Embracing Sicily exclusively in English
2019 depart Fri: Apr 05, 19. May 10, 24. Jun 07, 14. Sep 06, 20, 27. Oct 11
Cost from: $1548 pp twin share (s/supp $453)
day 01 Palermo
Independent transfer to your hotel where you will meet with the participants and have dinner.
day 02 Palermo-Corleone-Ficuzza-Palermo
Buffet breakfast at your hotel and enjoy this special day dedicated to one of the most famous social phenomena in Sicily. We will depart in the morning to the inland of Sicily and specifically to the area of Corleone, known for being the place where Mafia phenomena was born but also know nowadays for being the place where Mafia is firmely fought. We will firstly participate to an interesting and accurate cooking lesson: we will be able to prepare some of the most genuine and traditional Sicilian dishes (only for who desires to participate to the cooking lesson). After the cooking lesson, enjoy this special lunch. After lunch, we will experience an interesting lecture on Mafia. One of the inhabitants of Corleone, born in the UK, will present a fascinating discussion on the topic of the Sicilian Mafia but also explaining the origins and the way how Corleone inhabitants have taken to eliminate organized crime. Back to Palermo for overnight.
day 03 Palermo-Monreale-(Optional: Cefalu’)- Palermo
After breakfast, enjoy a morning tour of Palermo, a city full of character, features Quattro Canti – a splendid example of Spanish Baroque architecture, the Palace of the Normans and its superb Palatine Chapel, the Cathedral, and the famous Benedictine Abbey of Monreale. Here you will admire a 12th century cathedral, housing very fine mosaics representing a complete cycle of the Old and New Testaments. Balance of the day is at leisure to relax or take an optional tour with your tour director to the picturesque fishing village of Cefalù. In the evening, enjoy a festive dinner with delectable cuisine and sparkling in a fashionable restaurant.
day 04 Palermo-Segesta-Marsala-Trapani-Palermo
Buffet breakfast at your hotel and journey to Segesta, a large archaeological zone, with a magnificent Doric Temple, 420 B.C to 430 B.C., located within a beautiful and natural setting that ranks as one of the best-preserved Greek architectural sites. Continue to the sea town of Marsala, re-discovered in the 18th century by English merchant John Woodhouse and known for its sweet wines. Visit a wine cellar and sample some Marsala during a special wine tasting session. Drive along Trapani’s coastline and stop for a special Sicilian lunch in a restaurant and return to Palermo. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at hotel.
day 05 Palermo-Agrigento-Taormina
Buffet breakfast at your hotel and depart for Agrigento, a hillside town famous for its magnificent Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour of the valley, dating back to the 5th century B.C. The poet Pindar described the site “as the most beautiful city built by mortal men”, The Doric style temples, all constructed within a century, face east, a standard criteria for both Greek and Roman temples so the statue of the god housed in each temple faced the rising sun. The best temple is that of Concordia (similar in design to the Partenon in Athens) which is in an almost perfectly preserved condition. Your local guide will highlight the history and architecture of Concordia and of the other temples that are part of this archaeological treasure-trove. After visiting the Valley of the Temples, resume travel to Taormina, where you arrive in the evening in time for an enjoyable and relaxing dinner at your hotel.
day 06 Taormina-Mount Etna-Taormina (Optional: Savoca, Forza d’Agro’)
Buffet breakfast at hotel and morning walking tour of Taormina’s charming city center includes the Greek/Roman amphitheatre, with its spectacular view of Giardini Naxos and Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Enjoy the excursion to Mount Etna, till 1800 meters and visit the Sylvester Craters where you can enjoy the best views, as you drive through the fertile slopes and villages that sit on ancient volcanic eruptions. On the way back to Taormina, we offer a once in a lifetime experience. You may take an optional “Godfather” tour featuring the authentic villages chosen by Francis Coppola for most of the scenes in the Godfather movies. This is a good way to explore the real untouched Sicilian countryside, local lifestyle and culture. Tonight you may experience dinner at leisure in one of the many colourful restaurants of Taormina.
day 07 Taormina-Siracusa-Taormina
Buffet breakfast at your hotel and experience an included excursion to Syracuse. A guided tour of this venerable city highlights the Archaeological Park, Greek Theater, Latomia del Paradiso and Cave of Dyonisius’ Ear. This evening savor a special Sicilian dinner with wine in a restaurant characteristic of this region.
day 08 Taormina
Your tour comes to an end after breakfast. Transfer arrangements on request.
Inclusions: twin share in 4 star accommodation, breakfasts daily, 5 dinners, 2 lunches, ¼ wine + ½ mineral water + coffee or cappuccino served with lunch and dinner at hotels & restaurants, 1 wine tasting at a local cellar in Marsala, 1 cooking lesson in Corleone, 1 Mafia lecture in Corleone, deluxe coach, tour director, local guides where necessary, sightseeing as per itinerary, porterage, service and taxes.
Sightseeing: Taormina, Siracusa, Agrigento, Palermo, Mount Etna.
Exclusions: entrance fees, transfers, drinks and tips.
Hotels: Palermo-4* Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa/ Hoetel Palazzo Sitano, Taormina-4* Villa Diodoro or Caparena (or similar)
Note: Transfers are on request. The itinerary can be changed or inverted without notice for technical reasons. All the visits, excursions and services will still be guaranteed. Dinners could be at the hotel or at a local restaurant.