Senior Women's Travel

A Moveable Feast

We thank Hemingway for our headline for our Sicily trip...We usually stay in one hotel on our seven-day trips but Sicily is different. There is so much to see over a wide area in Sicily. By breaking the trip up into segments, we see all the highlights without long periods of travel. That means moving around to several hotels.  Well worth it!

Cope with the hotel changes by bringing the smallest suitcase possible - less to carry, less to pack. I assure you, I will do the same. One of my travel secrets is that I have several reversible jackets in lightweight fabrics.

SENIOR WOMEN'S TRAVEL
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Soaring Sicily

Not scheduled for 2012 unless there is demand.  Contact us if you are interested.

History, archaeological ruins, an intriguing cuisine, the serene sea, cities with a cosmopolitan vibe, and two volcanoes define our Sicilian travel adventure. To see Sicily, you need good transportation and we have arranged that; we travel everywhere by private car or minibus with our driver/guide.

Palermo Opera House

Our Itinerary:

Day 1
Arrive in Palermo where you will be met by our driver for the week. Transfer to our 4-star hotel conveniently located in the center of town. Relax, take a nap, or take a walk (based on your energy).

After dinner, we will take a sightseeing tour, Palermo by Night.

Day 2
Buffet breakfast at hotel.

We will explore Arab, Norman and Baroque Palermo. Sightseeing includes the Opera House, the popular Vuccina food market, and the beautiful cathedral with Byzantine mosaics at Monreale. You will have time to stroll around the town.

We will have early cocktails with the Princess Alliata at Palazzo Pietraperciata and then dinner at a restaurant near the palace specializing in Sicilian dishes.

Optional: Opera at Palermo Opera House if there is a performance (orchestra seats are 97 euros).

Day 3
Buffet breakfast in hotel.

Segesta/Erice/Wine Tasting/Cooking Lesson: Segesta is an ancient village in the western part of Sicily. We visit its magnificent Greek Theatre and Doric Temple. Next, on to Erice, a medieval town located at the top of a mountain overlooking the Meiterranean Sea, for a walking tour. Then on to Marsala, where we will check into our hotel before stopping at one of Marsala’s famous wineries, Cantine Pellegrino, where we enjoy a wine tasting.

Finally, we go to a “baglio," an 18th century country villa recently restored and converted to a charming hotel. The chef at the Baglio will demonstrate recipes from the province of Trapani. You can participate in preparing meal or just sit by and watch others work. Dinner will be meal that chef demonstrates.  Return to hotel.

Greek Temple at Agrigento

Day 4
Buffet breakfast in hotel.

Agrigento/Piazza Armerina: Visit Agrigento and its group of Doric temples from the 5th century dotting the hilly landscape -- imposing and beautiful. In the afternoon, we visit the ruins of the Villa Romano del Casale, in the town of Piazza Armerina. Its 40 rooms feature extradordinary mosaic floors depicting the life of the villa in Roman times. (This was one of my favorite stops on my January 06 trip to Sicily.)

 

Mosaics at Villa Romano del Casale

Caltagirone, the Sicilian capital for ceramics, is our final stop of the day. There will be time to stroll through town and shop. Tonight we sleep in a charming farmhouse that produces oranges and lemons. Our dinner there is based on the best local ingredients.

Day 5
Buffet breakfast in hotel.

Siracusa/The Wines of Etna: Siracusa was one of the most powerful cities in Sicily during its Greek period. Visit to the architectural zone with its Greek theatre, the Roman amphitheatre, Ear of Dionysus.
Stroll through Ortigia island to admire its imposing mixture of architectural styles, its lovely Piazza with Diana fountain and cathedral. Time to investigate its lovely shops.

After lunch, we visit Tenuta San Michele, a vineyard with a panoramic view of Mt. Etna, the largest volcano in Europe. The climate and the volcanic soil give wines a unique mineral taste that is very prized. Wine tasting and visit to wine cellar with a member of Baron Scammacca del Murgo family, proprietor of the vineyard.

Transfer to our 4-star hotel in Taormina and dinner.

Day 6
Buffet breakfast in hotel.

A day and overnight in the Aeolian Islands: Lipari, Panarea, and Stromboli. We will leave our luggage at the hotel in Taormina and just bring a small overnight bag with us.

Morning visit to Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands, with its pastel colored houses and lively tempo. Then to tiny Panarea which looks like a Greek island with its whitewashed houses. We will visit a lovely beach and stop at port of S. Pietro.

We then move on to Stromboli, circling part of the island and stopping in port of Scari to wait for the glowing sunset. As night falls, our boat takes us to the sciara di fucco (slope of fire) to witness the spectacular volcanic activity.  Frommer explains it this way, "lava glows red hot on its way down to meet the sea with a loud hiss."

We will enjoy a simple dinner of Aeolian spaghetti and local wine on board our boat. Overnight in Stromboli.

Greek Theatre at Taormina

Day 7
Return to Taormina via hydrofoil.

We will spend some time discovering Taormina, the exclusive Sicilian hotspot, perched above the Ionian Sea with beautiful vistas no matter where you look. Visit its famous Greek Theatre, tempting boutiques, and nice cafes to sample their famous pastry, cannoli (pastry filled with ricotta), candied fruits and pistachios, and, of course, gelati (Italian ice cream).

If we arrive back in Taormina early enough (it depends on hydrofoil schedule that is not available until June), we will end our tour with a cooking class in a typical Sicilian house of the 18th century on the slopes of Mt. Etna. The area is known for its lemon and orange groves, very pure olive oil, pistachio and olive groves. Our cooking instructor is Mrs. Elenora, a journalist, whose lecture emphasizes the customs of Sicilian cooking. Dinner is the food demonstrated. If we do not have time for the cooking class, we will enjoy a farewell dinner in Taormina.

Ubiquitous lemon trees thrive everywhere

Day 8
After a very busy week it’s time to depart for Catania airport and home. We hope you leave Sicily with many happy memories of this fascinating island and its diverse culture.

 

Note:  Itinerary subject to minor adjustments.

Cost
$3,500 (USD) includes 7 night hotels (private room, no single supplement); breakfast; 6 dinners (one is a lunch); activities outlined in itinerary; transfer to Catania airport; local guided visits in Palermo, Montreale, Agrigento, Siracusa; and excursion to Aeolian Islands.  Price does not include airfare, transfer from Palermo airport to hotel if arrival doesn’t coincide with rest of group, alcoholic beverages and wine at dinner, entrance fees to archaeological sites and museums (usually 10 euros each), tips, and personal expenses.