Jan 7 - 20, 2020
14 days
$6,650per person, twin share (land content only). $1,150 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Robert Veel
Jan 7 - 20, 2020

Tour Leader

Robert Veel$6,650per person, twin share (land content only). $1,150 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


A feast for the senses, this 14-day tour begins with six nights in Palermo where centuries of diverse cultures, from the ancient Greeks to the Normans, come together. We explore the layers of the city’s cultural heritage and venture out with day trips to Segesta and Cefalù. We then travel to Naples, our base for the next six nights, where we explore the ancient sites of Herculaneum and Paestum. We travel along the scenic Amalfi Coast and visit the galleries of Capodimonte and the Naples National Archaeological Museum.


  • Mediterranean history, art and architecture, showcasing more than 3,000 years of civilisation
  • Classical archaeology at leading Greek and Roman sites in Sicily and on the Bay of Naples
  • The lasting legacy of medieval Arab and Norman rule, expressed in the mosaics and architecture of Palermo
  • The ‘southern Renaissance’ of the 18th century, culminating in the period of Bourbon rule, which made Naples a major European centre of culture


  • Well-preserved Greek and Roman culture at Segesta, Paestum and Herculaneum
  • Impressive Arab-Norman mosaics in Palermo and Cefalù
  • Little-visited but world-famous artworks at Capodimonte and in the footsteps of Caravaggio
  • Private visit to Palazzo Lanza Tomasi, home of Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the Sicilian literary masterpiece The Leopard
  • Palermo and Naples’ excellent gastronomic scenes, including tastings of local specialties
  • Only two hotel stays: six nights at each
  • Off-season travel: low visitor numbers and mild weather

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Take a group flight from Rome to Palermo.

Days 2–6: View Greek architecture in Segesta and Arab-Norman Byzantine mosaics in Palermo. Visit the home of author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (The Leopard).

Days 7–13: Take the overnight ferry to Naples. Explore the ancient sites of Herculaneum and Paestum. Travel along the scenic Amalfi Coast and visit the galleries of Capodimonte and the National Archaeological Museum. Dine at excellent restaurants, follow in Caravaggio’s footsteps and enjoy a performance at the historic Teatro San Carlo.

Day 14: Transfer to Rome airport for flights home.

A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.

Getting There

Emirates flies to Rome daily from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

Available shortly.

Robert Veel

Holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Education. He is a director of Academy Travel and leads tours to Europe, Scandinavia, the US & Australia.

Robert Veel is a cultural historian with over 20 years’ experience leading tours to Italy, the USA, Scandinavia and Turkey. He has a strong personal interest in the visual arts, architecture and music, and is a founding director of Academy Travel.

Robert holds a BA, Dip. Ed and M.Ed, all from the University of Sydney. He worked as a lecturer at the University of Sydney before a long stint at the University’s Centre for Continuing Education, lecturing in Italian history and culture and working as Assistant Director.  Robert continues to teach occasionally in Continuing Education courses.

Robert’s historical and artistic knowledge stretches from the Middle Ages through the early 20th century. In Italy he has led many tours focusing on the Medieval and Renaissance periods.  In the United States he likes to focus on the founding of the Republic and the Gilded Age of the early 20th century. In Scandinavia he is particularly interested in national identity and its role in Scandinavian literature, design and architecture. Robert speaks fluent Italian.

Robert led his first tour to Italy in 1990 and has not looked back! He has led more than 50 tours and designed many of Academy Travel’s most popular tours, including Sicily, New York, Rome and Venice residential tours, and our Scandinavia tours. More recently Robert led the first offering of Academy Travel’s tours to Tasmania and New Zealand.

We asked Robert, what do you enjoy most about leading tours?

“I really enjoy travelling with like-minded, interested travellers who are up for a bit of an intellectual adventure. It’s often the unexpected things that create the ‘shared joy’ of group travel”, says Robert “a wonderful, but little-known painting, a great performance or a fabulous meal. These are the things we travel for.”

“Over the years travellers have commented on my seemingly boundless enthusiasm. It’s true that I am curious about most things – people, places, history and artistic expression. There’s a kind of alchemy when this enthusiasm rubs off on others – hopefully with a bit of useful information as well!”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


Hotels have been selected principally for their central location. Both hotels are excellent 4-star properties that are renovated palazzi.

Palermo, Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa (6 nights)

Set in central Palermo, just 400 metres from the Baroque square of Quattro Canti. The hotel features an ancient cloister that is used as a venue for concerts and other events. www.piazzaborsa.it

Overnight Ferry, Palermo to Naples (1 night)

Cabins have private bathrooms and are basic, but comfortable. The journey takes 12 hours.

Naples, Hotel Palazzo Alabardieri (6 nights)

Located in the heart of Naples, in the fashionable Chiaia neighbourhood, the hotel is a short walk from the Basilica di San Francesco and the Royal Palace. www.palazzoalabardieri.it

Tour Inclusions

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

Airport Transfers

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

Booking conditions

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.

Cancellation Fees

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

Final Payment

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.

Fitness rating

Grade 2

A Grade 2 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
More Details


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Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Jamal Fairbrother 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)

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