Archaeological tour from Catania

Description
This is a tour for archaeology and art lovers and it allows you to discover the most important monuments and archeological sites in Sicily. Follow the Pino’s advice to discover Sicily in different ways. Visit our blog for general information about the island and the country. Discover Pino’s offers.

1° Day: Arrival- 67 km

Arrival at Catania airport and then take your car from the car hire office Sicily by Car. Drive to Taormina area and overnight in the hotel.

2° Day: Randazzo/Cesaro/San Fratello/Cefalu/Palermo- 271 km

After breakfast departure to the unknown part of Sicily. The itinerary of today is rich of nature and scenery. This area is renowned for the production of Etna's wine from grapes called Nerello Mascalese.
First stop is the medieval town of Randazzo, here you can admire the Cathedral made of Lava stone.

Pino’s advice is to go PinoAdvise  for a typical pistachio and almond sweet tasting. Continue towards Cesarò, a little village in the Nature Reserve of "Parco dei Nebrodi" to admire the best scenery from the hill “Cristo signore della montagna”. Proceed to the village San Fratello founded in the 11th century by Adelaide del Vasto, the wife of norman King Roger I. On the north side, there is a track to a Norman church, the "Chiesa Normanna dei Santi". A marvellous view extends over the surrounding landscape. Our itinerary continue towards Cefalù, dominated by the small headlike-shaped promontory “Rocca”. Visit of the Arabic-Norman cathedral of the 12th century and its beautiful historical center. Pino will offer you PinoAdvise  in a unique place to admire an amazing Cefalù seaside view. Take your car and drive towards Palermo. Pino's advice is to have dinner in a typical pizzeria.PinoAdvise  Overnight in the hotel.

3° Day: Palermo and Monreale- KM 20

Palermo is the capital of  Sicily. It lies  on the Tyrrhenian  coast  at the foot of Monte Pellegrino. The best way to visit  the  town is to  walk through the old city rich in magnificent Byzantine, Arab-Norman and Baroque buildings. Visit San Giovanni degli Eremiti which is one of the oldest churches of Arab's origin in Palermo, the Norman's Palace and the Palatine Chapel (the highest expression of power during the Arabic-Norman period). Other important visit is the Cathedral of Palermo (the first church built in the town and  harmonious example of  different styles). Inside the graves of the Norman Kings  and the emperor Federico II. Pino's advice is to visit the puppet theater in PinoAdvise  Pino's advice is to taste the "arancine" (fried rice balls), "sfincione" (tipical pizza with onion) and "panelle", (fried chick pea fritters)PinoAdvise.
Drive to Monreale to admire the cathedral with golden mosaic and the Benedictines cloister, considered the finest example of the Norman architecture in Sicily. Pino's advice is to taste the typical Sicilian dessert “Cannoli”PinoAdvise. In the afternoon time to do shopping or to admire other monuments in Palermo. Pino's advice is to try seafood dishes in Mondello area or visit the Botanical Garden of Palermo (an open-air museum about 200 years old with various species of tropical and subtropical flora in Sicily, Europe and the Mediterranean region). Pino will offer you a glass of wine in a unique place to admire an amazing view of PalermoPinoAdvise. Return to the hotel. Overnight.

4° Day: Palermo/Segesta /Erice/Selinunte- KM 215

Drive  to Segesta, the most important town of the Elymi people, Founded in the 5th century BC. Segesta continued to hold important status as a trading center in Hellenistic and Roman times. Today, the site has two of the best-preserved classical monuments from the 5th century BC. The doric temple and an equally well-preserved theatre which provides its audience a stunning view towards the nearby Gulf of Castellamare. Pino's advice is to relax your body in the natural thermal baths of Calatafimi.
Procceding to Erice, a typical Sicilian medieval town, located on 800 mt. over the sea. Visit the Cathedral and stroll along the typical mediaval streets with the beautiful view of the gulf of Trapani. Pino's advice is to try the typical almond sweets PinoAdvise and local liqueur.
Continue to Selinunte, the largest archeological area in the Mediterranean, founded in the 2nd half of the 7th century B.C. by Greek settlers. It was continually at odds with Segesta. Pino's advice is to have dinner to PinoAdvise Return to the hotel in Selinunte area and overnight.

 

5° Day: Selinunte/ Cave di Cusa/ Eraclea Minoa/ Agrigento- KM 129

After breakfast departure for the archeological area of Cave di Cusa. It was the ancient stone  quarry in Sicily and it was the source of stone used to build the sacred temple of Selinunte. Its quarry was left  in 409 BC when the city was captured by the Carthaginians. Pino's advice is to buy the orange of PinoAdvise The journey continues to Eraclea Minoa, on the flank of an isolated hill of Capo Bianco with a fine view of the sea, lined with a long white sandy beach. The site was probably founded in the 6C BC by Greek colonists from Selinunte. Worthvisiting: the Theater, built at the end of the 5th century B.C. that opens the cavea toward the Mediterranean Sea; the district of the Hellenistic and Romans residences , the Antiquarium. Drive towards the Hotel in Agrigento area. Pino's advice is to have dinner in PinoAdvise and to admire the illuminated temple.

6° Day: Agrigento/ Piazza Armerina/Caltagirone/ Ragusa- KM 188

Enjoy your breakfast and discover Agrigento, famous for its magnificent archaeological treasures, which are known worldwide. Visit of the Valley of Temples with the Doric Temple of Juno standing in a dominant position on a mound surrounded by columns on a four-stepped podium. The elegant, harmonious Temple of  Concordia is perfectly conserved and is known as one of the greatest and most important expressions of the Greek world. The Temple of Hercules was the first of the Agrigento Doric temples and dates back to the end of the 6th century a.C. Pino's advice is to visit “la Scala dei Turchi”. Departure to Piazza Armerina. Set in greenery, not far from the city are the picturesque ruins of the Villa Romana del Casale, renowned throughout the world for its splendid floor mosaics, their narrative style of composition, range of subject and variety of colours, making them an invaluable example of Roman artistic values and customs. Pino's advice is to have lunch in Piazza Armerina PinoAdvise The journey continues to Caltagirone also known as the “city of sicilian pots”, which you can see everywhere, in the shops and houses, on balustrades, walls and balconies. We suggest to visit the famous steps to Santa Maria del Monte. Do not miss “La Villa Comunale” and “The pots Museum”. Return to the hotel in Ragusa area and overnight. Pino's advice is to visit Modica with its illuminated monuments.

 

7° Day: Ragusa/Modica/Scicli/Cava d’Ispica/Ragusa

After breakfast departure to Modica, wellknown as the town of the churches (one-hundred). It is the town of the famous bridge, one of the tallest in Europe (300m), overlooking the whole town and joining the new and the old parts of Modica. There is a Castle with a tower from 18th century and a more recent clock, both symbolically representing the town. What makes Modica so unique and charming is its baroque style that dominates the old town center. Visit a chocolate shop to find out how for several hundred years, (since the Spanish first bought cocoa from South America), the Modicans have been making chocolate in Aztec way. Pino's advice is to taste the chocolate in PinoAdvise  Continue to Scicli, the loveliest town in the province of Ragusa, lying on a vast rocky mountains where join the rivers of the San Bartolomeo, the Santa Maria la Nuova and the Fiumara di Modica. Our journey continues to “la Cava D’Ispica” situated between the towns of Ispica and Modica. In this caves  approx. 13km/800m long, are archeological remains of  rooms, sanctuaries and necropolis, which date in the Neolithic era. The actual Cava d’Ispica contains of the Larderia, which consists of a Paleo-Christian catacomb lined with an impressive number of burial chambers. Pino's advice is to visit Marzamemi, very nice typical  fishing village. Return to the hotel in Ragusa area and overnight.

 

8° Day: Ragusa Ibla/Noto/Siracusa

After breakfast, drive to the historical centre of Ragusa Ibla, one of the UNESCO-listed Baroque towns of south-eastern Sicily. The main building monument is the cathedral, "Duomo di San Giorgio". This is the heart of the old town and contains of some of its best and most prized artworks. Set on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys (the Cava San Leonardo and the Cava Santa Domenica), it is divided into two distinct areas: Ragusa Ibla and Ragusa, separated by the so-called "valle dei ponti" (the valley of the bridges). After the 1693’s earthquake, the residents settled on the site known as Ibla that today, with its medieval layout and lovely baroque architecture, is the most attractive historical centre and the major tourist goal.

Drive to Noto (World Heritage), one of the most example of the Sicilian baroque architecture . Stroll in the narrow streets, admiring the golden-colored stone buildings, the fantastical facades and balconies, the numerous palaces and Cathedrals. Destroyed by the terrible earthquake in 1693, it was rebuilt on a new site, about 10 km from the old center. Pino's advice is to visit, the Villa Romana del Tellaro of Noto. Return to the hotel in Siracusa area and overnight.

 

9° Day: Siracusa/Castello Eurialo

Siracusa: one of the most important archaeological centre in "Magna Graecia". The Neapolis Archaeological Park is the most characteristical part of the old Greek town. Visit the Neapolis with its Greek Theatre, Hieron II's Altar, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Ear of Dionysius. The oldest part of the town is on the little island Ortigia, with the remains of the earliest Greek constructions, such as the Temple of Apollo, and traces of the grandiose Temple of Athena, nowadays a part of the Cathedral and the Aretusa Fountain. Time to walk around the beautiful baroque buildings of Ortigia. Drive towards Castello Eurialo, round 7Km from Siracusa, a ruine of the important defensive Dionisio I. In thet time there was built a wall around the entire settlement, encompassing the districts of Tyche and Neapolis which, had stood outside the town limits. One section of the wall is still visible along the road leading up to belvedere. Pino's advice is to have dinner to PinoAdvise  Return to the hotel in Siracusa area and overnight.

 

10° Day: Siracusa/Etna/Acireale/Taormina

Today you will drive to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. It esed to be called “Mongibello” from the Arab name “Ghebehel”, meaning "a beautiful mount". Visit of the extinct craters Silvestri at 1900 Mt. Pino's advice is to go up to 2.900 Mt. with a cablecar and a jeep in order to try the most unforgetable experience,  and admire a stunning panorama. Pino’s advice is to have lunch in a typical restaurant to PinoAdvise In the afternoon, you will continue towards Acireale, this pretty Baroque town is set around the spectacular square "Piazza Duomo". Its elegant shops include coffee bars serving the renowned local ice-cream. Acireale is also famous for its ancient carnival and puppet theatre. Piazza Duomo with its finely proportioned space is enclosed by Baroque buildings: The Duomo, the Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo and the Palazzo Comunale, all graced with elegant wrought-iron balconies. Return to the hotel in Taormina area and overnight.

11° Day: Taormina

After breakfast, proceed to Taormina (among a myriad of prickly pear cactus). with a breath-taking view of the majestic Mt. Etna with towns clinging to its slopes. Pino's advice is to visit "Il Castagno dei 100 Cavalli", one of the most important and the oldest trees in Italy. After this you can spend the afternoon in Taormina, you can visit a charming highlight Greek theatre and the typical mediaval streets. Pino's advice is to taste the typical “granita PinoAdvise, close the Theatre. Pino will offer you PinoAdvise  in a terrace with a beautiful view of Taormina

12° Day: Departure

Information about the hotels and the Pino's Advices will be provided after the confirmation of your booking.

The type of hired car is automatically chosen to the number of people. Exemple:    2/3 pax category C;    4 pax category F

Hotels

The hotels booked for Self-drive are in 3&4 stars hotel category, in a standard double room breakfast included. The hotels will be chosen among the hotels below or similar.

Palermo Area 

Hotel Ibis Styles Palermo 4*

Hotel Garibaldi 4*

Hotel Vecchio Borgo 4*

San Paolo Palace Hotel 4*

Hotel Athenaeum 3*

Hotel Villa D'Amato 3*

Hotel Conchiglia D'Oro 3*

Trapani Area

Hotel Baglio Basile 4*

Villa Zina Park 4*

Hotel President 3*

Agrigento Area

Hotel Della Valle 4*

Hotel Kore 4*

Grand Hotel Mosè 4*

Hotel Akrabello 3*

Hotel Dei Pini 3*

Ragusa Area 

Hotel Montreal 3*

Poggio Del Sole Resort 4*

Siracusa Area 

Grande Albergo Alfeo 4*

Jolly Aretusa Palace Hotel 4*

Hotel Villa Politi 4*

Hotel Dei Coloniali 3*

Hotel del Santuario 3*

Palazzo Giaracà 3*

Taormina Area 

Hotel Corallo 4*

Hotel Sporting Baia 4*

Villa Bianca 4*

Hotel Nike 4*

Hotel Albatros 3*

Hotel Delle Palme 3*

Hotel Baia Azzurra 3*

Hotel La Riva 3*

Policy & Terms


Days : 12 | Nights : 11


Price included


  • Car Rental
  • Accommodation in 3/4 star hotel
  • Buffet Breakfast daily
  • Pino's Advice
  • VAT
  • Fee
  • 2 Pino will offer you

Price not included


  •     Extra stay pre/post tour    
  •     All meals and drinks    
  •     Any optional tours    
  •     Motorway tolls    
  •     Entrance fees museums, monuments and archaeological sites    
  •     Excursion to the summit of the Etna (cable car and 4x4 vehicle)    
  •     Tourist Tax    
  •     Personal Expenses    
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Adults €1,739
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