This Gran Italy tours will give you the opportunity to visit Italy from North to South and experience the diversity of our country.
From Milan to Sicily in 17 days
DAY 1 – BOLOGNA
Start of the Gran Italy tours. Arrival at Bologna airport, transfer to your hotel in Bologna. In the evening, Welcome dinner and Overnight.
DAY 2 - BOLOGNA
After breakfast at the hotel, meet with the guide and begin to explore the city. Your gourmet walking tour of Bologna begins under the city's famous leaning towers of Asinelli and Garisenda, where the fish market was originally located. Head off on a walk with your guide to the Palace of Mercanzia, where you’ll find all the major foods of the city on offer – from tortellini to lasagna, and friggione to galantine. From Via Caprarie you can access the Quadrilateral, a colorful area with both old and new shops featuring local fruit and vegetables. You’ll have the opportunity to taste local foods including Bologna ham, crescentine, Parmesan cheese, and wine. Your tour ends with a chocolate tasting at Majani, founded in 1796.
Overnight at hotel. (B-L)
DAY 3 – BOLOGNA - FIRENZE
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer by private vehicle to the station of Bologna, accommodation on the Freccia Rossa, first class and departure for Florence.
Arrival in Florence, transfer by private vehicle to the hotel. You will then enjoy a walking tour of the Best of Florence, exploring the beauties of the City by night. Medici Family in Florence and its intrigues. Banking, commerce, and religious influence led the Medici Family
to become one of the most powerful families in Florence, while tasting some of the best products of the
Florentine food culture such as a Gottino (glass of Chianti wine), a selection of traditional Salami, coccoli (deep-fried dough bites) and last a delicious home-made Gelato. The Medici story began when they migrated to Florence from a little town in Tuscany. Our professional guide will escort you on a tour across years of history safely preserved within the architecture, palaces, churches and art that were sponsored by the Medici Family. During the tour we will have the opportunity to observe Palazzo Medici, Palazzo Vecchio the most important civil building in the city; where will also discuss the open air sculptures found within the Loggia della Signoria. We will also observe the Pitti Palace which was home to the Medici family. Strolling along the banks of the Arno will bring us to Ponte Vecchio, a bridge famous for its beautiful gold jewelry; on the top of the bridge is the hidden Vasari Corridor, which allowed the Medici family to travel secretly and safely from their home at Pitti Palace to the government building, Palazzo Vecchio. Overnight at hotel in Florence. (B-D)
DAY 4 - FLORENCE. PISA, SAN GIMIGNANO, SIENA, CHIANTI TOUR/LUNCH AND WINE TASTING
After breakfast you will board a bus to discover the beauty of Tuscany and visit its enchanting medieval towns on a guided excursion. You reach Pisa and visit its stunning Piazza dei Miracoli, to admire the Baptistery, the Cathedral and, of course, the famous Leaning Tower. Lunch in a wine bar or restaurant and enjoy a wine tasting of renowned local wines as well as a traditional Tuscan dish. After lunch, the wonders continue with a visit to San Gimignano, the splendid Medieval town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then following the panoramic roads of the Chianti region, you will get to Siena, the city of the Palio Horse Race. Overnight at your hotel in Florence. (B-L)
DAY 5 - FLORENCE. DAY AT LEISURE: OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES
This entire day at leisure or you may choose from optional tour such as: exploring the treasures of the City like the Accademia Gallery and its David, or the Uffizi and its masterpieces. Or you might take a day tour to Cinque Terre or experience the Tuscan Countryside on a Vespa tour or Horse-back riding. Overnight at your hotel in Florence (B)
DAY 6 – FLORENCE - VERONA
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer by private vehicle to the station of Florence, accommodation on the Freccia Rossa, first class and departure for Verona.
Arrival in Verona, transfer by private vehicle to the hotel. In the afternoon meet your guide and walking tour of the historic center of Verona, stopping at the points of greatest historical-artistic importance: Juliet's House, Piazza dei Signori, the Herbs and Bra, Arche Scaligere and Arena, with visit inside, the Basilica of S. Anastasia, with the possibility of an internal visit, Castello and Ponte Scaligero. The time available will allow you to deepen your knowledge of the city, in its most characteristic corners, full of inns, small cellars and open-air works of art. Dinner and overnight hotel in Verona.
DAY 7 – ARRIVAL IN MILAN. BEST OF MILAN WALKING TOUR WITH APERITIVO
Breakfast at the hotel, private transfer to Verona Station, accommodation in Freccia Rossa, first class and departure for Milan. Upon your arrival, meet & greet your Tour Director and transfer to the hotel in Milan where your luggage will await you. Take the time to fresh up and meet your Tour Assistant before dipping into the beauties of Milan. Starting from your hotel begin your walking tour of Quadrilatero della Moda, the elegant fashion district that features famous streets like Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. Discover the best brands in the world, such as Gucci and Armani, in a tour of Milan’s top fashion boutiques and streets. You will visit imposing Duomo, the real symbol of Milan, admiring its extraordinary Gothic architecture. From there, you will go to the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, the world-famous La Scala Theatre, where world’s greatest musicians and opera singers perform. Next stop you’ll reach the splendid Sforza Castle by tram, the old fashion cable car going along the most charming streets of the historic centre. You’ll be stunned by the massive walls of the Castle, once a military facility. Finally, we will conclude our tour with a gourmet Italian Aperitivo. Sip on a delicious cocktail and savor an authentic appetizer, relishing this simple Milanese tradition. Overnight at your hotel. (B)
DAY 8 - MILAN. COMO LAKE AND BELLAGIO
After breakfast you’ll have the chance to discover the beauty of the Italian lakes! This charming experience includes the transfer by train from Milan to Como and a walking tour of the chic lake town of Como with your tour leader.
You’ll discover majestic white marble Duomo, walk along the elegant Via Vittorio Emanuele, the ancient medieval walls and the Romanesque Sant’ Abbondio Church.
If you also like shopping you love the beautiful and picturesque streets with traditional and local shops and products. Our walk continues along the lakeside promenade to reach Villa Olmo with its ornate garden and magnificent views of the lake and town. Then you’ll enjoy a boat-cruise on the lake to reach the charming village of Bellagio, pearl of the Como Lake.
Your One Day pass (Free boat circulation ticket) included will let you explore the area as you desire and for instance lose yourself id the magnificent Villa Carlotta botanic gardens or through the alleys of graceful villages. After the tour your tour leader will escort you back to Milan and overnight at your hotel. (B)
DAY 9 – MILANO - PALERMO
Breakfast at the hotel, private transfer.
DAY 10 – PALERMO & MONREALE
After breakfast departure to explore the Sicilian culture and cuisine. The itinerary begins with a visit to the Mercato del Ballarò, where you can see and taste the famous street food: panelle, arancine, croquettes and bread. You can admire the small sellers and the multicolored stalls, the wealth of fruit and fish, all among curious characters who scream to catch your attention.
After that you can visit Palermo which stretches along beautiful Tyrrhenian bay. Founded by the Phoenicians between the seventh and eighth centuries BC, it was conquered by the Arabs in 83, giving rise to a long period of prosperity. You will be enchanted by the wide avenues of the city, the old town and its Baroque buildings. You will visit the main attractions of the city: the Norman area, the “Quattro Canti” of the city & the baroque square of the cathedral. in the afternoon transfer by minibus to Monreale to visit the beautiful Byzantine style mosaics depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Return to the hotel in Palermo. Dinner in Typical Restaurant ,Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 11 –CANTINA FEUDO ARANCIO / AGRIGENTO Valley of the temples
After breakfast departure for the visit to the Cantina del Feudo Arancio: tasting of four different wines during a typical Sicilian soft lunch. Overnight in Agrigento.
DAY 12 – VALLE DEI TEMPLI & SANT’ANGELO MUXARO
After breakfast we will visit the splendid Valley of the Temples, UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by almond trees. After the visit we will travel to reach the hinterland of Agrigento, where on the top of a hill is the small village of Sant'Angelo Muxaro (old Kamikos). After the visits, your guide will take you to a typical bakery to taste the typical homemade biscuits. This walking route leads away from the classic tourist routes. Return to the hotel in Agrigento for a nap. In the evening, dinner in a traditional rural country house, where between Sicilian music and food of the ancient Sicilian traditions, in a familiar and festive atmosphere we will spend the evening. Overnight in Agrigento.
DAY 13 - SICILIA OUTLET VILLAGE / ORTIGIA SIRACUSA
After breakfast transfer to Sicily Autlet Village, the most prestigious Italian and international brands, over 140 shops, Gucci, Armani. D & G, and many other international brands. Day dedicated entirely to shopping. In the late afternoon continue to Syracuse. Hotel accommodation dinner & overnight Syracuse.
DAY 14 – ORTIGIA / NOTO / ESCURSIONE IN BARCA AL TRAMONTO
After breakfast visit of the Archaeological Park of Neapolis (Greek Theater, Roman Amphitheater, Latomie and Dionisio's ear). Continue to Ortigia where you will be enchanted by its historic center, dominated by the extraordinary baroque cathedral, but also the Fonte di Aretusa and the port.
Afternoon dedicated to Noto, the capital of Sicilian baroque where we can admire palaces, churches and convents including the Cathedral, Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata and Palazzo Ducezio. In the evening after 7.00 pm, a two-hour boat excursion along the Siracusan coast, including a dinner based on oysters, fish frit and wine. Overnight at Syracuse hotel.
DAY 15 – VISIT AT BIVIERE GARDEN / TAORMINA
After Brekfast in hotel, departure for Lentini to visit the famous Giardino del Biviere, a unique Mediterranean garden. The tour is held by the owner Princess Maria Carla Borghese. According to legend here Hercules, son of Zeus, gave as a gift to Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvest, the skin of the Nemean Lion he had defeated. Once he arrived in Lestrigoni, the little town where the Ceres lived, he created from dry and desolate land a lake that was named after him: “LacunusErculeus”. This lake, today surrounded by rich vegetation and animal life, was dried out in the 1930’s in order to defeat the malaria disease. Today, thanks to its local community’s love for plants, it has been turned into a unique and picturesque Mediterranean garden. The old south-facing port shows an extraordinary collection of plants of the Cactaceae variety growing on the carefully restored jetties to form a gangway of greenery. Princess Borghese will be happy to enjoy with you a cocktail . Transfer to Taormina. In the afternoon meeting with the guide and visit of Taormina. The historic city was founded around 1300 BC. Later it was used by the Greeks and Romans. Here we visit the Greek-Roman amphitheater, the Cathedral of Taormina, the Piccolo Teatro Odeon, the Palazzo Corvaia and we can take a walk on Corso Umberto. The guided tour will last about 3 hours. The afternoon will be at leisure. Dinner In hotel Overnight in Taormina.
DAY 16 – MT ETNA & GAMBINO WINERY – FAREWELL DINNER IN BOAT
After breakfast transfer to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe and one of the most visited destinations in Sicily. Famous and fascinating not only for the volcanic phenomena, but also for the breathtaking views and the different types of vegetation visible during the ascent. At the end of the tour we will visit Gambino Winery for the tasting of 4 wines accompanied by a soft lunch of typical Sicilian products. Free Afternoom . In the evening, farewell dinner, on a fantastic terrace, overlooking the bay of Taormina. Overnight in Taormina.
DAY 17 – WELCOME ITALY.
Brekfast in Hotel , transfer in Catania airport.
FROM BOLOGNA TO MILAN THE PRICE INCLUDES
• Arrival and departure transfer by De Luxe Minivan or
• Transfer from/to hotel to Railway Station in Bologna, Firenze, Verona and Milan
• Fast Track service, car/train , train/car
• 8 nights in Centrally located 4**** hotels
• 14 meals: 9 Continental buffet breakfasts
1 progressive dinner (Day 3)
2 dinners (Day 1 and 6)
1 lunch (Day 2)
1 wine tastings with light lunch (Day 4)
• High-speed train ticket from Bologna to Florenze, from Florence to Verona and from Verona to Milan in Business class
• Licensed local guides
- 2 hours for walking tour of Bologna (Day 2)
- 2 hours for walking tour of Florence (Day 3)
- 2 hours for walking tour of Verona (Day 6)
- 2 hours for walking tour of Milan (Day 7)
2 nights Hotel a Bologna :NH DE LA GARE 4*or similar
3 nights Hotel a Firenze : NH FIRENZE 4*or similar
1nights Hotel a Verona : HOTEL LEON D’ORO 4*or similar
2 nights Hotel a Milano : UNA HOTEL CENTURY 4* or similar
Extras • Tips • Entrance to the monuments• Optional excursions • Hotel city taxes must be paid on spot • Anything not mentioned in “Price Includes” • Drinks at meals
IN SICILY THE PRICE INCLUDES
Private air-conditioned Minivan Mercedes , as scheduled, including the transfers from apt / htl / apt
N. 8 Breakfast and Overnight in Hotel 4*;
N. 6 Dinners & N. 2 soft lunch
• Licensed local guides
Palermo & Monreale FD; Valle dei Templi 3 hours; Siracusa & Noto FD; Taormina 3 hours; Etna HD;
• Visit Winery Feudo Arancio and soft lunch with typical Sicilian products
• Sant’Angelo Muxaro village and soft lunch with typical Sicilian products
• Visit Winery at Mount Etna and soft lunch with typical Sicilian products
• Boat excursion and dinner in Siracusa
• Visit at Biviere Garden
2 nights Hotel Palermo: Hotel Plaza Operà 4* or similar
2 nights Hotel Agrigento: Hotel della Valle 4* or similar;
2 nights Hotel a Siracusa: Hotel Royal Maniace 4* or similar ;
2 nights Hotel a Taormina: Excelsior Palace hotel 4* or similar
Extras • Tips • Entrance to the monuments • Optional excursions • Hotel city taxes must be paid on spot • Anything not mentioned in “Price Includes” • Drinks at meals