A Sicilian Odyssey

0 nights from £0

Start: Siracusa, Italy
Finish: Taormina, Italy
Duration:0 Nights
Suitable for: 0-99

Overview

Discover cultural footprints forever present... Over the centuries, the island of Sicily was colonized by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Normans and assorted others before becoming part of Spain, then the Bourbon Kingdom, and finally part of Italy. And today... Vestiges of the ancient Greeks and Romans entice in Agrigento and Taormina... the presence of the Normans lingers in Palermo... a distinctive style of Sicilian architecture began in the Baroque Valley centuries ago and flourishes today... Byzantine and Arab art mingle with Italian influences... taste impressive wines from grapes grown in volcanic soil... all for a taste of the authentic Sicily.  Join us for an odyssey through time as you discover a history book of experiences, authentically engaging and always enlightening, as you become a part of Sicily’s extended family. .......read more
Highlights
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVES – Private lunch at a Baron’s palazzo in Siracusa with a wine tasting from the family vineyard and dinner and an art tour with the son of a baroness at their private villa in Palermo
  • Visit to Palermo's grand Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, the largest opera house in Italy
  • Visits to the Sicilian Baroque UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Noto and Ragusa Ibla
  • A tour, lunch and tasting at a local winery

Itinerary

Location: Siracusa, Italy

Tour begins: 6:00 PM. A transfer is included from Catania – Fontanarossa Airport to the Grand Hotel Ortigia, a century-old landmark hotel ideally located in the historic heart of Siracusa on the island of Ortigia. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel tonight.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel Ortigia

Location: Siracusa, Italy

Walk in the footsteps of ancient Greek explorers who settled on this historic island in 734 BC, building a city of archaeological splendors, economic prosperity and political power that rivaled Athens as the most important city in the world until it fell to the Romans in 212 BC. Your locally guided walking tour today reveals some of its treasured Greek and Roman sites as you explore Neapolis Archaeological Park, including the 16,000-seat Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco), the Ear of Dionysius (Orecchio de Dioniso), and the 3rd-century Roman amphitheatre. Back in Ortigia, visit the Theatre of Apollo, the Baroque Duomo and, schedule permitting, view the Caravaggio painting, The Burial of Saint Lucia, in the Basilica Santa Lucia al Sepolcro. Lunch today is a noble affair when you dine at the family palazzo of the Barone Pietro di Beneventano, and taste wines from the family vineyard. Free time this afternoon offers you an opportunity to see more of the city or walk back to the hotel with your Tauck Director, where the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel Ortigia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Noto this morning where a walking tour along the elegant Corso Vittorio Emmanuele promenade showcases the city’s Baroque buildings, golden-hued palazzi and churches among them, rebuilt after a devastating 17th-century earthquake. View from the outside the Basilica di San Salvatore and the Duomo di Noto as well as the ornate Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, before exploring on your own. A tour of a local herb farm later this afternoon introduces you to the freshly picked aromatic spices that add true regional flavor to today’s family-style tasting lunch. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.

Accommodation Name: Eremo Delia Giubiliana

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Ragusa, Italy

This morning, drive to Ragusa Ibla for a guided walking tour of its ancient labyrinthine lanes and a behind-the-scenes look at the private garden in an inside courtyard, century-old Circolo del Conversazione (Gentlemen’s Club) and intimate Il Piccolo theatre of the Arezzo family, who have lived in their 19th-century palazzo here for more than 200 years. Join us for a special dinner this evening in the hotel's wine cellars.

Accommodation Name: Eremo Delia Giubiliana

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

The nearby town of Piazza Armerina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been called an “art city” woven into the fabric of Sicily for good reason. The mosaics you will see here are considered among the most beautiful and best preserved of their kind anywhere in the world. Your artful discoveries begin when you step inside the Roman Villa del Casale, dating back to 320 to 350 BC when it was built for a Roman official back in the day. Look down at the floors as you tour the villa; the mosaics, both figurative and geometric, cover the surfaces measuring some 37,674 square feet, telling eloquent tales of Homeric poems and myths, nature and scenes from aristocratic life. You will also discover mosaic murals on the walls and columns, and statues and coins that pay further homage to the glory days of the Roman Empire. Head back to your hotel late afternoon and enjoy some time to explore as you please; your hotel enjoys a spectacular view of the Valley of the Temples.

Accommodation Name: Hotel Villa Athena

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Palermo, Italy

Drive to Agrigento today for a guided visit of its archaeological treasures at the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built on a hillside facing the sea with a history that dates back to 581 BC. Your exploration starts at the top of the Valley with a visit up a steep hill to see the Temple of Juno up close. From there it is a downhill walk along cobblestone roads to see columned temples and tombs impressively built and remarkably awe-inspiring today. After lunch, drive to your Palermo hotel for a two-night stay and enjoy dinner at leisure.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel et des Palmes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Palermo, Italy

Start your day with a guided visit to the Palazzo dei Normanni, the seat of the kings of Sicily during the reign of the Normans and the main seat of power for Sicilian rulers for centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Palatine Chapel in the heart of the palace, the palazzo dates back to the 9th century and boasts multicultural touches that were added later. These include the spectacular mosaics of precious stones, many glittering in gold, you will see in the royal apartments and chapel, which also features inlaid carved marble floors and a painted wooden ceiling. A walking tour of historic Palermo is followed by lunch and then a guided visit to Teatro Massimo, the largest opera house in Italy and the setting where the final scenes of the movie, Godfather Part III, were filmed. The remainder of the day is free to spend as you please.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel et des Palmes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Location: Taormina, Italy

Journey to Cefalù for a guided tour of its Norman cathedral, considered one of the jewels in Sicily’s Norman-Arab crown that includes the magnificent cathedral of Monreale and Palermo’s Palatine Chapel. View its soaring twin pyramid towers outside and elaborate Byzantine mosaics inside before driving into the Madonie Mountains. Then, it’s on to Taormina this afternoon on a scenic drive that offers picturesque views of the Aeolian Islands dotting the seascapes. Arrive at your hotel late afternoon and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel Timeo

Meals: Breakfast

Location: Taormina, Italy

A guided walking tour of Taormina this morning takes you up hilly lanes to the Teatro Greco built in 3 BC by the Greeks and remodeled by the Romans. The views from here are worth the climb! Enjoy time to explore the sights on your own for the remainder of the day. If you wish to experience an active adventure today, join us for a 4x4 Range Rover adventure up Mount Etna for a hike on its moon-like lava surfaces, followed by lunch and a tasting at a family-owned winery. Join us for a farewell reception and dinner tonight at the hotel.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel Timeo

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Location: Taormina, Italy

Tour ends: Taormina. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea to Catania – Fontanarossa Airport (a 45-60 minute drive). Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport.

Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVES – Private lunch at a Baron’s palazzo in Siracusa with a wine tasting from the family vineyard and dinner and an art tour with the son of a baroness at their private villa in Palermo
  • Visit to Palermo's grand Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, the largest opera house in Italy
  • Visits to the Sicilian Baroque UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Noto and Ragusa Ibla
  • A tour, lunch and tasting at a local winery

Reviews

5* A Fabulous Introduction to Tauck
We just completed our first Tauck tour - ten days in Sicily. What we learned is that Tauck will put you in the best hotel possible but in Sicily, some are not that impressive but are fine. The sites were wonderful, the special Tauck spots were great but NOTHING made it as special as our Tour Director. Wish I had more room! In Ortigia Island, off Siracusa, we had lunch at the home of a Baron. It was a day there was an enormous festival with thousands of people crammed into a magnificent piazza. And there we were, in balconies of his home, overlooking the festivities, drinking his wine and having lunch. Truly memorable. But it was our Tauck Director we remember the most!
Added By:
Date: 14-May-2018

4* Nice trip but not quite what we expected
We arrived on 8/31/16 in Palermo and it was hot,,too hot and we live in Florida...We were told that September temps would be in Mid 80"s but first half of tour the daily temps were in low 90's....Unfortunately A/C in Sicily not like the States and several places not even air conditioned,,such as Opera House and AntiMafia Museum..Verdura great. Mt Etna,, .Food in restaurants great...Only Two top hotels ,San Domenico and Verdura..The other three hotels were lacking ,,the one in Siracusa had bad mildew and mold and our room on first floor next to a outdoor restaurant had speakers blasting music till midnight...Overall would say a 3 star experience..
Added By:
Date: 13-Oct-2016

4* Breathtaking Sicily
The trip was a total immersion into Sicily, its people, beauty, and history. Our enthusiastic guide made the trip memorable with her deep knowledge of the territory, organizational ability, and humor. We visited the highs and lows and came away with a great sensitivity to the complex multi-cultural history of Sicily. It's very hard to be specific. Driving town to town, we saw the new, old, and ancient Sicily all in the blink of an eye. The natural beauty of the landscape captivated us.
Added By:
Date: 18-Jun-2018

4* Sicily: Culture Through the Ages
Had a wonderful tour director. We especially enjoyed the ancient Greek and Roman Temples and theaters. We also enjoyed the visit and lunch at the Corleone Winery, and the talk regarding the Mafia. We loved (Vendura Golf and Spa Resort), and the ancient temples of Zeus, etc. Also loved Taormina Viewing ancient archaeological artifacts, Taormina, and pottery demonstration. Also loved the island, Ortygia.
Added By:
Date: 31-Oct-2016

4* Nice Trip
Just came back from Sicily. Overall, it was a very nice trip. It was very informative and educational experience. However, the only negative is a choice of some of the hotels. Definitely not up to Tauck's standards. Also, (except for Verdura Resort & San Domenico Hotel) the breakfast was not very good. Very limited selection. We loved visiting Corleone, Siracusa, Mt. Etna and Taormina. Very unique and interesting places.
Added By:
Date: 14-Jun-2015

Dates

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Touring with Tauck

Tauck has been a family run business since its first tour through New England in 1925. Spanning three generations and currently run by six family members, their 90 years of experience is clearly seen in more than 140 unique travel experiences.

Tauck makes dreams come true with inspiring journeys of discovery all over the planet. Wherever you travel with Tauck, their aim is to help you explore the world’s treasures, discover people and cultures you may not have known existed and experience extraordinary, life-changing moments. From North America’s magnificent West to the land of the Incas in South America’s Andes; from Alaska’s glaciers to New Zealand’s fjords; from Europe’s cultural capitals to the wildlife-rich plains of Africa; from Melbourne to Moscow and Bangkok to Bucharest. Choose from land journeys, river cruises, family adventures, small group tours or small ship cruises for your hassle-free adventure with Tauck.

Tauck have built their company on the personal referrals and recommendations of their guests as they can think of no higher testament to their trips and commitment to customer satisfaction. Guests speak of how powerful travel can be and how much they enjoy exploring the world with Tauck, explaining that their special access lets them become part of the culture they are discovering. They appreciate that the trips are seamless and inclusive, with all the details taken care of, so they can relax and enjoy. Travelling well includes getting the best value for your money and Tauck guests feel that it’s not about spending as little as you can, but about what you get for what you spend. A Tauck trip is worth every penny; they say the exclusive experiences provided, the great hotels they stay in, and the exemplary service they receive often far exceeds their expectations.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Tauck

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Start: Siracusa, Italy
Finish: Taormina, Italy
Duration:0 Nights
Suitable for: 0-99
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