Splendors of Sicily & Southern Italy

An Ambassadair original featuring Chef Matteo Di Rosa

  • Date

    October 6 – 17, 2023 | Fri / Tue – 12 Days

  • Location

    Rome |Palermo | Monreale | Erice | Mazara del Vallo | Mozia | Marsala | Agrigento | Taormina | Giardini di Naxos | Matera | Amalfi | Torre del Greco | Pompeii | Sorrento


A sensational adventure awaits those eager to discover how the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea retains its status as a “hidden paradise” of culture and topography. Join us as we chronicle the rich history of this Sicilian melting pot amid a cross-cultural wonderland of cobblestones, customs, and cuisine. This journey begins in Palermo, stopping in medieval villages along the Mediterranean coast and indulging in authentic Sicilian fare. Unveil the Hellenic influence in architecture with an expert-led tour of the Valley of Temples. Journey east to Sicily’s Ionian Coast, affirming testimony to the impressive Mt. Etna and the landscape so beautifully sculpted by her fury. Continue to southern Italy, passing through the unspoiled region of Calabria in route to the mountainous region of Basilicata, where the Cinderella story of Matera comes to life in the gorgeous Italian hill town. Enjoy a Chef Matteo-influenced lunch and visit his boyhood town of Torre del Greco before moving on to witness a snapshot in time at the remarkably preserved city of Pompeii. This cultural journey concludes in the charming seaside town of Sorrento, drawing some of the best chefs from all over the world to its world-renowned citrus, and culinary crown jewel, shellfish!


  • Imperial Rome Tour
  • Monreale featuring Norman and Arabic Cathedrals
  • Medieval Erice
  • Marsala Salt Marshes and Phoenician History
  • Valley of the Temples
  • Mt Etna Volcano National Park
  • Sassi di Matera Ancient Settlement
  • Ruins of Pompeii
  • Amalfi Coast / Sorrento
  • Wineries and Food Pairing Experiences


  • Roundtrip air from Indianapolis to Rome, Italy, and from Naples, Italy
  • Escorted
  • Italian Tour Host Chef Matteo Di Rosa
  • 10 nights Hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Private Ground transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling


A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.

This itinerary requires extensive walking capabilities. Some of the most unique sightseeing can include multiple stairs and uneven terrains with historic areas restrictive to motorcoaches.

Fri, Oct 6: Depart Indianapolis for Rome, Italy.

Sat, Oct 7: Following an overnight flight, arrive Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino Airport, Rome. Meet up with Paolo, our Sicily and Southern Italy Tour Guide who will be with us entirety of the tour. Board, a private transfer to Hotel Le Meridien. Unload luggage and skirt off on a walking tour of Piaza Popolo, known to be one of the most famous and beautiful squares in Rome. Indulge right away in the local fare with a Welcome Lunch, then embark on the first of many ‘must see’ experiences. Take an expert led tour of Imperial Rome taking in the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or continue exploring the antiquities of this Imperial City. (Meal: Welcome Lunch)

Sun, Oct 8: This morning, your Italian sojourn continues with a short flight to Palermo, Sicily. Discover the city’s vibrant culture, picturesque harbors, cobblestone piazzas, and Byzantine mosaics. Learn of the fascinating influence of Palermo and its tumultuous past creating an eclectic mix of architectural styles and cultures. Palermo’s vast diversity is directly related to its strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean which led to a past filled with a regular succession of invaders, from Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and Romans….to Normans, Swabians, French, Spanish and more. Check into your hotel in Palermo and later indulge in an authentic Sicilian Welcome Dinner. (B,D)

Mon, Oct 9: This morning, enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing for Monreale. Visit the town’s 12th century Monreale Cathedral located among the hills overlooking Palermo with an awe-inspiring view. Declared a treasure of Norman architecture, Monreale is famed for the world’s most magnificent, golden Byzantine mosaics. As one of nine in the series of religious and civic structures from the Norman Kingdom era, it has been inscribed a UNESCO World Heritage Listing. Next, explore the Arabic Norman Cathedral and further witness the unparalleled crossroads of the Mediterranean architecture, people, and land. Visit one of four Arabic-heritage Street Markets for a vast selection of Sicilian bites. Taste life as a local at Capo Market featuring a carefully choreographed arrangement of fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish, all in the ancient tradition of the Arabs Suk. Experience the charm of Erice, an old medieval village animated with typical craft shops, pottery, carpets, and traditional sweets. Later, arrive Mazara, a city known for its hospitality. Chef Matteo and the Osteria Scopari, a proud Sicilian family-owned cooking school, learn firsthand, the secrets of authentic Sicilian fare, expertly guided for an amazing feast. Overnight in Mazara Del Vallo. (B.D)

Tue, Oct 10: Today depart for Motya Island, a small island evidenced with archaeological remains, also referred to as San Pataleo Island. An allure of salt marshes, windmills, and vineyards, find this to be an exquisite landscape. Boat to Mozia, a present-day commune of Marsala, Italy. Take a step back to the 12th century of this influential colony for the development of Phoenician trade. Continue to Agrigento for a hearty lunch at Donnafugata Marsala Winery. Discover the ancient influence behind the refinement of this famous wine, the 1851 architecture of Marsala’s underground cellars reminiscent of the Basilica Cistern of Istanbul. Enjoy dinner on your own with an overnight in Agrigento. (B,L)

Wed, Oct 11: Visit an enchanted valley of both man-made culture and natural landscape, Agrigento. This ancient city of Akragas sits on a seaside plateau and remains largely unexcavated today.  Located just outside of Agrigento, lies the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site of eight Greek temples, a necropolis, and sanctuaries. Presumably, the most valuable of all archaeological sites and most impressive ensemble of Hellenic architecture in Sicily, it houses some of the best-preserved Ancient Greek ruins in the world. Only expert historians can justify the commentary necessary to compliment the captivating vision of history through two of the temples most untouched by time, the Temple of Juno Lacinia, goddess of Fertility, and the Temple of Concordia, named for the goddess of Harmony. Continue to Taormina, a jewel in the crown of Sicily’s east coast, and one of the island’s best loved towns. Sitting high atop a cliff, Taormina’s view of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna is nothing short of spectacular! Check into your hotel in Giardini Naxos for a two-night stay. (B,D) 

Thu, Oct 12: A remarkable day continues along the Ionian Coast, studded with magnificent Sicilian sites; the greatest of all natural sites is Mount Etna. Celebrated for its incredible beauty, Mt. Etna is evidence to the uncontrollable power of Mother Nature. The cultural and educational value of Mt. Etna’s global significance reveals that which has earned it a UNESCO World Heritage site declaration. Experience the natural phenomena of one of the world’s most active and iconic volcanoes as you tour Mt. Etna Volcano National Park. Later, enjoy a spectacular lunch at Gambino Winery, voted one of the best Vineyards in Sicily, featuring wine harvested from Mt. Etna grapes. Returning to Naxos, take advantage of a free evening to explore on your own. (B,L)

Fri, Oct 13: Stunning beaches and inland mountains dot the landscape of the unspoiled region of Calabria, whose unparalleled scenery has only been discovered by a fraction of those crowding the Italian hotspots of Amalfi. In route to the Basilicata region, board a ferry for a short ride to Villa San Giovanni and find a local expert anxious to define the importance of the perfect setting, and the perfect climate, for the perfect glass of wine. Tour the cellar as traditions unveil the secret perfections of San Giovanni, then partake in a perfect pairing at dinner with fresh local cuisine before arriving, Matera, a province in southern Italy. Matera will be home for the next two nights. (B,D)

Sat, Oct 14: Explore Matera, Italy’s unique cave town whose history is so unique it defies belief. Matera hit the world stage in 2019, becoming the European capital of culture. An interesting transformation from the “shame of Italy” only a few short centuries ago, to the pride of Italy, 50 years later!  This Cinderella story unfolds at the ancient settlement of carved cave dwellings, Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the history of Matera unfold before your eyes, making clear the fascination of many filmmakers who find this ancient settlement a quintessential motion picture setting. The remainder of the day in this fascinating region is all yours with dinner on your own! (B) 

Sun, Oct 15: Today, a special visit includes the boyhood town of Chef Matteo and his 5 siblings. Hear the personal tales of the culture and traditions expressed through a meal shared together. Taste the passion that runs through the blood of Chef Matteo as you indulge in an exclusive lunch in this, his hometown, Torre del Greco. Known as the Pearl of the Gulf of Naples, Torre del Greco is the land of wine and coral. The shoreline of Campania is famous for cameos and the distinctive red coral paired often with gold and pearls. Visit APA Cameos and Coral Factory and learn of a history enriched by fascinating myths and legends. Next, witness the “beyond believe” tragedy that is not only historic, but incredibly moving, that overtook Pompeii.  Join a local as they share the devastating story of this one-time, wealthy town, and a “snapshot” of townspeople frozen in time under 19 feet of Mt. Vesuvius ash. A welcome shift from a heartfelt memorial, set off for the stunningly beautiful, seaside town of Sorrento, our home for the final two nights. Be prepared to have your senses awakened with the bright colors and strong flavors that make Sorrento a favorite foodie destination. (B, L) 

Mon, Oct 16: This morning take in the sights and colors of the Mediterranean Sea. Wind your way along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, demonstrating the topographical characteristics that award it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. An abundance of citrus fruits and lemon groves celebrate the idyllic beauty of the charming coastal villages and commemorate its valuable export. Meet a family whose product pays tribute to Sorrento as you visit a family-owned and operated Limoncello Liqueur Factory. Later, you’ll have personal time to discover what it is about Sorrento’s coast that attracts some of the best chefs in the world. Tonight, we come together at the farewell dinner to celebrate the end of a journey with a taste of Sorrento’s world-renowned Italian cuisine. (B.D)

Tue, Oct 17:  Bid arrivederci to Italy as you depart for home. (B)


Hotel in Rome, TBA

Hotel Garibaldi, Palermo

In the heart of Palermo, within a beautiful building, founded the Hotel Garibaldi Politeama, taking its name from the magnificent theatre that stands front. Amenities: Business Center • Bar/Restaurant • Laundry service • Complimentary WiFi • Concierge • Air Conditioning • Room Service • Coffee/Tea maker • Flatscreen TV • Desk • Safe • Minibar • Bath/shower • Hairdryer

Hotel Mahara, Mazara del Vallo

For the Sicily you didn’t imagine. Once an ancient oenological establishment belonging to the English Hopps Family in the eighteenth century, now the Mahara Hotel, an elegant 4-star hotel on the Mazara seafront, just a 5-minute walk from the fascinating historic center of the city. The relaxing atmosphere on the Sicilian sea and the excellent local cuisine based on fish make it a perfect destination property. Amenities: Complimentary WIFI • Pool • Sauna • Business Center • In room: Air conditioning • Room service • Minibar • Private balcony • Safe • Flatscreen TV

Hotel della Valle, Agrigento

A charming 4-star hotel located in a quiet and elevated position, a short distance from the Valley of the Temples, historic center of the city once called Akragas, and the blue sea and coastline. Amenities: Complimentary WIFI • Pool • Sauna • Spa • Laundry/Ironing service • In room: Air conditioning • Room service • Minibar • Bottled water • Private balcony • Safe • Flatscreen TV

Una Hotel Naxos Beach, Giardini di Naxos

At the foot of Mt. Etna, find an enchanted hotel surrounded by nature, composed by a natural park of citrus groves, and located directly on the beach of the Mediterranean Sea, between nature, sport, relaxation and culture, this hotel features a mini club with entertainment, five different restaurants, a private beach, 4 swimming pools, boutiques, bars and a beauty center. Amenities: Complimentary WIFI • Pool • Spa • Fitness Room • private beach • Tennis Court • Laundry/Ironing service • In room: Air conditioning • Room service • Housekeeping • Minibar • Private balcony • Safe


MH Matera, a 4-star hotel surrounded by green hills and landscaped gardens, situated only five minutes from the Sassi, ancient settlement and reflects the lucan gastronomy with her intense and delicious flavors.  Amenities: Complimentary WIFI • Pool • Sauna • Spa • Wellness services • Business Center •  Laundry/Ironing service • In room: Air conditioning • Blackout curtains • Room service • Desk • Minibar • Coffee/Tea maker • Bidet • Bottled water • Private balcony • Safe • Flatscreen TV

Hotel Michelangelo, Sorrento

A peaceful oasis in the center of town, developed around an ancient tower dating back to the sixteenth century. Its location is perfect for those wanting to immerse themselves in the beauty of Sorrento, enjoy the nightlife, explore history, culture, traditions and enjoy shopping along main street and the artisanal workshops in characteristic historical alleys. Amenities: Complimentary WIFI • Pool • Business Center • Sky Bar • Rooftop Terrace • In room: Air conditioning • Room service • Desk • Minibar • Private balcony • Safe • Flatscreen TV

  • Package with Air*
  • Double P/P – $6,999
  • Single – $8,344

*Subject to change due to final published air contract and fuel surcharges. Hotels subject to change until final numbers confirmed, Similar properties will be secured with same 4-Star quality value 

Deposit Per Person: $300