If you are planning a trip to Palermo or Sicily do not give a second thought. Palermo is the capital of the Italian island of Sicily, it resembles no place else in Europe. The twelfth century Palermo Cathedral houses regal tombs, while the tremendous neoclassical Teatro Massimo is known for opera shows. are planned for a portion of Palermo's most striking areas, including a war-harmed seventeenth-century church, a neglected theatre, and the city's grand botanical gardens. Plan a week-long trip and explore the top sights. Book your Italy vacation package with Journey Cart Holidays.
You are met on arrival and taken to your hotel. Palermo is the cultural and economic capital of Sicily, known for its blend of architectural styles.
This morning tour Palermo, including its 12th century Cathedral and Royal Palace, a true masterpiece of Sicilian-Norman architecture whose construction began in 1185 and lasted almost 700 years. Examine the exquisite mosaics in the palace’s Palatine Chapel, and visit the Opera House and the lively Capo Market before lunch. In the afternoon, it is a short drive to visit the 12th century Monreale di Cathedral, known for its splendid Byzantine mosaics and the cloister of the Benedictine abbey.
This morning drive to the ancient Greek-Roman city of Termini Imerese. Walk among the ruins of the Roman Forum and Amphitheater. Visit the Civic Museum with its famous Greek archaeological collection, and the 18th century church. Proceed to the charming medieval coastal town of Cefalù built on the site of an ancient Greek and Sicanian settlement. Visit the medieval wash house and tour the Norman Cathedral built by King Roger II in 1130. Arrive back in Palermo by late afternoon.
Depart Palermo for the abandoned ancient city Segesta, built by the mysterious Elymis in 500 BC. Tour the majestic Doric temple, one of the world’s best-preserved Greek architectural sites. Continue to Erice, a small medieval town offering commanding views from its 2,000 foot location atop Mount Giuliano. Visit Chiesa Matrice, the town’s main church, the massive Elimo-Punic Walls, and the fragrant public gardens of the Giardino del Balio. After a typical Sicilian lunch, continue on to Agrigento and your hotel.
This morning enjoy a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of the Temples a magnificent cluster of Greek ruins overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The temples are the remains of Akragas, a Greek city built about 582 BC, of a unique amber sandstone. Explore the Temple of Hera, Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Concordia, that was converted to a Christian church in the 6th century. Continue to Piazza Armerina for lunch and then visit another UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, the Roman Villa del Casale. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, it hosts the biggest display of Roman polychromic mosaics in the world. End the afternoon with a scenic drive to your hotel in Siracusa.
This morning drive to Ragusa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an ornate capital of the Baroque style. Explore the maze of streets and monuments in this ancient Sicels village that was destroyed by the 1693 earthquake, and then rebuilt by the most famous architects of the time. After lunch, continue to Modica, another jewel of the baroque style, exemplified best by its Teatro Garibaldi, Palazzo Tedeschi, and the Church of San Pietro, which stands at the top of a monumental Baroque staircase flanked by statues of the Apostles. Stop for a taste of the famous Modican chocolate before returning to Siracusa by late afternoon.
This morning take a walking tour of the classic Greek archaeological park of Ancient Siracusa. Visit the monolithic Greek Theatre, the Latomie of Paradise with the Dionysus’ Ear grotto, and the Roman Amphitheatre. Continue on foot through the narrow streets of the ancient Greek colony of Ortigia. See the 7th century Duomo, the Fonte Aretusa, an ancient spring, and the Temple of Apollo. Enjoy lunch in Ortigia before departing for Taormina.
This morning tour Mt. Etna, the highest and most active volcano in Europe. Ride the funicular up to 8500 feet, to get a fantastic view of 10,000-foot Mt. Etna, and the surrounding countryside. After lunch at Etna, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Taormina.
Enjoy a morning walking tour of Taormina’s old town, with its narrow streets filled with handicraft, embroidery and antique shops. Visit the 5th century BC Greek Theater, the public gardens, the 14th century Palazzo Corvaja, and the medieval St. Nicholas Church. This afternoon is at leisure to relax shop or explore more of beautiful Taormina on your own.
Today you are taken to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.