Sicily-West to East

October 14-22, 2019

Extension to Syracuse, Sicily October 22-25, 2019

A Sicilian Odyssey - West to East

Explore ancient sites - Savor authentic food

Sicily has been known since ancient times as the “middle of the Earth”, being at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe. Your peaceful odyssey from Palermo in the West to Taorima and smoldering Mt Etna in the East will create a wonderful opportunity to discover the complex richness of Sicilian history and its influence on their cuisine.


Madonie Mountains Sicily-hiking
Stunning Mountain Vistas

Imagine peaceful walks in the Madonie mountains and in the area around Mt Etna. The Greek myths are embedded in the Sicilian landscape. Homer's "Odyssey" speaks of Ulysses encouter with the cyclops, Polyphemus on Mt Etna.

This is the homeland of the Gods of Greek mythology. Near these places, Pluto abducted Persephone from her mother. ....In the distance you can see the lake of Hercules and the rocks of the Cyclops. Land of Gods and heroes.

Alex De Tocqueville Viaggio in Sicilia
Pretoria Fountain in Palermo, Sicily
Palermo - Center of Culture

Palermo, Sicily is an ancient city representing an amazing synthesis of Norman, Byzantine and Arab cultures whose influences are seen in the beautiful architecture and art seen in the numerous UNESCO sites.

NO to the Mafia

Street art of Palermo offers insights into social justice issues as well as the ongoing struggle against the mafia.

To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Chef Mimmo from Osteria Bacchus in Sicily
Sicilian Food and Wine

Sicily's fusion of ingredients in their unique cuisine has been influenced by the many cultures that have settled there for thousands of years. A local chef will teach you how to cook a multi-course Sicilian meal.

All of Sicily is a dimension of the imagination.

Odyssey Details

October 14-22, 2019

Odyssey Includes

Cost includes lodging, land transportation, all breakfasts, other meals as indicated in the itinerary, Sicilian cooking class, morning meditation and gentle chair yoga, odyssey guides, local guide, entrance fees transportation to Catania on departure. Small group experience, max 10 people.

Cost does not include travel insurance, taxi/shuttle transport from the Palermo airport to B&B Carella, gratuities, airline transport.

IMPORTANT: this journey requires arrival in Palermo, Sicily and departure from Catania, Sicily. Contact me for more information on how to arrange your flights.

Odyssey to Sicily

Cost: $3199 per person for a group of 8+, $3650 per person for 4-7 people . Based on double occupancy, with limited single rooms at an additional cost of $470. If you are willing to share but we are unable to pair you with a same-gender roommate, you will not be charged the single supplement fee.

Contact us if interested. A deposit of $500 will hold your place. Credit cards or checks are accepted. Read the terms and conditions and fill out the registration form. Registration/Terms and Conditions

Physical Levels: Easy to Moderate. It is active and we walk a lot. Bring good walking shoes. Walking sticks are provided if desired. Pack light with one piece of carry-on rolling luggage plus a day pack or shoulder bag.

Syracuse, Sicily Extension

October 22-25, 2019

Syracuse, Sicily

The ancient city of Syracuse draws one into the eastern coast of Sicily with stunning vistas and a culture heavily influenced by ancient Greece in the 8th century BC and later the Romans, Arabs and others. The Cathedral of Syracuse(shown above) was built in the 7th century but incorporated the Doric columns of the Greek Temple of Athena into its structure. It is a magnificent building. The charming old city on the small island of Ortigia that is connected to the the main city of Syracuse by bridges is a wonderful place to explore by foot.

Extension Details

Dates: October 22-25, 2019. Please note that you will be returning to Catania for your return flight to your next destination. Catania airport is about 45 minutes from Siracusa.

Cost: $650 based on double occupancy, with limited single rooms at an additional cost. Cost includes all breakfasts, 2 lunches, local guide, entrance to musems.

ITINERARY

Tap or put your cursor over the Day in the itinerary and the box will open with all the information.

10/14/2019 Monday - Late afternoon/early evening welcoming experience with Diane Magliolo. B&B Carella

10/15/19 Tuesday - Palermo, Street art tour for 1/2 day. You will walk through the narrow streets of old Palermo to see the amazing the street art scene surrounding the historical center of Palermo. It was developed by a crowd funding project, initiated to redevelop the poorer areas of Palermo with the art of world famous street artists. Mr Thoms, a Rome based artist, created this image on a very large building. The street art is constantly changing but frequently addresses social justice, corruption, the mafia, and empowerment of women.

Later, you will explore Addio Pizzo (anti-mafia) craft stores and do some leisurely shopping. Addio Pizzo is a grassroots movement in Sicily where local businesses refuse to pay Mafia extortion money. Later we will meet with the Tavola Tonda, a group that teaches authentic music and dance of the Mediterranean. Let's dance and play the frame drum!B&B Carella, B, L

Mr Thoms street art in Palermo, Sicily

10/16/19 Wednesday - Your morning will be marveling at the numerous UNESCO world heritage sites in Palermo, including Piazza Pretoria and Monreale. The Cathedral of Monreale is a magnificent example of Norman/Arab/Byzantine architecture built in 1174. The mosaic art covers six thousand square meters of the church’s interior.

After lunch, we will depart to the sweet village of Sant Ambrogio in the Madonie mountains and our charming B&B Saponara near the village. Sant Ambrogio overlooks the Tyrhennian Sea with lovely view of Cefalu, Sicily. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings, hike on some of the trails. B&B Saponara, B, L

B&B Saponara in Sant Ambrogio, Sicily

10/17/19 Thursday - There is no better way to learn about a country than to take a cooking class. Today you will meet Chef Mimmo Zito, owner of Osteria Bacchus in Sant Ambrogio and learn how to cook a multi-course Sicilian meal. Individual food courses vary with each group but can include homemade pasta and sauce, a black ink squid pasta sauce, stuffed artichokes, panelle or Sicilian chickpea fritters, and fresh seafood. All food is seasonal and organic.

You will also take a tour of an Oil Press very close to the restaurant. Later, you will eat the lunch you cooked on the patio overlooking the Tyrhennian Sea with views of Cefalu. B&B Saponara B, L

Chef Mimmo of Osteria Bacchus teaching Sicilian Cooking
10/18/19 Friday - You will learn about falconry, an ancient art that dates back to King Frederick II in Sicily from a local man in the Madonie mountains. Next, we will take a short drive to Gangi, winner in 2015 Borgo Più Bello d’Italia (The Most Beautiful Village in Italy) for its artistic qualities, culture, local handicraft, and of course, good food. The Minoans from Crete established themselves here in 1200BC. You will walk on the cobbled streets to visit Fabrizio, the tambourine maker. He will give a performance and explain the different sounds. B&B Saponara B, D

10/19/19 Saturday - The charming medieval sea village of Cefalu will be explored today. After a guided tour of the city that includes the 12th century Norman Cathedral of Cefalu, you will have options to wander on the lovely beaches, experience wonderful shopping long the narrow streets or climb up to the Temple of Diana. The 4th century BC Temple of Diana is reached by walking up a winding path for 45 minutes. The view from the top offers spectacular views of Cefalu and the sea.

A late lunch will be at a restaurant specializing in seafood and couscous. Couscous is commonly found in Sicilian cuisine due to the Arabic imfluence in earlier centuries. B&B Saponara B,L

La Roca and Temple of Diana, view of Cefalu, Sicily
10/20/19 Sunday - Departure to Taorima along a northern coastline up into the Nebrodi mountains. The Nebrodi differ greatly from the Madonie mountains. We will go through the town of Floresta with spectatular views towards Mt Etna. We'll stop in Randazzo, a medieval town with wonderful volcanic stone buildings, well known for the battle that lasted 31 days in World War II. There will some time to freely wander before visiting the Casa Della Musica E Della Liuteria Medievale. The instruments you will see are all made by Pippo who will explain the different sounds produced by the various instruments and play them for you. Leaving Randazzo along the valley of the Alcantara River, driving through vineyards where the famous Mt Etna wine is produced, we stop for wine tasting and lunch. Later, we drive along the foothills of Mt Etna to our accomadation in Castelmolo, a town perched above Taormina. Hotel Sonia, B, L
10/21/19 Monday - Taormina is a short walk from Castelmola. We will go to the magnificent Greek/Roman amphitheater. Afternoon will be free to shop and relax.Hotel Sonia, B, L
10/22/19 Tuesday - Departure to the Catania airport or if you choose the extension to Syracuse, we will continue by train to Syracuse. B