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.
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 in hotel, enjoy free time in Palermo. According to the scheduled flight, departure to Rome. Transfer to the hotel, dinner on your own and overnight.
Day 7 – Friday: NAPLES – POMPEII - SORRENTO (hotel in Sorrento)
After breakfast, departure from Termini Station to Naples with high-speed train. 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 in Naples, our expert local guide meets you at Naples train station and you will proceed to Pompeii for the guided tour of the archaeological excavations. This ancient Roman city was destroyed when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD and buried it, preserving it under a sea of volcanic ash for nearly 1700 years. At the end of the visit transfer to Sorrento, famous for its picturesque old town centre and characteristic fisherman’s village of Marina Grande, one of the most authentic treasures of the city. A local assistant welcomes you at hotel during the check-in. Dinner, and overnight stay.
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 holiday 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 Capri. After arriving, enjoy a boat trip around the island during which you can visit the Blue Grotto (optional entrance, weather permitting). 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 bougainville. You will then reach the legendary Piazzetta, heart of the island. Return to the port to head back to Sorrento. Dinner and overnight stay.
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 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, and 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. Dinner on your own and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 - Monday: AMALFI DAY OFF (hotel in Amalfi)
Breakfast at the hotel and day at leisure 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. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
Day 11 - Tuesday: AMALFI – NAPLES - ROME (hotel in Rome)
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure in Amalfi. Transfer to Naples train station where our local assistant will help you boarding the high-speed train going to Rome. Arrival at Termini and transfer to Rome Hotel. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.
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 or 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 fixed 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 Sites: Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Monreale, Palermo
- Tasting of Sicilian typical products: 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
- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre, international breakfast included
- 2 dinners in Sorrento hotel (beverages not included)
- Transfers in - All lunches except for the one on day 3 in Modica and in Marsala on day 4.- Beverages - Entrance fees at monuments/museums - City taxes (where compulsory) - Tips and extras in general - Anything not specified under “The rate includes”
Amalfi Coast & Capri:
- Rome (day 12): Transfer out - All meals (except 2 dinners on days 7th and 8th)- Beverages - Entrance ticket to Pompeii - Entrance ticket to the Blue Grotto - City taxes (to be paid directly at the hotel)- Tips and extras in general - Anything not specified under “The rate includes”
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!