italy, capri, vesuvius
Colorful boats in Capri's harbor

Splendors of ItalyA cruise featuring Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Sicily

Sep 16 - 26, 2014
Experience Bell’Italia aboard the small ship Variety Voyager
Starting at $7,995
Call 855-330-1542 or Ask Us a Question
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Overview
The Tyrrhenian Sea, a less-heralded cruise destination than the Mediterranean or Aegean, is astonishingly rich in historical, archaeological, and cultural attractions. Before boarding the beautiful new Variety Voyager for seven nights of fascinating port calls, explore the treasures of Rome and Hadrian’s extraordinary villa at Tivoli, a World Heritage site. Once aboard your elegant yacht, cruise past Stromboli for a thrilling nighttime view of the volcano’s constant activity, then visit Taormina’s Greco-Roman theater, back-dropped by stunning Mt. Etna; the Aeolian Islands of Vulcano and Lipari, part of the volcanic archipelago between Vesuvius and Etna; the medieval aerie of Erice, perched high above the sea in northwestern Sicily, and Segesta’s stunning Doric temple; the Amalfi Coast, designated a World Heritage site as a “cultural landscape”; and fabled Capri, home of the Emperor Tiberius’s Roman villa and a colorful, cosmopolitan population. Fine wine, delicious regional cuisine, and unhurried excursions make this a memorable adventure in Bell’Italia!

Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this cruise!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at the top of the page!

Itinerary
September 16 & 17 — U.S., Rome, Italy

Depart the U.S. for Rome. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel, ideally located in central Rome on the piazza next to the Pantheon, which was built as a temple to all the gods of Rome. Gather for a welcome reception and orientation. Grand Hotel de la Minerva (R)

September 18 — Rome
The eternal city offers a feast for the senses. Choose an excursion to the newly reopened Borghese Gallery to see fabulous sculptures and paintings and stroll along the exciting Via Veneto. Or explore Rome’s Jewish ghetto, synagogue, the popular Campo dei Fiori and its neighborhood of cobblestone streets. Enjoy time in the afternoon for independent exploration. Then gather in the evening for a festive welcome dinner in a popular trattoria. Grand Hotel de la Minerva (B,D)

September 19 — Rome, Anzio
Depart Rome for the countryside where Emperor Hadrian built his exquisite villa in the 2nd century as a retreat from his hectic public life. Originally covering in excess of a square kilometer, it was a complex of thirty buildings, including palaces, temples, baths and more. After lunch, continue to the Renaissance gardens of Villa d’Este, famous for its terraced landscapes and magical fountain displays. In the late afternoon, board Variety Voyager, your sea-going home for the next seven nights. Variety Voyager (B,L,D)

September 20 — At Sea
Take a deep breath of fresh salty air today and relax while Variety Voyager cruises to Sicily. Continue the educational program and tour the ship. Tonight cruise past the island of Stromboli and see the night sky lit up by the volcano’s activity. Variety Voyager (B,L,D)

September 21 — Taormina
One of the most cosmopolitan corners of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Taormina has always been a popular destination for emperors, celebrities, writers, and travelers. Witness the beautifully situated 7th century Greco-Roman theater overlooking the sea and across to steaming Mt. Etna. Stroll in the village and have free time before driving to the flanks of the volcano for a private al fresco lunch in a family-owned vineyard. Variety Voyager (B,L,D)

September 22 — Vulcano & Lipari
Today explore the lightly accessed Aeolian Islands. At Vulcano see the steaming fumaroles and, optionally, immerse yourself in the warm, therapeutic mud baths, as did the ancients. Largest of the Aeolians, Lipari has always been a crossroads with a fascinating history: once a major naval port in the Punic Wars, it was infested with pirates till the late 19th century. Visit the archaeology museum, with its exhibits dating from the Neolithic to Classical period and one of the most complete collections of miniature Greek theatrical masks in the world. Looming over all is the imposing 16th century castello. Variety Voyager (B,L,D)

September 23 — Erice, Segesta
High atop 2500 ft Mt. Erice, see the sweeping panorama of western Sicily and the Tyrrhenian Sea from the ramparts of the medieval village of Erice. Wend your way down a maze of cobbled streets to the aerie’s two castles and a collection of over 60 churches. Then continue to the remarkably preserved 5th century Doric temple at Segesta which overlooks the beautiful Golfo di Castellammare. Variety Voyager (B,L,D)

September 24 — Amalfi, Ravello
Cruise to the picturesque Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast), located south of Sorrento. After anchoring in sparkling blue Amalfi Bay, disembark for the aerie of Ravello, (a World Heritage Site). Built by one of the richest patricians of Ravello, the Rufalo Villa was mentioned in Boccaccio’s Decameron and is said to have inspired Richard Wagner’s stage design of his opera Parsifal. Nearby, admire the famous “Terrace of the Infinite” gardens of Villa Cimbrone. Return to Amalfi for an afternoon at leisure, perhaps visiting the cathedral and campanile or stopping into the myriad shops and artisan workshops. Spend the evening at anchor with a view to one of the true gems of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Variety Voyager (B,L,D)

September 25 — Capri
Variety Voyager cruises along Capri Island’s dramatic cliffs for a view the iconic Faraglioni rock formations, a trio of legendary sea giants, before arriving at Marina Grande. Take the funicular up to cosmopolitan Capri town for a guided tour of the ruins of Emperor Tiberius’s Villa Jovis and an introduction to the village. Then enjoy free time: perhaps stroll to see the gardens of Villa San Michele, created by Swedish physician Axel Munthe; have lunch on your own; and sample the chic boutiques on the piazza. See why this island has always been popular with royalty, writers, artists, and celebrities, in addition to the well-traveled. Variety Voyager (B, D)

September 26 — Anzio, Disembarkation, U.S.
This morning, Variety Voyager arrives at the mainland port of Anzio for disembarkation. Travel to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for flights home. (B)