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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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The Grand Tour of Sicily



9 days – 8 nights

The Grand Tour was the traditional travel undertaken by mainly upper-class young men of means of the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent and served as their educational rite of passage. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary which included Sicily.

The Grand Tour of Sicily is our modern version of the original one.
An exclusive art & culture tour of Sicily, for small groups of travel enthusiasts, enjoying luxury hotels,
a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, gorgeous landscapes,
typical flavours and a unique experience!

Enjoy The Grand Tour of Sicily, join us!

Highlights
Mt Etna: Discovery the biggest active volcano in Europe, visit winery and wine tasting
Taormina: visit Greek Theatre
Syracuse: visit Ortigia and the archaeological park
Ragusa & Modica: great Baroque-style architecture and cheese & chocolate experience
Piazza Armerina: the Imperial Age Roman Villa del Casale with its stunning mosaics
Agrigento: the impressive Valley of the Temples
Palermo: the incredible treasures of the capital of Sicily, gala dinner at historical noble palace
Segesta: the Greek Theatre and the Doric Temple
Marsala: the capital of wine in Sicily, Marsala wine tasting
Erice: typical Medieval town
Monreale: the Norman Cathedral and its cloister
Cefalù: Medieval town and its Norman cathedral

ITINERARY & PROGRAM

Day 1 Saturday – Catania – Taormina
Arrival in Catania, private transfer to the hotel in Taormina. Time at disposal. Welcome dinner at the hotel, meet your driver/guide and introduction to the tour. (D)

Day 2 – Sunday – Taormina – Etna – Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel. Superb beginning of the tour with one of the unique Sicilian experiences. Departure  to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Stop at the parking lot located at 1.900 mt a.s.l. and visit of the old Silvestri craters. For those willing to reach the highest altitude, get the cable-car up to 2.500 mt and then the off-road buses up to 3.000 mt, very close to the central crater! (optional, to be paid directly on the spot). Proceed for an informal rustic lunch and wine tasting at one of the top wineries at the bottom of Mt. Etna belonging to one of the most important noble families in Italy, the owner was one of the previous Italian Ambassadors in Russia.  After lunch, continue to Taormina, for a guided walking visit of the pearl of Sicily. On arrival the first stop is the Greek-Roman Theatre from where we can admire an amazing view to the Etna Volcano and the Taormina Bay. Walking along the main street named Corso Umberto we will visit Palazzo Corvaja, the Church of Santa Caterina and that of San Pancrazio, the Naumachie, the cloisters of the monastry of San Domenico (now a beautiful historical hotel), the Palazzo dei Duchi di Santo Stefano. Time at disposal for shopping. Dinner at clients own. (B, L)

Day 3 –  Monday – Taormina – Siracusa – Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure  to Syracuse. Our first stop is the ancient Neapolis, the archaeological park,  where the most interesting remains of Graeco-Roman heritage of Syracuse are to be visit : the Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dyonisus, the Latomie.. etc.
Walking tour of the Baroque-style historical centre located in the island of Ortigia to visit the Cathedral, former a great temple devoted to Athena, the Fountain of Arethusa planted with papyrus, the Jewish Quarter, strolling all around the narrow streets. Time at disposal for shopping and lunch on your own. Return to Taormina, dinner on your own. (B)

Day 4 – Tuesday – Taormina – Ragusa – Modica – Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel. Early departure  to this very long day towards the Valley of the Baroque-style where Ragusa and Modica have been declared part of the Unesco World Heritage list since 2002.  Our first stop is Ragusa consisting of two separate centres: the picturesque Ragusa Ibla (the older town) and Ragusa Superiore built in Baroque style. A long stairway of about 250 steps links the two parts. Proceed to Modica for a typical light lunch. Then, visit Modica being one of the most special little romantic corners of Sicily with its abundance of Baroque Churches and Palaces, and pretty squares lines with palm trees.  Highlights would include the magnificent Duomo (di San Giorgio), and countless chapels, churches, monasteries and private palazzos, cobblestoned narrow walkways. Modica is also famous for the production of a special type of chocolate from ancient Aztec recipes (”Xocòatl azteca”): time at disposal to visit one of the “Antiche Cioccolaterie” in town. Late return to Taormina, dinner on your own. (B, L)

Day 5 – Wednesday -Taormina – Piazza Armerina – Agrigento
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure to Piazza Armerina and to visit the famous Roman Villa del Casale. This amazing Roman Villa owes its fame to its magnificent mosaic floors, thought to be work of  North Africa artists, which are striking for the variety of colours used and subjects depicted. Lunch at a cosy gourmet restaurant in the area. Proceed to Agrigento and view of the Valley of the Temples. Accommodation at the hotel in Agrigento and dinner. (B, L)

Day 6 – Thursday – Agrigento – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Early departure to Palermo, the Capital of Sicily, to visit its most important treasures: first a short city tour then, visit of the Norman Palace and its Palatine Chapel with the splendid mosaics of Byzantine tradition and the Christ Pantocrator, the Arab-Norman Cathedral, the Oratorio of Santa Cita with the rich stuccoes by the Sicilian sculptor Gagini, a unique masterpiece of the Baroque-style and the Teatro Massimo, one of the most beautiful Opera Houses in Europe.  Lunch will be in one of the most typical focacceria in the heart of the historical part of Palermo, for an unusual tasting of Palermitani street food. Accommodation at the hotel in Palermo. Dinner at client’s charge. (B, L)

Day 7 – Friday – Palermo – Segesta – Marsala – Erice – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Early departure to Segesta, one of the major cities of the Elymian people (one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily). Visit to Greek Theatre and the Doric Temple. Proceed to Erice. The Elymians settled this medieval town and it was an important religious site associated with goddesses of fertility. Wander through its’ ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops, world-renown for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. Lunch on your own in Erice.
Afternoon departure for our last visit of the day, Marsala, the most important Sicilian town for wine production, famous all over the world for its homonymous dessert wine. Visit historical Florio winery for a comprehensive Marsala wine tasting. Return to Palermo, dinner on your own. (B)

Day 8 – Saturday – Palermo – Monreale – Cefalù – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Monreale and visit the Norman Cathedral, named also the golden Bible, and the Cloister of the Benedict Monastery. Proceed to Cefalù to visit this Medieval village and its stunning Norman Cathedral Return to Palermo and balance of the day at leisure. Lunch on your own in Cefalù. Return to Palermo and time at disposal. Exclusive farewell gala dinner in Palermo at noble historical palace. (B, D)

Day 9 – Sunday – Palermo – Departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Individual transfer to Palermo airport for departure or to Milazzo to add the Aeolian Islands city break and complete the grand tour of Sicily.

SELECTED HOTELS
Grand Hotel Timeo 5 star (Taormina downtown)
Hotel Villa Athena 5 star (Agrigento)
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea 5 star (Palermo)
Quotations with 4 star hotels may be provided upon request.

FEATURES
General info: “The Grand Tour of Sicily” is a luxury escorted trip with driver-guide. It is a private tour for individual travellers and can be adapted to a small group of travel companions. It is available all year round upon request. It usually starts at the hotel in Taormina and ends at the hotel in Palermo but can be modified to meet your needs. It is designed to create an excellent comfort and let participants enjoy Sicily at best. Accommodation provided is luxury 5* (according to Italian hotel rating). Food is always typical Sicilian, with a blend of regional Sicilian delicacies and top wines. Transportation is top quality. Your driver-guide is your tour escort as well: qualified, pleasant and with a long experience in the field. He/she will introduce you to the areas, the towns, the monuments, the land, the people.

Departures & prices: available all year round, upon request (please, note that there are no scheduled departures)

Travel Services: we would be happy to assist travellers in case of any further services: i.e. pre-post nights in Sicily, Amalfi Coast or Malta. Do not hesitate to ask for info.

Reservation & Payments: a deposit of 30% per person is required at the time of reservation. Final payment of the tour is due 60 days prior to departure.

Ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it
Feel free to browse all our luxury tours

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