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Ancient temple at Segesta Sicily

There's nearly nothing like it. The Classical temple at Segesta on Sicily.

Trajan's Column in Rome, completed in AD 113, is decorated with a 190-metre (620-foot) frieze of sculpture depicting the great Roman emperor's deeds.

This is part 5 of our series about the 2020 Peter Sommer Travels brochure, which made its way to the letterboxes of our guests and friends all over the world last month. It is also available on our website as a pdf download or as a browsable online brochure. Together, the posts in the series present a full overview of our activities and the experiences we offer to our guests in 2020. Part 1 looks back at what we did 2019 and forward to our new plans for 2020 and beyond, part 2 showcases our cruises in Croatia, part 3 describes what we do in Greece, and part 4 does the same for Turkey. This post is about our expert-led tours in Italy.

Italy - a country full of special cultural wealth

We have been active in Italy for a decade now, a period during which we have added much to our knowledge of the country and its immeasurable cultural wealth, as well as deepened our appreciation of its contemporary lifestyle. Over the years, our tour experts have shared many wonderful discoveries with our guests. Like all our work, our Italian programme is constantly renewed, to make sure it maintains the highest quality. In 2020, we are concentrating on our Exploring and Gastronomic tours, with five tours on three different itineraries in 2020.

The Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre, of the 1st century AD is just one of Rome's countless highlights.

Our very first tour in 2020 will be Exploring Rome. The tour, concentrating on one of the world's most historic cities, was redesigned prior to the 2019 season. A city as superlative as Rome, where every step, every street and every vista is steeped not in history but in histories deserves a superlative way of seeing it and experiencing it, and that's what we aim for. Ours is an extraordinary lively approach to the city, its countless historic monuments and the many pivotal works of art and architecture it contains, as well as myriad stories arising from Rome's long history, all wound together into a fascinating panoramic overview that is as entertaining as it is informative. Emperors and popes, soldiers and gladiators, painters and sculptors all make their appearance in the tale of Rome, told in March/April and October. For another way to see the city, it is also worth considering our add-ons in the 'eternal city'.

The Temple of Juno (so-called) at Agrigento is one of Sicily's many architectural marvels.

Exploring Sicily is our longest tour in Italy, an enticing two-week trip through that famous island, and through its dazzlingly diverse history. Sicily has been a crucible of cultures for thousands of years, and its many occupants have left behind a rich set of stunning treasures, some physical like the great Greek temples, the traces of Phoenician presence, the omnipresence of the Roman empire, the ornate Norman cathedrals with their Byzantine and Arab influences or the stately Baroque towns, some intangible like the island's melodious language, and some in between, such as Sicily's wonderful cuisine, itself a historic panorama (more about that below). For centuries, travellers from many parts have felt that Sicily is a very special place to see. The tour is a stunning experience, holistic and inspiring, as our experts conjure up the island's past day by day, surrounded by its gorgeous landscapes. We offer it twice, in April/May and May, when the spring flowers are at their best. I could write many more lines about Sicily, it is a place like none other...

Delicious fresh vergetables in a farmers' market on Sicily.

The week-long Gastronomic Tour of Sicily, a tour de force in the true sense of those words, is another way to explore Sicily, and one that appeals to all the senses. At Peter Sommer Travels, we take food seriously, and so do the Sicilians! It is a central part of their cultural legacy and quite clearly a part of their fervent Sicilian identity. Sicilian food is an immensely enjoyable expression of the island's multifarious history and its many intertwined strands, all of which can be traced through its ingredients and their use. Led by a true connoisseur of the matter, this very carefully prepared tour is a true voyage of discovery, an exploration of an enormously fascinating range of topics, and one that we are deeply proud of. In 2020, it takes place in September/October.

These are the scheduled adventures we offer in Italy in 2020. Of course, that's not all we do in a country that rewards the curious traveller so well: we also offer add-ons, especially in Rome, and tailor-made tours or chartered cruises for those who want a personally designed experience in Italy. We invite you to join us for the extraordinary cultural depth of the country and also for la dolce vita; they're both part and parcel of what it means to see Italy with true experts.

The stunning 12th century Byzantine-Norman mosaic of Christ Pantokrator (all-ruler) in the cathedral of Monreale, Sicily.

To view our 2020 brochure, get the pdf download or browse the  online version.

Also in this series:

Travel brochure 2020 - part 1: looking back and looking ahead

Travel brochure 2020 - part 2: Croatia

Travel brochure 2020 - part 3: Greece

Travel brochure 2020 - part 4: Turkey

Travel brochure 2020 - part 6: United Kingdom

Travel brochure 2020 - part 7: Ireland

Travel brochure 2020 - part 8: gulet charters, tailor-made tours and add-ons

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AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2015 Gold Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2017 Gold Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2018 Silver Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2019 Silver Award Best Travel Company for Arts and Culture Holidays Silver British Travel Award 2022 Member of AITO The Specialist Travel Association Member of ABTA the Association of British Travel Agents Member of ASTA The American Society of Travel Advisors Member of ABTOI the Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy

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