Visiting the wonders of Sicily in just one week: is it possible? Follow us on this magnificent tour to discover the island, its flavors, its history, its culture and the heritage of humanity recognized by UNESCO.
During this tour you will find yourself catapulted to the island of Sicily, one of the greatest beauties of the Mediterranean Sea, rich in history, art, traditions, culture and a great culinary heritage. An itinerary to discover the entire island, from the east side to the west side: all in a single week.
Day 1 and 2: Catania, Syracuse and Noto
The first stop on your trip will be Catania. You will arrive at one of the most important centers on the eastern coast of Sicily where you will head to the hotel in the intended location. Like any magnificent tour, you will be welcomed by the staff, the guide and the tour manager for a brief explanation of the entire itinerary enjoyed together with a welcome cocktail, which will anticipate a first Italian dinner. The following day, after breakfast at the hotel, you will head south-east to discover Syracuse, famous for its fortified historic center located on the nearby island connected by two bridges: the Island of Ortigia. The major centers of historical interest on this small surface surrounded by water are the Temple of Minerva and the Fountain of Arethusa, the Greek Theater, the Roman Amphitheater, the Latomie and the Ear of Dionysus. Due to its great historical wealth, the city of Syracuse was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. After lunch, in the afternoon the tour to discover south-eastern Sicilian history will continue towards Noto defined as the "capital of the Baroque": it's no coincidence that the historic center that you will visit during your afternoon stay, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2002, preserves intact civil and religious architecture in Baroque style of enormous value.
Day 3: Catania and Cefalù
Day dedicated to Catania and the visit of its promenade and its historic center which, just like the already visited centers of Syracuse and Noto, for its Baroque architectural heritage is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After a complete visit of the center, you will have at your disposal a wide range of street food to taste typical Catania specialties, such as arancino, and desserts such as brioches with ice cream and granita. In the late morning the journey continues towards Cefalù, located on the northern coast of Sicily. Belonging to the club of the most beautiful Italian villages in Italy, the town stands at the foot of a rocky promontory and is one of the most important seaside and tourist centers in the entire region. I would spend your lunch in this jewel of the Tyrrhenian Sea and then dedicate yourself to the complete visit of the village having some free time, before leaving in the late afternoon to the west, to discover new beauties of the island.
Day 4: Palermo and Monreale
Breakfast at the hotel and then discover the capital of Sicily: Palermo. Italian capital of culture in 2018 and geographically positioned to the west of the northern coast of Sicily, Palermo hosts a serial site declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: these are nine artistic-monumental assets (two palaces, three cathedrals, four ponte) of Arab-Norman architecture during the Norman period in Sicily, seven kept in the city of Palermo and one each in Cefalù and Monreale, a town bordering the Sicilian capital that you will visit in the late morning. The whole day will be free to allow you to discover every corner of the city and taste the traditional and local culinary specialties.
Day 5: Erice, Marsala and Agrigento
A day full of excursions starting to discover Erice, a town located on the mountain of the same name, where you will visit the historic fortified city center during which you will taste the typical almond paste sweets. After a stop of a few hours, you will leave for Marsala where you will stop for a curious visit to a cooperative winery with wine and typical products tasting. At the end of the tasting and the following lunch, in the early afternoon a bus will take you from the west back to the east, to discover Agrigento also called the "city of temples", given the presence of the archaeological area of the Valley of the Temples which preserves a whole of Doric temples dating back to the ancient Greek domination which, in 1997, were included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Day 6: Piazza Armerina and Acireale
The itinerary continues that from the west will take you back to the east coast, with an obligatory passage to Piazza Armerina, for a brief visit of the historic center and the Villa Romana del Casale. The city still retains clear medieval references, in contrast to a carefully painted historic center from a Baroque and Norman architectural style. The Villa Romana del Casale has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 thanks to its famous mosaics. After lunch, you will leave to discover Acireale, a town just north of Catania which, just like Piazza Armerina and the nearby towns, preserves clear architectural references in the Baroque style.
Day 7 and 8: Etna and Taormina
The last whole day will be destined to discover the wildest and highest nature of the whole of Sicily, and then continue towards sea level, towards one of the most famous places on the entire island. After breakfast at the hotel, a bus will drive you 1900 meters high towards Etna, the ancient active volcano and the highest in the Eurasian plate. A service in the protected area will allow you to visit the main surrounding craters. During the excursion you will stop at a local restaurant for lunch and for an exclusive honey tasting. In the early afternoon you will move to Taormina, a place where a perfect mix of natural landscapes and historical monuments reigns, such as the ancient Greek-Roman theater, classified as the second largest in the entire island. You will have free time to enjoy the colorful city center rich in art, history and culture, without neglecting of course small shops where you can buy unique souvenirs of the area. The next day you will leave the island, aware that you have visited the whole of Sicily from east to west in 7 days.