Tour of Sicily, Matera and Apulia

DISCOVERING THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF SICILY, THE CITY OF MATERA AND APULIA

8 NIGHTS/ 9 DAYS

AVAILABLE FROM APRIL 26 TO OCTOBER 12, 2019

4 STAR HOTELS CAREFULLY SELECTED FOR THEIR LOCATION AND DESIGN TO COMBINE TRADITION WITH COMFORT, HALF BOARD TREATMENT

SPOKEN LANGUAGES: ENGLISH - ITALIAN - SPANISH

DEPARTURES EVERY TUESDAY FROM PALERMO 

DAILY ITINERARY

1ST DAY/TUESDAY: PALERMO (HOTEL IN PALERMO).  

Arrive independently to the hotel in the charming city of Palermo (optional private transfer on request). In the evening you will meet our tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight in hotel.

2ND DAY/WEDNESDAY: MONREALE, PALERMO AND MARSALA (HOTEL IN MARSALA).

After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale, its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry! Later we will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the Island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, XVIIth century squares, including an elegant opera house. We will visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, mirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. Along the visiting day we will have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Continuing our walk we will admire the Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. In the afternoon we will continue to Marsala in whose port Garibaldi landed in 1860. Visit of a prestigious wine cellar and wine tasting. Dinner and overnight in hotel. 

3RD DAY/THURSDAY: MARSALA SALT ROAD, SELINUNTE AND AGRIGENTO (HOTEL IN AGRIGENTO).

This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known Salt Road: the west coast of Sicily with many salt marshes, which have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world. Between Trapani and Marsala they are now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaeology.  Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site. Surrounded by a splendid landscape near the African Sea, we will walk among the rests of the ancient Greek city. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.

4TH DAY/FRIDAY: PIAZZA ARMERINA AND RAGUSA (HOTEL IN CATANIA).

Today we will reach Piazza Armerina where we will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex includes some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known. This majestic villa, belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments! After free time for lunch, departure to Ragusa Ibla and visit of its historical centre cradle of Sicilian Baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome and the “giardino Ibleo”. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient city hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products. Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.

5TH DAY/SATURDAY: CATANIA AND BARI (HOTEL IN BARI).

Breakfast in hotel, transfer to the airport and direct flight - or with a layover - to Bari. According to flights’ schedule, free time to discover Catania and its city centre, declared Unesco World Heritage, or to enjoy the stunning Bari.

6TH DAY/SUNDAY: MATERA AND BARI (HOTEL IN BARI).

After breakfast, meeting with the guide. Travelers will discover the stunning Matera, popular for its "Sassi", the ancient part of the city, where buildings alternate with rock caves and labyrinths. The old town reveals a fascinating and complex history with a charming fusion between landscapes and cultures; Matera is also famous for being the movie set of great masterpieces, including Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ". After free time for lunch, departure towards Bari, Apulia’s capital, which has always been considered an important connection with the East.
Several studies have shown that the actual district of Bari Vecchia was inhabited since Prehistorical ages, thanks to the geographical location and its favorable conditions to find food and water.
In the popular and lively Bari city center, travelers will admire: the wonderful Basilica of St. Nicola - with its XVIIIth century crypt - the impressive San Sabino Cathedral with remarkable rose windows, the Norman  Castle, a stunning Medieval fortress dating back to 1131 and rebuilt by Federico II. Then the Murat quarter a typical XIXth century district featuring  wide avenues and elegant  balconies with wrought-iron  decorations. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight. 

7TH DAY/MONDAY: POLIGNANO A MARE, ALBEROBELLO AND OSTUNI (HOTEL IN LECCE).

After breakfast, the tour proceeds towards Polignano a Mare, the city of “gelato” (ice-cream) and Domenico Modugno birthplace, Italian celebrated singer, to whom a statue was dedicated. Time for a walk  in the city center among streets and shops. Transfer to Alberobello, a symbol of central Apulia. Guided tour in the city centre, all made up of “trulli”. These ancient circular limestone buildings, featuring pyramidal roofs, are part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also discover the Trullo Sovrano, National monument since 1923. Located in the northern area of Alberobello, it is the one and only Trullo with an upper floor, reachable with a masonry stair.
Then the tour proceeds to Ostuni, where you can spend free time discovering the old town known as "white city", with its exceptional landscape and architectural heritage. Transfer to Lecce with dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

8TH DAY/TUESDAY: LECCE AND GALLIPOLI (HOTEL IN LECCE).

This morning the tour will continue to Lecce, the most important Baroque city of Apulia. It reveals stunning architectural heritage and a fabulous mix of styles and ages: the Santa Croce church, the wonderful Sant'Oronzo square, the Roman amphitheater - the heart of the city- the impressive Duomo with its particular bell tower. Along the way, you will visit a papier-mâché lab, a real pride of local craftsmanship, and enjoy a wine aperitif in the main square. After lunch, the afternoon will be dedicated to the charming Gallipoli. The ancient Kalèpolis, also called "beautiful city", rises on an island connected to the mainland by a XVIth-century bridge. The group will visit the city center, the majestic Sant'Agata Cathedral, the Church of Santa Maria della Purità and an ancient 1600 hypogeum oil-mill located under Palazzo Granafei.  Return to Lecce, dinner and overnight. 

9TH DAY/WEDNESDAY: LECCE

After breakfast, end of our services.

RATES:

RATES PER PERSON IN DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY

€ 2.135,00 in double room

€ 249,00 single room suppl

€ 95,00 reduction for third bed in triple room

THE RATE INCLUDES:

Sicily:

- Multilingual tour leader and professional travel guide* (English, Italian or Spanish) from  the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 4th day, local guides or audio-guides where necessary.

- Gran Comfort bus (from the 2nd day to the 4th).

- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre

Palermo: Hotel Federico II 4* /Cristal Palace Hotel 4* or similar

Marsala: Hotel Baglio Basile 4* or similar

Agrigento: Dioscuri Bay Palace Hotel 4* or similar

Catania: Il Principe Hotel 4* or similar

- Half board basis in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3 main courses fixed menu , beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.

- Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Monreale, Palermo, Selinunte, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Ragusa.

-  Tasting of Sicilian typical products: Palermo (day 2) tasting of local street food; Marsala (day 2): visit of a wine cellar and wine tasting; Ragusa (day 4): tasting of local cheese.

- Private transfers from hotel in Catania to Catania airport   

Private tour extension to Matera & Apulia:

- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre

Bari: Hotel Palace 4* osimilare

Lecce: Hotel President 4* o similare  

- Half board basis in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3/4 main courses fixed menu, beverages not included) to have a taste of Apulian and Italian cuisine.

- English speaking travel guide in the following cities: Matera, Bari, Alberobello, Lecce and Gallipoli.

- 1 Wine Aperitif in Lecce

- One-way flight (direct or with layover) Catania-Bari with hold luggage up to 20 kg

- All the transfers with private car+driver.

NOT INCLUDED:

- Transfers in/out

- All lunches 

- Beverages

- Entrance fees at monuments/museums

- City taxes (where compulsory)

- Tips and extras in general

- Messina/ Villa San Giovanni ferry

- Anything not specified under “The rates include” 

DEPARTURE DATES: 

March 26

April 02 09 16 23 30

May 07 14 21 28

June 04 11 18 25

July 02 04 16 23 30

August 06 13 20 27

September 03 10 17 24

October 01 08 15 22 29

Novembre 05 12

NOTE:

For organizational reason, the itinerary may be reserved or modified without notice. In any case BSS Travel & Events ensures the visits and excursion mentioned on the journey.

CANCELLATION FEES:

From 90 to 45 working days before the beginning of the Tour: 10% penality, from 44 to 21 working days before the beginning of the Tour: 30% penalty, from 20 to 7 working days before the beginning of the Tour: 70% penalt, from 6 to days before to the beginning of the Tour : 100% penalty

OTHER TOURS AVAILABLE

YOU CAN FIND OTHER AVAILABLE TOURS OF SICILY IN THIS PAGE: ESCORTED TOURS 2019