Sicily with it’s central position in the Mediterranean sea has during the centuries been the place where different cultures has meat and affected each other. We find rests from Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Barbarian’s, during the 500 Sicily was under the Byzantine reign, than is was invaded by the arabs, to go over in the 1000 to the Norman’s which was a period of glory broth politically and culturally.
The Greeks built many Doric temples and magnificent theatres, the Normans went on building with the Arabic and Byzantine traditions creating amazing works of art which are decorated with fantastic gold mosaics in Bizantine style after the Arabic influence.
The renaissance left little while the baroque inspired the Sicilians and in Palermo we have many examples left.
Sicilians enjoy food and drink as well and there are several wine producers, olive oil, lemon and orange cultivation, and from the sea we can enjoy all the sea foods.
Day 1: Palermo.
Arrival to Palermo/Catania airport, transfer to the our 4* hotel in Mondello, dinner together in the hotels restaurant.
Day 2: Palermo – Monreale.
We start the day with a sightseeing in the centre by local guide visiting Cappella Palatina within Palazzo dei Normanni, where we find the mixture of Byzantine and Arabic art. The Mosaics are considered among the most important in Europe.
We’ll make a visit in the art museum and after a lunch together we drive to Monreale for a visit in the impressive Dome, where one of the main attraction is the mosaic from 1100-1200 which tells of happenings from the Old and New Testaments.
Day 3: Palermo – Cefalù.
We start the day by another interesting sightseeing with local guide, visiting the church La Martorana where there is a mosaic showing Christ that puts the crown to Roger II.
The rest of the morning is left for free time for shopping and why not pay a visit to the picturesque market “La Vucciria” where you can enjoy Sicilian daily life activities and by Sicilian specialities.
For lunch we drive to Cefalù a charming little fishing village east of Palermo after lunch together time on your own before we go back to Mondello.
Day 4: Trapani – Marsala.
Today we drive west to the area of Trapani where we can see how salt is produced, the landscape is beautiful with wind mills raising on the flat land and the view of the Eagan Islands on the horizon.
We also see the vineyards where the grapes is used to produce the famous Marsala wine, we make a stop in a small town to have a taste of the local wines together with the gastronomic specialities of the area. On the way back to Palermo we make a stop in Segesta to see the well preserved Doric temple from 430 B.C.
Day 5: Palermo – Taormina.
We leave Palermo to drive eastwards, close to Piazza Armerina we stop for a visit to Villa Romana del Casale, a roman villa from the period 200-300 A.C. wich was found in the 1800 and excavated from 1930-1950. It is famous for it’s mosaic floors showing different parts of Roman life, and especially for the girls in bikini.
After the visit we drive down to Taormina to our hotel locatd in the centre of town.
Day 6: Taormina.
Today we discover the beauty of this charming town, which lies high over the sea with a breath taking view of the Island the main land and the sea. With local guide we visit the well preserved theatre from where you have a good view of the Etna vulcano, after the sightseeing you have time on your own in the historical centre. Dinner together.
Day 7: Syracuse.
We make a whole day excursion to discover Syracuse, which once was one of Magna Graecias most important cities. It was here that Archimede said his famous word ”Eureka”. A local guide will tell us about the Greek theatre – one of the largest of the antique period, closely is the antique quarry -Latomia del Paradiso – with a cave that has the shape of an ear which is called Dionysus ear.
After lunch on your own we make a visit of the old town, with the dome, which originally was a Doric temple dedicated to the goddess Atena. We return to Taormina, dinner together.
Day 8: Departure Taormina – Catania/Palermo airports.
Transfer by private coach from Taormina to airport.