Christmas Tour in Sicily
£1,975 excl. flight
- A well-paced introduction to Sicily, including many of the island’s most impressive sites
- In-depth exploration of the Sicily’s rich Greek, Roman, Norman, Renaissance and Baroque ancestry
- Experience the tradition of a ‘living nativity’, thought to have been started by St Francis of Assisi
Uniquely positioned between Europe and Africa, the Levant and the Atlantic, throughout history Sicily has been influenced by a mesmerizing variety of civilisations - Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslim Arabs and Normans - all of whom have left an intelligible mark. Explore Sicily’s incredibly rich cultural heritage, visiting many of the most fascinating sites on this beautiful island.
Day 1 London/ Catania - Fly London to Catania, transfer to Syracuse and overnight.
Day 2 Syracuse & Noto - Morning tour of the ancient city of Syracuse,visiting the Roman Amphitheatre, Neapolis and Dionysius Ear. Walking tour of Ortigia and remainder of the day at the UNESCO site of Noto, a pretty Baroque town.
Day 3 Catania, Taormina - Visit the old city of Catania before contining on to Taormina to visit its well preserved ancient theatre, one of the most celebrated ruins in the country. Return to Syracuse for dinner.
Day 4 Caltagirone, Piazza Armerina/ Palermo - Drive to the Sicilian Capital of Caltagirone to see the majestic majolica staircase and ceramic cribs. Afternoon visit to Piazza Armerina for the sumptuous mosaics of the Roman Villa del Casale. Onwards to Palermo for the next 4 nights.
Day 5 Palermo - Sightseeing in Arab-Norman Palermo including the Royal Palace, then onto Monreale to visit the Norman Cathedral, considered the apogee of Norman-Arab art. With a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage “Pasqualino” museum and an evening show of ‘Opera dei Pupi’ at a traditional small theatre.
Day 6 Segesta & Erice (Christmas Day) - Morning tour of the archaeological site of Segesta, then onto the medieval town of Erice to stroll through its cobbled streets. Witness the Living Nativity of Custonaci, a long standing Sicilian tradition enacted by local people. Christmas lunch at a traditional Agriturismo (Farmhouse).
Day 7 Agrigento - Visit Agrigento’s immortal Valley of the Temples, including the perfectly preserved Doric Temples of Concordia and Juno and the ruins of Hercules and Jupiter. After lunch visit the archaeological museum and head back to Palermo.
Day 8 Palermo/ London - This morning you will visit the Palazzo d’Aumale, a museum boasting a very interesting collection of old Sicilian Carts - the craft of creating and decorating carts is one of the most important in the region. Afternoon transfer to Palermo for return flight to London.
George Hart was for over thirty years a staff lecturer in the Education Department of the British Museum, specialising in ancient Egypt, the Bronze Age and Classical civilisations of the Mediterranean.
A frequent visitor to the Nile Valley, he has written books on Egyptian myths and religion, the Pyramid Age and, most recently, on the Pharaohs. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Egypt Exploration Society.
"George gave us a couple of pre-dinner lectures and some good briefings in the bus prior to picking up the local guide. He ensured a pleasant, harmonious trip without requiring us to do too much homework." Traveller Tour participant, December 2013
"George's knowledge of Ancient History and the Classical sites is excellent. He is genial, very approachable, generous with his knowledge and ensured that he spent time with all of the participants. This further enhanced the trip and the very friendly atmosphere." Traveller Tour participant, December 2013
Other tours led by this lecturer:
If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.