• Step into the Villa del Casale to view its stunning Roman mosaics, widely regarded as one of the richest collections in the world
• Uncover remarkable architectural fusions, from William II’s Norman-Byzantine cathedral of Monreale to the Palatine Chapel in Palermo, resplendent with Byzantine mosaics
• Syracuse offers a wealth of cultural delights including the Archaeological Park with its Roman amphitheatre, Greek theatre and forbidding quarries
classical archaeologist and author
Depart London Gatwick 0700 on Easyjet, arriving Catania 1105. Transfer to Palermo for three nights at Eurostars Centrale Palace Hotel.
Morning introductory talk followed by Palermo Cathedral and Palazzo dei Normanni (Palatine Chapel). Continue to Monreale for visit to cathedral (including cloister).
Morning: churches of La Martorana and San Cataldo, Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita and National Archaeological Museum. Afternoon excursion to ancient site of Solunto followed by Sicilian puppet show (recognised by UNESCO as part of World Intangible Cultural Heritage).
Morning: Segesta, including temple and theatre. Continue to Marinella for visit to Selinunte. Transfer to Agrigento for two nights at Colleverde Park Hotel.
Morning talk followed by visits in Agrigento: temple ridge, Museo Archaeologico and adjoining excavation areas.
Transfer to Piazza Armerina for Villa del Casale (famous for its remarkable mosaic floors depicting hunting scenes, mythological characters and sporting events) and Morgantina archaeological site. Continue to Syracuse for four nights at Grand Hotel Ortigia. Free evening.
Morning talk followed by visits in Syracuse: Catacomb of San Giovanni, Museo Archaeologico Paolo Orsi, Archaeological Park. Early evening walking tour of Ortygia including sacred spring of Arethusa and Piazza Duomo (Temple of Athena).
Whole day excursion to ancient Naxos (early Greek colony) and Taormina (Greco-Roman theatre with superb coastal views). Free evening.
Visit to Temple of Apollo followed by excursion to town of Noto (fine example of Sicilian Baroque architecture). Afternoon: Villa del Tellaro (4th century with fine mosaics) and Castello Maniace.
Free morning. Transfer to Catania for 1630 departure, arriving Gatwick 1855.
13 May — 22 May 2020
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What did you particularly enjoy?
"To be in the centre of Palermo and Syracuse was magical - it enabled us to wander around."
This tour requires a good level of fitness as it involves a significant amount of walking. Please note that many sites have uneven ground or require walking through low-lying vegetation. The tour is taken at a pace that allows for breaks and reflection.
Cost of £2895 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, two lunches, seven dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £575.
Own flight reduction: £180.