Sicily 2023 – May 21 – June 2, 2023

$4,250.00


Description

Ft. Food, Wine, and Culture of Sicily

Sicily Food Wine & Culture Tour

Includes 12 nights amazing hotel accommodations, 23 meals, admissions, guide service and more!

Limited to 20 guests for this tour.

Reserve online or complete the Sicily 2023 Brochure and mail to:

PO Box 751 Bellevue NE 68005

Day 1 – 20th May, Saturday – Flight to Sicily
Depart your home city on an overnight flight to one of the most magical and storied places on Earth, Sicily! Full of amazing history, beauty, and delicious food, you are in for the trip of a lifetime! *Derek can help you book your flight please email derek@excitemytravel.com.

Day 2 – 21st May, Sunday – Arrival and dinner in a local market “Vucciria”
Landing to Palermo, meet your guide, transfer by private bus to the hotel and check in! Palermo is the biggest town in Sicily with about 1.5 million inhabitants and it is also the political and cultural centre of the Island. The city is also famous for its local market of vegetables and fish, very chaotic and very similar to the souk of north Africa. Transfer in the heart of Palermo for a dinner in the local market “Vucciria” to feel its old city vibes. It will be a typical local menu. At the end of the dinner, transfer back to the hotel. Overnight Palermo. (D)

Day 3 – 22nd May, Monday – Monreale & Palermo full day city tour
Depart by private bus to the Monreale for a visit to the wonderful Cathedral with its Byzantine mosaics and the adjoining Cloister recognized as the masterpiece of medieval art. At the end of the visit, transfer to Palermo to continue the tour, visiting the exterior of the most important buildings located along the main street (Palazzo dei Normanni, Cathedral, Martorana Church, Fontana delle Vergogne).

Lunch will be organized as a street food tasting in
another famous local market. After lunch, there will be a fun 3-wheel motorbike tour through the narrow streets of the Ara Quarter. At the end of the tour, transfer to the most authentic and beautiful aristocratic palace of the city to experience the atmosphere of the past and the splendour of Palermo. It is one of the oldest buildings in Palermo! Enjoy an aperitif during the visit. Overnight in Palermo. (B, D)

Day 4 – 23rd May, Tuesday – Trapani cooking class – salt road – Mazara del vallo
Check out and depart by private bus to Trapani to Nuara Accademy in Trapani country side for
an unusual cooking class. The cooking class will be held in a farm located a short distance from Trapani. Welcome with aperitif and afterwards you will learn how to prepare handmade “busiati” (a typical pasta from Trapani area) and the typical Trapani pesto. After the lesson, you will taste the food. It’s not just a restaurant, the experience is a “sensorial one”. The tasting will be standing in a very informal atmosphere. Arrival to the hotel in the evening. Overnight in Mazara del Vallo (B, L)

Day 5 – 24th May, Wednesday – Mazara del Vallo – wine tasting – Agrigento
Check out and depart by private bus to Mazara del Vallo : it is a pretty town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and is less than 200 km from the Tunisian coast of North Africa. The old town centre, once enclosed within the Norman walls, includes numerous monumental churches, some dating back to the 11th century. It has the typical features of the Islamic urban planning districts typical of the medinas, called Casbah (also Kasbah), of which the narrow streets are a kind of trademark. The busy harbour welcomes fishing boats of all sizes and boasts a large fish market. Enjoy a short visit to the city centre and a look to the marine area. Afterwards the excursion continues towards a nice winery for a wonderful wine tasting-lunch in the country-side. The Winery is an intimate and small winery which has become an important Regional wine producer “Tenuta Gorghi Tondi” in the last years. It is in a panoramic area overlooking the wide vineyard and the sea. Lunch will be organized with typical Sicilian dishes combined with their own wines. After lunch, transfer to Agrigento. Arrival to the hotel late in the afternoon. Overnight in Agrigento. (B, L)

Day 6 – 25th May, Thursday – Agrigento – Piazza Armerina – Taormina
Check out and depart by private bus to the Temple valley of Agrigento. Valleys, hills, monuments and temples, old and ancient, almost all dating back to the time when all of the civilization’s finest resided in the Mediterranean. If you arrive in Agrigento for the first time you’ll remain forever captivated by the magic of the Valley of the Temples, exceptional historical record of Ancient Greece. The Valley of the Temples of Agrigento is still today the most sublime evidence of the Greek civilization in Sicily! Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Kolymbetra park, an agricultural jewel returned to light after decades of abandonment. Under the Mediterranean sun you will enjoy a typical Sicilian lunch served to you outdoors, complete with local fruit, cheese and wine. This is sure one of the highlights of your trip. The excursion continues towards Piazza Armerina for visit the Villa Romana del Casale. It is a large and elaborate Roman villa located about 3 km from the town of Piazza Armerina. Excavations have revealed one of the richest, largest, and varied collections of Roman mosaics in the world, for which the site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villa and artwork contained within date to the early 4th century AD. The mosaic is 3,500 sq metres of flooring and is unique in its excellent state of preservation due to the landslide and floods that covered the ruins. At the end of the visit, transfer to Taormina. Arrival to the hotel late in the afternoon. Overnight in Taormina area. (B, L)

Day 7 – 26th May, Friday
Today is a day to explore on your own! You could embark on a Caicco! An unforgettable tour to admire the incredible landscape of the Riposto – Taormina’s shoreline, the crystal sea, and the suggestive beauty of the caves eroded into the rocky coast. During sailing, you will have soft drinks, and local fresh fruit on board. Lunch on board will be served with several cold dishes, wine and water. End the tour in the fantastic bay of Giardini – Naxos with the spectacular view of Mount Etna. You could also partake in a fishing boat tour in Taormina! Partake in the old world process of catching local marine life! If you prefer something not on the water, consider a hike in the Alcantara Gorges! This spectacular tour will take your breath away with stunning views and ancient history. Lunch is also included in the tour! Otherwise, there is so much to do in Taormina, wander the tiny streets for trying divine local eats, enjoy a day on the beach, sipping cocktails, or explore some of the many archeological sites in the area! Overnight in Taormina area. (B)

Day 8 – 27th May, Sunday – Taormina city tour + pizza lesson
Depart by private bus to Taormina for a city tour. It has long been Sicily’s most famous resort. Taormina has an intricacy of winding mediaeval streets and narrow alleys, each with its own secrets, great restaurants, cafés and ice cream bars. Taormina is beautiful by day but in the evening its atmosphere is simply enchanting, whether you stroll the illuminated streets or indulge in the view of the coast. Within its eternal stone walls, old Taormina has fascinating archaeological monuments and mediaeval homes. The most famous is the view overlooking the Greek – Roman amphitheatre, one of Sicily’s largest, with Mount Etna and the sea as backdrop. Late in the morning, arrival at the Pizzeria for the Pizza workshop. The “Pizzaiolo” will explain in advance how to make a pizza and afterwards the participants will find the base for pizza ready. Everybody will have the chance to do their own pizza, and of course eat it too. (B, L)

Day 9 – 28th May Saturday – Taormina – Etna – Taormina (free day or optional hike & winery)
Depart by private bus, driving along highway and then mountain roads through the villages of Etna, crops of vineyards, olive trees, fruit trees and, from 1000 m. onwards, chestnut and pine forests! You will reach an altitude of 1900 m. (Rifugio sapienza), where the road ends at a large parking lot. Here you can have a look at the Crateri Silvestri and an amazing extension by private cable car that leads to an altitude of 2500 m. A mountain guide will take you to reach altitude of 2900 m. From the top, you can admire the panorama overlooking half Sicily coast and the slopes of the main craters. About 40 minutes walking with multilingual explanation by mountain guide. It’s highly recommended that you wear closed shoes, long pants and jacket. Return to 1900 m and transfer in the private winery “Barone Villagrande” to taste the Etna wine and visit one of the most ancient wineries on Mount Etna. Menu of the day with selection of 5 wines paired with dishes prepared with fresh ingredients. Transfer to Taormina after wine tasting. Arrival to the hotel and free time. Overnight in Taormina area. (B)

Day 10 – 29th May, Tuesday – In the footsteps of the Godfather
Depart by private bus for a very unusual tour in the steps of the Godfather. We will step into Michael Corleone’s story travelling through the beautiful scenery chosen by Francis Ford Coppola to shoot the movie. First passing by Forza D’agrò, a picturesque town located 420 meters above sea level, very typical with narrow medieval streets. This village was a set for some shooting of the Godfather movie. Here stop to visit the church where Michael was married with a nice Sicilian girl Apollonia. The tour continues to Savoca, a village of exceptional artistic beauty and landscape. It is in a rocky and mountainous area. Here is the bar where Michael Corleone asks Apollonia’s hand in marriage to her father. Lunch will be arranged in a local trattoria with dishes of Sicilian tradition. Transfer back to the hotel and relax. In the evening, transfer to Taormina for a “mafia themed” dinner with folk music. Overnight in Taormina area. (B, L, D)

Day 11 – 30th May, Tuesday – Taormina – Catania – Siracusa
Depart by private bus toward Catania, one of the most beautiful towns in Sicily. After the big earthquake that struck the oriental side of Sicily in 1669 the town was completely rebuilt in baroque style and nowadays it shows several wonderful palaces and churches along the main street Via Etna and in the main square “Piazza Duomo”. Visit of the Duomo square, with the entrance gate to the city a the monument to the elephant (a sculpture in lava stone) that represents the symbol of Catania, the impressive city-hall with several effigies of elephants reproduced all over the facade, also called “The palace of Elephants” and the Archbishop’s palace. Nearby the Duomo square is located in the multi- coloured and funny fish market. It’s called also “Arabic market”, maybe a heritage of the Arabic domination in Sicily. It’s nice to walk around to see the local people, vegetables, cheese and salami, butcher’s shops, etc… The chaos is the main feature of this very lively market! Lunch will be arranged in a typical “Rosticceria” with street food (arancini, cartocciate, pizze, etc) and local wine or beer. Please note that street food in Catania is different from Palermo. Overnight in Siracusa.
(B, L)

Day 12 – 31st May, Wednesday – Noto & Siracusa with wine tasting in the loggia
Noto is an architectural supermodel of very fine baroque example and so gorgeous you might take it for a film set. Located less than 40km southwest of Syracuse, the town is home to one of Sicily’s most beautiful historic centres. The most attractive point of the town is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, an elegant walkway flanked by thrilling baroque palazzi and churches. The old shops, now propose hundreds of wine brands of Noto area with local dishes. Afterwards the excursion continues to Siracusa. Visit the archaeological area with its famous Ear of Dionysus (a cave with the shape of a tympanum). Walking tour to Ortigia island the hearth of the old town. At the end of the visit, transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Siracusa. (B)

Day 13 – 1st June, Thursday – Ragusa & Modica / farewell dinner in Siracusa
Depart by private bus to Ragusa Ibla, one of the most fascinating towns in Sicily. Essentially Baroque, the Ragusa you will see today dates almost entirely from 1693. Indeed, it was in this year that Ragusa, along with its neighbours, Noto, Modica, Scicli and Catania, was razed to the ground by a terrible earthquake that hit most of the eastern side of Sicily. Nowadays the town is part of the Val di Noto UNESCO Heritage site and 18 of its buildings are protected by UNESCO patronage. Lunch will be arranged in a typical Trattoria with specialities of Ragusa area. After lunch, the excursion will continue towards Modica. Modica like the other towns in the Val di Noto, was badly damaged in the 1693 earthquake and largely rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style. It is divided into two parts, “higher” Modica and “lower” Modica, which are connected by numerous flights of steps. Magnificent churches, with their inspiring domes, bell towers and intricate facades, punctuate the red-tiled roofs and one is struck by the uniform beauty of the whole. The centrepiece is undoubtedly the beautiful Church of San Giorgio, though the “Castello dei Conti”, surveying the town from atop a rocky outcrop, is also very impressive. Modica is also custodian of a 400 year tradition of Sicilian chocolate-making. Being part of the Spanish kingdom for so many years meant that Sicily was often one of the first recipients of the new foodstuffs being brought back from South America. Cacao was one of these and today Modica still specialises in making granulose chocolate, often flavoured with chilli pepper, cinnamon or vanilla, that is based on Aztec methods and recipes. Stop in a chocolatier of the village for a chocolate tasting with espresso coffee. Return back to the hotel in the afternoon. In the evening, transfer to Ortigia for the farewell dinner in one of the most beautiful restaurants in the town which looks like a cruise boat with nice setting, nice view and amazing atmosphere! At the end of the dinner, transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Siracusa area. (B, L, D)

Day 14 – 2nd June, Friday – Departure
After breakfast. Transfer to Catania airport accordingly with flight scheduled home. This is sure to be a tour you will never forget! (B)

Pricing – 
Double Occupancy (Not including airfare)       $4250pp

Single Occupancy (Not including airfare)        $5000pp
(airfare not included)

*Prices are based on Euro as of Dec 10th 2022.  If when final payment is due, the exchange rate has increased more than .02 there will be a surcharge on your final invoice.

Airfare
Excite can book your airfare for you at retail prices, send us an email info@excitemytravel.com

You can also book airfare yourself. If you do, please provide Excite a copy of your itinerary.

Deposit            $750pp
Deposit cut off date February 1st, 2023.
Final payment due March 15th, 2023.

*Price includes luggage handling, guide service, admission listed in itinerary, private motorcoach transfer, inter island air and ferry transportation, meals and activities listed in itinerary.

**Itinerary subject to slight variation due to weather, and availability.  Specific visits or dates my change but will be substituted for similar valued excursion.

***This tour requires significant walking, various modes of transportation, and uneven terrain.  Please consider this when booking your tour.

Trip insurance available and encouraged through Travelex. Please use location number 27-0165 for our group.
www.travelexinsurance.com/quote/ 

*Valid passport required

*COVID Testing is currently not required to depart to and return from Sicily.

Refunds: Deposits are non-refundable 90 days prior to departure.  Full refunds may be available with trip insurance.  Once final payment is made, refunds without insurance coverage will be on a case by case basis, based on what Excite can receive refunds for.

For questions please email –
derek@excitemytravel.com

Reserve online or complete the Sicily 2023 Brochure and mail to:

PO Box 751 Bellevue NE 68005

Visit us on facebook for more information and reviews at https://www.facebook.com/ExciteExperiences