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A Sicilian Odyssey

Explore Sicily's past and present - layer by layer - encountering Greek theatres, Roman villas, Byzantine art, Norman cathedrals, Moorish markets and more... abounding with multicultural traditions and archaeological treasures, and rich with unique cuisine and wine.



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.

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.

Traveling Well Includes:
  • 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

  • Call (904) 731-3101 for more information or to book today! Mention code 17109525
    Tour OperatorTauck Tours
    OfferOffer valid through 3/31/2023
    Duration
    10 Days
    Itinerary
    DayDestinationDescription
    Day 1SiracusaArrive Catania / Siracusa

    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.



    Lodging: Grand Hotel Ortigia

    Meals: D
    Day 2SiracusaMythical Siracusa

    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 amphitheater. Back in Ortigia, visit the Theatre of Apollo and the Baroque Duomo. 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.



    Lodging: Grand Hotel Ortigia

    Meals: B, L
    Day 3RagusaBaroque gems of Noto and Ragusa Ibla

    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. This afternoon, drive to the lovely Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A local guide introduces you to the town on a guided walking tour of its ancient labyrinthine lanes, the main Piazza and historic sites. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the Arezzo, the noble family of Ragusa Ibla; visit the century-old Circolo del Conversazione the original Gentlemen's Club of the day, and Il Piccolo - the private, small family theatre of the Arezzo family who have lived in their 19th-century palazzo for more than 200 years. Dinner this evening is at your hotel.



    Lodging: Eremo Delia Giubiliana

    Meals: B, D
    Day 4RagusaMosaic magic at a Roman villa

    This morning, travel to the nearby town of Piazza Armerina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been called an art city, woven into the fabric of Sicily. 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. Following lunch at a local agriturismo, return to Ragusa Ibla for a very special dinner this evening in the wine cellar located in the medieval crypt underneath an old church, featuring 400 labels of the best Sicilian and international wines.



    Lodging: Eremo Delia Giubiliana

    Meals: B, L, D
    Day 5SciaccaExplore the Greek temples of Agrigento & afternoon at the resort

    This morning, depart for a visit to Agrigento and the amazing Greek temples. The Valley of the Temples at Agrigento, dating back to 581 BC, must have been the favorite neighborhood of the gods if the number of temples there is any indication - the site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Built on a hillside facing the sea, explore temples honoring deities the likes of Zeus, Hercules, Concord, Pollux and Castor with a local guide in this amazing archaeological site. Visit the temples of Zeus, Concord and Hercules, the Temple of Juno and more. Return to the resort mid-afternoon; the remainder of the day is free to enjoy the resort's amenities as you please.

    Lodging: Verdura Resort

    Meals: B, L, D
    Day 6PalermoMorning at leisure and on to Palermo

    The morning is free to spend as you please. After lunch, travel to your Palermo hotel for a two-night stay. This evening, join the son of a baroness for an exclusive private dinner and tour of his family's art collection in their historic city-center villa, designed by Ernesto Basile, the architect of Teatro Massimo.



    Lodging: Grand Hotel et des Palmes

    Meals: B, L, D
    Day 7PalermoLife in Palermo, Past and Present

    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 at a local restaurant and 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.



    Lodging: Grand Hotel et des Palmes

    Meals: B, L
    Day 8TaorminaA cathedral, mountain vistas and Taormina

    Journey to Cefalu 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.



    Lodging: Grand Hotel Timeo

    Meals: B
    Day 9TaorminaTaormina & an optional adventure to Mt. Etna

    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. Following free time in Taormina, join us for a farewell reception and dinner tonight at the hotel.



    Lodging: Grand Hotel Timeo

    Meals: B, D
    Day 10TaorminaJourney home

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



    Lodging:

    Meals: B
    Dates/Pricing
    Click Quote or call (904) 731-3101 to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

    DateDescriptionPrice FromQuote
    June 02, 2023LIMITED$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    June 12, 2023AVAILABLE$7,790.00 (USD)Quote
    September 11, 2023AVAILABLE$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    September 18, 2023AVAILABLE$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    September 22, 2023AVAILABLE$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    September 25, 2023LIMITED$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    September 29, 2023AVAILABLE$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    October 09, 2023AVAILABLE$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    October 13, 2023AVAILABLE$7,990.00 (USD)Quote
    October 20, 2023AVAILABLE$7,790.00 (USD)Quote
    October 23, 2023LIMITED$7,790.00 (USD)Quote
    Disclaimer
    * All prices are per person in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy.

    Itinerary Changes - Although not expected, Tauck reserves the right to alter the sequence of ports or omit or substitute scheduled ports or attractions at any time without prior notice.
    Tours


    A Sicilian Odyssey
    From $7,490.00 (USD)

    Explore Sicily's past and present - layer by layer - encountering Greek theatres, Roman villas, Byzantine art, Norman cathedrals, Moorish markets and more...