Lying at the heart of the Mediterranean and commanding the narrow sea-lanes that connect east to west and north to south, Sicily attracted merchants, seafarers and settlers from every point of the compass.
The passage of time and a host of invaders have bequeathed a wealth of archaeological sites and monuments to the island. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Aragonese have all left their enduring legacy on Sicily in the form of rich and diverse cultural and culinary traditions.
This tour provides an unforgettable encounter with the island’s long history and culture. Not only does it take in the wonderfully preserved remains of the Greek, Roman and Phoenician cities that stud its coasts, where honey-coloured ancient temples lie amid orange groves and almond trees, it also explores the baroque towns that hug its steep hills and the great modern metropolis, Palermo.
The temple-crowned cities of Selinunte and Agrigento, and the ancient island-city of Motya, now rest in a serene splendour belying their dramatic and turbulent histories. From the heights of Erice, home to Venus, goddess of love, you will see the majestic sweep of the coast, before travelling east to the vine-clad slopes of Mount Etna. As well as its historical riches, the island is a place of immense natural beauty and diversity. We traverse its many varied landscapes filled with springtime flowers and enjoy a number of pleasant walks to savour the romantic vistas.
Sicily’s picturesque and historic towns are a feast for the senses, and there will be plenty of time to explore their piazzas and meandering streets, or sample their increasingly renowned and varied wines before ending your day in atmospheric hotels or grand rural estates set in the heart of the Sicilian countryside. Our tour is complemented by excellent meals in specially chosen restaurants, wineries and local trattoria, highlighting some of Sicily’s richest gastronomic traditions.
Michael and Lucia, the guides who will accompany you on the tour, have both lived in Sicily for many years. Michael was Assistant Professor in Ancient History at The Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences in Sicily, and is the editor of the Blue Guide to Sicily. Lucia has over 20 years’ experience as a guide. She loves introducing people to the unbelievable wealth of art, archaeology and culture that Sicily has to offer, and is always on the lookout for something new, exciting and interesting that reveals the true quirks of Sicilian culture.
Their in-depth knowledge and love of the island will be your shortcut to a superb experience of one of Europe’s most celebrated destinations.
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