Mountains and hills over the sea, archaeological sites, an active volcano, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, exquisite food, blue skies, and breathtaking views…this is Sicily. Starting from Rome, you will travel through the south of Italy to reach Villa San Giovanni where you will cross the sapphire-blue waters by ferry to reach Messina.On this affordable Sicily tour, visit some fantastic historic sights. At Casale, visit the Roman Villa – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally an extravagant residence of a powerful Roman family in the 4th century AD, its mosaics on the floors and walls are well-preserved today. Agrigento, founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century BC, is a treasure trove of fascinating remains. Visit its Valley of the Temples, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see vestiges from the classical Greek period. Visit the Doric Temple of Concord, one of the finest examples of Greek civilization – and the Temple of Juno Lacinia, which was severely damaged by fire near the end of the 5th century BC. Also visit Selinunte, an ancient Greek city on the southwestern coast of Sicily that was at the apex of its power before 409 BC. Here, see the remains of the Acropolis, with its temples and fortifications. Visit the heights of Mount Etna – Europe’s largest active volcano. Enjoy a guided tour of Trapani, set on a harbor that was once a powerful trading network; explore Erice, a medieval hilltop town with cobbled streets, fortifications, and ancient churches; and visit Marsala, known throughout the world for its wine. In Palermo, your sightseeing tour includes Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel), built in the 1100s, with byzantine mosaics depicting famous scenes from The Bible. This tour through Sicily is designed for the value-minded traveler as the best way to explore the beautiful features of this magnificent, yet charming island!
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MOUNT ETNA Excursion PIAZZA ARMERINA Visit the Roman VillaAGRIGENTO Guided visit of the Ancient Temples SELINUNTE Visit the Acropolis MARSALA Visit a local salt mill TRAPANI Guided sightseeing ERICE Visit by cable car PALERMO Guided sightseeing, visit the Cappella Palatina NAPLES Guided sightseeingNotes:
April 18 Departure – EasterDecember 29 Departures – New Year's in Taormina
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; ferry Villa San Giovanni-Messina; overnight ferry Palermo-Naples in 2-berth cabins; cable car to Erice
Buffet breakfasts daily except day 8; 4 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
SORRENTO AREA, ITALY. Check into your hotel in the Sorrento area (nearest airport is Naples). Spend the rest of your day getting acquainted with this beautiful resort town.
SORRENTO AREA–VILLA SAN GIOVANNI–FERRY CROSSING–TAORMINA AREA. Today, travel through the rustic mountainous scenery of Italy’s southernmost region, Calabria, before boarding the FERRY for a 45-minute crossing to Sicily. Continue to the Taormina area.
TAORMINA AREA. EXCURSION TO MOUNT ETNA. Enjoy a visit to the heights of MOUNT ETNA with the option of a jeep or cable-car ride for a better view of Europe’s largest active volcano (subject to weather conditions). Descend to Taormina, magnificently situated on a 700-foot plateau overlooking the Ionian Sea. The heart of Taormina is Piazza Nove Aprile, a paved square with unrivaled views of the sea and Mount Etna. Take a stroll along the Corso Umberto, and maybe taste a refreshing granita or a sumptuous cannolo.
TAORMINA AREA–PIAZZA ARMERINA–AGRIGENTO. Drive to Piazza Armerina, a maze of steep streets positively overflowing with the colorful atmosphere of Sicilian life. At nearby Casale, visit the ROMAN VILLA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its mosaics, including the whimsical “Bikini Girls.” On to Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, one of Italy’s archaeological jewels. Visit the DORIC TEMPLE OF CONCORD, one of the finest examples of Greek civilization existing today, and the hilltop TEMPLE OF JUNO LACINIA.
AGRIGENTO–SELINUNTE–MARSALA. Leave for Selinunte, one of the most striking and interesting sites in Sicily. At the apex of its power before 409 BC, the city exceeded 30,000 people, excluding slaves. Here, you will see the remains of the ACROPOLIS with its temples and fortifications. On the western coast of Sicily, stop in Marsala, known for its celebrated Marsala wine. Here, you will visit a local SALT MILL and learn how this local product is extracted and refined.
MARSALA–TRAPANI–ERICE–PALERMO. Two Sicilian treats are on the agenda today. First, visit enchanting Trapani with a Local Guide, set on a harbor that was once at the heart of a powerful trading network stretching from Carthage to Venice. The city center stretches along the port and was built in primarily baroque style. Next is the medieval hilltop town of Erice, reached by CABLE CAR. Situated about 2,500 feet above sea level, it immediately impresses with its defensive walls and castle, affording breathtaking views over the Trapani Gulf and Egadi Islands. On clear days, see all the way to the African coast. Continue to Palermo.
PALERMO (EMBARKATION)–OVERNIGHT FERRY CROSSING TO NAPLES. A full day to enjoy this busy and colorful city full of interesting squares and marketplaces, churches, and palazzos in every style—from Moorish to baroque. Join the included sightseeing tour to learn more, and visit the magnificent CAPPELLA PALATINA. This evening, embark for an overnight FERRY crossing from Palermo to Naples.
NAPLES (DISEMBARKATION)–ROME. Get to know Naples with a Local Guide. You'll discover a multifaced city, which is elegant and decadent, while at the same time, lively, fascinating, and colorful. Later, return to Rome, the “Eternal City.”
ROME. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
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"Even though I was born and raised in southern Italy, I'm still awed by its beauty. It's not all about mandolini, pizza, and cannoli...come visit and take a look! The history, flavors, myths, and traditions made my country famous worldwide - and make me proud today to share it with you."