7D/6N - 2019 Sicilian Highlights - small group - exclusively in English

7D/6N - 2019 Sicilian Highlights - small group - exclusively in English

    Sicilian Highlights  exclusively in English - small group tour   

    Palermo-Agrigento-Monreale-Erice-Segesta-Piazza Armerina-Taormina    

    7days/6nights, Palermo/Taormina           

    2019 depart every Sat: year round

     

day 01 Palermo Arrival
Independent transfer to your hotel. Remaining of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Palermo.

day 02 Palermo-Agrigento-Palermo
Following breakfast, we drive through the interior of Sicily to reach the Archaeological Park of Agrigento. On arrival independent visit of the Archaeological Museum that offers a fine introduction to the splendors of ancient Akragas and gives an insight into the life of the Greek settlers. Then you will visit the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples. Later we return to Palermo.
day 03 Palermo-Monreale-Palermo

Today a short drive takes us to Monreale, to see where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory with the Duomo launched in 1174 by William II. It represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Then transfer to Palermo and walking tour of the city center. The walking tour will start with the lively Ballarò Market, a place overflowing with beautiful fresh fish, and local vegetables and cheeses. Originating from the era when Sicily was occupied by the moors, this 1000 year old market has run much in the same manner for centuries. It has strong Arab influences, resembling an eastern souk, and these influences are also evident in the merchandise itself. Next to mounds of ricotta and caciocavallo cheeses, barrels of olives and fat slabs of swordfish sit saffron and other spices, as well as sacks of beans and gorgeous indigenous fruit and local vegetables. Here we have the opportunity to taste a typical palermitano dish, such as the famous Panelle (a thin paste of crushed ceci/garbanzo beans rolled into sheets, fried and served in pizza-like slices). Then by walk we reach Piazza Pretoria and the famousfour corners converge in a quartet of baroque palaces from the climax of the Spanish rule dating from 1560. Then our short stroll will continue through Via Maqueda with the external view of Massimo Theatre. The visit will end in Piazza Politeama from there you will have the opportunity to join your hotel (walking distance). Afternoon and evening at leisure.

day 04 Palermo-Erice-Olive Oil-Segesta & Winery-Palermo
Early departure to tour western Sicily where we reach Erice uptown. The Elymians settled the medieval town of Erice, which was an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops—world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. Later we proceed to have a light-lunch in a local winery-farmhouse including tasting of mixed local product such as cheese, salumi, olives, local bread combined with their production of olive oil and wine. This afternoon we continue onto Segesta, one of the major cities of the ancient indigenous Elymian people, to visit the unfinished Doric temple, late 5th century BC, built on a hilltop just outside of the ancient city and has a commanding view of the surrounding area. Later we return to Palermo.
day 05 Palermo-Piazza Armerina-Taormina
Morning departure for Piazza Armerina to view the ruins of the Roman Villa of Casale. The mosaics discovered here are celebrated among scholars of antiquity. This afternoon we continue to Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily.
day 06 Taormina
Today is at leisure. A drink at the tables of Caffè Wunderbar (or similar) in Piazza IX Aprile may set you back a few euros, but you'll be basking where Tennessee Williams and Elizabeth Taylor basked before you. As well as the famed Greek-Roman Theatre, there are several minor sites to be discovered around Taormina. The attractive principal thoroughfare, Corso Umberto is pedestrian and ideal for strolling and window-shopping.

day 07 Taormina-Departure
Time to say goodbye to Sicily. Optional private transfer on request.

Inclusions: twin share in a 4 star accommodation, breakfasts daily, air conditioned coach, English speaking tour director or driver escort up to 5 people, local guide from minimum of 6 participants, light lunch at a farmhouse with wine tasting and local specialties, tasting street food in Palermo.
Hotels: Palermo: Hilton Excelsior, Taormina: Villa Diodoro (or similar).
Excluding: transfers, admissions, beverages, gratuities.

Note: small group, maximum 25 participants

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