Secrets of Southern Italy and Sicily 11 to 21 Oct 2024

11 Days

We love…
Exploring Matera’s ancient cave dwellings that date back millennia. Sipping a glass of local red wine in Altomonte surrounded by beautiful churches. Being wowed by the beauty of Mount Etna, as plumes of smoke drift above the lava-sculpted landscape below.

This 11-day trip is southern Italy and Sicily in shades of sepia. Travelling through Puglia and Calabria with a ferry crossing over to Sicily,  explore the sun-warmed piazzas and palazzi of cobbled hilltop towns, wander ancient amphitheaters, and unearth architectural treasures – such as the 10,000-year-old ‘sassi’ cave dwellings of Matera and the kiln-shaped stone ‘trulli’ of Alberobello. Then top off our trip with a ‘The Godfather’ Sicilian village and a walk beneath the summit of restless Mount Etna – the highest active volcano in Europe.

Notes

  • Southern Italy and Sicily
  • 11
  • 11 to 21 Oct 2024
  • Go Your Own Way

Overview

This is Solo Traveller dedicated Departure

Dates – 11 to 21 October 2024

Price from $5966 for Solo Occupancy throughout

Conditions

  • Based on departure 11 October 2024
  • A deposit of $600 is required within 7 days of booking
  • Finals are due 20 July 2024
  • Prices and Itinerary are subject to availability and subject to change without notice
  • Amendment and cancellation fees will apply both from the Supplier and Travel with Me
  • Cancellations prior to final payment will incur loss of deposit and after final payment, Cancellation fees will be charged on a sliding scale up to 100%
  • Please ask your Travel with Me, Consultant, for a competitive Travel Insurance quote as insurance is compulsory on all Travel with Me Exclusive and Private Journeys
  • Please ensure you have a current passport with a minimum of 6 months validity beyond the return date of your journey.
  • Flights are not included
  • Tour operated and Escorted by Titan Travel

Tour highlights - 10 Excursions & Visits

  • Excursion to Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni
  • Excursion to Lecce with local guide (including cathedral and aristocratic mansion for aperitivo)
  • Guided visit to the caves at Matera
  • Orientation walk in Altomonte
  • Visit to the Archaeology Museum in Reggio Calabria
  • Visit to Savoca
  • Guided excursions to the slope's of Mount Etna (including wine tasting) and Taormina (including Greek theatre)

Itinerary

Join your tour group at the hotel.

Grand Hotel la Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello (4-star)

Today’s full-day trip starts with a tour of the remarkable zona dei trulli in the old town of Alberobello. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of 1,500 ‘trulli’ – white-painted houses with dry-stone conical roofs that date back to the 14th century, only found in southern Puglia. The sea of kiln-shaped rooftops appears straight out of a fairy tale. Next, we visit the historic town of Martina Franca in the Apulian hills. With Italian cinematic good looks, we wander through the sun-dappled piazzas, baroque churches, and palazzos of the old town. Rising above a patchwork of olive groves, cypress trees, and the glittering waters of the Adriatic, we continue up to the whitewashed town of Ostuni – an image synonymous with Puglia and stereotypical Italy at its finest. Topped with a sand-coloured 15th-century Gothic cathedral, the ‘Citta Bianca’ (White City) sweeps down the hillside in a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and staircases, with pretty gardens, painted doorways, and tiny Fiats and scooters parked on the cobbles. Our exploration will involve some uphill walking.

Grand Hotel la Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Excursion to Alberobello, Martina Franca, and Ostuni (all day)

Today we continue exploring this beautiful corner of southern Italy with a trip to Lecce. The old town is a masterpiece of creamy-coloured stone and intricate baroque façades. Dating back to the Trojan Wars, it was given a facelift in the 17th century and is adorned with crouching gargoyles, ornate stained glass, and carved balustrades – the elaborate decorative style of which birthed its own architectural name, ‘barocco leccese’. We’ll visit the cathedral and then an aristocratic mansion – where we’ll enjoy aperitivo.

Grand Hotel la Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Excursion to Lecce with a local guide, including entrance to the cathedral and afternoon aperitivo at an aristocratic mansion (all day)

Our journey south to the Calabria region will be lengthy yet fascinating, stopping in the ancient troglodyte city of Matera. Thought to be the oldest city in the world after Aleppo and Jericho, the cave houses or ‘Sassi’ were inhabited for close to 10,000 years. Once described as the ‘the shame of Italy’ for the poor living standards, the residents were relocated in the 1950s. Finally recognising the historical significance of these dwellings, Matera was given UNESCO status in 1993 and was awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2018. Today, the caves are museums, boutique hotels, and filming locations for Hollywood blockbusters. Arriving in Altomonte, we’ll stay for three nights. Our hotel is popular for local weddings and on these occasions, we’ll have the use of a private restaurant and terrace.

Hotel Barbieri, Altomonte (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Guided visit to the caves at Matera (morning)

Day 5 – Altomonte

This morning we take an orientation walk around Altomonte, a town known for its gorgeous churches, romantic stone squares, and fabulous views over Pollino National Park and the Pellegrino mountains. The perfect wedding picture backdrop, Altomonte is known as the ‘Wedding City’ for the sheer number of couples that choose to marry here. The afternoon is free to explore.

Hotel Barbieri, Altomonte (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Orientation walk in Altomonte (morning)

The whole day is free to spend as you please.

Hotel Barbieri, Altomonte (4-star)

Today we drive south to the coastal city of Reggio Calabria or the ‘toe’ of Italy, separated from Sicily by the narrow Strait of Messina. Before we board the ferry for the short crossing, we visit the National Archaeological Museum – home to two full-size Greek bronzes of bearded warriors from around 450 BC. Known as the Riace Warriors, they were found at sea off Calabria in 1972. Our first taste of Sicily is the scenic drive to the town of Giardini Naxos.

Hotel Caesar Palace, Giardini Naxos (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visit to the Archaeology Museum in Reggio Calabria (morning)

Spend the day at leisure.

Hotel Caesar Palace, Giardini Naxos (4-star)

Even if you’re not a film fan, you can’t fail to be wowed by today’s visit to Savoca. This small medieval village shot to big screen fame when it was featured in the 1972 film, ‘The Godfather’. There’ll be free time to explore and soak up the rustic charms and cinematic scenery. Afterward, we visit the town of Taormina, the timeless jewel in Sicily’s crown. Perched on a rocky hilltop with endless blue views across the ocean, the crumbling Corinthian columns, arches, and amphitheatre of the ancient Greek theatre are staggering. The one-time home of DH Lawrence and a stop on Europe’s famed Grand Tour during the 17th-19th centuries, the old town is a treasure trove of painted villas and tiled squares lined with chic pavement cafés.

Hotel Caesar Palace, Giardini Naxos (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visits to Savoca and Taormina, including entrance to the Greek theatre (all day)

We head about halfway up the largest active volcano in Europe to the Rifugio Sapienza, where it’s an easy walk across the dried lava to the smaller Silvestri Crateri. After a short stop, we head to a Sicilian winery for a tour and tasting. Accompanied by local appetisers of salami, olives, and bread, we’ll taste four local wines made using grapes from vines grown in the volcanic soil.

Hotel Caesar Palace, Giardini Naxos (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Guided excursion to the slopes of Mount Etna, including wine tasting (morning)

Say goodbye to your tour group for your onward travel.

Giardini Naxos

Tour Inclusions

What's included

  • 20 meals: 10 breakfasts and10 dinners
  • Accommodation: 10 nights in hotels
  • Transport: Travel in destination by coach
  • 10 Excursions & Visits
  • Porterage
  • Titan Travel Tour Manager throughout
  • * A room tax of 1E to 5E will be charged per night and payable directly to the hotel

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Secrets of Southern Italy and Sicily 11 to 21 Oct 2024