Spanish Sicily, from the XIVth century Sicily was under Spanish rule.
In the southeast of the island are the most beautiful landmarks of that era.
The architectural works of art today convey an architectural opera: everything is dramatic, always on the move, with rising staircases, staggered facades, sweeping lines artfully staged; not strict, but cheerful, not ostentatiously, but in love with himself; shaped like sugar cookies – in a sandstone whose soft structure made the rich elaboration possible.
“Honey Yellow Baroque”: Noto, the jewel of Baroque, is today the most beautiful symbol of that era: a moving, harmonious and cheerful variation of the austere Spanish and the bombastic Italian Baroque in south eastern Sicily.
Of cours, antique and medieval times are not forgotten.
1th Day: Arrival Palermo Airport
Arrival of the Participants to the airport of Palermo. Transfer to the hotel in Palermo. Dinner in a typical restaurant. Overnight stay.
2nd Day: Palermo and Monreale
Visit to Palermo, considered the cultural and economic centre among the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. The route begins with the visit to the market of “Ballarò”, a typical market in Palermo. Visit of the Cathedral, Palazzo dei Normanni and visit to the Palatina Chapel and its splendid byzantine mosaics. Transfer to the small suburb of Monreale, visit to the magnificent Norman cathedral that attracts every year a million visitors.
This cathedral is one hundred meters long, it has splendid apses decorated to blind arches, the Cathedral of Monreale reveals its sumptuosity in it interior, with it is amazing walls covered by wonderful golden mosaics.
In the afternoon visit to Mondello, famous seaside resort of Palermo and Monte Pellegrino defined by Goethe “the most beautiful promontory in the world”. Here, there is the sanctuary dedicated to Santa Rosalia.
Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
3th Day: Erice, The Salt Way, Marsala
The morning is dedicated to the visit of Erice, settled on the top of Monte San Giuliano, in splendid panoramic position above Trapani and in silence among the clouds. The old city centre is typically medieval, made of small squares, narrow and streets where there are beautiful flourished gardens.
You will find a suburb animated by shops of typical craft: ceramics elegantly decorated, carpets, and traditional famous sweets with almonds and dried fruit made from Maria Grammatico. You will continue to Nubia crossing an itinerary to the discovery a wonderful landscape… old arts as the one of the “Saline” and the production of the wine, visit to Salt Museum. Free time for lunch in Marsala. In the afternoon visit of Marsala, Marsala wine tasting in the Cellars.
Transfer to Hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
4th Day: Agrigento – Ragusa
Transfer to Agrigento. Visit to the Temples Valley, the most sublime testimony of the Greek civilization in Sicily. Free time in Agrigento for lunch. Departure to Ragusa Marina.
Dinner and overnight stay
5th Day: Ragusa and Modica
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure to visit Ragusa, baroque town divided in two great districts: Ragusa, situated on the highland and Ragusa Ibla.
Ragusa has been selected as cinematographic set for different movies about Sicily, thanks to its particular artistic and naturalistic beauty, to its landscapes, and thanks to the baroque historical centre that have maintained the old aspect.
To increase the notoriety of Ragusa, a television movie has contributed “Il Commissario Montalbano.” As the whole Sicily also Ragusa has a rich gastronomic culture. The day will finish with the visit to Scicli that is one of the principal centres of the Sicilian Baroque. Typical lunch.
In the afternoon visit to Modica. This town is like a well done Christmas Crib, it is one of the most picturesque town of the whole Sicily, with its baroque aspect and its small streets full of shops and rich buildings. Modica is also famous for the chocolate production. In the afternoon transfer to Noto, a small baroque jewel of harmonious beauty: there, you can admire the Cathedral, the rich buildings, the streets…
Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
6th Day: Syracuse
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure for a full day excursion in Syracuse, charming city defined by Cicerone “the most beautiful city in Great Greece.” The city preserves the Greek, Roman and Baroque style. Visit to the archaeological Park and to the island of Ortigia, an Island on which the most ancient part of Syracuse rises. Transfer to Catania. Dinner and overnight stay.
7th Day: Etna
Breakfast in the hotel. An original and alternative way to discover the volcano Etna is surely a round with the ferrovia Circumetnea (FCE). train. It’s an historic train line opened in the year 1898. The Circumetnea is 110 Km long and runs around the Etna, crossing a lot of little villages at the feet of the volcano and delivering suggestive views of the typical dark lava landscape of the area. The Circumetnea route goes from the station Catania Borgo to Riposto. Trains run in both directions and cross Etna villages like Paternò, Adrano, Bronte and Randazzo, during tour you will have also Etna Rosso wine tasting visiting local cellars. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
8th Day: Catania
Breakfast in the hotel. Visit to Catania. The morning is dedicated to the visit of the famous Fish market. Walking among the stands of this typical local market, stop to Piazza Duomo to admire the Cathedral of Sant’Agata and to end walking to see the Baroque monuments of the centre. Free Time for shopping.
9th Day; Taormina – Cefalù
Breakfast in the hotel. Visit to Taormina, a “Strip of Heaven” as Goethe defined it in his “Trip to Sicily”. Transfer to Cefalù. Dinner and overnight stay.
10th Day: Cefalù
Visit of the medieval town of Cefalù, located inside the park of Madonie. You will see the Cathedral, the Temple, the Medieval Laundry…. But in Cefalù there isn’t only history, crossing the labyrinthine of its streets you will have an experience to not lose. Free time.
Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
11th Day: Cefalù Relax – Free time
12th Day: Departure Catania Airport
Breakfast in hotel and free time until the transfer to the airport of Palermo.
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