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Special Interest - Archaeology
History & Archaeology

Ancient Sicily QQQQ

Sicily

  • Catania’s Piazza del Duomo
  • Charming Forza d’Agro
  • Historic Taormina
  • Ortigia’s waterfront
  • Taormina’s Greek Theatre
  • The ‘Ear of Dionysius’
  • The mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale
2 passengers
  • Full Board Plus Full board plus
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Explore ancient Sicily

Discover traditional Sicily in crumbling hilltop villages, explore the legacies left behind by the Greeks and Romans, and explore the UNESCO-listed Aeolian Islands of Lipari and Volcano on this archaeology-themed holiday in Sicily.

Including...

Plus, this hotel features:

  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
  • Eight excursions

The hotel is located in a residential area of Giardini Naxos with a handful of restaurants, pizzerias and bars nearby. The road leading up to the hotel has a gentle 20-metre slope, so this hotel may not be suitable for guests with walking difficulties. The rocky seafront, where you’ll find a narrow stretch of pebble beach, is approximately 450 metres away.

The hotel operates a complimentary shuttle bus service to Taormina, approximately nine kilometres away, that runs four times every day between May-Sept and twice a day, four times a week between Mar-Apr and Oct-Nov. The narrow sandy strip of Sayonara beach is approximately 2.5 kilometres away.

Catania airport is approximately an hours’ drive away.


View Full Itinerary

10/11/2020 UK to Giardini Naxos

The bay of Giardini Naxos

Fly to Catania and transfer to Giardini Naxos.

You'll stay seven nights on a Full Board plus basis at the locally rated 4-star Diamond Hotel. D

11/11/2020 Taormina

Greek Theatre, Taormina, Sicily

Today's half-day included excursion heads to the historic town of Taormina where you can visit the main attraction, it’s splendid Greek Theatre.

This impressive amphitheatre, built around the third century BC, boasts incredible views of Mount Etna and the gulf of Giardini Naxos. After your visit you’ll enjoy some free time in Taormina, whose origins date back to the time of Dionysius around 400BC.

You’ll return to your hotel for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. B, L, D

12/11/2020 Aeolian Islands

Volcanic crater and Lipari and Salina islands

Depart from Milazzo harbour and cross the Tyrrhenian Sea to the island of Lipari on a full-day excursion.

The harbour is overlooked by an imposing 15th-century castle, which you may choose to visit at your own expense. Be sure to take a walk along the narrow streets of the historic town centre to experience the typical Aeolian life-style and perhaps do a spot of shopping. After exploring Lipari you’ll enjoy a short cruise to the island of Vulcano, where you may like to treat yourself to a soak in the thermal waters and sulphurous mud, believed by many to have therapeutical benefits. Alternatively, if you’re feeling energetic and have brought your walking boots, take a trek up to the summit of the island’s main crater to admire 360º panoramic views.

You’ll arrive back at your hotel in the early evening. B, L, D

Please note: this excursion is weather dependent, in the event that the sea crossing cannot be made a visit to Arigento will be included instead.

13/11/2020 Catania

Roman Theatre of Catania

Look forward to spending the day in the UNESCO-listed port city of Catania on Sicily’s east coast.

Founded by Greek colonists, Catania has also been ruled by the Romans, and you'll find reminders of these mighty ancient powers in the city. Catania has been buried by lava from neighbouring Mount Etna seven times in recorded history, so today's walking tour will start to peel away each of these fascinating layers of history. The city's ancient sites include two Roman amphitheatres, one of which was built on the site of a Greek theatre, and a number of Roman baths. Many of the buildings in Catania were damaged by the 1693 earthquake which devastated most of Sicily, so you'll also find plenty of examples of baroque-style buildings in the city, including a number of churches and the rebuilt Cathedral.

You’ll have some free time for lunch before returning to your hotel. B, L, D

14/11/2020 Piazza Armerina

Mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina

Set off early for a two-hour coach journey towards the historic town of Piazza Armerina to visit the Roman Villa, Villa Romana del Casale, located three kilometres away.

The villa, which probably belonged to a member of Rome’s senatorial class, houses an impressive collection of mosaics, one of the largest in the world and part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Four distinct zones have been identified from the villa’s remains: a grand entrance and courtyard, a central villa built around a courtyard garden, a large room with three apses, and a thermal bath complex.

Explore the excavations before heading to an outlet village where you can purchase lunch and browse the shops. B, L, D

15/11/2020 Syracuse and Ortigia

'Ear of Dionysius' cave, Syracuse

Start your day with a visit to the archaeological park in Syracuse where you’ll see a Greek Theatre with the capacity to seat 16 thousand spectators, and a cave known as the ‘Ear of Dionysius’.

Because of its ear-like shape the cave amplifies all noises from the outside, even far away street noises. Another highlight of the park is a mysterious limestone quarry, Latomia del Paradiso, which is riddled with catacombs.

From Syracuse you’ll continue to Ortigia, where your guide will take you to the city centre to see the cathedral and church of Santa Lucia, home to Caravaggio’s masterpiece ‘Burial of Saint Lucy’. B, L, D

16/11/2020 Savoca and Forza d’Agro

Savoca village in Sicily, Italy

Set off on a morning visit to the hilltop village of Savoca whose charming little square is home to Bar Vitelli, famed by Francis Ford Coppola in his film The Godfather III.

Head to the catacombs at the Capuchin monastery just a short walk away from the square. The catacombs are home to a collection of fascinating 18th-century mummified corpses and an assortment of skulls. Savoca has three notable churches: San Michele and San Nicolo are both dedicated to St Lucy the patron saint of sight; Savoca’s Mother Church, Chiesa Madre, was founded, along with the village, in the twelfth century.

From Savoca your coach will take you back towards Giardini Naxos, visiting Forza d’Agro en route. Set on the lower peak of a small mountain, the town of Forza d’Agro is overlooked by the remains of a Norman castle. A walking tour is the best way to experience the timeless atmosphere and see traditional Sicilian architecture.

You’ll arrive back at your hotel in time for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps explore more of Giardini Naxos, which has been inhabited since the 4th century BC, and whose archaeological finds are on display in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos. B, L, D

17/11/2020 Giardini Naxos to UK

Travel to Catania airport this morning for your return flight to the UK. B

2 passengers