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 (4.86)
Program No. 18212RJ
15 days
Starts at
Flights start at

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 10 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
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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.

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Michele Gallo
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Laura Lanza
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Catherine Paige
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Enrico Nucci
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Angelo Fanara
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Sicily Map
by Touring Club Italiano
A detailed map of Sicily (1:200,000) printed on water- and tear-resistant paper.
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.
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.
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.

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