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Durata: 8 giorni, Catania to Marsala – Monreale- Palermo



Arrival in Catania and private transfer to Taormina. Accomodation in 5 star Hotel San Pietro. As the only Relais & Chateaux in Sicily this quiet and beautifully maintained retreat, a few minutes walk from the centre of Taormina town, is encapsulated by the glorious Sicilian flora that flourishes in this part of the World. Free time for a walk to discover Taormina. Dinner at Giardino degli Ulivi, a chic indoor restaurant with large windows, part of well known Wine and Food Sicilian association "Le soste di Ulisse". Overnight stay in hotel. iv>
After breakfast the entire morning will be dedicated to discovering mount Etna and its Wine production. First of all a pleasant hike from the viewpoint on Bove Valley in front of the Summit Craters; you will be captivated by our nature guides who tell the mysterious and fascinating stories of the Volcano. Then we will proceed to visit a wine cellar and wineyard. Wines produced in the enchanting area of Etna, at the feet of the giant volcano, have represented for centuries an important and prestigious factor for the Sicilian enology. At the slope of mount Etna, there is Bronte, famous for Pistacchio. In one of the famous pastry shop we will taste some cakes and ice cream. In the late afternoon transfer to Ragusa. Accomodation, dinner and overnight stay in an historic boutique hotel. It is situated right in the heart of Baroque, recently inscribed in the World Heritage List of Unesco, in a 19th-century mansion tastefully renovated.
After breakfast we will discover Ragusa. Essentially Baroque, the Ragusa you will see today dates almost entirely from 1693, because it was razed to the ground by a terrible earthquake that hit most of the eastern side of Sicily. The wealthier, more aristocratic citizens built a new town in a different site, now Ragusa "Superiore", while the other half of the population decided to rebuild on the original site, on a ridge at the bottom of a gorge, now Ragusa Ibla, that really draws visitors: the sight of the jumble of houses, churches and civic palazzi piled on top of each other, clinging to the walls of the gorge, is really quite breathtaking. The town is part of the Val di Noto UNESCO Heritage site and 18 of its buildings are protected by UNESCO patronage: the Basilica di San Giorgio that lies at the top of some 200 steps and has an impressive neoclassical dome that was added in 1820; "Giardino lbleo". The Hyblean Gardens offer some fantastic views of the town; the Chiesa di Maria delle Scale (St. Mary of the Stairs) lies between Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla and is reached via 242 steps, though the reward at the top is worth it. In the afternoon private transfer to Modica. This is a very particular town, divided in two parts: Modica alta, whose buildings almost climb the mountain and Modica bassa, down in the valley, with its Corso Umberto, historical centre of the town. What makes Modica a part of Unesco World Heritage is its baroque style and its pictoresque little streets, full of ancient workshop and rich palaces. Reentry in Ragusa and dinner at restaurant Duomo. Situated in an 800's palace, its chef is well known and the restaurant is considered the best in Sicily, for the combination between tradition and innnovation, traditional taste renewed and revisited. Overnight in hotel.
After breakfast private transfer to Scicli. It sits in a gorge just a few miles from the long sandy beaches of Sampieri and Donnalucata and is overlooked by a towering rocky mass on which the Church of San Matteo sits. Recently introduced in the list of Unesco world heritage sites, it was completely rebuilt after hearthquake of 1693, following baroque style, clearly visible in Palazzo Beneventano. This is a grand show-off of a building, featuring leering faces, monstrous beasts and other architectural fantasies, partly eroded away. Scicli repays time spent exploring fine palazzi, fantastical Baroque balconies, picturesque lanes with washing hanging out to dry, plenty of different, impressive views of churches on crags and mysterious cave-mouths, and simple scenes of everyday Sicilian life. In the afternoon transfer to Sciacca and accomodation at Verdura Hotel & Spa. Located on the south coast of Sicily near the seaside town of Sciacca, the luxury resort offers discreet exclusivity that few places can match. Dinner in one of the restaurants the resort offers, among them Amare Seafood Market, located on the beach and benefiting from an outside terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, the Amare Seafood Market features a lively open kitchen where chefs prepare the freshest fish and seafood from the large market-style display. Overnight.
After breakfst departure towards Agrigento for a visit to the Valley of the Temples. It is a complex of temples and old city walls that remain from the ancient city of Akragas. In varying states of ruin, the temples give a tantalising glimpse of what must truly have been one of the most luxurious cities in Magna Graecia. In the afternoon proceed to Marsala. Accomodation at New Palace Hotel, New Hotel Palace was born in the middle 1800s thanks to Sir Carlo Gordon, Florio factory manager in that time. He would to have a unique and elegant English style building for him and his family.The 'Antica Dimora' (the old manor house) rises in the centre of the property. Dinner and overnightstay in hotel.
After breakfast departure for Erice. Erice is a well preserved medieval town, with its tiny streets and ist city walls. You can admire the wonderful Giardino Piepoli , in which you find the Piepoli Castle built in Norman period. Wander through its ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops—world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. After we travel to Trapani on the Salt Way Road. We tour the historic salt flats works, where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced. Dinner at Serisso 47 one of the most renovated restaurants in this part of Sicily and part of the Wine and Food Sicilian association "Le soste di Ulisse". Return to Marsala, dinner and overnight stay
After breakfast visit of Donnafugata wine cellar. The name Donnafugata, literally 'woman in flight' refers to the history of Queen Maria Carolina, wife of Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who fled Naples in the early 1800s on the arrival of Napoleon's troops, seeking refuge in the part of Sicily where the winerys' vineyards now stand. This event inspired the Donnafugata logo, the effigy of a woman's head with windblown hair found on every bottle. Donnafugata believes that great wine reflects the land of its origin. Nature of the soil, exposure, altitude, climat and vines are the principle variables for producing wines. Vinification processes use simple technology respecting the integrity of the grapes, musts and wines. Through continual tastings the technical staff checks on sensorial goals linked to the fruit and the terroir. After that we will go on visiting Cantina Florio. Florio is one of the historic cellars of Sicily, was founded in 1883 by entrepreneur Vincenzo Florio, who is building a plant for the production of Marsala wine over an area of 100,000 square meters. Today, as then, the wines continue to be produced and aged in cellars dug into the tufa magnificent. Overnight and dinner in hotel.
After breakfast departure towards Palermo, with a stop at Monreale, to visit its cathedral, abbey and Benedictine cloister courtyard. Then we will proceed towards Palermo. The streets of old Palermo are an intriguing labyrinth of outdoor markets, subtle niches and long-forgotten secrets — almost a subculture unto themselves. After nine centuries street markets still evoke the atmosphere of Arab souks. Only the Baroque churches and palazzi on the same narrow streets remind you that you're in Italy. We will visit the Cathedral, the Palazzo dei Normanni with its precious Palatine Chapel, the fountain in Pretoria Square, adorned with sculptures. Palermo is considered the first city in Europe for street food: we will taste some of them like: Stigghiola is made of seasoned and barbecued lamb or kid intestines served on a skewer, usually sold at street stands. Sfincione is a thick form of pizza made with tomatoes, onions and (sometimes) anchovies, Panella is a thin paste made of crushed or powdered ceci (garbanzo) beans and served fried arancine (filled rice balls), cassata and cannoli (both filled with a sweet ricotta cream). Private transfer to the airport to your flight back home. End of tour.

The price included

Transport service for the whole tour (from the 1th day to the 8th), half board (dinner), driver escort/tour - leader for the whole tour (from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 8th day), local guides or audio - guides where necessary, wine tasting on Etna (on the 2nd day), tasting of typical products in Marsala (on the 7th day), chocolate tasting in Modica (on the 3th day), street food in Palermo.

The price not included

Transfers in/out, all lunches, beverages, entrance fees for monuments /museums, city taxes (where compulsory), tips and extras in general, anything not specified under "The rates include".