Join us as we circle mystical Sicily, a most unique and beautiful Mediterranean island - starting our journey in the charming town of Taormina between Ionian sea and Mount Etna, on to a countryside manor in Agrigento, along the wild west coastline of Marsala to the medieval hamlet of Erice and finally to the 8th century port city of Palermo. Come with us and enjoy what is known in Sicilian as “BEDDA SICILIA!
Summary and Highlights
11 days and 10 nights (4 nights in Taormina, 2 nights Agrigento, 3 nights Erice, 1 night Palermo)
10 breakfasts, 1 lunches, 6 dinners (all with wine of course)
Discover some of Europe’s the best preserved Greek ruins, visit a Marsala winery, taste your way through a famous Sicilian Pastry Shop (marzipan lesson and almond cookie secrets), meet local artisans, roll your own Sicilian pizza, marvel Monreale’s mosaic cathedral, hike up Mount Etna (closed shoes!), witness how the ancient Carthaginians extracted salt form the sea using windmills, savor homegrown wines and dishes at a Sicilian Farmhouse and enjoy dinner with the Contessa in Palermo Palazzo, take an Italian “passeggiata” and several town orientation walks, stopping frequently for cannoli...
And Sicily is still so much more! From Phoenician to Greek to African and Spanish influences, the magical island of Sicily is an extraordinary blend of colorful history, sights, scents and flavors that create one distinctly fascinating culture and one truly unforgettable adventure.
3 Professionally Guided tours: Taormina and 2nd Century Greco-Roman Amphitheater, Agrigento and Valley of the Temples, Monreale Cathedral and Palermo City center (and all entry tickets)
Private transportation, full time bilingual tour director, and assistance with optional and *separate excursions (*In fact, the itinerary is full - yet you have 4 days free to follow your heart - explore towns such as Cefalu, boat to a Volcanic Island such as Stromboli or sit in a piazza all day with your gelato. Special assistance will be given for those researching their roots!)
Fee for land only tour: $1,988 in a double occupancy room, AC and private bathroom.
It’s up to you - but why not join us a for a 3 day extension to Positano and the Amalfi Coast?
You’re already here!
Sun. Oct. 2, 2016 – Overnight flight from USA to Catania Fontarossa Airport
Mon. Oct 3, Day 1: Benvenuti! You’ll be met at Sicily’s Catania Airport by noon and be brought to the hilltop town of Taormina (“patch of paradise” – Goethe) to settle in to your boutique hotel right on the town’s main, pedestrian street. This evening we’ll begin our adventure with our first town orientation ("passeggiata" in Italian) and a Benvenuti to Sicilia welcome dinner. (D)
Tue. Oct 4, Day 2: Spend your first morning discovering the town of Taormina and Sicily’s history in the company of a professional tour guide. Enjoy Signor Angelo’s delightful story telling from your seat inside Taormina’s Greco-Roman Amphitheater, the backdrop is majestic Mt Etna stretching out to the bluest sea below. Your afternoon is free to explore Taormina’s and boutique and bougainvillea lined streets, sunny piazzas, hilltop Castelmola or to cable car down to Isola Bella’s beach below. This evening’s dinner is a Pizza making class. Buono! (B, D)
Wed. Oct 5, Day 3: Enjoy a full day to discover on your own, or add an optional excursion. (Available: Cefalu, Siracusa, Lipari and Vulcano Islands Boat Tour or a private driver and assistance for those researching family roots) (B)
Thur. Oct 6, Day 4: Enjoy a second full day to discover on your own or add an optional excursion. (Available: Panarea and Stromboli’s Aeolian Islands Boat Tour or a private driver and assistance for those researching family roots) (B)
Fri. Oct 7, Day 5: Say arrivederci to Taormina’s sea views as we make our way inland and up to the tallest, most active volcano of Europe, the dominating Mount Etna. Explore the smaller craters and fumaroles along the base of the Silvestri Craters, or venture the final miles to the top by cable car. After lunch we’ll drive south to our countryside manor in Agrigento, arrive for a nap by the pool and a hearty country style dinner with tasty local wines. (B, D)
Sat. Oct 8, Day 6: After breakfast our professional tour guide will bring the ancient Greek city to life at the “Valley of Temples” Archeological site, the best-preserved temples (in honor of Zeus, Hercules…) outside of Greece. Plenty of free time to channel your inner Indiana Jones and wander the ruins, 2,500 years ago a rich city. Return to the manor, relax and tonight enjoy another country style dinner. (B, D)
Sun. Oct 9, Day 7: After breakfast we’ll follow the coastline to Sicily’s “wild west”, the Marsala, Trapani and Erice areas. Check into Erice, a wonderful medieval hamlet set high upon a hill. This evening an orientation walk through Erice’s cobblestone streets, to a world famous Sicilian Pastry shop – Almonds cakes, macaroons, nougat and Marsala wines will fortify our walk to the spectacular views from the Castle of Venus and then a group dinner of more local delicacies. (B, D)
Mon. Oct 10, Day 8: Today we focus on the coastline below dotted with windmills, shimmering lagoons and mounds of salt drying in the sun along the sea. We’ll visit the salt museum and observe ancient Greek methods of salt extraction and harvest with windmills, methods locals still use to provide their very distinct Sicilian Sea Salt. Awesome lunch in the saltpans followed by a Marsala winery visit in an internationally known cantina. Free evening back in Erice. (B, L)
Tue. Oct 11, Day 9: Free day to explore Erice on your own, or take a cable car ride down to explore the sea front town of Trapani. (Optional and separate: Erice Cooking School class). (B)
Wed. Oct 12, Day 10: A morning drive to the gorgeous Monreale Cathedral, a vast blend of religions, art and architecture expressed one cathedral and gorgeous golden mosaics of gargantuan proportions. We'll continue to the ancient port city of Palermo where we’ll enjoy a professional walking tour with our local friend Davide. Our day ends in style, in the company of a Palermo Countess in her private palazzo, and our final Arrivederci dinner. (B, D)
Thu. Oct. 13, Day 11: Tour ends after breakfast. Assistance available to Palermo airport for your return flight.
Extension available: Join me for an extra 3 days on the Amalfi coast! We’ll leave Palermo, Sicily on the 13th on an overnight ferry (comfy cabins and karaoke!) and arrive in Naples as the sun rises over Mount Vesuvius the morning of the 14th. From Naples we'll drive down the coast of Sorrento and on to the Amalfi Coast to the beautiful seaside town of Positano. On the 15th we’ll visit the towns of Ravello and Amalfi. On the 16th we’ll spend the day on the island of Capri. We will depart Positano for Naples on the morning of the 17th. From there assistance will be available on to Rome or Naples – or from wherever you are flying home.