- Palermo's architecture welcomes you with its styles that run through different historical periods.
- Dive into Art, Archeology and a huge collection of UNESCO sites).
- Visit the Monreale magnificent cathedral, with Byzantine gold mosaics and a beautiful cloister.
- Let the most fantastic Greek temples and theaters give you a measure of the shining Sicily past times.
- Grab your souvenirs in Caltagirone, the Sicilian capital of famous ceramic artifacts.
- Let the Piazza Armerina's best preserved mosaics of the late Roman Empire enchant you.
- Spend a leisure day in the VIP destination of Taormina, with it's trendy fashion shops and it's unparalleled sea water.
- Admire the world's most superb Baroque Art and Architecture in Ragusa and the Val di Noto area.
- Take your suntan in some of the nicest Mediterranean seaside towns.
- And, of course, let Sicilian food conquer your senses. What about "Cannoli" or the "Pasta alla Norma"?
Your first destination is the Sicily capital, Palermo.
A private transfer will meet you at the “Falcone-Borsellino” Airport, and escort you to your chosen hotel.
If you arrive in the morning, or early in the afternoon, your first stop will be Palermo's Cathedral.
Admire the exterior creamy-colored shades of the Cathedral.
In particular, the southern facade was built in the XV century, with a Catalan Gothic portico.
This facade, today, is the main entrance of the church.
When you get there, don't miss a small particular item.
One column, dating back to the Moorish domination of the city, shows a carved verse from the Koran written in Arabic.
Note the typical overwhelming style and decoration of its traditional calligraphy.
You'll soon realize that the city is a bit chaotic, but very cozy.
There is always a lot of people on the streets, with a collection of cultures from all around the Mediterranean.
Palermo is really a beautiful and underrated city.
The elegant Norman Palace borders the oldest district of the city.
The “Ballarò” is a very lively food market, always full of locals looking for fresh products.
Butchers are famous for their selling points all on a wide row lined with ancient buildings, in addition to selling excellent meat.
In the evening, with your guide meeting you at your hotel, you'll enjoy the bright lights of Palermo by night.
In the morning, the streets of Palermo come to life early at dawn.
The first ones to come alive are the food markets, in particular the fish markets.
Many small streets of the historic center become improvised small fish markets.
Fishermen fill the streets showcasing the variety of fresh fish caught in the morning, from mussels and clams, to swordfish.
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel and bring you to visit the extraordinary Cathedral of Monreale.
The Normans, during their XII century domination, built this magnificent church.
It's location is on a plateau overlooking a lush valley almost shell-shaped, with numerous crops of oranges, olives and almonds.
The cathedral has remained remarkably intact and consistent with its original construction.
Enter the building.
The amazing collection of golden Byzantine mosaics covers the entire surface of the interior, from the walls, to the ceiling, for a 68.243 square feet.
Outside in the courtyard, there is an equally stunning cloister, with 26 arches surrounding lush gardens.
The beauty of the cathedral becomes almost unimaginable when you remember that it was built in full Middle Age.
In the morning, Palermo's golden architecture under the first sun rays remembers the sparkling light of the mosaics reflections you admired in the Monreale Cathedral.
Yet, what you have seen is nothing compared to what we are going to visit today and in the next days of this tour.
After breakfast, your guide will take you out of Palermo to admire the remarkable archaeological sites of Selinunte and Segesta.
In the Segesta archaeological park, the temple in Doric style and the theater, partly dug into the rocky hill, are of particular beauty.
The temple in particular is very well preserved and has many elements of mystery.
The Selinunte site, instead, dates back to the Ancient Greek world and are impressive because of their size.
Eight Greek temples built in the V Century BC in Selinunte, offer a variety of sizes and architectural splendor with no equal.
The eastern temples are overwhelmed by the majesty of Temple E, also known as the Temple of Hera, built (this one too) in the V Century BC and partially restored in 1958.
The ionic columns seem an extension of the earth, with the same creamy tones and ribbed texture.
Its very particular style show six rows of fifteen columns. Each column reaches a height of over 33 feet.
Multiple stairs create a unique system of successive levels.
In this site, the air becomes hot under the sun pointing towards the West, but you'll be soon immersed in the citrus fruits scent from neighboring orange groves.
What you will surely fascinate you is the consideration that the greatness of the past continues to inspire today Sicilians and visitors from all over the World, but also artists, engineers and architects.
Early in the morning, fishing boats weigh their anchor in the harbor, and download their fish to sell to the market.
Here, you may look at how pomegranates shine like rubies against the banks of the Ballarò market.
Today, after breakfast, your private transfer will take you far away from Palermo, to the fantastic hilly countryside of Agrigento.
The city has a strong contrast between modern skyscrapers next to ancient palaces of the medieval and baroque periods.
The hill opens to a basin where you can see the Valley of Temples. This UNESCO archaeological park includes 3,212 acres (about 13 square kilometers) of land.
The eastern area shows off the extraordinary Temple of Concordia, one of the most perfectly preserved temples of the ancient Greek world, dating back to the V Century BC.
The building is located on top of a small slope, with a wonderful scenic effect in the evening, thanks to a clever lighting.
In the VI century AD, the main building structure was transformed into a Byzantine church.
Stairs lead up to the colonnade, which is also the entrance of the temple, which goes along the right and left of the inside.
The beauty of the whole valley and the large size of the temples, even today is a testimony of how much the ancient world is still able to impress even today.
Today’s focus is on the passage from Ancient Greece, through the Romans, up to the Arab influence on Sicily.
After breakfast, you will visit Piazza Armerina: here, our guide will introduce you the “Villa Romana del Casale”.
This ancient Roman villa, dating to the II century BC, offers large, magnificent and perfectly preserved mosaics, with vivid and colorful figures.
You have left the hills around Agrigento with olive trees aligned in the countryside, with its fragrant scent.
Afterwards, you will reach the charming Caltagirone.
The city is known for its ceramic crafts, whose tradition goes back to more than a millennium ago and is well known around the world.
Today, ceramic craftmanship is a leading sector, along with tourism, of the local economy.
The ancient Arab influence on Caltagirone, back to the IX century AD, gave to the ceramic design and decorations bright colors, especially several shades of yellow, reminiscent of the sun, and different tones of deep blue.
Caltagirone is located on a hill, with narrow stairs leading to ancient shops with vases and plates on display in their windows, ideal for a precious souvenir.
In particular, you will reach the Santa Maria del Monte staircase.
It's a flight of steps with inlaid ceramic, built in the XIX century to connect the city center to Piazza Municipio (the City Council square).
The hand painted tiles are in the style of majolica.
Again, you will spot traces of the Arab political and cultural domination on the city, together with its creativity.
The sun makes the Caltagirone ceramics shine, as well as its cream-colored buildings perched on the hill.
Leaving Caltagirone, you head to the beautiful Ragusa, also located on another Sicilian hill.
Ragusa is a quiet town, but at the same time very traditional, managing to match its sumptuous architectural heritage with a luxurious modernity.
You will notice how the modern part was built according to a very simple plan: it is known as Ragusa Superiore.
But it’s in the oldest part you’ll find out a truer Sicily: you are in Ragusa Ibla, in the lower hill with its narrow and winding streets, like a labyrinth.
You’ll admire its stone houses and its Baroque palaces, the result of a city reconstruction in the XVII century, in the architectural style in vogue at the time.
Ragusa is a treasure nestled in the emerald green, surrounding countryside.
The church of St. George was built in local stone in the XVIII century: you’ll step up the large staircase that converges upwards, behind a sumptuous iron gate.
The neoclassical dome stands on a colorful series of stained glass windows.
The convex façade creates a multi-level perspective, flanked by Corinthian columns, overlooking the square and its cafés.
Ragusa is the main city in the UNESCO Val di Noto.
But Noto and Modica are not less beautiful, and are worth a visit.
The Sicily Italy tour will lead you to the interior of south-east, inside rough mountains and deep ravines.
Here Baroque towns – eight in all – sprang up after the devastating earthquake of 1693 which capture the attention.
Ragusa, Modica, Scicli and Ipsica, forming the so-called “Val di Noto”, all catch the eye and became UNESCO site as a whole.
The finest of them is Noto, whose rebuilding to the south of the original town (now known as Noto Antica) was a triumph of urban planning, architectural harmony and the typical amber-colored stone which turns gold under the sun rays.
Noto is easy to visit.
Simply wander the length of the Corso, as long and graceful as an arrow, diving down side streets here and there.
Don't miss Via Nicolaci, at the top of which is the beautiful elliptical façade of the Chiesa di Montevirgine.
Along one side of Via Nicolaci stands the Palazzo Villadorata, whose many playfully buttressed balconies – horses, griffons, nymphs, cherubs, fierce bald men – jut from a severely Classical façade.
Noto's Cathedral rises impressively above Corso Vittorio Emmanuele and is approached by a wide and graceful flight of steps.
At the bottom of the street stands the Church of San Carlo, whose bell tower offers fine views. Opposite the cathedral, the Municipio (town hall) has an exuberant trompe l'oeil ceiling in its "Hall of Mirrors".
The last stop in the UNESCO Val di Noto area is the town of Modica.
You'll love to walk along the main street, Corso Umberto, which has lots of interesting boutique-type shops, and wander through the historic squares, admiring the churches and soaking up the atmosphere.
Modica is one of the world capital of Chocolate.
But, chocolate here is so different compared to the one from anywhere else.
It’s grainy, bittersweet and rather old fashioned, made from an Aztec recipe, but really rather delicious.
The chocolate pastries at local “Pasticcerie” are another must-buy. You can also pick up some very nice baskets and leatherwear.
Sicily is apparently an island out of time.
Time tends to stop itself and stop you, and Syracuse testifies it.
If you book our Sicily private tour, you will admire the city that used to rivaling with Athens as the most important Magna Graecia city.
You'll love Siracusa with citrus groves that add splendor to the landscape surrounding the ancient Greek ruins.
You will spend a night as the locals, with a drink in one of the cafés that animate the beautiful baroque squares of Syracuse. You’ll be set in the suggestions created by skillful play of light.
Then, you’ll walk along the Medieval narrow streets that wind through an urban landscape of past times. These streets lead you to the coast and to sea water of cobalt blue.
Now, while walking, think that in ancient times, and particularly during the Magna Graecia domination, Syracuse was the largest city in Sicily and throughout the ancient world, bigger even than Athens.
Your guide will lead you through the elegant streets of the most modern and hectic city, towards one of the largest theaters in the Greek Empire, built around 470 BC, located in the Archaeological Park of "Neapolis".
The theater is known not only for its size, but also because here (according to ancient sources) two tragedies by Aeschylus were staged for the first time.
The entire theater is more like a stadium with a diameter of 452 feet (approx. 140 m.), with 61 rows of seats hewn in a rugged landscape.
Once you enter the theater, just stop by to observe: you will see how simple and elegant ingenuity, 25 centuries ago, have been able to build a similar building containing 15,000 spectators.
Today, early in the morning, you'll leave the ancient streets of Syracuse, and follow your guide towards the historical center of Catania, which is UNESCO Heritage.
Here, the Catania baroque squares create wide open spaces surrounded by buildings in black and white that dominate the skyline.
From early morning, customers animate the lively fish market, for daily shopping with fresh fish just downloaded from fishing boats.
Fishmongers use to refer to each other in such a jovial manner, by making friendly banter.
The Mount Etna stands on the horizon, with its snow-covered peak.
But when it actively erupts fiery lava (it is never dangerous), do not miss the extraordinary show you'll be offered, especially at night.
Worth seeing is the Teatro Massimo, built in the XIX century: the opera house in Catania is dedicated to the composer Vincenzo Bellini.
It looks like a palace on the outside with three arched portico adorned with a winged angel flanked by two statuesque figures.
The facade of the theater in neo-Baroque style: it is inspired by the classic “Sansovinian” Library of Venice.
The rest of the property, however, develops differently and assumes the form of theater.
The interior features such opulence, from the magnificent chandelier, up to the elegant foyer all covered of precious marble.
A statue of Bellini is located between the central arches to contrast the glare of bright red velvet that fill the theater's interior.
From Catania, you will reach Taormina in just few minutes.
This is probably one of the most fashionable Summer destinations in Italy. A group of International celebrities usually spend their time here.
Maybe because of the blue sea water shining in the light of the rising sun.
Or maybe because of the great events in the Greek theater, probably the most spectacular and scenographic one that we have inherited from ancient times.
The landscape too is no exception: rees dotting the reddish hills, in contrast with the blue coast. Sea waves crash against the rugged coastline morning of the Ionian Sea.
In the background, not far away, Mount Etna continues to watch you on the seaside background.
You can enjoy this leisure day between the splendor of the sea, and the charming streets of this very fashionable town.
The streets of Taormina offer many fashion and accessory shops, as well as many typical restaurants.
You can admire its romantic buildings, with small terraces that offer unparalleled panoramic views.
The Mazzaro cable car glides over the ground until Porta Messina.
While walking the streets of Taormina, sit in one of the cafés to enjoy an espresso. Sniff the air: feel how the rich smell of coffee blends with the sea air.
The best view is in Piazza IX Aprile. You can admire and take a picture of Mount Etna and the bay into one single image.
And don’t forget to admire, the squared clock tower in the rugged stone.
On the same square, there is the Church of St. Joseph, finished building in the XVIII century.
The façade has an obvious baroque setting, with a large central portal made of Taormina marble in different shades.
In fact, some elements of the pediment have a pink pigment, taking a light pastel tones at mid-morning.
Sicily has a majesty that has captivated all cultures of the world.
During this trip, you have admired the unique and wonderful sea coasts, as well as the fascinating evidence of history spread across the landscape: from the Greek temples, to the Roman ruins, to the Baroque palaces, to the Norman cathedrals.
The orange trees scent has become familiar, like the light in the morning, here in Sicily.
How sweet it is to be soothed by this same fragrance of orange trees, mixed with your fresh espresso aroma, together with the sea smell that fills the lungs.
All good things have a beginning, but they also have an end.
Your private transfer will take you to the Catania International Airport for your return flight.
- Airport private transfers to/from the chosen Hotel
- Pick up service from the chosen Hotel with private Mercedes (or similar) car or van
- Private transfer service to all venues and cities
- 9 nights accommodation in the chosen Hotels
- 9 breakfast meals in Hotel,
- 9 lunch meals in typical restaurants
- 9 dinner meals in typical restaurants
- Entrance tickets to all monuments
- Official English speaking professional tour guides
- Customized trip planning
- Assistance during your trip
- International R/T flight tickets
- the City Tax (if applicable), to be paid in Hotel
- Optional tours or extra visits not included in the planned trip, to be bought locally
- Tips, and any further extras
- Everything not included in the previous section
Like all our private tours, the Full Sicily Private Tour has no fixed departure dates. In this way, it’s easier for you to customize the tour, according to your needs.
The price relates to two people sharing a double hotel room. The same price can be applied to up to 10 people traveling together. For larger groups, please contact our dedicated team. For people wishing to sleep in a single room, a single room supplement will be applied.
5-star Hotel: From Euro 340 per person per day 4-star Hotel: From Euro 250 per person per day 3-star Hotel: From Euro 162 per person per day