An Italian Odyssey - August 10-26, 2022 - $4549 per person
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An Italian Odyssey August 10 - 26, 2022
15 nights Few places on earth offer as much incredible history, scenery, culture, food, and ambience as Italy. If you’re looking
for the travel adventure of a lifetime come along with Your Man in Europe on an amazing journey that captures both ancient and modern Italy – from the very old in Tivoli Orvieto to the very current and hip Amalfi Coast and Capri – and then on to the marvels of Sicily! Included in your Italian odyssey is “the Eternal City”, Rome. Thrill at your discovery of romantic places that are too often barely touched on with other tours. Even if you’ve traveled in Italy before you will be delighted by the feeling that you’re a welcome guest – not just another tourist passing through.
August 10, Wednesday - Depart the USA on overnight flight to Rome, Italy. Plan to arrive by 10:00 AM on August 11.
August 11, Thursday - International flights arrive at the Rome Airport (FCO). We’ll plan to assemble our group by 11:00 AM at the airport. From there we’ll travel into central Rome and settle into our wonderfully-located boutique hotel where everyone will have a chance to grab a quick lunch on your own nearby, and explore the neighborhood, or just rest in the afternoon. Some guests will have already visited Rome on previous trips to Italy, but there are always new (or ancient) and fascinating sites to see in “The Eternal City”. In the evening we’ll enjoy a lovely “welcome to Italy” dinner together.
August 12, Friday – After a wonderful breakfast we’ll take advantage of the cool morning to enjoy an easy-breezy golf cart tour that’s sure to go to some places not on the usual tourist route, plus some not-to-be-missed sights like the Pantheon.
Our tour guide will drop us off at the fabulous Capitoline Museum. There we’ll have a very nice lunch on the rooftop terrace with one of the best panoramic views of Rome in the whole city! Afterward we’ll have a self-guided visit to the finest historical museum in Italy – spanning pre-Roman times to the founding of modern Italy. After returning to our quaint neighborhood, everyone will have time to stroll, shop, and find just the right place for a great Italian meal on your own. Or pick up some goodies at one of the nearby markets for a picnic and a few glasses of wine at our hotel’s rooftop patio.
August 13, Saturday – Right after breakfast we’ll begin our train journey to fantastic Orvieto. Situated in Tuscany’s neighboring region to the south, Umbria, Orvieto holds a commanding position right on top of a tall plateau of solid rock overlooking cypress-dotted Umbrian plains. The town is virtually traffic-free because of its challenging location, and is most easily reached by traveling up the cliffs on the local funicular railway. In fact, we’ll be riding it to get to our boutique hotel which is located right on the Cathedral Square. Orvieto's fabulous cathedral, begun in 1330, features a beautifully colorful Gothic façade which has been compared to a medieval altarpiece — a gleaming mass of mosaics, stained glass, and sculpture.
After checking into our perfectly-located hotel we’ll have lunch together, and see some of the town - and there is a lot to see here. Before dinner we’ll take some time to explore on your own. Orvieto boasts an incredible underground world. The town sits atop a vast underground network of Etruscan-era caves, wells, and tunnels. These medieval caves offer a glimpse into how these ancient Italians lived.
Like many of Italy’s charming hill towns, Orvieto can be busy with tourists during the day, but it’s lamp-lit romantic, and quiet after the buses take the day-trippers back to Rome. This evening we’ll enjoy a relaxing dinner together at a delightful local restaurant before heading to bed for a good night’s rest after a busy day.
August 14, Sunday – After our breakfast at the hotel we’ll be off on an early guided tour of some of the town’s best attractions. After the tour, which won’t cover everything of interest here, everyone will have the rest of the day and evening on your own to explore, relax at the hotel, or find a table and watch the parade of visitors to this magical place. Enjoy a nice lunch on your own today. Maybe a picnic will sound good!
Some of the great things to see in Orvieto you won’t want to miss: Behind the Duomo exists a complex of medieval palaces called Palazzi Papali showing off the city's best religious art. Not to be missed is the marble Mary and Child, dating from the 1300s, who sit beneath a bronze canopy, attended by exquisite angels. A replica of this sculpture fills a niche in the center of the cathedral's façade, where this one used to be located.
The most remarkable must-see attraction is St. Patrick’s Well. The well, dug through solid stone, is 175 feet deep, 45 feet wide, has 496 steps down, and amazes modern engineers to this day. Thanks to its natural hilltop fortification, Orvieto served as a 16th-century place of refuge for the Pope. Wanting to ensure he had water during a time of possible siege, he built this extravagant well, with two spiral stairways leading down to a bridge from which people could scoop up water. The double-helix design was crucial for allowing efficient two-way traffic flow. To this very day an Italian saying for very difficult tasks is "It's like digging St. Patrick's Well."
When the tourists have departed enjoy a quiet stroll to savor the pleasures of an Italian hill town as you look for just the right restaurant for a nice dinner on your own.
August 15, Monday – After a nice breakfast, sadly we must move on. We’ll travel by private minibus to the breathtaking village of Civita di Bagnoregio. The little town is perched atop a pinnacle of rock rising high above a deep canyon. Today, the only way in or out is by a footbridge. The main entrance is a huge stone passageway, cut by the Etruscans 2,500 years ago and decorated in the 12th century with a Romanesque arch. Passing through the portal is like entering another world. Inside the gate each lane and footpath hold surprises.
We’ll have some free time to wander followed by a nice lunch on your own at one of the village cafes just off the main square. If ever there was a photo op, this little village is IT.
After our visit to Civita we’ll drive through the Italian countryside to the ancient and enchanting city of Tivoli. We’ll check into our fantastic Palazzo rooms right in the heart of the oldest part of town, and have a light lunch together at a friendly local restaurant. This afternoon we’ll take it easy. There’ll be time to rest or spend some time exploring our neighborhood. We’ll gather again for a nice Welcome to Tivoli dinner at a very typical local restaurant before turning in for a good night’s sleep.
August 16, Tuesday – After our fabulous breakfast we’ll head for the outskirts of town to visit the magnificent Hadrian’s Villa. The Roman Emperor Hadrian was a consummate builder who chose the hills of Tivoli for his own residence. Designed in about 117 AD, the vast complex is a monumental living edifice that even today continues to display the lavishness and enormous power of Ancient Rome.
Not only is it a testimony to the power and wealth of the Roman Empire, but it’s a prime example of architectural genius. The symmetries and the interdependence of the structures composed a monumental compound that mirrored Hadrian's image as a great and sophisticated man. To show off his tastes and inclinations, he reproduced inside this residence many of the buildings and monuments that had fascinated him during his innumerable travels around the known world. Hadrian’s Villa is one of the finest Roman constructions to be found anywhere.
As the day warms up, we’ll return to Tivoli where everyone can have a late lunch on your own, or just grab a snack to enjoy in the courtyard of our palazzo. In the afternoon enjoy some free time – or a nap.
In the evening we’ll get back together for an Italian cooking lesson! We’ll learn some secrets of real Italiano cuisine and prepare our own dinner together, which we’ll enjoy in a private courtyard setting.
August 17, Wednesday – After breakfast in our amazing setting we’ll continue our exploration of Tivoli. Our first stop will be very nearby incomparable Villa d’Este, dating back to the 1500s, which is one of Italy’s finest UNESCO World Heritage sites. What stands out most at the Villa are the marvelous gardens defined by terraces, grottos, staircases, grand slopes, pools, and promenades. It all evokes the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, now long lost in antiquity. The intricate water system, with an aqueduct and a tunnel under the city, resembles the highly-advanced engineering of the Romans. The 100 Fountains lining the longest promenade make a breathtaking impression. This stunning display has been a popular background for several films – such as in the banquet scene in William Wyler’s "Ben Hur". In addition to the gardens, we’ll explore the magnificent villa itself, with its lavish decorations and impressive art collection.
All that splendor will have made us hungry, so we’ll break for a lovely lunch together in a stunning restaurant. After lunch, for those feeling hale and hearty, some of us may want to venture to Villa Gregoriana, also quite near our palazzo rooms. This huge canyon is not actually a villa, nor is it a lavish garden, but rather a natural park with hiking trails set among Roman ruins and fabled, legendary sites. Located at the feet of the city's ancient acropolis, the massive project was commissioned by Pope Gregory XVI in 1835 to rebuild the bed of the Aniene River, which had been damaged by a catastrophic flood in1826. The undertaking served to protect Tivoli from future such floods. The site consists mainly of thick woodlands with paths that lead to the caves of Neptune and the Sirens, as well as a series of gorges, cascades, and the Great Waterfall. Dress cool, and plan to get plenty of exercise at Villa Gregoriana!
For those who prefer more level ground, take the afternoon to explore old Tivoli, shop, or just relax at a sidewalk café with a glass or two of the delicious local wine, and just think about your fellow travelers trooping up and down the crags at Villa Gregoriana.
For dinner enjoy one of the town’s many terrific restaurants on your own.
August 18, Thursday – Right after breakfast together we’ll be meeting our driver to make our way on to fabulous Positano by private van. We’ll cruise through the beautiful Italian countryside on this three-hour journey. We’ll be dropped off at our boutique hotel situated in an amazing location. From our rooms and the magnificent dining terrace we’ll be treated to unparalleled vistas sweeping across the colorful coastal town nestled in the valley and out over the stunning blue water of the Mediterranean.
After we get checked in everyone will have some free time to grab a quick lunch on your own and explore this unique place – it’s winding hilly streets and alleyways, enticing shops, cozy tavernas, and breathtaking views. In the evening we’ll meet back at our wonderful hotel for a memorable dinner on the terrace with one of the very best views of the town of Positano and the sparkling sea.
August 19, Friday – After breakfast in one of the loveliest places in the world, we’ll head out for another adventure. This time we’ll board our boat for the voyage to The Isle of Capri, another of the loveliest places ever. This unique rocky island juts out of the sea like a gigantic iceberg, not icy, but is like a tropical paradise of blooming flowers and trees. A fragrance of perfume floats in the air.
Our cruise around the island includes a stop at the fabled Blue Grotto. If sea conditions permit, this uniquely Italian experience is not to be missed. In a swirl of happy chaos boats take visitors to the secret entrance to a sea-side cave which, due to an amazing natural phenomenon, is bathed in brilliant blue light. Whether we are lucky enough to see the grotto or not, Capri has many more charms to offer. We’ll have some afternoon time to see the town, perched on the mountaintop via a funicular railway up the towering cliffs.
The little town is like no place else. You’ll find everything from the most exclusive shops – like Gucci and Hermes – to touristy kitsch outlets; great places to eat - from street food to gourmet restaurants; and, of course, absolutely astounding views in every direction. It’s free time, so for lunch find just the right little café where you can soak up the atmosphere of this dream-like place.
If time permits, history lovers might want to make the almost 3-mile trek even further up the mountain to visit Tiberius’s pleasure palace. The Roman Emperor actually ruled the Roman Empire for many years from this citadel. The stories of decadence surrounding this place are legendary.
In the late afternoon we’ll have to board our boat to return to our other paradise, Positano. Either have dinner on your own at the hotel restaurant or make your way to just the right charming café in the town.
August 20, Saturday - After yet another wonderful breakfast together we’ll take a different sea voyage – this time for an Amalfi Coast private boat tour from Positano. For those of us wanting luxury during our Amalfi Coast vacation, this private boat tour has it all: a skippered private motorboat and the pleasure of sailing along this UNESCO-listed coastline. We’ll board in Positano, and sip Prosecco as we admire the scenery. Enroute, we can explore the Emerald Grotto, the town of Amalfi, or go snorkeling. We’ll be together for lunch at a very special restaurant only accessible by sea, but everyone will order from the menu on your own.
After our cruise, back in Positano there will be time for some more exploring and shopping before one last dinner on your own in beautiful Positano.
August 21, Sunday – After a lovely breakfast on our splendid terrace we’ll have a little free time relax, do some last-minute shopping, or take those last-chance pictures in Positano. After checking out of our amazing hotel, our driver will take us to a wonderful restaurant nestled at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. After a fabulous lunch together our driver will take us to fantastic Pompeii. There our expert guide will give us the inside story of this remarkable and iconic destination. After our Pompeii experience we’ll continuing on to Naples in the early evening.
We will be transported to the dock area in Naples where we will board our overnight ferry to Palermo, Sicily. Our beautifully-equipped ship embarks at 8 PM. All guests will have cabins (double occupancy – double bed or twin bed rooms). After settling in we’ll have dinner together in the ship’s dining room as we sail to romantic Sicily. Enjoy some dramatic views before turning in for a night at sea.
August 22, Monday – Rise and shine! We’ll arrive in Palermo at 6:45 AM, and will be invited to leave the ship shortly afterward. It’s a bit early and a little rushed for breakfast onboard, so we’ll wait until we’re on dry land in the city before taking taxis to drop off our bags at our unique boutique hotel, and going out for a wonderful Sicilian breakfast together.
We’ll begin with a leisurely walking tour of the old city – a cultural and historic orientation of our new home-away-from-home. Afterward enjoy some free time before we gather for our first lunch of savory Sicilian cuisine together.
Palermo was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz. Later it became a possession of Carthage, then Greece, and was later part of the Roman Republic and Empire for over a thousand years. From 831 to 1072 the city was under Arab rule until the Norman reconquest, Palermo became the capital of a new kingdom (from 1130 to 1816), the Kingdom of Sicily and the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Frederick II and King Conrad IV. Today Palermo is Sicily's cultural, economic and tourism capital. It is a city rich in history, culture, art, music and food. Numerous tourists are attracted to the city for its good Mediterranean weather, its renowned delicious cuisine, Gothic and Baroque churches, palaces and buildings, and its nightlife and music.
After our walking tour we’ll return to check into our atmospheric hotel. After settling in we’ll have some free time to explore and have dinner on your own.
August 23, Tuesday – After a splendid breakfast at our boutique hotel we’ll begin a fun tour that along the way will introduce us all to the city’s fabulous street food - followed by a visit to Monreale, a historic hill-town just outside Palermo. It's a picturesque place most famous for the exquisite mosaics in the town's great Norman cathedral. The cathedral and cloisters at Monreale, dating to the twelfth century, are frequently cited as the island's greatest Norman buildings. The upper part of the cathedral's interior is completely covered in gleaming gold mosaics; more than 6,000 square meters of mosaic. They were almost certainly created by Byzantine craftsmen, and the combination of Norman, Byzantine and Islamic art and architecture here is a spectacular demonstration of the influences which created Sicily's most glorious era. Lunch today can be a good sampling of delicious street food during our tour; and dinner will be on your own after some free time back in central Palermo.
August 24, Wednesday – After another nice breakfast we will join a fabulous escorted tour. We will visit one of the top archaeological areas and a medieval town on this tour with a popular licensed local guide. We’ll ride along the beautiful North coast, passing the Golf of Castellammare and the wine producing area of Bianco d'Alcamo. Enjoy the panoramic scenery as we travel to Segesta, which according to local legend is of Trojan origin. Located on an isolated hill called Barbaro, the well-preserved temple and the Greek theater were built in the late 5th century BC.
Then we’ll continue on to Erice, which was a sacred place dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite for the Greeks and Venus for the Romans. Along the way we’ll stop for a nice lunch together.
After nearly a full day of sightseeing we’ll return to our charming hotel to pick up our luggage and go to the docks to board our ship back to Naples on another overnight sailing. We’ll have dinner together in the dining room as we embark for Naples.
August 25, Thursday – We arrive in Naples at 6:45 AM, after disembarking, we’ll travel by taxi to the Naples Archaeological Museum, which houses many of the most fascinating artifacts recovered from Pompeii. We’ll have a light breakfast together followed by a tour of the museum. (Bag check will be arranged.) After the museum experience, we’ll head for the Naples train station. Everyone will have lunch on your own – or purchase food to enjoy on the train.
Then we’ll begin or last train journey – this time back to Rome. We’ll have a connection at Roma Termini to take us to our comfortable airport hotel, where we’ll have our “Farewell to Italy” dinner together.
August 26, Friday - After a generous breakfast at our hotel’s buffet, guests may use taxis or the hotel’s terminal shuttle to head for the Rome Airport for flights back to the USA (Airport transfers not included).
For those guests intending to stay in Rome for a longer visit additional tour opportunities are available. Please coordinate with Your Man in Europe as early as possible for help in making arrangements.
Please Note: August is the warmest month in Italy and Sicily. We will be traveling in areas roughly along the same latitude as Virginia. Expect high temperatures to be in the mid-to-high 80s, and lows will be around 70 degrees. All the hotels in our itinerary are air conditioned, as are all trains, vans, and mini-buses. Coastal locations will enjoy cool breezes off the Mediterranean (which is quite cold, even in summer). Traveling in summertime offers abundant vegetation as well as “fun in the sun” activities like boat cruises, swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports. The season also allows for packing lighter, as heavy coats and wraps won’t be needed.
Also: It is anticipated that, by our travel dates, most – if not all – Covid restrictions will have been curtailed in Italy. Many already have been. All guests will be updated frequently as conditions change.
What’s in store for us?
This tour is custom-planned for a small group of no more than 8 guests. Even if you are a seasoned traveler, you have never experienced Italy like this. We’re sure the journey will captivate you. You’ll be part of a magical adventure - complete with music, gourmet picnics, and surprises that will delight you at every turn. There are no exhausting bus rides or inconvenient hotels.
This is not a “Big Bus Tour”. There will be no wake-up calls at 5 AM to herd onto the buses. Our travelers will have a friendly, extremely knowledgeable guide for the entire trip – not just a bus driver and hum-drum contracted tour guide. We do our best to set the mood, to weave a spell, and to make yours a total experience. Hotels and most restaurants on the entire tour have been selected for their very specific location or high level of “atmosphere”. The small group size allows us to personalize the experience in a way large groups simply cannot do. We make it easy, comfortable and stress-free. No guest has to worry about the details of where we are going next. You will feel as if you are not a tourist, but a guest of your Italian friends.
This is a complete tour; and the prices are not increased during the trip through unexpected charges for “extra” tours and arrangements you must handle on your own. If there will be any optional tours or activities not included in the cost everyone will be advised well before signing up for the tour. Most meals are included, and those that are not included are detailed in the itinerary.
Your Tour Guide: Larry Ivy is the Tour Coordinator and guide for Your Man in Europe, and a long-time veteran of European travel and unique private tour-leading. Larry wants just one thing: for you to have “the best time of your life”!
Complete Prices for the August 10 - 26, 2022 Tour
$4549.00 Per Person
*All prices are based on Double Occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $765.
A $500 deposit holds your place on the tour. Reservations and deposits for this fantastic opportunity should be made as early as possible, but not later than May 15, 2022. The final balance is due by July 15, 2022. Make checks payable to “Your Man in Europe”. Guests are invited to use our no-interest flexible payment plan.
Deposit and payment checks may be mailed to: Your Man in Europe 2608 S University Drive Fort Worth TX 76109 USA
Or visit "Tour Details" page on this website for information about PayPal and credit card payments.
Tour Includes: Fifteen (15) nights of overnight accommodation (based on double occupancy) in exceptional, very specially selected hotels, all fifteen (15) breakfasts, eight (8) lunches, and eight (8) dinners; all ground transportation (except August 26 airport transfers); First Class rail travel (where available), transfers by modern ferries to and from Sicily, admissions to all attractions described in the tour itinerary, knowledgeable guide services, and standard gratuities. There will be no additional charges for the tours and events specifically included by Your Man in Europe. There may be extra charges for tours not included in the detailed itinerary. These are optional activities.
Not Included: Airfare to and returning from Rome, optional travel insurance, extra beverages (meals will include one beverage and will be budgeted accordingly); a la cart or premium menu selections beyond the established meal allowances; between meal snacks; gratuities for extra services such as baggage porters, or for superior service (normal gratuities are included in the trip cost); souvenirs; and privately arranged activities.
Also: All overnight accommodations, as well as railroad and minibus travel will be NO-SMOKING.
This tour is strictly limited to a maximum of 8 guests travelling together