SICILIAN ADVENTURE TOUR BY BILL GENOVA OCT 13TH TO 23RD.

TOUR ITINERARY

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FALL TOUR.

GENOVA’S GRAND TOUR OF SICILIA

OCT12TH TO OCT 22ND 2017*

 

 

THURSDAY OCT 12TH, DAY ONE

 

ARRIVAL

At Palermo Airport 4:30 p.m. Drive to Hotel.

 

SUPPER

Suggestion unusual old Sicilian style food at Trattoria Tipica Altri Tempi, Via Sammartine 65-67, Palermo  091 323 480

 

EVENING

We might either do a walking tour or a van tour of downtown Palermo that evening.

 

HOTEL

Hotel Porta Felice

Via Butera 45

90133 Palermo, Italy

+39 091 617.56.78

info@hotelportafelice.it

http://hotelportafelice.it/en/

 

FRIDAY OCT 13TH, DAY TWO

 

MORNING

 

We will start at the City Council Square, which has been adorned for more than 400 years with the Pretoria Fountain. Close by is the Piazza Bellini. There we admire the two small Norman churches La Martorana and San Cataldo, architectural jewels from Medieval times.

 

We then visit the baroque square Quattro Canti right in the heart of the old city. We move up the street to the Palermo Cathedral. This monumental edifice from the 12th century has been rebuilt several times since. Through the Bonanno Park with its palm trees, an artificially created oasis in to the Norman Royal Palace with its Palatine Chapel of King Roger II famous for its Byzantine mosaics and wooden Arabic Muqarna-ceiling.

 

We will also walk through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter and its fascinating remains. We will visit to the site of the Synagogue and with the help of some descriptions made by Jewish mediaeval travelers, we will discover the biggest Jewish community of Palermo.

 

Travel over the famous Teatro Massimo and its restaurant district.

 

LUNCH

A restaurant the group agrees to or on your own.

 

AFTERNOON

 

Travel 15 km to the Cathedral of Monreale which is one of the greatest examples of Norman architecture in the world. The monumental complex, consisting of the Basilica, the monastery and the Royal Palace was built in the twelfth century. The interior of the church has scenes from the Bible in golden mosaics while the monastery's open court yard is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The church is a national monument of Italy and one of the most important attractions of Sicily.

 

 

SUPPER

A restaurant the group agrees to or on your own.

 

EVENING

Free to wander on your own.

 

HOTEL

Hotel Porta Felice

Via Butera 45

90133 Palermo, Italy

+39 091 617.56.78

info@hotelportafelice.it

http://hotelportafelice.it/en/

 

 

SATUDAY, OCT 14TH, DAY TWO

 

MORNING

 

Visit to Market. Walking Tour visiting Palermo the capital of Sicily, one of the richest towns in Sicily for history, tradition and art. We will start the visit to “Mercato del Capo-Capo Market”, a large street market that captures some of the spirit of the city’s Saracens past. The most colourful part of this market converges around Piazza Beati Paoli and the stalls wind toward the old gate, Porta Carini that used to be part of the city wall surrounding Palermo.

 

LUNCH

Eat in Market or Monreale.

 

AFTERNOON

 

 Drive to Trapani visit Segesta on the way.

 

Segesta It looks as if it were built yesterday. Segesta's ancient Greek temple can make a valid claim to being the best preserved in the world, and its amphitheatre boasts a hilltop position on Mount Barbaro second to none. The archeological site, about seventy kilometers southwest of Palermo, reflects the presence of several ancient civilizations, beginning with the elusive Elymians. While the magnificent Doric temple, though (strictly speaking) never completed - as the roof was never added and the pillars never fluted - is impressive, it is just the highlight of a large archeological park

 

SUPPER

On your own or I can recommend any number of places on the main street.

 

EVENING

We are one block from the pedestrianized main street of Trapani called Corso Vittorio Emanuele, or sometimes Rua Grande by the locals. Many elegant baroque buildings are found along this street, which makes for a grand promenade. At the eastern end of the street is the Palazzo Senatorio, the 17th-century town hall, done up in pinkish marble. The street is oriented east to west. On a certain day the sun rises at the east end of the street and sets at the west end of the street.

HOTEL

HOTEL LA GANCIA

http://www.lagancia.com/en/Trapani-Sicily-Italy-and-surroundings.aspx

 

 

SUNDAY, OCT 15TH, DAY FOUR

 

MORNING

Visit village of Erice a spectacular, naturally fortified position high above the natural harbour of Trapani, that it is not surprising that the site has been occupied for millennia. It's perhaps not surprising either, that with the crag's veil of shifting clouds and air of mystery it was an important sacred site. There was a temple of Venus here which outlasted the different civilizations holding sway in the area. The female divinity to which the shrine was dedicated changed slightly with each culture: Astarte for the Phoenicians, Aphrodite for the Greeks and Venus for the Romans. Fertility rites would probably have taken place on or around the temple site, at the highest point of the town.

Erice was probably founded by the Elymians, a native Sicilian people who also built the nearby town and temple of Segesta. After the Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, the town was later ruled by the Arab, then the Norman rulers of Sicily. For the Arabs it was Gebel-Hamed, for the Normans and their successors Monte San Giuliano, then in the 1930s the town became one of several in Italy to be renamed under Mussolini in honour of its ancient past, and Monte San Giuliano, formerly Eryx, became Erice. Nowadays as well as Catholic churches there are also monuments to new gods on the heights of Erice: gigantic   communications masts.

LUNCH

Restaurant in Erice

 

AFTERNOON

 

Travel along the coast passing some of Europe's oldest salt marshes, and is still home to some of the windmills once used to drain water from the basins (containing ponds). Drawing salt from water remains a slow process, similar to desalination, something talked about more and more with the serious water supply problems confronting Sicily. The evaporation procedure utilizes the flat marshlands of Trapani's coast and the long, dry Sicilian summers.

 

The new city, Gibellina Nuova, was rebuilt some 11 kilometres (7 mi) distant from the old one. The new city was designed by many of the most prominent artists and architects in Italy, but done in a piecemeal fashion so that the parts of the new city bear little relation to one another or to the indigenous architecture of Sicily.

 

Time allowing passing through Salemi and the ancestral home of your guide Vita.

 

SUPPER

In Trapani

 

EVENING

 

HOTEL

HOTEL LA GANCIA

http://www.lagancia.com/en/Trapani-Sicily-Italy-and-surroundings.aspx

 

 

MONDAY, OCT 16TH, DAY FIVE

 

MORNING

 

Visit  Marsala and winery where the famous Marsala wine comes from. The town is also famous for the initial landing of Garibaldi when he fought across Sicily and onto the mainland to unify Italy. It is built on the ancient ruins of the Carthaginian city of Lilybaion which is Latin means "the town that looks to Libya".

 

Travel down the coast to Mazara del Valo.

 

LUNCH

In Mazzara del Vallo

 

AFTERNOON

Mazara del Valo is vaguely redolent of a North African kasbah (and still bearing the Casbah name), Mazara's historic quarter is a labyrinth of narrow streets, sprinkled with magnificent baroque and Norman-period buildings. It's small enough that you won't ever really get lost, and the dilapidated old buildings give it a rugged charm. Mazara was one of the key cities of Saracen Sicily and the North African influence is still strongly felt here – the town has one of the highest percentages of immigrants in Italy, with hundreds of people from Tunisia and Maghreb arriving annually to work on Mazara's fishing fleet.

In summer, Mazara is inundated with holidaymakers who head straight to Tonnarella beach, on the western side of the city.

 

Travel to Selunite

 

SUPPER

Any number of restaurants to choose from on the seashore

 

EVENING

A walk along the beach.

 

HOTEL

Hotel Ademto

Via Palinuro 3

Marinella di Selinunte

info@hoteladmeto.it

http://www.hoteladmeto.it/en/hotel.html#T

0924 46796

 

TUESDAY, OCT 17th, DAY SIX

 

MORNING

 

Tour the 40 acres that make Selunite Archeological site. This site contains five temples centered on a acropolis Of the five temples, only the Temple of Hera, also known as "Temple E", has been re-erected.

 

The life of Selinunte was very short. Built by the Greeks, was involved in a bitter rivalry with Segesta, before the Romans destroyed it around 250 BC, after only two hundred years of history, but the remains of the city are still a very imposing presence. The Archaeological Park of Selinunte is in fact, with its 1700 square meters, the largest in Europe. The site is divided into three areas: the Acropolis, dedicated to the worship of gods, the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros, whose cult was widespread at the time, and the area of the eastern hill, with its magnificent temples and shrines.

 

 

LUNCH

In Selinunte before departure.

 

Travel to Agrigento.

 

AFTERNOON

Agrigento the Valley of the Temples the fascination of ancient history blends with the beauty of nature. The sea on one side, the old city-hill on the other, the majestic Doric style temples rising in the center of it all, and the tones of the tufo with which they are constructed create a picture-perfect setting. 

 

SUPPER

At nearby Porto Empedolce on the sea.

 

EVENING

Walk by the seaside and relax.

 

HOTEL

Hotel Grand Mose

Viale Leonardo Sciascia

Agrigento

0922 608388

http://www.iashotels.com/index.php?l=en

grandhotelmose@iashotels.com

 

 

WEDNESDAY, OCT 18th, DAY SEVEN

 

MORNING

Drive over to Piazza Armerina. This 3rd-century Roman villa features more than 40 beautiful mosaic floors, making it one of the most cherished open-air museums in the region.

 

LUNCH

Lovely restaurant beside ruins at Trattoria Ruota.

 

AFTERNOON

Drive over to Taormina one of Sicily's top travel destinations since it became part of the European Grand Tour in the 19th century and Sicily's first resort. Taormina has remnants of its Greek and Roman habitation, a fine medieval quarter and castle ruins, and modern shops and restaurants. We will visit the former Jewish section and the site of the great Synagogue. Perched on the side of Monte Tauro, the town offers fantastic views of the coast and Mt. Etna volcano. Below the town are excellent beaches where you can swim in the clear ++sea water.

 

The climate is a dream, its position, perfect panoramas, monuments and luxurious flora and fauna render Taormina a location admired by all who visit it. The city lies on a terrace, with a view of the ancient Amphitheater against a backdrop of citrus groves with Mount Etna engulfed in the glory of the Ionian Sea beyond. Our hotel is just off the main street and steps away from the Amphitheater.

 

We've taken to describing Taormina, a nineteenth century haunt of the English aristocracy, as a Sicilian Monte Carlo, without the casino or royal family. But anybody who has been to Monte Carlo, or even Positano (on the Amalfitan coast south of Naples), will find Taormina faintly similar yet very different. It has long been Sicily's most famous resort town. It was here, in romantic Taormina, that a self-exiled D.H. Lawrence was inspired to write Lady Chatterly's Lover, one of the most passionate and erotic love stories of its era. Taormina has endlessly winding medieval streets and tiny passages, each with its own secrets - great restaurants, cafÚs and ice cream bars.

 

There are a number of restaurants that offer seafood, exceptional pizza and other local cuisine. Taormina's main streets are full of places to buy craft items, especially fashion, jewelry, ceramics, mosaics, puppets and even porcelain dolls. While few of these items are actually made at Taormina, many are of the highest quality. The beach at Giardini-Naxos is a short cable car ride down to the sea.

 

An orientation tour with Jewish highlights pointed out.

 

SUPPER

Any number of restaurants in Taormina.

 

 EVENING

Continued touring of Taormina along its main street called Corso Umberto with group or on your own.

 

HOTEL

HOTEL TAODOMUS

Corso Umberto, 224, 98039

Taormina ME, Italy

 

http://www.hoteltaodomustaormina.com/it/index.php

 

 

THURSDAY, OCT 19th, DAY EIGHT

 

MORNING

Wander Taormina on your own and take in the main street and the Greco Roman Theatre or take a cable car down to the seaside or take a day trip to Mt Etna.

 

LUNCH

My suggestion or you are on your own.

 

AFTERNOON

Wander Taormina on your own.

 

SUPPER

Tour with Bill or you are on your own.

 

EVENING

Continued touring of Taormina with group or on your own. Stay in Taormina.

 

HOTEL

HOTEL TAODOMUS

Corso Umberto, 224, 98039

Taormina ME, Italy

 

http://www.hoteltaodomustaormina.com/it/index.php

 

FRIDAY, OCT 20TH, DAY NINE

 

MORNING (Early morning drive 8 a.m. to Syracuse).

 

Drive south to Syracuse one of the most historic cities in Sicily, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. The vibrant modern city is interesting as well and Ortygia Island has ruins and a small historic center.

 

Ortygia is a small island which is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse Sicily. The island, also known as CittÓ Vecchia (Old City), contains many historical landmarks. The name originates from the Ancient Greek ortyx which means "Quail". Ortygia is located at the eastern end of Syracuse and is separated from it by a narrow channel. Three bridges connect the island to mainland Sicily. The island is an extremely popular place for tourism, shopping, entertainment and also a residential area.

 

A familiarization tour with Syracuse and some of the sights. Highlighted will be the fountain of Arethusa, the Temple of Apollo, Piazza del Duomo, and the great Cathedral incorporating the Doric columns of the Temple of Athena that once stood on the same spot.

 

 Many Jewish highlights are to be found in Ortygia. Up until their expulsion by the Spanish sovereign occurred in 1492, Jews constituted a very important part of Syracuse, amounting at times to a third of the population, which is to say several thousand people.  The Jewish community of Syracuse was, in fact, the most populous in Sicily after that of Palermo.. The Jewish presence in Syracuse is already documented in Roman times and counted among its ranks numerous and rich merchants and bankers.

 

These neighborhoods were called in Italian "Giudecche" ("Jewries"), and that of Syracuse is defined by the principal street that continues to bear the name today of "Via della Giudecca". Here arose not only homes but also the seat of the community: the synagogue, the schools, the kosher butchers’ shops and bakeries, in short, everything that was of service to the Jewish community Many buildings were constructed around a courtyard at the center of which, according to ancient custom, soared a palm tree and a citrus tree, that in several cases survive even today.

Actually, many apparently modern buildings have incorporated the structures of the Jewish period, as is revealed little by little by the restoration work that was done in this part of Ortigia. Thanks to this work the discoveries (and surprises) are not few. The most sensational is that of the Mikvah (ritual Jewish bath).. Recent discoveries moreover made it possible to locate the space occupied by the synagogue (which was previously identified with the church of San Filippo the Apostle) in the church of San Giovanni Battista (San Giovannello), transformed into the church of the community of newly baptized who stayed put.

The newly renovated Museum Bellomo host a fine collection of painting and sculpture from over the years created in the Syracuse area. At the entrance are three Jewish sarcophagus which have been brought from other sites in the Syracuse area.

LUNCH

My suggestion for group a great fish restaurant on harbours edge next to the fountain of Artemis or you are on your own.

 

AFTERNOON

 

Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum. This is the most extensive archaeological museum in Sicily, with its wide collection of fossils and figures of Ancient Syracuse including the famous statue "Venus Anadiomene," in which Venus rises from the sea. It tells the story of Sicily from caveman through all its civilizations to the present time. When you visit archeological parks here are the objects that were removed from these sites.

 

SUPPER

Tour with Bill as a group visiting another fabulous restaurant throughout Syracuse or you are on your own.

 

EVENING

Continued touring of Syracuse with group or on your own. Stay in Syracuse right on the harbour.

 

HOTEL

Grand Hotel Ortigia

Viale Massini 12

Syracuse

0931 464600

http://www.grandhotelortigia.it/index.php?lang=en

info@grandhotelortigia.it

 

 

SATURDAY, OCT 21ST, DAY 10

 

 

MORNING

Visit the Saturday morning market early and is optional. I am up at 7 a.m. Depending on the time of the year they might have a whole carcass of a large tuna which they butcher on the street. The blood runs down the gutters into the sewers. You can say you saw in Sicily that the streets ran red with blood. Continue visiting on your own or revisit some of the sites from the day before or wander on your own into the many art shops, churches museums and passageways.

 

Next is the Syracuse's Archaeological Park contains the town's most important Greek and Roman buildings. Included are the Greek Theatre, ancient quarries including the Ear of Dionysius, the Roman amphitheatre, the altar of Heron on which 1,000's of animals were sacrificed at once.

 

 

LUNCH.

My suggestion or dine on your own.

 

 Travel to Cefalu.

 

AFTERNOON

Take a tour with me. Beautiful Cefal¨ offers a rare combination of tourist attractions: one of Sicily's finest beaches side-by-side with one of its greatest Arab-Norman architectural masterpieces. The squares, streets and churches of this medieval town are so postcard-pretty that it's no wonder director Giuseppe Tornatore chose to set parts of his much-loved film Cinema Paradiso here.

You won't be alone in admiring Cefal¨'s honey-hued stone buildings, mosaic-adorned cathedral and dramatic mountain backdrop; during summer, holidaymakers from all over Europe flock here to relax in resort hotels, stroll the narrow cobbled streets and sun themselves on the long sandy beach.

The town is perfectly suited to slow, pedestrianised exploration. The little port is lined with fishing boats and populated with fishermen who can be observed maintaining their boats, mending their nets and discussing the day's catch. The lungomare (seafront promenade) is popular for the passeggiata (evening stroll), as is the main street, Corso Ruggero 

 

SUPPER

fabulous restaurant throughout Cefalu or you are on your own.

 

EVENING

 

Hotel Riva del Sole  

Viale Lungomare G. Giardina, 25, 90015 Cefal¨ PA, Italy

+39 0921 421230

 

SUNDAY, OCT 22ND, DAY ELEVEN

 

MORNING

 

Free time as well to tour Cefalu.

 

LUNCH

Dine with group or on your own.

 

AFTERNOON

Travel to Hotel Magaggiari.

 

SUPPER

Dine with group or on own.

 

EVENING

 

Hotel Magaggiari

Via Impastato Peppino, 7, 90045 Cinisi PA, Italy

hotelmagaggiari.com

+39 091 866 5351

 

 

 

MONDAY, OCT 23, DAY ELEVEN

 

MORNING

Leave for at 7 a.m. airport for departure at 10:30 a.m.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR BILL GENOVA

 

 IN SICILY

PHONE; Determined when SIM card bought.

EMAIL; billgenova@rogers.com

 

IN CANADA

PHONE; 416-367-0380

EMAIL; billgenova@rogers.com

 

 

*ITINERARY MAY VARY SLIGHTLY. 

 

*ALL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS BY ONTARIO SARRACINI TRAVEL TICO REGISTRATION NO. 50014459.

 

 


Personal tours with Bill Genova historian, tour guide and story teller as your host.