Uncover the Mysteries of Sicily

price from 4125 €

12 days
When thinking of an Italian vacation, many think strolling the streets by the Coliseum or tasting wines in the vineyards of Tuscany. Some of the most beautiful and enchanting destinations of Italy, however, can be found father south at the tip of the boot-shaped country.
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History
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Nature
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Food

Locations

  • Palermo
  • Trapani
  • Agrigento
  • Ragusa
  • Siracusa
  • Taormina
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Upon arrival at the Palermo airport you will be welcomed to Italy by your local concierge as you exit customs into the arrivals hall and privately transferred to your hotel where you will be assisted with check-in procedures, run through your itinerary and answer any questions you may have. Your concierge will ensure your holiday is running smoothly and to your complete gratification. Your local representative is available on the ground to make sure your travel arrangements run flawlessly. He/she is there to assist you and available on the phone for any questions you may have. Optional visit Before reaching the hotel stop en- route to enjoy a special welcome tour. You will have a Welcome Aperitif in one of the oldest «Enotecas» (wine bars) in Palermo and taste some of the local products. Upon completion, you will be transferred to the hotel to check-in This evening dinner will be at your own leisure

Begin your first Italian morning with an American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel to prepare for a full-day sightseeing devoted to visiting the city with your Local Expert English speaking tour guide and a private vehicle. In the morning, you will tour the city and its intermingling architecture that will immerse you in multiple cultures as you stroll the alleyways. Glimmering Byzantine mosaics, gorgeous sprawling marble fountains, intricate Arabic artwork. Make sure to bring your camera! Continue then on a walking tour to one of the three most historic and famous street markets in Palermo’s historical center. In Italy, markets are known with locals and tourists alike for being the place to go shopping for everything from vegetables to linens, street food to antique furniture. You will feel as if you are inside a painting of true Sicilian life, a magical moment that you can blend into and become a local. Do you know what the best lunch is in summer for a Sicilian? A croissant with ice cream! Continue your visit onto Monreale, a city with panoramic view of Conca D’Oro and where you will enjoy a leisurely lunch like the locals do - at one of the most famous gelateria (ice cream shop!) of Monreale. It is a refreshing break in the day, After lunch immerse yourself to see the stunning Cathedral and Cloisters. Before heading back to your hotel in Palermo! Dinner this evening is on your own and your overnight stay will be in Palermo. OPTIONAL: Visit to the mysterious Blue Room The “Arab Decor Room” – also known as “Blue Room” or “Blue Mosque” – is a room of an apartment inside a building dating back to the 1700s located in the heart of Palermo. Forgotten for centuries, this room full of mysteries was rediscovered when the new owners uncovered a beautiful deep shade of indigo blue as they were redoing the plaster walls. Take advantage of this opportunity - can you figure out the mysteries still trapped behind this beautiful artwork? Dinner this evening will be at your own peace

After a delicious American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel prepare for a full day sightseeing with your private vehicle to Segesta and Erice. Your first stop will be Segesta, which was one of the major cities the indigenous peoples of Sicily. Here, you will tour an unusually well-preserved Greek "Doric temple" - thought to have been built in 420 BC by an Athenian architects. Then, you will proceed to the medieval village of Erice with breathtaking views from the Balio Garden and then continue on-foot through the narrow alleys of cobblestone, passing picturesque churches and piazzas. Of course, no tour would be complete without your local expert English speaking tour guide making sure that you don’t miss a peek into the oldest and most famous pastry shop (with an interesting history of jealous Nuns!) for a taste of one of the specialties of Erice – try an almond cookie or a piece of Marzipan during this quick sugar-fix on our journey! After a leisurely lunch In the afternoon, you will be driven to saltpans and windmills of Trapani and Paceco for a guided tour . Here, you will truly have a unique experience that most miss - and you will never look at your sea salt the same again. Upon completion of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel. Dinner this evening is on your own

Begin your morning with an American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel to prepare for a full day of Phoenician history and Marsala wine. You will visit the island of Mozia - a memorable archaeological site. The deep Phoenician history of the island was almost forgotten until an English exporter of Marsala wine bought the land in 1902 and began excavating. At the end of the visit of the island, you will continue onto the mainland in Marsala - with an intimate wine tasting. Bruno, the curator and owner of the vineyard, and his family will personally invite you into their winery. Over the tasting of five wines and, of course, local culinary specialties to accompany them, you will have a chance to converse with one of the most interesting sommeliers in Sicily. As they say themselves: “Finding us may be difficult, but it will be impossible to forget us…” We found them for you - but it truly will be impossible to forget these people and the incredible emotion for their passion. You will also pass by the heart of Marsala where you will visit the city and the famous Florio Cellars - one of Marsala’s most historic wine cellars before returning back to your hotel This evening dinner will be at your own pleasure.

After American-style buffet breakfast, Leave your hotel today, and head towards your next destination: Agrigento During the journey stop en-route to visit a dairy farm nearby and see a demonstration of how "Vastedda della Valle del Belice DOP" and "Ricotta Ovina DOP", are created. The visit will be carried out by expert local English -speaking guides, and of course you will have the chance to meet with the owners to understand their business and hear first-hand stories and anecdotes about the rural life of Sambuca Zabut, the name of this area. You will then continue our visit to the village of Sambuca di Sicilia – where many believe that time has stood still - maybe it will for you too. Life here is simple - doors are always open, there are no supermarkets - simply the local shop owners selling their wares to their neighbors they have known for years. Enjoy lunch today (at leisure) in a typical local restaurant, where you will taste some local specialties before you will be privately transferred to your hotel In Agrigento This evening dinner is at leisure

Depart Agrigento this morning after your American-style buffet breakfast to prepare for a day of Greek temples and Arabic ceramics on your way to Ragusa! In the morning you will visit the Valley of Temples - an archaeological site that has artifacts dating back as early as the 6th Century B.C. and is the foundation of an ancient Greek colony. Walking among these immense pieces of our history, you can almost feel the vibration of the life that has been lived here. Close your eyes and picture the worlds that have passed through this area and feel the living history underneath your feet. You will then proceed to Caltagirone - renowned throughout Sicily for its ceramics. You will have the chance to visit one of the most popular artisanal ceramics producers in Caltagirone to see how these potters recreate historic pieces by studying the ancient traditions, but also, as artists, fuse the history of their craft with their creativity of today - creating gorgeous pieces that you may just want to bring home with you! Dinner this evening is on your own and your overnight stay will be in Ragusa.

Leave your hotel today after your delicious American-style buffet breakfast to prepare for a day to discover the jewels of Noto Valley with chocolate tastings and picturesque fishing villages! Ragusa Ibla will be your first stop for the day. Perched on top of a hill overlooking a valley covered with lush vegetation of carob trees and prickly pear cactus, it seems to have been carved out from the nature by a magnificent sculptor and painted pastel yellows and pinks that glow in the sun. Walk through the small streets on a private tour to discover cathedrals, intricate gardens, and regal palaces - with time for you to find just the perfect little local cafe for lunch. Then, you will be privately transferred to Modica, a charming town located in the province of Ragusa that is famous around the world for its chocolate. This renowned genuine Italian product originates from the Spanish domination of the island when the invaders introduced their methods of chocolate-making to the "County of Modica", once the largest in the Kingdom of Sicily. Your local expert English speaking guide will take you for a special taste the famous Chocolate of Modica in one of the historic artisan shops. After the visit, but before reaching Syracuse, you must make a stop in Marzamemi. This quaint fishing village built it’s history on the sea and still today, the color fishing boats floating in the brilliant blue waters of the harbor are the main source of income for the residents. Dinner this evening is on your own and your overnight stay will be in Siracusa.

Begin your morning with an American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel to prepare for the full day we need to see all there is to see in Siracusa! Although frequented since ancient times by Greek and Phoenician merchants, Siracusa was officially founded in 734 BC by Corinthian settlers and enjoyed a period of great cultural and political fortunes just as Athens and Alexandria did. We will begin our tour from the old centre on the island of Ortigia - described as a circular labyrinth where you can pass a decadent 14th century palace next to a church built in a glamorous Baroque facade. Then, we will step to another place in time with the district of Neapolis with the remains of the Greek theatre, the Roman amphitheater, the Great Altar of Hiero - the largest altar from the Greek age to reach Italy - and the Grotta dei Cordari (the rope makers’ cave), as well as the most famous Latomia (stone prison).We will also be able to visit the Regional Archaeological Museum "Paolo Orsi", the largest of Sicily. Lunch will be on your own today in Siracusa. Dinner this evening is on your own and your overnight stay will be in Siracusa.

Depart Siracusa today after an amazing American-style buffet breakfast to enjoy a full day with your private vehicle and local English speaking tour guide of active volcanoes and wine tasting! Stop en-route to Catania - an illustrious example of Sicilian Baroque and post-earthquake reconstruction (after being almost completely rebuilt in the 18th century because of Etna). Visit . Piazza del Duomo, home to the incredibly unique and almost whimsical Fontana dell'Elefante, is the heart of the city and is a definite must-see. INSIDER ACCESS: Pupi Siciliani The Pupi Siciliani - unique kind of large and heavy marionettes covered with knightly armour - are the traditional form of epic popular theatre that developed in Sicily in the early 1800’s. It brought probably from the Spain of Don Quixote, operated in Naples and Rome, but mostly, from the first half of the nineteenth century, in Sicily, where it was to reach its full development. Visit of a marionettes (pupi) maker in the old Catania where clients can see a family running the small factory and shop and performing samples of this typical “theatre of pupi siciliani”. Clients can see, touch and listen to all the stories, experiences and fairy tales these people will tell them. A true taste of SICILY! After a leisurely lunch head out of Catania and take an excursion up to Mt. Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe and UNESCO World Heritage admiring the stunning views admiring the stunning views as you go up and around this impressive icon of Sicily. Today You will have the chance to visit a local winery and have a wine tasting. The DOC wine (Denominazione di Origine Controllata or Controlled Designation of Origin) of Etna includes of 20 municipalities of Etna. It was the first Sicilian DOC to be recognized and one of the oldest in Italy, in August 1968. This evening dinner will be at your own pleasure your overnight stay will be in Taormina.

Begin your morning with an American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel to prepare for a day of cooking classes, and visiting the jewel of Taormina! You will begin the day with a private cooking class and immediately join our chef as he leads us through a guided market tour. You will visit the fruit & vegetable vendors to find out what’s in season, and the fishmonger to choose the best fresh catch of the day in Taormina’s historic fish market. After the market tour, everyone will return to the kitchen for your hands-on cooking class for the preparation of a full Sicilian menu and a typical dessert. Lunch will follow - featuring the foods prepared in class and is accompanied by local Sicilian wines. After lunch meet your local expert English speaking tour guide for a 2-hour walking tour of the beautiful town of Taormina. Visit the ancient Greek Amphitheatre to feel completely overwhelmed with the magnificent beauty of this place - carved out of the mountain so many centuries ago, with the backdrop of an active volcano brooding in the distance. At the end of your day you will be brought to your hotel in Taormina. Optional tour If a cooking course doesn’t appeal to you, we can propose a visit to Castelmola in the morning instead and then continue on to Taormina – Castelmola Set at about 500 meters above sea level, Castelmola is on the list of most beautiful villages in Italy, "Borghi Italiani." The narrow streets of this town are only accessible by a small winding road that climbs the mountainside from the already-elevated Taormina. The remains of a Norman castle are still visible on the top of the cliff that gives the village its character - as well as the contrast between the narrow alleys of the old town centre and the breadth of the landscape that suddenly reveals itself at the edge of a cliff overlooking the aquamarine sea. With your local expert guide you will visit its churches and from the natural balcony of Castelmola, you can see the grandeur of the surrounding area of Sicily spread out before you: Etna, the Bay of Giardini Naxos, Taormina and its Greek-Roman theatre, the North S. Alessio Cape and the Channel of Messina. The main square of Castelmola is Saint’ Anthony Square, with a unique pavement made of white and black lava stones, they create a beautiful mosaic perfect for taking unique snapshots. Here you can also taste the most famous typical local product, the almond wine, created by the owner of the historic San Giorgio Cafè.

Begin your morning with an American-style buffet breakfast at the hotel to prepare for a half-day guided tour ( 4 hours) and private vehicle walking in the footsteps of “Il Padrino”- The Godfather where you will visit all of the locations where the movie was filmed. In less than one hour you will reach Savoca a simple old-time typical town set on the hillside of the foothills of the Peloritani Mountains. What makes it different to the other towns? This is where Al Pacino shot The Godfather movie. While in town “a must” is to stop for a Lemon Granita (Italian slushie) at the famous BAR VITELLI on the corner of the town which was one of Coppola’s favorite spots and highlighted multiple times throughout the film. you will also see the Church of St. Lucy where the scene of the wedding between Apollonia and Michael Corleone! From Savoca you will visit Forza d’Agrò, without a doubt one of the best examples of a typical village of the Province of Messina, which still conserves its medieval street layout, and on all sides of the town, you have the most incredible views. Before returning back to Taormina you will then have a scenic drive along Letojanni. Lunch will be on your own and you will have the afternoon free at leisure.

After Breakfast you will be privately transferred to Catania Airport Meals: breakfast We hope as your plane takes off from Catania, you look out your airplane window down at a newly discovered island that you have fallen in love with. After a week of tasting the culinary specialties, traversing the beautiful back-alleys and ancient Greek, Arab, and Roman temples, and experiencing living history while gazing at the incredible architecture and listening to the intriguing stories from the local people, we hope that you have a special place in your heart for Sicilia and that you took the passion for life that this island has, and put it into your own for years to come. Until the next time you travel to us, we will give you advice from our favorite Sicilian Proverb: “Casa quantu stai e tirrinu quantu viri.” “Home for as long as you need to be, and land as far as the eye can see.”

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HIGHLIGHTS Pupi Siciliani
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The Pupi Siciliani - unique kind of large and heavy marionettes covered with knightly armour - are the traditional form of epic popular theatre that developed in Sicily in the early 1800’s.
HIGHLIGHTS Street market
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Enjoy the famous street markets in Palermo’s historical center, you will feel as if you are inside a painting of true Sicilian life, a magical moment that you can blend into and become a local.
HIGHLIGHTS Sambuca Town
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Visit to the village of Sambuca di Sicilia – where many believe that time has stood still - maybe it will for you too. Life here is simple - doors are always open, there are no supermarkets - simply the local shop owners selling their wares to their neighbors they have known for years.
HIGHLIGHTS Personal concierge service
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Your personal Concierge is the person who Welcomes you to Italy, meet and greet you at the airport/train station, and accompany you to your hotel together with a private car or the private boat booked.
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