Explore the fascinating history and natural beauty of central Italy on this 13-day, residential-style tour of Naples and Rome. Beginning on the Bay of Naples, tour the leading archaeological sites and museums. Pause on the island of Capri to marvel at its natural beauty, before continuing on to Rome. Visit world-class galleries and museums, private villas and palaces, and difficult-to-access sites like the Sistine Chapel for a private viewing. Enjoy the best of city touring and regioal cuisine, and the ease and comfort of superior, centrally-located hotels.
Art, architecture and culture, far beyond what most tourists see
Mediterranean history, art and architecture, showing more than 3,000 years of civilisation
Some of the world’s leading archaeological sites at Paestum, Pompeii and Herculaneum
The legacy of ancient Rome in Italy’s later history and culture, from the Renaissance to the 20th century
Visits to Rome’s most distinctive sites, including Trastevere, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon
Connect this tour
with Florence, Ravenna & Venice, April 2018. Consider combining both of these tours, Naples, Capri & Rome and Florence, Ravenna & Venice to create a 26-day program touring the major cities and cultural highlights of Italy. Travel from Naples to Venice with 4 days in between each tour to celebrate Easter in Italy.
The world’s leading archaeological sites at Paestum, Pompeii and Herculaneum
Beyond the grit of Naples to uncover a city of breathtaking art, architecture and panoramas
The legacy of ancient Rome on Italy’s later history and culture, from the Renaissance to the 20th century
Visits to Rome’s most distinctive sites, including Trastevere, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon
Spectacular coastlines and dramatic countryside
Excellent food and generous hospitality, as is the tradition of the people and vibrant culture of southern Italy
Days 1–5: Arrive Naples and explore the ancient sites of Herculaneum, Pompeii and Paestum. Travel along the Amalfi Coast and visit Capodimonte and the National Archaeological Museum.
Days 6–7: Ferry across to Capri to visit Villa San Michele and Tiberius’ Villa Jovis. Take a boat trip around the island.
Days 8–13: Travel to Rome to examine the city’s ancient history at major sites, such as the Colosseum, and Renaissance icons, such as the Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj. Contemplate Caravaggio and Bernini at the Borghese Galley and take an exclusive tour of the Sistine Chapel.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
Emirates flies to Rome daily from most Australian cities. Contact us for competitive quotes and bookings
Included meals are shown with the letters B, L and D.
Friday March 16: Arrival
The tour begins at Fiumicino Airport, from where we travel together to our hotel on the Naples seafront, about a three-hour drive. For centuries Naples, has seduced travellers through its blend of ancient and modern cultures that is both sophisticated and exhilarating. From the inspiring ruins of ancient Greek temples to its diverse art and architecture and even in the sheer chaos of the traffic, one feels alive in Naples. We check-in to our hotel set right on Naples’ seafront promenade, and stroll to a local restaurant for dinner. Overnight Naples (D)
Saturday March 17: Naples’ ancient roots
This morning we visit Italy’s acclaimed National Archaeological Museum with its outstanding collection, of paintings, mosaics, sculptures and everyday objects from Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Bay of Naples. It also houses the ‘Farnese collection’, Roman works assembled in the Renaissance by the aristocratic Farnese family and acquired through marriage by the Bourbons. The museum itself, housed in a splendid palace, is a testament to the influence of the European Enlightenment in Naples. Afterwards we walk down through central Naples to enjoy a traditional pizza lunch in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, we visit Il Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta and treasury, still the repository of many precious objects (and much local lore) connected with the miraculous life of 4th-century bishop Januarius. The annual liquefaction of his blood is still an important ritual for Neapolitans. At Napoli Sotterranea, we go underground and come face to face with the ancient city. There is a talk this evening. Overnight Naples (B, L)
Sunday March 18: Rediscovering the ancient cities
We spend the day with leading archaeologist and Pompeii expert Dr Estelle Lazer. At Pompeii we explore the private and public buildings which have captured the imagination of visitors since the ruins were discovered in the 18th century. Pompeii offers a huge variety of ruins, and there will be some free time for individual exploration after our guided visit. Our tour here ends at the Villa of the Mysteries, a large villa on the town’s edge with superb frescoes. We continue on in the afternoon to Herculaneum to see the well-preserved houses, shops and public buildings, many of them with their wall-paintings and even wooden elements intact. With its replanted gardens and contained layout Herculaneum is in many ways a more attractive site than world-famous Pompeii, and visited by far fewer people. Overnight Naples (B)
Monday March 19: The Greeks in Italy
We leave Naples early this morning for a day trip to Paestum and the Amalfi Coast. Paestum was an important colony for the Greeks in southern Italy (or Magna Graecia, “Greater Greece”), and its temples are better preserved than many of those in mainland Greece. But the local Lucanians and the Roman settlers also made an impact here and the site’s Archaeological Museum has a wonderful collection of paintings, jewellery and sarcophagi. The celebrated Tomb of the Diver may be our only surviving example of Greek fresco painting, and it is a wonderful meditation on the possibility of life beyond death. After a visit to a local farm to sample mozzarella di bufala, the buffalo-milk mozzarella that is a regional specialty, we continue on to the Amalfi Coast. The spectacular limestone cliffs here meet a crystal-clear sea, providing an unforgettable experience. We return to Naples in the evening. Overnight Naples (B, L)
Tuesday March 20: Painting in Naples, 1200-1700
We spend this morning at Capodimonte, located in the vast former hunting lodge of the Bourbon King Charles VII. Capodimonte now houses Naples’ most important fine arts museum, with masterpieces by Tuscans Simone Martini, Masaccio and Botticelli, alongside works by Mantegna, Bellini, Titian and Raphael. The strongly Hispano-Flemish taste of the Spanish viceroys is also reflected in works by Caravaggio, De Ribera (known in Naples as the “Spagnoletto”) and El Greco. There is ample time to wander in the extensive park – with a beautiful view over Naples – visit the lavish royal apartments, or spend more time in the magnificent art collection. In the later afternoon, we visit the nearby San Martino Monastery that sits on top of a rocky promontory and commands sweeping views of the city. Built in the 14th century, it was restored in the 17th century in exuberant Neapolitan baroque. Overnight Naples (B)
Wednesday March 21: To the Island of Capri
The island of Capri is a place of immense natural beauty, a rugged, mountainous island jutting out dramatically from the sea. This chic playground for the wealthy was the haunt of eccentrics and intellectuals in its past, and continues to beguile with its spectacular scenery and impossibly azure sea. It was a favourite haunt of Roman emperors; archaeological evidence suggests that there were up to 12 imperial villas on the island. We take the ferry across to Capri arriving midday to our hotel just 100 metres from the islands celebrated La Piazzetta Square. In the late afternoon, we make our way to Anacapri to visit Villa San Michele, built by the Swedish physician Axel Munthe who built this villa on the ruins of one of Tiberius’ villas. We sip cocktails on the terrace while admiring the stunning views. Afterwards we have dinner together at a local restaurant. Overnight Capri (B, Aperitivo, D)
Thursday March 22: Tiberius’ Villa
Capri was the favourite island retreat of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius. Today we visit the ruins of Villa Jovis, the best preserved of the Emperor’s villas, in the Astarita Park. The park, with its fabulous coastal pines and Mediterranean flora, is built on a series of terraces above the sea. The strategically located villa was constructed on the top of cliffs from which there are views of the whole of the Bay of Naples. Weather permitting, we board a boat to tour the islands most famous site – the Grotta Azzurra, surely one of the great wonders of the world, chosen by Emperor Tiberius as his personal nymphaeum. Overnight Capri (B)
Friday March 23: To Rome
This morning is free to relax before we travel by ferry to Naples, meet our coach and continue on to Rome. We arrive in Rome in the afternoon with time to freshen up before taking an evening stroll through the ancient city. This evening we have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Rome (B, D)
Saturday March 24: Classical Rome
Rome is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. We begin today by exploring the ancient heart of the Roman Empire, with a walking tour of the Colosseum and Forum. After a break for lunch there is the choice of visiting the excellent Capitoline Museums, containing a collection of ancient sculpture as well as Renaissance paintings, or of having a free afternoon. Overnight Rome (B)
Sunday March 25: Caravaggio’s Rome
The career of Caravaggio is another way to explore the splendour of 17th and 18th-century Rome. He moved here in the 1590s and this morning we take a walking tour of the most significant sites associated with him, from the private collection at the Palazzo Colonna, which still contains little-seen key works by his rivals, to the Pantheon and the artist’s neighbourhood around Piazza Navona, where Caravaggio’s beautiful St Matthew cycle and Pilgrims’ Madonna are still in local churches. After a late lunch, we visit the nearby Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj, an aristocratic palace with a treasure trove of works by Velazquez, Caravaggio and Claude. Overnight Rome (B)
Monday March 26: Borghese Gallery
The Borghese Gallery houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V (reign 1605–1621). Scipione Borghese was an early patron of Bernini and an avid collector of works by Caravaggio, who is well represented in the collection. Other painters of note include Titian, Raphael, Rubens and Barocci. We then move on to the Spanish Steps, where we have a special visit to the House and Studio of Giorgio de Chirico, 20th-century Italy’s finest surrealist painter. His rooms overlooking the Spanish Steps contain an excellent collection, giving a sense of Italy’s modern culture. Overnight Rome (B)
Tuesday March 27: Popes and Bankers in Rome
We begin this morning at the nearby Villa Farnesina, a sumptuous 16th-century love nest built for papal banker Agostino Chigi. Today, it is known for Raphael’s beautiful frescoes, which depict the colourful flings of the gods. We have our farewell lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to explore Trastevere, including the medieval mosaics at Santa Maria in Trastevere. This evening we have a guided after-hours private visit of the Sistine Chapel this evening. Overnight Rome (B, L)
Wednesday March 28: Departure
The tour ends today after breakfast. There is a transfer to Fiumicino Airport timed to coincide with departing flights. Depending on flight schedule there may also be time for some sightseeing today. (B)
A classical archaeologist, an antiquarian, garden historian and lecturer. The former Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney.
Since 2005 he has been Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney. Michael has homes in Sydney and Sussex.
Hotels have been selected principally for their central location. All hotels are excellent 4-star properties that are within renovated palazzi.
Naples, to be announced (5 nights)
Capri, Hotel La Palma (2 nights)
Just around the corner from the famous Piazzetta, Hotel La Palma is in the centre of Capri, the most vibrant area of the Island. www.lapalma-capri.com
Rome, Hotel Ponte Sisto (5 nights)
The Hotel Ponte Sisto is located in a renovated historical palazzo in a quiet part of central Rome. The recently refurbished rooms are well-equipped and relatively spacious. www.hotelpontesisto.it
What is included in the tour price? Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price? Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.