Day 1 - Monday, April 15, 2024
Meeting of participants at Linate Airport ( for those who wish, possibility of coach from Inzago ) and meeting with Clio Viaggi escort. Departure from Milan Linate with arrival in Catania in the afternoon.
Meet with the guide and depart for Piazza Armerina, the city that takes us back to Roman times. We will visit the splendid floor mosaics of the well-known Villa del Casale, which houses the finest collection of polychrome Roman mosaics depicting hunting and leisure scenes, mythological episodes and historical depictions. It consists of forty beautiful mosaics in perfect condition. The Villa is considered the greatest example of mosaic art from the Roman era, a treasure that became a World Heritage Site in 1997.
Transfer to hotel 4**** in Dubrovnik, check into rooms and have dinner at hotel
Day 2 - Tuesday, April 16, 2024: RAGUSA IBLA and DONNAFUGATA.
Breakfast and departure for a visit to Ragusa Ibla cradle of late Sicilian Baroque with its beautiful churches and Ibleo garden. In it as many as 14 of the 18 monuments have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Continue to visit the Castle of Donnafugata. Characterized by an unusual architecture, a fascinating example of admirable eclecticism and the result of the succession and overlapping of interventions desired by different owners, the Donnafugata castle is an emblematic example of that attention of Sicilian aristocratic families to the country house, a sort of elegant home of the owner for many months of the year. Surrounding the castle is a large and monumental 8-hectare park. It counted more than 1,500 plant species and various "distractions" that were meant to cheer and entertain guests, such as the circular temple, the Coffee House (to provide refreshment), some artificial "caves" equipped with fake stalactites (under the temple) or the peculiar stone labyrinth built in the typical Ragusa dry-stone masonry.
Cheese tasting/ Street food in Ragusa Ibla.
Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 - Wednesday, April 17, 2024: MARZAMEMI, SCICLI and PUNTASECCA
After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for a visit to Marzamemi, a small fishing village in the province of Syracuse, which stands and develops entirely on the sea. It dates back to around the year 1000, when the Arabs built the Tonnara here, which for many centuries was the main one in the whole of eastern Sicily. This beautiful Borgo Marinaro, however as it appears to us today dates back to the 1700s when the Villadorata Family, modified the Tonnara by expanding its spaces, building the church of San Francesco di Paola, and the fishermen's houses. Continue to explore Scicli, a town harmoniously nestled in a hollow between rocky reliefs. Scicli stretches over a wide plain set within three narrow, sunken valleys called Cave (the valleys of Modica, Santa Maria La Nova, and San Bartolomeo), which originated from tectonic fractures of very remote times and became beds of torrential streams. Its origins are very ancient and most likely date back to the Sicilian period, thus more than three thousand years ago. Departure then to Punta secca, a small seaside village located between Marina di Ragusa and Scoglitti, made famous by the TV series Commissario Montalbano and named Marinella place where the Commissioner's famous seaside villa is located.
Free lunch on the excursion.
Dinner at a hotel in the area.
Day 4 - Thursday, April 18, 2024: NOTO AND MODICA
After breakfast at the hotel, departure to visit Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque known as the "stone garden," rich in splendid buildings and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inspired by the Baroque ideals of the "open city," it constitutes a rare masterpiece and the clearest example of the theatrical tastes of 18th-century architecture. We will stroll through the downtown streets to admire the skill and ingenuity of local craftsmen. Indeed, the Baroque of Noto is an interplay of elegant curves, floral entanglements, perspective views, palaces and gardens, capitals and cherubs adorning the facades of churches and monasteries. Continue on to visit Modica, a treasure trove of countless architectural treasures in Baroque art and therefore a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Modica, possibility of an afternoon visit to one of the most renowned chocolate companies in the area, to witness the stages of production of the "nectar of the gods" and taste the delicious chocolate still made according to the recipe of the ancient Aztecs.
Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 5 - Friday, April 19, 2024: PALAZZOLO ACREIDE and SYRACUSE
Breakfast and departure for a visit to Palazzolo Acreide. It is one of the 8 pearls of the Val di Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its late Baroque architecture, so much so that in 2019 it won the second position among the most beautiful villages in Italy. What makes it so fascinating? The splendid examples of Baroque found in the town's churches and palaces, whose balconies are adorned with fancy grotesque figures. Of interest are the portal of the Church of the Annunziata, the Church of St. Paul, the Mother Church of St. Nicholas, and Palazzo Zocco, all splendid examples of Baroque architecture. Palazzolo has a centuries-old history (it was the Greek colony Akrai) that can be inferred from the signs of Greek rule as evidenced by the Greek theater, necropolis, and the remains of numerous temples, which we will visit. Continuation to Syracuse. Described by Cicero as the most beautiful city of Magna Graecia, Syracuse has been rich in history since ancient times, frequented by illustrious figures and philosophers such as Plato. You will walk through the Neapolis archaeological park, evidence of Greek and Roman rule. Fascinating in particular is the Greek theater, still widely used today for Greek tragedies. Then the Roman amphitheater, the Ear of Dionysius, the Cave of Nymphaeum and the Latomia of Paradise. In the rest of the city, architectural styles vary widely: Gothic like the Montalto Palace, Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Rococo like the Impellizzeri Palace. Most of Syracuse's monuments, however, are concentrated in Ortigia, where the entire perimeter of the city was enclosed in Renaissance times. It is a small island that forms the oldest part of the historic center of Syracuse. Magnificent cathedral and the famous Arethusa Fountain.
Dinner at a restaurant and overnight stay at a hotel in Catania.
Day 6 - Saturday, April 20, 2024: RIVIERA DEI CICLOPI (ACITREZZA AND ACICASTELLO)
Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
The day will be devoted to visiting the Riviera of the Cyclops. North of the city of Catania, the coastline has been shaped over time by Mount Etna, whose lava flows have created twisted-shaped rocks and steep cliffs guarding inlets with crystal-clear waters. The one that stretches between Aci Castello and Acireale is the Riviera dei Ciclopi, an evocative name to which some of the most famous Homeric myths are linked. We will visit Aci Castello, a delightful seaside village named after its Norman Castle, which, built on a cliff jutting out into the sea, protects the town's inhabitants and visitors from above. We will continue a little further north, where we find Aci Trezza, the fishing village where Giovanni Verga set I Malavoglia. Small houses and the small church of St. John the Baptist overlook the lipid waters of the small port, and the panorama is dominated by the imposing Faraglioni, the lava ridges formed even before the volcano Etna.
Transfer to the Airport in time for the return flight. Flight from Catania with arrival at Linate in the evening.
The order of visits may be subject to change