Sicily highlights: seven days of wonders
Etna, Siracusa, Noto, Agrigento, Palermo and more
Seven days in Sicily, from the impressive mount Etna to the city of Palermo, savor the real taste of a land of sun and passions
There’s a unique flavor in Sicily, the result of a mix of people and traditions, that blends with its thriving vegetation. This island will reveal itself in all its dazzling beauty: from the products of the land to the majestic architecture, every village will tell you its history and evolution, while the sweet sound of the sea that shattered on crashes against the rocks, will make you swing along the itinerary. Through this tour, in just seven days, you will see the main attractions of the island, discovering its secrets and history without stress.
Note: It is possible to start the tour from Palermo, inverting the holiday steps.
Our seven days long journey surrounded by the charms of Sicily will start today. After your arrival in Catania (airport or port), we will move towards the very nice farmhouse or wine resort. After checking in, we will enjoy dinner or wine tasting with appetizers in order to rest and gather some energy before the excursions planned for the following days.
* Note: According to the time of arrival you can try to squeeze in a brief visit to Catania.
** Note: It is possible to start the tour from Palermo, inverting the holiday steps.
During this day we will get to know the true Queen of eastern Sicily, who is called by the natives as a muntagna (The mountain): the volcano Etna.
Right after breakfast we will begin our journey headed to the Rifugio Sapienza (Sapienza Refuge, at elevation of 1800 m) stopping in front of the Crateri Silvestri.
Here we will do some shopping among the characteristic lodges of the area; later on we will be able to savour some lunch.
Throughout the afternoon we will reach Taormina; there, walking along Corso Umberto, we will visit the beautiful Greek theater, Palazzo Corvaja and the Odeon, without missing the chance to stop and appreciate the magnificent seascape.
Overnight in Noto's area at Agriturismo Leone with breakfast and dinner or alternatively in a nice hotel in Noto's center with breakfast.
Today we will know the city which excelled together with Athens in power and wealth: Siracusa (Syracuse).
We will relive the days of this ancient colony during the visit to the archaeological park Neapolis where, among its famous Greek theater, the Ara di Ierone II (Altar of Hieron II), the Latomia del Paradiso (Latomie of Paradise), the Roman amphitheater and the impressive Orecchio di Dioniso (Ear of Dionysus), we will dive into a timeless place, firm in history.
White stone alleys will accompany us along the route to Ortigia, where we will visit the Cathedral, built over an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Fonte Arestusa (Fountain of Arethusa) and all the major monuments of the area.
We will move then to Noto, Baroque jewel and World Heritage Site since 2002.
The city will disclose itself in the full splendor of its reconstruction, happened after the devastating earthquake in 1693: we will visit the church of Santa Chiara, the St. Nicholas Cathedral, Palazzo Ducezio, Nicolaci street with its beautiful balconies, the Fontana d’Ercole (Fountain of Hercules), the Municipal Theatre and all other major architectures. Along the main street, we can also stop to do some shopping and to discover some of the Sicilian culinary sweet delights: cannoli (crunchy dessert with a sweet ricotta) or granita (frozen dessert).
Overnight in Noto's area
During the day we will reach the very heart of Sicily in order to lose ourselves into the colours of the Roman mosaics of the Villa del Casale, which is situated only few kilometers away from Piazza Armerina. Dating back to the fourth century, the villa’s mosaics represent scenes of Romans’ daily life and they are incredibly charming with their beautiful, vivid colors that remained almost unchanged over the centuries.
The second stop of the day will be Agrigento, city situated at the southwestern side of the island.
Visiting the Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples) is like going on a long journey backwards through the centuries. You will surely be amazed by the majesty of Tempio di Giunone (the Temple of Juno), Tempio della Concordia (the Temple of Harmony), and that of Ercole (Temple of Hercules), to then discover and analyze the archaeological site with the Tempio di Zeus (Temple of Zeus) and that of the Dioscuri (Temple of Castor and Pollux). But the true beauty of this site will be complete during the charming and hypnotic night tour just before the return to the city to overnight stay.
After breakfast, we will begin our exploratory day visiting the largest archaeological park in Europe: Selinunte. Between temples and natural paths, we will be given the opportunity to rediscover the grandeur of a people whose wisdom has spanned through the centuries.
We will visit the Acropolis, pausing to admire especially the temple E, the temple F and temple G, then we’ll reach the salt road between Marsala and Trapani, where we stop for making some photo.
Finally we’ll reach the historic town of Erice. The beautiful landscape of Monte Cofano and the Egadi islands will be the background of a path between the rock and the myth.
In the heart of the city we will taste the sweet delicacies of Maria Grammatico before moving to Palermo.