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  • The salts-pans area in Nubia, Trapani
    The salt pan area in Nubia, Trapani
  • Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
    Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
  • A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
    The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
  • A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area
    Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area

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Catania classic shore excursions & daily trips


Shore excursions:
You will meet your local guide directly at the port, holding a sign with your name.
Pick-up and drop-off at port.

Daily trips:
You will meet your local guide at your hotel.
Pick-up and drop-off at the hotel.

CATANIA ‘A LA CARTE, half-day

Included in the Unesco World Heritage list for its beautiful Baroque buildings, Catania is a dynamic and lively city with buildings and monuments that bear witness to its ancient and varied history.

Founded in the 8th century BC, in the 14th century and the Renaissance, Catania was one of Italy’s most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centers, seat of the first university in Sicily, opened in 1434.
Today, Catania is one of the main economic, touristic, and educational centers in the island, being an important hub of industry, thus gaining the nickname, “European Silicon Valley”.
After an orientation tour by car, you will enjoy a walking tour of the historical centre including: the main Piazza Duomo, one of the most beautiful squares in the island, adorned in the centre with the Fountain of the Elefante, the “Liotru”, the symbol of Catania made of lava stone, topped by an Egyptian obelisk from Syene; the Cathedral dedicated to St Agatha, the patron Saint of the town, dating back to 1070–1093 and rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake;  the Greek-Roman Theatre/Odeon; the Ursino Castle built in 1239 by the military architect Riccardo da Lentini for Frederick II of Swabia (Stupor Mundi); the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicola l’Arena the second biggest in Europe with its magnificent double staircase leading to the second floor decorated with ten stucco bas-reliefs and the beautiful eastern cloister used by monks as a winter garden.
The lively and colourful historical fish market gives a unique chance to be part to the town’s everyday life (open morning time from Monday to Saturday, holidays exclusive).

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


 

CATANIA & MT ETNA, full-day

Placed at the foothill of Mt Etna, Catania is the second biggest city in Sicily, a dynamic and lively city founded in the 8th century BC as a Greek colony of Chalcidic origin the 14th century and the Renaissance, Catania was one of Italy’s most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centers, seat of the first university in Sicily, opened in 1434.  Destroyed in 1969 owing to a he lava eruption and later in 1693 for a heavy earthquake, the city was then rebuilt in the Baroque architecture that nowadays characterizes its buildings and monuments.  For it magnificent Baroque style historical centre, Catania is included in the Unesco World Heritage list.

Next stop is Mt Etna, the biggest active volcano in Europe currently standing 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. According to Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon  was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it.
Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List on June 2013.
Driving through the so called lava villages, you will reach 1900 mt above sea level on the southern flank of the volcano, for light walk along the Silvestri craters.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


CATANIA & TAORMINA, full-day

Placed at the foothill of Mt Etna, Catania is the second biggest city in Sicily, a dynamic and lively city founded in the 8th century BC as a Greek colony of Chalcidic origin.

In the 14th century and the Renaissance, Catania was one of Italy’s most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centers, seat of the first university in Sicily, opened in 1434.  Destroyed in 1969 owing to a he lava eruption and later in 1693 for a heavy earthquake, the city was then rebuilt in the Baroque architecture that nowadays characterizes its buildings and monuments.  For it magnificent Baroque style historical centre, Catania is included in the Unesco World Heritage list.
Proceed to Taomina, the pearl of Sicily. As soon as you arrive in Taormina, you will feel the magical, mythical atmosphere spread all around which has enchanted visitors from all over the world for years and years. Settled on a hill of the Monte Tauro, Taormina dominates two grand, sweeping bays below and on the southern side, the top of Mount Etna, the highest European active volcano, often capped with snow, offering to the visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view over almost one hundred miles of Mediterranean sea.
Founded by colonists from Naxos, the ancient Tauromenion, Taormina continued to rank as one of the more important towns of Sicily after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It was taken by the Arabs  in 902 after a siege of two years and the Muslim rule of the town lasted until 1078, when it was captured by the Norman count Roger I of Sicily.  The town still retains much of its Medieval character intact.
Starting from the 19th century Taormina became a popular tourist resort in the whole of Europe: people who visited Taormina include Oscar Wilde, Nicholas I of Russia, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, D.H Lawrence, Truman Capote, Bertrand Russell and Tennessee Williams.
During the ‘50s and the ’60s Taormina enjoyed La Dolce Vita  with famous celebrities from all over the world.
the most remarkable monument remaining at Taormina is the Ancient Theatre, which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, on account both of its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


MT ETNA DISCOVERY & TOP BOUTIQUE WINERY, full-day

Mt Etna is the biggest active volcano in Europe currently standing 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.

Driving through the so called lava villages, you will reach 1900 mt above sea level on the southern flank of the volcano, for light walk along the Silvestri craters.
You may decide to get the cable-car up to 2500 mt and then by off road buses up to 2900 mt to admire the fantastic lunar landscape close to the main crater! (optional. Please, consider this option lasts about 2 hours).
Proceed to the north-eastern flank of the volcano for a visit to top boutique winery set on Etna’s slopes at an altitude of 700 metres above sea level. The estate belongs to an important noble family involved into wine making since 1726. The vineyards slope down towards the sea into a natural amphitheatre and produce excellent  D.O.C. Etna wines. The characteristic mountain climate, the particular exposition, the presence of bordering oak and chestnut forests create, besides an enchanting landscape, a “unicum” for the production of wines with a marked personality.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


MT ETNA & TAORMINA, full-day

Mt Etna is the biggest active volcano in Europe currently standing 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2013.

Driving through the so called lava villages, you will reach 1900 mt above sea level on the southern flank of the volcano, for light walk along the Silvestri craters.
Proceed to Taomina, the pearl of Sicily. Founded by colonists from Naxos, the ancient Tauromenion, Taormina continued to rank as one of the more important towns of Sicily after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It was taken by the Arabs  in 902 after a siege of two years and the Muslim rule of the town lasted until 1078, when it was captured by the Norman count Roger I of Sicily.  The town still retains much of its Medieval character intact.
Starting from the 19th century Taormina became a popular tourist resort in the whole of Europe: people who visited Taormina include Oscar Wilde, Nicholas I of Russia, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, D.H Lawrence, Truman Capote, Bertrand Russell and Tennessee Williams.
During the ‘50s and the ’60s Taormina enjoyed La Dolce Vita  with famous celebrities from all over the world. the most remarkable monument remaining at Taormina is the Ancient Theatre, which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, on account both of its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


TAORMINA & CASTELMOLA, full-day

As soon as you arrive in Taormina, you will feel the magical, mythical atmosphere spread all around which has enchanted visitors from all over the world for years and years. Settled on a hill of the Monte Tauro, Taormina dominates two grand, sweeping bays below and on the southern side, the top of Mount Etna, the highest European active volcano, often capped with snow, offering to the visitors a breathtaking, dramatic and memorable view over almost one hundred miles of Mediterranean sea.

Founded by colonists from Naxos, the ancient Tauromenion, Taormina continued to rank as one of the more important towns of Sicily after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It was taken by the Arabs  in 902 after a siege of two years and the Muslim rule of the town lasted until 1078, when it was captured by the Norman count Roger I of Sicily.  The town still retains much of its Medieval character intact.
Starting from the 19th century Taormina became a popular tourist resort in the whole of Europe: people who visited Taormina include Oscar Wilde, Nicholas I of Russia, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, D.H Lawrence, Truman Capote, Bertrand Russell and Tennessee Williams.
During the ‘50s and the ’60s Taormina enjoyed La Dolce Vita  with famous celebrities from all over the world.
the most remarkable monument remaining at Taormina is the Ancient Theatre, which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, on account both of its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location.
Located 3 km north of Taormina, Castelmola derives its name from the Norman castle dominating over the center of town and from the shape of the rock on which it stands, which vaguely resembles a millstone (“mola”). A natural balcony above Taormina, the view from Castelmola is dazzlingly  beautiful: from here one can see, among a myriad of prickly pear cactus, the majestic Mt. Etna with towns clinging to its slopes, the Ionian coast, the gulf of Giardini-Naxos, the Cape of Sant’Alessio, the straits of Messina and the Calabrian coast. Tiny streets cross and meet in the main square, revealing the medieval town.
Doors and windows are framed in the stone of Taormina, and the colors of houses vary from ocher to beige to antique pink, the sloping roofs are still covered with “Sicilian style” clay tiles, the street signs, the house numbers and shop signs are in stone and wrought iron.
Bar Turrisi nonchalantly displays its wooden and ceramic phalluses, in an surreal atmosphere that welcomes locals and foreigner of both genders. Stop here to taste a glass of their unusual almond wine.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


SYRACUSE ‘A LA CARTE, full-day

Syracuse is famous for its rich Greek history, culture, amphi-theatres, architecture, , and as the birthplace of Archimedes.  This 2,700 year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the top powers of the Mediterranean world.

Once described by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”, it later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica.
The Archaeological Park of Neapolis includes the most spectacular Greek and Roman monuments bearing testimony to the past of Sicily: the magnificent Greek theatre; the Nymphaeum zone; the sanctuary to Apollo; the imposing altar of Hieron II (king of Syracuse in 265-215 BC); the Roman amphitheatre; the great stone quarries, also known as the lautumiae.
The island of Ortigia is the historical heart of the town, with its nice Baroque-style buildings, palaces and narrow streets.
Here, you will find the Cathedral, former a great temple devoted to Athena, the Fountain of Arethusa planted with papyrus, the Galleria Bellomo Museum where the Annunciation by Antonello da Messina is kept (optional) and the Badia di Santa Lucia, near the Cathedral,  home of the Caravaggio’s Bury of St. Lucy.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


THE JEWISH HERITAGE IN SYRACUSE, full-day

Syracuse is famous for its rich Greek history, culture, amphi-theatres, architecture, , and as the birthplace of Archimedes.  This 2,700 year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the top powers of the Mediterranean world.

Once described by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”, it later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica.
Your guided tour starts in Acradina, the site of the earliest Jewish settlement. We will visit the Catacombs of S. Giovanni and the Crypt of S. Marciano, who, according to legend, was killed by the Jews of the city. Then, we’ll move to the island of Ortigia and stroll through the narrow streets of the Giudecca , the ancient Jewish quarter. You will visit the site of the Synagogue and the Miqwà, a Jewish ritual bath, 11 metres below ground level and the most archaic that has ever been found in all of Europe.  A visit to the ancient Neapolis, the archaeological area will  include the most spectacular Greek and Roman monuments bearing testimony to the past of Sicily: the magnificent Greek theatre; the Nymphaeum zone; the sanctuary to Apollo; the imposing altar of Hieron II (king of Syracuse in 265-215 BC); the Roman amphitheatre; the great stone quarries, also known as the lautumiae.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


How to book & pay

RESERVATION & PAYMENT

Step 1:
Contact us by email info@isolabella.it to verify availability for the required excursion.
Please, specify: date, number of participants, at least one name of participants, special needs if any.
In case of shore excursion it is important to inform us about the arrival port and  the arrival and departure time of the cruise. This to verify if the excursion does suit your availability in terms of timing. If not, we will submit you a modified version of the itinerary you selected OR a different excursion.

Step 2:
Once the availability is verified, we will send you the confirmation of services together with a pro-forma invoice and way  of payment.
A deposit of 30% per person is required at the time of reservation to secure all services.
Final payment of the tour is due 60 days prior to departure.
You can by either by bank transfer, credit card (VISA and Mastercard only) or PayPal. Please, inform us which one you prefer.

Step 3:
When the final payment is received we will send the voucher and a travel news with final itinerary & program, name and contact info of guide, emergency numbers, etc…

CANCELLATION POLICY

Days Prior to Departure                     Cancellation Fees (per person)
60 or more days                                   30% of the Tour cost
59 – 45 days                                         50% of the Tour cost
44 – 15 days                                         70% of the Tour cost
14 – 7 days                                           90% of the Tour cost
7 – 0 days                                             100% of the Tour cost

Remark: owing to the continuous rise in cost for fuel and local taxes, all rates must be reconfirmed.


10 important things to know before booking

1. Our shore excursions are private and customized using a professional driver and a professional local guide. They will escort you all around according to the program.

2. Our staff is professional, experienced, competent, helpful, nice and provided with all license required by the Italian laws.

3. Our guides are fully licensed and allowed to enter the monuments and archaeological sites, as required by Italian Rules. We believe a local guide is very important for the success of the excursion: he/she will introduce you correctly to the site, tells you the history as well as anecdotes, deliver you the right feeling and unforgettable images of the trip.

4. In case you do not require a local guide, we will be happy to reduce the cost accordingly.

5. Our vehicles are deluxe ones:
2 to 3 people: Mercedes E, Audi 6, Mercedes Viano, all Air Conditioned or similar vehicles
4 to 8 people: Minivan Mercedes Sprinter maximum 8 seats, Air Conditioned or similar vehicles.

6. In case of shore excursions, upon arrival the port, you will find the guide holding a sign with your name.

7. Length: a Half Day excursion means maximum 5 hours from h 8:00AM to h 1:00PM. A Full Day excursion means maximum 8 hours from h 8:00AM to h 4:00PM

8. Admission fees are usually not included in our rates. Usually, admission fees are around Euros 8,00 per person payable directly on the spot. If you would like to include it in the excursion, we will be happy to add the cost accordingly and buy for you.
If you are over 65 or under 18 years old and you have EU or Commonwealth Passport, the admission fees are free of charge for you showing your document (or copy of your document) on the spot.

9. Meals are usually not inclusive in the price but, on request, we can suggest and book a good restaurant or a local trattoria for you and your family or friends. When included, meals are mentioned in “rate includes”.

10. We would be very grateful if you might considerer tipping (out of appreciation) based on the efficiency and service you receive. Gratuities in restaurants are never included in the bill. Please, remember that cover charge is not a tip. If paying with credit cards, please pay your tip separately in cash to the waiter and this should be around 10% of the total bill.

Last but not least:
When comparing our rates with our competitors’ ones please, take into consideration not only the price but the quality of the service: for a fair comparison all services (staff & vehicles) must be similar. Be sure about what type of vehicle you are going to have. We reserve no surprise! Luxury services are guaranteed! What is the difference between a “Licensed Tourist Guide” and a “Driver Escort and Driver Guide”. It is import you know:

- Driver Escorts are licensed chauffeurs able to drive you in the main Sicilian highlights providing basic tourist information. They are knowledgeable, they can introduce you to gastronomy, wineries, traditions, Sicilian legends, teaching you some phrases of Sicilian dialect but they are not licensed guide and cannot escort you into monuments or archaeological sites (they can be heavily fined for this).

- Driver Guides are licensed chauffeurs who are also licensed guides according to the Italian and Sicilian Laws about Tourism and tourist services. Please, distrust all who introduce themselves saying that a driver escort is the same of a driver guide because it is not so. We suggest you to ask for their license as official guides. If they do not provide you so, they are out of law.

- Licensed Tourist Guides are the only professionals (provided with a Regional license) permitted to conduct visits and tours in all sites and museums within a city. To become a Licensed Tourist Guide in Sicily candidates must pass an examination given by the local tourist authorities to assess and test their knowledge of the cisty in terms of its history and geography, its art and architecture, its museums and art galleries, churches, its environs and cultural feature. As part of the requirements, candidates must also prove their knowledge of each of the foreign languages they applied for with oral and written tests.

 

 

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