A Sicilian Odyssey of Renewal

Explore Western Sicily and the Aegadian Islands

The magic of Western Sicily is undeniable with turquoise seas, coastal hikes, and ancient temples. The western coast has beckoned people for millennia, including significant influences from the Arab and Carthaginian cultures. The idyllic Aegadian Islands located just off the coast of Trapani offer laid back villages and seaside respites.

Trapani, Sicily nightlife

DISCOVERYING WESTERN SICILY

Between the villages of Trapani and Marsala are the WWF protected salt pans and the ancient Carthaginian island of Mozia. The medieval village of Erice is at the top of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean and is the site of the Temple of Venus. Segesta has a well preserved Greek temple and theater built in the 5th century BC. Olive oil and many types of wine are produced in Western Sicily.

The medieval village of Marsala, whose Arabic derived name of "Marsah Allah" or "Port of God", has an illustrious history. The Baroque town center is easy to walk in and discover the world famous Marsala wine. One can also enjoy offer excellent seafood combined with Arabic influenced couscous dishes and Marsala wine. You will have an odyssey of gastronomical discovery.

Marettimo, Aegadi Island

AEGADIAN ISLANDS

The Aegadian Islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo are surrounded by azure waters protected by a nature preserve, offering a rich marine life, ancient coastal shipwrecks and even caves with neolithic paintings of life millions of years ago.

The islands were also known as the "Islands of the Goats" by the Greeks, referring back to Homer's "Odyssey." It is said that Odysseus stopped in Favignana before going to Sicily to meet the Cyclops. The village on Favignana is laid back and the white, sandy beaches beckon you to relax. Levanzo and Marettimo offer an abundance of coastal hikes. Levanzo has the famous Grotta dei Genovesi, a cave with neolithlic paintings depicting prehistoric animals, images of the ancient goddess, and scenes of farming and fishing.

Street art of Mr THOMS

PALERMO, SICILY

The ancient city of Palermo has been a cultural melting pot for centuries. The amazing synthesis of Norman, Byzantine and Arab cultures is seen in the beautiful architecture and art at the numerous UNESCO sites, including the Palermo and Monreale Cathedrals. Palermo’s history teaches us that a dialogue between cultures can occur. Famed international street artist, Mr THOMS, and many others have contributed to a vast street art display in the poorest area of the city, creating a social commentary and stimulating dialogue.

Sicily has made a significant effort to confront the influence of the Mafia. You will be guided to the “Addio Pizzo," a community of businesses who refuse to pay "pizzo" – Mafia extortion money in Sicily. These small stores represent local artists who create pottery, jewelry, leather goods and much more.

You will have the unique opportunity to participate in a Sicilian cooking class at the 18th century palazzo of the great Sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of “The Leopard.” His adoptive son lives there with his wife, Nicoletta who will be our teacher for the day. "The Leopard" became the best selling book in Italian history and was made into a movie in 1963 starring Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale.

Sicilian Fisherman

ODYSSEY DETAILS

Join us in exploring the abundance of physical beauty and rich cultural history of western Sicily. We will be staying at comfortable and locally owned B & Bs in Palermo and Trapani.

Dates: April 14-22, 2019 Detailed Itinerary

Cost: 8-10 persons, $3299 per person, based on double occupancy, with limited single rooms for an additional cost of $365; 3-7 persons, $3559, based on double occupancy, with single room at $365. Cost includes lodging, land transportation, ferry transport, all breakfasts, other meals as indicated in itinerary, gentle early morning chair yoga and meditation, odyssey guide, local guides, entrance fees. Small group experience, max 10 people. Cost does not include travel insurance, taxi/shuttle transport to and from airport to B&B, airline transport.

Contact us if interested and a registration form will be emailed to you. Credit cards or checks are accepted. A deposit of $500 will hold your place. Terms and Conditions Post odyssey extensions are being planned and will be available soon.

Physical Demands: 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.

Leaders: Diane Magliolo, MA, Char Selsvold LCSW, RYT