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Discover Sicily: Heart of the Mediterranean 2015

Trip Extensions

Pre-trip: Amalfi Coast, Italy

95% of our travelers rated this extension "Excellent" in 2015

If you’ve chosen this extension, begin your discoveries in Italy on the beautiful Amalfi Coast. For five nights, your home base will be Sorrento, the perfect place to relax and use as a home base for explorations to nearby Ravello and Amalfi. There are also opportunities to explore nearby Capri, and the ruins of Pompeii, immersing yourself int he history and culture of this vibrant region.

It's Included:
Air transportation from Naples to Palermo
Accommodations for 5 nights in Sorrento at the Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto or similar
6 meals: 5 breakfasts, and 1 dinner
Included tours: Sorrento walking tour • Amalfi Coast tour
Exclusive services of a Grand Circle Program Director
All transfers
Now included for 2015
Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on your extension and all optional tours
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    Depart the U.S. today on your flight to Naples.

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    Upon arrival in Naples, you’ll be transferred by motorcoach to your hotel in Sorrento.

    With its romantic location on the cliffs over the Bay of Naples, Sorrento has long been the subject of songs and legends. It was here that the mythical sirens, with the beauty of their sweet singing, lured sailors to shipwreck on the rocks. Ulysses so desired to hear the sirens’ song that he ordered his crew to block their own ears and tie him to the mast of his ship with his own ears unblocked.

    You'll take an orientation walk in the late afternoon, and enjoy the rest of the day to make your own discoveries. Dinner is on your own tonight.

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    After breakfast, your Hospitality Desk representative will guide you on a walking tour of Sorrento, a town made for strolling. See the cathedral, Piazza Sant’Antonino, the Public Gardens, the town’s typical little alleys, and its main square, Piazza Tasso. You will then take some time on Via San Cesareo, lined with shops offering food and handcrafts.

    The rest of the day is yours to explore Sorrento. Charming towns dot the lovely Amalfi Coast, and you may want to branch out and visit one of the lesser known of them.

    Perhaps you’ll ride a local bus to Sant’Agata sui due Golfi. Neighboring Sorrento, this town is perched high on the top of the Sorrentine Peninsula, commanding impressive views of the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, the Gulf of Salerno, and the Isle of Capri.

    Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening.

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    Perhaps today you’ll take our optional full-day tour of Capri. Your day begins with a ferry ride to the island, which has almost no cars. You will take a funicular up the hill to the famous Piazzetta of Capri, the town's compact and lively central piazza. Filled with people enjoying the views over the water and the cafes, you can't help but relax here. Enjoy a walking tour of the lush and fragrant Caesare Augustus gardens, as well as a tour of the town of Anacapri, so named for its slightly higher elevation above Capri, which affords it even more stunning views. Your lunch will be at a local restaurant, followed by free time for individual exploration.

    Or, spend today exploring on your own.

    Please note: The funicular train may not be available between November and April.

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    Today, enjoy a full-day tour of the beautiful Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast), sure to be a highlight of your stay in Sorrento.

    On this leisurely tour, you'll discover what is perhaps Italy's most beautiful coastline, regarded by locals to be "a gift of the gods." Ride along its ruggedly gorgeous shoreline, decorated by colorful fishing boats and wondrous rock formations. Make a photo stop above Positano, and then continue to the town of Amalfi, romantically situated at the mouth of a deep gorge. You have some free time here, and may want to visit the Duomo of St. Andrew, with its mix of Moorish and early Gothic styles. Or you can take the walk from the plaza in front of the Duomo to the Molini Valley (Valley of the Mills) where paper mills were established, introducing a great paper-making tradition to Italy.

    You’ll then drive up the winding road to hilltop Ravello, sometime home of the German composer Richard Wagner. This lovely town is set amid vast semi-tropical gardens, and overlooks the Gulf of Salerno and the town of Amalfi nearly five miles directly below. Here you'll visit the gardens of Villa Rufolo.

    This evening, you may choose to join an optional tarantella folk show with a Neapolitan-style dinner at a local theater.

    Otherwise, lunch and dinner are on your own today.

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    Make your own discoveries today.

    Or, join us this morning on an optional tour of Pompeii. Totally buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and not re-discovered until the 17th century, Pompeii's antiquities offer you an unparalleled view of Roman life. With your expert guide, you'll explore Pompeii's most significant sites and learn how its people lived, built homes, and conducted business. The World Monuments Fund, to which Grand Circle Foundation has contributed $150,000 for preservation efforts across Europe, cites Pompeii as one of the world's 100 most-endangered sites.

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    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, you’ll be assisted to the airport in Naples for your flight to Palermo to begin your Discover Sicily: Heart of the Mediterranean Land Tour.