Sicily Wine, Gastronomy and Street Food | 11 day | Private

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TOUR IS LAND ONLY, double occupancy

 

Price per person
Eur 3.960 minimum 2 people

Eur 3.200 minimum 4 people
Eur 2.790 minimum 6 people

 

Duration:
9 nights | 10 days

Palermo (2 night) Marsala (1 night) Agrigento (1 night) Ragusa (1 night) Syracuse (2 night) Taormina (2 night)

 

Style of Tour:
Private with English Speaking Driver Escort

 

Available:
ON REQUEST


Season
:
March 2016 - November 2016

 

Highlights:
-Palermo: Street Food Experience & Open Air Markets;

-Monreale: amazing Dome with Gold Mosaics;
-Segesta: Wine Tastings & Temple;
-Erice: Medieval Village, Olive Oil & Marzipan;
-Marsala: Wine Tastings, Saltpans & Windmills;
-Mazara: Olive Oil & Local Village;
-Agrigento: Temples Valley;
-Modica: chocolate from Aztec Recipe;
-Chiaramonte: Olive Oil and Wine Tasting;
-Ragusa and Noto: Baroque Villages;
-Syracuse: Archaeological Park & Ortygia Island;
-Etna Volcano: Landscape & Winery;
-Taormina: Resort Town.

Sample Day to Day Itinerary


Day 1 - Palermo

Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: transfer-in only

Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo airport (PMO) please proceed through the Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then meet your driver for the transfer to your hotel.
 

 Day 2 -  Palermo Walking Street Food & Monreale

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: no

Palermo Walking Street Food English Speaking Staff: from h 10AM up to 2PM | Meeting Point: to be advised

Monreale, English speaking local guide included to visit the Dome, disposal from h 2PM

Taxi Service Palermo/Monreale/Palermo hotel: included

Black-Out: Bank Holidays

Breakfast at hotel. Today begins from Piazza Pretoria famous for “four corners” that converge in a quartet of baroque palaces from the climax of the Spanish rule dating from 1560.  Then crossing the old city centre, arrive at 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 fruits and local vegetables.  Here you will have the opportunity to taste a typical palermitano dishes, such as the famous Panelle (a thin paste of crushed ceci/garbanzo beans rolled into sheets, fried and served in pizza-like slices) and several street foods. This afternoon continue to Monreale, to see where Arab-Norman art and architecture reached its pinnacle in the Duomo (Admission fee: not included), launched in 1174 by William II. It represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Return to Palermo. Later return to Palermo. (BB S)

Day 3 - Palermo/Segesta, Winery, Erice Marzipan and Salt-Way Road/Marsala

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM 

Segesta, English speaking local guide NOT  included

Black-Out: Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays

Breakfast at hotel. Early departure this morning to tour western Sicily where you will first  

reach Segesta, one of the major cities of the ancient indigenous Elymian people, to visit the unfinished Doric temple (Admission fee: not included), late 5th century BC, built on a hilltop just outside of the ancient city and has a commanding view of the surrounding area.Later in a local winery to taste local wines and snacks. This afternoon onto Erice upper town. 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 travel to and through the Salt Way Road to see the historic salt flats between Trapani-Marsala, where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced. Transfer in Marsala. (BB S)

Day 4 – Marsala Saltpans, Winery and Mazara del Vallo/Agrigento

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: full day from h 9AM 

Black-Out: Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays

Breakfast at hotel. Today we visit the most attractive spot along the coast, where the saltpans glitter undisturbed by modern construction, is the Riserva Naturale di Stagnone, a noted wetlands area taking in the Stagnone Islands (Isole delle Stagnone) and the long arm of Isola Lunga, which protects the shallow waters of the lagoon. Salt was, of course, a hugely important commodity for the preservation of food and so the west coast of Sicily soon had a fundamental role to play in the daily life of thousands of people around the Mediterranean and in Europe. The salt pans at the Stagnone are particularly worth a visit and offer a truly unique landscape. windmills, first introduced during mediaeval times, dot the horizon, a testament to how things were once done, though one or two continue to function, pumping water through the sluice gates into or out of the various basins. Piles of harvested salt, neatly covered with terracotta tiles, lie between the road and the basins waiting to be despatched. Then on a local winery to visit to the cellars followed by wine tastings and snacks. Light lunch in a local country restaurant. This afternoon we then continue onto Mazara del Vallo, one of the most important fishing centres of Italy; tussles about fishing rights, especially with the North-African countries, figure large in the town's recent history. Mazara was founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, with the name of Mazar (the Rock). It then passed under the control of Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, before being occupied by the Arabs in the year 827 AD. During the Arab period, Sicily was divided into three different administrative regions, Val di Noto, Val Demone and Val di Mazara, making the city an important commercial harbour and centre of learning. The city centre, known as the Kasbah, retains Arab architectural influences.  We then continue to Agrigento. (BB L)


Day 5 - Agrigento and Wine and Gastronomy Experience/Ragusa

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM

Agrigento, English speaking local guide NOT  included

Black-Out: Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays

Breakfast at hotel. This morning visit the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples (Admission fee: not included). Then continue to Chiaramonte Gulfi, a small hilltop village famous for the pork dishes and for the delicious olive oil. Upon arrival stroll around the heart of the old town, which is a pleasant centre with a few cafes and open squares and some ancient cobbled streets in Medieval style. Then to a local olive oil farmhouse for a tasting of local dishes. This afternoon we experience a local winery to taste the Cerasuolo Red Wine. Then onto Ragusa. (BB S)

 

Day 6 – Ragusa/Modica Chocolate, Artisan Cultural Museum and Noto/Syracuse

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: full day from h 9AM

Breakfast at hotel. Today a short drive takes us to Modica a small village famous for the chocolate. Modica’s chocolate is one of the most famous products of the Ragusa area. Modica is custodian of a 400 year tradition of Sicilian chocolate-making. Being part of the Spanish kingdom for so many years meant that Sicily was often one of the first recipients of the new foodstuffs being brought back from South America. Cacao was one of these and today Modica still specialises in making granulous chocolate, often flavoured with chilli pepper, cinnamon or vanilla, that is based on Aztec methods and recipes. Chocolate shops abound and, for the real chocoholic, it is sometimes possible to watch the “chocolatiers” at work. This afternoon we drive in the interior of Ragusa neighbors to see an old Watermill (Admission fee: not included) from the second half of the 18th century, important because uses a really old technology from the Arab domination. The watermill is still working and we can see the wheat transforming into flour, as well as the place of work and life and other rooms connected with the miller’s life. The Mill Museum presents a rich exhibition of the most typical tools used in the past when manual work was not yet substituted by the new technologies. Visiting this site takes us back into the past indulging us to value how hard our ancestry’s job was. Then onto Noto, considered a masterpieces of the Sicilian Baroque style.

Later onto Syracuse. (BB)

 

Day 7 -  Syracuse

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: no

Syracuse, English Speaking Local Guide NOT  included

Taxi service disposal: to and from the Archaeological Park

Breakfast at hotel. Today stroll through the streets of Ortygia Island, the heart of the city center, to visit the Dome and the Aretusa Fountain.  Later guided visit to the Archaeological Park (Admission fee: not  included) highlights of which are the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry.  This afternoon is at leisure. (BB)

 

Day 8 – Syracuse/Etna Volcano and winery/Taormina

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: full day from h 8:30AM

Dress Code: dress in layers, do not forget a wind-jacket and wear sturdy shoes

Information: with this excursion we join up to 1.900 mt. In case you wish to ascent to the summit you have to pay the ascent tickets (cable car and jeep) directly on the spot at the Funivia dell’Etna ticket office.

Breakfast at hotel. Today you will be driven to the Etna Natural Park-South Side (Rifugio Sapienza) to see visit this beautiful Volcano rich in sounds, perfumes, and colors. On arrival, those interested in experiencing the Etna craters will have the opportunity to explore the Silvestri Craters and also the option to ascend to the top (by Funivia dell’Etna Cable car company) purchasing cable car tickets (Ascent fee: not included) 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.

How to Ascend to the TOP?

From Rifugio Sapienza you can catch on the first cable car ride up to 2.500 meters (Montagnola). Upon arrival at 2.500 meters you can walk around or hiking or just take a cappuccino at the bar overlooking the area. From the Montagnola (located at around 2.500 meters) you can jump on board on the UNI-MOG (mini-coach WD4X4) to reach 2.800 meters with Licensed Etna Guide (Ascent fees: eur 70,00 per person payable on the spot). Hiking needed to reach 2.950 meters.

Then continue on to a local winery for a snack and wine tastings. This afternoon we drive to Taormina. (BB S)

  

Day 9 – Taormina

Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: no

Breakfast at hotel. Today is at leisure: Taormina is a hill-village with a glossy sheen of glamour. 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 (Admission fee: not included), 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. Picturesque lanes above and below the Corso are interesting to explore, while if you want to stretch your legs further there are attractive walks up into the hills, or down to the sea. Given its compact size, Taormina has a huge range of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can while away pleasant hours while admiring the views. Enjoy your time at leisure in Taormina or get an optional Taormina Cooking Class with us! (BB)

 

Optional Taormina Gourmet | Half Day from h 9AM

Black-Out: Sunday and Bank Holidays
Today visit your gourmet destination. Then take a brief walk with the chef to an open air market where you will purchase fresh fruit, vegetables and all the ingredients necessary for the cooking course. Return to the local restaurant to start cooking. At the end of the cooking course, enjoy your scrumptious creations with the perfect complement— beautifully paired Sicilian wine.  Dessert follows accompanied by a typical local Dessert wine. Buon Appetito!  (L) | Details and Booking

 

Day 10 - Taormina/Catania airport

Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: transfer-out only

Today transfer to Catania airport (CTA).

 

Meal Legend: BB Breakfast S Snack L Lunch or Light Lunch D Dinner

 

Useful Information

DRIVER ESCORT: We customized this tour using a Driver-Escort. A Driver Escort is a person specialized to escort you around our amazing island. He is able to provide basic historical information, he can show you the main highlights ... he is knowledgeable and he has an umbrella of information. The Driver Escort is not a Licensed Tourist Guide.

 

LICENSED LOCAL GUIDE: This tour does not include the licensed local guide except in Monreale

 

ADMISSION FEE: The price of this tour does not include the Admission Fees. The average cost is around eur 10 per each entrance per person. The amount is payable directly on the spot.

 

CITY TAXES OR TOURIST TAX: The offer does not include the City Taxes-- required to finance tourism, maintenance of cultural heritage sites and environment, as well as public services– which have to be paid directly at hotel, during the check out.

 

HALF DAY & FULL DAY: the half day excursion is around 3 to 4 hours. The full day is around 7 hours and always in accordance with the itinerary and route.

 

Journey Pace

Active - A trip of this nature requires a good, healthy person. We consider most of our journeys to be active. Moderate to strenuous exertion, including long walks on rough uneven terrain, climbing stairs, and long drives on rough roads are an integral part of your journey to Sicily.

 

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