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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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UNESCO World Heritage Treasures of Sicily


10 days – 9 nights

UNESCO was established in London in 1945, as common will – in cooperation with the UN, to contribute to the maintenance of peace, equality of peoples and respect for Human Rights, through the channels of Culture, Education, Science and Communication.
With more than forty sites, currently Italy is the country that has the largest number of sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as evidence to the increasing awareness that, the countless artistic, architectural and natural treasures in Italy, must be protected and transmitted to future generations.
Sicily hosts  the following sites:

Archaeological Area of Agrigento (1997)
Villa Romana del Casale (1997)
Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) (2000)
Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) (2002)
Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica
(2005)
Mount Etna (2013)
Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedral churches of Cefalù’ and Monreale (2016)

Two more sites have been submitted in the Tentative List:

Mothia Island and Lilibeo: The Phoenician-Punic Civilization in Italy (2006)
Taormina and Isola Bella (2006)

Highlights
Day 1: Cefalù
Day 2: Palermo, Monreale
Day 3: Agrigento
Day 4: Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone
Day 5: Syracuse
Day 6: Ragusa, Modica
Day 7: Noto, Palazzolo Acreide
Day 8: Catania, Etna
Day 9: Taormina

ITINERARY & PROGRAM

Day 1: Palermo – Cefalù
Arrival at Palermo airport. Meet & greet with your tour guide and departure to the little seafaring center of Cefalù to visit this Medieval village and its stunning Norman Cathedral, one of the most exalted architectonical Romanesque testimonies in Europe. Here, Arab, byzantine, Latin and Nordic art and architecture intertwine in a perfect combination of cultures and styles.
Check-in and accommodation at your hotel.

Day 2: Palermo – Monreale – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for a guided visit of the Arab-Norman Palermo, the Capital of Sicily, to admire its most important treasures: The Norman Palace and its Palatine Chapel with the splendid mosaics of Byzantine tradition and the Christ Pantocrator; The Arab-Norman Cathedral, The Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti that, rising up on Arab mosque basements, fascinates for its geometrical accuracy. Do not miss Zisa Palace, whose creation was inspired by Muslim buildings. Its names deriving from the Arab word “al-Aziz” means “glorious”, “noble”, “magnificent” and refers to its function as a summer domain for the relax and amusement of the sovereign. Pass by the Admiral’s Bridge; visit the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio: inside a real jewel of byzantine art, outside a fascinating contrast between the baroque facade and the building surface from the original Norman construction.
In the same basements, you will find the Church of San Cataldo, easily recognizable for the three red domes, which highlight the structure, conferring a taste of Arab cohesively fitting into the surrounding roman district.
Dominating the citrus groves of Conca d’Oro, Monreale is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for the Norman Cathedral named also the golden Bible, and the Cloister of the Benedict Monastery. The church is the outcome of the mixture of different workforces and styles employed for its realization: from the Nordic taste, to classic elements of Arab and byzantine traditions.

Day 3: Palermo – Agrigento – Palermo
Breakfast at the hotel. Today the focus of our walking tour is the magnificent Valley of the Temples. It is a great thousand-year-old city, where you will find extraordinary archeological and architectonical treasures portrayed in a Greek sea and an enchanting nature. A charming destination where Arts, Culture and Nature coexist in a magical atmosphere stuck in a mythological time. Temples here rise surrounded by countryside, almond trees and flowers, pictured in an immortal scenario in this dreamlike corner of Mediterranean.

Day 4: Palermo – Piazza Armerina – Caltagirone – Siracusa
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Piazza Armerina, and 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 colors used and subjects depicted. Proceed to Caltagirone, famous for its thousand-year-old tradition of craftmanship in ceramics and terracotta. A UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its baroque architecture, Caltagirone is also remarkable for its famous “Scalinata” or Stairway of Santa Maria Del Monte, its churches and parks and ubiquitous artisan shops. Drive to Syracuse, check-in and accommodation at your hotel.

Day 5: Siracusa
Breakfast at the hotel. Dedicate this morning to discover the Archaeological Park with its 15,000-seat Greek theater, elliptical Roman amphitheater and Latomie Del Paradiso, the largest of the stone quarries excavated in ancient times. Visit of 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, and the Latomie. Enjoy the 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.

Day 6: Siracusa – Ragusa – Modica – Siracusa
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning depart for Ragusa and its baroque old town, Ragusa Ibla. See the surviving Catalan-Gothic Portale of the ancient San Giorgio Church, the remarkable limestone, ceramic and black stone floors of San Giuseppe Church and the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the baroque masterpiece of Rosario Gagliardi. Continue to Modica. Divided into “Modica Alta” (Upper Modica) the area around the castle and “Modica Bassa” (Lower Modica) the historic center of town, Modica offers 100 spectacular churches and its baroque monuments are not the only attractions you can visit. The town has a long tradition in the production of chocolate whose methodology is still very close to that implemented by the Aztecs. Visit the beautiful Duomo di San Giorgio in the upper town. In Modica bassa or the lower town see the Duomo of San Pietro and nearby Church of San Nicolo the Younger with Byzantine frescoes on stone.

Day 7: Siracusa – Noto – Palazzolo Acreide – Siracusa
Breakfast at the hotel. Head to Noto, also known as “stone garden”, capital of the baroque district for a walking tour. Visit the architectural details of its churches and nobiliary buildings, especially the interiors of the Palazzo Nicolaci, one of the “baroque jewels” of the town.
Drive through southern farmland to reach the town of Palazzolo Acreide, founded by Syracuse in 664 BC and where, according to Thucydidies, the Syracusans defeated the Athenians in 413 BC. Visit its archaeological area, with its small but well-preserved theater in a beautiful natural setting.

Day 8: Siracusa – Catania – Etna – Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning’s walking tour of the historical center will introduce you to ornate Sicilian baroque with visits to the opulent Benedictine Monastery of San Nicola L’Arena and the Teatro Massimo Bellini, the opera house named for beloved composer and native son, Vincenzo Bellini, as well as the Greek theater and Via Crociferi, symbol of the baroque in Catania, boasting some of the most beautiful eighteenth-century churches of the city.
Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe, a world of its own which despite its intense activity with eruptions and lava flows, blesses the area with a very fertile land for agriculture, especially for wines. The land around Mt Etna is a large area extending from the furthest slopes of the volcano to its peak, where fire eruptions and blue sky intertwine to give you a unique spectacle.
Check-in and accommodation at your hotel.

Day 9: Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel. Unearth Taormina that thanks to its great beauty patrimony has gained the title of “pearl of the Mediterranean sea”. Over the centuries, the magnificence of this small town has seduced innumerable poets and writers, attracted illustrious travelers, host internationally renowned celebrities. Visiting this strip of paradise on Earth, do not miss the visit to the Ancient Greek Theatre, an open window to the coast view. 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.

Day 10: Arrivederci!
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart for Catania Airport.

 

Meal legend: B (breakfast)   L (lunch)    D (dinner)

FEATURES

General info: “UNESCO World Heritage Tresures of Sicily” is an escorted trip. 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 on request. It starts at the hotel in Catania area and end at the hotel in Syracuse area. It is designed to create a good comfort and let participants enjoy Sicily at best. Accommodation provided is first-class, strategically located. The food is always typical Sicilian, with a blend of regional Sicilian delicacies and top wines. Transportation is top quality. Your tour escort is qualified, pleasant and with a long experience in the field.

Departures & Prices: all year-round, upon request

Flights: we generally recommend that our travellers to arrive one day before the trip starts in order to get their bearings and ease in to the new surroundings.

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. At that moment a signed contract is required to hold your reservation. Final payment of the tour is due 60 days prior to departure.

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