Southern Italy and Sicily

Discover the region south of Naples. Vesuvius, and the Roman town of Herculaneum. The Greek temples of Paestum. Matera and Alberobello. Plus a taste of Sicily

Travel with Grand Tourist to Southern Italy & Sicily from 14-25 April, 2019.

Small Group – This will be a very small group of 4-6 people. Travelling with your own private tour guide – Janet Simmonds. In fact, that’s me!  I will be your friendly and highly informative guide. We’ll explore a land of natural beauty, warm hospitality, fabulous food and wine. We’ll discover the Italian region of Campania, with its exceptional scenery, amazing archaeological ruins and the might of Vesuvius dominating the Bay of Naples. Then we’ll explore Basilicata and the ‘sassi’ city of Matera, European City of Culture, 2019. Alberobello and Lecce in Puglia come next. Then we’ll fly from Bari to Catania, Sicily for a taste of Sicily.

Sicily – In Sicily we’ll see Ragusa Ibla, the Baroque villages of Sicily’s Val di Noto. Then to the north coast to experience Cefalu and Palermo. A full and truly invigorating itinerary! Join me for the whole trip. Or just Southern Italy OR just Sicily. The choice is yours!


  • Naples – Fun, vibrancy and a little bit of chaos – that’s Napoli
  • We’ll visit the busy streets of Naples, sample genuine Neapolitan pizza.
  • Stroll the streets of Pompeii and Herculaneum, ancient cities buried by the massive volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.
  • Explore the vast Greek temples of Paestum (a UNESCO world heritage site) where three spectacular Greek temples have stood since around 450 BC. They are a little older than the Acropolis in Athens. One of my ‘must visit’ places in Italy. Essential viewing.
  • Visit Matera, Basilicata – European City of Culture 2019
  • Visit Alberobello famed for its conical houses, known as trulli
  • Enjoy Lecce the Baroque jewel of Puglia.
  • Experience Val di Noto, Montalbano country in Sicily and its Baroque towns
  • See Sicily’s north coast & spectacular Cefalu with its Norman Cathedral & mosaics 

There is no better way to experience Southern Italy – with thousands of years of history and a remote and rugged past. This is where government dissidents were sent in the 1920s and 30s. We’ll hear about the writer Carlo Levi exiled to Basilicata in the 1930s and his experiences which resulted in his famous book ‘Christ Stopped at Eboli’.

Did you know? There will be a visit to Salerno with its fascinating botanical gardens. In the 12th century the Medical School in Salerno was one of the finest in the Mediterranean. Kings and princes travelled from afar to receive medical attention from Salerno’s doctors.

If you are hungry – the best mozzarella in Italy comes from the Campania region just south of Naples. Enjoy some mozzarella at a local family farm. You’ve got to try at least one ice cream made with buffalo milk. 


TOUR DATES: 14-25 April, 2019

What’s included:

  • 12 days (11 nts) in clean and comfortable family-run hotels and guest houses
  • Double room with private shower/wc
  • Naples – 2 night
  • Paestum – 1 nights
  • Matera – 1 night
  • Lecce (Puglia) – 2 nights
  • Ragusa Ibla (Sicily)  – 2 nights
  • Capo d’Orlando (Sicily) – 2 nights
  • Palermo (Sicily) – 1 night
  • Tour of ‘Old Naples’ including pizza supper, narrow streets & loads of character!
  • Tour of Salerno, including one of Europe’s oldest medicinal, botanical gardens
  • Visit the spectacular Greek temples at Paestum.
  • Tour Pompeii or Herculaneum – ascend Vesuvius and walk up to the crater
  • Visit a mozzarella cheese farm, meet the water buffalo and sample the cheese.
  • Visit a vineyard and enjoy a wine tasting.
  • Discover the south-east corner of Sicily and the Baroque villages of Val di Noto
  • See Cefalu on Sicily’s north coast and the city of Palermo
  • Transportation throughout in mini-coach with air-conditioning
  • Breakfast included daily
  • Family-style dining in trattorias and informal restaurants
  • Janet Simmonds – Tour guide to accompany group & assist with all logistics

Prices are per person – there is no single room supplement:

  • GBP  £ 3995– / US $ 5250– / Euros € 4750– for the whole tour
  • Contact me for an exact price to do just Southern Italy or just Sicily
  • Please note – Flights are not included.
  • Read more about Southern Italy & Sicily:

TESTIMONIALS – previous travellers have said…

“I participated in this tour in 2014 and loved every minute, we met so many Italian people and experienced an amazing and welcoming region of Italy. My favourite was Matera.’ DFD (Guildford,UK)
“The quality of the services that you offer, the personal attention to small details and the friendliness of your staff has made our trip really perfect…” CRN & RLN (Boston, Mass)

“amazing attention to detail…..”

“Now that I’ve travelled with Janet (several times) I can never go back to other tour companies, her attention to detail is exceptional. Everything is carefully planned and yet it is relaxed. If we meet someone particularly interesting there is always time to stay and chat” MLP (Mackinaw City, MI)


Would you like to know more or to book your place?

Please contact

Or call 07590 990 160 (during UK office hours)

Check out our blog ‘Educated Traveller’ for numerous articles about Southern Italy. My favourite is the story about the eruption of Vesuvius and the burial of Herculaneum and its discovery hundreds of years later – here’s the link. Vesuvius and Herculaneum

Don’t miss my recent article Matera 2019 – European City of Culture

For exciting new developments at Herculaneum check out: Herculaneum – A Bright New Future

Happy Travels!