Palermo, Salina, Lipari, Taormina, Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Agrigento, Mt. Etna, Stromboli, Cefalù, Monreale, Erice
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Idyllic beaches, enchanting ancient mythology, breathtaking islands, and a welcoming culture will define your custom-tailored tour of Italy that captures the incredible culture and history of Sicily. You will be delighted by the legendary cuisine and the fantastic coastal scenery as you follow dramatic trails to volcanic craters and wander along labyrinthine-cobbled lanes to reach aristocratic piazzas. Alluring Norman architecture and Arab designs will become distinctive features that will connect...
Palermo – Arrive in the Captivating and Welcoming Capital of Sicily
The city of Palermo captures the history and culture of Sicily along the edges of Via Vittorio Emanuele. The magnificent architecture and vibrant ambiance along the skyline are decorated with palm trees and Arabesque domes, and the unique heritage of the city highlights thousands of years of history at the center of Mediterranean.
Your flight will arrive at Falcone Borsellino International Airport, where your private transfer will greet you at customs. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure to enjoy the exuberant beauty and welcoming embrace of the city. The busy market will heave with exotic aromas that derive from fresh seafood and delicious fried rice balls known as arancini, as well as fresh meats, olives, and cheeses vendors who will happily offer samples.
Day 2 - 4
Palermo – Discover Historic Palermo and Nearby Coastal Charm
Your time in the heart of Sicily’s capital city will unveil the threads of the past and the captivating culture of contemporary life. Exploring the streets of the city will reveal a golden light that glints against the historic stones of the Norman Palace and Palermo. The twelfth-century religious center is located on the central floor of the Norman Palace’s three-tiered logia. The interior shimmers with stunning gilded mosaics and inlaid marble floors that are accented with a graceful wooden ceiling. Your guide will point out the excellent and intricate details of the artistic work while focusing on recounting the Old Testament, pivotal scenes from the Crusades, and a powerful image of Christ the Pantocrator.
The Archeological Museum will contain an incredible selection of artifacts from around the Mediterranean that date back to Egyptian and Phoenician objects that were crafted in 3,238 BC. Your guide will lead you through the terracotta decoration taken from a temple at Selinunte, displaying classical sculptures that date back to the sixth century BC. A panel of friezes depicts the Gods of Delphi, a sphinx, and one trial of Hercules during which he battled the Cretan bull. A bronze image of Ephebe was constructed around 470 BC and stands at the center of the room at over 33 inches tall.
The gorgeous coastal town of Cefalù combines fine beaches with the beautiful allure of Arab-Norman architecture. Public piazzas will highlight the medieval architecture that is emphasized by the elaborate churches and cobbled lanes. Mosaics add color, and vibrant storytelling to the dramatic cathedral and the mountainous backdrop contrasts the shimmering turquoise hues of the Mediterranean Sea. The dramatic, craggy rock face of La Rocca stands over 885 feet above sea level and was once crowned by the Arab citadel. A winding staircase leads up the hillside following the tiered walls of the former city and will provide a stunning panoramic view of Cefalù, the Piazza Garibaldi, and the layered blue hues of the water.
Day 5 - 8
Malfa – Explore Salina’s Untouched Beauty and Natural History
The town of Malfa will become your tranquil hideaway on the wild Northern coast of Salina. The colorful emerald hues of the landscape will contrast with the exposed volcanic terrain of the neighboring Aeolian Islands. Here, trails will lead to freshwater springs that welcome woodlands, and blossoming wildflowers. Lush grapevines will stretch across the hillsides, ending at epic coastal cliffs that look down on fascinating breakwater.
The island paradise will provide a trekking wonderland for active travelers with trails that lead to the edges of the fascinating extinct volcanic peaks. You will follow the trails alongside your naturalist guide and will reach the summit of Mount Fossa delle Felci and the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito. The summit reaches approximately 3,156 feet above sea level and overlooks the valley, sparkling azure waters of the Mediterranean, and views to Mt. Etna on Sicily. The marvelous violets and wild asparagus provide a herbaceous aroma covering the hillside, while also offering views down to the Lingua salt lagoon.
Using Malfa as a base, you can visit magnificent Stromboli, a volcanic island reaching 3,031 feet above sea level. The Tyrrhenian Sea will glisten in the sunlight, as it juxtaposes the brown and black rocky surface. You can follow the trails leading 1,312 feet without guidance but will require a guide to travel farther up the summit. Proof of settlements on the island have been found in the form of artifacts and established towns that date back to the Neolithic era. At night, visitors and locals on the island enjoy the Sciara del Fuoco, or Stream of Fire, which consists of a controlled eruption that lights up the night and drips magma into the large horse-shoe shaped depression.
Day 9 - 11
Lipari – Indulge in the Island Grandeur and Culture of Lipari
The town of Lipari stands on the picturesque coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea with pastel-colored facades that are bordered by steep cliffs and windswept highlands. Views along the soaring shoreline can approach 985 feet above sea level. You will then travel to the majestic Archeological Eóliano museum. Here, exhibits will display artifacts that date back to the eleventh century BC with burial urns and amphorae that have been excavated from shipwrecks along the island coasts. Relaxing on Spiaggia Valle i Muria will provide a secluded hideaway near a rustic cave that is complete with a beach bar. Boats can transfer locals and visitors to the pebbled bank, or you can follow the trail through the rugged landscape and long grass that is hidden by undulating rocks.
Visiting a local wine museum will take you deep into the history of the important cultural flavors of the island. The civic museum will offer a touch of heritage in producing the Malvasia delle Lipari, which is a sweet wine cultivated on the island and exported around the world. Boutique shops in town will boast the traditional wines that offer tastings and pairings. The white grapes have a sweet, acidic juice and provide aromatics that are similar to wild herbs and dried apricots, and sampling the wine pairs well with spicy or fatty foods such as excellent aged cheeses found in town.
Day 12 - 15
Taormina – Enjoy Mt. Etna, Agrigento, and Lovely Taormina
The town of Taormina will shine with an aristocratic ambiance of baroque architecture that is perched on a mountainside that overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea nearly 670 feet above sea level. A guided tour of the city will take you along the cobbled lanes that follow the foundations of the fourth-century BC set by Greek settlers. The street of Corso Umberto I will contain boutique stores and the tenth-century charm of Palazzo Corvaja. The twelfth-century clock tower decorates the skyline above Piazza IX Aprile where cafes and restaurants can provide a festive ambiance. The ancient Greek theater at the edge of town will host an impressive view of Mt. Etna with a diameter of 390 feet wide at the stage floor. The foundations date back to the third century BC and represent a combination of Greek and Roman designs.
Venturing to the slopes of Mt. Etna will provide a different perspective of Sicily. The landscape will shift from lush greenery with grapevines, citrus orchards, and olive groves, to the craggy lunar scenery near the summit. A gorgeous view of the surrounding landscape will emerge as you travel by gondola up the Rifugio Sapienza at 8,202 feet above sea level. Fumaroles will puff with smoke along the upper-levels of the summit with an awe-inspiring landscape that is sprawled along the Valle del Bove, a large caldera shaped like a horseshoe.
The Valley of the Temples outside the contemporary city of Agrigento possesses the enchanting atmosphere that derives from ancient temples. Tempio di Giove boasts Doric columns that stand 65 feet tall. The crowning gem of the valley captivates visitors from around the world remains the Temple of Concordia, which was first erected in the fifth century BC.
Day 16 - 17
Syracuse – Traverse the Ancient Life and Ruins of Syracuse
The ancient and modern city of Syracuse has earned its reputation as the oldest and best-preserved settlement in Sicily with catacombs, temples, and artifacts that date back to the ancient Greeks. The staggering theater in the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis was erected in 470 BC using the natural gradient of the hillside to support 61 rows that can hold 15,000 spectators. Syracuse retains a timelessness in view of the sparkling blue sea that is captured in the fresh water as it bubbles into the pool of the Fontana Aretusa. The historic city walls lead to the fifteenth-century gate and are adorned with Spanish and Moorish decoration that represents the changing city through the centuries.
Day 18 - 20
Syracuse - Discover the Baroque Towns of Noto, Ragusa, and Modica
Noto will shine with ornate architectural charms that will line the main avenue of Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Palaces, churches, and elegant piazzas will radiate a light golden sheen throughout the day with the captivating peachy glow of the refurbished dome of the Cathedral of San Nicolò. The medieval aesthetic of Modica carries on the aristocratic beauty of Sicily with treasured churches and marvelous museum exhibits that represent the diverse history of the municipality. The upper-level of the town’s hillside location contains the Church of San Giorgio.
The tangled, sloping alleyways of Ragusa will lead to handsome palaces that line aristocratic squares, connecting the upper and lower neighborhoods on the plateau. The neo-Gothic castle hosts a collection of fashionable costumes that depict the history of European nobility. Ball gowns, uniforms, and military garments will add to the growing ambiance that highlights the belle-époque. The archeological museum contains artifacts from ancient times and the Greek settlements such as ceramics and mosaic floors.
Syracuse – Depart for Home
In the morning, the fresh fruits and vegetables will shine brightly along the cobblestone streets in the outdoor market, and the aromas of oranges, lemons, persimmons, and olives will permeate the air beneath the cafes of Piazza del Duomo. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and will escort you to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport for your flight home, bringing an end to your fascinating, three-week exploration of Sicily.
- Venture to the top of Mt. Etna with a naturalist guide to view the smoking fumaroles and captivating lunar landscape of the active crater
- Wander the captivating ambiance that derives from the remaining ancient ruins in the protected archeological park of Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples
- Indulge in the secluded natural beauty of Salina, one of the Aeolian Islands, which is home to charming towns, dramatic panoramas, and majestic volcanic peaks
- Discover the grandiose golden mosaics and fascinating frescoes that cover the walls, ceilings, and domes of Palermo’s Palatine Chapel
- Enjoy the tranquil beaches and majestic waters along the Tyrrhenian Sea on the island of Lipari
- Venture to the active summit of Stromboli Volcano with a guide for a nightly view of erupting magma that fills the sky like fireworks
- Embrace the refined aesthetic of baroque architecture that decorates the preserved towns of Noto, Ragusa, and Modica
- View the epic Greek and Roman theaters on the edges of Taormina and Syracuse
- Sample the historical wine that represents the ancient heritage and continued wine culture on Lipari island
Your three-week tour of Italy will highlight the marvels of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, bringing coastal beauty, historical charisma, and the panoramic views of volcanic craters to the forefront of your luxurious discovery. Your guided tours and comfortable accommodations will celebrate the natural beauty of the landscape and the marvelous history that stretches back to Magna Graecia by the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient and contemporary crossroads display diverse cultural treasures and craggy mountains that are emphasized by Byzantine and Baroque architecture.
Your fantastic vacation in Sicily will begin with your arrival in Palermo and four days discovering the capital. With a flamboyant ambiance that emanates from the frescoed domes and Byzantine mosaics, lively markets, and Gothic palaces, Palermo will become a masterful combination of past and present culture. The historic chapels will boast gilded artworks, and the nearby seaside towns will reflect a different aesthetic that is focused on the marine life important to ancient trade and modern cuisine.
The Aeolian Islands will become your featured home-base for seven days between Salina and Lipari. The water and volcanic peaks will become your backdrops with colorful towns that are hidden on the slopes, in the valleys, and along the coastal edges of the isolated islands. Traversing the idyllic landscapes will take you on guided tours to view nightly eruptions, serene village life, gorgeous nature reserves, or giant sea stacks. Local museums will contain unique artifacts from ancient settlements, as well as galleries dedicated to the antique grapevines that are integral to the culture of the island.
The main island of Sicily will capture your imagination during the final days of your tour. The final days are split between the seaside cities of Taormina and Syracuse. The coastal cities will provide easy access to the captivating baroque architecture of towns like Noto, Ragusa, and Modica, as well as ancient Greek theaters and temples that have been preserved through time. Their coastal settings will feature crystal-clear turquoise waters and historic streets that will be lined with stunning architectural designs. Learn more about the Italy travel agents you could be working with, whom we have personally vetted to be one of the best in the industry.
$5,770 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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