Delve into the fascinating mosaic that is Sicily. Explore this beautiful Mediterranean island on this grand tour and discover the influences left by ancient Greeks and Romans, Arabs and Normans. Get acquainted with Palermos colorful markets and the citys famous street food. Spend time at Monreales 12th-century cathedral and come to know Catania. Meet a local enterpreneur and learn what ordinary Sicilians are doing to combat the Mafia. Enjoy Agrigentos spectacular Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Reflect on the grandeur of ancient Greece during an included excursion to the historical sites in Siracusa, another UNESCO World Heritage site, whose archaeological treasures rival those in Athens. Meet a countess in her beautiful palace and visit a family-operated farm to learn about ricotta cheese. Explore Taormina, the jewel of Sicily, perched above the Ionian Sea.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Embark on an exploration of the sparkling Mediterranean island of Sicily. Discover its rich blend of culture, its flavorful cuisine and its immeasurable beauty.
Day 2: Palermo, Italy – Tour Begins
Your exploration opens in Palermo Sicilys vibrant and welcoming capital. In 2015, the historic architectural masterpieces of Arab-Norman Palermo were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. This evening, get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.
Day 3: Palermo – Monreale – Palermo
Set out on a comprehensive panoramic tour of Palermo. See the historic squares of Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria and Piazza Bellini with their exotic blend of Moorish, Norman and Spanish Baroque styles. After being introduced to the Palace of the Normans and La Martorana Church, explore the cathedral that houses the impressive Imperial Crown of Constance of Aragon. Then, venture to the nearby town of Monreale where you will visit the 12th-century cathedral that dazzles from the moment you step inside. Return to Palermo for a stop at an open-air market to taste traditional Sicilian street food. Later today, you are invited to a medieval palace where a countess welcomes you on a tour of her familys home and joins you for an aperitif and hors doeuvres in one of the palace’s chambers.
Day 4: Palermo
Spend a day at leisure savoring your stay in this fascinating city. Take time to visit one of the citys great museums or stroll its streets lined with fancy boutiques and inviting cafs. Or you may choose to partake in an optional excursion to the medieval town of Erice. This evening, gather for dinner at a local restaurant where youll join a local entrepreneur to discuss the notorious Sicilian Mafia and what ordinary Sicilians are doing to stand up to them.
Day 5: Palermo – Cefalù – Sicilian Countryside – Palermo
Journey to the seaside town of Cefal, home to one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Sicily. After strolling through its medieval streets, proceed to a family farm in the countryside. Learn about a day on a Sicilian farm and the typical products created there. A farmer demonstrates* how to make a Sicilian favorite ricotta cheese! Watch a chef prepare local specialties and enjoy a hearty lunch featuring the farms own products and recipes. Return to Palermo for an evening at leisure.
Day 6: Palermo – Agrigento – Catania
Depart Sicilys capital for Agrigento. Start your day at the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy a guided tour and learn about the rich history as you walk around the temples of Juno, Concordia, Hercules and Jupiter. Journey through the beautiful Erei Mountains to Sicilys Ionian Coast. Spend the next four nights in Catania, a coastal city at the foot of Mount Etna and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 7: Catania
This morning a local guide shares Catanias history. Explore the citys stunning cathedral and get acquainted with the various sites throughout the city. Witness the daily spectacle of bartering for fresh fish and produce when you visit the local market. Enjoy free time in Catanias elegant center. Afterward, you may wish to sign up for an optional excursion to Mount Etna.
Day 8: Catania – Siracusa – Catania
Depart Catania and venture farther south to Siracusa. Reflect on the grandeur of ancient Greece during an included excursion to the historical sites in Siracusa, boasting archaeological treasures rivaling those in Athens. A local expert guides you through the Archaeological Park of Neapolis which features an impressive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. Afterward, make a stop at a rural estate. Feel like you have stepped back in time as you explore the stunning gardens and landscape; then enjoy a regional treat with the owners.
Day 9: Catania – Taormina – Catania
Explore Taormina, the jewel of Sicily, perched above the Ionian Sea. During a guided tour you will be amazed by the Greek Theatre, the Duomo and the spectacular public gardens. Spend the afternoon dining at a sidewalk caf or shopping in the towns boutiques. On your return to Catania, travel along the Cyclops Coast, passing vineyards, citrus groves and charming fishing villages. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in one of Catanias charming trattorie serenaded by music from local musicians.
Day 10: Catania – Tour Ends
Your tour of Sicily comes to a close as you return home with many cherished memories.