Take ‘the road less travelled’ through Puglia and Basilicata and on to the stunning scenery and renowned archaeological sites of the Bay of Naples. This tour begins with the fascinating history of southern Italy, from the cave-dwelling people of Matera to ancient Greek colonies, Norman castles and cathedrals, and elegant Southern Baroque architecture in Lecce. It then continues to the Bay of Naples, justly lauded in antiquity for its superb scenery and relaxed lifestyle, and today a wonderland of art and archaeology, from Pompeii and Herculaneum to Caravaggio and his followers.
The history and classical archaeology of southern Italy, from the Greek colonists at Paestum to the Romans at Pompeii and Herculaneum
Thousands of years of foreign rule and cultural influence, from the Arabs and Normans in the Middle Ages, to the Aragonese, Spanish and Bourbons in the modern era
Stunning natural beauty, from rugged mountain ranges to dazzling Mediterranean coastlines
The prized regional culinary traditions of southern Italy
The medieval castles and cathedrals of Puglia, built by Norman and German rulers
The battlefield of Cannae, where Hannibal defeated the Romans in 216 BC
The unique ‘sassi’ cave dwellings in the ancient city of Matera, one of Italy’s most remote cities
The hidden artistic and architectural gems of Naples, seen by relatively few tourists
Europe’s premier archaeological sites, including Paestum, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis
Capodimonte, the Bourbon royal palace housing a remarkable collection of fine art
Days 1–3: Take a group flight from Rome. Arrive in Lecce, explore the town, Otranto and Brindisi.
Days 4–5: Tour Taranto, see the ‘sassi’ of Matera.
Days 6–8: In Trani, visit Roman and medieval sites and sections of the Appian Way.
Days 9–11: Travel to Vietri sul Mare and spend a day at Paestum. Drive part of the Amalfi Coast to the hill-top town of Ravello.
Days 12–16: Explore the city of Naples, including the National Archaeological Museum. Visit key archaeological sites at Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis, as well as Capodimonte.
Optional post-tour extension to Capri and Amalfi.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
Emirates offers the best connections to Rome. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. Bookings are open for this tour, however if you would like to receive the detailed itinerary booklet once available, please register your interest below and we will send you a copy.
Dr Estelle Lazer
An archaeologist who has worked on site at Pompeii for numerous seasons and has an international reputation for her research on the city's skeletal remains.
Dr Estelle Lazer is an archaeologist with an international reputation for her work on the human victims of Pompeii, with more field seasons in the Bay of Naples than she cares to remember! Her PhD studied the site’s human skeletons, and her current project is to CT scan and X-ray the unique casts of these victims. Estelle’s book, Resurrecting Pompeii, was published by Routledge and her work forms a core part of the Ancient History syllabus for the NSW Higher School Certificate.
Estelle is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney. In October 2017, the University of Sydney and the Pompeii Archaeological Park signed an historic Memorandum of Agreement to partner in an important new scanning project led by Estelle. Her research has received considerable media attention in print, radio and television, with two documentaries (one for the BBC and Smithsonian, and another in production for Britain’s Channel 5) ensuring a wide audience for her fascinating findings.
Her other main field of research is historical archaeology in Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic. Estelle spent four summers working on Mawson’s Huts, and has spent another summer studying evidence of the sealing industry as well as Australia’s first post-war Antarctic base at Heard Island. She has also worked on archaeological sites in Bahrain, south-eastern Italy, Cyprus, the UK and Australia.
In addition to her teaching work at the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and University of Technology, Sydney, Estelle gives frequent public lectures at the invitation of universities, schools and museums, such as the Australian National University, Oxford University, the British Museum, University of Trondheim, Norway and the British School at Rome.
Estelle has led tours to Italy and the Mediterranean for Academy Travel since the company’s inception in 2004, and also works extensively with our Academy Schools program for teachers and students. In addition to her obvious archaeological expertise, she particularly enjoys explaining the place of mythology in the landscape – especially in Sicily and southern Italy.
Hotels will be selected principally for their central location. All hotels used are a comfortable four-star standard.
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.