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Italy

Treasures of Sicily

Program No. 18212RJ
Immerse yourself in the culture and cuisine of Sicily as you learn about important archaeological sites, ancient towns, historic monuments and savor a meal on the slopes of Mt. Etna.
Length
15 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
5,149
Flights start at
900

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 19 - Apr 2, 2023
Starting at
5,149
Apr 16 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
5,349
Apr 30 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
5,349
May 14 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
5,349
May 28 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
5,349
Aug 27 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
5,149
Sep 10 - Sep 24, 2023
Starting at
5,349
Sep 24 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
5,349
Oct 8 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
5,349
Oct 22 - Nov 5, 2023
Starting at
5,349
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 19 - Apr 2, 2023
Starting at
5,949
Apr 16 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
6,349
Apr 30 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
6,349
May 14 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
6,449
May 28 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
6,449
Aug 27 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
5,949
Sep 10 - Sep 24, 2023
Starting at
6,449
Sep 24 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
6,449
Oct 8 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
6,349
Oct 22 - Nov 5, 2023
Starting at
6,149

At a Glance

Experience the dizzyingly diverse cultural influences that combined to create something totally unique in Sicily. Examine the ruins left behind as evidence of Magna Graecia, “Greater Greece,” including some of the most beautiful structures ever built by the Ancient Greeks; learn about the surprising, sometimes spectacular results of the clash between Norman and Arab civilizations; meet the proud, friendly Sicilians who are eager to share their villages, their cuisine and the beauty of their land.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 4 miles a day; uneven and hilly terrain at historic sites. Extended periods of standing.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Visit the Norman Cathedral in Monreale; the Byzantine-style mosaics rival those of St. Mark's in Venice.
  • Explore 8th century B.C. Greek temples.
  • Discover Etna National Park from barren craters to orchards and terraced vineyards and enjoy a lunch of freshly prepared Sicilian dishes.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Enrico Nucci
Enrico Nucci has led Road Scholar programs in Italy and Sicily for many years. He very much enjoys sharing his knowledge of the country. Born and raised near Naples, he studied at the University of Maryland where he earned a BA in Psychology. He has worked at the Embassy of Italy, the World Bank and Auto Europe, spending several years in Maine. His interests include volcanoes (especially Vesuvius and Etna), books by the Sicilian author Andrea Camilleri, motorcycles and farm-to-table ingredients for healthy meals.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Enrico Nucci
Enrico Nucci View biography
Enrico Nucci has led Road Scholar programs in Italy and Sicily for many years. He very much enjoys sharing his knowledge of the country. Born and raised near Naples, he studied at the University of Maryland where he earned a BA in Psychology. He has worked at the Embassy of Italy, the World Bank and Auto Europe, spending several years in Maine. His interests include volcanoes (especially Vesuvius and Etna), books by the Sicilian author Andrea Camilleri, motorcycles and farm-to-table ingredients for healthy meals.
Profile Image of Angelo Fanara
Angelo Fanara View biography
Angelo Fanara graduated from the Università degli Studi di Messina. A retired high school English teacher, he continues his love of teaching by leading groups on a freelance basis in the most important archaeological sites and museums in his native Sicily and southern Calabria.
Profile Image of Laura Lanza
Laura Lanza View biography
Laura Lanza received her degree in literature and philosophy from the University of Palermo. She taught Italian, Latin and Greek in local high schools and enjoys her present role as an excursion leader in the province of Palermo. Laura enjoys traveling to European destinations as well as other continents with her family, and resides in the city of Palermo.
Profile Image of Michele Gallo
Michele Gallo View biography
Michele Gallo, a licensed excursion leader in Sicily, shares his knowledge of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. He has contributed to BBC and TBS documentaries featuring UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Profile Image of Lucia Iacono
Lucia Iacono View biography
Lucia Iacono was born and raised in Siracusa, Sicily, and went on to study foreign language and literature at the University of Catania. She is a licensed expert for southeast Sicily and takes great pride in introducing the art, history and culture of her native island to visitors. A true foodie, Lucia enjoys traveling, photography and a good read.
Profile Image of Vera Mazzara
Vera Mazzara View biography
Vera Mazzara was born in Naples; her mother came from Naples and her father was from Sicily. She has a degree in foreign languages from the Università degli Studi di Messina and started working as a teacher and a group leader in 1995. A few years later, she started lecturing. She has lived in Sicily for most of her life as well as several years in Naples, a year in Spain, and half a year in England.
Profile Image of Jacqueline Alio
Jacqueline Alio View biography
Jacqueline Alio was born and raised in California by Sicilian parents who maintained their connection with their beloved homeland. They traveled to Sicily often where Jackie developed a special bond with her land and relatives. After moving to Sicily, Jackie continued her studies. Her passion for Sicily was so strong that she chose careers that would allow her to promote its history and traditions. She has written books and online articles on Sicily and Sicilian culture that have been read by millions of people.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Shape of Water
by Andrea Camilleri
The first of Camilleri's wildly popular Inspector Montalbano mysteries, nicely translated and shot through (pun intended) with not just memorable characters but also with Sicilian lore and politics. If you like the series, it continues in 19 more installments -- and counting.
Behind Closed Doors
by Maria Messina
Translated from the Italian by Elise Magistro. From Amazon: "A cultural album of 10 short stories that captures the lives of peasant, working-class, and middle-class women, this volume will appeal to millions of Italian descendants and readers everywhere fascinated by Italian history."
Midnight in Sicily, On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra
by Peter Robb
Combining interviews, research and essays on Sicilian history and culture, this vivid report by journalist Robb is a superb introduction to Italy's glorious, corrupt and troubled south.
Palermo
by Roberto Alajmo
In this charming little book, Alajmo offers a wry, lyrical portrait of his native city, its people, charms and "big problems." What follows is a rollicking, odd journey through the peccadilloes of the Sicilian city.
Palmento, A Sicilian Wine Odyssey
by Robert V. Camuto
An American journalist living in France, Robert Camuto roams the vineyards and visits with vintners from Palermo to Marsala and the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna in this year-long celebration of the culture and spirit of Sicily, Italy's largest and oldest wine region.
Seeking Sicily, A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean
by John Keahey
Taken with Sicily, its culture and its literature, Keahey explores the food, history and pure pleasure of the place, using his heroes Giuseppe di Lampedusa, Leonardo Sciascia and other Sicilian literary greats as guides.
Ancient Sicily, Monuments Past & Present
by G. Messineo, E. Borgia
In this illuminating overview, ingenious overlays depict 17 important sites as they appear today and how they may have appeared in the past.
The Mask of Apollo
by Mary Renault
Master of historical fiction Mary Renault centers her novel in the turbulent world of fourth-century B.C. Greece, where a tragic actor finds Plato and his friend trying to subdue the tyrannical ruler of Syracuse.
Sicily, An Island at the Crossroads of History
by John Julius Norwich
Norwich delivers a page-turning account of Sicily, from the Classical period through the Mafia, highlighting the crucial role the island has played in world politics.
The Leopard
by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, Di Lampedusa's memorable tale, set on a rural Sicilian estate during the days of independence, follows the world-weary Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina. A classic, now in a 50th anniversary edition.
On Persephone's Island
by Mary Taylor Simeti
Strong on the delights of rural life, Simeti's portrait of Sicily takes the form of a year-long journal, capturing the spirit of the people, daily life, traditions and the land.
A House in Sicily
by Daphne Phelps
An old-fashioned memoir of life at Casa Cuseni, the pensione and garden in Taormina run by the indomitable Daphne Phelps, which has been a sanctuary for such guests as Tennessee Williams, Betrand Russell and others, famous and infamous, since 1947.
Syracuse, City of Legends: A Glory of Sicily
by Jeremy Dummett
Dummett covers the history, architecture and archaeology of Syracuse, which Cicero dubbed the greatest and most beautiful Greek city, in this lavishly illustrated book.
The Day of the Owl
by Leonardo Sciascia, Archibald Colquhoun (Translator), Arthur Oliver (Translator), George Scialabba (Translator)
A mesmerizing description of the Mafia at work, Sciascia's beautifully paced novella traces Captain Bellodi's investigation of a man shot dead as he runs to catch a bus in a small Sicilian town.
Sicily Map
by Touring Club Italiano
A detailed map of Sicily (1:200,000) printed on water- and tear-resistant paper.
Sicily, An Illustrated History
by Joseph Privitera
Privitera covers the scope of Sicily and its diverse civilizations in lively prose and well-chosen illustrations in this succinct history.
Sicily, Through Writers' Eyes
by Horatio Claire (Editor)
Homer, Herodotus, D.H. Lawrence, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Elio Vittorini and Peter Robb are represented in this magnificent tour of Sicily, its history, culture and allure.
Between Salt Water and Holy Water, A History of Southern Italy
by Tommaso Astarita
Astarita captures the fanfare, rivalry and changing fortunes of Sicily from antiquity through Norman, Spanish and Bourbon rule to unification and the 20th century.
Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily 1943
by Carlo D'Este
From Amazon: Using a wealth of original sources, D'Este paints an unforgettable portrait of men at war. From the front lines in Sicily and Northern Africa to the councils of the Axis and Allied high commands, Bitter Victory offers penetrating reassessments of the men who masterminded the campaign. Thrilling and authoritative, this is military history on an epic scale.
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15 days
14 nights
31 meals
13 B 10 L 8 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Catania, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Taormina
D
Excelsior Palace Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m. Transfer from Catania Airport to hotel is 45 miles (1-hour ride). Walking approximately 1 mile.

Afternoon: After you check in and get your room assignment, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. We will gather in the lobby and proceed to the hotel meeting room where the Group Leader will lead introductions in the hotel meeting room to review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. Transportation for program-related activities will be provided primarily by motorcoach. Meals will be typical of the region with water included at all meals; other beverages such as wine, tea, coffee will be available for purchase. Some meals will include wine. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Next, we will join our Group Leader in a welcome cocktail (or fruit juice).

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Take a stroll in town or enjoy the view from the hotel’s garden and bar. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Greek Theater, Free Time, Italy Today
Taormina
B,L
Excelsior Palace Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles; inclined road, paths of uneven stone pavers, steep and uneven stone steps at amphitheater, few handrails.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will set out on a walking field trip to the Teatro Greco — Greek Theater — along Corso Umberto, the pedestrian-only main street lined with shops and cafés. The amazingly well-preserved amphitheater with stone “bleachers” carved out of rock dates back to the 3rd century BCE. Our expert will point out the Mediterranean peoples who colonized eastern Sicily and describe elements that were added to the theater in the 2nd century CE by the Romans. The view of the sea and Mount Etna is framed perfectly by the columns behind the proscenium. If you are unsure of the climb, you can take in the theater and majestic view of Mount Etna from the proscenium level, where we first enter the theater.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. In the late afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader for a presentation on the institutions that characterize Italy today.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Explore Mt. Etna, Folklore & Traditions Lecture
Taormina
B,L,D
Excelsior Palace Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 40 miles throughout the day, approximately 2 hours riding time. Walking up to 3 miles over the course of the day; uneven terrain at winery.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and set out with a local expert on a field trip to the northeast slopes of Mount Etna National Park. Along the way, we will learn about this active volcano’s history of eruptions. Mount Etna is also a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “Mount Etna is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world. The eruptive history of the volcano can be traced back 500,000 years and at least 2,700 years of this activity has been documented. The almost continuous eruptive activity of Mount Etna continues to influence volcanology, geophysics and other Earth science disciplines. The volcano also supports important terrestrial ecosystems including endemic flora and fauna and its activity makes it a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological processes.” Next, we will ride to a winery where we will see first-hand how ancient lava flows have enriched the soil.

Lunch: At the winery, we’ll have a farm-to-table meal. Our host will describe the farm’s wines and we will have a tasting.

Afternoon: Returning to Taormina, we expect to arrive at the hotel by late afternoon. After a short break, we will gather in the meeting room for a presentation by a local expert on Sicilian folklore and traditions. We will learn about these traditions and the changing roles of men and women, the family, and the church in modern Sicily.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for tomorrow's check out and departure.

DAY
5
Agriturismo, Transfer to Syracuse, Ortygia
Syracuse/Island of Ortygia
B,L
Antico Hotel Roma 1880

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 76 miles throughout the day, approximately 3.5 hours total riding time. Walking about 4 miles throughout the day; uneven stone, paved sidewalks.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will checking out of the hotel in the late morning then board a motorcoach and ride along the coast to an agriturismo, a working farm on the south slope of Mt. Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. At the agriturismo, we will explore the estate and orchards that thrive on the fertile volcanic soil.

Lunch: At the agriturismo.

Afternoon: Back aboard the motorcoach, we will continue our ride to Syracuse and the island of Ortygia, the ancient district of the city. Ortygia is entirely closed to motorcoach traffic. After checking in to the hotel and getting our rooms, we will have some time to freshen up. We’ll then gather in the lobby and meet a local expert who will lead us on a walking field trip to explore Ortygia. One of the highlights will be the Duomo (cathedral) of Syracuse that is a living example of the different cultures that colonized Sicily, each lending its own architectural style. The cathedral was built in the 7th century CE above the ruins of a 5th-century BCE temple to the goddess Athena. Doric columns from the Athena temple were incorporated into the walls of the cathedral. We will explore the interior that was rebuilt in the 18th century with a distinctive Sicilian Baroque style after the ancient façade collapsed in an earthquake. Local artisan workshops, cafés and boutiques abound in Ortygia’s pedestrian center of narrow streets and lively squares.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Syracuse and Ortygia have been designated by UNESCO as elements in a World Heritage Site. The seawall surrounding Ortygia offers dramatic views.

DAY
6
Buscemi, Agriturismo, Ortygia Boat Ride
Syracuse/Island of Ortygia
B,L
Antico Hotel Roma 1880

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 65 miles throughout the day, approximately 2 hours total riding time on country roads. Getting on/off a boat; riding about 1 hour. Walking up to 4.5 miles throughout the day; some rises, uneven pavement.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will take a figurative step back in time with a field trip to a living museum, a village virtually frozen in time when depopulated by emigration a century ago. A local expert will lead us on a short visit of the local museum exhibit before walking stepping into the village. In town, we will visit a farm laborer’s hut with original furnishings, a carpenter shop, a shoemaker's shop, a land manager's (overseer) home, and a wine press. We will then ride to an agriturismo.

Lunch: At the agriturismo.

Afternoon: We will reboard the motoroach and ride back to Syracuse with arrival expected mid-afternoon. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we will walk to the dock and board a boat for a ride around the island of Ortygia. Highlights will include passing by the 13th century Maniace Fortress and a fountain named for a Greek nymph who disappeared in the spring when pursued by a river god. The fountain with its papyrus plants and ducks is dear to the locals because its fresh water source saved the population centuries ago during long sieges by invading forces. We will have an opportunity to walk back to the hotel after our field trip or explore Siracusa independently.

Dinner: On your own to sample the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Archaeological Zone, Greek Theater, Sicilian Marionettes
Syracuse/Island of Ortygia
B,L
Antico Hotel Roma 1880

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 5 miles, approximately 1/2 hour riding time. Walking up to 4 miles; park paths of stone, dirt, gravel, some inclines. No handrails in archaeological park or amphitheater.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride to the outskirts of Syracuse for an expert-led field trip into the Archaeological zone, including the Greek amphitheater 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. In the amphitheater we can climb a few of the stone seats to sit on the stone “bleachers” for a view of the proscenium as spectators would have done centuries ago. We’ll then reboard the motorcoach and head to an agriturismo.

Lunch: At the agriturismo.

Afternoon: Following lunch, we will board our motorcoach and head back to Syracuse. We will walk to the Marionette Museum where we will learn about the tradition of puppets in Sicily and watch a marionette performance in the local dialect. The museum docent will explain the plot of the show and describe the performance's characters. The Group Leader will give us a summary of the simple plot and a description of the characters.

Dinner: On your own to sample the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Free Time
Syracuse/Island of Ortygia
B,D
Antico Hotel Roma 1880

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time continues.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for tomorrow's check out and departure.

DAY
9
Piazza Armerina, Villa Romana del Casale
Agrigento
B,L,D
Colleverde Park Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 155 miles, approximately 3.5 hours riding time. Walking up to 3 miles; uneven terrain, stone and gravel paths, steps to access catwalks set up for viewing mosaic pavements from above.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. We'll board the motorcoach for our transfer to the western part of Sicily. On the way we can 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.

Afternoon: Piazza Armerina is a small town. By pure chance, the ruins of a private Roman villa were discovered here. It comprised 63 rooms containing an extensive and impressive series of floor mosaics covering 377,000 square feet. A local expert will lead 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. The recently restored mosaics are protected by a new roof cover, replacing the old Plexiglas system. We’ll then continue our ride to Agrigento where we’ll check in to the hotel and have some time to freshen up and relax in our rooms.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Greek Colonies Lecture, Agrigento, Valley of the Temples
Agrigento
B,L
Colleverde Park Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 2 miles, approximately 1/4 hour riding time. Walking up to 4 miles; uneven dirt, gravel paths, inclines. Few handrails at archaeological sites.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will gather in the meeting room with a local expert who will give us a presentation on the Greek colonies of Akragas and Selinunte. This illustrated presentation will provide historical background to better appreciate our field trip to the archaeological area this afternoon. 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. Next, we will board a motorcoach and ride to the Archaeological Museum and Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, another UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, where a local expert will lead our exploration. From the UNESCO inscription: “Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Agrigento became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean world. Its supremacy and pride are demonstrated by the remains of the magnificent Doric temples that dominate the ancient town, much of which still lies intact under today's fields and orchards. Selected excavated areas throw light on the later Hellenistic and Roman town and the burial practices of its early Christian inhabitants.”

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Our visit of Agrigento continues onto the Archeological Museum. After the field trip, we’ll ride back to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for tomorrow's check out and departure.

DAY
11
Temples of Selinunte, Transfer Palermo, Sicilian History
Palermo
B,L,D
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 125 miles throughout the day, approximately 3 hours total riding time. Walking up to 4 miles; uneven terrain, inclines, stone or gravel pavement.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will board a motorcoach and head to Selinunte, founded as a Greek trade outpost between 650-628 BCE. Centuries later, it was attacked and destroyed by Carthage. The archaeological park covering more than 600 acres is the largest in Europe. We will explore temples set on a promontory with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea. A local expert will show us how the temple columns were chiseled out of solid stone.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll reboard our motorcoach and ride on to Palermo, where we’ll check in and settle in to our rooms with some time to freshen up. Later, we’ll meet our Group Leader in the lobby and go to a classroom for a presentation on Sicilian history.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Origins of the Mafia, Baroque Palermo
Palermo
B,L,D
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles; extended standing during site vists. Unavoidable steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will gather in the hotel meeting room with our Group Leader for a presentation on the origins of the Mafia. We’ll learn how the network grew its power and influence from the mid-19th century to today.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will be joined by a local expert who will lead a walking field trip to explore the magnificent Baroque churches in the heart of Palermo.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Erice, Trapani, Free Time, Women in Sicily Lecture
Palermo
B,L,D
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 148 miles throughout the day, approximately 3 hours total riding time. Walking up to 4 miles; uneven cobblestone pavement, rises and steps, some without handrails.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach for a field trip to Erice. With our Group Leader, we’ll walk around the ancient mountain-top city. According to tradition, it was established by Elymian refugees from the fall of Troy. It was named for Eryx, the legendary founding king, who introduced the worship of Aphrodite to Sicily and we will see the ruins of her temple. Also noteworthy are the church and Norman walls. We’ll then ride on to the salt works in Trapani. Used since antiquity, the sun and wind provide the ideal location to evaporate seawater through a series of large water basins. The coach drop off point is at one of the town’s ancient gates where we will begin our leisurely walk through town at our own pace.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will ride back to our hotel and expect to arrive mid- to late-afternoon with some time to freshen up and relax. Late afternoon, we’ll gather in the hotel meeting room where a local historian will give us a presentation about women in Sicilian history.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Palatine Chapel of the Norman Kings, Norman Cathedral
Palermo
B,D
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 20 miles, approximately 3/4 hour riding time. Walking up to 4 miles; extended standing during the visit of the Norman Palace. Uneven stone and cobblestone streets, inclines, unavoidable steps that may not have handrails.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local expert who will lead a walking field trip to explore important churches, chapels, and museums in the heart of Palermo. One of the highlights of our program will be the Palatine Chapel of the Norman Kings, adorned floor to ceiling with dazzling mosaics of precious stones and gold.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Next, we will regroup in the hotel courtyard and set out to meet our motorcoach for a 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. A local expert will describe what distinguishes a church from a basilica and a duomo (cathedral). Inside the cathedral, she will point out stories presented in the golden mosaics. We’ll ride back to Palermo after our field trip.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant. Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for tomorrow's check out and departure.

DAY
15
Program Concludes, In Transit from Program
Departure
B

Activity note: Hotel check out 10:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel depending on departure time. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.