• 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
Depart London Gatwick 0605 on Easyjet, arriving Palermo 0955. Transfer to Palermo for three nights at Hotel Plaza Opera.
Morning: National Archaeological Museum, Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita, churches of La Martorana and San Cataldo and Phoenician wall. Afternoon excursion to ancient site of Solunto followed by Sicilian puppet show (recognised by UNESCO as part of World Intangible Cultural Heritage).
Short morning talk followed by Palermo Cathedral (exterior) and Palazzo dei Normanni (Palatine Chapel). Continue to Monreale for visit to cathedral.
Morning: Segesta (including temple and theatre). Continue to Marinella for visit to Selinunte. Transfer to Agrigento for two nights at Colleverde Park Hotel.
Short morning talk followed by visits in Agrigento: Temple Ridge, Archaeological Museum 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.
Whole day excursion to ancient Naxos (early Greek colony) and Taormina (Greco-Roman theatre with superb coastal views). Free evening.
Short morning talk followed by visits in Syracuse: Catacomb of San Giovanni, Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum and Archaeological Park. Early evening walking tour of Ortygia including sacred spring of Arethusa and Piazza Duomo (Temple of Athena).
Morning: 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.
Depart Catania 1210 on British Airways, arriving Gatwick 1430.
10 May — 19 May 2022
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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.
OVERNIGHT STAY AT GATWICK AIRPORT
Owing to the early flight time on Day 1, we are able to offer an additional overnight stay at Gatwick Airport on May 9 for those who wish, at no extra cost. Please let our Sales team know if you would like us to arrange this for you when you make your booking.
For customers who wish to make their own travel arrangements, ACE is pleased to be able to offer a flight reduction of £200.
Tour director Oliver Kenzie writes,
“Sicily teeters on the fault line between the colliding tectonic forces of the ancient and medieval world’s most powerful states – there are few places where the melting pot of colonisation, conquest and cultural exchange is as palpable. Fully enclosed within the Mediterranean basin of ancient commerce, it is no wonder that antiquity’s two chief seafarers – the Phoenicians and the Greeks – sought out Sicily as a land of opportunity. A millennium of harassment, invasion and occupation followed, but left in its wake a gloriously diverse material culture that barely seems to fit all on one island. This is the brilliance of Sicily, and this tour, traversing coast-to-coast, unpacks it all: from Greek temples to Baroque cathedrals and everything in between. I’d come to Sicily for the temples alone – especially the golden columns of Selinunte – but they’re ‘one a penny’ here, and you can decide on this tour which is your favourite!”
Cost of £2995 includes: return airfare, overnight accommodation (room only) at a London Gatwick Airport hotel on May 9, tour 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 £315.