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Italy: The Secrets of Sicily - Overview
DATES & COST 

October 17 - 26, 2019
10 Days / 9 Nights
Tour starts in Palermo and ends in Catania

$4,390 per person/ double occupancy
$1,470 optional single supplement
$320 additional pre-tour nights, single or double room (includes airport transfer)
Includes all fees and taxes

TOUR DIRECTOR 
TOUR DIRECTOR
TOUR MAP 
Click on the image to enlarge the map

THIS TOUR IS FULL. WE ARE ACCEPTING STANDBY RESERVATIONS.

In more ways than one, Sicily is the ultimate Italy. Rich in art, archaeological treasures, history, folklore and breathtaking Mediterranean scenery, the island has been the crossroads between Europe and Africa for centuries. Sicily is warm, golden, and sprinkled with blindingly white Greek temples. This is where Archimedes taught, St. Paul preached and where the omnipresent Mount Etna made history. Over the centuries, the island was colonized by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, before becoming a part of Spain, then the Bourbon Kingdom, and finally Italy. All the conquerors left behind their cultural footprints which add to the fascination: vestiges of the ancient Greeks and Romans entice in Agrigento and Taormina, the presence of the Normans lingers in Palermo and Monreale, the rock-clinging seaside beauty of Siracusa still lives according to its own rhythm, and the distinctive Byzantine and Arab art mingles with Italian influences. Sicily has an intriguing cuisine, the serene sea, cities with a cosmopolitan vibe, and two volcanoes which define it, and as Goethe said, "to have seen Italy without seeing Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all."

The Secrets of Sicily tour is an exciting journey, introducing the very best of the island. We'll experience the relaxed island lifestyle and sample delicious Sicilian food and wine, while exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes and indulging our senses with visits to authentic restaurants, wineries and even a chocolate factory. From beautifully sited lodgings, we set out on walks among the temples and along spectacular seashores. Our route will follow the Romans, Greeks, Arabs and Normans, all of whom inhabited the area. We'll witness the amazing architecture and the rich history they left behind, taste wines made with grapes grown in volcanic soil of Mount Etna, learn to prepare Sicilian pizza and enjoy cocktails with a Sicilian contessa in her 14th-century palazzo.

  • We'll spend 4 nights at a former convent, now an upscale historical hotel in the center of Palermo and 5 nights at a luxury seaside resort in Siracusa.
     
  • We'll tour the Norman Palermo and Monreal, the coastal Erice and the pre-Greek Segesta and their architectural Doric treasures, charming Cefalu in the rugged Madonie Mountains, see the classical Greek architecture in the Valley of the Temples and the stunning Roman mosaics in Piazza Armierina, the ancient Ortygia Island of Siracusa, the gardens of stone in Noto in the Baroque Valley, and the "patch of paradise" of the Byzantine Taormina.
     
  • We'll enjoy a wine tour and lunch in a winery, learn to cook traditional Sicilian pizza during a private cooking class, be guests at Sicilian count's palazzo, explore the rugged Mount Etna, watch chocolate being made according to Aztecs' recipes and techniques, taste almond cookies, nougats and "street food" and savor a Sicilian lunch at a family-run working farm set amid citrus groves and vineyards.
     
  • Throughout the tour, you will dine in carefully selected gourmet restaurants reflecting the culinary character of Sicily, and known for seafood, olive oil, almonds, pistachios and Marsala wine, while breakfasts will be served at the hotels' restaurants.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE 
  • 4 nights at an upscale historic hotel in the center of Palermo
     
  • 5 nights at a luxury seaside resort in Siracusa
     
  • Delicious meals - traditional Sicilian cuisine or vegetarian meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 dinners, 2 lunches, including drinks
     
  • Private airport transfers on arrival and on departure
     
  • All transportation in Sicily in a comfortable private bus
     
  • Professional Sicilian tour director and experienced local guides
     
  • All private, guided tours and all fees and admissions
     
  • Exclusive experiences: a wine tour, a pizza making class, a chocolate making demonstration, cocktails at a palazzo, and Mount Etna safari
     
  • All restaurants', guides' and drivers' gratuities
NOT INCLUDED  

Additional/optional costs may include: optional single supplement, early hotel check in, optional travel insurance, optional tour director's gratuity, meals not in the itinerary, optional activities not in the itinerary, telephone charges, room service, minibar, laundry, personal expenses, etc.

The cost does not include airfare.

HIGHLIGHTS 
  • Mix of Arab and Norman architecture of Palermo and Monreale
  • Being guests of Contessa Federico at Palazzo Conte Federico
  • Erice vineyards and wine tour
  • The rugged Madonie region and the fishing village of Cefalu
  • The evocative sites of classical Greek architecture in the Valley of the Temples
  • Unparalleled details of Roman mosaics in Piazza Armerina
  • The ancient architecture on the Ortygia Island in the center of Siracusa
  • The Baroque Valley with Noto and its gardens of stone
  • Chocolate making in Modica
  • Pizza making class in Taormina
  • Exploring Mount Etna on a volcano safari
What Makes This Trip Special  
  • Carefully designed itinerary, including the signature Sicilian experiences
  • Additional exclusive experiences, not available to larger groups
  • An experienced, Sicilian tour director and private, local guides
  • Accommodation in upscale, perfectly located city hotel in Palermo and at a sea front resort in Siracusa
  • Luxurious private bus
  • Exquisite meals at restaurants in Palermo and throughout Sicily
  • A small group of maximum 16 women
  • A private pizza making class and winery lunch
  • Mount Etna safari
  • No forced shopping
Testimonials 

Fabulous trip! You guys do an amazing job from pre-registration through the return to home. – Anne from Rhode Island

Sights and Soul provides the most wonderful experiences. Their tour directors are friendly, knowledgeable, and make sure that all runs smoothly. I would not hesitate to take all my “girls trips” with them. Looking forward to the next! – Barbara from Texas

LOVED it! Was fascinated by all the layers of history that are represented all over the island. Local guides were smart, informative and personable. I loved the tour/material itself. It was an interesting time to travel with a diverse group of Americans. – Margaret from Pennsylvania

I thought everything was so professional. The communication was excellent, from booking to coming home. I’ve taken 10 trips with another women-only tour company, and liked much S&S better. I also loved the way the transfers to/from the airport were handled. – Susan from Colorado

My trip to Sicily with Sights and Soul was a trip of a lifetime! The tour director was amazing and the sights were spectacular! I am planning my next trip with Sights and Soul! – Amy from South Dakota

The food was amazing and I really enjoyed the wine tasting.  Angela is phenomenal – a true asset to Sights and Soul, as she regularly went above and beyond to ensure the best experience for everyone. – Laurel from Connecticut

 All four Sights and Soul tours that I have been on were all great. The hotels, restaurants, tour leaders, variety of experiences, etc. were all wonderful. I like small groups for travel. I’ve gotten to know many fantastic women and have made many friends through Sights and Soul Travels. – Roxanne from Pennsylvania

The tour was incredible. I loved the art and architecture and learning about the cultural melting pot of Sicily. All the destinations and local guides were wonderful. Angela was an amazing guide. The best experience during the tour were the dinners, which were delicious and as a vegetarian, I never felt deprived or disappointed, and they also fostered the comradery of the group. I did not know anyone ahead of time and felt always at ease. It was a pleasure to meet all the wonderful women in our group. – Lisa from Oregon 

I am finding it difficult to express how wonderful the tour was. Like many women, I have a hubby that is a reluctant traveler but he encouraged me to find someone to travel with and enjoy myself. That’s how I came across Sights & Soul. I searched the web, read reviews and recommendations and decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did!!! The food--fantastic, the guides--knowledgeable, the sights--breathtaking, my fellow travelers--wonderful, wacky women!! And, of course, the tour leader was exceptional in every way, from keeping us informed to organizing every little detail of our tour. She worked out the occasional little „bump in the road” and made everything fun! I have often traveled alone but I must say, I enjoyed the guided tours and company of a small group of women. I loved the „freedom” of having someone else take care of the details so that I could just relish the trip itself. – Mary from Washington

Sights and Soul was a perfect tour group for me. Enjoyed my tour from beginning to end – would give them 5 stars on all levels. A small group with lovely ladies, highlights the high interest sites, food is high quality choices, hotels were wonderful and had a different experience in each of them. – Fran from California

Another hit! Well done. I cannot wait until I retire and can go on tours that don’t take place over school breaks. – Karen from Delaware

Already scheduled tour #6 and #7 in 2018. I am always talking about Sights and Soul to patients, doctors, and other nurses.  Always fabulous, very nicely done, and onward to the next destination. I don’t travel with anyone else. – Diane from Texas

I thought the tour was very well organized and professional. All of the guides were extremely knowledgeable & friendly. The other women on the trip were terrific.. In general, I liked the diversity of tours and activities. – Willie from New York

I loved traveling with women, and S&S has a lovely touch. Great thoughtfulness and taste were obvious in everything we did. I can’t wait to travel the rest of the world with them. Such a happy experience! – Jenny from Georgia

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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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