Sicilian Secrets from Palermo
09 days / 08 nights, Palermo/Palermo
2019 depart Tue: Mar 26 – Nov 05
Cost from: $1472 pp twin share (s/supp $490) Apr, Jun-Aug, Oct-Nov
Cost from: $1518 pp twin share (s/supp $502) May & Sep
**Shorter tours 5days/4nights available Catania/Palermo or Palermo/Catania
day 01 Palermo Arrival
Arrive independently to the hotel in the charming city of Palermo (optional private transfer on request). In the evening meet our tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy welcome dinner. D
day 02 Palermo-Monreale-Marsala
After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting the capital of Sicily Palermo, one of the richest towns in the island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past, including an elegant opera house! We will visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, mirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, ofhow different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Byzantine, Muslim and Latin workers. Continuing our walk we will admire the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Along the visiting day we will have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Later on we will proceed to Monreale to visit its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry! In the afternoon we will continue to Marsala in whose port Garibaldi landed in 1860. Visit of a prestigious wine cellar and wine tasting.
day 03 Marsala Salt Road-Selinunte-Agrigento
This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known Salt Road: the west coast of Sicily with many salt marshes, which have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world. Between Trapani and Marsala they are now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaelogy. On the way you will see the nice Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today a 'Stagnone'), and the famous Salines and windmills. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site! Surrounded by a splendid landscape near the African Sea, we will walk among the rests of the ancient Greek city. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”.
day 04 Agrigento-Piazza Armerina-Ragusa- Catania
Today we will head to Piazza Armerina where we will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex, which has some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known, is a World Heritage Site. This majestic villa, belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments! After free time for lunch, departure to Ragusa Ibla and visit of its historical centre cradle of Sicilian baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Duomo and the “giardino Ibleo”. Used as a location
of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient city, well known thanks to the Commissario Montalbano television series, hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products. Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.
day 05 Catania
Your tour comes to an end after breakfast. Own arrangements onwards.
Inclusions: twin share in 4* accommodation, breakfast daily, dinner – 3 main courses menu to have a taste of Sicilian cuisine + 1 lunch on day 3, multilingual tour leader, professional travel guide (English, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese) from the evening of day 01 to day 07, local guides or audio-guides where necessary, deluxe coach , taxes and services.
Sightseeing: visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Siracusa, Noto, Etna, Catania city centre, Palermo, Cefalù, Monreale, Selinunte, Agrigento, Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Ragusa. Tasting of Sicilian typical products: Palermo (day 2) tasting of local street food; Marsala (day 2): visit of a wine cellar and wine tasting; Ragusa (day 4) tasting of local cheese; Etna (day 7) visit of a beekeeping honey company and honey tasting; Taormina (day 7) Sicilian lunch and show-cooking; Catania (day 8) tasting of Sicilian “granita & brioche”.
Hotels: 4* Palermo- Hotel Federico II/Ibis Styles Palermo Cristal, Marsala-Hotel- Baglio Basile, Agrigento-Baia di Ulisse Wellness & Spa, Catania-Il Principe (or similar) Hotels will be definitely confirmed only 5 days prior the strat of the tour.
Exclusions: return transfers, all lunches except for the one on day 3, beverages, entrance fees, city taxes (where compulsory), tips and extras in general.
Note: For organizational reasons or due to force majeure the itinerary may be modified.