Baroque Sicily Tour

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From€5,875
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Tour Details

8 nights/9 days

Arrive in Catania and Depart from Catania

Itinerary

Day 01:Catania Arrival

Welcome to Sicily! On your arrival at Catania Airport, our local English Speaking Representative will be waiting to welcome you and facilitate your Private Transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. For overseas Flight arrivals, we suggest an early dinner with good night sleep. Overnight in Ragusa.

Day 02:Ragusa

Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver and guide at the hotel lobby for a 4 Hours Private Guided Tour. Ragusa is a small Baroque town and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Ragusa is one of the most picturesque towns in Sicily. The city is divided into two important areas: Ragusa Superiore, founded after the earthquake in 1693, and Ragusa Inferiore, the original site. The latter is called Ibla nowadays because, at the beginning of the 20th century, some archaeologists discovered the ruins of Hybla, a village founded by Siculi people about 3000 years ago. You start Your Private Tour with a stop to see the panoramic view and the church of Santa Maria delle Scale, whose interior has one nave in gothic catalan style (15th century). Going down toward the old city you find Palazzo Della Cancelleria, the Church of Madonna dell’ Itria, whose bell tower is decorated by tiles which reproduce Iris plants, and Palazzo Cosentini and its two facades joined by a statue of San Francesco di Paola. Arriving in Piazza Della Repubblica you see the church of the Anime Purganti. Its central portal door is decorated by dadoes and the souls in purgatory and on its sides, two shell niches hold statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Going along Via Capitano Bocchieri, you arrive in Piazza Duomo where, at the end of a monumental staircase closed by a wrought iron gate, there is the Church of San Giorgio, a work by Rosario Gagliardi, the most important architect of the Val di Noto. The facade is considered the best example of late baroque art: 3 levels convex in the center and concave to sides animated by free Corinthian columns. Crossing Piazza Duomo, enclosed by late baroque and neoclassic palaces, among which are the Circolo di Conversazione and Palazzo Donnafugata, you reach piazza Pola. Here you find the Church of San Giuseppe, built on the ruins of the church of San Tommaso. Its beautiful central door is flanked by statues and Corinthian columns and above it, there is a huge central window with grated shutters. After the tour return to your Hotel. Overnight in Ragusa

Day 03:Modica - Noto

Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your Driver at the Hotel lobby. Today visit Modica and Noto. Nestled in a dramatic gorge of the Val di Noto, Modica, is a World Heritage Site. Its flamboyant baroque architecture delights its visitors as soon as they approach the town from the road. Yet Modica is a sharply divided town, and locals usually identify with the lower or the upper part of the town. The lower town mainly occupies two wide streets that came to replace two rivers after a tragic flood in 1902. The upper town, built on a steep hill, is a maze of alleyways and retains the feel of an old Sicilian village. Both have many splendid baroque palaces and religious edifices. Lower and upper Modica have their own opulent Chiesa Madre. The church dedicated to San Giorgio, the patron saint of Modica (upper Modica) is of interest, notably for its remarkable grand façade and its elegant twin staircases leading to the church. In the church of San Pietro (lower Modica), its old rival, the largest chapel is decorated with a superb Madonna of Trapani by the school of Gagini. Next to San Pietro is the cave-church of San Nicolo Inferiore, the oldest church in Modica. Its earliest fresco, depicting a scene of the Ascension, date from late Byzantine (late 10th early 11th century). You will be introduced to the town’s legendary chocolate-making traditions with a visit to Modica’s most esteemed chocolatier for a special behind the scenes look at their artisanal chocolate making practices. After Lunch/Food and Wine Tour in the Countryside Wine Estate, continue to Noto, famous for its masterpieces of Sicilian baroque style. It has many fine churches that are outstanding because of their architecture, decorations, but also because of their strategic locations. Numerous aristocratic palazzi with their delightful baroque facades and twisted iron railings flank the main Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the many adjoining streets. The ancient community of Noto was originally known as Netum and actually lies about eight kilometers to the north of the current town of Noto on Mount Alveria. Dating back to at least 263 BC, the community changed hands numerous times over the millennium and was at one time the capital city of this district of Sicily. Tragedy would strike this region of Sicily in 1693 and the entire town of Netum and many surrounding communities were destroyed by a devastating earthquake. Today, portions of the ancient amphitheater and a few buildings are all that remains of the old town of Noto. Late afternoon, return to your Hotel in Ragusa. Overnight in Ragusa.

Day 04:Ragusa - Syracuse

Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver in the hotel lobby. Private Transfer to your Syracuse Hotel. After lunch at leisure, meet your driver and guide in the lobby. Enjoy a 4 Hours Syracuse Private Guided Tour. More than any other city, Syracuse encapsulates Sicily’s timeless beauty. Ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards, cafe tables spill onto dazzling baroque piazzas, and medieval lanes lead down to the sparkling blue sea. You will visit the ancient Greek theater, cut in the rock of the Temenite hill, the Nympheum fountain and the beautiful panorama from the top of the hill. Explore the “latomie del Paradiso” ancient stone quarries, the beautiful local flora, the “Ear of Dionysius”, a grotto famous for its shape and echo and the Roman Amphitheater. Continue to the Island of Ortigia, where you will find the Cathedral Square and be surprised by the magnificent bright limestone buildings: the town hall, Palazzo Beneventano, the bishop’s palace, and St. Lucy’s Church, but most of all the Cathedral itself, the only church still in use today which time ago was a pagan temple. You will continue to Aretusa Fountain near the sea. The myth of Aretusa was told by Ovidius and in its clear freshwater grows papyrus which probably was brought here when Archimedes lived in town. After the tour, your driver will return to your Hotel. Overnight in Syracuse.

Day 05:Syracuse

Breakfast at the Hotel. Syracuse at leisure. Overnight in Syracuse.

Day 06:Syracuse - Catania - Taormina

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. Meet your driver at the hotel lobby to transfer you to your Hotel in Taormina. On route meet your Private Guide to explore Catania. You will visit the Roman Amphitheatre, built using basaltic dark lava stones, at a lower level than the baroque town. You will see archaeological finds showing you the layers below the baroque town, dating back to the Roman period, the University Palace with its lovely courtyard decorated with Etna pebble mosaic, The Cathedral (fortress church), two of the “Seven Doors” protecting S. Agatha’s treasure and the famous “candelora”, in full silver sculptured by hands and carried on people’s shoulders around town during the patron saint’s celebration. You will find an abundance of quaint shops, boutiques, very tempting cafeterias, with unique Sicilian ricotta or almond and pistachio cookies or traditional Gelato. You will visit the “Pescheria”, the open fish market with all the fishermen shouting their prices. In the heart of this colorful and picturesque open market, just in front of a typical “bancarella” (fish stall) you can taste some fried fresh fish matched with the best of Sicilian DOC wine. After Lunch in a local characteristic restaurant continue to Taormina to spend rest of day at leisure. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 07:Mount Etna and Taormina

Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver and Guide at the hotel lobby. This morning visit Mt Etna Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes in Europe. You will reach 2.000 meters (7.000 ft) where you can admire and take a walk on the “Silvestri” craters (1892) and the latest new lava flows and craters from 2001/2002/2003 – Eruptions of Etna follow a variety of patterns. Most occur at the summit, where there are currently (as of 2008) six distinct craters: the Northeast Crater, the Voragine, the Bocca Nuova, and the Southeast Crater. Other eruptions occur on the flanks, which have more than 300 vents ranging in size from small holes in the ground to large craters hundreds of metres across. Summit eruptions can be highly explosive and spectacular, but rarely threaten the inhabited areas around the volcano. You will then visit a local family farm where it is possible to taste local Etna wine, a selection of different types of honey (orange, lemon, eucalyptus, strawberry…), almond pastries, olives, and extra virgin olive oil. Driving down from Mount Etna through wonderful scenery with photo stops at the most beautiful locations; you will visit the Piazza Belvedere (Lookout square) where you will have a breathtaking view of Isolabella (Beautiful Island) and the Messina coast line. We will then take you to the historical centre of Taormina. The gods must have been smiling on Taormina, because this Sicilian town has been blessed with heavenly beauty. Taormina, the ancient Taurominum, is a spot of infinite loveliness, the land of Dolce far niente – of sweet do nothing. The town lies in an elevated position of amazing, almost unique beauty, affording magnificent views combining sea and sky of a marvelous blue, miles of a curving coastline and picturesque mountain scenery, while the majestic pyramid of Mt. Etna on one side constitutes a scene of indescribable beauty. Upon arrival we will visit the most impressive monument of the city: the Greco-Roman Theatre. It has the finest site of any theatre in the world and one of the most striking monuments of antiquity. We continue our walking tour to the Villa Comunale: the public gardens which are planted with a huge variety of flowering plants and shrubs ranging from the most common to the exotic, your guide will be able to describe you all the botanical curiosity. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 08:Taormina

Breakfast at the Hotel. Taormina at leisure. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 09:Catania Departure

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. At the indicated hour, transfer to Catania airport. End of our services. Arrivederci Sicilia!!