Sicilian Secrets 2017 – Tour of Sicily & Aeolian Islands
Discover Sicily and Aeolian Islands with this 8 days / 7 nights guided tour. Overnights in 4* hotels. Departures from Palermo every Tuesday from April 4th to October 31st.
Day 1 – Tuesday: PALERMO (hotel in Palermo)
Independent arrival at the hotel in the charming city of Palermo (optional private transfer on request). Meet with our tour-leader; dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 2 – Wednesday: PALERMO – MONREALE – MARSALA (hotel in Marsala)
After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting the capital of Sicily 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, 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 Byzantine, Muslim and Latin workers. Continuing our walk we will admire the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Along the visiting day we will have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Later on we will proceed to Monreale to visit 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! 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.
Day 3 – Thursday: MARSALA SALT ROAD – SELINUNTE – AGRIGENTO (hotel in 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 archaelogy. On the way you will see the nice Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today as ‘Stagnone’), and the famous Salines and windmills. 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.
Day 4 – Friday: PIAZZA ARMERINA – RAGUSA (hotel in Catania)
Proceeding on 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, which has some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known, is a World Heritage Site. 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, well known thanks to the Commissario Montalbano television series, 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.
Day 5 – Saturday: CATANIA – LIPARI (Hotel in Lipari)
Our tour continues with the Aeolian Islands. Breakfast in the hotel and private transfer to Milazzo. Boarding on the hydrofoil for Lipari island. Arrival at the port and transfer to the hotel. Free evening. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 6 – Sunday: PANAREA – STROMBOLI (Hotel in Lipari)
Breakfast in the hotel and departure from the port of Lipari for the full day excursion Panarea & Stromboli.
Before leaving Lipari, we will stop at Cave of pumice where you can enjoy an unforgettable swim. Continue then to Panarea, where we visit the beautiful bay of Calajunco, above which lies the prehistoric village of Cape Milazzese, and stay in the adjacent Zimmari for another swim. We will then leave for a scenic ride between the Isolotti, visiting the Cave of Lovers, to reach the harbour. Here you can have lunch, take a stroll through the elegant streets, visit the prehistoric village and have a nice swim. In the afternoon we will continue to Stromboli. We will stop to admire Ginostra a small fishing village, timeless, then we will continue to see the Sciara del Fuoco, a steep slope with lava rivers and Strombolicchio, a gigantic rock. Once on the island, free dinner and stroll around shops, or the beautiful gardens and take a swim in the blue cobalt sea. At sunset we will return below the Sciara, to assist from the sea the volcanic explosion in a symphony of reddish lapilli.
Day 7 – Monday: LIPARI – SALINA (Hotel in Lipari)
Breakfast in the hotel and a full day dedicated to discovering the most beautiful coves of Lipari and Salina.
After leaving the Castle of Lipari, the Monte Rosa and Canneto make your first stop at the mine pumice for a bath. Broken wander Acquacalda and we drive to Salina. After having skirted the eastern side we will stop for a second bath in the beautiful bay of Pollara, made famous by the movie Massimo Troisi in “Il Postino” and then set off for Rinella, where we prepared a tasting Malvasia. We will then call at Lingua, a small fishing village, where in addition to delightful restaurants and swimming coves where you can visit the salt lake which gave name to this island. There will also be able to see St. M. Salina is located a few kilometers away. On the way back visit the most beautiful caves of Lipari and we will do the last bath in the beach of Vinci, in front of Le Corbusier. Dinner and overnight in the hotel
Day 8 – Tuesday: LIPARI – MILAZZO
Breakfast in the hotel, appointment to the port for hydrofoil boarding directed to Milazzo and end of our services.
For organizational reasons or due to force majeure the itinerary, may be modified.
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