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Treasures of Sicily

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Road Scholar
Program #18212RJ

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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. 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 Sep 12 — Sep 28, 2015

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, September 12 - In Transit to Program
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 located on the sea in a quiet summer resort area 3 miles from the hill town of Taormina. The spacious lounge opens out to the poolside lounge. The hotel has its own private beach. Bring a swimsuit if you want to test the waters of the Mediterranean.

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 a large formal dining room. Situated on the shore of Giardini-Naxos, the hotel has a small private beach for its guests. The swimming pool is open May to September. Elevators to all floors. 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 (not self-service).

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.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Sunday, September 13 - Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinn...
Note: Hotel check in from 2:00 pm. Small amount of walking on arrival day.

Arrive To: Transfer from Catania airport to hotel in Giardini Naxos.

Lunch: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

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: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase. Note that in keeping with the Sicilian custom of dinner time, the restaurant opens at 7:30.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

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

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is located on the sea in a quiet summer resort area 3 miles from the hill town of Taormina. The spacious lounge opens out to the poolside lounge. The hotel has its own private beach. Bring a swimsuit if you want to test the waters of the Mediterranean.

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 a large formal dining room. Situated on the shore of Giardini-Naxos, the hotel has a small private beach for its guests. The swimming pool is open May to September. Elevators to all floors. 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 (not self-service).

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.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Monday, September 14 - Orientation, Neighborhood Walk , History of Sicil...
Note: The walk to Naxos is less than a mile.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. Each day the buffet choices in this and other program site hotels will include an egg dish, cold cut and cheese platter, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, muesli, pastries, cakes, breads, jams, juice, coffee, whole mil, tea, and water.

Morning: In the meeting room of the hotel, the group leader distributes the most updated day-to-day schedule and goes over logistics and pointers to ensure a safe and enjoyable program. A short walk follows in the vicinity of the hotel pointing out bank (ATM), pharmacy 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: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: The group leader leads a walk past the ruins of the original Greek settlement to the center of the town of Naxos.

Dinner: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

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

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is located on the sea in a quiet summer resort area 3 miles from the hill town of Taormina. The spacious lounge opens out to the poolside lounge. The hotel has its own private beach. Bring a swimsuit if you want to test the waters of the Mediterranean.

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 a large formal dining room. Situated on the shore of Giardini-Naxos, the hotel has a small private beach for its guests. The swimming pool is open May to September. Elevators to all floors. 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 (not self-service).

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.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Four: Tuesday, September 15 - Taormina, Folklore and Traditions
Note: The streets of Taormina are traffic free. The 20 min. coach ride to the parking lot of Mt. Tauro still leaves a 400 yard walk up an inclined road. Once on top, the road is fairly level. At the archaeological site there are few handrails to assist walking up the steep and uneven stone steps. If you are unsure of the climb, you can take in the theater and majestic view of Mt. Etna from the proscenium. The roads in town down to and up from the public garden requires some effort.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Taormina. 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 cafés. It has long been a resort destination for nobility, artists and actors.

Lunch: On your own. There are a variety of eateries in town, ranging from snack bars, cafés, trattorias and formal restaurants to please every palate and budget.

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. Coach back to Giardini Naxos late afternoon for a lecture on Sicilian Folklore and Traditions.

Dinner: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

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

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is located on the sea in a quiet summer resort area 3 miles from the hill town of Taormina. The spacious lounge opens out to the poolside lounge. The hotel has its own private beach. Bring a swimsuit if you want to test the waters of the Mediterranean.

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 a large formal dining room. Situated on the shore of Giardini-Naxos, the hotel has a small private beach for its guests. The swimming pool is open May to September. Elevators to all floors. 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 (not self-service).

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.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Five: Wednesday, September 16 - Reggio Calabria and the Riace Warriors, Messina
Note: Coach to Messina and a 20 minute ferry ride across the Strait of Messina to Reggio Calabria. Some walking in Reggio. Walk around the center of Messina over paved, level sidewalks.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Messina and ferry across the Strait of Messina to Reggio Calabria to see the Riace Warriors, full-size bronze statues cast around 450 BCE. Our expert will talk about their discovery, restoration and preservation. The archaeological museum that houses the statues is undergoing restoration and the expert will maximize our time there.

Lunch: At a small family run restaurant in the ancient city of Scilla, named after the mythological marine monster from Homer's Odyssey. Enjoy some typical Sicilian dishes in the informal restaurant on the beachfront.

Afternoon: Ferry back to Messina. Notice the uniform early 20th century architecture resulting from the rebuilding 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. Coach continues to Giardini Naxos.

Dinner: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

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

Description: The hotel is next door to the Duomo (which was a Greek temple to Minerva) and square on the small island of Ortygia, the historic center of Syracuse where the Baroque palaces and seawalks are located. Ortygia is connected by a small bridge to the modern neighborhoods of Syracuse.

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. Comfortable lobby with internet point and lounge with bar service. Fitness room. Sign out one of bicycles available to guests. Laundry service available.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Thursday, September 17 - Italy Today, Transfer to Syracuse , Ortygia
Note: The Island of Ortygia is closed to coach traffic; the coach drop off point is on the mainland. Short walk to the hotel over a pedestrian bridge. Porterage service will transfer luggage from the coach to the hotel.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: A morning session at the hotel's meeting room on the institutions that characterize Italy today. Check out of the hotel. Coach drives along the coast past the city of Catania to an agriturismo near Mt. Etna. Observe the change in perspective of the looming mountain, the highest active volcano in Europe.

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. Water and wine included.

Afternoon: Another hour of coach ride to Syracuse. Check into the hotel on the island of Ortygia.

Dinner: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure to explore Syracuse on foot.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

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

Description: The hotel is next door to the Duomo (which was a Greek temple to Minerva) and square on the small island of Ortygia, the historic center of Syracuse where the Baroque palaces and seawalks are located. Ortygia is connected by a small bridge to the modern neighborhoods of Syracuse.

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. Comfortable lobby with internet point and lounge with bar service. Fitness room. Sign out one of bicycles available to guests. Laundry service available.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Friday, September 18 - Ortygia, Archaeological Zone, Greek Theater
Note: The quarries served as a source of stone, and the descent is slight, with uneven pavement and few handrails. Greek theaters are built using the slope of a hill. Ascent is a little steep, not unlike a modern stadium. You may rest on the stone 'bleachers.'

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: 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. Twenty six Doric columns from the 5th c. BCE temple to Athena are incorporated in the cathedral. Visit the cathedral's interior which was rebuilt in the 18th century with a distinctive Sicilian Baroque style when the ancient facade collapsed in an earthquake. Local artisan workshops, cafés and boutiques abound in Ortygia's pedestrian center of narrow streets and lively squares.

Lunch: On your own. There are a variety of snack bars, cafés, informal trattorias and more formal restaurants from which to choose. The group leader will have suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Coach to the outskirts of Syracuse. Guided visit to the Archaeological zone in Syracuse, including the Greek theater and the Paradise Quarry, where 7,000 Athenian soldiers were imprisoned centuries ago. 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. Coach back to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu of Sicilian dishes; plated service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

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

Description: The hotel is next door to the Duomo (which was a Greek temple to Minerva) and square on the small island of Ortygia, the historic center of Syracuse where the Baroque palaces and seawalks are located. Ortygia is connected by a small bridge to the modern neighborhoods of Syracuse.

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. Comfortable lobby with internet point and lounge with bar service. Fitness room. Sign out one of bicycles available to guests. Laundry service available.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Saturday, September 19 - Buscemi: Frozen in Time, Agriturismo with Sicilia...
Note: The main road in Buscemi traverses a low hill, but streets leading up or down require some effort.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Buscemi, about 70 miles inland. Step back in time to visit 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. Contrast the foreman's house from that of the day laborer.

Lunch: At an 'agriturismo,' or farm restaurant. The multiple course lunch features local produce and wine. The dessert cannoli are filled on the spot with locally produced ricotta cheese.

Afternoon: Coach to Syracuse mid afternoon. Enjoy a puppet show with characters of the Sicilian marionette tradition.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own. The group leader will offer suggestions and give directions.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

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

Description: The hotel is next door to the Duomo (which was a Greek temple to Minerva) and square on the small island of Ortygia, the historic center of Syracuse where the Baroque palaces and seawalks are located. Ortygia is connected by a small bridge to the modern neighborhoods of Syracuse.

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. Comfortable lobby with internet point and lounge with bar service. Fitness room. Sign out one of bicycles available to guests. Laundry service available.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Sunday, September 20 - Archaeological Museum, Baroque Noto
Note: Extended standing while learning about archaeological items on display in the museum. In Noto a short, easy walk brings you to the center of town.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to the Archaeological Museum in Syracuse for an expert-led visit. The collection includes artifacts of the Greeks, Romans and early Christians who settled in Sicily. Coach sets out for Noto.

Lunch: At a characteristic restaurant just outside of Noto. The rustic restaurant features a farm to table fixed menu. Water and wine are included in this lunch.

Afternoon: Coach continues to Noto. Rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1693, the town finely represents the rich architectural and artistic achievement of the late Sicilian Baroque style. The town center is closed to automobile traffic. Coach to Syracuse late afternoon.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Roma

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

Description: The hotel is on the San Leone beach of Agrigento and convenient to the Valley of the Temples.

Contact info:
Viale Falcone e Borsellino, 1
San Leone Agrigento, 92100 Italy
phone: +39 0922 406111
web: www.dioscurihotel.it

Room amenities: Free wifi, flat screen TV with satellite reception, mini bar, room safe, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries. Room service available.

Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious gardens and patio. Restaurant, coffee bar and lounge, swimming pool open late spring to late fall. Laundry facilities. Complimentary wifi. 24 hour reception.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Monday, September 21 - Western Sicily , Roman Villa Casale in Piazza Arm...
Note: The walk around the Roman villa is not strenuous. Some steps to climb to reach the catwalks set up for viewing the mosaic pavements from above.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. Coach departs for the western part of Sicily. On the way enjoy excellent views of the diverse terrain in the mountainous heart of the island of Sicily.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the town of Piazza Armerina, a fixed menu of various Sicilian dishes, including local cheese. Enjoy a glass of wine included with your lunch.

Afternoon: Piazza Armerina is a small, nondescript town outside of which were discovered, by pure chance, the ruins of a private Roman villa comprised of 63 rooms containing a most extensive and impressive series of floor mosaics (c. 377,000 sq.ft.) The expert leads the way along a path of catwalks describing the mosaics and their significance, providing the most interesting theories of the unidentified owner who commissioned the construction of the villa. Recently restored, the mosaics are protected by a Plexiglas canopy. Board the coach again and continue to Agrigento. Check into the hotel and settle in.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: Dioscuri Bay Palace Hotel

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

Description: The hotel is on the San Leone beach of Agrigento and convenient to the Valley of the Temples.

Contact info:
Viale Falcone e Borsellino, 1
San Leone Agrigento, 92100 Italy
phone: +39 0922 406111
web: www.dioscurihotel.it

Room amenities: Free wifi, flat screen TV with satellite reception, mini bar, room safe, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries. Room service available.

Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious gardens and patio. Restaurant, coffee bar and lounge, swimming pool open late spring to late fall. Laundry facilities. Complimentary wifi. 24 hour reception.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Eleven: Tuesday, September 22 - Agrigento & the Valley of Temples
Note: Uneven dirt path connects the temples and museum, distance about one half mile down a slight incline. Few handrails at archaeological sites.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Expert-led visit of the Valley of the Temples. 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: At a local restaurant. Fixed menu; plated table service.

Afternoon: Guided visit in the Valley of Temples museum continues.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and budget of your choice. The group leader will offer suggestions and give directions.

Lodging: Dioscuri Bay Palace Hotel

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

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (which 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 the Piazza Borsa 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: Wednesday, September 23 - Greek Settlement of Selinunte , Continue to Paler...
Note: Selinunte Archaeological area has uneven paths with few or no handrails. Leisurely walk around Palermo.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: On the way to Palermo, visit the ancient Greek settlement of Selinunte with an expert. Set on a promontory with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean sea, it was an ideal site. See how columns were chiseled our of solid stone and used in the building of temples.

Lunch: At a local restaurant. Fixed menu of typical Sicilian fare; plated table service. Enjoy a glass of wine included with the meal.

Afternoon: Board coach and proceed to Palermo. Check into room. At the set time meet in the lobby for a short orientation walk in the neighborhood of the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel. Fixed menu; plated table service.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

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

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (which 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 the Piazza Borsa 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: Thursday, September 24 - History of Sicily, Family Lunch, Palatine Norman ...
Note: Short walk in Palermo. Extended standing during site visits.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Meet in lecture hall to learn about modern Sicilian history.

Lunch: Sample Sicilian dishes at a buffet style lunch at the home of a family just outside Palermo center.

Afternoon: Board coach for short ride to Palermo center. Meet expert who leads us on an exploration of important churches, chapels and museums in town, e.g. La Martorana, originally commissioned by a Greek Orthodox admiral in 1140. A brief visit to the Palatine Chapel covered with mosaics from the floor to the ceiling.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and budget of your choice. The group leader will offer suggestions and give directions.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

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

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (which 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 the Piazza Borsa 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: Friday, September 25 - Erice & Trapani
Note: The walk up to traffic-free Erice through the ancient gate is somewhat steep, similar to Taormina.

Breakfast: Buffet 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 the type of 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: Return to hotel mid-afternoon.

Dinner: At a local pizzeria. Sicilian antipasto is served family style. Choose your personal pizza and enjoy the glass of wine included with the meal.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

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

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (which 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 the Piazza Borsa 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: Saturday, September 26 - Form & Function of Cathedrals, Baroque Churches o...
Note: Walks in Palermo along uneven sidewalks and pavement.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Meet in the lecture hall to learn about the architecture of religious spaces: what is the difference between a Basilica and a Cathedral?

Lunch: Choose the place for lunch from the many offerings in the vicinity of the hotel. The group leader will have suggestions.

Afternoon: The lecturer accompanies the group and points out further examples of her talk. Explore the magnificent Baroque churches and the Abatellis Museum, where the masterpiece by Antonello da Messina's Madonna is on display.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Fixed menu of Sicilian dishes, plated table service. Wine is included with this meal.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

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

Description: Formerly a Mercederian monastery (which 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 the Piazza Borsa 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: Sunday, September 27 - Origins of the Mafia, Monreale's Splendid Norman ...
Note: Minimal walking in Monreale, hill town with unevenly paved streets.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Morning session on the Origins of the Mafia. Board coach for short ride to Monreale, in the hills above Palermo. The interior of the massive Norman cathedral is adorned and decorated in Byzantine medieval mosaic style of the highest workmanship. Some say they rival the mosaics of S. Mark's in Venice. The town is also known for its cannoli, reputedly the best in Italy.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Monreale that features Sicilian cuisine.

Afternoon: Some free time in Monreale. Return to Palermo in the afternoon.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at the farewell dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seventeen: Monday, September 28 - Program Concludes
Note: Carry or roll your luggage from the coach to the check-in counter at the airport.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. Continental style for participants with very 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
8 Expert-led lectures
25 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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