The stunning Baroque architecture, blending black lava rock and shining white limestone, is just one of the many things that make Catania unique. The UNESCO-declared historic center is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, including the Cattedrale di Sant'Agata, Palazzo degli Elefanti, and Palazzo Biscari.
Catania's beauty goes beyond its architecture. The city is known for its vibrant street life, local markets, and bustling energy. The famous fish market is a feast for the senses, where you can witness the catch of the day and indulge in fresh seafood delicacies. Piazza Carlo Alberto, known as "Fera 'o Luni," is another market worth visiting, where you can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts.
A guided street art and street food tour of Catania is an excellent way to experience the city's culture and flavors. Starting from Piazza Stesicoro, you can witness the city's controversial urban reorganization in the 1950s and explore the lively historic market of Piazza Carlo Alberto. The San Berillo area, known for its strong manifestation of street art, is another must-see spot on the tour.
And if you're looking to escape the city's hustle and bustle, the surrounding natural beauty will not disappoint you. Riserva Naturale Orientata della Timpa di Acireale and Mount Etna are just a few examples of the breathtaking places you can explore.
In summary, Catania is a city that truly has it all, from stunning architecture and vibrant street life to natural beauty and culinary delights. It's a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Sicilian culture and history.
Discover the ancient Roman mosaic art of Piazza Armerina, located in the heart of the Sicilian countryside. Journey over 700m above sea level to the renowned Villa Romana del Casale, a 4th-century hunting lodge which provides a glimpse into daily Roman life. Despite being almost buried by a landslide in the 12th century, the villa's fully excavated remains now boast UNESCO World Heritage status.
Villa Romana del Casale is home to some of the most exquisite mosaics in the world, covering an area of about 3,500 square meters and made up of over 40 million tesserae of stone, glass, and colored clay. Marvel at the intricate mosaics that adorn the floors, depicting a range of scenes from mythological tales to everyday activities. The motifs of the mosaics are very varied, and include scenes of hunting, daily life, Greek and Roman mythology, and festivals.
Don't miss the fascinating mosaic of women exercising in bikini-style garments, which is sure to leave a lasting impression. What makes these mosaics so extraordinary is their aesthetic beauty and the quality of their craftsmanship. The colors are vivid and the shapes are refined, creating a sense of great depth and realism. Additionally, the use of shading and blending techniques gives the mosaics a sense of three-dimensionality, which makes them even more impressive.
In summary, the Villa Romana del Casale and the mosaics in Piazza Armerina are a unique experience that deserves to be appreciated and admired by all those who visit Sicily.
After breakfast, you'll be ready to embark on an exciting adventure as you meet your local mountain guide at the lobby of your hotel. From there, you'll head out for a short transfer to magical Mt. Etna, the highest volcano in Europe. Standing at an impressive 3,329 meters, Etna is still active and is a recognized landmark with its smoking cap that continues to change due to seismic activity.
As you drive up the mountain side in a 4x4, you'll be able to appreciate the continuously changing landscape of trees, lava flows, and endemic plants. Your guide will find the perfect starting point for your trek, giving you a one-on-one experience with this surreal lunar landscape.
Late in the morning, you'll get to take a break from your trek as you visit a cellar and experience a private wine tasting and lunch with an enologist of a small winery. Etna is one of the most interesting and dynamic wine regions of Europe and you’ll be able to try some of the best wines that this region produces.
You will pair the wines with a light lunch of authentic Sicilian cuisine while one of our expert enologists will guide you through the tasting, providing you with insights and knowledge about the unique characteristics of the wines.
After this unforgettable experience, your mountain guide will escort you back to your hotel. This tour offers the perfect combination of adventure, relaxation, and indulgence: you'll be able to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region, enjoy a thrilling trek on Mt. Etna, and indulge in some of the best wines and cuisine that Sicily has to offer. Be ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Syracuse is a city with an incredible cultural and historical heritage that rivals some of the greatest cities in the world. Its ancient Greek theater, one of the largest in the world, is just one of the many impressive monuments that can be found here. The city has a rich and fascinating past, having withstood attacks from the Athenians, Romans, and Arabs throughout the centuries.
A stop in Syracuse is a must, and a well-experienced guide can provide a splendid, guided tour of this amazing Greek city. The tour starts with a visit to the ancient Neapolis Archaeological Zone, where visitors can admire the Greek theater, the Latomie (stone quarries), and the Ear of Dionysius. The Latomie are a fascinating attraction, as they are huge limestone quarries that were used in ancient times to construct the city's buildings and monuments. The Ear of Dionysius is a cave with a unique shape and excellent acoustics, an impressive sight to see.
After visiting the Archaeological Zone, the tour could continue with an exclusive Ortigia sightseeing. For some two centuries, Syracuse was one of the most powerful cities in the known world. Its old town, Ortigia, a little island linked to the mainland by two causeways, forms the heart of Syracuse's historical center. Our guide can take visitors on a leisurely walk through the charming narrow streets of Ortigia, pointing out the many treasures that the island has to offer.
Piazza Duomo, with its impressive cathedral built on top of the remains of a Doric temple dating back to the 5th century BC, is one of the main attractions in Ortigia. Aside from the cathedral, Ortigia Island also has many other beautiful Baroque buildings, charming narrow streets, and stunning sea views that visitors can explore.
All in all, Syracuse is a fascinating destination that offers a unique blend of ancient history and modern-day charm, making it a must-visit location for anyone traveling to Sicily.
Embark on a breathtaking journey through the late Baroque towns of Val di Noto, starting with Noto, the “Prima Donna” of Sicilian Baroque. This town boasts some of the most extraordinary Baroque architecture in Italy, with elaborate facades, stunning balconies, and golden-colored stone that adorn its buildings. Take a leisurely stroll through its narrow streets and alleys to fully immerse yourself in the town's exquisite architecture, admiring the intricate details and embellishments of the buildings.
From Noto, continue your adventure to Ragusa Ibla, one of the best-preserved old towns in Sicily. Your guide will show you this fascinating town with its finely carved buildings, providing a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region.
As you explore these historic towns, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine. Try the scaccia, a typical focaccia from Ragusa, and meet with an Italian mamma to enjoy this delicacy and much more for lunch.
Afterward drive to Modica, a town divided into two parts, Modica Bassa and Modica Alta. Take a guided tour of the town and discover its unique charm, then indulge in a chocolate tasting as Modica is well-known for its chocolate.
As your journey comes to an end, drive back to Noto, taking in the beauty of the landscape one last time. This journey through the Late Baroque Towns of Val di Noto is sure to leave you mesmerized by the beauty of Sicily's architecture, history, and cuisine.
Did you know that there are truffles in Sicily too? They may not be as famous as the ones in Piedmont but they sure are equally tasty.
Prepare to run in the woods with a local truffle hunter and his dogs to unearth these delicious treasures, you will have a lot of fun while visiting the lovely countryside of Eastern Sicily. After the hunt our private chef will prepare a lunch in the woods with the truffles you have found. This experience combines an outdoor excursion with gourmet cuisine and offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal prepared entirely in the wild.
Time: April to October
Duration: 5 hours