THE TREASURES OF SICILY
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Sicily is eventful, exotic, intriguing and fascinating in every aspect. The biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily captivates from the start with its legendary tales, art, history and time-honored traditions. On Sicily, travelers can embrace the island's mystique...from the fascinating city of Palermo, the enchanted beauty of Taormina and the majestic ruins of the ancient Greek city of Agrigento, to the charming fishing village of Cefalu, historic ports of Messina, and archeological treasures of Syracuse, plus much more! Come let the magic of Sicily envelop you today!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover the history and the unique traditions and customs of Palermo
  • Enjoy Cefalu and its splendors of the seaside life
  • Wine and olive oil tasting in Marsala
  • Discover Agrigento with its impressive Greek ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Delve into romantic Taormina and its Greek Theater
  • Views of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano
  • Explore Syracuse and see the Ear of Dionysius
  • Participate in an unforgettable Godfather tour
  • Tour the Crusade town of Messina and Reggio Calabria, “the rainbow of Italy”
  • Discover the Eternal City of Rome
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Colosseum’s gladiators
  • Get insider access to the treasures of the Vatican Museum
  • Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 Depart USA
Depart the USA for Sicily, Italy. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Arrive Palermo, Italy
Upon arrival in Sicily you will be met by your tour director and transferred to your hotel in Palermo. Palermo’s history is marked by outside rulers who rose and fell, from the Phoenicians to the Moors to the Normans to the Spanish and beyond. Today Palermo showcases all of those influences, fused into an ambiance, range of customs, traditions and a culture that is distinctively Sicilian! This evening you will savor a delicious dinner to welcome you to Sicily. (D)

Day 3 Palermo - City Tour
After breakfast at your hotel, you will embark on a half-day tour of Palermo. For centuries at the crossroads of civilizations, Palermo bears witness to its rich history offering a unique mix of Byzantine mosaics, Arabesque domes, and frescoed cupolas. Discover Sicily’s capital, visiting the highlights such as Palermo Cathedral, the famous Palazzo dei Normanni, and Massimo Vittorio Emanuel Theatre, one of Europe’s largest opera houses and a great example of Spanish Baroque architecture. Visit the vibrant Palermo market and stop to sample some of the Sicilian delicacies. Continue to Monreale and visit the Benedictine Abbey known for its exquisite mosaics, depicting episodes from the Old and the New Testament. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure or take an optional tour to Cefalu. This popular, coastal town offers the splendors of seaside life with an interesting old town and harbor. Situated between the sea and a large rock, the trendy town retains its charm as a small fishing village while welcoming travelers to enjoy its chic cafés and beach fun. On the attractions side, take some time to explore Cefalu Cathedral, acclaimed for its Byzantine Mosaic of Christ Pantocrator. (B)

Day 4 Palermo
Start your day with breakfast at your hotel, then enjoy a day at leisure or embark on an optional tour to Marsala, known around the world for its world-class wines including the traditional “Marsala.” Drive along Trapani’s coastline and visit the region’s famed salt pans where Sicilians still harvest salt using centuries-old methods. Continue to Marsala where you visit the historic Marsala winery, and then on to the local farm to learn all about the oil production from our charming host. Savor the succulent flavors of the local cuisine, imbibing in a light lunch and sampling local wines and olive oils at this special tasting event. (B)

Day 5 Palermo/Agrigento Tour/Taormina
This morning, power up with breakfast at your hotel, then depart for Taormina along the Sicilian coast. Stop on route in Agrigento where Sicily's most impressive Greek ruins are found. Known for its amazing archeological finds, here you will participate in a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to the 5th century B.C. Celebrate your time in Agrigento, exploring the town's vibrant medieval center from Via Atenea, where you will delight in tantalizing treats from local shops, trattorias, and bars. Taormina presents romantic alleyways and rugged mountains that offer you a unique Italian landscape amid a breathtaking ancient backdrop of man-made archaeological finds. Drink in the views of Mount Etna and enjoy perhaps the most stunning vistas ever designed by nature. Tonight you will enjoy an included dinner at your hotel in Taormina. (B,D)

Day 6 Taormina - City Tour
Your day starts with breakfast at your hotel before heading out to explore Taormina on a half day city tour with a visit of the Greek Theater built in the 3rd century BC. As we explore the streets of Taormina, learn the history and significance of arancino in Sicilian culture, and then join us for a sampling of this typical Sicilian street food - Cultural Discovery Series. This afternoon, keep the adventure going with an optional tour to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. Sweeping views from thousands of meters high in the mountain welcome you. A starkly different ambiance from the coastal vistas and azure seas down below, Mt Etna’s volcanic rock and black lava sand surround you, offering a distinctive experience beyond the beaches and quaint towns that Sicily is best known for. (B)

Day 7 Taormina - Syracuse & Godfather Tour
This morning, following breakfast, join in a full day tour to Syracuse and the famous picturesque mountain towns of Savoca and Forza D'Agro. In Syracuse, you can visit ancient Greek and Roman ruins on a tour of Parco Archeologico della Neapolis and see attractions including the Ear of Dionysius. Later today you will participate in an unforgettable Godfather tour, where you can relive the renowned Godfather movies as we explore the medieval hilltop towns of Savoca and Forza D'Agro, towns that served as the backdrop for scenes from the famed films. (B)

Day 8 Taormina
Today you have the opportunity to join in an optional tour to Messina with its storied port and history as a trading city. With easy access to Italy, as the closest in proximity to the mainland, Messina is unique in comparison with the smaller villages and towns that dot Sicily. Known as the city that launched a thousand ships as a major port during the Crusades, its extensive history dates back thousands of years. Next, cross the Straits of Messina and head to Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland, known for its panoramic waterfront promenade. More recently called "the rainbow of Italy" for the changing colors of the seas of its coastline, you can enjoy the unforgettable display of changing shades from cobalt blue, to violet, to turquoise, to grey-blue, to sparkling blue-green, and more throughout the day. Dinner this evening is included at your hotel in Taormina. (B,D)

Day 9 Taormina to USA or extend your stay with an optional Rome extension
After breakfast your departure transfer awaits to take you to the airport for your flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL ROME EXTENSION
Day 9 Taormina/Rome - City Tour
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Rome, where your Italy Optional Extension vacation continues for the next two nights in the country’s capital city. This afternoon is dedicated to a guided tour of Ancient Rome, by bus and on foot with a stop at the Colosseum (entrance not included), Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. This evening enjoy some free time as the city comes to life. (B)

Day 10 Rome
This morning, following breakfast, experience a very special privately guided tour of the priceless collection of art and treasures in the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum. Enjoy a full afternoon at leisure. Italy’s renowned capital city is a constant among “top ten” lists of places to explore. Soak in the Italian culture as you stroll past Roman ruins, absorb the impressive architecture, and explore everything from Imperial temples to early Christian churches, medieval bell towers, baroque basilicas, and playful piazzas. Tonight a dinner on your own at a local restaurant will end your Italian stay. (B)

Day 11 Rome to USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)


Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 10 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City tour of Palermo, City tour of Taormina, Tour of Agrigento and the Valley of Temples, and Syracuse & Godfather Tour. Optional tours available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as a visit to the vibrant market in Palermo and learn the history and significance of arancino in Sicilian culture
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Palermo
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OPTIONAL ROME EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from Palermo to Rome
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION - Hotel accommodation for 2 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City tour of Ancient Rome, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACH - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside airport

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