Zooming-in on South Italy and Sicily
|In Sicily, the vehicles can be as colorful as the characters inside. (Photo by tour member Randy Ratzlaff)|
In this month's Tour News we're featuring two tours that have moved from the fringe to the center of our Italy tour program: South Italy and Sicily. Interest in this corner of Italy is way up. Why? Read on...
The Best of South Italy in 13 Days tour takes you through the slice of Italy that's richest in contrasts, from cities to farms, forests to beaches, rugged to glamorous, and historic to hip. It's also rich in sensory delights — the tang of sipping limoncello on the Amalfi Coast, a whiff of incense as locals remember their favorite saint, and local gossip belted out like open-air opera across ramshackle balconies in Naples.
Come along as we kick things off in the Eternal City of Rome and its emperors' palaces at Tivoli. From there we'll cross Italy's boot, discovering the wild beauty of the Gargano Peninsula and the Adriatic Coast.
Then we'll meander through untouristed country where the modern world is waiting on hold, the espresso pours like syrup and the buffalo-milk mozzarella couldn't be fresher. The final half of our adventure is a rich mix of must-see historic sites (Greek Paestum and Roman Pompeii), jaw-dropping vistas (Amalfi Coast and Sorrento) and raw, untamed energy (steamy Vesuvius and the urban jungle of Naples). You'll see a lot on this tour, so to help keep you rested we'll stay two nights at each stop.
After this trip, you'll never look at the map of Italy the same. Rick likes to say that if you've enjoyed Italy north of Rome — you'll love diving into the south! He's right, and here's your chance.
Our most exotic excursion in Italy — the Best of Sicily in 10 Days tour — treats you to the unique history, sights and culture of Sicily — where the influences of Italy and North Africa have mixed and simmered over the centuries, ready for us to serve up as an unforgettable travel experience.
Getting to Sicily is a breeze from every European airport hub, and you'll enjoy easy, direct airport shuttle service to our Palermo hotel, where our lively Sicilian adventure begins. In our ten days together we'll settle into what Rick calls, "Italy in the extreme": sun-bleached seaside towns, rustic mountain farms and villages — all in the shadow of an active volcano. You'll also have time to wander among some of Europe's most important Ancient Greek sites, and marvel at island architecture that whimsically blends Roman, Greek, Medieval, Baroque and Arab influences.
As you taste the island's bold red wines, shop to the songs of open-air market vendors, learn how traditional ceramics are crafted, lean through a daydream against a 2,500-year-old column, and peek into the yawning crater of steaming Mount Etna, you'll build an unforgettable bond with Italy's most endearing region.
Now you have a new problem: choosing which tour to take first!
South Italy and Sicily: Read
Sassy, Spicy Sicily: Rick writes about his pre-filming research trip through Sicily, and the cast of characters he met.
Palermo: Italy in the Extreme: Offering the traveler more — along any street — than any museum could.
Naples and the Amalfi Coast: Why this corner of Italy should be on everyone's must-see list.
Eating Your Way Across Sicily: Tour guide Heidi Van Sewell gives you a taste of what's to come.
Rave Reviews: Recent tour members sound off on what — and who — made them say, "Wow!"
South Italy and Sicily: Listen
Sit back and enjoy these audio clips from our Travel with Rick Steves radio shows:
Italy: North vs. South: Rick chats with guides Tommaso Pantè and Cecilia Bottai (48 min)
Naples and the Amalfi Coast: Rick chats with guide Nina Bernardo (35 min)
Sicily I: Travel Tips: Rick chats with guide Alfio Di Mauro (33 min)
Sicily II: Organized Chaos: Rick chats with guides Tommaso Pantè and Alfio Di Mauro (48 min)
Sicily III: Looking up Relatives: Rick chats with guides Tommaso Pantè and Alfio Di Mauro (23 min)
Listen to these audio clips and much more in our new Rick Steves Audio Europe app!