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- Tour of Sicily
Independent arrival at the hotel in the charming city of Catania (optional private transfer on request). Meet with our tour-leader; dinner and overnight in hotel.
After breakfast in hotel, tour of Sicily starts. We will visit Siracusa, 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 Siracusa. 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.
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! Later we will visit a company of beekeeping: visit of the honey extraction lab, tasting of homemade honey and typical products of the area. We will proceed to Taormina, charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna. Lunch in a typical restaurant where you will assist to a show-cooking lesson for 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 and go shopping and looking around the local handycraft (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). The day will end with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi. Back to our hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.
Today, tour of Sicily starts visiting the historical centre of Catania stated Unesco World Heritage Site, with its original baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The colour scheme of the city-centre building in fact is black and dark grey, relieved with white limestone details around the doors and windows. The result is extremely elegant. The city still preserves ruins of the Imperial Roman period despite having been rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. Catania was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Aragonese dynasty. 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. Before going on along the precious city center, we will stop in a historic bar of the city to taste the typical “granita & brioche”. 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 for overnight. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby.
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 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 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! We will proceed to the airport for the direct flight to Naples. Private transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast in hotel, the day will start with a guided tour of the city centre of Naples. With its thousand colors, the “City of Pulcinella” has lived several lives, featuring ancient traditions, customs and folklore.
It was one of the main cities of Magna Grecia, an important strategic port for the Romans, capital of Angevins’ Kingdom, reaching the highest splendor during the Bourbon Age. City center is a mix of overlapping architectural styles, enclosed in about 2.800 years of history stated Unesco World Heritage Site. We will visit the Basilica of St. Francesco di Paola, which stands on the wonderful Piazza del Plebiscito, the Chiesa di Santa Chiara, the precious Royal Palace of Capodimonte – Unesco World Heritage and hunting lodge of Charles of Bourbon, a splendid architectural example of Neapolitan Baroque. Next you will visit the beautiful San Severo Chapel and the churches of San Lorenzo and San Domenico. During the day, a lunch break is planned to taste and appreciate the true Neapolitan pizza, today one of the Italian cuisine foundations. In Naples, chef Raffaele Esposito created the popular pizza “Margherita” during a visit of the Queen of Italy. Free afternoon, free dinner and overnight.
Brakfast in the morning and then we will leave to visit the marvelous Vesuvius.
The volcano, located on the south Eastern slope, dominates the city of Naples with its 1,281 meters above the sea level; its violent eruptions were told by Pliny’s works.
After the last eruption in 1944, the volcano has been considered in a state of quiescence. With an alpine guide, we will reach by foot the central crater, up to 1000mt. Then, we will discover the Vesuvius National Park, featuring a beautiful naturalistic setting, which has been stated Unesco heritage. Lunch in a lovely farmhouse, to enjoy local dishes and wine tastings.
In the early afternoon, the guided tour goes to Pompeii, another unbeatable UNESCO site. The itinerary will start with a wonderful travel through time, among the ruins of the ancient city, once one of the most important commercial hub. Free dinner and hotel accommodation in Naples.
Our tour continues today with the visit of the famous Amalfi Coast. Its exceptional cultural and natural value, with a stunning Mediterranean landscape, have been included among UNESCO Patrimony of Humanity.
First stop in the lovely Positano, as known as the “Pearl of the Amalfi Coast” for its beauty! The town, nestled in the mountains, features a mild climate and beautiful views – including the famous Belvedere; for this reason Positano has been considered a summer holidays location since Roman empire.
Time to stroll in the narrow streets of downtown and go shopping in the many shops, offering local crafts, or stop in a small bar to enjoy the unforgettable babà with a breathtaking view.
The tour goes to the wonderful Amalfi, located between the blue sky and the crystalline blue sea.
Founded by the Romans, it gives its name to the famous Coast and it is popular for being one of the four Italian Maritime Republics. We will visit the stunning Cathedral with cloister and the Paper Mill Museum. Free time to walk along the small and charming lanes of the town, to enjoy its magical setting.
Next, we will visit the lovely villages of Praiano, Furore with its amazing fjord, and Conca dei Marini: you will be enchanted by their dreamy views. In the afternoon, transfer and accommodation to hotel in Sorrento, dinner and overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel, today we will discover the fascinating island of Capri. Since the 50’s, it has been the summer holidays location of international jet-set and inspiration for designers and poets, thanks to the beauties this island can offer. You will reach the port of Sorrento with our guide, embark on the hydrofoil to reach Capri. The visit will begin from Anacapri; the second town of the island, is known for its quiet squares and streets, colorful and scented of geraniums and bouganville. You can not miss a visit to Villa San Michele: named after the Saint, this ancient villa is one of the most famous building in Anacapri. The Swedish writer and doctor Axel Munthe bought the Villa and made it as his private residence. The restoration works came to light the presence of ancient Roman villa ruins, which today adorn the whole house, making it even more precious. Among the findings, there was a charming Egyptian Sphinx dates back to the reign of Ramsete II; today the Sphinx overlooks a breathtaking view on the island of Capri!
According to the weather, the group can take the chair lift to Monte Solaro or choose to stroll among the thousand shops, which overlook the city center enjoying an outdoor break.
We will move to Capri, home of the “Dolce Vita” and international VIP, as known as the “World living room”. A stop at “Piazzetta” – Piazza Umberto it’s unmissable; this is the center of Capri, where the island’s entire life turns around refined boutiques and starred restaurants. Visit to the Augustus’s splendid gardens, overlooking the famous Faraglioni and the charming Marina Piccola. Free time before returning to the hydrofoil and then to Sorrento. Accommodation at the hotel, free dinner and overnight.
After breakfast in hotel, end of our service.
For organizational reasons or due to force majeure the itinerary may be modified
Etna (day 3): visit of a beekeeping honey company and honey tasting;
Catania (day 4): tasting of Sicilian “granita & brioche”;
Palermo (day 5): tasting of local street food.
Arrival Day: On request, it is possible to arrange optional HD private excursions to Acireale or Caltagirone.
Transfers in/out, all lunches except for the one on day 3 in Taormina, beverages, entrance fees at monuments/museums, city taxes (where compulsory), tips and extras in general, anything not specified under “The rate includes”.
Transfers out, all lunches except for the ones on the day 1 and 2, beverages (except the lunch on day 2), entrance fees for monuments/museums, city taxes (where compulsory), tips and extras in general, anything not specified under “The rates include”.
* (To be confirmed)