This stunning tour of Eastern Sicily offers you the opportunity to not only discover the islands of the Aeolian, and the rich lands surrounding the famous Mount Etna, but also to journey to some of the most beautiful historical provinces of Sicily being Catania, Syracusa, Ragusa, including the towns of chocolate-loving Modica and the island of Ortigia.
We welcome you to Catania which is, after Palermo, the lively and second largest city in Sicily. We enter into Sicily’s age-old history, rich in unique archaeological sites and monuments, with one of the more famous being the Villa Romana del Casale. We indulge in the surrounding historical towns that showcase timeless crafts such as hand-painted ceramics, dine on regional artisan products created using proprietary and specialized techniques, and spend evenings dining with newfound friends and locals. You will experience the triumphant shouts of the Siciliani, and a spectacular array of vibrant colours of spices, seafoods, and seasonal fruit and vegetables as we wander through the iconic food markets of these areas. You’ll be thrilled to see the local produce displayed as if they were works of art instead of mere merchandise for sale, and you will relish the tempting morsels offered by locals to sample.
We welcome you to Sicily and the busy airport of Catania. Our beautiful Hotel is an elegant palace recently restored, located on the Steps by Alessi. Set like a jewel, between Via Etnea and Via Crociferi and in the heart baroque of the historical center of Catania. You will have time to relax or wander around the hotel admiring the terrace with sweeping views across the historic centre of Catania overlooking the roof tops of the late Sicilian Baroque style.
We head into the historic centre of Catania for a tour on foot visiting “La Pescheria” markets with an atmosphere that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years and noted especially for the fresh seafood where we can witness the colourful behaviour of local fishermen selling the mornings catch. Here you will also find all sorts of wonderful fruits, vegetables, meats and deli items as local pick up their daily shop. We continue our tour to Catania’s stunning Cathedral where the cities patron Saint, Sant’ Agata and precious treasures are kept and we wander through the Piazza Duomo where the heart of Catania beats and the city’s symbol monument: the fountain with the Elephant stands. This is a lava-stone statue that dates back to the Roman era, mounted on a more modern structure by Vaccarini from the eighteenth century. Legend goes that this animal became the city symbol because in ancient times pigmy elephants lived in this place, that protected the city’s inhabitants by chasing away fierce animals.
We meet for lunch giving you the rest of the afternoon and evening to wander this beautiful city, do a spot of shopping or rest in the hotel. We meet in the evening for dinner at one of the local restaurants and spend over night in Catania.