Sicilian Secrets Tour – Sicily, Amalfi, Capri
Memorable journey to discover the hidden treasures of Sicily and the south of Italy with their fascinating history, art, traditions, scents and flavours... You will be astonished by the beauty of both Sicily, Amalfi and Capri: lovely places to enjoy your holidays!
- Central 4* hotels in Catania, Ragusa and Palermo, hotel in front of the sea in Agrigento. Central 4* hotels in Rome, Sorrento and Amalfi.
- Multilingual tour leader and professional travel guide from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 5th day.
- Street-food tasting in Palermo at the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco; granita and brioche tasting in Catania; visit and chocolate tasting in Modica at Sabadì; honey tasting near Etna mountain.
- Guided visit of the wonderful Castro-Polara Grimaldi Palace to discover habits and customs of the ancient Sicilian aristocracy during the belle époque. Lunch at the amazing Gli Orti di San Giorgio in Modica to taste some local delicacies.
- Private visit, wine tasting and light lunch at Cantine Florio in Marsala.
- Nice illustrated book about Sicilian culinary tradition with recipies in English as gift and souvenir of your journey.
Tour of Sicily & Amalfi Coast with Capri Regular departures every Saturday from Catania12 days / 11 nights
Day 1 - Saturday: CATANIA (hotel in Catania)
Arrive independently to your hotel in Catania (optional private transfer on request). In the evening meet the tour leader and your travel companions and enjoy welcome dinner.
Day 2 - Sunday: SYRACUSE – NOTO (hotel in Ragusa)
After breakfast in hotel departure to Syracuse to visit the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and World Heritage Site! The visit will start with the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysius. Proceeding on and visit of the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of Syracuse. In Ortigia you will admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence. The façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple! From Piazza Duomo you will 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 clearest example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views, palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. Visit of Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, beautiful noble residence in Baroque style. Free time for a walk along the town. Transfer to Ragusa for dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 3 - Monday: RAGUSA IBLA – MODICA – PIAZZA ARMERINA (Hotel in Agrigento)
Today visit of Ragusa Ibla and its historical centre cradle of Sicilian Baroque. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient town hosts more than 50 churches and many Baroque architectural treasures! You will be fascinated by its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful Dome square and you will love the “Giardino Ibleo”, the oldest of the four main gardens in Ragusa… At 383 meters above sea level, from this beautiful garden you can admire a spectacular panorama! The tour proceeds towards Modica chest of innumerable Baroque architectural treasures and for this reason stated Unesco World Heritage Site. Walking along the tiny streets of this charming town, you will have a stop to visit Sabadì, one of the most renowned chocolate manufacturers whose chocolate has been awarded as the best Modica chocolate in the last 9 years! You will enjoy a multisensorial chocolate tasting discovering the authentic Sicilian perfumes… the local nepitella (wild mint), the orange blossom honey, the raw PGI - quality Sicilian lemon and the PGI – quality Sicilian red orange are just some of the many flavours you can taste! Proceeding on you will visit the beautiful and perfectly preserved noble seventeenth-century Palazzo Castro Polara Grimaldi. You will be astonished by its amazing balcony which dominates the town with a spectacular view and you will feel to be brought back to the past at the beginning of the XX century where time seems to have stopped. The style of the interior has the typical flavor of Sicilian noble palaces: frescoes of landscapes, wallpapers in splendid satins, vases and furnishings of the most precious manufacture, together with the private collections of Donna Grazietta Grimaldi are all signs which give you the impression that nothing has changed and that the ancient traditions of the house are still alive. You will then be brought back to present time savoring some local delicacies under the shadow of the amazing Orti di San Giorgio: 7 gardens suspended between light and beauty. A breath-taking panorama will be the setting of your relaxing lunch! The day goes on to the charming Piazza Armerina to visit the famous Villa Romana del Casale, Unesco World Heritage Site, to admire the splendid polychrome mosaics! This majestic villa, belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments: you will love it! Departure to Agrigento. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 4 - Tuesday: AGRIGENTO – MARSALA - SALT ROAD (hotel in Palermo)
This morning the tour continues in Agrigento visiting the famous Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. As 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. Among hundreds of almond trees you will admire the rests of the ancient Akragas. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Proceeding on, visit of the charming and well-known town of Marsala, where Garibaldi went ashore in May 1860. Marsala is a Mediterranean modern city, divided between sea and land, featuring unforgettable colors: bright yellow, intense blue, strong red, dazzling white and natural green. After a walk along the city centre, guided tour of the Florio Cellars. The visit starts in front of the majestic giant vats, built at the end of the 19th century and still used for the refinement of Marsala wine. It continues inside the 3 fascinating barrel chambers, 165 meters long and running beneath 104 arches, under which 1.400 small barrels and about 600 larger barrels and vats of different capacities are arrayed, as c. 5.500.000 liters of Marsala wines age in silence and stillness. After a thirty minute tour through the barrel vaults, where the ancient tuff stone floor has been restored, you will reach the avant-garde tasting rooms named Donna Franca and Duca Enrico. You will enjoy a delicious light lunch and a memorable wine tasting experience! The tour will continue visiting the popular Salt Road: here the salt marshes have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world! Between Trapani and Marsala, the Salt Road is now protected for its interesting birdlife, and also as an important site of industrial archaeology. Transfer to Palermo, accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Wednesday: MONREALE - PALERMO (hotel in Palermo)
After breakfast in 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! Later you will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay dominated by Mount 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: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, 17th century squares, including an elegant opera house. Visit of the wonderful eclectic Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, admirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, and a prove of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II employed Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. During the day, you will have a stop for a surprise to taste the local street food in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Along the path you will admire the famous Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with 16th century sculptures. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 6 – Thursday : PALERMO – ROME (hotel in Rome)
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy free time in Palermo. According to the scheduled flight, departure to Rome. Transfer to the hotel, free dinner and overnight.
Day 7 – Friday: NAPLES – POMPEII (hotel in Sorrento)
After breakfast, departure to Naples at 07-.30 am. With its thousand colors, the “City of Pulcinella” has lived several lives, featuring ancient traditions, customs and folklore. It was one of the main cities of Magna Grecia, an important strategic port for the Romans, capital of Angevins’ Kingdom, reaching the highest splendor during the Bourbon Age. Naple’s city center is a mix of overlapping architectural styles, enclosed in about 2800 years of history stated Unesco World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, the group will take a walk in the historical centre to admire Piazza del Plebiscito, the Royal Palace, Piazza del Municipio, the Gallery of Umberto I and the San Carlo Opera House. After lunch in a typical restaurant with Neapolitan pizza specialities, visit of the Pompeii excavations, UNESCO listed ruins. This ancient Roman city was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which buried and preserved it under a sea of volcanic ash for almost 1700 years. Details of everyday life are preserved: inscriptions, old tools and the ruins in general give us the opportunity to better understand how Romans used to live at that time. At the end of the tour, you may be given the opportunity to visit a coral and cameo factory, to admire items manufactured with a technique dating back to Ancient Greek times. Proceed to Sorrento, the gateway to the Amalfi coast, with its colorful historical center and pretty waterfront, lined with fishing boats and the new Marina Grande cruise pier. Back to Sorrento for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 - Saturday: CAPRI EXPERIENCE (hotel in Sorrento)
Breakfast at the hotel, the tour today brings you to the fascinating island of Capri, home of the “Dolce Vita” and international VIP, as known as the “World living room”. Since the 50’s, this town has been the summer holidays location of international jet-set and inspiration for designers and poets, thanks to the beauties this island can offer. You will board the ferry and arrive in Marina Grande. Once on the island you will visit the Blue Grotto (weather permitting) and stop at the famous Piazzetta. A minibus will take you up to Anacapri, the second town of the island. It is known for its quiet squares and streets, colorful and scented of geraniums and bouganville. Here you will have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will go back to Marina Grande to board the ferry to Sorrento where you will have dinner. Overnight at the hotel .
Day 9 - Sunday: POSITANO - AMALFI (hotel in Amalfi)
After breakfast at the hotel, departure in direction of Amalfi to discover the stunning Amalfi Coast. The exceptional cultural and natural value, with a stunning Mediterranean landscape, have been included the Amalfi Coast among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. En-route stop in Positano. Free time in the picturesque village also known as the “Pearl of the Amalfi Coast” for its beauty! The town, nestled in the mountains, features a mild climate and beautiful views – including the famous Belvedere; for this reason, Positano has been considered a summer holidays location since Roman empire. Time to stroll along the narrow streets of the village and go shopping in the many typical shops, offering local crafts. We suggest you to have a stop in a bar to enjoy the unforgettable babà , if possible choose one with a breathtaking view! Alternatively, you can laze on the beach or visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Leaving Positano, you will reach Amalfi, check in at the hotel and free time at your disposal. Free dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 - Monday: AMALFI DAY OFF (hotel in Amalfi)
Breakfast at the hotel and day at disposal for visiting Amalfi. Founded by the Romans, it gives its name to the famous Coast and it is popular for being one of the four Italian Maritime Republics. Its historical center is justly considered an outdoor museum, and preserves, almost intact, architectural and urban excavations from its rich past. You can also visit the picturesque city of Ravello, with the beautiful Villa Ruffolo and the magnificent gardens of Villa Cimbrone, or you can decide to spend the day on the beach. Free dinner and overnight.
Day 11 - Tuesday: AMALFI - ROME (hotel in Rome)
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning. Transfer to Pompeii where you will join the bus to return to Rome. Arrival in Rome. Free dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 12 - Wednesday: ROME
Breakfast at the hotel and end of our services.
Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centers of the main Sicilian towns, carefully selected for their location and design to combine tradition with comfort:
- Catania city centre:Il Principe Hotel 4* / Romano House Hotel 4* or similar
- Ragusa:Mediterraneo Palace Hotel 4* or similar
- Agrigento:Baia di Ulisse Wellness & SPA 4* or similar
- Palermo:Mercure Palermo Centro 4* / Ibis Styles Palermo Cristal 4* or similar
- Rome:Hotel Gambrinus 4* or similar
- Sorrento:Hotel Vesuvio 4* / Michelangelo 4* / La Residenza 4* / Crawford 4* or similar
- Amalfi:Hotel G.H Excelsior 4* / Palazzo Ferraioli 4* / La Bussola 4* or similar
- 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 5th day), local guides or audio-guides where necessary.
- Deluxe bus from day 2 to day 5.
- Whisper kit
- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre, international breakfast included.5 dinners in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3 main courses fixe menu, beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.2 lunches: on day 3 light lunch in Modica; on day 4 in Marsala in the well-known Florio Cellars.
- Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Site: Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Monreale, Palermo.
- Tasting of typical Sicilian delicacies: Modica (day 3): visit of the well-known chocolate manufacturers Sabadì with tasting;Marsala (day 4): visit of the famous Florio wine cellar and wine tasting;Palermo (day 5): tasting of local street food.
- Direct flight to Rome from Palermo (one luggage and one hand bag included) time to be accorded.
- Private transfer hotel in Palermo – Palermo airport.
Amalfi Coast & Capri
- Multilingual Tour Leader (English, Spanish or French) for the whole tour, except on the 10th day
- Deluxe bus (from the 7th day to the 11th)
- Accommodation in charming 4 s
Transfers in, all lunches except for the one on day 3 in Modica and in Marsala on day 4, beverages, entrance fees for monuments/museums, city taxes (where compulsory), tips and extras in general, anything not specified under “The rates include”.
Amalfi Coast & Capri: Rome (day 12): Transfer out, all meals (except lunches and dinners on days 7th and 8th), beverages, city taxes (to be paid directly at the hotel), tips and extras in general, anything not specified under “The rate includes”.
EXTRA FEES ENTRANCES*
- Syracuse Archeological Park € 10,00 p.p.
- Syracuse Cathedral € 2,00 p.p.
- Noto Palazzo Nicolaci € 4,00 p.p.
- Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.
- Agrigento Valle dei Templi € 12,00 p.p.
- Monreale Cathedral € 4,00 p.p.
- Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
- Palermo Cappella Palatina € 12,00 p.p.
- Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
*to be confirmed
You will receive your travel documents by email 10 days before the departure. You will be given the names of the confirmed hotels, place and time of meeting with our guide for the day of your arrival and all the details you need for your unforgettable holidays in our amazing Island!