Various Special Tours in Sicily
It's easy to enjoy Sicilian beauty and culture with these unique tours. Plenty of Sicily is still undiscovered, full of incredible art treasures ranging from Greek and Roman times to beautiful Baroque, lovely scenery and delicious food.
Full-day Excursion Palermo and Monreale (8 hours)
English-speaking driver and guide for a drive through the different areas of the city to view its various architectural styles: Art Nouveau, Baroque, Arabic, French Norman, and some of its more important sites: Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria, Massimo Theater. Visit the imposing Palermo cathedral, at one time a mosque, to view its Arabic, Gothic and Baroque influences. Finally, before lunch a brief visit to the heart of the old city and the famous open-air market, La Vucciria. Then drive to Monreale to see its famous twelfth-century cathedral, considered the finest example of Norman architecture in Sicily; you will visit the magnificent Cathedral, dating back to the Norman period, with its incredible Byzantine mosaics depicting the Old and New Testaments. Visit the Cloisters and then return to the hotel.
Italy is not usually thought of as a place for “soft adventure” but this expedition, by jeep with a volcano expert, is really unforgettable. Start from Taormina with English-speaking driver and special guide and drive through the very special countryside to the slopes of Mount Etna. Arrive at an altitude of 2,500 feet and from there visit three craters (and a special cave created from the volcano) and the rivers of lava remnants of the most recent eruptions. After this visit you will proceed for wine tasting (the wines have a unique taste due to the volcanic soil) and a delicious lunch before returning to Taormina.
Full Day Siracusa and Ortigia
With English-speaking driver and guide you will visit Siracusa and Ortigia. Siracusa is one of the most interesting cities in all of Italy. It was originally settled by Greeks from Corinth around 8 B.C. The oldest part of Syracuse is Ortigia and in the last ten years major restoration has taken place bringing back this area to its original splendor. Its Cathedral began as a Greek temple and eventually became a Christian church. Siracusa’s archaeological park has a Roman Theater and the haunting cave known as the Ear of Dionysius.
Full day tour of Taormina and Savoca and Forza d’Agro
9:00 a.m. Your driver/guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to begin your walking tour of Taormina which includes its Greek theater, the gardens in its city hall and several of its charming squares. Taormina sits on a rocky plateau and has breathtaking views of the sea. It is still a fashionable resort and has hundreds of shops on its main street. It also has a Greek theater, built in the Hellenistic period and is still used today during the summer months for theatrical productions and concerts. Lunch on own and you will transfer to Savoca and Forza d’Agro, two little towns that became famous because The Godfather was filmed in both of them. On the way back you will stop in Castelmola, a beautiful village perched precariously above Taormina. There are beautiful views of both Mount Etna and the bay of Giardini Naxos, below Taormina. Taormina sits on a rocky plateau and has breathtaking views of the sea. It is still a fashionable resort and has hundreds of shops on its main street. It also has a Greek theatre, built in the Hellenistic period and is still used today during the summer months for theatrical productions and concerts.
Depart in morning for Segesta and visit its magnificent Greek Theater and Doric temple, masterpieces of Greek architecture in Sicily. Transfer to Fontanasalsa, and stop at a baglio (eighteenth-century recently converted farmhouse) for olive oil tasting. Then transfer to Erice, a medieval town 751 meters above sea level that overlooks the entire Western area of Sicily and the Egadi Islands. Guided tour of the narrow streets of this ancient town.
Full-Day Excursion Ragusa Ibla, Noto and Modica
Full-day excursion to Modica, Ragusa and Noto, three jewels of Sicilian Baroque architecture. Modica and Ragusa are famous for three things: they were both destroyed during the earthquake of 1693 and rebuilt. Therefore both have lower town and an upper town. Both have some of the finest examples of baroque architecture. Modica’s Cathedral, San Giorgio, has 300 steps before you arrive at its main entrance. Ragusa’s old town, Ragusa Ibla, begins with a long stairway down to the old part of town and has beautiful views of the town’s rooftops. Noto’s current town, rebuilt after the earthquake, was planned on a grid system by Giovanni Battista Landolina. The presence of architects like Rosario Gagliardi, Francesco Sortino and others, made the new Noto a masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque.
Half-day Excursion to Agrigento
Visit of Agrigento – Valley of Temples; the Greek archaeological ruins are numerous, dominated by the most spectacular structure, the Temple of Concordia, which is surrounded by the ruins of the temples dedicated to Juno, Jupiter, Castor and Pollux, Hercules, Vulcan and Aesculapius. Two-hour tour with special English-speaking guide. Admissions of €12.00 paid directly at the site.