Tour Sicilian Secrets
8 Days / 7 Nights
Catania – Cefalù – Palermo – Monreale – Marsala – Selinunte – Agrigento – Marsala – Piazza Armerina Ragusa – Modica – Noto – Siracusa – Catania – Etna – Taormina – Catania
1st Day Saturday: CATANIA
Self arrival in hotel in the charming city of Catania. Meeting with our tour leader; dinner and overnight in hotel.
2nd Day Sunday: CATANIA – CEFALU’ – PALERMO (hotel in Palermo)
After breakfast in hotel we will leave to visit the historical centre of Catania stated Unesco World Heritage Site, with its original baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The city still preserves ruins of the Imperial Roman period despite having been rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. Catania was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Aragonese dynasty. The walking tour will start across the “pescheria” (the ancient fish market) to reach the scenic Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous “Liotru” statue, symbol of the city. Not far from here we will reach the University Square and we will have a walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, where we will admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site. We will continue walking along the precious historical city centre. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Cefalù, charming medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. We will visit the famous Norman Dome and you will have free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. We will proceed to Palermo for overnight. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby.
3rd Day Monday: PALERMO – MONREALE – MARSALA (hotel in 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. 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, of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Bizantyne, 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. 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. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
4th Day Tuesday: MARSALA – MARSALA SALT ROAD SELINUNTE – AGRIGENTO (hotel in Agrigento)
Breakfast in hotel and short visit of the historical centre of Marsala. The tour will continue along the charming and well-known Salt Road: on the way you will see the nice Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today as ‘Stagnone’), and the famous Salines and windmills all-over the coast between Trapani and Marsala. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean! Surroun 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 from Unesco, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.
5th Day Wednesday: AGRIGENTO – PIAZZA ARMERINA RAGUSA – MODICA (hotel in Modica or Ragusa)
Breakfast in hotel. We will proceed to Piazza Armerina where we will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, Unesco 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 Dome and the “giardino Ibleo”. 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. Later we will visit Modica chest of innumerable architectural treasures and for this reason stated World Heritage Site from Unesco. The day will end with a visit to one of the most renowned chocolate manufacturers where we will assist the production of chocolate and discover its secrets. Tasting of the delicious Modica chocolate, produced with an ancient and original Aztec recipe. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
6th Day Thursday: NOTO – SIRACUSA – CATANIA (hotel in Catania)
After breakfast in hotel we will reach Noto, the capital of Sicilian baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Inspired by Baroque ideals of “open city”, Noto is a rare masterpiece and the most clear example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture. Noto’s Baroque is in fact a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. We will visit Palazzo Nicolaci, beautiful noble residence in Baroque style. Departure to Siracusa, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily! Free time for lunch. In the afternoon the visit will start with the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Dyonisios “Ear”. We will continue visiting the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of Siracusa. In Ortigia you will admire the beautiful Cathedral and the famous Arethusa’s Fountain. Transfer to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.
7th Day Friday: ETNA – TAORMINA – CATANIA (hotel in Catania)
After breakfast, departure to Etna the highest active volcano in Europe and now Unesco World Heritage Site. We will reach the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. Later we will visit a company of beekeeping and rustic cellar: visit of the honey extraction lab, tasting of homemade honey and typical products of the area. Free time for lunch. We will proceed to Taormina, charming town offering a lovely panorama of the Ionic Sea and Etna. Lunch in a typical restaurant where we will assist to a show cooking for some typical Sicilian cuisine dishes. In the afternoon we will visit Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre, and then you will have free time for a nice walk among the picturesque typical narrow streets and go shopping and looking around the local handycraft (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). The day will end with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi. Back to our hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.
8th Day Saturday: CATANIA
Breakfast in hotel and end of services.
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