01 – TUESDAY PALERMO
Arrive independently to the hotel in the charming city of Palermo.
In the evening you will meet our tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight in hotel. Meals: D
02 – WEDNESDAY MONREALE – PALERMO – MARSALA After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale, 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! Later we will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the Island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, XVIIth century squares, including an elegant opera house. 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. Along the visiting day we will have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Continuing our walk we will admire the Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. 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.
Meals: B D
03 – THURSDAY MARSALA SALT ROAD – SELINUNTE – AGRIGENTO This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known Salt Road: the west coast of Sicily with many salt marshes, which have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world. Between Trapani and Marsala they are now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaeology. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site. Surrounded 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, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.
Meals: B D
04 – FRIDAY PIAZZA ARMERINA – RAGUSA – CATANIA Today we will reach Piazza Armerina where we will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex includes some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known.
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”. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient city hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products. Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel. Meals: B D
05 – SATURDAY CATANIA Breakfast in hotel and end of our services.
1 night’s accommodation in 4* hotel in Palermo
1 night’s accommodation in 4* hotel in Marsala
1 night’s accommodation in 4* hotel in Agrigento;
1 night’s accommodation in 4* hotel in Catania
4 American buffet breakfast
4 dinners in hotels or local restaurants (drinks NOT included)
3 Tasting of Sicilian typical products Palermo (day 2)
tasting of local street food;
Marsala (day 2):
Ragusa (day 4): tasting of local cheese
Multilingual escorted tour Monreale, Palermo, Selinunte, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Ragusa.
Multilingual Local guides or audio-guides
Entrance fees at monuments/museums