We are thrilled to introduce a wonderful private journey to discover beautiful Sicilia travelling from west to east, through the magical interior of this paradise island.
Travel to Sicily with its idyllic climate, its archaeology treasures, dramatic vistas and hearty cuisine that embodies all things Sicilian. Extravagant scenic beauty, a multicultural crossroads with a history that dates back to 3,000 years, an exuberant and richly layered culture and a tradition of food and wine that is celebrated the world over…all converge here in sunny Sicily! On this small group journey, you’ll delve into one of the most fascinating and coveted regions in Italy.
Stare face to face with some of the world’s best Byzantine mosaics in the cathedral of Monreale – a literal Bible in gold. Sit in Taormina’s Greek theatre looking out at still-smouldering Mt.Etna and you can’t help but feel goosebumps. Marvel at the rich archaeological ruins of Siracusa dating to the 5th century BC. Explore the brilliant Roman floor mosaics in the Villa del Casale.The Greek influence is particularly strong in the south of Italy – we’ll see better preserved temples here than in Greece itself!
Sicily has some of Italy’s best beaches and on this tour we make sure that you’ll have time to enjoy them.The cuisine of Sicily varies from one province to the next as do the wines. Sicily is a world apart, an island separated from the rest of Italy not only by the sea but also by centuries of history and cultural experience.
Sicily is an island of surprises and we are excited to discover this gem with you all.
We have a real passion for Sicily and look forward to sharing it with you !
DAY 1 : WELCOME TO SPICY PALERMO
Arrive in Palermo International Airport and travel to the city center for a two nights stay in our central”CENTRALE PALACE HOTEL” or similar, close to the city’s architecturally treasures. A welcome dinner is included this evening in a local restaurant.Overnight in PALERMO.
DAY 2 : HIGHLIGHTS OF PALERMO & MONUMENTAL MONREALE
Start your discovery of Sicily with a guided walking tour of PALERMO, the Sicilian capital. A crossroads of history, Palermo holds the distinction of being the world’s most conquered city and a melting pot of civilizations ranging from the Phoenicians, Romans and Byzantines to the Arabs and Normans. We have included today a visit to the Byzantine Martorana church, famous for its impressive Norman mosaics, the evocative Palatine Chapel, dating back to the 12th century,famous for its impressive mosaics. After a visit to the Ballaro‘ market located in the ancient Arabic quarter of the city for an included street food experience, we’ll continue to discover the town of MONREALE, known for one of Sicily’s great sites – the stunning 12th century Norman cathedral literally wallpapered with golden mosaics that tell the stories of the bible. Evening is on your own to enjoy Palermo.Overnight in PALERMO
DAY 3 : CAPTIVATING CEFALU’ & AGRIGENTO VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES
This morning drive takes you to visit the charming fishing village of CEFALU‘. The squares, streets and churches of this medieval town are so postcard-pretty that it’s no wonder director Giuseppe Tornatore chose to set parts of his much-loved film Cinema Paradiso here. Most of Cefalu’ sites are found in the historic town center around Corso Ruggero and Piazza del Duomo, where you can visit the striking Cathedral, a mosaic-adorned outpost of Norman power and one of the jewels in Sicily’s Arab-Norman crown. After time on your own for sightseeing and maybe an Italian “gelato”,you’ll continue to the Valley of the Temples in AGRIGENTO, an incredible concentration of Greek temples in varying states of ruin and reconstruction. We’ll explore the major temples with a local expert who will shed light on these monuments to the Golden age of Tyranny. This historic site was the heart of one of the most important cities in the ancient world and is the prime example of the magnificence of Magna Grecia. Tonight you’ll be staying at the country hotel “BAGLIO DELLA LUNA” or similar, with an included dinner. Overnight stay in AGRIGENTO
DAY 4 :ROMAN VILLA MOSAICS & SIRACUSA’S ELEGANCE
Your transfer to SIRACUSA features a stop at the ROMAN VILLA ,one of the 44 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy, built in the first quarter of the 4th century. It contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world.Following a hearty included lunch in a family restaurant, your journey continues to the town of SIRACUSA for the next three nights at the 19th century staying at “ALGILA’ HOTEL“or similar.The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to make your own discoveries or simply wandering its colorful winding streets and alleys.Overnight stay in SIRACUSA
DAY 5 : “TAPESTRY OF CULTURES” IN SIRACUSA
In the morning, you’ll explore this major outpost of the Greek empire with a local expert guide.The city boasts an incredible historical heritage, starting from the Archaeological Park, featuring the ancient Greek Theater now used for classical performances, the Latomie del Paradiso, the largest quarry in the ancient urban settlement and the Ear Of Dionysus, a subterranean artificial cave quarry used as a prison. You’ll see numerous elegant Baroque townhouses, rebuilt after the earthquake that severely damaged the city in 1693, the elegant Piazza Duomo, dominated by the Cathedral’s baroque facade and the Temple of Athena from the 5th century BC lying behind it.After a foodie experience at the lively market, you’ll have the rest of the day and dinner is on your own.Overnight in SIRACUSA
DAY 6 :BAROQUE TREASURES OF NOTO, RAGUSA & ANCIENT PALAZZO
A full day’s journey today takes you south-east to witness the splendors of the Sicilian Baroque architecture, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.In 1693 this corner of Sicily was devastated by an earthquake. Towns were rapidly rebuilt out of the glowing local limestone. Visit the stunning UNESCO town of NOTO, with its remarkable architectural integrity, honey-color buildings and famous domed Cathedral. Following this, drive to the ancient town of RAGUSA IBLA, famous for its labyrinth of crooked lanes and tiny squares.Here we’ll visit an ancient aristocratic palace inhabited by the same family for over 200 years.Time on your own for lunch.Dinner is included in a local tavern. Overnight stay in SIRACUSA
DAY 7 :VOLCANIC CATANIA,CYCLOPS COASTLINE & TAORMINA BOAT TOUR
This morning, depart for TAORMINA, one of the island’s most ancient destinations in Sicily. On the way you’ll discover the vibrant city of CATANIA, which owes its Baroque architecture in gloomy black lava to the last quake of 1693. During your free time,you might consider visiting the Cathedral of St. Agatha, where the reliquary of the patron saint is housed, the cathedral square, the Bellini theater, the Villa Gardens or the lively fish market.Continue along the panoramic cyclops coastline to reach the fishing village of GIARDINI NAXOS,the site of the first Greek settlement in Sicily for an included seafood lunch on a private sandy beach.We end the day with a private boat cruise around the ISOLA BELLA in Taormina.Spend the last 3 nights at the central”HOTEL VILLA PARADISO” or similar,with breakfast included.Clamped to a rocky bluff planted with cypresses,pines and lush subtropical vegetation,the exquisitely maintained medieval town of TAORMINA is Sicily’s glitziest and most dramatically situated resort.Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight stay in TAORMINA
DAY 8 :UNKNOWN SAVOCA, HOME-HOSTED FAMILY EXPERIENCE & TAORMINA ANCIENT THEATER
The morning starts with a panoramic drive to the trapped-in-time picturesque village of SAVOCA, set on the foothills of the Peloritani Mountains to discover the real Sicily.Seems unchanged since medieval times,with its gated walls,stone cottages and haunting churches.Here you’ll view the 18th century bar Vitelli, one of Coppola’s favorite spots and the church of St.Lucia.Afterwards,a Sicilian family welcomes you for a traditional home-hosted lunch, a delightful way to experience everyday life.End the day with a visit to the crowning Greek/Roman theatre in Taormina, one of Sicily’s great sights, with its dramatic views over Mount Etna.Remainder of the day is on your own for more explorations.Overnight stay in TAORMINA
DAY 9 :IN THE SHADOW OF MOUNT ETNA & WINERY
Explore majestic MOUNT ETNA, the highest and largest volcano in Europe and one of the world’s most active.The peak changes in size over the years. It currently rises at 11,000 feet above sea level and literally towers above Sicily’s Ionian coast.Due to its scientific value supporting endemic flora and fauna, and its historical significance, Mount Etna was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Descend to the village of LINGUAGLOSSA to visit a family run winery for a wine tour.In the evening enjoy an included farewell dinner in an elegant gourmet restaurant.Enjoy La Dolce Vita in Taormina.Overnight stay in TAORMINA
DAY 10:ARRIVEDERCI SICILIA
Morning transfers to Catania airport or train station for your journey home.