Sicilian Secrets 2018 – New Year’s Eve Tour of Sicily Special 8 Days

Guided Tour Catania/Catania – 8 days / 7 nights itinerary. Overnights in 4* hotels, half board basis.
Departure on Thursday December 27th.

Day 1 – Thursday 27: CATANIA – (hotel in Catania)

Sicilian Secrets Tour of Sicily 8 Days Special New Year’s Eve provides independent arrival at the hotel in the charming city of Catania (optional private transfer on request). In the evening you will meet our tour-leader and you travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight in hotel.

Day 2 – Friday 28: CATANIA – TAORMINA (hotel in Catania)

After breakfast, we will proceed to Catania. Visit of its city centre, stated Unesco World Heritage Site, with its original Baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The walking tour will start across the “Pescheria” (the ancient fish market) to reach the scenic Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous “Liotru” statue, antique lava-stone elephant, symbol of the city. Not far from here we will reach the University Square and we will have a walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th century street in Catania, where we will admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site. We will stop in a bar for a delicious tasting of Sicilian cannolo. Transfer to Taormina, charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna! Lunch in a nice restaurant where you will assist to a show-cooking lesson of some typical Sicilian cuisine dishes. In the afternoon we will visit Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre, and then you will have free time for a nice walk among the picturesque medieval typical narrow streets, go shopping and looking around the local handycraft (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). Back to hotel, dinner and overnight.

Day 3 – Saturday 29: SYRACUSE – NOTO (hotel in Catania)

After breakfast in hotel we will visit Syracuse, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and World Heritage Site! The visit will start with the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysius. We will continue visiting the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of Syracuse. In Ortigia you will admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence. The present façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple! From Piazza Duomo you will reach a wide terrace on the waterfront surrounding the famous Arethusa’s Fountain, one of the most famous fresh-water sources of the Greek world. Free time for lunch. Departure to Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Inspired by Baroque ideals of “open city”, Noto is a rare masterpiece and the most clear example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is in fact a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. We will visit Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, beautiful noble residence in Baroque style and once the residence of Don Giacomo Nicolaci, a patron of the arts. Back to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 4 – Sunday 30: ETNA – CEFALU’ (hotel in Palermo)

This morning we will leave to visit Etna, the highest (c. 3350m) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world, nowadays Unesco World Heritage Site. Its regional park protects 59.000 hectares of unique geology, flora and fauna, villages and farms, and traditional methods of forestry, bee-keeping, wine manufacture, stonework and carpentry. We will reach the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. The view, beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters, can extend across the whole of Sicily, the Aeolian islands and Calabria. The spectacle is unique! After free time for lunch, transfer to Cefalù, charming Medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. We will visit its stunning Norman Dome and you will have free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. We will proceed to Palermo. Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.

Day 5 – Monday 31: MONREALE – PALERMO (hotel in Palermo)

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! 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, 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. 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 available. Back to the hotel, free time for dinner and overnight. Let’s celebrate New Year’s Eve in Palermo, with its stunning lights and colors!

Day 6 – Tuesday 01: AGRIGENTO (hotel in Agrigento)

The guided tour will continue today along the charming Agrigento with the 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 7 – Wednesday 02: PIAZZA ARMERINA – RAGUSA (hotel in 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.

Day 8 – Thursday 03: CATANIA

Breakfast in hotel and end of services.

For organizational reasons or due to force majeure, the itinerary may be modified.

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Rate per person

€ 825,00 in double room

Guaranteed departure min 2 pax

Single room supplement € 215,00
3rd bed reduction: € 50,00

OPTIONAL: NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA DINNER
(menu 6 / 7 courses, beverages included)
€ 130,00 Per Person

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Departure days

Departure Thursday

December 27
Rate includes
  • Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide (English, Italian, Spanish) for the whole tour (from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 7th day), local guides or audio-guides where necessary.
  • High class buses or 25/28 seats Gran Comfort minibus (from the 2nd day to the 7th).
  • Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre.
  • 1 lunch in Taormina on day 2.
  • Half board basis (dinner – 3 main courses menu, beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian cuisine except dinner of December 31st
  • Tasting of Sicilian typical products:
    Catania (day 2): tasting of the typical Sicilian cannolo;
    Taormina (day 2): lunch and show cooking;
    Palermo (day 5): tasting of local street food;
    Ragusa (day 7): tasting of local products;
  • Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Catania city centre, Siracusa, Noto, Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Ragusa.

Aarrival or Departure Day: on request, it is possible to arrange optional HD private excursions to Acireale or Caltagirone.

Rate does not include

Transfers in/out, all lunches except for the one on the day 2 in Taormina, dinner on December 31st, beverages, entrance fees at monuments/museums, city taxes (where compulsory), tips and extras in general, anything not specified under “Rate includes”.

Hotels

Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centers of the main Sicilian towns:

  • Catania: Il Principe Hotel 4* or similar
  • Palermo: Cristal Palace Hotel 4* or similar
  • Agrigento: Dioscuri Bay Palace Hotel 4*

Hotels carefully selected for their location and design to combine tradition with comfort

Supplements

Pre-night/Post-night in hotel in Catania (in BB treatment)

  • € 68,00 p.p. in double room per night
  • € 107,00 in single room per night

Transfers from Catania airport to hotel in Catania and vice versa

  • 1/2 pax € 29,00 each way
  • € 43,00 minivan each way

PRIVILEGE PACKAGE € 326,00 p.p.
Includes: Superior/Deluxe Room – Private transfer in/out – City taxes – All entrance fees as per program.

Note: for festivities the transfer rates from and to the airport might change

Assistance – Medical Expense Reimbursement – Luggage insurance – Travel Cancellation Expenses Insurance: on request

Extra entrance fees*
  • Taormina Greek theatre € 10,00 p.p.
  • Syracuse Archeological Park € 10,00 p.p.
  • Syracuse Cathedral € 2,00 p.p.
  • Noto Palazzo Nicolaci € 4,00 p.p.
  • Monreale Cathedral € 4,00 p.p.
  • Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Cappella Palatina € 8,50 p.p.
  • Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Cathedral € 3,00 p.p.
  • Agrigento Archaeological Museum Pietro Griffo & Valle dei Templi € 13,50 p.p.
  • Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.
  • *to be confirmed

Information

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