned with pastel-colored houses with terraces draped in pink bougainvillea. (B, L)

DAY 8 | Oct. 17. Pompeii / Naples
Excursion: A City Frozen in Time. Stroll the streets of Pompeii, once a thriving commercial hub that was destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. The volcanic ash preserved the city in its state on that fateful day, and today Pompeii is an excavation site and outdoor museum that reveals how the people of this ancient Roman settlement lived 2,000 years ago. See everything from mosaics to furniture as you tour the Forum, baths and houses, and unearth a history lesson like no other.
Local Flavor: Lunch is served at a Neapolitan pizzeria.
Excursion: Metropolitan Naples. Enjoy an engaging tour of the new and old quarters of Naples, the capital of Campania, and see Castel Nuovo, Piazza Plebiscito, Palazzo Reale and San Francesco di Paola. Take in a stunning panoramic view across the city and the Bay of Naples from the Posillipo hilltop.
Educational Focus: The Horror and Splendor of Mount Vesuvius. Trace the history of this famous volcano and its impact on the ancient city of Pompeii. (B, L)

DAY 9 | Oct. 18. Sorrento / Capri
Excursion: Sorrento. Become acquainted with Sorrento’s landmarks and vistas during an insightful walking tour. Perched on a skyscraping cliff and surrounded by lemon, orange and olive groves, legendary Sorrento set the scene for Ulysses, who resisted the tempting song of the sirens off these shores by binding himself to the mast of his ship.
Independent Exploration: Live like an Italian as you linger over lunch in Sorrento and enjoy time at leisure.
Excursion: The Isle of Capri. A hydrofoil whisks you to nearby Capri, the “Enchanted Isle of Dreams.” Admire the seascape and explore the piazzas and cafés on this chic, jet-set outpost.
Independent Exploration: Explore one of the world’s most glamorous places at your own pace during an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Graduation Ceremony, followed by a Farewell Dinner. (B, D)

DAY 10 | Oct. 19
Transfer airplane to the Naples airport for the return flights to your gateway city. (B)

Accommodations
2014-10-sicily-lodge

Hotel Villa Diodoro
Taormina
Located just steps from the historic heart of Taormina and the town’s public gardens, the Hotel Villa Diodoro is a special coastal retreat. The hotel also is conveniently near the Corso Umberto, Taormina’s main street. Soak up the island’s Mediterranean ambience with breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos. The hotel features a fitness and wellness center, an outdoor pool, a garden restaurant that offers a locally inspired menu, and seasonal access to a private pebbled beach.

Hotel Raito
Vietri Sul Mare
Perched on a hill above the peaceful village of Vietri sul Mare, the Hotel Raito offers the perfect spot from which to explore Italy’s romantic Amalfi Coast. Take a dip in the heated pool, unwind in the fully equipped spa and savor local flavors in the hotel’s celebrated restaurant and lounge. Enjoy friendly service, comfortable accommodations and jaw-dropping views of the legendary coastline at this seafront gem.

Pricing

Pricing: $3,295
AHI Travel

Special Program Available

  • AHI Air Program
Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (3.7 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • Were I to name a place that possesses every grand and beauteous qualification for the forming of a picture... Taormina would be the object of my choice."
    Henry Swinburne, English writer
  • I had often heard that Syracuse was the largest of the Greek cities, and the most beautiful of them all. Its fame is not undeserved."
    Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Politician and Philosopher
  • Nothing is wanting but the inhabitants. Still, a morning’s walk through the solemn silent streets of Pompeii, will give you a livelier idea of their modes of life, than all the books in the world."
    Henry Matthews, British Lawmaker

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How to Book

STEP 1
Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

STEP 2
Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $600 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to AHI Travel. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

STEP 3
Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Terms & Conditions

Written cancellations from time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure will be assessed a minimum administrative fee of approximately $250; within 90 days of departure, refunds vary according to the policies of each tour operator. Please download brochure for this tour here.

CST 2028271-20

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit alumni.ucla.edu/travel-insurance. Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (3.7 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • Were I to name a place that possesses every grand and beauteous qualification for the forming of a picture... Taormina would be the object of my choice."
    Henry Swinburne, English writer
  • I had often heard that Syracuse was the largest of the Greek cities, and the most beautiful of them all. Its fame is not undeserved."
    Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Politician and Philosopher
  • Nothing is wanting but the inhabitants. Still, a morning’s walk through the solemn silent streets of Pompeii, will give you a livelier idea of their modes of life, than all the books in the world."
    Henry Matthews, British Lawmaker