The Sicily Italy Holidays is a 10 days/9 nights tour whose main focus is Art, Archeology, UNESCO sites (you’ll visit eleven of them – yes, 11! in just one trip).
At the end of Sicily Italy Holidays, your heart and mind will save the memories of the most fantastic Greek temples, some of them still in perfect shape; the best representatives of Baroque art in Europe; some of the nicest Mediterranean seasides; and, of course, great Italian food.
By the way, the Sicilian cuisine is one of the most acclaimed in Italy and in Europe (but I’m sure you have already tasted some specialties) for its variety, freshness, and the use of local products only.
And the Sicily Italy Holidays will guide you in this quest to the best dishes of the traditional Sicilian cuisine.
[wptab name=’Tour Description’]
Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island. And it’s truly a world apart.
In Sicily, the blue sea sparkles in the sun. The typical Mediterranean houses are opposed to rugged hills.
Thanks to our Sicily Italy Holidays, you’ll discover that Sicilian cities offer a wide variety of styles, from the Norman, to the Arabic and the Spanish one, as a result of the various domination that ruled this land after the Roman Empire fall..
Greek temples in Sicily are a source of inspiration for architecture worldwide.
But they are also protecting sentinels of the ancient landscape handed down by ancient civilizations, against cities that tend to impose more modern styles.
During our Sicily Italy Holidays, our chartered guides will introduce you to the really mysterious aspects of the ancient civilizations: some of the sites you’ll visit were once among the most fiorishing cities in the Mediterranean.
But there is much more: in the Sicily Italy Holidays, you’ll admire the baroque palaces offering elegant split architectural design adorned with delicate neoclassical statues.
The Val di Noto is the typical example of why the UNESCO put under its protection this south-eastern area to preserve the Baroque, a source of inspiration for many designers from all over the World.
And what about the food? It is surely a strength point of the Sicily Italy Holidays: you’ll taste at lunch and dinner some of the greatest seafood, in typical restaurants along the itinerary.
The Sicilian cuisine ranks very high among the most typical Italian specialties (and if you like it, shellfish is unparalleled here: so, take note!).
Do you want to swim in the Mediterranean during your Sicily Italy Holidays?
This region offers some of the best beaches and islands of the World: it is not by chance that many international celebrities spend their holidays in Sicily.
Believe it or not, you can never claim to know Italy, if you’ve never visited Sicily.
And the Sicily Italy Holidays is the greatest opportunity to fill this gap.
Beware, though: this destination has yet to be fully embraced by the masses of tourists to this region lends itself to an authenticity which is increasingly difficult to find in Italy.
And it is only a matter of time, until the rest of the world discovers the magic of Sicily, the Norman cathedrals and the Greek theaters.
So, what are you waiting for?
…. Also, think: if you dive into the Private Sicily Italy Holidays, you can also enjoy freshly made cannoli!
Sound delicious, anyone?
Thanks to Sicily Italy Holidays full of experiences, encounters, beautiful places, flavors and refined aromas, you’ll discover as an exclusive island dedicated to preserving a great history and fascinating landscape.
You will be fascinated by the views of the Ionian Sea.
You will discover the local art of painted pottery with elegant vases: a decorative souvenir for your home to remind you your Sicily Italy Holidays.
It is a work of art whose tradition comes from the Arab warriors civilization.
Visit the markets brimming with fresh and colorful: during the Sicily Italy Holidays, do not miss the tasty seafood.
To make the scene for your Sicily Italy Holidays, don’t overlook Mount Etna, the highest volcano in Europe, with a unique mountain scenery that strongly contrasts with the seascapes.
Your Sicily Italy Holidays starts from Palermo.
You’ll meet your private transfer to the airport and you will be accompanied to the chosen hotel in the center Palermo for the check in.
After dinner, you will meet your guide for a private city tour at night: the Sicily Italy Holidays offers you an opportunity to admire the splendor of the great city history.
Palermo’s architecture welcomes you with its styles that run through different historical periods; and the streets traditionally full of life until late.
The next day, the Sicily Italy Holidays will drive you to visit Palermo in more depth, with a guided tour that includes also the nearby Monreale: you’ll visit the magnificent cathedral, with Byzantine gold mosaics and the beautiful cloister.
After Palermo, the Sicily Italy Holidays will guide you to discover the amazing Greek temples, with the ruins of Selinunte and Segesta, and the Phoenician city of Erice.
But it’s in Agrigento that the combination of history and modernity will strike you, before visiting the stunning Valley of the Temples.
The latter stop, in particular, will remain in your memories, with a unique collection religious buildings dating back to ancient Greece (UNESCO heritage site).
In Piazza Armerina, the Sicily Italy Holidays will introduce the wonderful Villa del Casale, dating from the II Century AD, with its famous and very well preserved mosaics of the late Roman Empire.
The castle dates back to the XIV Century and it is worth a visit, before reaching Caltagirone, for a moment of relaxation and to enjoy the famous ceramic artifacts.
In Ragusa, the Sicily Italy Holidays will bring you to admire the Sicilian Baroque style that characterizes the entire city on several levels, starting from the historic heart of the Ibla area.
The red thread of the Baroque will take you to Noto and Modica, where the streets and baroque palaces are evidence of a rich past of this destination, now a UNESCO heritage site too.
Once the Sicily Italy Holidays led you to Siracusa, breathe the Ancient Greece history, when it rivaled with Athens as far as opulence, power, merchant fleet, arts literature, etc. are concerned.
The classical grandeur of the ancient city is spread all around you, including the largest ever built Greek theater.
But do not miss the wonderful central square with its charming cafés and restaurants in a Baroque scenery of palaces, churches and narrow streets separating them.
Finally, the Sicily Italy Holidays will bring you to the sea, with the Ortigia area, very lively at all hours, and the Syracuse port.
Catania, then, is a city nestled in the green and towards the sea, offering airy squares and churches of breathtaking beauty.
In the nearby, the Sicily Italy Holidays will plan for you a day in the VIP destination of Taormina, between the cobalt blue of the Ionian sea, the Greek theater with the impassive Mount Etna in the distance, and really trendy shopping streets.
For a truly refreshing and unforgettable swim during hot Summer, you can reach Isolabella, a small island with clear and very cold sea water.
In your Sicily Italy Holidays final day, the private transfer will meet you at your hotel and take you to the international airport of Catania, from where your flight back home departs.
(Day 1): Arrive in Palermo, the vibrant capital of Sicily
(Day 2): The Monreale Cathedral, a true jewel of shining gold.
(Day 3): Selinunte and Segesta: the Magna Graecia and its wonders
(Day 4): Agrigento and the UNESCO Valley of the Temples
(Day 5): The Roman Villa in Piazza Armerina. Caltagirone and its ceramics
(Day 6): Baroque Architecture rules: Ragusa, Noto and Modica
(Day 7): Siracusa and the timeless Greek heritage
(Day 8): Catania: Live Etna volcano, blue sea water and immortal Music
(Day 9): Taormina: a Leisure day in a truly VIP destination.
(Day 10): Good Bye Sweet Sicily: Time to go back home
[wptab name=’Complete Itinerary’]
Like all our tailor-made private tours, the the Sicily Italy Holidays will has no fixed departure dates.
In this way, it’s easier for you to customize the tour according to your needs.
Palermo is a beautiful city: its beauty goes along the areas around Via Maqueda and Via Quattro Canti.
The elegant Norman Palace borders the oldest district of the city.
The “Ballarò” is a very lively food market, always full of locals looking for fresh products. Butchers are famous for their selling points all on a wide row lined with ancient buildings, in addition to selling excellent meat.
The blue water in the harbor laps the pebble beach.
In the port, you can see ships’ reflections in the water and their silhouette against the still horizon.
For you, a private transfer will meet you at the “Falcone-Borsellino” Airport, and escort you to your chosen hotel.
You’ll feel the aroma of the orange trees filling the air in the afternoon, while the refreshing palms cast shadows on the streets.
If you arrive in the morning, or early in the afternoon, your first stop will be Palermo’s Cathedral (if you arrive in late afternoon or in the evening, you’ll see it the day after).
Admire the exterior creamy-colored shades of the Cathedral: in particular, the southern facade was built in the XV century, with a Catalan Gothic portico.
This facade, today, is the main entrance of the church.
When you get there, don’t miss a small particular item: a single column dating back to the Moorish domination of the city, with a carved verse from the Koran written in Arabic, with the typical overwhelming style and decoration of its traditional calligraphy.
You’ll soon realize that the city is a bit chaotic, but very cozy: there is always a lot of people on the streets, with a collection of cultures from all around the Mediterranean.
In the evening, with your guide meeting you at your hotel, you’ll enjoy the bright lights of Palermo by night.
Sicily Italy Tour Palermo – Fishermen selling their snatch at the Ballarò Fish Market
In the morning, the streets of Palermo come to life early at dawn.
The first ones to come alive are the food markets, in particular the fish markets.
Many small streets of the historic center become improvised small fish markets: fishermen fill the streets showcasing the variety of fresh fish caught in the morning, from mussels and clams, to swordfish.
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel and bring you outside the center of Palermo, to visit the extraordinary Cathedral of Monreale.
This building was designed and built in the XII century, during the Norman domination.
It’s location is on a plateau overlooking a lush valley almost shell-shaped, with numerous crops of oranges, olives and almonds.
The cathedral has remained remarkably intact and consistent with its original construction.
When you enter this building, you will be dazzled by the collection of golden Byzantine mosaics covering the entire surface of the interior: from the walls, to the ceiling, for a 68.243 square feet.
The images tell the story of the Old and New Testament, starting from the nave located on the south wall.
Outside in the courtyard, there is an equally stunning cloister decorated with 26 arches surrounding lush gardens.
The beauty of the cathedral becomes almost unimaginable when you remember that it was built in full Middle Age.
Sicily Italy Tour – Mosaics in the Monreale Dome upon the main altar
In the morning, Palermo’s golden architecture under the first sun rays remembers the sparkling light of the mosaics reflections you admired in the Monreale Cathedral.
Yet, what you have seen is nothing compared to what we are going to visit today and in the next days of this tour.
After breakfast, your guide will take you out of Palermo to admire the remarkable archaeological sites of Selinunte and Segesta.
In the Segesta archaeological park, the temple in Doric style and the theater, partly dug into the rocky hill, are of particular beauty.
The temple in particular is very well preserved and has many elements of mystery.
The Selinunta site, instead, dates back to the Ancient Greek world and are impressive because of their size.
Eight Greek temples built in the V Century BC in Selinunte, offer a variety of sizes and architectural splendor without equal.
The eastern temples are overwhelmed by the majesty of Temple E, also known as the Temple of Hera, built (this one too) in the V Century BC and partially restored in 1958.
The ionic columns seem an extension of the earth, with the same creamy tones and ribbed texture.
Its very particular style show six rows of fifteen columns. Each column reaches a height of over 33 feet.
Multiple stairs create a unique system of successive levels.
In this site, the air becomes hot under the sun pointing towards the West, but you’ll be soon immersed in the citrus fruits scent from neighboring orange groves.
What you will surely fascinate you is the consideration that the greatness of the past continues to inspire today Sicilians and visitors from all over the World, but also artists, engineers and architects.
Early in the morning, fishing boats weigh their anchor in the harbor, and download their fish to sell to the market.
Here, you may look at how pomegranates shine like rubies against the banks of the Ballarò market.
Today, after breakfast, your private transfer will take you far away from Palermo, to the fantastic hilly countryside of Agrigento.
The city has a strong contrast between modern skyscrapers next to ancient palaces of the medieval and baroque periods.
The hill opens to a basin where you can see the Valley of Temples. This UNESCO archaeological park includes 3,212 acres (about 13 square kilometers) of land.
The eastern area shows off the extraordinary Temple of Concordia, one of the most perfectly preserved temples of the ancient Greek world, dating back to the V Century BC.
The building is located on top of a small slope, with a wonderful scenic effect in the evening, thanks to a clever lighting.
In the VI century AD, the main building structure was transformed into a Byzantine church.
Stairs lead up to the colonnade, which is also the entrance of the temple, which goes along the right and left of the inside.
The beauty of the whole valley and the large size of the temples, even today is a testimony of how much the ancient world is still able to impress even today.
Today’s focus is on the passage from Ancient Greece, through the Romans, up to the Arab influence on Sicily.
After breakfast, you will visit Piazza Armerina: here, our guide will introduce you the “Villa Romana del Casale”.
This ancient Roman villa, dating to the II century BC, offers large, magnificent and perfectly preserved mosaics, with vivid and colorful figures.
You have left the hills around Agrigento with olive trees aligned in the countryside, with its fragrant scent.
Afterwards, you will reach the charming Caltagirone.
The city is known for its ceramic crafts, whose tradition goes back to more than a millennium ago and is well known around the world.
Today, ceramic artisanship is a leading sector, along with tourism, of the local economy.
The ancient Arab influence on Caltagirone, back to the IX century AD, gave to the ceramic design and decorations bright colors, especially several shades of yellow, reminiscent of the sun, and different tones of deep blue.
Caltagirone is located on a hill, with narrow stairs leading to ancient shops with vases and plates on display in their windows, ideal for a precious souvenir.
In particular, you will reach the Santa Maria del Monte Staircase, a flight of steps with inlaid ceramic, built in the XIX century to connect the city center to Piazza Municipio (the City Council square).
The hand painted tiles are in the style of majolica: again, you will spot traces of the Arab political and cultural domination on the city, together with its creativity.
The sun makes the Caltagirone ceramics shine, as well as its cream-colored buildings perched on the hill.
Leaving Caltagirone, you head to the beautiful Ragusa, also located on another Sicilian hill.
Ragusa is a quiet town, but at the same time very traditional, managing to match its sumptuous architectural heritage with a luxurious modernity.
You will notice how the modern part was built according to a very simple plan: it is known as Ragusa Superiore.
But it’s in the oldest part you’ll find out a truer Sicily: you are in Ragusa Ibla, in the lower hill with its narrow and winding streets, like a labyrinth.
You’ll admire its stone houses and its Baroque palaces, the result of a city reconstruction in the XVII century, in the architectural style in vogue at the time.
Ragusa is a treasure nestled in the emerald green, surrounding countryside.
The church of St. George was built in local stone in the XVIII century: you’ll step up the large staircase that converges upwards, behind a sumptuous iron gate.
The neoclassical dome stands on a colorful series of stained glass windows.
The convex façade creates a multi-level perspective, flanked by Corinthian columns, overlooking the square and its cafés.
Ragusa is the main city in the UNESCO Val di Noto.
But Noto and Modica are not less beautiful, and are worth a visit.
The Sicily Italy tour will lead you to the interior of south-east, inside rough mountains and deep ravines.
Here Baroque towns – eight in all – sprang up after the devastating earthquake of 1693 which capture the attention.
Ragusa, Modica, Scicli and Ipsica, forming the so-called “Val di Noto”, all catch the eye and became UNESCO site as a whole.
The finest of them is Noto, whose rebuilding to the south of the original town (now known as Noto Antica) was a triumph of urban planning, architectural harmony and the typical amber-colored stone which turns gold under the sun rays.
Noto is easy to visit.
Simply wander the length of the Corso, as long and graceful as an arrow, diving down side streets here and there.
Don’t miss Via Nicolaci, at the top of which is the beautiful elliptical façade of the Chiesa di Montevirgine.
Along one side of Via Nicolaci stands the Palazzo Villadorata, whose many playfully buttressed balconies – horses, griffons, nymphs, cherubs, fierce bald men – jut from a severely Classical façade.
Noto’s Cathedral rises impressively above Corso Vittorio Emmanuele and is approached by a wide and graceful flight of steps.
At the bottom of the street stands the Church of San Carlo, whose bell tower offers fine views. Opposite the cathedral, the Municipio (town hall) has an exuberant trompe l’oeil ceiling in its “Hall of Mirrors”.
The last stop in the UNESCO Val di Noto area is the town of Modica.
You’ll love to walk along the main street, Corso Umberto, which has lots of interesting boutique-type shops, and wander through the historic squares, admiring the churches and soaking up the atmosphere.
Modica is one of the world capital of Chocolate.
But, chocolate here is so different compared to the one from anywhere else.
It’s grainy, bittersweet and rather old fashioned, made from an Aztec recipe, but really rather delicious.
The chocolate pastries at local “Pasticcerie” are another must-buy. You can also pick up some very nice baskets and leatherwear.
Sicily is apparently an island out of time.
Time tends to stop itself and stop you, and Syracuse testifies it.
If you book our Sicily private tour, you will admire the city that used to rivaling with Athens as the most important Magna Graecia city.
You’ll love Siracusa with citrus groves that add splendor to the landscape surrounding the ancient Greek ruins.
You will spend a night as the locals, with a drink in one of the cafés that animate the beautiful baroque squares of Syracuse. You’ll be set in the suggestions created by skillful play of light.
Then, you’ll walk along the Medieval narrow streets that wind through an urban landscape of past times. These streets lead you to the coast and to sea water of cobalt blue.
Now, while walking, think that in ancient times, and particularly during the Magna Graecia domination, Syracuse was the largest city in Sicily and throughout the ancient world, bigger even than Athens.
Your guide will lead you through the elegant streets of the most modern and hectic city, towards one of the largest theaters in the Greek Empire, built around 470 BC, located in the Archaeological Park of “Neapolis”.
The theater is known not only for its size, but also because here (according to ancient sources) two tragedies by Aeschylus were staged for the first time.
The entire theater is more like a stadium with a diameter of 452 feet (approx. 140 m.), with 61 rows of seats hewn in a rugged landscape.
Once you enter the theater, just stop by to observe: you will see how simple and elegant ingenuity, 25 centuries ago, have been able to build a similar building containing 15,000 spectators.
Today, early in the morning, you’ll leave the ancient streets of Syracuse, and follow your guide towards the historical center of Catania, which is UNESCO Heritage.
Here, the Catania baroque squares create wide open spaces surrounded by buildings in black and white that dominate the skyline.
From early morning, customers animate the lively fish market, for daily shopping with fresh fish just downloaded from fishing boats.
Fishmongers use to refer to each other in such a jovial manner, by making friendly banter.
The Mount Etna stands on the horizon, with its snow-covered peak.
But when it actively erupts fiery lava (it is never dangerous), do not miss the extraordinary show you’ll be offered, especially at night.
Worth seeing is the Teatro Massimo, built in the XIX century: the opera house in Catania is dedicated to the composer Vincenzo Bellini.
It looks like a palace on the outside with three arched portico adorned with a winged angel flanked by two statuesque figures.
The facade of the theater in neo-Baroque style: it is inspired by the classic “Sansovinian” Library of Venice.
The rest of the property, however, develops differently and assumes the form of theater.
The interior features such opulence, from the magnificent chandelier, up to the elegant foyer all covered of precious marble.
A statue of Bellini is located between the central arches to contrast the glare of bright red velvet that fill the theater’s interior.
From Catania, you will reach Taormina in just few minutes.
This is probably one of the most fashionable Summer destinations in Italy. A group of International celebrities usually spend their time here.
Maybe because of the blue sea water shining in the light of the rising sun.
Or maybe because of the great events in the Greek theater, probably the most spectacular and scenographic one that we have inherited from ancient times.
The landscape too is no exception: rees dotting the reddish hills, in contrast with the blue coast. Sea waves crash against the rugged coastline morning of the Ionian Sea.
In the background, not far away, Mount Etna continues to watch you on the seaside background.
You can enjoy this leisure day between the splendor of the sea, and the charming streets of this very fashionable town.
The streets of Taormina offer many fashion and accessory shops, as well as many typical restaurants.
You can admire its romantic buildings, with small terraces that offer unparalleled panoramic views.
The Mazzaro cable car glides over the ground until Porta Messina.
While walking the streets of Taormina, sit in one of the cafés to enjoy an espresso. Sniff the air: feel how the rich smell of coffee blends with the sea air.
The best view is in Piazza IX Aprile. You can admire and take a picture of Mount Etna and the bay into one single image.
And don’t forget to admire, the squared clock tower in the rugged stone.
On the same square, there is the Church of St. Joseph, finished building in the XVIII century.
The façade has an obvious baroque setting, with a large central portal made of Taormina marble in different shades: in fact, some elements of the pediment have a pink pigment, taking a light pastel tones at mid-morning.
Sicily has a majesty that has captivated all cultures of the world.
During this trip, you have admired the unique and wonderful sea coasts, as well as the fascinating evidence of history spread across the landscape: from the Greek temples, to the Roman ruins, to the Baroque palaces, to the Norman cathedrals.
The orange trees scent has become familiar, like the light in the morning, here in Sicily.
How sweet it is to be soothed by this same fragrance of orange trees, mixed with your fresh espresso aroma, together with the sea smell that fills the lungs.
All good things have a beginning, but they also have an end.
Your private transfer will take you to the Catania International Airport for your return flight.
[wptab name=’Tour Price’]
Please, consider the following guidelines for tailor-made tour packages, excluding international R/T flights:
5-star Hotel: From Euro 350 per person per day
4-star Hotel: From Euro 260 per person per day
3-star Hotel: From Euro 180 per person per day
The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within Italy, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.
Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.
The price may change upon your final hotel choices, travel dates, and other customized preferences.
For groups larger than 15 people wishing to participate in our Private Sicily Italy Holidays, please contact our dedicated team.
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Here, you can take a first sight of all the places you will visit during the Private Sicily Italy Holidays.
If you wish to see all our boards, please visit our Pinterest profile.
We constantly add boards and pins about all the places you’ll visit with our Private Sicily Italy Holidays.
So, stay tuned!
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[wptab name=’Book Now!’]
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