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New Year's Eve in Sicily 8-day Small Group Tour
'Eternal crossroads of the Mediterranean, the gorgeous island of Sicily continues to seduce travelers with its dazzling diversity of landscapes and cultural treasures.' - Lonely Planet
Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, is just off the "toe" of Italy's "boot." Its rich history is reflected in sites like the Valley of the Temples, the well-preserved ruins of 7 monumental, Doric-style Greek temples, and in the Byzantine mosaics at the Cappella Palatina, a former royal chapel in capital city Palermo. On Sicily’s eastern edge is Mount Etna, one of Europe’s highest active volcanoes.
Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide (English, Italian, Spanish) for the whole tour (from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 7th day), local guides or audio-guides where necessary
High class buses or 25/28 seats Gran Comfort minibus (from the 2nd day to the 7th)
Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre
2 x lunches on day 2 and day 6
Half board basis (dinner – 3 main courses menu, beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian cuisine except dinner of 31st December
Tasting of Sicilian typical products: Catania (day 2): tasting of the typical Sicilian cannolo; Etna (day 2):visit of a local winery with tasting; Palermo: tasting of local street food
Visit of the main suggested Unesco World Heritage Sites: Catania city centre, Siracusa, Noto, Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone
OPTIONAL: NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA DINNER - menu 6/7 courses, beverages included €140 Per Person
Transfers from Catania airport to hotel in Catania and vice versa - 1/2 pax € 29,00 each way
Slow Tours offers a number of other Small Group Tours in Europe
Catania – (hotel in Catania)
This tour allows for your independent arrival at the hotel in the charming city of Catania (optional private transfer on request). In the evening you will meet your tour-leader and travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight in Catania hotel.
Catania – Taormina
After breakfast, we go through the “Pescheria” in Catania (the ancient fish market) and then proceed to Etna, the highest volcano in Europe (c. 3350m) and one of the largest and most active in the world, nowadays Unesco World Heritage Site. Its regional park protects 59.000 hectares of unique geology, flora and fauna. We arrive at the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. The view, beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters, can extend across the whole of Sicily, the Aeolian islands and Calabria. The spectacle is unique! Visit, wine tasting and lunch in a typical Etnashire winery. We head towards Catania city centre, stated Unesco World Heritage Site
it has original Baroque style and unique streets built with black lava stone. We reach the scenic Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous “Liotru” statue, antique lava-stone elephant, symbol of the city. Not far from here, we arrive at University Square and walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th century street in Catania, where we can admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site. We will stop in a bar for a delicious tasting of Sicilian cannolo. Back to the hotel, dinner and overnight in Catania.
Excursion: Syracuse – Noto
After breakfast we visit Syracuse, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and a World Heritage Site! The visit starts with the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysius. We continue visiting the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of Syracuse. In Ortigia you can admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence. The present façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple! From Piazza Duomo we reach a wide terrace on the waterfront surrounding the famous Arethusa’s Fountain, one of the most famous fresh-water sources of the Greek world. Free time for lunch. Departure to Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Inspired by Baroque ideals of “open city”, Noto is a rare masterpiece and the most clear example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is in fact a delight of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. We visit Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, a beautiful noble residence in Baroque style and once the residence of Don Giacomo Nicolaci, a patron of the arts. Back to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel in Catania.
Taormina – Cefalu’
This morning we visit Taormina, charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna! In the afternoon we will visit Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre, and then you will have free time for a nice walk among the picturesque Medieval typical narrow streets, go shopping and looking around the local handicraft shops. (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). After free time for lunch, transfer to Cefalù, charming Medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. We will visit its stunning Norman Dome and you will have free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. We will proceed to Palermo
dinner and overnight in hotel in Palermo.
Excursion to Monreale
After breakfast in your hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale, its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry! You will discover stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the Island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past, including an elegant opera house! We visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, admirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and ways of thinking, apparently incompatible, can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Byzantine, Muslim and Latin workers. Continuing our walk we can admire the fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. During the day we will stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time available. Back to the hotel, free time for dinner and overnight. Let’s celebrate New Year’s Eve in Palermo, with its stunning lights and colors!
The guided tour will continue today along the charming Agrigento with the visit of the Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the remains of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight in Agrigento.
Piazza Armerina – Caltagirone
Today we go to Piazza Armerina to admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex includes some of the most extensive and beautiful Roman mosaics known. This majestic villa, belonging to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments. After free time for lunch, we proceed to Caltagirone. This Unesco site has an ancient pottery tradition made with simple terra-cotta wares or maiolica. Nowadays the production is more and more oriented to an artistic making, particularly the beautiful nativity scenes. We will have the opportunity to visit them during their exhibition which is only at Christmas time. Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.
Breakfast in hotel and end of your tour
For technical or weather reasons, this itinerary may be changed
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|Dec 27 2019||Jan 03 2020||20||Single rooms||1,045€|
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