Sicily Select Tour 2009

Palermo: Massimo Theatre (Opera House)
Sicily Select Tour 2009 HOME

 

     

SummaryItineraryWhat's IncludedOptional ExcursionsDates & Rates

 

 

SICILY SELECT TOUR: Itinerary (7 nights/8 days):

Palermo (3 nights) Leonforte-Enna province (1 night) Taormina (3 nights)

 

Day 1 (Saturday): Palermo

Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo airport please proceed through the Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Outside of customs, you will find the driver waiting holding a sign with your full name. Transfer to the hotel. This evening, after a brief introduction made by your Tour Director, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 2 (Sunday):  Monreale & Palermo

After breakfast, our local guide will show us where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory with the Monreale Duomo, launched in 1174 by William II.  Scenes from the Old and New Testaments are depicted in golden mosaics covering the interior.  Then to the Palatine Chapel in Palermo, which was the crowning architectural achievement of William II’s grandfather, Roger II.  We continue by seeing: Piazza Pretoria and Via Maqueda with its “four corners” converging Palermo at a quartet of Baroque palaces left over from the heyday of Spanish rule dating back to 1560. Then we visit the Cathedral constructed in various architectural styles throughout the Roman, Norman, Arabic, and Islamic dominations. This afternoon time at leisure to explore the town on your own or Optional Excursion (BB)

Day 3 (Monday): Palermo/Erice Olive Oil Factory/Marsala Winery/Palermo

Early departure to tour western Sicily where we will begin in Erice city center. 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. Then to an olive oil factory & farmhouse to enjoy a light lunch.  In the afternoon, we travel between Trapani and Marsala on the Salt Way Road.  We will tour the historic saltpan works where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced.  We then continue on to Marsala and visit a local winery’s cellar and taste Sicilian wines. Later back to Palermo. (BB L)

Day 4 (Tuesday) Palermo/Agrigento/Piazza Armerina/Leonforte (Enna)

Today’s drive across the vast countryside showcases Sicily’s great variety of sceneries. We soon arrive in Agrigento whose history dates back to 580 BC.  A guided tour leads us through the Valley of the Temples, a magnificent cluster of Greek ruins overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This afternoon we continue to Piazza Armerina to view the ruins of the Roman Villa of Casale. The mosaics discovered here are celebrated among scholars of antiquity. Later, we depart for Leonforte near Enna.  This region boasts a rich production of wheat, citrus fruits, and olive oil. Tonight, we lodge at Villa Gussio, an old traditional Sicilian country hotel. The hotel is a jewel set in the green heart of Sicily, a magic place where history and nature blend to celebrate a spontaneous hymn to beauty. Dinner at the hotel. (BB D)

Day 5 (Wednesday) Leonfonte/Syracuse/Taormina

Today we depart for Syracuse, founded by colonists from Cornith in 735 B.C. and once the most important competitor to Athens.  Our guided visit through the Archaeological Park highlights the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry.  Later stroll through the streets of Ortygia Island, the heart of the city center. Lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, we drive along the coast to Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily, known for its views and atmosphere. (BB L)

Day 6 (Thursday) Taormina/Mount Etna & Winery/Taormina

A short drive takes us to the main visitor elevation on the slopes of Mt. Etna.  Those interested in experiencing the Etna craters will have the option to purchase cable car tickets on the spot (weather and volcanic conditions permitting) to experience the lava fields and incredible landscape view from Europe’s highest and most active volcano on their own. Then to a winery and farmhouse.  This estate also produces olive oil, grappa, sparkling wine and artisan food.  We indulge in a typical Sicilian light lunch at the farmhouse. This afternoon, back to Taormina and time at leisure. Tonight we gather for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (BB L D)

Day 7 (Friday) Taormina

The day is yours to rest or explore the town on your own or Optional Excursion (BB)

Day 8 (Saturday) Taormina/Catania  

Time to say goodbye to Sicily as we are transferred to Catania Airport (CTA) for our return flight. (BB)

 

Meal Legend: BB Buffet Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner S Snack