Magic of Sicily
8 days. Start weekly on Saturday - Ah, Sicily ...This tour covers the highlights of Sicily, including the most classical sites of Sicily and the historical and artistic sites. Accommodation is in charming 3-4 star hotels .Full board Compare with the thre day version
- Sunday: SYRACUSE/CATANIA
3 - Monday: S. STEFANO di CAMASTRA/CEFALU' (BLD)
4 - Tuesday: PALERMO/MONREALE
6 - Thursday: AGRIGENTO/PIAZZA ARMERINA
- Friday: ETNA/TAORMINA
8- Saturday: Catnia /Departure
Prices include: †
Not Included: †††
Discount ( 2-12 years ) : 25 % Discount
are subject to change( within category stated or upgraded ) even on
a last minute basis.
More Choices :
Hotels in Sicily:
Torre Normanna (Altavilla Milicia) 3-Stars
Club Costa Verde (Cefalý) 4-Stars
WESTERN SICILY - General info : & History /Description
Trapani’s region is the most “African” strip of the island and yet the most Sicilian among all Sicilian environments, the most Arabic region, since more than all others, has saved traces of presence of North African people, which are better identified in the architecture, in the gastronomy and even in some unusual dialectal inflexions.
It is nto too large, but capable to arouse high interest in each visitor. Its richness is constituted primarily by its archeological ruins: here in fact we can find the remains of many Greek and Punic settlements. In addition, the area offers a splendid natural environment with its large golden beaches and dark cliffs jumping in a blue sea, and hills where palms, wild olives, brooms, lentisks and big tufts of euphorbia stand up; the area is also characterized by uses, costumes and popular traditions that culminate on to mystic manifestations of the Holy Week, going through the celebrations of patron saints, performances and cultural events such as the Orestiadi of Gibellina and classic performances. There is plenty to choose from. How could we not talking for example about the Reserve of Zingaro or the sea of S. Vito lo Capo, crystalline as a tropical atoll? Or about the magic Egadi islands, Favignana, Levanzo e Marettimo, three splendid jewels on the sea off Trapani, or about Pantelleria, rough yet fascinating, where beauty, cultures, myths and Mediterranean fragrances are concentrated. Or how we couldn’t talk about the shot saltpans in Trapani and surrounding, or about Mozia island, reachable by foot during the low tide or by boat, place of a museum entirely dedicated to Phoenician culture? How we couldn’t describe Erice, beautiful medieval frame place of a scientific culture center. Or how we couldn’t advice you that, behind that corner. you could find the miracle of Segesta temple?
LAND OF HISTORY, ARCHEOLOGY, MYTHS AND NATURE
Trapani. Situated on top of a strip of land that goes into the sea,
bounded by Mont Erice and by a long line of salt marsh, Trapani is a
very animated city. The ideal seasons for visiting it and enjoying its
beauties are springtime and summer. The Place of the Giudecca, dated
back on sixteenth century, the Pilati House of the fourteenth century,
the Saturn Fountain of the end of the fifteenth century, and the Baroque
Xirinda Palace all witness its glorious past.
Erice is not only a past: there is in fact one the most important scientific center of Italy, the Ettore Maiorana Center. Going back to the coast side toward North, the beach of San Vito Lo Capo displays itself in the extreme point called by the same name. It is a village that has an ancient seafaring tradition and has grown around the ancient Saracen fort, which was eventually transformed into a Sanctuary dedicated to San Vito. Its climate, its sea, the paths adorned by flowers, its intense fragrances and its landscape offer an opportunity for an unforgettable vacation. Another unbelievably beautiful place is the Natural Oriented Reserve of the Zingaro. In this area, one the most uncontaminated of the Mediterranan sea, tens of species of birds in danger of extinction build their nest. In the middle of the Reserve, the prehistorical grotto of Uzzo witnesses the first human settlement of the area. Continuing along the coast we first meet Scopello, with its old tunny-fishing net, that faces the splendid stacks, the white beach of small stones of Guidaloca Bay, then Castellamare del Golfo.
Returning to the inland, Alcamo is worth the stop: here we can admire its Castle of the Lords of Modica, The Mother Church, the splendid Church of Saints Paolo and Bartolomeo and the Basilica; we can test also the renowned white wine doc of Alcamo. Finally Segesta, castled on top of Mont Barbaro, offers two spectacular monuments: the Doric temple and the amphitheater. The great temple dated back to fifth century b.C., perfectly maintained, stands alone in the middle of a suggestive valley. On the contrary, the Greek amphitheater is situated on the highest pick of Mont Barbaro. This jewelry, hollow on the mountain, like suspended on the air, open onto the Gulf of Castellamare, is a stage of theatrical performances, which are been organized by the Touristy Development Agency for the Trapani Region. Distant a few kilometers from Segesta, we find Calatafimi, an ancient Arabic village, famous for the historical battle between Bourbons and the Garibaldi’s army on 1860. Going toward South, we enter the Valley of Belice, deeply marked on 1968 by an earthquake that, in addition to having been destroyed the entire old town of Gibellina, had risked erasing forever history, culture and values of one people. The rebuilding of a New Gibellina allowed to safe its former tradition and to draw a cultural path for the future. You can access the town by going through the sculpture of the Consagra’s Star and all of sudden you can see your self in a like virtual environment, which includes the Systems of Squares, the Church and the futuristic masterpieces at each street’s corner, the remodeled Lorenzo’s Palace, the beam of Stefano’s houses, and the Cretto where every year they play the Oresteia of Gibellina. On the other side, castled on Rosa’s Mont, Salemi offers to its visitors the Norman Castle, the Baroque Matrix, the complex of Jesuit Church and Convent, in addition to the colorful and artistic celebration of Saint Joseph’s Dinners.
Going further South, after we pass Castelvetrano with its historical center rich of palaces and churches in a renaissance mixed with Catalan Baroque style, among which Mother Church and Trinity of Delia stand out, we finally arrive to Selinunte and its Ruins of Gods. Situated in a flat area at 30 meters above the level of sea, there is Selinunte, whose name derives from selinon, which is wild parsley. It is special because it includes a large quantity of great and valuable ruins, which constitute an archeological park large 270 hectares. Here there are the Acropolis, the Eastern Hill and the Plateau of Land Manuzza, the Sanctuary of the Malophorus of land Gaggera, and two Necropolis of Manicalunga and Galera Bagliazzo. What amazes the visitors is the opportunity of walking out of the time between stones and sky, pieces of columns and blocks of golden-yellow stones and a wild nature rich of small hedges, bushes of flowers, and some glades spotted by a few trees. Not too far from Selinunte, toward Castelvetrano, we can visit the quarries of Cusa, the most suggestive natural factory of construction materials dated back to the Greek period. Returning up to North, passing Mazara del Vallo and Petrosino, we reach Marsala. Rich of Punic, Roman, Norman, Arabic and Spanish remains –the Necropolis, the Roman Villa, the Christian Baptistery and the rest of a boundary wall, which has had made by Roger I- Marsala offers to its visitors also the Dome, the Archeological Museum of Anselmi’s Beam containing a Punic Ship dated back to the second century b.C., the wineries of the homonymous wine and the Beams, typical building where on the eighteen century they used to make and store wine. Returning up toward Trapani, we meet another typical aspect of this land: the saltpans. This is a land where sea mingles with a land, spotted by a lot of mills, that includes many Natural Reserves such as that of Stagnone in Marsala, of Saltpan in Trapani and Paceco, true heavens for bird watchers.
Here Mozia stands up, 40 hectares of history suspended on the sea that, together with the Long Island and the Island of Saint Mary and of Schola, constitutes the greatest lagoon of Sicily. Connected with the coast by a flooded road, which has been used until today during the low tide by carts drowned by mules, Mozia was brought to light on 1875 thanks to the excavations of Giuseppe Whitaker. Here, among other many Phoenician finds, the Giovinetto (boy) of Mozia was found. This marble life-size statue, found on 1979, is a true masterpiece, one the most magnificent jewelries in the archeological Sicilian panorama. Just in front of Mozia, the Egadi islands arise on the sea like three jewels set in the Mediterranean sea: Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. The entire archipelago is a Marine Natural Reserve, which is a true heaven for scuba drivers and offers an unique and unforgettable scenario.
Thank to the limpid water sea, we can admire incredible sea beds rich of various colors and shapes, just a few meters from the coast. However, the Egadi islands are not only sea: it is also a place for people who love green, botany and relaxing and exciting vacations with a full immersion in an uncontaminated environment. We end this itinerary of Trapani region by speaking about Pantelleria, a rough and fascinating island where Mediterranean beauties, cultures, myths and fragrances blend together. It offers to the lovers of sea all its wild beauty, its volcanic morphology, its hot springs and “Favare”, jets of steam that create natural sauna inside the grottos, and its shores rich of indents and points, and of coves dominated by steep rocks. Here, inside two tanks of the Acropolis of Cossyra, they found three marble heads dated back to the Roman period. They are the portraits of Julius Cesar, of a woman, probably Antonia Minor, and of Emperor Titus, son of Vespasian.
Nubian Nile Cruises , Inc.