Siracusa 3 nights in a waterfront room in an exclusive 4 star residence
Taormina 3 nights in a waterview room in the historic centre of town
All land travel within Sicily by air-conditioned coach
Breakfast every day
Admission to all galleries, museums, performances and archaeological sites in the itinerary
Excellent characteristic local meals with wine
a visit to the Pupi theatre
a wine tasting,
daily morning coffee breaks with local specialities
evening aperitivi in stunning piazzas or overlooking the sea
No rushing about, late starts when appropriate
The services of a tour leader throughout and local guides
Group transfer at to Catania Airport on the last day
Day 1 Includes Aperativi & Dinner Overnight on the island of Ortigia, Siracusa
The tour begins in Siracusa at the accommodation where we will meet for aperitivi and an introductory talk.
Then we walk out for dinner together in Ortigia in the warm open air of the piazza tonight with a direct view of the spectacular Duomo lit by the last rays of the sun.
Ortigia markets & Ortigia
Day 2 Includes Breakfast, Merenda, Lunch & Aperativi Overnight on the island of Ortigia, Siracusa
We start the day with a stroll to the brilliantly colourful and busy markets near the ruins of the temple of Apollo and by the port where we can mingle with the crowds both local and international, where sandwich making becomes a live performance. We'll join in the shouting, shuffling, photography and tastings for an hour or so, with a stop for merenda - coffee & briosce and later a just wrapped package of battered fresh, fresh whitebait to nibble on while resisting everything else in the market.
Lunch with tastings of some local specialities, is included in the markets area
Siracusa was home to Archimedes and once a mega city of half a million people that was the Mediterranean’s pre-eminent metropolis, now a wealth of archaeological remains. We will explore the old city of Ortigia including Piazza Duomo and the spectacular cathedral, an archive of island history. During the 5th century BC the Greeks erected a temple to Athena, and in the 7th century Siracusa's first Christian cathedral was built on top of the Greek structure. The massive columns of the original Greek temple are clearly visible in the exterior wall with the Baroque facade added in the 18th century.
A short drive first to the Greek theatre in Siracusa.
Afternoon aperitivi at the Greek Theatre.
There is free time for dinner unless you choose to join us.
Noto, Villa Tellaro, Pupi theatre & Mikvah
Day 3 includes Breakfast, Merenda, Overnight on the island of Ortigia, Siracusa
We drive to Noto and while enjoying the baroque limestone streets we stop for merenda (morning tea for the English in us ) with a taste of the best cannolo & coffee of the area.
Villa Tellaro, a roman villa with mosaics.
In the afternoon we are back in Ortigia by 4pm for a short performance of the very characteristic local Pupi theatre with hand made puppet & medieval warfare.
Amongst other hidden places we visit an ancient Jewish mikveh or ritual baths several levels underground, and the fountain of Arethusa, the setting of a delightful myth of desire and deception.
Catania & Taormina
Day 4 includes Breakfast and Lunch & Dinner, Overnight in Taormina
A late start so you have time to revisit the markets & shops of Ortigia or have a swim in the sea before we transfer to Taormina.
Then we have a stop in Catania for a visit to the fish markets, the historical centre of town and lunch.
This afternoon we settle into our new accommodation for 3 nights overlooking the sea. A small family run elegant accommodation in the historical centre of Taormina and overlooking the sea.
Day 5 includes Breakfast Overnight in Taormina
Guided tour of Taormina including the Greek / Roman theatre
Free time in the afternoon to explore the streets and shops of this fascinating small town
Etna & Wine tasting
Day 6 includes Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Leaving Siracusa, we transfer to north to Taormina, visiting Mount Etna on the way.
One of the world’s most active volcanoes and at over 3000m the highest point on the island Mount Etna is a feature of the landscape from many points in Sicily.
We are fortunate to have information provided by an enthusiastic Sicilian vulcanologist Sandro, who teaches at the University of Catania and lives on the slopes of the volcano to feel close to its beating heart.
The drive up takes us through picturesque villages and an ever changing landscape of vineyards, orange and lemon groves, Mediterranean flora and finally the barren moonscape of the craters at the top.
We visit a local Sicilian family shop to taste local Etna wine, a selection of different types of honey, almond pastries, olives, extra virgin olive oil, taking the Red wine-route, traversing the lava of 1981, and village of Linguaglossa, Baroque churches and tasting delicious Almond and nut pastries typical of the area. Lunch at Gambino.
Final diner in Taormina
Departure from Catania Airport
Day 7 includes Breakfast
Transport to Catania Airport is one and a half hours if there are no problems. Strategically avoiding peak hour, we are aiming for a 10AM departure from Taormina with an anticipated arrival time at the airport by 12 midday approx which is in time for any afternoon National flights departing after 1PM.
Private transfers can be arranged on request at an additional cost
Optional additional nights in Taormina at our selected accommodation may be available on request. Please advise early if you might want to consider this as a possibility as the availability is very limited.
This brief but relaxed itinerary will explore two of the Sicily's most evocative towns, Siracusa and Taormina and the areas nearby as well as some major highlights in this land of the Gods
The old city of Ortigia is an open air museum encircled by the sea, once home to Archimedes, and now a wealth of archaeological remains, an archive of ancient history mingling the past and present in a labyrinth vibrant white limestone streets. In May and June we will attend a performance of an ancient Greek play in the original theatre where Aeschylus and Euripides were originally performed.
Throughout the centuries new religions have by no means obliterated the old, with fashions in faith washing over Sicily like successive tides.
Christian cathedrals sit atop ancient Greek temples to Athena, while the whole cult of the saints is clearly the survival of the old pantheism in a Christian guise.
SUN 07 - SAT 13 APR sold out
SAT 11 - FRI 17 MAY sold out
SUN 16 - SAT 22 JUN sold out
SUN 22 - SAT 28 SEP
SUN 13 TO SAT 19 OCT
SUN 10 - SAT 16 NOV
However you can still book -
Private Dates on Request
15% supplement for private dates. Minimum 2 pax
OR BETTER STILL - 3 WEEKS ON...
# includes the Greek Theatre, Siracusa
EUR 2350 per person IN DBL
EUR 2850 in DUS (double room for single use
A deposit of 10% per person is required to reserve a place on the tour.
*There is a supplement of EUR 150 per person for summer dates.
This program is costed on 18 people travelling. *Suites or larger rooms and water views in Taormina and Siracusa are available with a room upgrade, on request.
SIRACUSA Hotel Livingston is on the island of Ortigia, in the heart of Siracusa's historical centre, one of the most picturesque in Sicily. There is a splendid view of the sea from the hotel. The main centre including piazza Duomo is easily reached on foot.
A VILLA - SMALL HOTEL IN THE CENTRE
Shady terraced gardens surround our elegant turn-of-the-century hotel with
stupendous views; centrally located. 21 rooms plus 5 suites, all with private facilities, hairdryer, telephone, safe,
radio, satellite TV, many with balconies, terrace or loggia with views either seaward or onto the garden. good-sized
rooms, views are spectacular with breakfast on the terrace a highlight. The location is right down a flight of steps
from the main pedestrian street in Taormina and near the sights, restaurants, shops and other attractions.