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Treasures of Sicily

19 Days  |  Departing Wednesday 18th September 2019 and returning Sunday 6th October 2019

Prices & Options

Choose your Room:

$2,600.00 deposit payable

Progress Payment: $3640.00 by 21 May 2019
Final Payment: $4159.00 by 20 Jun 2019
Pay by direct deposit, credit card or cheque.

Highlights

Walking Tour of Hidden Treasures of Palermo
Walking Tour of Old Suburbs of Palermo, Marionettes and Cappuccini Catacombs
Free Day in Palermo for Self Discovery
Visit to Benedectine Abbey at Monreale showcasing beautiful mosaics
Visit to 5th Century Greek Temple at Segesta
Walking Tour of Erice including Chiesa Matrice & Giardino del Balio Gardens
Guided Tour of the elegant town of Marsala with its stately baroque buildings
Tour to Selinus to visit some of the most impressive ruins remaining of the anceint Greek World
Visit to the Valley of the Temples & Museum in Agrigento
Visit to Piazza Armerina, a 4th Century Roman Hunting Lodge with incredible mosaics
Two Night Stay at Ragusa - one of the most scenic towns in Sicily
Visit to the baroque cities of Modica and Noto 
Visit and Stay at Syracuse, once one of the richest and most beautiful cities of the Ancient World
Tour of Syracuse and visit to Paolo Orsi Archeological Museum
Visit the Archeological Park in Syracuse including Gardens and Greek Theatre
Historic Walking Tour of Catania 
Free Day in Catania for Self Discovery
Drive to Mt Etna, Europe's highest Volcano
Visit and Stay at Taormina - one of the most exclusive towns in Italy
Walking Tour of Taormina
Free Day in Taormina for Self Discovery
Friends for Company!



 

Inclusions

Fully Escorted by a Sisterhood Tour Hostess who is on Hand to Ensure your Holiday is a Memorable one
Return Economy Airfares and Taxes ex Melbourne (Other Cities and Classes of Travel available on request)
Specialists Guide at Each Destination
All Transportation as Detailed in our Itinerary
All Sightseeing and Activities as Detailed in our Itinerary
All Meals as Detailed in our Itinerary
Willing to Share Option
Meet and Greet Documentation Distribution Day (Subject to Minimum Numbers Attending)
Friends for Company!



 

Notice

Tipping - In Europe although tipping is not compulsory it is expected and appreciated.  Sisterhood Women's Travel's tipping system on all Group Tours involves passenges contributing to a kitty and paid locally to the Hostess upon departure who then distributes to service providers as required.  This system avoids the need for you to consider individual tipping situations daily throughout the trip.

Tipping Kitty for this tour - AUD130.00

Itinerary

Day 1 - Wednesday 18 September 2019

Melbourne - Sicily (Meals Inflight)

Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel!  Meet your tour hostess and fellow travellers at the Melbourne Airport for our flight to Sicily.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment of our airlines as we head towards our next adventure.

Day 2 - Thursday 19 September 2019

Welcome to Sicily (D)

Welcome to Sicily.  We'll arrive into Palermo and be met by our local guide who will transfer us to our hotel.

Palermo, the capital of Sicily, pressed between mountains and the sea, is blessed with a striking setting for what must be one of the most exotic cities in Europe.  The architecture and culture reflect the extraordinarily rich fabric of its past.  In the afternoon our guide will take us on a walking tour of the hidden treasures in the centre of Palermo, before exploring the winding lanes of its celebrated markets.  Dinner tonight will be in one of Palermo’s lively trattorias, to introduce us to Sicily’s unique cuisine. 

Overnight - Hotel Palazzo Sitano (or similar)

Day 3 - Friday 20 September 2019

Palermo Sightseeing (B,D)

This morning we take a stroll through the old heart of Palermo, admiring some of its main monuments such as the Palatine Chapel, and the Cathedral Palazzo dei Normanni, which has a wonderful mix of styles. Originally built in the 12th century, it has been modified a number of times, most notably in the 18th century with the addition of its dome.   Our sightseeing continues in the afternoon with a walk around the old suburbs of Palermo, Museum of the Marionettes and the Cappuccini Catacombs.  Dinner tonight at a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Hotel Palazzo Sitano (or similar)

Day 4 - Saturday 21 September 2019

Palermo Day at Leisure (B,D)

Today you have a day to explore at leisure.

We'll regroup for dinner tonight and share the day's experiences.

Overnight - Hotel Palazzo Sitano (or similar)

Day 5 - Sunday 22 September 2019

Palermo - Monreale - Erice (B,D)

After breakfast we set off for the magnificent Benedictine Abbey at Monreale, founded by the Norman King William II in the 12th century. Still used today, it boasts outstanding medieval mosaics covering almost the entire interior, depicting stories from the Old Testament. If you can manage the steps to the roof you will have a superb panoramic view of Palermo below, the surrounding countryside, and, onwards to the sea.  The cloisters are another highlight, surrounded by columns, no two of which are alike, almost Moorish in appearance.

Continue to Segesta where we visit the 5th century Greek temple.   Set deep in a ravine, the temple is surrounded by the mountains in a dramatic display of classic architecture with its Doric columns reaching up toward the sky.  Drive to the medieval town of Erice for our overnight stay.  Dinner at our hotel.

Overnight - Hotel Moderno (or similar)

Day 6 - Monday 23 September 2019

Erice - Marsala (B,D)

This morning we'll enjoy a walking tour of Erice including Chiesa Matrice, the town's main church, the massive Elimo- Punic Walls, the lovely public gardens of the Giardino del Balio, and the Castello di Venere.  Leave our hilltown retreat for Marsala where we have a guided tour of this elegant town full of stately baroque buildings, followed by a wine tasting session in one of the famous wine cellars.  Dinner will be provided tonight at our hotel.

Overnight - Baglio Donnafranca, one of Sicily’s famous wineries (or similar)

Day 7 - Tuesday 24 September 2019

Marsala - Selinunte - Agrigento (B,D)

Today we drive to Selinunte (Selinus) for a tour of some of the most impressive ruins remaining of the ancient Greek world and certainly one of the most captivating sites in Sicily.  This silent wilderness was once a bustling commercial metropolis possessing four ports, and as a maritime power second only to Syracuse.  The wealth and size of Selinus are attested in death by the large number of temples – seven in all – which constitute the extensive ruins.  Our final destination today is Agrigento, a lovely town awash with medieval atmosphere, swimming in tiny stepped streets and quiet shady piazzas overlooking the blue Mediterranean in the distance.  Dinner in a local café/restaurant.

Overnight - Grand Hotel Mose (or similar)
 

Day 8 - Wednesday 25 September 2019

Agrigento (B,D)

This morning after breakfast, we visit what can truly be described as one of the wonders of the ancient world: the amazing Greek remains in the Valley of the Temples. There are nine of them in total, situated largely on a ridge looking out to sea. Visible for miles and standing proud as they do, they must have made a statement of sheer absolute power and confidence to any passing mariner or shepherd, leaving none in doubt as to who were the masters.

The best of them, Concordia, similar in design to the Parthenon in Athens, is almost perfectly preserved, with just the roof missing. With its wonderful tapering columns and beautiful light golden colour it is absolutely captivating. One can only wonder as to what was going through the builders’ minds thousands of years ago, toiling under a hot sun whilst creating a masterpiece. We will have a guided tour of the site and a visit to the excellent museum, displaying finds from both the temples and surrounding area, including a unique collection of vases.  We'll have a free afternoon to further explore.  Dinner tonight at a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Grand Hotel Mose (or similar) 
 

Day 9 - Thursday 26 September 2019

Agrigento - Piazza Armerina - Ragusa (B,D)

Today after breakfast we'll drive to Piazza Armerina, a hunting lodge from Roman times (4th century AD) endowed with the some of the most incredible mosaics left over from the Roman world. Quite different from those we have seen at Monreale, they are nevertheless quite breathtaking in their scope and imagery.  Possibly owned by one of the joint Emperors, which explains its size and richness of decoration.  Buried for centuries, you can still see the remains of pastel-coloured frescoes on the walls, but the mosaics showing animals and hunting scenes, are simply the finest we have from Roman antiquity.  This palatial building, complete with its baths, illustrates with great clarity the evident high standard of living of the Roman elite. In the 12th century the lodge was destroyed by fire and later buried in mudslides, so as astonishing as the mosaics are, the fact that we can see them at all is downright miraculous! 

We'll then continue on to Ragusa, one of the most scenic Sicilian towns, blending in wonderfully with its surrounding landscape. The ‘new’ baroque city of Ragusa was completely rebuilt further down the hill after the devastating earthquake of 1693, but some stubborn aristocrats refused to abandon the rubble of their personal palazzi and decided to rebuild the old town from scratch. The result is a lovely place with a split personality. Both parts of the town deserve a visit. We'll have an afternoon free to explore the fascinating maze of streets at leisure.  Dinner at a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Hotel Mediterraneo (or similar)

Day 10 - Friday 27 September 2019

Ragusa - Modica - Noto - Ragusa (B,D)

Today we'll drive to Modica, yet another elegant baroque city, and moreover famous for its Aztec-inspired milk-free chocolate, made for centuries according to the same secret recipe.   And yes we will most certainly have time for a tasting or two!

The drive from Modica to Noto takes us through orchards of carob trees and thickets of fruit-bearing cacti. The roads are mountainous and double — then triple — back on themselves.  Eventually we reach Noto, perhaps the best known of the baroque cities, where we admire the wonderful colours of its many monuments. This is a Sicilian gem: a town in the unique Sicilian baroque style, and all built in honey-coloured stone.  Return to Ragusa with dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight - Hotel Mediterraneo (or similar)

Day 11 - Saturday 28 September 2019

Ragusa - Syracuse (B,D)

Today we drive to Syracuse, once one of the richest and most beautiful cities in the ancient world, even rivalling Athens. The city has a wonderful collection of limestone buildings, dating mainly from 17th and 18th centuries. There is an extraordinary Baroque Cathedral incorporating an ancient temple, with a lovely interior, and just opposite is the Bosco Palace. The old port area is extremely attractive and very traditional, full of small fishing boats unloading their catch, and lined with restaurants and pavement cafes. Dinner tonight in a local café/restaurant. 

Overnight - Hotel Mediterraneo (or similar)

Day 12 - Sunday 29 September 2019

Syracuse (B,D)

Today we'll learn more about the Greek history of Syracuse, visiting the Paolo Orsi Archeological Museum with a collection that spans history from the prehistoric settlement of Sicily to the ancient Greeks - the scuplture here includes the Landolina Venus and a statue of Venus emerging from the water.  In the afternoon we'll visit the Archeological park, a combination of gardens, ancient Greek ruins and quarries with the Greek theatre where the tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles were performed.  Dinner tonight at a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Hotel Mediterraneo (or similar)

Day 13 - Monday 30 September 2019

Syracuse - Catania (B,D)

This morning we head to Catania, a surprisingly modern city.  Rebuilt in noble fashion after the devastation of Mt Etna is 1669 and again by an earthquake in 1693, it's lava black veined piazzas and palazzi now play host to a plethora of upmarket boutiques and unusual designer bars.  Our guide will take us on a walking tour of the historic centre, visiting such sights as the Castello Ursino, Pallzo Auteri, the ancient Roman ruins of the Terme dell'Indirizzo and the Roman Ampitheatre.  Dinner tonight at a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Hotel Manganelli Palace (or similar)

Day 14 - Tuesday 1 October 2019

Catania - Mt Etna - Catania (B,D)

Dominating eastern Sicily's is Europe's highest volcano, Mt Etna.  This morning we take the drive to as close to the snow capped summit as possible.  Ascending the winding road, the landscape becomes increasingly eerie and alien, with razor sharp black roads in contorted formations, and some areas devoid of almost all vegetation.  As we near the cable car station itself, we'll enjoy extensive views over the whole area.  Taking the cable car (subject to weather conditions) we may be able to explore higher levels.  Returning to Catania in the afternoon with dinner at a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Hotel Manganelli Palace (or similar)

 

Day 15 - Wednesday 2 October 2019

Catania - Free Day (B,D)

A free day to explore.  

We'll regroup for dinner tonight at a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Hotel Manganelli Palace (or similar)

Day 16 - Thursday 3 October 2019

Catania - Taormina (B,D)

This morning we drive to Taormina, one of the most exclusive small towns in Italy - it has everything!  Retaining much of its medieval charm, wonderfully situated on a high balcony, facing Mt Etna and overlooking the sea, it is renowned for it's beautiful gardens and charming atmosphere.  It is also where D.H. Lawrence wrote the bodice ripper Lady Chatterley's Lover!

Taormina's greatest claim to fame is its amazing theatre, a legacy of the ancient Greeks and still in use today.  Wonderfully preserved with it's panoramic view of Mt Etna in the background; to attend one of the occasional classical music concerts in this most special of venues ranks as one of life's more pleasurable moments.  Our guide will take us on a tour of the town and theatre with the remainder of the afternoon to explore as you wish.  Dinner tonight in a local cafe/restaurant.

Overnight - Hotel Isabella (or similar)

Day 17 - Friday 4 October 2019

Taormina - Free Day (B,D)

A free day to explore this beautiful town!  We'll regroup tonight to enjoy our farewell dinner at a local cafe/restaurant.  What an adventure we've shared.

Day 18 - Saturday 5 October 2019

Taormina - Catania - Home (B)

This morning we'll transfer to the Catania Airport to begin our journey home.  Sit back, relax and reminicse about great times shared with friends.

Day 19 - Sunday 6 October 2019

Arrive Home (Meals Inflight)

Welcome Home!  We thank you for joining us for your latest adventure and look forward to welcoming you back!

Prices & Options

19 Day Treasures of Sicily

Choose your Room:

$2,600.00 deposit payable

Pay by direct deposit, credit card or cheque.

For questions & Bookings 1300 885 255