“The buildings constituting the property of ‘Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale’ is a material example of coexistence, interaction and interchange between different cultural components of historical and geographic heterogeneous origin.
This syncretism has generated an original architectural and artistic style, of exceptional universal value, in which Byzantine, Islamic and Latin elements are admirably fused, capable each time to be produced unique combinations of exceptional artistic value an extraordinarily unitary.
The Arab-Norman syncretism had a strong impact in the Middle Ages, significantly contributing to the formation of a Mediterranean koinè, a fundamental condition for the development of modern Mediterranean-European civilization”.
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building.
1ST DAY: CATANIA AIRPORT TO SIRACUSA
Arrive at the airport and private transfer with GT Bus to the first accommodation in Siracusa and time at disposal to give the town the first glance.
2ST DAY: SIRACUSA
After breakfast visit of Siracusa: the Archeological Park, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Greek Theatre, the Orecchio of Dionisio, and the Island of Ortigia, rich in historical witness. In the afternoon, time at disposal to taste the deliciousness of this region, to explore the flavours or just have a granita with brioche.
3ST DAY: NOTO - TAORMINA - CATANIA
Depart for Noto, visit of the magnificent town, Unesco heritage site and the jewel of Sicilian baroque architecture. Continue towards Taormina, the worldwide known town with its narrow streets and the Greek-Roman Theathre that looks the Mediterranean.
4ST DAY: ETNA - VOLCANO - CATANIA
After breakfast excursion on Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Visit craters both old and new and the natural reserve. In the afternoon visit of the town of Catania with the Duomo Square, the Elephant Fountain, the Cathedral, the Ursino Castle an ancient palace of the XII century now a Museum.
5ST DAY: VILLA ROMANA DEL CASALE PIAZZA ARMERINA - AGRIGENTO
in the morning departure for the visit of the Roman Villa of Casale in Piazza Armerina to admire the magnificent pavimental mosaics. Then depart for Agrigento to visit the magnificent valley of temples: the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Concorde, one of the most well-preserved doric temple in all the Greek world, the Temple of Ercules and the Temple of Castor and Pollux.
6ST DAY: SEGESTA - ERICE - PALERMO
In the morning you will visit Segesta, visiting the archaeological area where the Doric Temple and the Amphitheatre dominate the landscape. Continue on towards Erice, a medieval town on a hill, with its narrow streets and almond cakes.
7ST DAY: PALERMO&MONREALE
In the morning guided visit of the city: the Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria and the Cathedral, Piazza Marina and all the palaces and churches the town is so famous for. The guided visit also include the Cathedral of Monreale, one of the greatest extant examples of Norman architecture in the world. Afternoon at disposal to visit the town or do some shopping in many of the elegant streets.
8ST DAY: DEPARTURE
After breakfast transfer to Palermo airport, leave the car and enjoy a pleasant homeward journey!