12 Day Best of Southern Italy 2024

This 12-day tour includes 2 of the most beautiful regions of Italy: Campania & Puglia. The south of Italy is known in Italian as the 'Mezzogiorno' (Midday) region; some of the oldest and most important historical towns in Italy are located here as well as some of the best food in all of Italy! You'll be able to try a margherita pizza in the city where it was invented - Naples! Explore the beautiful region of Puglia which has a culture, history, and a dialect all its own. Discover the Trulli in Alberobello and explore Lecce, also known as the 'Florence of the South'. You'll be surprised by how the 'old country' has very much joined the 21st century while retaining its special charm.

Inclusions

  • Centrally Located 4 & 5 star Hotels
  • More Motorcoach Legroom
  • Airport Transfers at Scheduled Times
  • Full Breakfast Daily
  • 7 Dinners
  • Olive Oil Tasting
  • Wireless Headsets To Hear Your Tour Guide Clearly
  • Travel Wallet, Baggage Tags and Travel Documents Included
  • Baggage Handling Throughout (Except at Airports)
  • Hotel Taxes, City Taxes, Hotel Service Charges and all Tips For Hotel and Restaurant Personnel
  • Professional Tour Directors and Licensed Local Guides
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi On Our Buses
  • Call 800-816-6046 for more information or to book today! Mention code 17515705

    Tour Operator
    Perillo Tours
    Offer
    Offer valid through 9/30/2024
    Duration
    12 Days
    Escorted
    Escorted - Yes
    DayDestinationDescription
    Day 1Depart USAFRIDAY: Boarding your overnight flights, you're off to Italy on the adventure of a lifetime!
    Day 2RomeSATURDAY: Benvenuti a Roma, the Eternal City! We are pleased to offer complimentary transfers from the Rome airport to your hotel at scheduled times. Your Perillo representative will be waiting for you at the airport to greet you.

    There will be time to relax this afternoon before dinner with fine local wines at our hotel.

    Day 3RomeSUNDAY: This morning, you'll get to experience a delicious Italian breakfast, complete with cappuccinos, fresh juices, croissants, fresh breads along with salami, cheeses and of course bacon and eggs!

    Next, we board our chariot for a panoramic tour of Imperial Rome including the Roman Forum, the Circus Maximus, and the Great Synagogue build in the heart of the Jewish quarter. Then we'll enter the Colosseum, reliving the brutal entertainment of the gladiators and the lions, refereed by the emperor himself.

    The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy as you please.

    Tonight, we thought you'd enjoy a dinner on your own. Ask your tour guide for a recommendation or venture out and explore the local restaurants in Rome! Be sure to try a 'Suppli', a Roman delicacy: A fried ball of rice filled with tomato sauce, meat, and melted mozzarella.

    *Colosseum entrance subject to ticket availability*

    Day 4RomeMONDAY: This morning, after breakfast, it's 10-minute bus ride over to another country - Vatican City. With our expert local guide, we'll tour the Vatican Museums, a massive collection of ancient Greek sculptures, medieval tapestries, and Renaissance paintings.

    Our visit starts in the Sistine Chapel, renowned for its Renaissance art, especially the ceiling which was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. This room, which attracts more than five million visitors each year, is also where the Pope is elected.

    Next, we visit St. Peter's Basilica, by far the largest church in Christendom. We'll see Michelangelo's Pieta, sculpted when he was just 24 years old, as well as Bernini's seven story bronze canopy located above the main altar.

    The rest of the day is yours to enjoy! Take a stroll along the ancient streets of Rome, enjoy a gelato, or go shopping!

    Tonight, you'll get a taste of real Italian cuisine at a family-style restaurant in the characteristic district of Trastevere. This lively area is just what one imagines Italy to be like, with tiny cobblestone streets and music-filled trattorias on every corner.

    Day 5NaplesTUESDAY: This morning, we're off to Naples, birthplace of the Neapolitan pizza. We'll stop along the way for a tour of Pompeii.

    Imagine...a city perfectly preserved as it was on that fateful day 2,000 years ago, when ash and lava literally stopped it in its tracks. You'll see the tragic fossils of people attempting to escape along with children and dogs.

    Next, we'll arrive in Naples, famous for its mix of Old-World character and modern charm. One of the oldest cities in Europe, Naples historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is filled with art, architecture, and archeology but the best part may be the wood-fired pizza. You'll be staying at one of the best hotels in Naples - a well-known 4-star hotel on Naples seafront promenade, a lively spot right in front of Castel dell'Ovo, the Hotel Royal Continental.

    Tonight, we'll take a pizza-making class with a chef at the panoramic restaurant in our hotel. The best well-kept secrets to making Neapolitan pizza have been handed down for generations and tonight, our chef will share these secrets with you! The authentic Neapolitan pizza needs four main ingredients: Tomatoes from San Marzano, buffalo mozzarella from the Campania region, 00 wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Tonight, we'll transform these ingredients into one of the best pizzas you've ever tasted. We'll get to enjoy the fruits of our labor, along with some amazing appetizers - a pizza party in Naples!

    Day 6NaplesWEDNESDAY: This morning, we will take a hydrofoil over to the world's most enchanting island - we'll enjoy a private boat tour around the island (weather permitting). We'll cruise by the magnificent Faraglioni, Capri's iconic rock formations which tower above the Mediterranean Sea.

    Next, we visit one of the lesser known but equally beautiful sea caves, the Grotta Bianca. Then we'll have free time to explore the island on our own or take advantage of a special optional excursion with our tour leader.

    This afternoon we return to Naples where you can relax before we head out for a dinner out at a local restaurant.

    Day 7NaplesTHURSDAY: Today, we leave Naples with our dependable bus driver and head over to Bari, the capital of the beautiful region of Puglia and the heel of the 'Italian boot'. But first we'll stop in Matera, a city like no other and one of the oldest in the world. Discovering Matera is like living in the past - you'll almost feel like you're stepping into a nativity scene; for this reason, it is also known as 'the second Bethlehem' and was the setting for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Known for its unique architecture, which is characterized by cave dwellings carved into the sides of a ravine. Matera was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and it is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy.

    You'll have some free time on your own to explore and have lunch.

    *Please be sure to wear comfortable sneakers today as there will be uneven surfaces and many steps

    Next, we continue our journey to Bari and check into our hotel. Tonight, we enjoy dinner out in a local restaurant with fine wines.

    Day 8BariFRIDAY: This morning, after breakfast, we will explore the city of Bari. Our tour will start from the Swabian Castle (outside visit), and continue towards the famous 'Orecchiette Street', where guests will be able to enjoy watching ladies make homemade pasta.

    Next, we'll have a quick visit to the Cathedral and then the Basilica of St Nicholas, built over the tomb of Saint Nicholas.

    Next, we'll have a little taste of a specialty of Bari - focaccia: a specialty bread with ancient origins. After our tour, you'll have some free time to enjoy a drink or coffee on your own.

    Tonight, you'll be able to enjoy a dinner on your own - be sure to try the orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe, a specialty in the Puglia Region.

    Day 9PugliaSATURDAY: Today, we move out of our hotel in Bari and travel over to Lecce, the cultural capital of Puglia. This charming town in Puglia is known for its baroque buildings, churches, palaces, and museums and has been given the nickname, 'the Florence of the South.'

    We'll enjoy a tour of this charming city. The tour will begin in front of one of the gates of the city, 'Porta Napoli'. Then we'll visit the Duomo Square, the most beautiful square in the city. Acting as the religious center of town, Piazza Duomo is home to some of the most ornately decorated Baroque buildings in Lecce.

    We'll continue to the Basilica of Santa Croce, the most important symbol of the Baroque city, and end in the main square where the Roman Age Amphitheater is located (Piazza Sant'Oronzo).

    You'll have some free time to explore - be sure to try the local pastry called 'Pasticciotto' (a shortcrust pastry from Puglia filled with a silky, lemon-scented custard) or the renowned 'Caffe Leccese' (iced coffee with almond liqueur).

    Tonight, we'll enjoy a dinner out at a local restaurant in this charming city.

    Day 10AlberobelloSUNDAY: Today we will visit one of the most places cities in Italy: Alberobello. This town is known for its distinctive small conical houses made from dry stone, called Trulli and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique architecture and cultural significance.

    Alberobello is divided into two districts: Aia Piccola, where every Trullo is still a home, and Rione Monti, where every Trullo is a souvenir shop. Our guided tour will take place in Aia Piccola, where guests will be able to explore the inhabited district, and to visit one of the biggest Trulli (today a museum) called Trullo Sovrano.

    Next, we'll climb the hill in Rione Monti, to reach the Trullo-shaped church dedicated to St. Antonio, and from there you'll have some time to shop.

    Tonight, we'll enjoy a relaxing dinner in our hotel with fine local wines.

    Day 11OtrantoMONDAY: Today, we will visit another charming town in Puglia - Otranto. This town is situated on the Adriatic coast and offers stunning views of the sea and the surround countryside. Otranto is famous for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and amazing cuisine.

    We'll walk around the Otranto Ancient Walls. Built in the 13th century, the walls are a popular tourist destination and offer stunning views of the city and the Adriatic Sea.

    Next we'll visit the Cathedral, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, with a stunning mosaic floor dating back to the 12th century.

    You'll have some free time to explore or enjoy a gelato.

    On our way back to Lecce, we will stop at a farm for an Olive Oil Tasting. The region of Puglia is known for its high-quality olive oil. We'll have a brief introduction to the different types of olive oil and then we will learn how to properly taste olive oil.

    Tonight, enjoy your final dinner on your own.

    Day 12Return USATUESDAY: This morning we head to the Brindisi airport for our flight home, arriving in the USA the same day. While we say 'arrivederci' to Italy, we realize we're taking a little piece of it back home with us.... and maybe some wine too! Arrivederci Italia!
    Dates/Pricing

    Click Quote or call 800-816-6046 to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

    DatePrice / DescriptionQuote
    08/02/2024$3,995.00* (USD) / Per Person in a DoubleQuote
    09/06/2024$4,125.00* (USD) / Per Person in a DoubleQuote
    09/13/2024$4,125.00* (USD) / Per Person in a DoubleQuote
    09/27/2024$3,995.00* (USD) / Per Person in a DoubleQuote
    10/11/2024$3,795.00* (USD) / Per Person in a DoubleQuote
    Disclaimer

    Kids under 12 sharing with 2 adults deduct $500 from the Double Rate.

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