Sicily Discovery Tour

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Tour Details

8 Nights/9 Days

Arrive in Palermo and Depart from Catania

Itinerary

Day 01:PALERMO

Arrival at Palermo airport. Welcome to our beautiful island. Meet your English speaking driver and transfer to your hotel. Dinner and accommodation at your hotel in Palermo.

Day 02: PALERMO – MONREALE – PALERMO

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. Meeting with the guide at your hotel for a 3 hour guided tour of Palermo, you will visit the Cathedral, Palazzo dei Normanni, Cappella Palatina, San Giovanni degli Eremiti. Your guide will show you the highlights of historical Palermo, capital of ancient Sicily. Colonized by the Phoenicians, Sicily boasts a rich 3,000 years of history, which particularly flourishing under the Arab and Norman rule. The many great empires that once ruled Sicily’s capital left behind wonderfully diverse architecture, from Roman to Byzantine to Arab-Norman, which we will view in the city’s palaces, churches and crypts. We will also visit the city’s eclectic cathedral originally Norman, then Catalan Gothic, and in the 18th-century, transformed by baroque and neoclassical styles. Lunch at a characteristic Sicilian restaurant. In the afternoon continue to Monreale, a small town 7 kilometres from Palermo. Here you can admire the Dome, architectural masterpiece which dates back to the Norman period. Its walls are almost completely covered by Byzantine mosaics and it covers a very large area, including a magnificent cloister, surrounded by 228 columns with inlaid capitals. Late afternoon return to Palermo. Overnight in Palermo.

Day 03:PALERMO – SELINUNTE – VALLEY OF TEMPLES – AGRIGENTO

Breakfast at the Hotel. Private transfer by car and English speaking driver from Palermo to Selinunte to meet your Guide for a personalized Tour of Selinunte Archaeological Park, one of Sicily’s great Greek archaeological sites. Situated by the sea in the south-western corner of Sicily, the isolated ruins here have stood abandoned for most of their history. The lack of later development allows modern visitors to imagine the ancient town of Selinus as it would have been two and a half thousand years ago. The archaeological park at Selinunte is huge, incorporating Greek temples, ancient town walls, and the ruins of residential and commercial buildings, countryside paths and zones not yet excavated. Lunch/Food and Wine Tasting in a local farm along the way. In the afternoon continue to Valley of Temples for a Private Guided Tour. This splendid archaeological park consists of eight temples (and various other remains) built between about 510 BC and 430 BC: the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Hephaestos, the Temple of Demeter, and the Temple of Asclepius (the God of Medicine). Apart from this latter, which is to be found on the banks of the Akragas river, all are situated in the same area on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento. Late afternoon continue to your Hotel for an overnight in Agrigento.

Day 04: AGRIGENTO – VILLA ROMANA DEL CASALE – RAGUSA

Breakfast at the Hotel. Pick up from the hotel and travel by car and English speaking driver to Piazza Armerina where you will meet your Guide for a Private Guided Tour of Villa Romana del Casale. The Villa is considered to be one of the most important exemplars of a Roman official governmental residence, attributed to the elaboration and exceptional beauty of its architectonic and decorative elements. Dated back to 320-350 A.D., the villa most likely belonged to a member of Rome’s senatorial class, probably a governor of the Eternal City itself (Praefectus Urbi). Stop for Lunch/Food and Wine Tasting in a local Winery. In the afternoon continue to Ragusa to meet your Guide for Private Walking Tour. Ragusa is a small Baroque town and an Unesco World Heritage Site. The blend of styles and moods will make your visit an unforgettable experience. The city of Ragusa is situated on a narrow spur of land enclosed between steep valleys. The topography of the land gives Ragusa its unique shape. The oldest part of the city extends towards the east and takes the name of Ragusa Ibla whilst the modern part of the city extends to the west on a plateau which overlooks the old town. The style of Ragusa is late baroque but this conceals the traces of its ancient history. Overnight in Ragusa.

Day 05: RAGUSA – MODICA – NOTO – RAGUSA

Breakfast at the Hotel. Meeting with your driver and Professional local Guide at the hotel. Today you will embark on a Private Guided Tour of Modica and Noto. Lower and upper Modica have their own opulent Chiesa Madre, which are the main points of focus of the itinerary. The church dedicated to San Giorgio, the patron saint of Modica (upper Modica) is of particular 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). After Lunch in a local characteristic restaurant continue to Noto, entirely rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake and is famous for its masterpieces of Sicilian baroque style. It has many fine churches that are outstanding on account 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. Late afternoon return to Ragusa. Overnight in Ragusa.

Day 06:RAGUSA – SYRACUSE

Breakfast at the Hotel. Pick up from the hotel and travel by car and English speaking driver to your Hotel in Syracuse. Check in at the Hotel. Lunch at leisure. In the afternoon meet your Guide at the Hotel lobby for a Syracuse Private Guided Tour. Syracuse, splendid and magnificent, in the classic age was the richest and the most powerful among the Hellenic towns in Sicily and some archaeological ruins testify the former glory. Visit the superb Archaeological Museum Paolo Orsi, which displays an important and well organized collection of items covering the late prehistoric period up to the Magna Grecia era. Stroll through the archaeological park of Neapolis, admiring one of the largest of all surviving Greek Theatres, a Roman amphitheatre built to allow for gladiators ‘sporting’ activities, which the Greek theatre could not accommodate, and the Ear of Dionysius, a huge cavern shaped in a way that gives it surprising acoustic properties. A great many legends are associated with this cave. In Ortigya, you will stop at many important sites such as the ruins of the Apollo Temple, the famed Arethusa fountain and the Piazza del Duomo, certainly one of the most suggestive Italian Baroque piazza. Overnight in Syracuse.

Day 07: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 08:TAORMINA – SAVOCA

Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at your hotel. Meet your driver and Guide at the Hotel lobby for a morning Private Guided Tour of Taormina. The gods must have been smiling on Taormina, because this Sicilian town has been blessed with heavenly beauty. Perched on a rocky bluff overlooking the Ionian Sea, Taormina’s stunning architecture, rich history and relaxed lifestyle have won it countless admirers. Visit of the Greek-Roman Theatre, the historic centre and the several historic noble Palaces. After Lunch in a local characteristic restaurant continue to Savoca – the notorious backdrop of “The Godfather”. Arriving in the simple hillside town of Savoca is like taking a step back in time. Although recorded with its present name in 1415, the town probably dates back to the early 12th century, when a Norman Fortress was built there. While the town is beautiful and historic, it owes its real fame to Al Pacino and the rest of the cast of “The Godfather.” You will follow their footsteps, stopping for a lemon Granita at the famous corner Bar Vitelli, one of Coppola’s favourite spots, appearing many times throughout the film. You’ll then make our way to the church of St. Lucy, where Apollonia and Michael’s wedding was shot. Late afternoon continue to Taormina. Overnight in Taormina.

Day 09:TAORMINA – CATANIA AIRPORT

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

Tour Inclusions

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