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8 Days / 7 Nights

Day 1 - Palermo
We meet in Sicily's captivating capital, Palermo, and dive straight into its warren of streets with a local guide. Although part of Italy, Sicily feels like a world of its own, where a mix of architectural styles stand testament to the various cultures that have laid claim to it. One custom feels thoroughly Italian however: browsing markets laden with everything from fruit and
vegetables to fresh fish, meats and cheeses. We take our pick and sample fresh-fromthe- farm local produce. This afternoon is dedicated to the Norman Palace, a wonder of Palermo.
Behind its formidable exterior lies the Palatine Chapel - with walls coated in glimmering paintings that will astound. This evening we enjoy a welcome dinner together. (B, D)
Overnight: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa (or similar)

Day 2 - Palermo - Monreale - Corleone - Palermo
This morning, a native guide unlocks the secrets of Monreale, a historic town outside Palermo. We peer inside the cathedral, a monumental building adorned with fascinating early-medieval paintings. Then it's on to Corleone, whose rural beauty jars with its infamous connection with the Corleonesi mafia clan - as well as being immortalised as the birthplace of several characters in The Godfather. Here we meet local Gino Felicetti, who tells us about the mafia's origins and impact on Sicily. Then we travel back to Palermo, where you're free for the rest of the day. (B)
Overnight: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa (or similar)

Day 3 - Palermo - Erice - Trapani - Agrigento
Today we swap city streets for the sleepy medieval village of Erice. Then we delve into the Nature Reserve of Trapani and Paceco, a fascinating coastal wetlands area home to over 170 different bird species, including flamingos. After that, it's time for a well-deserved treat - a spot of wine tasting in Marsala. Savour the heady tastes of this distinctive wine, which has a hint of Port or Madeira about it, before dinner beckons us in Agrigento. (B, D)
Overnight: Hotel Foresteria Baglio della Luna (or similar)

Day 4 - Agrigento - Piazza Armerina - Ragusa Ibla
Rocky hilltops crowned with temples. Rugged scenery scattered with the remains of immense statues. Agrigento's Valley of the Temples is one of ancient Greece's greatest legacies and a wonderfully evocative landscape. A local guide brings to life the history and legends behind the eight temples, which have stood here for thousands of years. From Greek monuments to a lavish Roman home - our next stop is Piazza Armerina, where we visit the one-of-a-kind Villa Romana del Casale. Then our path turns towards Ragusa as we follow the winding rural back roads to peaceful Antico Convento, our converted monastery home for the next two nights. (B)
Overnight: Antico Convento (or similar)

Day 5 - Ragusa Ibla - Modica - Scicli - Ragusa Ibla

Modica, the crowning glory of Sicilian baroque art, is our first port of call today. We stroll through the old town and explore the majestic Chiesa di San Giorgio. Then we follow in the footsteps of Inspector Montalbano in Scicli, one of the filming locations for the cult detective series. Our trail takes us on to the Palazzo del Municipio and Piazza Italia, among many other interesting sites. Back in Ragus Ibla, take the rest of the day to wander the town at your own pace. You could seek out a local trattoria to try some Sicilian specialities. (B)
Overnight: Antico Convento (or similar)

Day 6 - Ragusa Ibla - Syracuse - Taormina
Seaside Syracuse, which rivalled Athens as the most important city of ancient Greece, is our stomping ground today. Our local guide leads us to the temples and sacred caves of the archaeological park. Then we cross over the bridge to discover Syracuse's Ortigia district. The best way to enjoy it is to forget the map and happily get lost in its winding streets, which open out on baroque piazzas, bustling markets and beautiful sea views. Later we turn north to Taormina, a cliff-town overlooking the ocean. Enjoy a leisurely introduction - and perhaps sample the town's standout seafood for dinner. (B)
Overnight: Hotel Monte Tauro (or similar)

Day 7 - Taormina - Mount Etna - Taormina

Now it's time to take an upclose look at Mount Etna, a slumbering giant that towers over the surrounding landscape. As we scale its slopes by coach, look out at the immense lava flows that have reshaped the land over centuries of dramatic eruptions. Afternoon gives us time to give Taormina the attention it deserves. The capital of Byzantine Sicily in the 9th century, this pretty town has plenty of surprises up its sleeves. You could visit the 13th century Cathedral of San Nicola, or step further back in time at the splendid Greek Theatre. Then it's time to meet up again for a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D)
Overnight: Hotel Monte Tauro (or similar)

Day 8 - Taormina - Savoca - Taormina
Sicily's enticing landscapes have been captured forever in iconic films such as The Godfather. So a fitting finale to our adventure is the pretty hamlet of Savoca - whose church provided the backdrop for the film's wedding scene. Finally, we return to Taormina, where we take our final bows. (B)

Pick-Up & Drop-Off
This tour commences from Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Via dei Cartari, 18, 90133 Palermo,at 9.00am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
The tour finishes at 3:00pm at Hotel Monte Tauro, 3, via Madonna Delle Grazie, 98039 Taormina.

         
    2017    
         
    Departure: April to October, 2017  
         
    Departure Dbl Occ Sgl Occ
    Sep 02, 09, 16, 30 $3,370 $3,985
    Oct 7 $3,755 $3,140
         
Inclusions:
  • 7 nights' accommodation in boutique hotels
  • Experienced tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation
  • Local guides in Palermo, Monreale, Corleone, Valley of the Temples, Villa Romana del Casale & Syracuse
  • European breakfast daily (B)
  • 2 x evening meals (D)
  • 1 x lunch
  • Marsala wine tasting
  • Included Entrances: Norman Palace, Palatine Chapel, Monreale Cathedral, Valley of the Temples, Villa Romana del Casale, Syracuse archaeological site and Syracuse Cathedral
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