Puglia, the Pearl of Italy: Food, Wine and Wellness

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Puglia, the Pearl of Italy: Food, Wine and Wellness in Italy

 “Travelling, it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller.”

(Ibn Battuta)

Italy is known as the boot and it is to her heel that we head on this trip, although, as you will discover, Puglia is anything but down at heel. From water to rival that of the Caribbean, to beautiful Baroque architecture, Roman amphitheatres and the Trulli houses, peeling this region’s history back reveals the true jewel in Italy’s crown. Italy’s olive garden with over sixty million trees and over fifty three varieties, Puglia is also home to some of Italy’s best wines and her food is thought by many to bethe best in Italy; no mean feat in a country overflowing with delicious regional delicacies. Therefore, we invite you to kick off your shoes so that you may feel the sand and sea beneath your toes, join us for a glass or two of wine in one of the many beautiful piazzas which adorn the towns of this area and loosen your belts in preparation for some gastronomic indulgence. Buone vacanze!

Chapter 1: Gargano and Tremiti Islands

Day 1 Arrival Day – Transfer from Bari airport to hotel

You will be met at the airport by your tour manager who will then whisk you away to your hotel for some relaxation and a welcome sunset Pilates session. This evening we will meet for our first aperitivo to toast your arrival in Italy, followed by your first opportunity to sample local Pugliese cuisine.(D)

Day 2 Hiking, beaches and picnic in the Gargano

Today we head into the Gargano area to enjoy a short hike through the woodland before we picnic on local produce and enjoy some time at one of her spectacular beaches.

In the late afternoon we return to the hotel for a sunset Pilates session and then your evening is free. (B, L)

 Day 3 Helicopter ride to the Tremiti Islands including beach time there

We hope you have a head for heights, as today we whisk you by helicopter to the Tremiti Islands, truly a spectacular sight. After some time to explore the beaches and free time for lunch, we return to our hotel for a late afternoon Pilates session, followed by another superb Pugliese dinner.(B, D)

 Day 4 Trani and Polignano a Mare

We start today with a sunrise Pilates session, after which we head to Trani, a lovely port town, once home to southern Italy’s largest Jewish community. We visit its stunning Apulian-Romanesque 11th century cathedral and wander the little streets of the old town, including sampling local delicacies. Trani is also a ‘citta slow’, where they emulate the slow food movement by slowing down the pace of life, just as we seek to slow down the pace of travel. Here you can enjoy a walk around and then lunch perhaps in one of the restaurants adorning the harbour. We then head out to see the unique, eight sided castle of Federico II, the Castel Del Monte. This castle dates back to the thirteenth century and appears on Italy’s One Euro coins.

We then continue onto the home of ‘Mr Volare’, Domenico Modugno, Polignano a Mare, for some free time before a surprise dinner. (B, D)

Chapter 2: Lecce – The Florence of the South

Day 5 Trulli houses and lunch with a local

We head inland today, to the land of the Trulli, Alberobello. Trulli houses are stone huts with conical roofs and are typical of the Itria Valley. Initially they were constructed as a way of avoiding paying taxes to the rich property owners, as they were originally temporary structures which could be dismantled quickly. After a wander and peek into the Trulli houses, we then go to Martina Franca for an aperitivo before heading to a local’s house for lunch. We then continue our journey south to Lecce for a late afternoon Pilates session, followed by a free evening.(B, L)

Day 6 Lecce guided tour including sampling local food and wine tasting

We start with a morning Pilates session, after whichwe set out to explore Lecce with a local expert who will take us to see Lecce’s famous cathedral and Roman amphitheatre among other things. Lecce is over 2,000 years old and is called the Florence of the South for its beautiful buildings of limestone. Ourwalk includes an opportunity to taste all the local delicacies such as puccia, the famous flatbreads for which this region is famous. The afternoon is free for further exploration followed up by an evening of wine tasting in nearby Taranto. The Salento region is famous throughout Italy for its wines, traditionally the red grape variety, thanks to the fertile soil of this area. This evening we will have a chance to learn more about the art of winemaking, followed by a tasting and supper.(B, D)

Day 7 Beach day in Porto Cesareo

Puglia’s beaches have sea to rival the Caribbean, so today we will head to one of her most famous beach resorts, Porto Cesareo.

We begin with a beach Pilates session, followed by smoothies at the beach.

Then we will have the opportunity to swim and relax, perhaps taking refuge from the midday sun in one of the cafes that line the beaches.

In the late afternoon we return to Lecce as you by now have become experts in all things Pugliese, and we will put your knowledge to the test, as we will enjoy a cookery lesson where you can discover more of the history of Pugliese food and the traditions, followed by the best part, the eating. (B, D)

Day 8 Departure

Time to say arrivederci Italia (until the next time).

Private transfers to the airports of both Bari or Brindisi, dependent upon where you are flying from. (B)

INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

Accommodation & Services:

  • 4 nights in the Bari province and 3 nights in Lecce.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotels/resorts.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • We will be visiting: the Gargano region, Tremiti Islands, Trani, Castel Del Monte, Alberobello, Martina Franca, Altamura, Polignano a Mare and Lecce.

Food & Beverages:

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated) (B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

 Entrances & Tickets:

  • Lecce cathedral
  • Roman amphitheatre in Lecce
  • Castel Del Monte

Guided Tours:

  • Castel Del Monte
  • Lecce
  • Trani
  • Gargano region
  • vineyards wine tour

Activities:

  • helicopter ride to Tremiti islands
  • hands-on cooking class and supper
  • outdoor sunset yoga session
  • outdoor morning yoga session
  • guided tasting tour of Lecce
  • guided tour of Traniincluding sampling local delicacies
  • visit to Castel Del Monte
  • visit to local for lunch
  • vineyards wine tour
  • guided trek through the Gargano with picnic lunch
  • A surprise (we are, after all, children at heart)

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

  • Flights not included. I suggest that you book flights to Bari and then out of Brindisi, or, alternatively, round trips to Bari.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visas, where applicable. (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

 

Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.

Food Glorious Food: From Venice to Florence

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Food, Glorious Food: From Venice to Florence

 “Life is a combination of magic and pasta”

(Fellini)

 I couldn’t agree more and the tour is designed with this in mind. You begin in Venice (the epitome of magic), known for its tiramisùcichetti and iconic drinks. Italy’s most famous food region is that of Emilia-Romagna (home to Bologna, also known as ‘La Grassa’ (aka the Fat One) and tortellini pasta). Parma (famous for parmesan cheese and ham) and Modena (home of balsamic vinegar), are two other food havens in this province. You end the tour in Tuscany, a region drenched in fabulous olive oil and Chianti wine. Buon appetito!

Venice

Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” (Truman Capote)

Day 1 La Serenissima

Arrive with slightly fewer jewels than Marco Polo at the airport bearing his name and head to your centrally located Venetian hotel to check in and enjoy some relaxation time. This evening, sample your first aperitivo before we begin our fine dining, Italian style, at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 2 Venice Highlights

Today a guided tour of Venice includes an opportunity to sample local specialities such as the baicoli cookies, as well as a visit to the Doge’s palace.  It ends in the most Venetian of ways: on a gondola. Lunch and the afternoon are free for you to continue your tasting, be it food, wine or Venice’s many artistic offerings. Venice and the Veneto are home to some of Italy’s most famous drinks, such as the Bellini, the iconic peach juice and prosecco combination, named after the pink in Giovanni Bellini’s paintings. This evening sample this and several of the drinks we associate with Venice at one of her best hotels, followed by dinner at one of Venice’s best restaurants. (B, D)

Day 3 Burano

Today we head to Burano in private water taxis, for a wander around the famous colourful houses and a chance to sample some of the island’s famous bussola cookies. Return to La Serenissima (Venice’s nickname) via motor taxi, for free time for lunch and an afternoon’s wandering at your leisure. Tonight we have our final Venetian dinner before it’s time to say, in the words of the locals, “Ciao Ciao Venezia”; the word ciao is of Venetian origin. (B, D)

Emilia-Romagna 

You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”   (Verdi)

Day 4 Ravenna to Parma

Ravenna is famous for its amazing Hellenistic-Roman mosaics and for being the final resting place of Dante.  It is to Ravenna that you head this morning. Upon arrival enjoy a typical cappuccino and cornetto Italian second breakfast, followed by a guided tour of the town, including a visit to the mosaics. A light lunch of the local speciality follows. You then head to Parma where you can settle into the hotel, before you head out to dinner and a stroll around the town. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Parma Cookery Lesson

This morning you stay in Parma for a cookery lesson where you will prepare lunch from local goodies. The afternoon will be spent digesting and exploring Parma with a local guide before free time to perhaps sample some more of Parma’s goodies. (B, L)

Day 6 Regional Specialties & Ferraris

Today you are off to Pavarotti’s home town of Modena, to enjoy a guided tour featuring the famous local sweet speciality, followed by a lunch which comprises the food for which this region of Italy is so famous: Parma ham, Balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese among others.  You then head to Maranello, to the Ferrari museum, home to the world’s most iconic motor car where you will have the opportunity to test drive one of the cars before returning to Parma in the evening. Evening at leisure. (B, L)

Day 7 Mantua

Surrounded by water, known as Italy’s sleeping beauty, Mantua truly is a fairy-tale city. This was also the place that Monteverdi, the father of opera, premiered his opera Orfeo. In 2017 it was the European Capital of Gastronomy, making it an ideal stop on our Gastro tour. You will enjoy a guided tour, a cookery lesson and an evening meal here before returning to Parma. (B, L, D) 

Tuscany

The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.”  (Mark Twain)

Day 8 Bologna to Florence

Nicknamed La Grassa, (‘the fat one’), Bologna is an absolute must on any foodie’s route. Home to tortellini – said to be based on Venus’s navel – and the famous ragù meat sauce, today’s tour will finish at a local restaurant where you can lunch on such specialities. This afternoon you continue on your way to Florence where you have a free evening. (B, L)

Day 9 Florence

Having feasted your eyes upon Goliath’s foe, your morning tour of Florence continues with a visit to the local food market to feast upon Tuscan goodies.  Lunch and afternoon are free. Dinner is an opportunity to sample yet more local dishes, accompanied by the wine for which this region is world famous. (B, D)

Day 10 Siena & a Tuscan Vineyard Tour

Siena is best known for its famous Palio horse race which takes place in the ‘Piazza del Campo’ twice a year. Today you will visit this lovely town and its square, which opens up like a golden fan as the sun creeps in. You will have free time to explore the town and have lunch. You then continue to a wine tasting in a typical small Tuscan town, where you will also have dinner to help absorb some of the wine’s effects! (B, D)

Day 11 Departure

Time to say Arrivederci Italia, until we write our next travel story together. (B)

Included in your trip:

Accommodation & Services:

  • 3 nights in Venice, 4 nights in Parma and 3 nights in Florence.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • You will be visiting: Venice, Ravenna, Modena, Mantua, Maranello, Parma, Bologna, Florence and Siena.

Food & Beverages: 

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

Entrances & Tickets: 

  • Doge’s Palace
  • Ravenna’s mosaics
  • Accademia
  • Santa Croce

Guided Tours:

  • Venice
  • Parma
  • Ravenna
  • Bologna
  • Mantua
  • Modena
  • Siena
  • Florence

Activities:

  • gondola ride in Venice
  •  2 cookery lessons
  • wine tasting
  • aperitivi tasting
  • Ferrari test drive
  • A surprise (we are children at heart after all)

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

  • Flights not included. I would suggest flying into Venice and out of Florence or Pisa.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.

A Tale of Two Lakes: From Garda to Como

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A Tale of Two Lakes:

The Italian Lake District

 One could live and die here. The outlook seems designed as a balm to the eyes. … the horizon is lined with snow and the foreground alternates between the graceful and the rugged — a truly Shakespearean landscape, all the forces of nature are brought together, with an overwhelming sense of vastness.”

(Gustav Flaubert)

Follow in the footsteps of celebrated authors such as DH Lawrence and myriad other authors, composers and poets, who were all attracted by the gentle loveliness of the Italian Lake District. Not only an area of outstanding natural beauty, this part of the world is also home to some of Italy’s best wines, olives and lemons, and you will indulge in all three. This particular story is designed to give you a taste of Como and Garda, with their two distinct flavours, garnished with the romantic idyll that is the city of Verona. You will also be feasting your eyes on Switzerland as you head out on the Bernina Express, to view some truly spectacular scenery, and if that weren’t enough we have thrown in some chocolate making and eating for good measure. All that remains to say therefore is Buon appetito!

 

Benvenuti in Italia! Lake Como

Day 1 Lake Como

Upon arrival in Milan you will be whisked away to your hotel on the shores of glacial Lake Como. Authors, actors and other notables have loved the area since ancient Roman times and it’s easy to see why: lush alpine foothills, sparkling blue water and fairytale villages make the Lake Como region an ideal base for exploration. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and enjoy lovely lakeside Como, followed by your first aperitivo, the most Italian of traditions. As the town of Valdobbiadene is nearby, where proseccois produced, you are in the right place for a quintessential Italian spritz. (D)

Day 2 Villa del Balbianello & Bellagio

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, we will head out to explore some of the area’s most iconic sights. A private boat ride through the calm, glistening waters will first take us to one of the Lake’s finest villas: the Villa del Balbianello and its stunning terraced gardens, where you’ll have time to enjoy the views and soak in the atmosphere. Then we’re off across the lake in our private boat to the ‘pearl’ of northern Italy, beautiful Bellagio. We’ll dock here for lunch and an afternoon of wandering and shopping through the picturesque streets of the historic center. Situated on a cape that divides the southern part of Lake Como, Bellagio has always been favored by nobility, while villas, gardens and luxury shops abound. Return to hotel at leisure on the ferry (tickets provided). (B, L)

Chapter 2: A Day in the Italian-Swiss Alps

Day 3 The Bernina Express to Switzerland

This morning we have the opportunity to enjoy a luxury of a bygone era: train travel across the Alps. We board the famed Bernina Expresstrain which will take us on a journey through lush alpine foothills to soaring peaks and mountain passes. Stunning snow-capped summits and glacial lakes surround the tracks of this slow ‘express’ train, that allows its passengers to savor every moment of the ride. We’ll disembark in St. Moritz, the jet set ski resort nestled in the Engadine region of Switzerland, where the sun shines for an incredible 300 days a year and the locals speak an ancient Latin-based language called ‘Romansch’. Since we’re in chocolate country, our first stop will be for a chocolate workshop and tasting in a renowned chocolate producer’s laboratory. Free time to enjoy the town and a stroll along its lake follows, before we return to Lake Como via private transport through more breathtaking alpine landscapes. (B, D)

Day 4 Free Day on Lake Como

Today is your day to enjoy Lake Como like a local. Take advantage of your full day ferry pass to explore even more of the lake.Stroll, relax in a lakeside cafe, sip an Aperol Spritzor caffe macchiato, enjoy a deliciously lazy Italian lunch. Summer is the season that suits the Italian Lake District the best, and today you can indulge in its stunning natural beauty and laid-back Italian lifestyle. Meet this evening for our final Lake Como dinner. (B, D)

Lake Garda

Day 5 Bergamo & Riva del Garda

After breakfast we depart for Bergamo Alta, the charming old town of Bergamo proper and a jewel in the Italian crown. We’ll drive up to its hilltop setting and have a stroll through its cobblestoned alleyways, packed with medieval and Renaissance buildings, which attest to the town’s past grandeur. Yet this historic city is still a vibrant place, where locals go about their daily business, as bakers, butchers and other shops now occupy the street level of these magnificent edifices. Here we will enjoy a second typical Italian breakfast of cappuccino and pastries from one of its famous bakeries that line the streets; we are on vacation after all. Following our brief orientation walk, you’ll have free time for lunch and further independent exploration, before we meet up to continue on to our final destination today: Riva del Garda. Dinner this evening will be on the shores of Lake Garda. (B, D)

 

Day 6 Lake Garda

DH Lawrence wrote of Lake Garda that ‘the waters of this lake are the loveliest colours imaginable’ and today you will see why, as we have a private boat tour of the lake planned. Formed by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age, this most pristine of Italian lakes offers panoramic views of the Dolomites that hold it within its embrace. Our first stop will be lakeside Malcesine, dominated by its 13th century castle. We’ll have the opportunity to stroll the cobbled medieval alleys, shop and have a mid-morning cappuccino. After Malcesine, we board our boat and head across the lake to Limone for lunch in a wonderful restaurant overlooking the water. Limone is Europe’s northernmost lemon growing region, so what better way to finish the day than with a visit to the old ‘greenhouses’ and a special tasting of homemade limoncello. We then return to Riva del Garda for a free evening.(B, L)

 Day 7 Free Day on Lake Garda

Today take advantage of your one day ferry pass and enjoy the opportunity to discover yet more of Lake Garda. Perhaps a gentle stroll around Lazise or Peschiera, or a shop and bite to eat in the town of Garda. The day is yours to really sample La Dolce Vita, Garda style.

Verona: City of Love

Day 8 Verona

After a leisurely breakfast this morning we’ll depart for Verona by private transport, where we’ll check in to our hotel and then meet our guide for a relaxing walking tour of the main ancient and medieval sites, during which we’ll get to taste some of the town’s signature Sbrisolona crumble cake at the famed ‘Dolce Locanda’pasty shop. The imposing Roman Arena, gorgeous Piazza delle Erbe, and Lamberti Tower with its view over the terracotta rooftops, await.

Free afternoon to try more of the town’s local specialties and get lost in the bustling, boutique-filled cobblestoned streets of one of Italy’s most charming gastronomic and shopping centers. We’ll meet up again in the early evening for dinner.(B, D)

 

Day 9 Soave

This morning is free for you to enjoy independent exploration in Verona, perhaps visiting the House of Juliet or exploring the Castelvecchio museum and medieval castle. We’ll meet later in the afternoon for an unforgettable excursion to a nearby hilltop village which is home to perhaps the best known of Italian white wines: the legendary Soave.  Production of the wine takes place in the fertile region that lies to the east of Verona, and today we will have the opportunity to visit one of the village of Soave’s most impressive wineries for a tour and tasting. Free time to enjoy the village with its sweeping views of the surrounding wine-growing fields before we meet up again and head to our farewell dinner. Return to Verona after dinner. (B, D)  

Day 10: Departure from Milan Malpensa

We’ve boated across glacial lakes, ridden a train through the snow-capped Alps and experienced the best of what this stunning corner of northern Italy has to offer. We bid you arrivederci and alla prossima, until the next time. (B)

INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

Accommodation & Services:

  • 4 nights in Lake Como area, 3 nights in Riva del Garda and 2 nights in Verona.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotels.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip.
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • We shall be visiting: Lake Como, Bellagio, St. Moritz, Bergamo Alta, Riva del Garda, Malcesine, Limone, Verona, Soave.
  • One day Lake Como ferry pass.
  • One day Lake Garda ferry pass.

Food & Beverages:

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner, unless otherwise stated (B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

 

Entrances & Tickets:

  • Villa del Balbianello
  • Private boat on Lake Como
  • Ferry from Bellagio to hotel
  • Bernina Express train
  • Private boat on Lake Garda
  • Limone lemon grove entrance
  • Soave winery

 

Guided Tours:

  • Villa del Balbianello
  • Verona
  • Soave winery

 

  • Activities:
    • private boat ride on Lake Como
    • Villa del Balbianello tour
    • Glacier Express train journey to St. Moritz, Switzerland
    • chocolate workshop & tasting in Switzerland
    • private boat ride on Lake Garda
    • lemon grove visit & limoncello tasting in Limone
    • Sbrisolona crumble cake tasting in Verona
    • winery visit & tasting in Soave
    • a surprise (we are all children at heart after all)

     

     

    There are no ‘optionals’ for sale.  Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.

     

    NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

    • Flights not included. We suggest that you book flights into and out of Milan Malpensa Airport.
    • Travel insurance.
    • Visas, where applicable. (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

     

    Special itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

    Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved

Coast to Coast: Puglia to Campania

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Coast to Coast: Puglia to Campania

You may have the universe if I may have Italy.

(Verdi)

Italy is largely surrounded by sea and is home to some of the loveliest small beaches and coastline as a consequence. The Pugliese people are thought by many to be the nicest people in Italy and it is here that we begin our story, learning how to cook like a local, drink like a local and go at the pace of a local: slowly. Whilst the Italians may speak at a rate of knots, for everything else, particularly eating, they like to take their time. After our sojourn in Puglia, we leave for Campania, a region known by the Romans as ‘Felix Campania’, or ‘Happy Campania’, because it was where they came to holiday. Nowadays most famous for its Amalfi coast and limoncello, it remains the place that everyone comes to holiday and equally, remains happy, no doubt helped in no small measure (pun intended), by the flowing limoncello. Buone vacanze!

 

Puglia

Day 1 Puglia Seaside

Today you will be whisked away to your hotel where there is time to check in, relax, perhaps enjoy some time by the pool before we head out to dine on some of the foods for which Puglia is well-known. (D)

Day 2 Lecce & Pugliese Cookery Class

Today we head off to visit the Florence of the South: Lecce. Here we will have a guided visit including tastings of the typical Pugliese snacks as we walk around the city. Lunch and the early afternoon are free, and then we return to our hotel for some relaxation before heading out for a Pugliese cookery class. (B, D)

Day 3 Caves,Trulli Houses & Olive Oil Tasting

The Grotte de Castellane are a geographical wonder and we head here this morning, ready to be impressed by the huge stalagmites and stalactites. We then head over to the Alberobello to see the Trulli houses, possibly Puglia’s most famous site. Lunch includes an olive oil tasting (Puglia produces over 40% of Italy’s olive oil production) and then the afternoon is at your leisure. This evening we head off to sample local Pugliese wines, with some local cuisine to help soak up the effects. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Beaches & ‘La Città Bianca’

Today we are off to visit some of the loveliest beaches and small towns around Otranto, then return via Ostuni where we will stop for a wander and to enjoy some aperitivi.  Dinner this evening is in a nearby town. (B, D)

 

Campania

“Travelling – it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller.”

(Ibn Battuta)

Day 5 Matera to Sorrento

This morning we visit Matera to see, among other things, the Sassi (cave like dwellings) for which it is so well known. We will have a guided tour, stopping for the typical Italian breakfast of cappuccino and cornetto, and then will finish with our final Pugliese lunch before continuing on our way to Sorrento. Dinner is at one of the many great fish restaurants in this area. (B, L)

Day 6 Private Sail to Capri & a Pizza-Making Lesson

Today we head out on private boats, complete with alcohol and picnic, to enjoy the island of Capri and the green/blue waters for which she is so well known. Having spent the day at sea, we then make our way to an agriturismo where we shall learn about mozzarella making, for which this area is famous, and where we won’t sing for our supper, but we will make our own pizzas. The pizza Margherita was named after Queen Margherita in honour of her visit to Naples in 1889. (B, D)

Day 7 Naples & Pompeii

“Vedi Napoli e poi muori.” or “See Naples and Die.” (Goethe)

It was thought that you could see the city of Naples and then die happy that you had seen the most beautiful place in the world. This morning’s visit to the great city includes a stop at one of her most famous cafes where we will sample some of her sweet treats, along with the ubiquitous cappuccino. We then will enjoy lunch with a view, before heading over to Pompeii to visit the ancient site. This evening you are at your leisure. (B, L)

Day 8 Sorrento, Amalfi & Positano

This morning and for lunch you have free time in Sorrento. Enjoy shopping in her little streets, perhaps get some sandals made or enjoy a gelatofrom the famous Primavera gelateria. We then head out to visit the lovely towns of Amalfi and Positano, where we will also enjoy an aperitivo or two with a view. Dinner will be out in Positano. (B, D)

Day 9 Departure

Time to say ‘Ciao ciao’ Italia, or ‘Arrivederci’, until we write our next travel story together. (B)

Included in this trip:

 

Accommodation & Services:

  • 4 nights in Monopoli or Polignano al Mare, and 4 nights in Sorrento.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • We will be visiting: Monopoli, Ostuni, Polignano al Mare, Otranto, Lecce, Matera, Sorrento, Naples, Amalfi, Positano and Capri.

 

Food & Beverages: 

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

 

Entrances & Tickets: 

  • Naples National Archaeological Museum
  • Pompeii
  • Grotte Castellane

 

Guided Tours:

  • Naples (incl. National Archaeological Museum)
  • Pompeii
  • Lecce
  • Matera

 

Activities:

  • trip by private boat including alcohol
  • pizza lesson with visit to agriturismo
  • cookery lesson
  • aperitivi tasting
  • a surprise (we are children at heart, after all)

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

  • Flights not included. I would suggest flying into Bari or Brindisi and out of Naples.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

 

There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.

Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.

A City with a View: Florence

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“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.”

(Orson Welles)

For many Italy is more than a country, it represents escapism. The same can be said for Florence. It’s hard not to think of Lucy Honeychurch’s quest for ‘a room with a view’, in the book bearing the same name. Or to think of Dante, the father of the Italian language. Or Boccaccio’s Decameron, set in Fiesole, overlooking Florence. Or to conjure up images of beautiful narrow streets which open up into piazzas crowned with jewels such as Santa Croce. And that is before we touch upon the Renaissance and its impact upon the city.  In the words of John Ruskin, “You will begin to wonder that human daring ever achieved anything so magnificent”. It is therefore only appropriate to base ourselves in this city of Italian glories, from where we will venture out to sample some other Tuscan delights, but where we will also have time to digest all this city has to offer, at the leisurely pace of any good Italian meal.

 

Day 1: Arrival

Upon being met at the airport, you will be whisked away to the hotel where you can relax and unpack before we meet for our first aperitivi and then a brief walk to dinner, followed by an early night to ensure you are ready for the adventures ahead. (D)

 

Day 2: Tuscan Specialties & Pizza Making

The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo” (Mark Twain)

It’s hard not to admire the view in Florence, but we don’t want you to feast merely with your eyes, we want you to feast upon the local delicacies. As such, once you have gazed upon David, we will introduce you to some Tuscan specialities as part of the tour. The afternoon is free in order for you to digest what you have seen and eaten. If you wish to see some of the pearls of the Renaissance, the Uffizzi gallery is an absolute must.  This evening learn how to make pizza the proper Italian way and then, as a reward for your efforts, enjoy eating it. (B, D)

 

Day 3: Siena & Tuscan Vineyards 

The jewel in the Tuscan crown has to be Siena, a city as famous for its beautiful Piazza del Campo, which opens up like a golden fan as the sun creeps into the square, as for its Palio horse race which takes place in that same square. We head out there for a late morning guided visit followed by free time for lunch and further wandering, before making our way to a small Tuscan town for some wine tasting and dinner to help soak up the alcohol! (B, D)

 

Day 4: Tuscan Cookery Class

Now that you are connoisseurs of Italian cuisine, it’s time to become chefs, as today we learn how to prepare some Tuscan classics. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at leisure. (B, L)

 

Day 5: Fiesole Leisurely Lunch

Head out to Fiesole, famous throughout Italy as the setting for Boccaccio’s seminal work, ‘The Decameron’. Enjoy a stroll through this pretty little town followed by a long, leisurely, Tuscan lunch with a view.  Later this afternoon return to Florence for a free evening. (B, L)

 

Day 6: Ciao Ciao Italia

Today it is time to say Ciao Ciao Italia, or, more appropriately, Arrivederci Italia, until the next time. (B)

Included in this trip:

 

Accommodation & Services:

  • 5 nights in Florence.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • We will be visiting: Florence, Siena and a small, typical Tuscan town.

 

Food & Beverages: 

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

 

Entrances & Tickets: 

  • Accademia
  • Siena’s cathedral
  • Santa Croce

 

Guided Tours:

  • Florence
  • Siena

 

Activities:

  • pizza lesson
  • cookery lesson
  • wine tasting
  • aperitivi tasting
  • a surprise

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

  • Flights not included. I would suggest flying in and out of either Pisa or Florence.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

 

There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.

 

Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.

From the Florence of the North to the Florence of the South: Tuscany to Puglia

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From the Florence of the North to the Florence of the South:

Tuscany to Puglia

 

A man who has not been to Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what is expected a man should see.

(Samuel Johnson)

Your trip is about engaging all your senses. It is not about just seeing. After all, if you just wanted to ‘see’ Italy, you could stay at home and live vicariously through film and television. We want you to taste the fabulous food, feel the Tuscan sun upon your face and listen to the sounds of the bells ringing out across the towns and cities. In essence we want you to be touched by Italy the way we have been. Buon Viaggio!

 

Florence

The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.”   (Mark Twain)

Day 1 Florence

Upon being met at the airport, you will be whisked away to the hotel where you can relax and unpack before welcome drinks and a brief walk to dinner with an early night to ensure you are ready for the adventures ahead. (D)

Day 2 Florentine Culinary Specialties

It’s hard not to admire the view in Florence, but we don’t want you to feast merely with your eyes, we want you to feast upon the local delicacies and as such, once you have gazed upon Michelangelo’s David, we will introduce you to some Tuscan specialities as part of the tour. The afternoon is free in order for you to digest what you have seen and eaten and then this evening’s meal comprises some of Italy’s myriad famous dishes. (B, D)

Day 3 Siena

The jewel in the Tuscan crown has to be Siena, a city as famous for its beautiful Piazza del Campo, which opens up like a golden fan as the sun creeps into the square, as for its Palio horse race which takes place in that same square. Having enjoyed a lie in and morning at leisure in Florence, we will head there for an afternoon’s guided walk around, free time and then supper at a local restaurant in Siena before heading back to Florence. (B, D)

Umbria

For us to go into Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery.” (D H Lawrence)

Day 4 Tuscan Vineyards to Umbrian Villages

Having enjoyed all the fine dining in Tuscany, it is only fitting that we should enjoy some fine wining. As we depart for Umbria we will stop at a typical little Tuscan village to enjoy the excellent local wines. Upon arrival in the wonderful, ancient Umbrian town of Spoleto, enjoy a free evening to explore and perhaps take some time to compare the Umbrian wines with the Tuscan ones. (B, L)

Day 5 Truffle Hunting

Today we metaphorically don our Sherlock Holmes hats and head off in search of the elusive truffle. Fortunately we are to be assisted in our quest and as a reward for our efforts we learn how to prepare and then eat this famous Italian delicacy. The evening is free. (B, L)

Puglia

The Bold Adventurer succeeds the best.” (Ovid)

Day 6 From Umbria to the Gargano Peninsula

Today we head down to Vieste stopping off at Sulmona, the hometown of Ovid. Once there we will have an opportunity to sample the famous local sweets and then some free time for lunch.

We then continue down to the coast and to Vieste, in the marine resort of the Gargano. This evening enjoy your first Pugliese cena, a region famous for its orecchiette and sagne ‘ncannulate pasta. (B, D)

Day 7 Private Boat Tour of the Gargano Reserve

The only way to see the Gargano reserve is on a private boat. And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper boat trip if we didn’t have a bottle or two of prosecco to toast our voyage.  Lunch and the afternoon are at leisure. Dinner is an opportunity to continue our journey through Pugliese cuisine. (B, D)

Day 8 Polignano al Mare

This morning we head south to Polignano al Mare, stopping to see the famous Trulli houses on our way. Upon arrival in the town the afternoon is free, but this evening don your chef hats as we are off to make and eat pizza. (B, D)

Day 9 Matera

A morning at leisure, or the opportunity to enjoy a private yoga lesson to start the day, accompanied by lots of healthy smoothies and juices to help digest all the fabulous Italian food you have been eating. Late morning and lunch are at your leisure. In the mid afternoon we head to Matera for a guided visit of the lovely town, some time at leisure and then aperitivi and dinner before returning to the hotel later that evening. (B, D)

Day 10 Grotte di Castellane & Ostuni

Geological wonders abound with a visit to the stalagmites and stalactites of Grotte di Castellane, followed by continuing down the coast to Ostuni where we dine on yet more local cuisine. Some free time to explore this lovely little town before returning to Polignano for a free evening. (B, L)

Day 11 Lecce

A walking tour which comprises all the delights of the south, be they the sights of the Florence of the South (Lecce) or sampling the local food specialities.The afternoon is free for more exploration. Our final dinner is at a local hotspot. (B, D)

Day 12 Departure

It’s time to say Arrivederci, until the next time. (B)

Included in this trip:

Accommodation & Services:

  • 3 nights in Florence, 2 nights in Spoleto, 2 nights in Vieste and 4 nights in Polignano al Mare.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotels.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • We will be visiting: Florence, Siena, Spoleto, Sulmona, Vieste, Alberobello, Polignano al Mare, Ostuni, Matera and Lecce.

Food & Beverages: 

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

Entrances & Tickets: 

  • Accademia
  • Santa Croce
  • Siena’s cathedral
  • the Grotte de Castellane

Guided Tours:

  • Florence
  • Siena
  • Matera
  • Lecce

Activities:

  • trip by private boat
  • truffle hunting
  • pizza lesson
  • cookery lesson
  • wine tasting
  • Aperitivi tasting
  • private yoga lesson
  • a surprise (we are all children at heart, after all)

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

  • Flights not included. I would suggest flying into Pisa or Florence and out of Bari or Brindisi.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.

Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tutti Foodies in the Land of Tutti Santi

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 “For us to go into Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery.

(D.H. Lawrence)

 

Italy is known by the locals as ‘Il Bel Paese’, the beautiful country, and it truly is a blessed country, not only home to the Vatican, but also blessed by good food, wine, music and weather. This tour has been carefully designed to encourage an appreciation of all things Italian, from an understanding of its viticulture, to tasting the local cuisines and visiting places of significant religious importance. Without further ado, we present Authors of Travel’s Book of Tutti Santi.

 

Florence, Tuscany

You may have the universe if I may have Italy

(Verdi)

Day 1 Pisa to Florence

Upon arrival into Pisa we will make a brief stop at the Tower, a truly Italian phenomenon. We will then head to Florence to settle into the hotel and enjoy some relaxation time before going out for our first taste of Tuscan cuisine at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 2 Florence

“The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo” said Mark Twain and it is to his most famous design that we are headed this morning: the David. Having feasted our eyes upon him, we will then feast our palates upon the local specialities that Florence has to offer as we continue our guided tour, enjoying food from the San Lorenzo market to keep us going until lunch. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore yet more of this city and then we come together for a Tuscan feast at another local popular restaurant. (B, D)

Day 3 Siena & a Tuscan Vineyard Visit

One of Italy’s two patron saints is Santa Caterina di Siena and it is to Siena that we head for a morning’s guided visit. You will have an opportunity to go into the famous cathedral, enjoy a wander through the town and perhaps enjoy lunch in the celebrated Piazza del Campo which opens up like a golden fan as the sun creeps in through the day.  We then continue on to a small Italian village where we will learn about wine tasting, followed by dinner to help soak up some of the wine we have tasted! (B, D)

 

Perugia to Spoleto, Umbria

 

Day 4 Perugia to Spoleto

In Italian when you sign off emails or end a conversation to a friend or family member, you say Baci which literally means ‘kisses’. Some of the most famous Italian kisses come in chocolate form and today we will be taking you to learn how to make such kisses in the very place that they originate: Perugia.  On our way we will make a stop at the Santuario della Verna where Saint Francis, Italy’s other patron Saint, received the stigmata. Having visited the basilica we will have a coffee stop and then continue on to Perugia where we will have lunch and visit the chocolate factory to make our own kisses! We then head to beautiful Spoleto in the afternoon to enjoy exploring typical, small town Italy. (B, D)

Day 5 Truffle Hunting in Umbria

Truffle is so prized in Italy that it is not uncommon to see it presented to a restaurant on a little cushion for everyone to admire, prior to it being eaten. Today we shall be enjoying some of the lush green countryside for which Umbria is so famous; this region is called the cuore verde d’Italia (green heart of Italy). Having sourced our truffle, we will then use it to cook a typical Umbrian meal. Later in the afternoon we return to Spoleto for free time and dinner on your own.(B, L)

 

Assisi, Umbria to Rome, Lazio

Day 6 Assisi to Rome

Today we head to Assisi, the hometown of Saint Francis. Despite Saint Francis’s humble wish to be buried among the paupers and criminals, he is entombed in one of Italy’s most impressive basilicas. This basilica is all the more impressive for having been entirely restored, tiny piece by tiny piece, following a devastating earthquake in 1997. Giotto’s world famous frescos, which pay homage to Francis’s life, are just one of the many impressive sights to see in this lovely Umbrian town.  Following lunch and free time in the town, we continue our journey south to Rome where we will begin by visiting the Holy Staircase, which reputedly Jesus ascended to his trial with Pontius Pilate. We continue in the most Roman of fashions, by visiting the Colosseum. Having checked in to our hotel we will then continue in the Romans’ footsteps, by feasting on a banquet of Roman fare. (B, D)  

Day 7 Rome Highlights with Gelato

Rome is not like any other city. It’s a majestic museum, a living room to tiptoe through.” (Alberto Sordi)

Rome is home to the classic film ‘La Dolce Vita’ and there seems no more appropriate way to celebrate this than learning how to make their most famous sweet product: gelato.  We shall then head to Trastevere, Rome’s oldest and most traditional central neighbourhood, where we will have lunch and then visit Rome’s oldest church, Santa Maria in Trastevere. This afternoon we head over to the Vatican where once again it’s time to marvel at the genius of Michelangelo, this time in the Sistine Chapel. This evening is free to spend at leisure. (B, L)

Day 8 Christian Rome

Having climbed the Holy Staircase in the footsteps of Jesus, today we are off to the Chiesa del Domine Quo Vadis, where Saint Peter met Jesus, asking the latter where he was going: ‘Quo Vadis’? We then head to the catacombs, burial ground to some of the former popes, followed by a visit to the Pantheon, the embodiment of Roman history, stopping for a coffee and gelato, before continuing to stroll around this area.  Free leisure time follows before we come together for our final dinner. (B, D)

Day 9 Departure

In the words of the classic Italian song, it’s time to say Arrivederci Roma. We look forward to writing your next travel story together. Ciao Ciao! (B)

Included in this trip:

 

Accommodation & Services:

  • 3 nights in Florence, 2 nights in Spoleto and 3 nights in Rome.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • We will be visiting: Florence, Spoleto, Siena, Perugia, Assisi and Rome.

 

Food & Beverages: 

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

 

Entrances & Tickets: 

  • Accademia
  • Santa Croce
  • Siena’s cathedral
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Sistine Chapel/Vatican Museums
  • Catacombs

 

Guided Tours:

  • Florence
  • Siena
  • Vatican City

 

Activities:

  • cookery lesson
  • truffle hunting
  • wine tasting
  • gelato-making lesson
  • chocolate making lesson
  • a surprise (we are children at heart after all)

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

  • Flights not included. I would suggest flying into Pisa and out of Rome.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visas, where applicable. (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

 

There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.

Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

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Kingdom of the Two Sicilies: Naples to Sicily

“To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.”

(Goethe)

 

Italy is famous world over for exporting its pasta, pizza, cars and fashion, but some of its most famous and influential exports have been its citizens. Many of the ideas held about Italy around the globe, but particularly in the US, are derived from Sicily and Naples, because it was Italians largely from these areas who left to build their American dream. Indeed, there is a Sicilian proverb ‘Cu nesci arrinesci’, meaning ‘he who leaves his comfort zone, succeeds’.  Elena Ferrante, the Neapolitan author, has a book entitled ‘Those who Leave and Those who Stay’. Perhaps it is now time to go back and see whether nonna’s sauce is still going strong back in the motherland and practise some of those dialect words you grew up with.

 

Naples

Vedi Napoli e poi muori.

(“See Naples and die.”)

(Goethe)

Day 1 Sorrento

It was considered that you could see the city of Naples and then die happy that you had seen the most beautiful place in the world. It is here where you will arrive and we will make our way to our hotel in the seaside resort town of Sorrento, with plenty of time to settle in and relax.  Dinner is at a local restaurant. The night ends with our first limoncello because when life gave the Italians lemons, they quickly turned them into a fabulous beverage, as is their way. (D)

Day 2 Naples & Pompeii

Happy Campania’, was what the Romans called this region, because it was here that they came to holiday. On our tour of her capital, we will stop at one of Naples’ most famous cafes for cappuccino and pastries. Lunch is at one of her famous pizzerias and we then make our way to Pompeii to see how the Romans used to live. Return to Sorrento for an evening at leisure. (B, L)

Day 3 Private Sail to Capri & a Pizza-Making Lesson

Today we head out on private boats to enjoy a day trip around Capri, including a picnic lunch and alcohol to toast us on our way. Enjoy an opportunity to snorkel and swim in the green/blue waters for which the island is renowned. The pizza Margherita comes from Naples, named in honour of Queen Margherita for whom it was prepared in 1889. This evening we head to an agriturismo to learn about the art of mozzarella-making, visit the farm, enjoy aperitivi and then make our own pizzas. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Amalfi

A trip to Amalfi to visit her splendid cathedral. There is then some free time to explore the town and have lunch, before we return to Sorrento for a free afternoon there.Dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D)

 

Sicily

“On the sixth day God accomplished His work and, pleased with all the beauty He had created, He took the Earth in His hands and kissed it. There, where He put His lips, that’s Sicily.” 

(Renzino Barbera, Poet)

Day 5 Maratea & Taormina

Sicily has one of the richest and most diverse of histories thanks to a series of invasions by everyone from the Greeks to the Romans, Saracens to the Normans and the various reigning European monarchies. As one of her most famous authors, Tomasi de Lampedusa said, in possibly the most famous Sicilian novel, ‘The Leopard’ (‘Il Gattopardo’): “For over twenty-five centuries we’ve been bearing the weight of superb and heterogeneous civilizations, all from outside, none made by ourselves, none that we could call our own”. It is here that we head today, but we stop on the way for lunch and a wander in the picturesque town of Maratea. We then continue south, arriving into Taormina in the early evening. (B, D)

Day 6 Taormina & Siracusa

Were a man to spend only one day in Sicily and ask “What must one see?” I would answer him without hesitation ‘Taormina’. It is only a landscape, but a landscape where you find everything on earth that seems made to seduce the mind and the imagination.”  (Guy de Maupassant)

Morning is at leisure in Taormina. Perhaps an opportunity for you to visit the Greek theatre, or, alternatively browse the lovely shops. After lunch we head to Siracusa to visit the Temple of Apollo, followed by dinner at a local restaurant before returning to Taormina. (B, D)

Day 7 Etna & a Volcanic Winery

This morning we head in 4 x 4 on a trip to the top of Mount Etna. In order to cool down, there can be no better way than to sip on wines from the second biggest wine growing area outside of Tuscany. Lunch will help absorb some of the effects of the wine, but will do little to dampen the exhilaration of going up Etna. This evening is at leisure in Taormina. (B, L)

Day 8 Cefalù to Palermo

Today we make our way to Palermo, stopping on the way in Cefalù for free time to explore and have lunch. We continue on to Palermo where we check into our hotel and then head out for a typical Sicilian meal, Palermo style. (B, D)

Day 9 Palermo

Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow.” (Plato)

To put this theory to the test, our guided tour includes tasting the goodies at the famous local street markets. This is followed by free time to further explore the old town. We then meet up to sample yet more Sicilian cuisine, in a nod to the Sicilian proverb that food is more important than clothes, or perhaps more appropriately, food is more important than fitting into our clothes. (B, D)

Day 10 Trapani & Swimming in the Aegadian Islands

Today we are off to Trapani where we check into our hotel. Once checked in, we head out on a private boat to the spectacular Aegadian (Egadi) Islands where there is an opportunity to swim, snorkel or hike, or perhaps pay a visit to the prehistoric cave drawings. This evening enjoy a typical meal including local specialities such as cous-cous. (B, D)

Day 11 Erice & Marsala

After enjoying a morning’s guided visit of Erice, a town founded by the Phoenicians, there is some free time for lunch before we head to the salt flats. We then continue onto Marsala where we have the chance to sample this sweet dessert wine before heading back to our hotel for the evening and for our final dinner. (B, D)

Day 12 Departure

As D.H. Lawrence said, “anyone who has once known this land can never be quite free from the nostalgia for it.” I, too, hope that you will keep this part of the world in your hearts forever, and look forward to seeing you on your next trip. (B)

Included in this trip:

 

Accommodation & Services:

  • 4 nights in Sorrento, 3 nights in Taormina, 2 nights in Palermo and 2 nights in Trapani.
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • We will be visiting: Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii, Amalfi, Maratea, Taormina, Siracusa, Cefalu and Palermo.

 

Food & Beverages: 

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

 

Entrances & Tickets: 

  • Naples National Archaeological Museum
  • Pompeii
  • Erice salt flats

 

Guided Tours:

  • Naples (incl. National Archaeological Museum)
  • Pompeii
  • Cefalù
  • Palermo
  • Erice

Activities:

  • trip by private boat including alcohol
  • private boat trip around Aegadian Islands
  • pizza lesson with visit to agriturismo
  • coffee and cake pitstops
  • cookery lesson
  • wine tasting
  • aperitivi tasting
  • trip up Etna in 4x4s
  • a surprise (we are children at heart after all)

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:

  • Flights not included. I would suggest flying into Naples and out of Palermo.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Visas, where applicable. (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).

 

There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.

Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.

Copyright ©2018 – Lucy Loves Travel Ltd. All rights reserved.