- Day 1: Welcome to Sicily
- Day 2: Palermo and Monreale
- Day 3: Ancient Segesta and Mountaintop Erice
- Day 4: Salt Harvesting and Seaside Trapani
- Day 5: Ancient Agrigento and Country Living
- Day 6: Roman Mosaics and Syracuse
- Day 7: Syracuse, Past and Present
- Day 8: Mount Etna, Wine, and Taormina
- Day 9: Seductive Taormina
- Day 10: Colorful Catania
- Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast
Day 1: Welcome to Sicily
We will gather at our hotel in Palermo at 3 p.m. for an introductory meeting. To kick off our Sicilian adventure, we will join a noblewoman for a private tour of her family’s ancestral home, the Palazzo Federico. Afterward, we will get to know each other better over a delightful “Welcome to Sicily” dinner.
Expect moderate walking of 2-6 miles throughout the day, including some hills and stairs. There will be no bus rides. Our accommodation for the night will be in Palermo.
Day 2: Palermo and Monreale
Our local guide will lead us on a walking tour of Palermo, including a visit to the vibrant and colorful Ballaró street market — an experience that carries the enchanting scent of Africa. Following that, we will board a coach and make our way to Monreale, a picturesque hilltop town famous for its Arab-influenced cathedral. This architectural marvel showcases a mesmerizing blend of Byzantine, Arab, Jewish, Gothic, and Norman traditions, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Inside the cathedral, we’ll marvel at the glistening golden mosaics and explore the beautifully adorned cloister with its captivating columns. After lunch, you’ll have free time to further explore the dynamic city of Palermo and discover a hidden gem of a trattoria for dinner.
Be prepared for strenuous walking of 2-8 miles, featuring hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. The bus ride will last approximately 1 hour. We will spend the night in Palermo.
Day 3: Ancient Segesta and Mountaintop Erice
Today, we will embark on a journey to Sicily’s western coast. Our first stop will be the ancient Greek site of Segesta, where we can wander amidst the breathtaking Doric temple and hilltop theater. Continuing on, we will arrive at the charming medieval town of Erice, believed by the Romans to be the dwelling place of Venus. Over time, Erice evolved into a hub for Christian convents and gained fame for its heavenly pastries, which we will have the pleasure of learning about and tasting. Following a delightful lunch that incorporates regional specialties such as sun-dried tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives, and Marsala wine, we will head to our final destination of the day: the coastal town of Trapani. Upon arrival, we will take an orientation walk before you have the evening free to explore at your leisure.
Expect moderate walking of 2-6 miles, with some hills and stairs. The bus ride will take approximately 3 hours. We will spend the night in Trapani.
Day 4: Salt Harvesting and Seaside Trapani
Today, we will venture to the Trapani salt pans – a coastal wetland and nature reserve that has been an active site for sea salt harvesting for nearly 3,000 years. Our itinerary includes a tour of the Phoenician island of Mozia, where we will delve into the history of this ancient civilization. Next, we will board a boat to explore the salt harvesting area while our knowledgeable guide enlightens us about the process. The remainder of the day is yours to discover the charming town of Trapani at your own pace. Find the perfect spot on a terrace, indulge in your favorite aperitivo, and witness the sun gracefully sinking into the sea.
Moderate walking of 2-6 miles is expected, with some hills and stairs. The day’s activities will involve a 2-hour bus ride and a 1-hour boat ride. We will spend the night in Trapani.
Day 5: Ancient Agrigento and Country Living
This morning, we will embark on a mesmerizing historical journey through the ruins of Agrigento, one of the most prosperous Greek colonies and a thriving democracy 2,500 years ago. Our focus will be on the Valley of the Temples, home to the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself. We will also explore the archaeological museum to gain further insights into this captivating era. Afterwards, we will retire to our tranquil countryside hotel, where you can take in the peaceful surroundings before enjoying a delightful dinner together.
Expect strenuous walking of 2-8 miles, featuring hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. The bus ride will take approximately 3 hours. Our accommodation for the night will be near Agrigento.
Day 6: Roman Mosaics and Syracuse
Today, we will delve into Sicily’s Roman influence, beginning with a visit to the Villa Romana del Casale. Prepare to be amazed by the world’s most extensive and vibrant collection of Roman mosaics, including the famous “bikini girls” mosaic. Continuing our journey, we will stop at a working farm for a meet-and-greet with the owner, followed by a delightful midday feast. Our final destination for the day is Syracuse, where we will embark on an evening walk through the city’s historical old town on the island of Ortygia.
Moderate walking of 2-6 miles is expected, with some hills and stairs. The bus ride will last approximately 4 hours. We will spend the night on the island of Ortygia.
Day 7: Syracuse, Past and Present
This morning, we will delve deeper into the wonders of Ortygia. Our exploration will take us to the local market, the Cathedral of Syracuse, and the magnificent Piazza del Duomo. In the afternoon, brace yourself for a captivating performance of traditional Sicilian puppet theater, where language will be no barrier to entertainment. The rest of the day is yours to wander through Syracuse’s captivating fusion of Greek, Roman, medieval, and Baroque architecture or simply relax on a park bench while savoring the view of the harbor.
Expect moderate walking of 2-6 miles, with some hills and stairs. There will be no bus ride. We will spend the night on the island of Ortygia.
Day 8: Mount Etna, Wine, and Taormina
Our day begins with a short drive along the coast to Catania. While enjoying breathtaking views of Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, we will receive an engaging presentation from a volcanologist at the University of Catania. Next, we will visit a winery nestled on the slopes of the mountain, where we can partake in a guided tour of the vineyards and savor some of Sicily’s renowned wines. Finally, we will make our way to Taormina, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a neighborhood orientation walk. In the evening, immerse yourself in the local passeggiata, absorbing the vibrant Sicilian culture, and find the perfect spot to people-watch while enjoying gelato and dinner independently.
Moderate walking of 2-6 miles is expected, with some hills and stairs. The bus ride will last approximately 3 hours. We will spend the night in Taormina.
Day 9: Seductive Taormina
This morning, we will visit Taormina’s ancient Greek theater, which boasts an awe-inspiring location and is still used for open-air performances. The afternoon is yours to indulge in the charm of this romantic resort town. Take a leisurely stroll through its elegant gardens, savor coffee in one of its stylish cafes, or browse the shops. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a cable car down to the beach or exploring the picturesque mountain village of Castelmola. Regardless of the path you choose, you’ll have ample opportunity to bask in the Sicilian art of “il dolce far niente” — the sweetness of doing nothing. In the evening, we’ll reconvene for a delicious Sicilian pizza dinner together.
Moderate walking of 2-6 miles is expected, with some hills and stairs. There will be no bus ride. We will spend the night in Taormina.
Day 10: Colorful Catania
Our day begins with a visit to Catania, nestled at the foot of Mount Etna. We will explore the Museum of the WWII 1943 Landings in Sicily (Museo dello Sbarco), which sheds light on the Allied forces’ struggle against and liberation of their Italian counterparts almost a year before the D-Day invasion. Following a brief orientation of the city, you’ll have free time to wander through Catania’s renowned fish market, marvel at the Baroque architecture of the grand Piazza del Duomo, or simply relax at one of the city’s delightful cafes. In the evening, we will gather together to bid farewell, share our travel memories, indulge in the freshest Sicilian cuisine, and raise a toast to new friendships. Salute!
Expect light walking of 2-4 miles on mostly level terrain. The bus ride will last approximately 3 hours. We will spend the night in Catania.
Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast
Today marks the end of our tour. Breakfast will be provided, but there are no group activities scheduled. Getting to Catania’s airport is easy with the option of a taxi or shuttle bus. Your guide will be available to assist you with any post-tour planning, ensuring that you are well prepared for your onward journey. Grazie e ciao!
Please note that specific details of the itinerary are subject to change.