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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 May 5 — May 21, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Monday, May 05 - 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. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). 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, May 06 - Arrival/Welcome Reception
Note: Pay attention to the carousel number of your flight in the baggage claim area. One is for bags checked in at Schengen (European Union) countries and a different one for bags checked in elsewhere. The reason is that bags checked in by the airline in non-Schengen (including U.S. and Canada) countries need to pass through Customs.

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 restaurant.

Afternoon: Settle in and relax before meeting for an informal gathering and reception to welcome you to Sicily. In Giardini Naxos you can walk along the rocky beach or stroll the main street of the seaside resort community.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

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. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). 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, May 07 - Orientation/Neighborhood Walk / History of Sicily
Note: Minimal exertion.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Staff discusses program schedules and introduces the lectures and trips. 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 restaurant.

Afternoon: Lecture on Mythology and the Olympian pantheon and the Taormina visit preparation. Free time to walk past the ruins of the original Greek settlement and to walk into the main town of Naxos along the gulf. The shops cater to vacationers.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

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. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). 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, May 08 - Taormina / Free Time in the Afternoon
Note: 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. The walk down to and up from the public garden requires some effort.

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. A variety of restaurants, snack bars and cafes in the heart of 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.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

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. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). 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, May 09 - Bronzi di Riace Warriors / Messina
Note: Walk around the center of Messina over paved, level sidewalks.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: The excursion to Reggio Calabria is on! Ride the ferry across the Strait of Messina to Reggio Calabria. A local expert leads the visit to the Archaeological Museum. Marvel at the collection's highlight - the magnificent 2,500 year old bronze statues of the Riace warriors, recently restored and back on display.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant on the beach in Scilla.

Afternoon: Guided visit of 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.

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, May 10 - 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 is arranged to deliver the luggage to the hotel.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: In a classroom session Life in Italy Today examines the institutions that shape family life. After a short break, board the coach 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: Dinner at the 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, May 11 - Guided visit to Ortygia/Archaeological zone.
Note: The quarries served as a source of stone, and the descent is slight, but uneasy footing. 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 bleachers.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: 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.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant or the hotel.

Afternoon: 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.

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, May 12 - Buscemi: 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. Contrast the foreman's house from that of the day laborer.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the countryside.

Afternoon: In Syracuse, visit the Marionette Museum and catch a puppet show in the traditional art form of Sicily.

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: 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, May 13 - Ragusa, Baroque Jewel
Note: The hill town center is traffic free. Walking on uneven terrain with inclines.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Ragusa, Baroque jewel of a town south of Syracuse. Enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the town perched on the Iblean Hills. A local guide leads the visit.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Excursion continues. The town of Ragusa, rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1693, finely represents the rich architectural and artistic achievement of the late Sicilian Baroque style.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.

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, May 14 - Transfer to Palermo / Roman Villa Casale
Note: The walk around the Roman villa is not strenuous.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. One and a half hour coach ride to the town of Piazza Armerina.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in the small town of Piazza Armerina.

Afternoon: Piazza Armerina is a small 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. Coach ride continues through the center of the island another hour and a half to the heart of Palermo on the west coast of Sicily.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

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, May 15 - Neighborhood Exploration / Lunch with a Local Fam...
Note: Minimal exertion but the sidewalks and pedestrian paths may have uneven pavement.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: An orientation walk in the neighborhood of the hotel points out ATMs pharmacies, bus stops, etc. Lecture on the diverse cultures that have permeated the Sicilian character.

Lunch: Sample Sicilian dishes at lunch at the home of a family that lives just outside Palermo's center.

Afternoon: Guided visit of Palatine Chapel, covered from floor to ceiling with mosaics commissioned in the 12th century. The visit continues to the church of St. Catherine, and La Martorana, originally commissioned by a Greek Orthodox admiral in 1140. The Archaeological Museum houses an important collection of antiquities, including friezes from the Greek temples in Agrigento.

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, May 16 - Erice, Marsala and Trapani
Note: The walk up to the hill town of Erice through the ancient gate is somewhat steep, similar to Taormina.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Guided visit to Erice, an 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: 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: Dinner at the hotel or local restaurant.

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, May 17 - Form and Function of Cathedral / Markets of Paler...
Form and Function of Cathedral / Markets of Palermo / Art Treasures of the Abatellis Museum

Note: Uneven pavement in this urban walk. Stairs in the Abatellis Museum, in a 15th century palazzo.

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. A walk in Palermo follows, exploring the colorful main market.

Lunch: Lunch on your own. The guide and group leader will have suggestions on 'fast food', trattorias, and cafes in the busy marketplace.

Afternoon: Meet at the appointed time and place for a brief guided visit to the Abatellis Museum (Galleria Regionale della Sicilia). The fine collection, housed in the former residence of the Kingdom of Sicily's port master, contains a remarkable marble bust of a noblewoman by the artist Francesco Laureana and paintings by the Renaissance master Antonello da Messina. Late afternoon session on modern Sicily completes the picture of the history of the island.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or 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, May 18 - Agrigento and the Valley of Temples
Note: Uneven dirt path connects the temples and museum, distance about one half mile down a slight incline.

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 restaurant near the archaeological zone of Argrigento.

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

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

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, May 19 - Modern Sicily / Writers / Monreale's Splendid Cat...
Note: Miminum walking in the small town of Monreale.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A local expert presents a session on Modern History and Sicilian Authors. After a short break, coach to Monreale, situated in the hills above Palermo.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Monreale.

Afternoon: 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.

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, May 20 - Origins of Organized Crime in Sicily / Free After...
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 Mafia organized crime to the early 18th c. when displaced peasants faced the loss of feudal common rights and turned to banditry.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Free time to discover a market or neighborhood of the city.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Seventeen: Wednesday, May 21 - Early Morning transfer to Palermo Airport.
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel; sack will be available to 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
8 Expert-led lectures
25 Field trips

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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