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Enna, Sicily
The lake of Pozzillo, with volcano Etna in background
Stunning View of Marsaxlokk Harbour in Malta
Piazza Amerina, Sicily

The Kingdom of the Sun - South of Italy Puglia, Basilicata & Calabria with Sicily & Optional 2 nights trip to Malta beautifully combined Island - Educational Experience for Travel Agents and Professionals October 27 to November 11, 2019 Back

  • Tour Code : TUR-01207
  • Type : Small Group
  • Duration : 16 days
  • Departs from : Bari
  • Meeting Place : Bari International Airport-Karol Wojtyla


Each year we bring people in the travel industry to experience incredible interesting places in Italy and the Mediterranean.  

This year one of our most thrilling adventures is going to offer a rich and rewarding learning experience through Sicily and Malta

Beginning from Palermo on Sicily's Western Coast, we circle the south-western part of the island exploring many towns and then heading over to the Maltese islands which is approximately 1.5 hours by high speed ferry  We spend a few days in Malta before heading back to Sicily where we will venture north up the eastern part of the island to Taormina

This is a nearly a full circle tour of the entire island of Sicily and includes some of the region's most beautiful and historic towns including Agrigento, Noto, Erice, Monreale and many others.  This is a wonderful opportunity for travel professionals to familiarize themselves with the region of Sicily which is home to more UNESCO world heritage site per square mile than any other region in Europe.  

The region of Sicily is known for its incredible landscapes as well as phenomenal cuisine that is steeped in century-old traditions.  Some people to say to understand Italy you must go to Sicily and for some it is considered to be the cradle of the Mediterranean for all cultures in the Mediterranean basin converged on this small Island.

This educational trip through Sicily is an opportunity for those who are interested in learning more about Sicily to come and experience the territory with expert local guides.




Day 1 - Arrival in Bari - Polignano a Mare - Monopoli - Cooking Lesson

Where we visit : Bari, Polignano a Mare
Meeting Location : Bari International Airport-Karol Wojtyla

We are truly happy to welcome you today. Arrived to Bari Pope Karol Wojtyla airport where you will be driven to check in to our marvelous hotel/villa we have chosen for you.  We will take the coastal road and immediately you will get to experience the beautiful towns of Polignano a Mare and Monopoli.

You will check into a wonderful villa where an evening of fun awaits you, preparing your first Pugliese dinner with a local chef.

Overnight at the villa.

Meals : Dinner

Day 2 - Grotte di Castellana - Alberbello - Ostuni

Where we visit : Grotte di Castellana, Alberobello, Ostuni

This morning your tour will start underground in the stunning and ancient Castellana Caves, followed by the charming UNESCO Heritage Site of Alberobello. You will have time for lunch on your own, followed by a tour of the town and its fascinating trulli, before we head to the 'White Town' of Ostuni.  You will be free to explore the town that is so loved by foreign visitors to the region and have time to enjoy dinner at your leisure.

Return to the villa and overnight here.

Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - South of Puglia - Lecce and Otranto

Where we visit : Lecce, Otranto

A full day awaits you after breakfast at 8 AM as you depart for the Salento area in the heel of Italy's boot.

Your first stop will be in the town of Lecce, known as the 'Florence of the South' for its own distinctive Baroque architecture carving from the local limestone.  A local guide will show you some of the most beautiful monuments and walk you through the history to the early Greek settlers.

In the afternoon, you will arrive in Otranto, a popular port town.  Discover the story of the 800 'Martyrs of Otranto' in the towns cathedral.

Overnight in the villa.

Meals : Breakfast, Wine Tasting

Day 4 - Exploring Basilicata with Matera & Maratea and finally get into Calabria

Where we visit : Puglia, Matera, Tortora

Today we are ready to drive through Puglia to pass into Calabria which is another part of an important southern area of Italy. Leaving at 8 AM on the way to Calabria we will stop in the region of Basilicata which is well known for the towns of Matera and Maratea where the owner of the tour operator Jesse Andrews has written a book about the mermaid of Maratea.

Matera as been recognized as the most Cultural Italian Town in the 2019 with its beautiful surroundings that look like a nativity. After a short tour of Matera we will stop in Maratea with its Cristo Redentore and learn more about this small region of Basilicata. We will then check in to our hotel in Tortora located in the region of Calabria.  Unforgettable dinner and overnight here.

Overnight at Italy Education & Retreat Center

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Beginning to visit Calabria with the pearl of the pearls - Praia a Mare

Where we visit : Tortora, Praia a Mare

This morning at 10 AM we will explore the town of Praia a Mare. We will visit some of the local shops and enjoy Italy's largest church inside a cave known as Madonna Della Grotta with a local tour guide. After a light lunch, we continue our tour to Dino Island where we will experience the Blue Grottoes this island is famous throughout Italy for. In the afternoon there will be some time to enjoy the beach and shopping at leisure. Dinner in Praia a Mare at one of our recommended local restaurants. Return to Tortora.

Overnight at Italy Education & Retreat Center

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6 - The South of Calabria: Tropea

Where we visit : Tropea
Today we are ready by 8 AM, excited to move further south of Calabria driving along the beautiful Cedri Riviera, stopping for a site inspection at the wonderful clifftop Palazzo del Capo

After this wonderful visit we will check into Tropea.  In Italy this town is famed for two things: magical beaches and a particular type of sweet red onion.  You'll have free time in the afternoon to explore the town, enjoy the beaches and taste the local cuisine at your leisure.

Overnight here in Tropea.

Meals : Breakfast

Day 7 - Arrival in Sicily - Taormina

Where we visit : Tropea, Messina, Taormina

This morning we will leave mainland Italy for the beautiful island of Sicily.  From the port of Messina, we will drive north and the shadow of Europe's highest volcano, Mount Etna.

Here you will check into an agriturismo, a local farm where you will be staying for the next two nights.  

In the afternoon, an official guide will accompany you to the famous theater in the town of Taormina.  After dinner, you will return to the agriturismo for the night.

Meals : Breakfast

Day 8 - Mount Etna & Wine Tasting

Where we visit : Mt. Etna

This morning we will visit Mount Etna and stop to taste some of the local wines at the welcoming Gambino Winery.

In the afternoon, we will tour the villages of Savoca and Forzà d'Agrò, where much of The Godfather films were shot.  After visiting some of the films' most iconic locations, including the church where Michael and Apollonia married and  we will return to the agriturismo for the night.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Wine Tasting

Day 9 - Cefalu, Tindari Sanctuary & Mondello Tour

Where we visit : Cefalu, Tindari, Mondello
This morning at 9:30 AM you are enjoying the Northern part of Sicily stopping in Cefalù and the monastery at the Tindary Sanctuary.

Once you have arrived in Mondello we will check into Mondello Resort or Mondello Design properties which are the two hotels with work with in the northwest of the island. Dinner and overnight in Mondello beach resort.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 - Palermo & Monreale Full day Guided Tour !!!

Where we visit : Palermo, Monreale

After breakfast by 8:30 AM we will depart for an half day guided tour of Palermo. We will start the visit from the old part of the city with the Royal Palace, the Palatina Chapel and the Cathedral. Afterwards you will visit  Monreale, an ancient royal town with spectacular views over the countryside towards the sea, where there will be time to visit the beautiful Cathedral here and some of the City's main attractions.

In the afternoon there you will explore Palermo at your leisure or arrange an optional excursion to Monte Pellegrino (The Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia).

Overnight at the Mondello Resort. 

Meals : Breakfast

Day 11 - Erice - Trapani - Marsala

Where we visit : Erice, Marsala, Trapani
Today at 9 AM we will continue on our schedule itinerary by heading to Erice, a small mountain top medieval village in western Sicily that has changed little since Sixth Century BC.  Stop at a bakery shop to taste the typical local almond pastry and enjoy the stunning overlooking view of the west coast of Sicily.  

Proceed on to Marsala famous for its liquor and historical buildings where you will visit the Donna Fugata winery, one of the largest in the Island where you will have an unforgettable wine tasting.

We will spend the evening in Trapani where you can admire its medieval districts situated on the headland pointing out to the sea and discover the local cuisine.

Overnight in Mondello.
Meals : Breakfast, Wine Tasting

Day 12 - Piazza Armerina - Modica - Ragusa Ibla

Where we visit : Piazza Armerina, Ragusa

Leaving Mondello this morning, you will travel to the south of Sicily, stopping along the way at another of its wonderful World Heritage Sites.  The mosaics at Villa Armerina are amongst the finest, and  most extensive, in the world, depicting aspects of the Roman world, from daily life, to fantastic animals and the famous 'bikini girls'.

Later you will arrive in Ragusa where you will check in to hotel la Dimora di Spartivento in Ragusa. Dinner will be on your own in the lovely town of Ragusa Ibla.

Overnight in Ragusa.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13 - Siracusa - Modica

Where we visit : Siracusa, Modica

This morning you will be departing at 8 AM for Siracusa, one of the most interesting archeological sites of the island. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of the Archeological park, The Roman Amphitheater, the Greek Theater, The Ear of Dionysus, the cave of Cordari and the Island of Ortigia, the most ancient nucleus of the city with its stunning Cathedral.

Dinner in Modica.

Overnight at Dimora di Spartivento.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 - Depart for Malta island and enjoy Valletta

Where we visit : Sliema, St. Julians, Valletta

This morning for those who are opting for the extended trip, we are ready to get on the ferry and reach Malta early in the morning. When you arrive in Malta, you will check into the hotel in Sliema with lunch and the afternoon visiti Saint Julien and Valletta, the capital of Malta.

For those ending the tour in Sicily, we will arrange a private transfer to Catania to fly back to the United States.

Evening at leisure in Malta and overnight at the Hotel Victoria.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15 - Islands of Gozo and Comino Boat tour

Where we visit : Gozo, Comino, Sliema
Today after a delicious buffet breakfast by 8:30 AM, you will have a spectacular and memorable day in Gozo and Comino.

You will be getting on a ferry to reach Gozo which is an island just in front of Malta where you absolutely need to inform about to your travelers. You will be driven around by admiring the beauty of this island and taken to the Blue Grotto. After an aperitif we will do an inspection at the Ferrieha Farmhouse managed by our dear friend Marcello who moved from Milan 12 years ago then you will go to Comino which is another smaller island 10 minutes by boat from Gozo.

Overnight at Grand Palace hotel.
Meals : Breakfast

Day 16 - Breakfast and departure from Malta international airport to the United States

Where we visit : Valletta
This morning is the departure's day so we will eat breakfast and be taken to the airport.
We are so happy for been having you here in Italy to explore, discover and most importantly learn about the South of this Peninsula that I was born in and it is still intriguing as much as exciting me to visit more and more without never getting bored as giving human been a wonderful and pleasant knowledge of what ITALY is like !!!

Thank you so much ....Italy Vacation Specialists  
Meals : Breakfast




Tour Highlights and What's Included

  1. 4 star hotels in great locations
  2. Accommodation in superior four star hotels throughout
  3. All entrance fees to sites and museums
  4. All hotel taxes and service charges
  5. Daily Buffet Breakfast
  6. Detailed explanation of sites
  7. Dinners where indicated with wine included
  8. English speaking guide and driver
  9. English speaking tour escort for the duration of the tour
  10. Road Tolls

What's Not Included

  1. Food and beverages not mentioned in the program
  2. Gratuities of any type
  3. International fights
  4. Personal Expenses or Extras at hotels
  5. Travel Insurance
  6. Two optional additional nights in Malta

Sites and Locations Visited on this Tour

Pricing & Availability

Please contact us today by either phone or email for assistance with this booking.
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I am a travel agent from Lebanon and have organized several group tours as well as individual tours of Italy with Italy Vacation Specialists. I highly recommend them as one of the very best tour operators in Italy to work with, given their professionalism and work ethic which I feel is second-to-none in the travel industry. All of the staff, the guides, the coaches and even the meals we enjoyed were fantastic throughout the tour. Italy is a beautiful country, though we realize very complicated to work in and for this reason we were all very appreciative to the hard work we felt when into the services we received and personal service. No doubt, we will be returning to Italy many times again and definitely working with the IVS team!
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