Sicily: an island, a whole continent
A tour to discover the fascination, richness and beauty of this incredible island with its antique and diversified historic and cultural heritage – ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman and Spanish– including some of the most ancient Jewish communities of Europe.
This is one of the very few places in the world where you will be able to see old churches that were turned into mosques during the Arab domination and then turned again into churches with the arrival of the Normans, in an incredible superimposition of symbols and writings still to be seen nowadays.
Like any of our Tours it can be shortened or extended. For the latter option, we invite you to have a look at all our Tours which, either partially or totally could be added to this tour.
We invite you also to check our list of 1 extra day options and additional activities that are offered with each tour (extra cost to be advised upon request).
After visiting Italy’s beauties, if you might be interested in continuing your trip to Israel please bear in mind that we have a strong partnership with GO ASIA tour operator (https://www.goasia.it/destinazioni/israele/).
LOCATIONS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
Palermo; Monreale; Erice; Trapani; Marsala’s salt mines; Agrigento; Taormina; Etna Volcano; Catania; Siracusa;
ELEMENTS OF INTEREST INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
1) Jewish Heritage;
2) Art cities;
3) “Minor Italy”: places off the main tourist map, but that are worth visiting for their beauty and their typical Italian characteristics and atmosphere.
4) Nature and landscapes;
5) Glamour, shopping
Arrival in Palermo, private transfer from the airport to the hotel. Check-in and accommodation at the hotel Principe di Villafranca. In the afternoon we will a first taste of the beauties of Palermo during a walking tour. Palermo is the chief town of Sicily, its Cathedral of the XII century hosts royal tombs and the imposing neoclassical Teatro Massimo famous for its concerts and opera shows. In the centre of the city you will find the Palazzo dei Normanni from the IX century and the Cappella Palatina, with Byzantine mosaics. We will experience also the typical atmosphere of some of the oldest and characteristic street markets of Palermo, like Vucciria and Ballarò. Dinner with Kosher meals in the evening and overnight. We might take also the typical 3 wheels “Ape” scooters to explore some parts of the city.
Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with our guide to start visiting the town. Our first stop will be in the quarter of the Kalsa which was during the Arab domination the fortified area where the Sultan and his ministers lived. at the homonymous square, to see the Church of La Magione with its garden and cloister where are visible several inscriptions in Hebrew. We will continue our walk through the old Jewish quarter of La Meschita. Packed lunch with Kosher meals. In the afternoon we will visit theparish of “Santa Maria del Sabato” which recently was loaned for use as a Synagogue by the Palermo archibishop. We will then visit the castle of the Zisa, with Jewish inscriptions and symbols and the Duomo di Monreale, a beautiful church of the XII century with frescoes representing scenes of the Old Testament. In the evening we will come back to the hotel for our dinner with Kosher meals and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. We will start our day by visiting the ancient walled town of Erice, whose origin are lost in time. We will walk through its alleys full of shops and artisans making traditional items, enjoying the delicious smells coming from the many bread shops baking local delicacies and we will stop at the local Museum where is on display the only gravestone that survived the ages and an ancient Roman oil lamp showing an engraved Menorah. We will continue towards Trapani to explore this famous port city, its market and its ancient Jewish quarter that used to host famous Talmud school. Packed lunch after which we will visit some of the famous and beautiful “saline” where salt is still extracted from water using ancient technique dating back to the Greek time. Then we will visit the “Tapestry museum” of Marsala which has on display some beautifull tapestries illustrating scenes of the Jewish-Roman war. Accommodation at the Hotel Baia di Ulisse in Agrigento in the evening, dinner with Kosher meals and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel, we will spend our day at the Valle dei Templi: a remarkable archaeological area of Sicily for its exceptional conservation status and the presence of many important Doric temples of the Hellenic period. This place was the ancient Akragas, the monumental original core of the modern city of Agrigento, nowadays is a regional archaeological park. Packed lunch with Kosher meals, we will continue our journey visiting the ancient Sinagoga dell’Agira with a stone portal of the Aron HaKodesh with inscriptions in Hebrew. In the evening we will arrive in Taormina for our accommodation at the hotel Villa Diodoro, dinner with Kosher meals and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel and visit to the Etna Volcano with its lava fields. The Etna volcano is the highest active volcano in the Eurasian plaque. Trip on a 4x4 Jeep with the possibility also of hiking around the area. Magnificent views of most of the Sicilian south eastern coast line stretching from Taormina to Catania. We will stop for a packed picnic lunch either on the volcano itself or back in Taormina where in the afternoon we will meet our guide and start exploring this ancient town perched on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean sea founded by the Greeks about 3,000 years ago and which retained its charm and attractiveness throughout the centuries for intellectuals, artists, poets and philosophers. We will walk through the old Jewish Ghetto until the ancient Greek-Roman Teatro Antico in its incredible locations overlooking the sea and where concerts are still held. We will cross the narrow sand strip connecting the main land to the tiny Isola Bella today a natural reserve. Before returning to the hotel, we will have the opportunity to participate to a lesson on making a typical Sicilian pizza. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and visit to the medieval village Savoca, where the Sicilian scenes of the movie “The Godfather” have been shot. Visit to Castello Ursino, built in 1250 and former royal palace as well as seat of the Parliament. Packed Kosher lunch and visit to the typical Mercato dell’Ortigia in Syracuse, the Roman ruins, the ancient Jewish quarter, the Synagogue and the recently found Mikveh. We will continue the visit to the Bellomo Gallery with tombstones from the ancient local Jewish graveyard. Shabbat dinner at the hotel, accommodation and overnight in Syracuse at the Grand Hotel Ortigia.
Breakfast at the hotel Shabat service and optional activities day such as boat tour along the coast exploring its sea caves, urban archaeological tour, bike tour. Packed Kosher lunch, accommodation at the Palace Luxury hotel in the evening, gala dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the Catania airport.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||2 participants||4 participants||6 participants|
|From 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023||€ 3,900||€ 2,700||€ 2,300|
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (we are open to satisfy any additional request you might have):
1) BIKE/QUAD TOURS;
3) COOKING CLASSES;
4) CONCERTS AT TAORMINA’S ANCIENT GREEK THEATRE (in season).
KOSHER MEALS: starting from 640€ per person. Full-board with kosher certified pre-packaged meals, throughout the whole trip.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1680 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1400 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 2000 - Excluding flights
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