An Art & Architectural Adventure with Darrell and India Mount
Sicily’s Classical Art & Archeological
September 15-24, 2016
Join the Mounts for a classical tour through Sicily with its ancient Greek and Roman art and ruins. We will visit historic sites in Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa, Siracusa, and Taromina, as well as explore Mount Etna, cheese and wine estates, and the Aeolian islands.
And The Naples Extension
September 24-28, 2016
The post-trip extension will visit Naples and its world-renowned archeological artifacts: Pompeii, Capri, Amalfi, and Paestum. Join us for 2 extra days in Naples and 3 days in Sorrento.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Depart USA
Thursday, September 15, 2016 / Arrive Palermo
Upon arrival at Palermo airport we will be welcomed to Italy by our local English-speaking tour leader as we exit customs into the arrivals hall, and be transferred by private motorcoach to our hotel.
Rest of the afternoon at leisure
Tonight welcome dinner at the hotel Villa Igiea
Overnight: Hotel Villa Igiea for two nights.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will tour Monreale and Palermo city center. The first stop will be gorgeous Monreale, located on the outskirts of Palermo. We will see the stunning Cathedral and Cloisters overlooking the beautiful bay of Palermo.
The Cathedral of Monreale is one of the greatest extant examples of Norman architecture in the world. The cathedral interior contains the largest cycle of Byzantine mosaics in Italy gleaming with over 4,000 pounds of gold. The principal doorways and their pointed arches are magnificently enriched with carving and colored inlay, a curious combination of three styles – Norman-French, Byzantine and Arabic. The cloisters feature over 200 columns.
Lunch at leisure in Monreale
In the early afternoon we return to Palermo for a guided tour of the city center. Throughout much of western history, Sicily was the prize of the Mediterranean; a strategic crossroads at the heart of the sea, fought over by a mesmerizing succession of foreign rulers – Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, barbarians, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Hohenstaufen monarchs, Angevins, Aragonese, Bourbons and Savoie Kings. Nowhere, perhaps, is this richly layered history more evident than in Palermo, Sicily’s exotic capital. We begin our privately guided tour with a visit to Palermo’s Duomo, intriguingly built on the site of a Muslim mosque, which was built over an early Christian basilica. Next, we will explore the Quattro Canti (intersection of two thoroughfares, four baroque facades, columns and fountains in the heart of old Palermo) and the 12th century San Cataldo Church, with its Moorish-style architecture and La Martorana Church, decorated with beautiful Byzantine mosaics.
Tonight dinner at leisure in Palermo
Overnight: Hotel Villa Igiea
Saturday, September 17, 2016 / Palermo to Agrigento
After breakfast at the hotel we will meet our tour leader and motorcoach for our travel to Agrigento.
Today’s lunch at leisure
Agrigento was one of the richest of Greek colonies with a thriving democracy. We will tour the fascinating Valley of the Temples, the jewel of south-western Sicily. We can marvel at the impressive remains of five Doric temples honoring the gods Zeus, Hercules, Hera, Pollux and Castor, and the 2,000 year old Temple of Concord, one of the best preserved Greek temples found anywhere in the world. The area is resplendent with 1,000 year old olive trees, almond trees and different Mediterranean flora.
Tonight’s dinner at the Hotel Villa Athena
Overnight: Villa Athena for one night
Meals: B, D
Sunday, September 18, 2016 / Agrigento to Ragusa
After breakfast at the hotel we will travel to the amazing hill town of Ragusa.
Today’s lunch at leisure in Ragusa
In the early afternoon we will join a local guide for a walking tour of Ragusa, perhaps the most atmospheric town on the region. We will explore Ragusa Ibla, the ancient and tranquil part of the city. The sight of the jumble of houses, churches and civic palazzi piled on top of each other is really quite breath-taking. The town is part of the Val di Noto UNESCO Heritage site and 18 of its buildings are protected by UNESCO patronage, as for example the Saint Giorgio Church. It was built in 1738 by Rosario Gagliardo. It lies at the top of some 200 steps and has an impressive neoclassical dome that was added in 1820.
Dinner Eremo della Giubiliana
Overnight: Eremo della Giubiliana for two nights
Meals: B, D
Monday, September 19, 2016 / Ragusa
After breakfast at the hotel we tour the surrounding area.
We will visit a cheese producer in the Ragusa countryside to learn how cheese in produced and have lunch in the rustic farmhouse.
After lunch we travel to a wine estate to visit the cellars and taste the wine produced by the farm. The Dorilli wine estate stands in the heart of the production area of Cerasuolo di Vittoria, near the Dorilli River that inspired its name. The Dorilli wine cellar is the result of the renovation of a beautiful farmhouse dating back to the early 1900’s and has a wine cellar of the same period. The vineyards, entirely planted with Nero d’Avola and Frappato, span 34 hectares of reddish soils of fine and lightweight sand, that unmistakably characterize the unique aromatic profiles of the two wines produced at the winery.
Dinner Eremo della Giubiliana
Overnight: Eremo della Giubiliana
Meals: B, L, D
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for Siracusa and Taormina.
In Siracusa we visit the archeological area of Neapolis where we will explore the 16,000 seat Greek theater, one of the most important examples of ancient theater architecture in the world and once the center of Siracusan life. As a testament to its stature, it is said that the famous Greek playwright, Aeschylus, once premiered works here. It is still in use today. Sites also include the Roman Amphitheater and the Latonia del Paradiso, the impressive ancient stone quarries and caves – the most famous of which was named “the Ear of Dionysius” by Caravaggio for its peculiar acoustic qualities.
Lunch at leisure
In the afternoon a guided tour of ancient Siracusa called Ortigia, founded in 733 BC. Amazing sites include the Temple of Apollo and the Duomo which was formerly the Temple of Athena. The city’s most illustrative citizen was Archimedes, famous for his scientific theories such as the cogged wheel, the lever, geometry, displacement of liquids, volume of a sphere, and the relationship between circumference and diameter of a circle. The Church of Santa Lucia honors the patron saint of Siracusa.
Tonight’s dinner is at leisure as we explore and dine in this delightful area.
Overnight: San Domenico Hotel in Taormina for 4 nights
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 / Taormina / Etna
After breakfast, we take a fascinating jeep tour of the Mount Etna. Our jeep will pick us up directly at our hotel and lead us to the world-renown Mount Etna. We will see the Valle del Bove and lava grotto, stop at the Mountain Hut and continue with short trekking on the Sartourious Mountain craters. We continue by jeep to a farmhouse for a light lunch with typical dishes of the Sicilian tradition.
After lunch we take a two-hour guided tour of Taormina city center. The air in Sicily’s most glamorous spot is perfumed with the scent of orange and lemon blossom, and here we’ll find narrow streets full of local colors and flavor. Explore this little corner of paradise! A stroll through Taormina’s main street, Corso Umberto, reveals chic stores and plenty for history buffs. Visit the magnificent Greek Theater, whose unparalleled position offers spectacular views of Mt. Etna and the surrounding landscape.
Today’s dinner at leisure
Overnight: San Domenico Hotel
Meals: B, L
After breakfast at the hotel we visit a small village at the foot of Mount Etna where to experience a cooking lesson to learn how to prepare some typical dishes of the Sicilian tradition. At the end of the cooking lesson we will enjoy lunch with dishes prepared during the class.
And the end of the lunch we return to our hotel in Taormina to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in this spectacular gem.
Tonight’s dinner at leisure
Overnight at the hotel San Domenico
Meals: B, L
Friday, September 23, 2016 / Taormina / Milazzo
After an early breakfast we travel by private motorcoach to Milazzo to start our full day tour of the Aeolian Islands, an archipelago of islands each with a distinctive identity and beauty.
We depart by private motorboat from Milazzo Port and stop in Vulcano Island named after the Roman god Vulcano who was supposed to have lived here year round in the hot mud, fumaroles, and black sand beaches.
Just across a small canal (just over a mile) there is the second stop of our tour- the Island of Lipari. The island’s patron saint is St. Bartholomew. Upon arrival we will see the fortified town and the Town Hall, established in the former Franciscan monastery. Nearby are the two most famous bays: Marina Corta with the Church of the Souls of Purgatory, the seventeenth-century Church of St. Joseph, and, Marina Lunga the largest port.
Today’s lunch at leisure in Lipari.
After lunch we have some free time for exploring Lipari on our own.
In the mid-afternoon, we return to Milazzo by private motorboat and continue to Taormina by private motorcoach.
Tonight’s farewell dinner is at the hotel San Domenico.
Overnight: San Domenico Hotel
Saturday, September 24, 2016 / Depart from Catania Airport
After breakfast, we depart for Catania airport for departure home or the Amalfi extension.
For those returning to USA:
7:50am Depart Catania Air Italia #1744
9:15am Arrive Rome
10:15am Depart Rome Lufthansa #231
12:15pm Arrive Frankfurt
1:25pm Depart Frankfurt United #8878
3:35pm Arrive Denver
END OF SICILY TRIP
For those doing the Amalfi post trip:
(This flight and following itinerary is not included in your price)
12:05pm Depart Catania on Air Italia # 1708
1:25pm Arrive Naples
Upon arrival at Naples airport we will be welcomed to Campania Region by our local English speaking tour leader.
Panoramic drive through Naples to discover the hidden treasures of this lovely city. Enjoy a private visit to the Archeological Museum, one of the most important in Europe, which collects masterpieces of the various historical periods with special emphasis of the findings during the excavations of Pompei, Herculaneum and Stabiae, the three Roman cities buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 AD.
Tonight’s dinner at leisure.
Overnight: Mediterraneo Hotel for 4 nights
Today we visit the important ruins of Pompeii.
The extensive and varied ruins of Pompeii now provide us with a rich history of life at the time of the Roman Empire. Destroyed by the Mt. Vesuvius eruption in 79 B.C., this dugout treasure represents an amazing day trip. On view are temples, forums, amphitheaters, a brothel and the casts of the people killed by the falling ash and pumice stone. Pompeii offers an unparalleled window into the quotidian life of classical antiquity.
Lunch in a restaurant in Pompeii on your own.
In the early afternoon we continue the excursion climbing Mt. Vesuvius to the crater. The volcano crater is located almost at 4,000 feet above sea level and the visit depends on the weather conditions. By vehicle, it is possible to reach the level of 3000 feet and to admire the panorama. From here we will continue on foot to the top of the crater for a short visit.
In the mid-afternoon we return to Naples
Tonight dinner at leisure in Naples
Monday, September 26, 2016 / Capri
Private full day tour to Capri
A relaxed excursion to the Island of Capri with your private guide. The tour starts with a transfer from your hotel in Naples to the pier where you will board the fast jetfoil to the Island. Once on Capri, you will board your private vehicle for the island tour. Your guide will take you to Anacapri, the town on the top of the Island where you will have time at disposal to enjoy the shops or to climb to Monte Solaro by chair-lift. The tour will then continue to Capri town, where the guide will suggest a suitable venue for lunch. Here you will enjoy a walk to the Gardens of Augustus with a stunning view over the southern side of Capri. Return to Naples and to your Hotel in the afternoon.
Overnight: Hotel Mediterraneo Naples
Private full day tour to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
Enjoy a drive along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world . The first stop will be in Positano to enjoy the view of this jewel of the coast from the top. Continue the drive along the coast to Amalfi , the town which has given the name to this drive .Enjoy a walk around the town to see the lovely mosaic façade of St. Andrew’s Cathedral and then climb to Ravello . This delightful quiet village has inspired artists from all over the world- Wagner and Gore Vidal to name just two. Enjoy some time at your disposal for an optional lunch overlooking the sea. Return to Naples..
Lunch at leisure
Overnight: Mediterraneo Hotel, Naples
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
For those returning to USA:
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to the Naples airport.
Not included in the Amalfi post trip but available & for those doing the Paestem day trip with Darrell and India:
After breakfast at the hotel those doing Paestem will depart via train, on your own, for full day excursion to Paestum (approximately two plus hours).
Paestum is the most important ancient Greek site south of Naples in Campania. The Greeks who founded this city on the edge of the Piana del Sele in the 6th century BC, knew it as Poseidonia, the city of Poseidon. The Romans renamed it in 273BC. Unfortunately it fell into decline and was abandoned in the 9th century due to malaria and a Saracen assault. It was then rediscovered in the 18th century.
Today Paestum’s most important attractions are its three enormous surviving Doric temples: Basilica of Temple Hera I (mid-6th century BC,) the Temple of Neptune (5th century), the largest and most complete at Paestum, and the Temple of Ceres, thought to date between its two neighbors. Excavations have revealed the remains of the ancient city, its public and religious buildings, roads and protective walls. A museum contains the extensive finds from the site including tomb paintings, tomb treasures, some terracotta offerings, architectural fragments and sculpture.
Today’s lunch in a restaurant in Paestum on your own.
In the late afternoon transfer back via train to Naples.
Tonight’s dinner at leisure in Naples
Overnight: Hotel Mediterraneo – Naples
Thursday, September 29, 2016
After breakfast at the hotel we take our private minibus from the hotel in Sorrento to Naples airport.
Pricing for Amalfi Post $1340.00 based on double occupancy
Single Supplement $380.00
Sicily Land Only Double Occupancy $4899.00 or 4349Euro (exchange .89)
9 nights 4 star hotels, all transfers, tours, professional guides, admissions, 1 cooking class, 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners.
Single Supplement $1650.00 (if you want your own private room)
1464.84 Euro based on .89 rate.
Exclusions: Trip cancellation/interruption insurance, air to and from Sicily,items of personal expenditure are excluded. Group insurance will be available at a very reasonable cost including cancel for any reason. Gratuities are excluded but may be collected ahead of trip.
International Air: approximately $1800.00
Domestic Air from Catania to Naples is not included in this price
Pricing for Naples Extension $1340.00
This will depend on how many take the post trip option.
Pricing for Paestem Day Trip with Darrell and India via train on your own
Important Notice for this trip
Please note on the application the payment schedule and the non refundability of payments. For this reason we strongly encourage trip cancellation/interruption insurance in case you are unable, for a medical reason, to travel to Sicily.
This trip is expected to be extremely popular, so we encourage you to sign up early to not be disappointed!
Abercrombie and Kent Italy will be operating this trip in conjunction with its local partners in Sicily.
updated 2 22 16