Our Journeys

The Treasures of Sicily
September 17-28, 2016

$3,975

The Treasures of Sicily – Fall 2016

Journey Details
3 nights in Taormina
2 nights outside Noto
2 nights outside Agrigento
2 nights outside Marsala
2 nights in Palermo
Tot. 11 nights – 12 days

Price: $3,975 per person (with 14-16 travelers. $4,390 with 10-13 travelers)
Single room supplement: $680 (to be reconfirmed when we meet our minimum numbers)

ITINERARY


DAY 0 - September 26 - Departure from the US

Fly from the US to Catania, Sicily

DAY 1 - September 17 - Catania and Taormina

Fly from the US to Catania, the most functional airport in Sicily. A private driver will pick you up at the airport and drive you to Hotel San Domenico Palace in Taormina. Rest up in your beautiful room before meeting your guide and co-travelers for a welcome talk and dinner. Sleep in Taormina (D)

DAY 2 - September 18 - Taormina

This morning you will explore beautiful Taormina, which is considered one the foremost pearls of the Mediterranean Sea. You will start your day with a stroll along its most famous promenade to one of Sicily’s finest “pasticcerias”. You will then enjoy a great cooking class followed by a lunch of delicious local specialties. In the afternoon you will take in a lovely city tour that will include the city’s exquisite Greek theatre. If you have been to Taormina before, you will have time on your own to shop or just enjoy the great atmosphere of this small city. Sleep in Taormina (B, L)

DAY 3 - September 19 - Wine tasting with a Godfather tour and small villages

Today you will enjoy a great wine tasting at a vineyard on the hillside of Mt. Aetna, and visit the small village of Savoca, where many scenes of the movie the Godfather were shot. You will also visit the small and very charming villages of Forza d'Agro' and - time permitting – Castelmola,where the scenic views are unbeatable, the history palpable, and the local seafood a delight. Sleep in Taormina (B, L)

DAY 4 - September 20 - Siracusa

Today you will explore Siracusa, the ancient Greek colony that outshined its master during the decline of the Greek empire. First, we will wander through the unforgettable Piazza del Duomo to behold the Fountain of Arethusa. The legends shared by our classically educated guide will bring our walking tour to life. You will have time to shop and enjoy the magic of this special city. Sleep in Noto (B, D)

DAY 5 - September 21 - Modica and Noto

Today you will tour the “Val di’ Noto,” a valley so beautiful and unique that it was declared a World Heritage site in 2002. You will stop in the countryside to taste fresh ricotta cheese (cooked over a hot stove in wooden barrels) and the most incredible hand-made Sicilian Cannoli you will ever have. Later, you can wander the baroque jewel of Noto, an amazing city built at the end of the 17th century after an earthquake destroyed Old Noto almost entirely. Sleep in Noto (B, L)

DAY 6 - September 22 - Piazza Armerina

You will start your day with a lovely drive across scenic agrarian landscapes to the Piazza Armerina and the Imperial Roman Villa of Casale. This ancient Roman hunting lodge and beauty spa was well known among the Who’s Who of the 4th century. You will have plenty of time to view the original mosaics that decorate the lodge’s former exercise rooms and baths. We will then make our way to Agrigento. Sleep at a resort near Agrigento (B, D)

DAY 7 - September 23 - Agrigento

Visit the Ancient Valley of the Temples, one of the richest archaeological areas of the world.Here a passionate and charismatic guide, known as “il professore”, will lead you among the remains of approximately 20 ancient temples including the Temple of Concord, Castor, Pollux and Hercule. Sleep outside Agrigento (B, L)

DAY 8 - September 24 - Selinunte, ceramic shopping and Marsala

The highlight of the day will no doubt be Selinunte, one of Europe's largest archaeological parks. En route to Selinunte you will stop at charming Sciacca, very famous for its artistic and traditional ceramics. After time for shopping and a visit to a local ceramicist, you will reach the seaside near Selinunte - where you will enjoy a light lunch. You will then visit the amazing archaeological park of Selinunte - where you will be blown away by the ancient Greek ruins over the blue Mediterranean Sea. It is a sight you will never forget. You will then reach the outskirts of Marsala and will check in at your resort - where you will have time to sample some of the awesome Marsala wine produced at the estate. Sleep outside Marsala (B, L)

DAY 9 - September 25 - Marsala

Today you will start your visits with an introduction to the charming centre of Marsala, before heading to one of the best producers of the local sweet and smooth Marsala wine. After a tasting of this incredible dessert wine, you will take in the local museum, which displays theremains of an awesome Phoenician ship. You will have time to stroll into town and shop before heading back to your resort. Sleep near Marsala. (B, D)

DAY 10 - September 26 - Erice and Monreale

This morning you will drive to Erice, a delightful medieval village nestled on a 2,200-foot cliff. Walking though Erice’s narrow streets you can make your way to a traditional pastry shop where you can sample some of the world’s most amazing almond pastries. But don't forget to try the Cannoli and the shop's famed Cassata! These delicious treats will augment the breathtaking views over the Egadi Islands below. After your group lunch you will head to the small hill town of Monreale. Here you will see the mosaics of the Norman Cathedral which are among the most extraordinary in Italy. This amazing monument is a dazzling mixture of Arab, Byzantine and Norman artistic styles all framed by traditional Romanesque architecture. Nowhere else on the planet can you find such a perfect blend of the Christian and Muslim artistic worlds of the 12th century. You will then drive to Palermo, where you will check into your hotel for a two-night stay. Sleep in Palermo (B, L)

DAY 11 - September 27 - Palermo

You will spend the morning visiting beautiful Palermo and its amazing Cathedral, the Palatine Chapel, Piazza Pretoria, the many narrow streets and alleys, and the market stalls packed with all sorts of merchandise. You will have the afternoon on your own to discover more of this very special city. In the late afternoon you will enjoy a traditional puppet show. The puppet theatre conveys ideals which are dear to Sicilian people: chivalry, honour, justice, faith and love. Its main themes are related to the legendary stories of Charlemagne’s knights. You will be amazed by this experience because it is unlike going to any other theatre. Here the crowd is expected to take part...to jeer when a villain plots a dastardly deed or cheer with the victories of hero. Sleep in Palermo (B, L)

DAY 12 - September 28 - Depart for Home

This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.


INFORMATION


What is included in the trip

– Accommodation in carefully selected, centrally located first category hotels and charming
country inns
– All group transportation in a deluxe air-conditioned private bus, driver expenses (food,
lodging), parking fees, city entry taxes for bus
– All breakfasts and one main meal per day including wine
– The services of a professional tour leader throughout the trip (inclusive of lodging and
expenses) and local guides
– Entrance to museums and attractions as per itinerary
– A great cooking class
– Wine tastings as per the itinerary

What is not included

– International airfare from and to the US
– Personal expenses
– Tips for your Customized Journeys guide, driver and local guides
– Travel and medical insurance.

The Extra Price for Insurance

-Silver policy (post departure travel and medical insurance): 35 USD per person
-Gold policy (cancellation insurance): 220 USD per person
-Cancel for any reason policy: 330 USD per person in single room – 290 USD per person in double
room