Sicily Tour


Pre-conference day trip
1 September 2015
lead by Dr. Douglas Kenning

ARRANGEMENTS
For all subscriptions, arrangements and payments please contact:
website: www.sicily-tour.com
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Italy tel: 0039 (Italy) + 0931-60977
USA tel: 707 - 771 - 0745


 Ascent of Etna

Etna is the world’s most storied mountain, one of its most resonant and mythic places. It is also Europe’s most active volcano and Sicily’s beloved grandfather (or grandmother depending on his/her mood). This day trip will offer to those who arrive early to the conference a chance to see a great site that will not be included in the conference or in the post-conference tour of Sicily.

31 August: Participants arrive in Catania airport. You will make your way to the selected Catania hotel by taxi or local bus (hotel: Il Principe).

1 September:

0900~1000: We depart Catania by bus, ascending two-thirds up the south slopes of Etna to the Rifugio Sapienza area. On the way, we will tell stories of the birth of the mountain, stories that begin with Gaia and include Uranus, Kronus (Saturn), Zeus, and a cast of other divinities. As we ascend through recent lava fields, we will speak as well of the geology of the mountain.

1000~1300: At this point, there will be a cable-car and 4WD option (not incl) up another 4000 feet to see up close the smoking vents in the company of an official Etna alpine guide. Those who choose not to take this extra ascent will remain in the tourist area, where there are shops, cafeteria, and a nearby volcanic landscape that offers some rewarding walks.

1300~1330. Back on the bus, we proceed down the east slopes of Etna, telling other stories associated with the mountain, including the Odyssey and Acis and Galatea.

1330~1530: Wine-tasting and outdoor light lunch (incl) at a small boutique winery with views over the Mediterranean.

1530~1700: We take you to your hotel in Ortigia, Siracusa.

N.B.: Activities on Etna can be enjoyed by all, requiring a no more than a normal ability to walk on a loose gravely surface, maintain footing on scree slopes, and climb several flights of stairs. Sturdy shoes, however, are an absolute must. Be advised we will be at 6000 feet with an option to ascend to 10,000; this is not a problem for most, but not advised for people with pre-existing breathing or heart concerns.

PRICE

$ 195 per person (if 15 or more)
$ 250 per person (if between 5~15)
(excursion must have at least 5 persons to run)

($ 80 per person deposit required for booking;
full payment required ninety days prior to the tour)


Tour Cost Includes:
hotel cost (per person, double occupancy) in Catania on August 31
an English-speaking Sicily-resident Tour host / guide to be with you throughout the day.
air-conditioned chauffeur-driven bus.
the wine-tasting & light lunch indicated as incl.
all applicable government taxes, service charges, parking, tolls, and paperwork.

Tour Cost Does Not Include:
transport to Catania hotel from airport on August 31
the cable car + 4WD + mountain guide option beyond the car park on Etna (about 2¼ hours). Experience shows that not everyone will wish to do this. That decision can be made at the time; charge is about € 60 ($70 each).
meals or beverages not specified as incl.
items or concerns of a personal nature.
Single supplement charge of 29%
health coverage or cancellation insurance.


Post-conference excursion
Myths & Stories of Ancient & Medieval Sicily
6~13 September, 2015
lead by Dr. Douglas Kenning

ARRANGEMENTS
For all subscriptions, arrangements and payments please contact:
website: www.sicily-tour.com
email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Italy tel: 0039 (Italy) + 0931-60977
USA tel: 707 - 771 - 0745


Myths & Stories of Ancient & Medieval Sicily

After a week in ancient Syracuse where the first and greatest golden age of Sicily flowered, we offer a tour of other Sicilian places of deepest resonance, touring the island in a clockwise manner. Two thirds through the tour, we will be at Palermo and those needing to get back home can depart from Palermo Airport.1 For those wishing to complete the circuit of Sicily, we will continue for two more days to Taormina, and these folks may fly home from Catania, the airport where they arrived.

Sept. 6, Sun. -- Early afternoon departure from Siracusa for the high plateau town of Enna, more ancient than any Greek cities, from where we will gaze across Sicily, as did Demeter, seeking sign of her daughter. Dinner (incl) and overnight in Enna (Hotel Sicilia)

Sept. 7, Mon. – 0830 we depart to the Roman villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina with the greatest mosaic floors of the ancient world (recently renovated). Lunch at local Slow Food restaurant “La Routa” in an old mill (not incl). Then we travel further out across rolling countryside to Agrigento, where we find the Greeks again, with temples the equal to those in Greece itself. Dinner (not incl) and overnight in Agrigento, in a hotel overlooking the temples. (Hotel Colleberde)

Sept. 8, Tues. – We travel west along the remote south coast to the ruins of the Greek city of Selinunte on its evocative windswept site. After lunch at Selinunte or in Marsala (not incl), we travel then to Motzia, among the salt flats and romantic windmills of far western Sicily, where we will visit the Carthaginian city with its oddly exotic evidences of Canaanite religion. Dinner (incl) and overnight in a restored Spanish nobleman’s estate near Marsala. Baglio Oneto.

Sept. 9 Wed. – We continue to Erice and tour the ancient mountaintop town founded by Aphrodite, ruled by Hercules, where a cult of sex, from Astarte to Venus, once flourished. We sample the pastries at Maria Grammatico’s shop, made famous by Mary Simeti’s book Bitter Almonds, and have a light lunch at her café (not incl). We turn north to visit the incomparably beautiful temple at a town, Segesta, that Virgil tells us was founded by Æneas. Dinner at one of the best restaurants for Sicilian country cuisine (Altri Tempi, incl.) and overnight in Palermo. (Hotel Piazza Borsa).

Sept. 10, Thurs. – A morning walking tour of the incredible sites of old Palermo, including matchless gems like the Palatine Chapel and La Martorana. We lunch at the Antica Focacceria San Francesco (not incl), famous for its Slow Food quality and its anti-Mafia stance. Then we will travel up to Monreale to visit one of the greatest of Cathedrals, with acres of stories in gold leaf. Dinner options include our favorite Arabic restaurant (La Medina, incl) or on your own (not incl2). Overnight in Palermo (Hotel Piazza Borsa). Some of the tour members will depart the tour with flights out of Palermo the following day. For these people, we will advise on how to catch the shuttle train for the Palermo Airport. For those continuing on with us:

Sept. 11, Fri. – We drive along the coast to Cefalù for a tour of this charming seacoast town, where there is another great Norman Cathedral. On your own old Cefalù, for lunch (not incl) and activities that include swimming at its famous beach, climbing the stunning La Rocca (with a pre-historic cult center halfway up), or other things that come to mind. We then turn into the Madonie mountains to your hotel at the ancient Sant’Anastasia abbey, which received its license for making wine from the Norman kings, a thousand years ago. Organic wine tasting with dinner (incl). Overnight at Relais Sant’Anastasia.

Sept 12, Sat. – We continue along the north coast, passing the Aeolian Islands, Messina, to Taormina, for stories from the Odyssey and other stories of this coast. We will check into our hotel with light lunch (incl) at the poolside. In the afternoon, we will visit to the Roman theatre in Taormina with more stories related to its famous view and Taormina’s glittering past. Several house of the late afternoon free to relax, swim, and enjoy the shops, views, and ancient sites of Taormina. We finish your tour with our “Arrivederci“ dinner at a favorite local restaurant (incl). (Hotel Imperiale).

Sept. 13, Sun – We will help you arrange transport to Catania Airport (not incl).

NB: There are many aspects of Sicily worth lingering longer with—extra days at Taormina, trips to the Aeolian Islands, hiking Zingaro or Pantalica, visiting Calabria or Puglia, another week in timeless Ortigia, for example. If anyone wishes to linger in Sicily, or Italy, let us know and we can help with arrangements.

NB: Sicily is a landscape of rock and steep paths. it does not make many concessions for those with difficulty walking. If anyone has trouble walking a mile over uneven terrain or climbing three flights of stairs without gasping, we suggest that you contact us.

PRICE (based on 15 travelers minimum3)

$ 1690 per person for 7-day visit.
$ 1290 per person for 5 day visit

($ 400 per person deposit required for booking;
full payment required ninety days prior to the tour).

Tour Cost Includes:
Bed and Breakfast accommodation on a double occupancy basis. All accommodation will be of a three-star or higher standard, specially selected by us for quality, ambience, and the friendliness of the staff. All hotels have websites for your inspection.
all meals except where indicated as not incl. in the itinerary.
All entrance fees.
An English-speaking Sicily-resident Tour host / guide to be with you throughout the tour.
All presentations will be in English or an interpreter will be present.
Air conditioned chauffeur-driven bus throughout the tour.
All applicable government taxes, service charges, parking, tolls, and paperwork.

Tour Cost Does Not Include:
Transport to Palermo or Catania Airport.
Passport applications and fees. Passports are required for entrance into Italy.
Cancellation or health insurance. People are strongly advised to take out travel insurance
Single supplement charge of 29%
Meals or beverages not specified.
Items or concerns of a personal nature.


Cancellation policy:
There will be a full refund to clients who cancel at least ninety days before before the excursion (minus the deposit), a 50% refund for cancellations up to two weeks before, and no refund for under two weeks. In case of cancellation by Sicily Tour, for any reason and at any time, there will be a full refund. We recommend travel insurance.


Sicily Tour
Douglas Kenning / Stephen Davies / Lucia Davies
www.Sicily-Tour.com