- Sicilian architecture
- Trulli houses in Alberobello
- 'Florence of the south'
- Historic Ostuni
- Rural Calabria
Secrets of Southern Italy and Sicily
Italy and Sicily
- Half board
Travel through Puglia and Calabria to Sicily
As this enchanting tour unfolds, you'll discover the rustic charm and unique culture of Italy’s ‘heel’, the region of Puglia. Journey south through remote Calabria, pausing in a European Capital of Culture for 2019 – Matera, before crossing the Messina Strait to Sicily. Stay at the foot of Mount Etna, enjoying a mix of included and optional excursions and days spent relaxing in the sun.
10 nights in hotels
20 meals: 10 breakfasts (B) and 10 dinners (D)
Saga Tour Manager
- Return flights and transfers
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
Included excursions and visits
- Guided tour of Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni
- Visit to the cave dwellings at Matera
- Altomonte orientation tour
- Visit to Archaeology Museum in Reggio Calabria to Riace warriors
- Godfather tour
- Visit to Lecce
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
- Day 1 UK-Bari-Alberobello
- Day 2 Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni
- Day 3 Lecce
- Day 4 Alberobello-Altomonte
- Day 5 Altomonte
- Day 6 Altomonte
- Day 7 Altomonte-Acireale, Sicily
- Day 8 Acireale
- Day 9 Acireale
- Day 10 Taormina and Mount Etna
- Day 11 Acireale-Catania-UK
Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri
Day 1 UK-Bari-Alberobello
Fly to Bari and transfer to Alberobello in Puglia (34 miles, one hour), staying three nights at the 4-star Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri (4Q).
The modern hotel sits among olive and almond trees in extensive grounds, and has a restaurant, bar, wellness centre and an outdoor swimming pool open in the summer months. All bedrooms have air conditioning, a satellite television, telephone, fridge, hairdryer and safe. D
Day 2 Alberobello, Martina Franca and Ostuni
Today an included tour visits the unique 'trulli' houses in Alberobello; Martina Franca with its baroque old town; and Ostuni, a traditional Apulian town. B, D
Day 3 Lecce
Join a full day included excursion to Lecce, the stunning baroque city known as the ‘Florence of the south’, which includes a visit to Cathedral, which is renowned for being masterpiece of Baroque art. B, D
Day 4 Alberobello-Altomonte
Travel to Altomonte in Calabria (147 miles, three hours and 30 minutes), via Matera – a European capital of Culture for 2019 – to see the intriguing houses and churches carved out of rock: ‘i sassi’. Stay at the 4-star Hotel Barbieri (4Q) for three nights.
The hotel overlooks the ancient ‘borgo’ or hamlet, with superb views of Pollino National Park, the largest in Italy. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool (weather permitting) and wellness centre (extra charge). Rooms are well-equipped but vary in size, and each has air conditioning, satellite television, telephone, and a minibar. B, D
Day 5 Altomonte
Join a morning orientation tour of Altomonte to see its cobbled streets, stone houses, and views of the surrounding valley and mountain ranges.
Spend the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps exploring independently or relaxing at your hotel. B, D
Day 6 Altomonte
Spend the day at leisure in Altomonte, or join an optional excursion to nearby Rossano. B, D
Day 7 Altomonte-Acireale, Sicily
Drive south to Reggio Calabria (150 miles, three hours), and pause at the National Archaeological Museum to see its famous bronze figures of Greek warriors, found in the sea near Riace. Board the ferry across the straits of Messina (25 minutes).
On arrival in Sicily, enjoy a scenic drive to Acireale, a coastal city at the foot of Mount Etna (52 miles, one hour). Stay four nights at the 4-star Hotel Maugeri (3Q+). The hotel is located within walking distance of the historic quarter, and facilities include a restaurant and bar. There are 59 comfortable bedrooms each equipped with a satellite television, telephone, individual heat control, safe, hairdryer, minibar and Wi-Fi (extra cost). B, D
Day 8 Acireale
Either relax in the sun or join an optional trip to Syracuse, a city founded nearly 3,000 years ago. B, D
Day 9 Acireale
This morning, join a guided tour exploring villages featured in the 1972 film, The Godfather. Visit the mountain villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro’, both used as filming locations for a number of iconic scenes, including Bar Vitelli. Enjoy free time to explore the narrow streets and ancient churches to get a taste of rural life in Sicily. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. B, D
Day 10 Taormina and Mount Etna
Join an included visit to picturesque Taormina and Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. From the lower level of Mount Etna, called Rifugio Sapienza (the Refuge), the Silvestri Crateri are within walking distance and you'll be able to admire the older frozen lava flows.
Continuing to Taormina, a guided tour reveals elegant mansions and palaces dating from the Middle Ages, and several interesting churches. B, D
Day 11 Acireale-Catania-UK
Transfer to the airport (37 miles, 45 minutes) for your return flight home. B
A full-day tour explores this charming town, which is known for its liquorice production. Here, you can visit the 11th-century Santa Maria del Patire monastery and see the Codex Purpureo, the oldest illustrated Gospel book. Continue to the ancient archaeological site of Sibari home to the Roman ruins of the ancient town of Sybaris. The inhabitants, the Sybarites, were known for their luxurious lifestyle.
Optional on 10 nights itinerary
One of the most fascinating towns in Sicily, Syracuse once rivalled Athens as the greatest city of the Greek world. More recent buildings have replaced much of the ancient city, but there are considerable remains of historic structures both in the archaeological area of Neapolis and on the promontory of Ortygia. This guided excursion includes a visit to the Archaeological Park, where you can see the remains of temples, tombs, a Roman amphitheatre and one of the largest Greek theatres in existence.
Optional on 10 nights itinerary