Flights from the United States will depart the day before. Please plan accordingly.
Flights are not included in the price of this tour; however, Experience Sicily can recommend to you flights and carriers that offer competitive prices and convenient flight routes. Please contact us prior to making your reservations.
If you'd like to arrive in Sicily before our tour officially starts, we can assist you with your travel planning and reservations.
Arrive in Taormina and settle in to our 4-star grand hotel. During our evening orientation meeting you'll meet your fellow Experience Sicily travelers, and we'll review what to expect during our time together.
Inhale the fresh mountain air!
This morning you’ll have a gentle hike to connect with Etna, Europe’s largest, most active volcano with a local, expert guide. You’ll see extinct craters and learn about the flora and fauna of "Mongibello," as the locals call her.
For lunch, you’ll picnic under the trees, away from the crowds, delighting in typical foods and wine of the volcanic region.
Zafferana Etnea, pictured, on the east slope of Etna, will host the 42nd edition of Ottobrata Zafferanese, a culture and food festival celebrating the typical products of the volcanic region. Each Sunday of the feast features a different product, such as the honey for which Zafferana Etnea is famous, porcini mushrooms, which are abundant and in the fall season, chestnuts, wine, and more. Live music, craft making demonstrations, tastings, and community all await in the center of town, and you'll be part of it!
We'll give you a list of our recommended restaurants. Know there are many excellent ones!
Enjoy time on your own to explore bewitching Taormina's shops, cafe's, and charming alleyways--and don't forget to visit the Teatro Antico, which in the morning, shines in the sunlight!
Although lunch is on your own today, leave room for our afternoon wine tasting and rustic pairing.
This morning with your expert, local guide, you'll explore the "Neapolis" archaeological park. After lunch as a group, you'll visit the archaeological museum "Paolo Orsi," which will astound you with its historic riches.
We'll arm you with a list of recommended restaurants within easy distance from our inn.
This morning we'll delight in a tour of the Antico Mercato of Ortigia with a local mamma who will then lead us in a hands-on cooking class when we'll make time-tested Sicilian recipes.
After lunch, as a group we'll visit one of Siracusa's most incredible sites: an ancient mikveh, or Jewish ritual bath, that was hidden for centuries.
This morning, you have time for some shopping in Caltagirone, a beautiful baroque town that is home to some of Sicily's most prolific ceramic artists.
About Caltagirone’s Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte
Caltagirone’s Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte was built in 1609 to connect the old lower town to the new upper town. Since 1954, each of its 142 steps was decorated with a unique design of colorful, handcrafted majolica ceramic tile, a craft for which the city is world renowned.
The 4th century AD Roman Villa del Casale will knock you off your feet with its outstanding mosaic scenes. This UNESCO site, toured with an expert, local guide, will bring ancient Rome to life.
Today we'll discover one of Sicily beautiful hidden corners. Our local insider will introduce us to his village and the heartwarming citizens.
The UNESCO site Valley of the Temples will astound you with its scope and 2500 years of human history. Your private guide will bring the ruins of seven ancient Greek and Roman temples to life.
October is the olive harvest and if the season is right, the farmers who own our inn may be able to give us the opportunity to be part of the harvest.
This morning you'll tour Villa Palagonia in Bagheria. The “Villa of the Monsters,” built in the 18th century, was visited by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1787. He described it as a place filled with “elements of madness.” Certainly, in the late 18th century, such a place was shocking to see. To him, it was a grotesque expression of the unconscious. Let's see what you think when you enter the hall of mirrors!
Become a child again at a show of the UNESCO recognized opera dei pupi, Sicily's marionette theater. After a brief introduction, you'll be transported to the era of knights and ladies!
We'll arm you with a list of restaurants in Palermo that we think you'll enjoy.
Today, your private, expert guide will show you the rich history and heritage of the fascinating city of Palermo and the medieval town of Monreale with its magnificent cathedral.
You'll be mesmerized by the Arab-Norman and baroque architecture in concert with the stories of kings, knights, ladies, and the many cultures who built and conquered this city from the 7th century before the common era until today.
After we check out of our hotel in Palermo, we'll head west to Trapani province where, you'll get up close to the ancient salt flats.
Then you'll ascend to the top of Mount San Giuliano, where you'll have time to wander the enchanting streets of Erice, which was for centuries host to a temple to Venus. You might just fall in love with the views ... The shopping may capture your heart as well!
Lunch is enjoyed at your leisure in Erice.
You'll have a list of restaurant recommendations to consult.
Feel the wind in your hair and the warm sun on your face as you cruise along Sicily's breathtaking Tyrrhenian Sea coastline aboard a catamaran. You'll have opportunities to swim in hard-to-reach coves and sought-after swimming spots in Lo Zingaro Nature Preserve, including Scopello's Tonnara.
A traditional light lunch is served on the boat as part of your excursion.
Allison Scola has been traveling to Sicily regularly since 1996, when at 24 years old, she met her grandmother's sister and her children and grandchildren for the first time. Since the moment she stepped off the train at Palermo's Stazione Centrale, her life has not been the same: she fell in love with Sicily and Sicilians.
Combining more than 20 years of professional experience in marketing, communications, and performing arts with her deep knowledge of Sicily's culture, history, and hidden corners, Allison created Experience Sicily in 2013 with her Sicilian cousin and now business partner Evelina Buttitta. Together, with the mission to delight discerning travelers seeking authentic, locally-seasoned experiences set alongside the region's seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Allison and Evelina create unique, personalized itineraries and multi-sensory, small-group tours with the aim to delight their clients with optimal hospitality and service.
ExperienceSicily.com has more than 3000 posts about Sicily written by Allison and covering her travels throughout the region.
Scola Communications Solutions, LLC d/b/a Experience Sicily (“Experience Sicily”) acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Experience Sicily, its respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, default of any company or person performing these services. Experience Sicily does not accept responsibility for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, labor strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are provided.Experience Sicily is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips it arranges. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.
Once you express interest in registering for this tour, a Welcome Letter will be sent to you that explains our cancellation policies and other important notes to consider.