This is a Marco Polo Club Invitational Journey. Rich in art, archaeological treasures, history, folklore and breathtaking Mediterranean scenery, the island of Sicily has been a crossroads between Europe and Africa for centuries. Explore the enchanting land where Archimedes taught, St. Paul preached and Mount Etna made history.
Born and educated in northern England, Michael Digby's intercultural experiences started when he received an AFS scholarship to attend high school in New York. Michael earned a bachelor's degree in biology and recreational management, but his true passion was travel. His love for Mediterranean cultures led him to live in Spain and Tuscany. Michael has led A&K tours to Spain, Italy, Morocco and France.
Explore some of Europe's most interesting archaeological sites — many of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Learn the history and elaborate procedure needed to create Marsala wine
Watch a demonstration by an artisan chocolate maker and enjoy a tasting
Ascend Mount Etna to see its fascinating, lunar-like landscape
You are met and privately transferred to your hotel, located in Palermo’s historic center. Later, join your Tour Director and fellow travellers for welcome drinks and dinner in a local restaurant.Hotel Palazzo Sitano or Grand Hotel Villa Igiea | Meals: D
Explore Palermo, Sicily’s chief port, to see its Cathedral, Pretoria Fountain and Norman Royal Palace. After a leisurely lunch, visit the 12th-century hillside Cathedral of Monreale, lavishly decorated with mosaics depicting events from the Old and New Testaments. Continue to the cloistered gardens whose 228 twin columns feature carved capitals and inlaid mosaics. Return to Palermo to enjoy a relaxing evening at leisure.Hotel Palazzo Sitano or Grand Hotel Villa Igiea | Meals: B
Drive to Erice, a medieval town perched 2,600 feet above the bay of Castellammare del Golfo. From there, the views of the surrounding area are magnificent. You have time at leisure to explore the ancient cobbled lanes. Continue to Segesta to see its beautifully preserved fifth-century-BC temple. Travel along the Via del Sale (“salt way”) toward Marsala, stopping to admire the windmills and learn about salt production. In Marsala, visit a local wine cellar, where you discover the history of making Marsala fortified wine. Afterward, taste some of the different varieties.Verdura Golf & Spa Resort | Meals: B L
Explore Sciacca, overlooking the splendid beaches of the southern coast; then continue to Selinunte. Walk around this vast archaeological site that displays the remains of eight temples set against the blue Mediterranean Sea. After lunch, the afternoon is at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities at your resort.Verdura Golf & Spa Resort | Meals: B L
Drive to Agrigento to view the magnificent Valley of Temples that includes the famous Temple of Concord, one of the world’s best-preserved examples of sacred classical architecture. Continue to Piazza Armerina, a graceful old town set in forested countryside. Explore Villa Romana del Casale, originally home to Maximianus Herculeus, Diocletian’s co-emperor. While little remains of the building’s structure, the mosaics are unparalleled and depict scenes of mythology, hunting and domestic life in beautiful detail.Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa | Meals: B D
The entire Val di Noto region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is seven towns influenced by the Greeks, Arabs, Byzantines, Romans, Normans and Spaniards. Explore Ragusa, destroyed by an earthquake in 1693; the “new” city is an explosion of Sicilian Baroque architecture. Continue to the village of Modica, known for its chocolate. Enjoy a private chocolate-making demonstration and a tasting in the laboratory of an artisan chocolate maker.Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa | Meals: B D
The Greek Theater in Syracuse is one of the most important examples of theater architecture anywhere. Previously, the theater site was a stone quarry that contained vast rock-cut chambers, including Dionysius’ Ear, a cave with amazing acoustic qualities. Also visit Ortygia, a charming island connected to Syracuse and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterward, travel to Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its Baroque architecture. The afternoon is at leisure to wander the town’s narrow streets.Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa | Meals: B D
Depart this morning for Catania, located at the foot of Mount Etna and known for its seismic history. Dating back almost 2,700 years, its urban design and Baroque architecture have turned a once-crumbled city into a fascinating area to visit. After lunch, continue to Taormina to meet your local guide for a walking tour of the city that includes a stop at the Greek Theatre.San Domenico Palace | Meals: B L
This morning, head into the fertile lava flow country of Europe’s largest active volcano. Ascend to 6,000 feet and admire the stunning views as you go. From here, take a cable car up to the next level where the landscape appears to be more and more lunar-like. Return to Taormina; the balance of the day is at leisure. Later, gather with your fellow travellers and Tour Director for a farewell dinner that celebrates your fascinating journey.San Domenico Palace | Meals: B D
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight home.Meals: B
Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.
|Oct. 07, 2013 - Oct. 16, 2013||$7,395||--||Available|