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Treasures of Sicily

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Road Scholar
Program #18212RJ
17 Days | 16 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Oct 20 — Nov 5, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Monday, October 20 - Departure from points in North America.
In Transit: Overnight flight crosses the Atlantic Ocean. Arrive in Catania, Sicily the following day.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Free Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby, rooms and on the terrace. For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.


Day Two: Tuesday, October 21 - Arrival/Welcome Reception
Note: For baggage claim pay attention to the carousel number of your flight. One is for bags checked in at Schengen (European Union) countries and a separate belt delivers bags checked in elsewhere. The reason for the different baggage area is that luggage checked in at non-Schengen (including U.S. and Canada) countries need to pass through customs inspection at the final European destination. Pick up bag, go through "Something To Declare" or "Nothing to Declare" booth, and enter public terminal area.

Arrive To: Transfer from Catania airport to hotel in Giardini Naxos. Notice imposing Mt. Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: Settle in and relax before meeting for an informal gathering and reception to welcome you to Sicily. At the sea side resort you can walk along the rocky beach or wander around the main street of the seaside resort community.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Free Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby, rooms and on the terrace. For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.


Day Three: Wednesday, October 22 - Orientation/Neighborhood Walk / History of Sicily
Note: Minimal exertion on the walk past the archaeological park to the village of Naxos.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: The group leader distributes the most updated program schedule and goes over logistics. A short walk in the vicinity of the hotel points out banks, shops, pharmacies and markets. First of a series of lectures on Sicily’s history. Topics include the ancient Mediterranean colonizers--people from Greece, Phoenicia, Carthage and their impact on this area of Sicily.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: After a briefing for the next day's Taormina excursion, a guided walk to discover Giardini Naxos.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Free Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby, rooms and on the terrace. For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.


Day Four: Thursday, October 23 - Taormina / Sicilian Folklore
Note: The way to Taormina is a 20 min. coach ride to the parking lot of Mt. Tauro and continues with a 400 yard walk up an inclined road. Once on top, the road is fairly level. The walk down to and up from the public garden requires some effort. Note that there are few handrails in the archaeological site.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: The guided visit of Taormina, charming town on the crest of Mount Tauro, begins at the open air Greek theater. The location is optimal to view the expansive slopes of Mount Etna as its backdrop. The traffic-free streets of the town are lined with shops, boutiques and cafes. It has long been a resort destination for nobility, artists and actors.

Lunch: Lunch on your own. Many choices among restaurants and cafes in Taormina.

Afternoon: Free time to stroll, shop, or relax in the welcoming piazzas of Taormina. The public garden offers a splendid view of the coastlines below. The manicured garden has numerous flowering plants, bushes and trees. It is a good place for a picnic if you prefer. Meet at the appointed place for short coach ride back to the hotel. Late afternoon presentation on Sicilian Folklore and Traditions.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Free Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby, rooms and on the terrace. For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.


Day Five: Friday, October 24 - Reggio Calabria/Archaeological Museum/Scilla/Mess...
Note: Minimal walking in Reggio Calabria. Walk around the center of Messina over paved, level sidewalks.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Coach from the hotel to Messina, board ferry for crossing of the Strait of Messina, to Reggio Calabria at the very tip of the Italian peninsula's boot. The bronze Riace warriors have been restored and returned to the museum in Reggio Calabria for visitors to admire.

Lunch: Lunch at a seaside restaurant in Scilla, town of origin of the sea monster Scylla from Greek myth.

Afternoon: Ferry back to Messina, a modern city from an architectural point of view. The city was rebuilt following the disastrous 1908 earthquake that leveled the city. A brief stop at the main square in Messina where you can enjoy a Sicilian gelato or cannoli.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The ancient city was founded 2,700 years ago and was one of the great cities of the Greek ‘new world’ in Italy. At its peak it challenged Athens for control of the Greek colonial possessions, a rivalry that culminated in a war vividly described by the historian Thucydides. With power came contention, and Syracuse passed through the rule of numerous dictators and tyrants before capitulating to the expansion of Rome. Today the archeological ruins of its classical heyday are interspersed within a bustling, modern city which includes Ortygia, the small historic center and charming island overlooking the harbor. The Syracuse program site hotel is one of the few hotels located in the heart of Ortygia, very close to the magnificent center square.

Contact info:
Via Roma, 66
Syracuse, NA 96100 Italy
phone: +39 0931 465 626
web: www.hotelroma.sr.it

Room amenities: Satellite television, mini-bar, safe box for valuables, hair dryer and individual climate control.

Facility amenities: Fine dining at the hotel's restaurant. Relax in the lounge with bar service; take advantage of the fitness room or the Internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Saturday, October 25 - Transfer to Syracuse/Ortygia
Note: The Island of Ortygia is closed to coach traffic; we will disembark on the mainland and walk to the hotel. Porterage service will bring the luggage to the hotel.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Morning presentation on Life in Italy Today, followed by Q & A. Check out of the hotel and board coach for a ride along the coast through the city of Catania to Ortygia Island in Syracuse. Observe the change in perspective of the looming Mt. Etna.

Lunch: Lunch at an agriturismo, a working farm on the slopes of Mt. Etna. Visit the estate and the garden and orchards that thrive on the fertile volcanic soil and enjoy freshly prepared Sicilian dishes.

Afternoon: Check into the hotel on the island of Ortygia. Orientation walk explores the oldest part of the city of Syracuse. The Cathedral is a living example of the different cultures that colonized Sicily, each lending its own architectural style. The present Cathedral incorporates architectural elements from a 5th c. BCE temple to Athena. Twenty six of the temple's Doric columns are still in place.

Dinner: At hotel restaurant and free time to walk around the pedestrian friendly zone.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The ancient city was founded 2,700 years ago and was one of the great cities of the Greek ‘new world’ in Italy. At its peak it challenged Athens for control of the Greek colonial possessions, a rivalry that culminated in a war vividly described by the historian Thucydides. With power came contention, and Syracuse passed through the rule of numerous dictators and tyrants before capitulating to the expansion of Rome. Today the archeological ruins of its classical heyday are interspersed within a bustling, modern city which includes Ortygia, the small historic center and charming island overlooking the harbor. The Syracuse program site hotel is one of the few hotels located in the heart of Ortygia, very close to the magnificent center square.

Contact info:
Via Roma, 66
Syracuse, NA 96100 Italy
phone: +39 0931 465 626
web: www.hotelroma.sr.it

Room amenities: Satellite television, mini-bar, safe box for valuables, hair dryer and individual climate control.

Facility amenities: Fine dining at the hotel's restaurant. Relax in the lounge with bar service; take advantage of the fitness room or the Internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Sunday, October 26 - Greek Theater / Archaeological site
Note: The quarries served as a source of stone, and the descent is slight, with uneasy footing and no handrails. Ascent is a little steep, not unlike a modern stadium. Sit on the stone 'bleachers' while the guide describes the history of the outdoor theater.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Guided visit to the Archaeological zone in Syracuse, including the Greek theater and the Paradise Quarry, where 7,000 Athenian soldiers were imprisoned. The Greek theater, carved out of the rocky hillside in the 5th century BCE, was one of the most important theaters in the ancient world.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: Visit the Cathedral which was rebuilt in the 18th century with a distinctive Sicilian Baroque style when the ancient facade collapsed in an earthquake. Local artisan workshops, cafes and boutiques abound in Ortygia's pedestrian center of narrow streets and lively squares.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The ancient city was founded 2,700 years ago and was one of the great cities of the Greek ‘new world’ in Italy. At its peak it challenged Athens for control of the Greek colonial possessions, a rivalry that culminated in a war vividly described by the historian Thucydides. With power came contention, and Syracuse passed through the rule of numerous dictators and tyrants before capitulating to the expansion of Rome. Today the archeological ruins of its classical heyday are interspersed within a bustling, modern city which includes Ortygia, the small historic center and charming island overlooking the harbor. The Syracuse program site hotel is one of the few hotels located in the heart of Ortygia, very close to the magnificent center square.

Contact info:
Via Roma, 66
Syracuse, NA 96100 Italy
phone: +39 0931 465 626
web: www.hotelroma.sr.it

Room amenities: Satellite television, mini-bar, safe box for valuables, hair dryer and individual climate control.

Facility amenities: Fine dining at the hotel's restaurant. Relax in the lounge with bar service; take advantage of the fitness room or the Internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Monday, October 27 - Buscemi, Village Frozen in Time / Puppet Show
Note: The main road in Buscemi traverses a low hill, but streets leading up or down require a little effort.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Step back in time to visit Buscemi, a typical Sicilian town of a century ago, depopulated by emigration. A local escort lead us through the streets, where we visit houses, shops and grape and olive presses of the previous centuries, complete with furnishings of the period.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at local restaurant in the countryside.

Afternoon: Coach to Syracuse late afternoon in time to visit a small puppet museum and watch a short performance of the traditional Sicilian performance art.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The ancient city was founded 2,700 years ago and was one of the great cities of the Greek ‘new world’ in Italy. At its peak it challenged Athens for control of the Greek colonial possessions, a rivalry that culminated in a war vividly described by the historian Thucydides. With power came contention, and Syracuse passed through the rule of numerous dictators and tyrants before capitulating to the expansion of Rome. Today the archeological ruins of its classical heyday are interspersed within a bustling, modern city which includes Ortygia, the small historic center and charming island overlooking the harbor. The Syracuse program site hotel is one of the few hotels located in the heart of Ortygia, very close to the magnificent center square.

Contact info:
Via Roma, 66
Syracuse, NA 96100 Italy
phone: +39 0931 465 626
web: www.hotelroma.sr.it

Room amenities: Satellite television, mini-bar, safe box for valuables, hair dryer and individual climate control.

Facility amenities: Fine dining at the hotel's restaurant. Relax in the lounge with bar service; take advantage of the fitness room or the Internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Tuesday, October 28 - Archaeological Museum / Baroque Noto
Note: Standing while learning about archaeological items on display in the museum. In Noto a short, easy walk brings you to the center of town, which is closed to traffic.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Guided visit to the Archaeological Museum in Syracuse. The collection includes artifacts of the Greeks, Romans and early Christians who settled in Sicily.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant en route to Noto.

Afternoon: Rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1693, Noto finely represents the rich architectural and artistic achievement of the late Sicilian Baroque style.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant and pack for the next day's departure.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (who facilitated prisoner exchanges during the 16th c.) it was combined with 2 adjacent buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form a bank and stock exchange. Newly restructured and updated in 2005 it is a modern business class hotel with full amenities. The old courtyard, supported by ancient columns, is a covered atrium. Centrally located in the heart of Palermo, near museums and opera theaters, this is an ideal location to explore the city. Enjoy the Liberty epoch decor in the common area and restaurants and modern rooms.

Contact info:
Via dei Cartari 18
Palermo, NA 90133 Italy
phone: +39 091-320-075
web: www.piazzaborsa.it

Room amenities: Direct dial telephones from room; hair dryer, complimentary toiletries; mini bar; room safe for valuables; individual thermostat; Internet connection, satellite television.

Facility amenities: Internet point in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi access. Laundry service. Conference center. Spa, massage, and aesthetic center (reservations required), Turkish bath, whirlpool, fitness center with resistance machines (free for guests). Bars, restaurants, boutiques.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.piazzaborsa.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Ten: Wednesday, October 29 - Transfer to Palermo / Roman Villa Casale
Note: The walk around the Roman villa is not strenuous.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A coach ride across the island.

Lunch: Lunch at a trattoria in the town of Piazza Armerina.

Afternoon: Piazza Armerina is a small, non-descript town outside of which were discovered, by pure chance, the ruins of a private Roman villa containing a most extensive and impressive series of floor mosaics. The guide will lead us through the villa and explain the meaning and significance of the mosaics, as well as give the most recent theories of the who the owner was. Arrival at hotel in Palermo.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (who facilitated prisoner exchanges during the 16th c.) it was combined with 2 adjacent buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form a bank and stock exchange. Newly restructured and updated in 2005 it is a modern business class hotel with full amenities. The old courtyard, supported by ancient columns, is a covered atrium. Centrally located in the heart of Palermo, near museums and opera theaters, this is an ideal location to explore the city. Enjoy the Liberty epoch decor in the common area and restaurants and modern rooms.

Contact info:
Via dei Cartari 18
Palermo, NA 90133 Italy
phone: +39 091-320-075
web: www.piazzaborsa.it

Room amenities: Direct dial telephones from room; hair dryer, complimentary toiletries; mini bar; room safe for valuables; individual thermostat; Internet connection, satellite television.

Facility amenities: Internet point in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi access. Laundry service. Conference center. Spa, massage, and aesthetic center (reservations required), Turkish bath, whirlpool, fitness center with resistance machines (free for guests). Bars, restaurants, boutiques.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.piazzaborsa.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Eleven: Thursday, October 30 - Free Morning / Lunch with a Local Family / Explor...
Note: Leisurely walk around Palermo, some stairs to climb in historical buildings.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Some free time in the morning before a late morning coach ride just outside Palermo.

Lunch: Sample Sicilian dishes at lunch at the home of a family on the outskirts of the city center.

Afternoon: Coach drop off in the center for a guided visit of the Palatine Chapel, covered from floor to ceiling with mosaics commissioned in the 12th century. The visit continues to the church of St. John of the Hermits, and La Martorana, originally commissioned by a Greek Orthodox admiral in 1140.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (who facilitated prisoner exchanges during the 16th c.) it was combined with 2 adjacent buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form a bank and stock exchange. Newly restructured and updated in 2005 it is a modern business class hotel with full amenities. The old courtyard, supported by ancient columns, is a covered atrium. Centrally located in the heart of Palermo, near museums and opera theaters, this is an ideal location to explore the city. Enjoy the Liberty epoch decor in the common area and restaurants and modern rooms.

Contact info:
Via dei Cartari 18
Palermo, NA 90133 Italy
phone: +39 091-320-075
web: www.piazzaborsa.it

Room amenities: Direct dial telephones from room; hair dryer, complimentary toiletries; mini bar; room safe for valuables; individual thermostat; Internet connection, satellite television.

Facility amenities: Internet point in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi access. Laundry service. Conference center. Spa, massage, and aesthetic center (reservations required), Turkish bath, whirlpool, fitness center with resistance machines (free for guests). Bars, restaurants, boutiques.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.piazzaborsa.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Twelve: Friday, October 31 - Erice, Marsala and Trapani
Note: The walk up to Erice through the ancient gate is somewhat steep, similar to Taormina.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Erice. Guided visit of the ancient mountain-top city reputedly established by Elymian refugees from the fall of Troy. Eryx, the founding king, introduced the worship of Aphrodite to Sicily and we see ruins of the temple. Also noteworthy are the church and Norman walls. Coach to Trapani for a visit and lunch at the Salt Works. Used since antiquity, the sun and wind provide the ideal location to evaporate sea water through a series of large water basins. Visit the old sea mill and enjoy a typical lunch served to the salt harvesters.

Lunch: Lunch at a trattoria located in an old salt harvesting warehouse and wind mill. Taste simple but delicious food seasoned with the famous Trapani Sea Salt.

Afternoon: Field trip continues to Marsala to visit the archaeological museum which houses the remains of a Punic era ship probably dated to mid 3rd c. BCE. Marsala figures prominently in the Italian Unification, General Garibaldi landed there with his invading army in 1860. The fortified wine Marsala, prime ingredient of "chicken or veal Marsala" and various mixed drinks and desserts, originated here. Opportunity for a Marsala tasting.

Dinner: Coach to Palermo late afternoon. Dinner at a local pizzeria.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (who facilitated prisoner exchanges during the 16th c.) it was combined with 2 adjacent buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form a bank and stock exchange. Newly restructured and updated in 2005 it is a modern business class hotel with full amenities. The old courtyard, supported by ancient columns, is a covered atrium. Centrally located in the heart of Palermo, near museums and opera theaters, this is an ideal location to explore the city. Enjoy the Liberty epoch decor in the common area and restaurants and modern rooms.

Contact info:
Via dei Cartari 18
Palermo, NA 90133 Italy
phone: +39 091-320-075
web: www.piazzaborsa.it

Room amenities: Direct dial telephones from room; hair dryer, complimentary toiletries; mini bar; room safe for valuables; individual thermostat; Internet connection, satellite television.

Facility amenities: Internet point in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi access. Laundry service. Conference center. Spa, massage, and aesthetic center (reservations required), Turkish bath, whirlpool, fitness center with resistance machines (free for guests). Bars, restaurants, boutiques.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.piazzaborsa.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Thirteen: Saturday, November 01 - Form and Function of Cathedrals / Discover Palerm...
Note: Uneven pavement on urban walks in Palermo center.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A local expert illustrates the features of constructing churches and cathedrals from the 1st century to the Renaissance. After a short break, a walk to explore Baroque Churches in the heart of Palermo.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Some free time early afternoon. Later at the hotel, a classroom session on the multiple cultures that have left their mark in Sicily.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (who facilitated prisoner exchanges during the 16th c.) it was combined with 2 adjacent buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form a bank and stock exchange. Newly restructured and updated in 2005 it is a modern business class hotel with full amenities. The old courtyard, supported by ancient columns, is a covered atrium. Centrally located in the heart of Palermo, near museums and opera theaters, this is an ideal location to explore the city. Enjoy the Liberty epoch decor in the common area and restaurants and modern rooms.

Contact info:
Via dei Cartari 18
Palermo, NA 90133 Italy
phone: +39 091-320-075
web: www.piazzaborsa.it

Room amenities: Direct dial telephones from room; hair dryer, complimentary toiletries; mini bar; room safe for valuables; individual thermostat; Internet connection, satellite television.

Facility amenities: Internet point in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi access. Laundry service. Conference center. Spa, massage, and aesthetic center (reservations required), Turkish bath, whirlpool, fitness center with resistance machines (free for guests). Bars, restaurants, boutiques.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.piazzaborsa.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Fourteen: Sunday, November 02 - Agrigento and the Valley of Temples
Note: Uneven dirt path connects the temples and museum, distance about one half mile down a slight incline. No handrails in the archaeological site.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to the southwestern coast of Sicily for an expert led visit to the temples and ruins in Agrigento. The area boasts the finest extant Greek temple complex anywhere (including Greece) lined along a plateau above the water, as well as a fascinating archaeological museum with artistic and votive finds from the area.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Guided visit in the Valley of Temples continues in the archaeological museum. Coach to Palermo.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (who facilitated prisoner exchanges during the 16th c.) it was combined with 2 adjacent buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form a bank and stock exchange. Newly restructured and updated in 2005 it is a modern business class hotel with full amenities. The old courtyard, supported by ancient columns, is a covered atrium. Centrally located in the heart of Palermo, near museums and opera theaters, this is an ideal location to explore the city. Enjoy the Liberty epoch decor in the common area and restaurants and modern rooms.

Contact info:
Via dei Cartari 18
Palermo, NA 90133 Italy
phone: +39 091-320-075
web: www.piazzaborsa.it

Room amenities: Direct dial telephones from room; hair dryer, complimentary toiletries; mini bar; room safe for valuables; individual thermostat; Internet connection, satellite television.

Facility amenities: Internet point in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi access. Laundry service. Conference center. Spa, massage, and aesthetic center (reservations required), Turkish bath, whirlpool, fitness center with resistance machines (free for guests). Bars, restaurants, boutiques.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.piazzaborsa.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Fifteen: Monday, November 03 - Modern Sicily / Sicilian Writers / Monreale
Note: Minimal walking in the small town of Monreale.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Learn about Sicily's role in the birth of the modern Italian republic. After a break, a presentation on notable Sicilian writers. Coach to Monreale.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Monreale.

Afternoon: Just above Palermo, the massive Norman cathedral at Monreale is adorned in the interior with Byzantine medieval mosaics of the highest workmanship. The town is also known for its cannoli, reputedly the best in Italy. On the way back to Palermo, a brief guided visit to the Abatellis Museum (Galleria Regionale della Sicilia), contains a marble bust of Eleanor of Aragon by Laureana.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (who facilitated prisoner exchanges during the 16th c.) it was combined with 2 adjacent buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form a bank and stock exchange. Newly restructured and updated in 2005 it is a modern business class hotel with full amenities. The old courtyard, supported by ancient columns, is a covered atrium. Centrally located in the heart of Palermo, near museums and opera theaters, this is an ideal location to explore the city. Enjoy the Liberty epoch decor in the common area and restaurants and modern rooms.

Contact info:
Via dei Cartari 18
Palermo, NA 90133 Italy
phone: +39 091-320-075
web: www.piazzaborsa.it

Room amenities: Direct dial telephones from room; hair dryer, complimentary toiletries; mini bar; room safe for valuables; individual thermostat; Internet connection, satellite television.

Facility amenities: Internet point in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi access. Laundry service. Conference center. Spa, massage, and aesthetic center (reservations required), Turkish bath, whirlpool, fitness center with resistance machines (free for guests). Bars, restaurants, boutiques.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.piazzaborsa.it. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Sixteen: Tuesday, November 04 - Origins of the Mafia / Market Walk / Free Afterno...
Note: Uneven pavement and sidewalks in Palermo street markets.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Morning session at the hotel; a local expert describes the reach of organized crime in Sicily today and traces the origins of the Mafia to the early 18th c. when displaced peasants faced the loss of feudal common rights and turned to banditry. After a short break, explore Palermo's main market, where fruit, vegetables, fish and home goods are displayed on typical or traditionally decorated carts.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Palermo at your own pace.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Seventeen: Wednesday, November 05 - Departures
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel; continental style for participants with early morning departures.

Morning: Coach to and Depart from Palermo airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Palermo
Explore PalermoPalermo is a city rich with history, art and culture. Many of the highlights are located within a short walk of the hotel. You may wish to take a tour of the famed Teatro Massimo, visit the Archeological Museum or stop into one of the beautiful Baroque churches in the neighborhood. Or, stroll down the Via della Libertà and take in Palermo’s Liberty-style architecture.
For additional information, visit: www.bestofsicily.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
15 nights of accommodations
39 meals: 15 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
23 Field trips

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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