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)