Italy (Southern) tour, 14 days
This tour of Southern Italy takes you through the lesser known regions of Campania, Apulia and Calabria and the largest Italian island of Sicily. Ancient remains of the Greeks and Romans, medieval Norman ruins, a beautiful coastline and active volcanoes provide plenty of variety. The mouth-watering cuisine and fine wines from the Italian cuisine make the Dolce Vita Bella Italia complete. Djoser is an Italy tour operator who organizes trips for active travelers who like the convenience of guide assistance as well as freedom to explore on their own.
University Short Term, Study Abroad, Faculty-Led Programs Faculty members - use this pretested itinerary as a template for your short-term program. This trip can be extended and customized to cover Italy, North to South. We can work with you to build an outstanding program for your private group. We can add in activities which bring your area of study to life. Our quote for customized study tours will include: International flight, land program with breakfasts, selected dinners, private coach transport, local, English-speaking guide, city tours, activities and selected entry fees, tips, comfortable lodgings similar to accommodations displayed in this website, faculty members free of charge, staying in single rooms. Contact us regarding your program needs and preferences for January Term, May Term and Summer programs. Luke Neal firstname.lastname@example.org 877-356-7376.
- Naples - Pompeii - Maiori (Amalfi Coast)
- Maiori (Amalfi Coast)
- Maiori (Amalfi Coast) - Paestum - Trecchina
- Trecchina - Rossano - Tropea
- Tropea - Villa San Giovanni, boat tour to Messina Cefalu - Palermo
- Palermo, vistit Mon Reale
- Palermo - Segesta - Marsala - Selinunte
- Selinunte - Agrigento - Piazza Armerina
- Piazza Armerina - Etna - Taormina
- Taormina - Catania
Day by day
On the Road with Djoser
Djoser's active journeys offer an ideal balance of guidance and freedom. Our guide-assisted adventures cover the globe and feature wildlife, beautiful natural settings, historic sights and authentic cultural experiences. During Djoser travels, the daily schedule is not rigidly set.
The day-to-day descriptions describe the anticipated, or possible daily activities. Our travel days are obviously fixed, but each day the program may deviate depending on the preferences of the group, in consultation with the tour leader. The tour guide offers a program daily, with planned excursions. You are never obligated to participate. Those who desire more freedom may go out exploring or may dine on their own. Your tour leader can offer suggestions for safe explorations and fun restaurants. You will find that Djoser participants will take advantage of this flexibility. We believe a sense of discovery is an integral element of a great trip.
We offer the land program only. Below, you will find the day-to-day description days numbered to correspond with that of the Dutch participants (which includes their transit days from/to Amsterdam). This is so that when you are traveling and refer to this day-to-day description, all travelers will be “on the same page” or the same day number.
* NOTE TO FACULTY MEMBERS PLANNING A CUSTOM UNIVERSITY STUDY TOUR: If you are planning a study tour for a private group, use this description as your daily guideline. We can build in scheduled activities that highlight you area of study.
Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast
Day 1 Naples
Day 2 Naples - Pompeii - Maiori (Amalfi Coast)
Day 3 Maiori (Amalfi Coast)
We fly to Naples, the capital of Campania, a region rich in historical buildings, but also the birthplace of the pizza. Goethe said, “a man who has seen Naples can never be sad”. So your visit will be a happy affair! In the evening you can easily explore this vibrant city to get a first impression and see what Italian cuisine had to offer.
The next day you can explore the city in the morning on your own more extensively. Naples is beautifully situated on an unforgettable bay with much to see. The city has many museums, churches, palaces and monasteries. The National Archaeological Museum has an enormous collection of ancient artifacts; an absolute must. Also feast your eyes on the old neighborhoods with the famous steep staircase one of the small boutiques. You can enjoy Neapolitan contribution to world, the pizza. Traffic is chaotic but the city is a pleasantly explored on foot or by subway.
On the way south we visit the Pompeii excavations led by a professional guide. In 1979 the city was blindsided by a major volcanic eruption of Vesuvius, and covered with a thick layer of ash, so the place is wonderfully preserved. Pompeii is the birthplace of modern archeology. As early as 1594 human hands unearthed ancient architectural structures. The archaeological excavations give you a good impression of life in Roman times; you see among the expressions of people who were surprised by the eruption. During the walk you can see what the city and the houses looked like in ancient times.
On the Amalfi Coast mythology tells of sailors seduced by the song of the sirens sailors, after which they were killed in Sorrento, the "gateway to the underworld." Via a beautiful coastal road with beautiful views we drive to Maiori, a small village, beautifully situated on the famous Amalfi Coast. The village was founded in Roman times and you will find numerous historical monuments. From Maiori you can take a walk along terraced gardens with lemon trees and vineyards where you can taste the local specialty: limoncello.
From the Amalfi Coast, it is also possible to visit the island of Capri. This island been a place for fun and relaxation since Roman times. This is where the emperors Augustus and Tiberius built their villas. You can make this a wonderful walk to the Villa Jovis on Monte Tiberio, or wander quietly through the small, narrow alleys along white houses with romantic patio gardens and along picturesque churches.
Trecchina, Paestum, Roccella Jonica
Day 4 Amalfi Coast - Paestum - Trecchina
Day 5 Trecchina - Rossano - Tropea
Day 6 Tropeae
Interrupt the crossing from the west to the east of the Italian peninsula with an overnight stay in the small village of Trecchina, which seems stuck on a mountainside. Along the way we will have time to enjoy historical and cultural attractions.
We drive along the Amalfi coast, where you will always be treated to a magnificent view over the Gulf of Salerno. On a visit to Paestum, you find the best preserved remains of three temples of Greek antiquity. We also make a stop to take a look at a farm where the original mozzarella, buffalo cheese is made. You will taste the difference of the cheese made here and the cheese you get at home. We pass through picturesque villages like Rivello, where tourism is still in its infancy. Via a winding road we travel through the green hilly landscape to the east coast.
After the night in the atmospheric Trecchina, in the Parco Nazionale del Pollino, we drive to the east coast. En route we visit Rossano with a wealth of religious heritage. The town is the seat of a Catholic archbishop and has a notable cathedral and castle. Two popes were born in the city , along with St. Nilus the Younger. Also you will find many buildings here that recall the Byzantine era. This earned the town the nickname "Ravenna of the South”. The drive to Tropea runs along the coast of Calabria, the toe of the boot, which gives you many beautiful views. This stretch of coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea is called the Costa degli Dei, the " Coast of the Gods ", and particularly loved by the Italians as a holiday destination. The beautiful white beach in Tropea is perfect for a lazy afternoon or for reading a book. This is a seafood lover’s paradise; in the fish-rich coastal waters sardines, anchovies and tuna as well as pesca Spada (swordfish) are fished from of the sea, and found on the menus of the trattorias.
Day 7 Tropea - Villa San Giovanni - Ferry to Messina - Cefalu - Palermo
Day 8 Palermo
Day 9 Palermo, visit Monreale
We drive to the town of Villa San Giovanni. Below we cross, in the wake of Odysseus, through Scylla and Charybdis to Sicily. After a safe journey, we drive from the port of Messina continuing by bus to Palermo.
The largest Italian island offers many contrasts, from beautiful beaches in Cefalu, to the past glorious bustling capital Palermo, to Greek ruins in Agrigento and Selinunte, to rugged volcanic nature around Etna. Between some of the highest mountains of Sicily lie villages, farms and wineries scattered throughout the hills and valleys. Sicily obviously appeals to the imagination because of the notorious mafia past. The Mafia, also known as Cosa Nostra, was a criminal syndicate that in the mid-nineteenth century originated in Sicily. We stay overnight in the city of Palermo. Palermo offers the traveler infinitely beautiful. You will find many monuments in Byzantine, Arab-Norman, Renaissance and Baroque style. Also it pays l to roam between the markets and trattorias in the narrow alleys and small squares that are found behind the historic buildings. Of course there is plenty of fresh fish here!
We take the time to visit the 12th-century Cathedral of Mon Reale. This is a few miles from the Sicilian capital Palermo and is known as the finest example of Norman architecture. However, other styles are reflected in many elements such as the bronze doors of the hand of Pisano and Da Trani. The dazzling gilded mosaics are not to be missed. They are very valuable and renowned in the world.
Day 10 Palermo - Segesta - Marsala - Selinunte
Today, those who enjoy Greek antiquities will really enjoy this day. On the way we pass to Selinunte Segesta where we take a step back in time. We visit the remains of ancient Greece, where you can see the unfinished Doric temple with 36 columns. You will also find an old theater, partly carved out of a rock, which has perfect acoustics. The view here is breathtaking. A little further on we make a stop where you can taste the famous Marsala wine.
After an ode to the god of drink, Dionysus, we are surrounded by Greek atmosphere in Selinunte, which was once the built to rival Segesta. This was the most westerly town during the Greek domination, but it was destroyed by Carthaginians. After more conflict and earthquakes now only the ruins stand of three temples and they are culturally and historically a “must see”.
Piazza Armerina, Taormina
Day 11 Selinunte- Agrigento - Piazza Armerina
Day 12 Piazza Armerina - Mount Etna - Taormina
Day 13 Taormina
Day 14 Taormina - Catania
We interrupt the drive to the east coast of Sicily with an overnight stay in the interior in Piazza Armerina. With have enough time to enjoy the beauty that the island has to offer.
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento houses several cultural treasures, especially five temples that have been relatively well preserved. At Piazza Armerina we visit the Roman Villa of Casale, which was discovered only a few years ago. The villa with 50 rooms dates back to the 3rd and 4th centuries. In each room there is a mosaic floor with beautiful motifs and scenes.
As we drive towards Taormina we walk on the road to the Etna volcano. At an altitude of about 6233 ft you can walk on the slopes of one of the most active volcanoes in the world for avery special experience! The soil is black lava. WHere shoes with good tread fort his outing. An optional excursion by jeep or by cable car takes you to a height of about 9842 ft You have a magnificent view of the environment with different craters. There have be relatively recent lava flows.
We spend the last days of our trip around the coast of Taormina, where you easily can explore with public transport. Taormina itself has traditionally been a center of commerce and art, even at the time of the Norman, Spanish and French dominations. You see still see numerous relics such as ancient Teatro Greco, where you have a wonderful view of the Ionian Sea. But you can also relax on one of the beautiful beaches or just enjoy a real Italian cappuccino on one of the terraces.
From Taormina, it is possible to make trips to Catania, for example for last minute souvenir shopping. But if you haven’t had enough impressoins from ancient times, you can visit the archaeological park in the nearby town of Giardini Naxos, which showcases the first Greek settlement in Sicily. We end our journey in Catania.
Dates and prices
Departure dates 2018
|Land Begins||Land Ends||Price||Availability|
|May-13-18||$2,465||21 seats||book now >|
|May-20-18||$2,465||20 seats||book now >|
|May-27-18||$2,465||22 seats||book now >|
|Jun-24-18||$2,465||22 seats||book now >|
Conditions "Guaranteed leave"
Land program beginning and ending at hotels, unless otherwise noted. City to city transportation, hotel accommodation on bed and breakfast basis, excursions according to program, Dutch tour guide (speaks Dutch and English).
Flights from/to U.S. / Canada. Travel insurance, meals, entrance fees, optional excursions, gratuities, personal expenses.
|Extension hotel city #1||Naples|
|Double room per person||$63|
|Extension hotel city #2||Taormina|
|Double room per person||$63|
|Estimated out-of-pocket, weekly||$300|
|Deposit due upon booking||$512|
|* Deposit based on 25% of total costs or $500 minimum per person|
|* Balance due 60 days prior to departure.|
Accommodations & Meals
In Italy we stay in comfortable, often centrally located hotels. The neat double rooms have a private shower and toilet.
Some examples of our usual hotels (subject to change)
On this trip, breakfast is included. For lunch and dinner you can choose where, when and with whom you eat. The eating habits of the Italians differs slightly from ours. Breakfast is usually very light and consists of a sandwich or croissant with tea or coffee. The main meal takes place around 2:00 PM. Almost all restaurants offer a cheap daily menu. The pizza has its origins in Naples, but is also available elsewhere. In addition the various regions have their local specialties. Dinner is served in the relatively late evening meal compared to at home. You can get a pasta dish from $8 -; a three-course menu costs from $20-$30 . On the beautiful rolling hills of Italy, the vineyards and olive groves flourish. A fine wine or tasty olive oil also is among the culinary highlights.
Flights & Transportation
Land program begins: Naples 5PM
Land program ends: Catania – 11:30 AM
Subject to change
Booking your international flight - We provide the land package and transportation within the program as described. We do not arrange international flights from or to the United States or Canada. The land program will begin approximately two hours after the arrival of the Netherlands (NL) participants who will be arrive from Amsterdam. The land program will end about 4 hours prior to their scheduled departure time, which allows for time to get to the airport. The proposed flights for the Dutch participants and the land beginning and end times are listed in this section. They are subject to change based on flight delays or changes. We will keep you posted of any flight changes that we are aware of prior to the trip. When scheduling your flights, keep the following times in mind.
Dutch participants' proposed flights: (subject to change)
Arrival - Amsterdam-Naples 12:25-14:50
Departure - Catania-Amsterdam 15:40- 18:45
Before you book your flight - To avoid flight change or cancellation costs get email confirmation from our office that the trip has enough participants to be a “GO”.
Verify the spelling of your name-within 24 hours - When you book your flights, double check your flight records to confirm that your name is spelled on your ticket exactly as it appears on your passport. Some companies (for example, ORBITZ) will only allow a 24 hour window to correct any errors without penalty. You may incur heavy fees for changes, forfeiture of your flight ticket, or even worse, you could be denied entry to a border upon arrival.
Send us a copy of your flight itinerary - We will forward to the tour leader so they will know when to expect you at the hotel and when you will be departing.
Keep in mind hotel extensions - If the Dutch travelers arrive early in the morning, we recommend that you arrange to fly in the day or night before so you will be meet the group. Some trips involve an immediate transfer from airport to the next town so make sure you will arrive before the others so you don’t miss the first meeting or transfer to the next location. We can arrange an extension hotel night for you. Prices for hotel extensions can be found in the "Dates & Prices" section
If the Dutch participants arrive in the late evening - Should they arrive very late in the evening, the group will have their first meeting in the morning in the hotel lobby. You can check in earlier and relax or explore on your own.
Airport transfer to/from hotel (not Included) - If you will be arriving and or departing on the same flight as the Dutch travelers let us know. Then you can join them on the bus for the group transfer at no additional charge. Notify us in advance so we can alert the tour leader. If you schedule your flight at the same time as theirs, or later, you can join them on the group transfer to the airport at no additional charge. Otherwise, you can take an authorized taxi to the first hotel on the list we have provided for you. Private airport transfers can be very costly . If your flight is delayed, they are difficult to reschedule or cancel. With a taxi, you are not charged for waiting time or cancellations.
Local transportation - Throughout the trip we make use of a spacious comfortable air-conditioned bus. The distances are not great and the longest travel time is about five hours. Southern Italy has a good road system so we can cover many miles quickly. Please note that we will wind slowly through mountainous landscape.
The use of a private bus with driver enables us to determine where and how long we stop. We stop frequently along the way at attractions, to make a detour to visit a nice village or beautiful nature.We cross over to Sicily by boat. We explore large towns on foot but also make use of public transport for example, in Taormina.
The trip includes
- Land package beginning and ending at hotels, unless otherwise noted
- Tour guide (speaks Dutch and English)
- Transportation by air-conditioned bus
- Hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Visit Roman excavations at Pompeii
- Visit Paestum
- Visit Cathedral Mon Reale
- Visit Doric temple of Segesta and the theater
- Visit Valle dei Templi in Agrigento
A summary of all trip costs can be found on our "Dates & Prices" page. Prices may fluctuate throughout the year depending on currency exchange, gas costs, etc.
- Deposit due upon booking – See PRICES & DATES page. Approx 20% of starting land price
- Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date
- Payments by charge card or check are accepted
While you are traveling
ATMS: with the exception of the small villages there are virtually everywhere
Cash Accepted: Euros.
Credit cards: are accepted in many places.
Tipping - It is customary to tip for services rendered. The tour leader will organize a tip jar at the beginning of the trip, from which tips to drivers, guides, hotel staff are paid. Depending on the size of the group, each participant will be asked to contribute $40 to $50. This does not include a tip for your tour leader. Tipping the tour leader is appreciated and the amount up to your discretion.
** You will find a list of all trip costs in the "Dates & Prices" section, including your estimated out of pocket costs.
Freedom and choice are important elements of a Djoser trip. In addition to scheduled group activities, wherever possible, you may decide which attractions you wish to visit, and with whom. Unless otherwise indicated, entrance fees are not included in the price, so you have the freedom to make your own choices. One person may prefer to stroll through the market in search of bargains, while someone else may want to relax by the pool, go to a museum, or take a bike ride. Join the guide or break off with others in the group to explore on foot or with the local transport. Some attractions should not be missed, or they are not easily accessible, or are en route to our next overnight location and are therefore built into the program. In the "Dates & Prices" section you will find the estimated out-of-pocket, weekly expenses that have calculated in typical entry fees in addition to meals and other costs.
During our Italy group tour , the following excursions are included in the program:
- Walking Tour Naples
- Excursion to the famous ruins of Pompeii and tour conducted by professional Dutch-speaking guide
- Visit to the Greek / Roman temple complex of Paestum
- Stop in Rossano, Ravenna south. We take a look at the cathedral, Panaghiakerk, S. Marco and the Diocesan museum with the famous codex (closed after Sept 15 )
- Visit Monreale and Palermo city tour where we look at Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Quattro Canti, the Pretoria fountain, La Mortorana and the royal palace
- Visit temple at Segesta and Selinunte
- Visit temple valley of Agrigento and the Roman villas of Piazza Armerina
In addition there are the following optional excursions on our Southern Italy group tour:
- Visit to a cheese factory where the famous 'mozazarella di buffala' is produced. Tests, too! Ca. €
- Maori boat trip - Capri and vv € 35, -
- Boat trip to island Mozzia € 6, -
- Cableway Capri € 2.60
When you book a trip we will provide you with more details about necessary documents. Passports should be current and valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date. If a visa is required, you may need extra pages in your passport for your stamps. Check all visa requirements carefully and leave yourself plenty of time to send and receive documents before your trip.
Travel documents needed
NO VISA NEEDED. CURRENT PASSPORT NEEDED.
Visa & Passport Expeditor – For an extra fee, you can hire an expediting service to process your visa application. They will look over your paperwork and they can offer a faster return of your visa or passport. We recommend TRAVISA.
Health Issues & Insurance
Health - Check for the Center for Disease Control – Travelers information for recommendations. Keep in mind that they may recommend an inoculation or medication such as malaria pills, which may be necessary for one specific part of a country but not another, or for a particular season. Shots are expensive. Make sure to get only what is needed. We recommend asking your doctor for a prescription to combat a more serious intestinal disorder.
When you book a trip we will provide you with information regarding the usual recommendations for the region we will visit. You will be responsible to check with your travel clinic or physician to review your plans and to find out the most up-to-date recommendations and needs for your particular situation. Plan to get your inoculations four to six weeks in advance of your trip. Some offices may need to preorder the medicines so call in advance. It is wise to pay careful attention to what you eat. Also, we recommend you bring medicines such as pain-killer and for remedy for intestinal disorders (such as IMMODIUM) Bring a small first aid kit. Tweezers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, insect repellant, salt rehydration tablets. The tour leader will have a first aid kit.
Climate and altitude changes can sometimes cause illness. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Bottled water is readily available. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to dehydration and makes you more vulnerable to illness. Make sure that you get plenty of rest and enough food and drink during the trip.
Most people are recommend to get:
NO SPECIFIC VACCINATIONS RECOMMENDED
Insurance - For peace of mind, we recommend that you procure travel insurance. In the event of an illness or injury, an emergency evacuation can be incredibly expensive and you would want access to the best possible facility. Also, lost baggage or missed flights can mean added expenses. Even events at home may prevent you from taking a trip, such as a lost job or ailing family member. It is important to get travel insurance immediately after booking. Most companies have a brief window (within 10 days of booking) for coverage for a preexisting condition. You will be asked to provide us with travel insurance contact information before your departure.
You are free to choose your own provider. Over the years, we have recommended TRAVELEX. They offer a variety of plans and most importantly, they are responsive. Should you choose to go with TRAVELEX, you will contact them directly and the cost of your coverage will depend on the plan you choose. The cost will be based over the total cost of your trip and flights, and the amount is also subject to your age. Ask about the TRAVEL PLUS plan and the more economical TRAVEL LITE plan. * Arrange for insurance immediately after booking your trip so that you are covered for any pre-existing situation. TRAVELEX 1-800-228-9792
On our Italy tour you will find active, enthusiastic travelers of all ages. Join an international group with travelers from the Netherlands, Belgium and North America, who will be the minority group on these trips. Most of our trips range from a minimum of eight participants to a maximum of 20 or 22. You will find couple and singles on our trips. Feel free to call us if you wish to know the demographic make-up of a particular trips (number of singles and age range).
Minimum group size: 8
Maximum group size: 20
What to expect when traveling with an international group - Djoser, Inc. (the United States office) has been an Italy tour operator for over 15 years. Djoser, B.V. (the Netherlands office) has been a Italy tour operator for over 25 years. So together we bring vast experience. Most of our trips are arranged in cooperation with Djoser, B.V. in the Netherlands. Because they cater to the voracious travel appetites of the Dutch, we can offer a vast number of programs around the world with hard-to-find itineraries, with numerous departure dates.
On our Italy group tour, you will travel with an international group, with most participants from Holland and Belgium. The international make-up of our groups is the attraction for many regular Djoser travelers and adds another cultural element to the trip. Typically, there are only one to five North Americans per group. You will find that almost all of your fellow travelers have an excellent command of English and most are very willing to socialize. It’s a great idea to extend an invitation to a few travel mates for coffee or a drink early in the trip. They will appreciate your effort and this is a great way to break the ice. It will be easier for them to test out their English skills in a quiet, one-on-one setting. Group members tend to warm up to one another in a day or two. As with every tour group, compatibility has most to do with individual personalities.
The Dutch are experienced and hearty travelers. We attract travelers of all ages and we enjoy the mix! You will find our participants welcome opportunities for independent explorations in addition to group activities. No matter their age, Djoser travelers expect, and are up to lots of walking, hiking, biking, or whatever comes our way. The Dutch and Belgian travelers will fly as a group from Amsterdam. You will meet the group and tour leader at the hotel where you will begin the land program with the group.
Tour Leaders & Support Staff
Our trips will be guided by an experienced Dutch guide who speaks Dutch and English. He or she will be responsible for the organizational and technical aspects of the trip. He/she coordinates with the driver , hotels, and other vendors along the way. The tour leader has extensive travel experience and expertise as well as a comprehensive training.
A local guide will explain about the country: local customs, religious influences and cultural background.
Our experienced land representatives are situated in the destination country you will visit. We work closely with them and they function as the liaison between our office, the guide, drivers and hotels. They are also available in the case of an emergency and their number will be provided on your emergency contact list.
Climate & Geography
Italy has different climate zones, depending on latitude, altitude, distance from the sea etc. In general you can say that the Italian climate of the north to the south forms a transition from the soft and rainy climate of Western Europe to that of hot, dry Africa. Summers in southern Italy are generally hot. But you can feel the sea breezes, which cools things off. There can be occasional rain.
Our trips are organized with weather conditions in mind. On our website, we will provide you with a weather summary of the region: Check temperature and rainfall for specific cities on your trip, during your month of travel at worldweather.org
Photos & video
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