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18212
Italy

Treasures of Sicily

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.
Rating (5)
Program No. 18212RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
4,999
Flights start at
750
Italy

Treasures of Sicily

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
Starts at
4,999
Flights start at
750
Program No. 18212 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 20 - Apr 3, 2022
Starting at
4,999
Apr 24 - May 8, 2022
Starting at
5,199
Itinerary Note

For this departure, the hotel in Syracuse is the Grand Hotel Alfeo, located on the mainland. The walk to the Old City center is less than a mile, crossing a footbridge over the narrow channel.

May 8 - May 22, 2022
Starting at
5,299
May 22 - Jun 5, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Aug 28 - Sep 11, 2022
Starting at
5,199
Itinerary Note

For this departure, the hotel in Syracuse is the Grand Hotel Alfeo, located on the mainland. The walk to the Old City center is less than a mile, crossing a footbridge over the narrow channel.

Sep 11 - Sep 25, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Oct 9 - Oct 23, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Oct 23 - Nov 6, 2022
Starting at
5,099
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 20 - Apr 3, 2022
Starting at
5,799
Apr 24 - May 8, 2022
Starting at
5,999
Itinerary Note

For this departure, the hotel in Syracuse is the Grand Hotel Alfeo, located on the mainland. The walk to the Old City center is less than a mile, crossing a footbridge over the narrow channel.

May 8 - May 22, 2022
Starting at
6,299
May 22 - Jun 5, 2022
Starting at
6,299
Aug 28 - Sep 11, 2022
Starting at
5,999
Itinerary Note

For this departure, the hotel in Syracuse is the Grand Hotel Alfeo, located on the mainland. The walk to the Old City center is less than a mile, crossing a footbridge over the narrow channel.

Sep 11 - Sep 25, 2022
Starting at
6,299
Oct 9 - Oct 23, 2022
Starting at
6,299
Oct 23 - Nov 6, 2022
Starting at
5,899

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 amphitheaters and temples.
  • Discover the diversity of Etna National Park from barren craters to orchards and terraced vineyards and enjoy a lunch of freshly prepared Sicilian dishes at an agriturismo.
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 Catherine Paige
Catherine Paige View biography
Catherine Paige was born in England and received her MA in social work from the University of Sussex. After working as a social worker in Brighton, she transferred to Sicily where she is an English language assistant at the Università degli Studi di Palermo. Since moving to Sicily, Catherine has developed an interest in local literature that she will convey in her talk on Sicilian writers.
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 Domenico Nucci
Domenico Nucci View biography
Domenico Nucci studied Greek, Latin, physics and philosophy during high school in Naples. He earned an associate's in art history, and later a degree at the Università di Napoli Federico II, and further studies in environmental and humanitarian legislation at American University. He then worked for many years in aid and reconstruction programs in Africa and Asia. When not on Road Scholar programs, he works in fruit tree care, home renovation and property management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Sicily Map
by Touring Club Italiano
A detailed map of Sicily (1:200,000) printed on water- and tear-resistant paper.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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
Arrivals, Welcome Reception & Dinner
Taormina
D
Excelsior Palace Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.

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 enjoy a glass of wine or juice and get to know fellow participants during a welcome reception.

Dinner: At the hotel.

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, Folklore & Traditions
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 characteristic restaurant along the main street in Taormina.

Afternoon: Returning to the hotel, we will have some “down” time until late afternoon, when we’ll 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: 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
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.

Dinner: At the hotel.

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

DAY
5
Italy Today, 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 gather with our Group Leader for a presentation on the institutions that characterize Italy today. Then, after checking out of the hotel, we’ll 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. The drop-off point is on the mainland, a walk of 1/2 mile from the hotel. Porter service will take luggage from the coach to the hotel. 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 have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

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
Archaeological Zone, Greek Theater
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 walk to the edge of Ortygia and 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: We will ride to the drop-off point close on the edge of Ortygia island and walk back to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Buscemi: Frozen in Time, Agriturismo
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. 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 through the streets where we will visit a farm laborer’s house with original furnishings, a blacksmith’s shop, a carpenter shop, and a mill with grape and olive presses. 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. We will walk from the drop-off point to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free.

Dinner: On your own to have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Boat ride around Ortygia, Sicilian Marionettes
Syracuse/Island of Ortygia
B,D
Antico Hotel Roma 1880

Activity note: Getting on/off a boat; riding about 1 hour. Walking up to 3 miles; unavoidable steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: 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.

Lunch: On your own to have what you like.

Afternoon: We will regroup at an announced time and place and 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 Group Leader will give us a summary of the simple plot and a description of the characters.

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 walk to the edge of Ortygia and 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 Plexiglas canopy. 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 the hotel.

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.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: 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.” After the field trip, we’ll ride back to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to have 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.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Origins of the Mafia, Palatine Chapel of the Norman Kings
Palermo
B,L,D
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles; extended standing during the visit of the Norman Palace. 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-1800s to today.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the heart of Palermo.

Afternoon: 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. La Martorana was originally commissioned by a Greek Orthodox admiral in 1140. 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. We will then circle back to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Erice, Trapani, Free Time
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. A local expert will lead our walk.

Lunch: At a trattoria in an old salt harvesting warehouse and windmill.

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 expert will give us a presentation about fascinating aspects of Sicilian history.

Dinner: At a local pizzeria.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Baroque Palermo, Splendid 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; uneven stone and cobblestone streets, inclines, unavoidable steps that may not have handrails.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: 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.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Next, we will regroup at an announced time and place where we'll board a motorcoach and 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. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

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 GETTING THERE information regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel depending on departure time. Bag breakfasts will be available for those departing early. 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!






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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.