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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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Messina 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.

 

MESSINA ‘A LA CARTE, half-day

Messina the third largest city on the island located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, just opposite the mainland. Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle a word meaning sickle and reflecting the unusual curved shape of the harbour. In the Norman period Messina became one of the most important centres in Sicily and the Church of Annunziata dei Catalani is a splendid exemple. The Duomo, dating back to the Norma age, was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908: its lofty campanile, an amazing structure, contains an extraordinary mechanical clock with a series of picturesque tableaux and automatic figures which creates an amazing spectacle when midday strikes. The tour of the city include the Regional Museum showing masterpieces by Caravaggio’s Nativity and The Raising of St Lazarus and by Antonello da Messina’s The Polyptych of St Gregory.

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


MESSINA & MILAZZO, full-day

Messina the third largest city on the island located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, just opposite the mainland. Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle a word meaning sickle and reflecting the unusual curved shape of the harbour. In the Norman period Messina became one of the most important centres in Sicily and the Church of Annunziata dei Catalani is a splendid exemple. The Duomo, dating back to the Norma age, was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908: its lofty campanile, an amazing structure, contains an extraordinary mechanical clock with a series of picturesque tableaux and automatic figures which creates an amazing spectacle when midday strikes. The tour of the city include the Regional Museum showing masterpieces by Caravaggio’s Nativity and The Raising of St Lazarus and by Antonello da Messina’s The Polyptych of St Gregory.

Milazzo’s origins are ancient. Inhabited since 4000 BC (Neolithic) was ruled by the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Romans then conquered by the Arabs who built here the first nucleus of the castle. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen  further fortified the town and created here a personal hunting park. The castle was later mostly rebuilt in the age of Charles V of Spain.  A walking tour of the historical district include the Arab-Swebian Castle, one of the largest in Europe in terms of size.

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


TAORMINA A’ LA CARTE, half-day

There is a reason why Taormina is still named as “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


TAORMINA & CASTELMOLA, full-day

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


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 designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.

We will drive along the foothill of the volcano to reach an altitude  of 1,810 meters in an area called “Piano Provenzana” warped by the lava flow from the eruption on October 27, 2002.
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


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.

We will drive along the foothill of the volcano to reach an altitude  of 1,810 meters in an area called “Piano Provenzana” warped by the lava flow from the eruption on October 27, 2002.
From here we go up to 2,800 meters of altitude with special off-road buses (optional) following a track laced with vast, suggestive extents of lava and black lava sand along the chasms which opened during the eruption of 2002.  At arrival, when the weather is fine and sky is clear it is possible to admire this extraordinary panorama that only Mt Etna can offer: the splendid mountains of the Peloritani, the Nebrodi and those of Madonie, the perimeters of which are surrounded by the Jonic and Tyrrhenian coastline, from the Syracuse to the mainland Calabria. At this altitude Mt. Etna offers one of the most breathtaking views in all the world! It is possible to observe, in the context of a typical lunar landscape, dominated by the Northern Crater, and on a clear day, from this point it is possible to appreciate the Leone and Bove Valleys below. The Bove Valley extends from north to south for about 8 Km, and from east to west for about 5 Km.
Proceed to top boutique winery set on the north-eastern side of the Etna volcano, in the woods of the National Park and facing the sea of Taormina, representing one of the best models of Etna vineyards of high altitude: in an exclusive natural environment, at 900 meters above sea level, the vineyards lay on sunny and airy terracing that have a breathtaking panorama. At the highest altitudes the changes of temperature between night and day (which are considerable, up to 13-15°C in July and August) allow a phenol and aromatic ripening that is essential for the colour and taste of the red grapes and for the aroma of the white wines. Furthermore, the volcanic ground is very rich in mineral salts which supplies an equilibrated sugar content of the grapes and a proper relation between acids and alcohol. Their wines convey two different aspect of Sicilian oenology: the volcanic soil gives regional vines such us Nero d’Avola and Inzolia the perfect condition to ripen and to create soft, tannic sweet wins to be enjoyed young.  The distinctive environment of Mt Etna and from the use of autoctone vines such as Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante derive fresh and elegant wines.

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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