Tour of Sicily

Saturday January 21 - Palermo

Arrival of participants in Palermo. Hotel accommodation. Dinner and overnight.

Sunday 22 January - Palermo/Agrigento/Piazza Armerina

Breakfast at the hotel and departure by G.T.bus to Agrigento, visit the famous Valley of the Temples. Descending the hill from the Temple of Juno to the Temple of Zeus will enjoy the classic beauty surrounded  by  the almond trees in bloom in January. Stop for lunch and continue to Piazza Armerina, in the province of Enna. (Link 12) Visit the Villa del Casale with its 3000 square meters mosaics back to the glories of the Roman Empire and the pleasures of life of the patricians.
Accommodation at Piazza Armerina. Dinner and overnight.

Monday 23 January - Piazza Armerina/Caltagirone/Syracuse

Breakfast at the hotel and depart to Caltagirone ceramics center of the most precious ancient medieval tradition, lunch in a farmhouse along the road to Syracuse to which you will arrive in time to visit the Fountain of Arethusa and the island of Ortigia precious pedestrian historic center.
Accommodation at Syracuse. Overnight.

Tuesday 24 January - Syracuse/Noto/Modica

Breakfast, dinner and overnight.
In the morning visit the archaeological park in Syracuse and the Paolo Orsi Museum one of the most interesting and rich archaeological museum in Sicily.
Free time for lunch
Excursion in the afternoon to Noto and Modica two of the Baroque towns of the UNESCO World Heritage,  we will visit the most significant buildings and the famous cathedral, returned to its original beauty after restoration. Stop in Modica to taste the famous chocolate exported all over the world .
Back  to Syracuse in the late afternoon.


Wednesday 25 January - Siracusa/Etna/Taormina/Catania

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for the province of Catania. Crossing the fertile plain rich with orange groves you will reach Mount Etna the highest and most majestic active Volcano in Europe, consistent with weather conditions you can go up to the Rifugio Sapienza 1,900 meters, for lunch and an interesting walk to the edge of an extinct volcano surrounded by spectacular scenery. Continue to Taormina along the Coast of Cyclopes crossing  Acitrezza, Aci Castello, Acireale. Visit the Greek Theatre and  the historic center of Taormina well  renowned tourist destination since the dawn of the Grand Tour.
Continue to Catania, where you will arrive in the evening. Hotel accommodation. Dinner and overnight.


Thursday 26 January - Catania/Cefalù/Palermo

Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Cefalù. Walk along the megalithic walls and medieval streets, visit the Norman Cathedral, the Arab Washing place  and the waterfront with its beautiful beach. Lunch at a typical  restaurant of Madonie Natural Park. In the afternoon departure to Palermo. Arrival around 17.00.
Check-in the hotel chosen  to participate in the Skål Convention. End of services


Individual participation fee (minimum 30 pax): € 800,00

Fees must be received NO LATER THAN January 15th, 2012 ACCOMPANIED BY A DEPOSIT OF €200 PER
PERSON BY THE BANK C / C OF SKAL CLUB PALERMO as the following account:
Banco di Sicilia Piazza Unità d'Italia Palermo IBAN: IT 25 W 02008 04621 000300510316


The price includes:

• Transportation in air-conditioned  G T coach available for the entire duration of the tour, according to the itinerary and visits specified in the programme.
• The assistance of our multilingual guide available January 22 to 26.
-Accommodation in 5 star hotels in Palermo and Siracusa; of 4 stars in Piazza Armerina and Catania, in double bedrooms and services.
• Number 5  breakfast buffet continental.
• Number-7 meals at the hotel and / or restaurant, as indicated in the programme.
• Local multilingual guides in Agrigento, Siracusa and Palermo.
• Entry tickets to museums and monuments, where required, according to the programme.
• The highway tolls and parking costs for the bus, where applicable, as the itinerary described in the programme.
• VAT, taxes and service charges.


The fee does not include:.
• The baggage-porter.
• The extra-personal nature and gratuities.
• Everything that is not mentioned in the programme and under "included".

Optional extras:

Single room: € 180,00
Transfer Airport / Hotel or vice versa:
- Private car and driver 1/2 persons per way, per car : € 35,00
- 3/4 persons, each way, per car : € 60,00


From december 22 it will be possible to book directly.
For option, explanation or information, write to: info@Skå

The white almond blossom in the Valley of the Temples announces the return of Spring. Agrigento geographical and historical center of the Mediterranean  becomes the focal point of harmony and culture of peoples. During the Feast of the Almond tree in Bloom the spirit of joy , peace and brotherhood hovers in the ancient Akragas better than any racial or ideological barrier.
An event that repeats itself over half a century and has become a meeting point between the peoples of the earth. History, folklore and art, are in harmony on one of the most famous folk festivals in the world. The Almond Blossom Festival was born in 1934 in Naro brainchild of Dr. Count Alfonso Gaetani, the aim was to enhance the Agrigento spring giving a day of festivity and thoughtlessness.
Beautifully situated on a plateau 948 m above sea level, was called the navel and the belvedere of Sicily and is also the highest provincial capital of Italy. The cult of Ceres (Demeter Greek) goddess of wheat, has been particularly important here, to witness the crops that still characterize this area. And nearby, on the shores of Lake Pergusa , where the Greek mythology places  the abduction of Persephone, daughter of the goddess, by Hades, god of Hell. And on the tip of Enna, stood in ancient times a temple dedicated to Demeter.
Even Thucydides mentions Lestrigons and Cyclops  as the oldest inhabitants of the island, but relegates them rightly in the world of myth and poetic invention: "it is said that to live the most ancient part of the island have been the Cyclopes and Lestrigons, of whom I do not know what race belong , or where they came, either. where they ended up: just what the poets have said and what each can, somehow,  know about them "(Thuc. VI, 2).
 The legend of the Cyclops belongs to artistic creation and it is attested by that extraordinary poem that stands at the beginning of Greek literature the 'Odissea , where the adventure in the land of the Cyclops is part of the larger saga of Odysseus does return trips by ten-year war fought at Troy.
The episode of Polyphemus (following that of the Lotus Eaters, the strange lotus eaters, the drug that gave and took away the desire to return back home) fits in this context: the figure of the Cyclops, the giant monster with one big round eye in the forehead (Cyclops in the Greek meaning "round eye"), violent and brutal, devourer of human flesh, undoubtedly belongs to the world of fairy tale.
The same land where they live the Cyclops has features typical of the fabulous and mythical golden age, such as that of the fruits that grow spontaneously from the ground. Yet Thucydides, and with him the principal Greek and Latin authors, identified this country with Sicily. The land of the Cyclops was considered a real place, given the undisputed authority of Homer, even as a teacher of geography, but historians and paleontologists have recently advanced the theory that ancient finds of fossil remains of dinosaurs and other extinct species may have influenced the ' Processing fantastic mythical creatures, suggesting that giants and monsters of Greek mythology are not only the result of imagination, but the historical reality, as connected to the existence of prehistoric animals. In particular, the belief that Sicily was the land of the Cyclops is due to the discovery by the ancients, the fossilized remains of dwarf elephants: the skull of these animals, larger than human, equipped with a hole in the center of nasal or proboscidale better, would be exchanged for one orbit and therefore attributed to giant beings with one eye on his forehead, a specimen of this type, classified as elephas mnaidriensis,  preserved in the museum of the Institute of Geology of Palermo. Do not forget as well that the Elephant is the official symbol of the city of Catania. Finally, it is likely that natural phenomena, such as eruptions and earthquakes, volcanic craters, so numerous on the island, have been seen as the effect of the typical activities of these gigantic creatures.
Nothing could be easier then to think that the volcanic eruption as the effect of working in a giant blacksmiths workshop divine: thus placed the old country.
Acis and Galatea (Rosariu Anastasi pinacuteca Zelantea)
This legend has Greek origins and explains the abundance of freshwater springs in the Etna area.
According to tradition, Acis was the son of the italic god Faunus and the nymph Simeto. He felt in reciprocal love with the nymph Galatea, tempted by Polyphemus. Galatea had rejected proposals of Polyphemus, who  offended by the refusal of the girl, kills his rival in the hope of winning his beloved.
The harmony of the flute of Acis is silent forever, but Galatea, distraught, continues to love and pray the gods to 'her lover back to life.
Nereid, thanks to the help of the gods, transforms Acis’  dead body into fresh water springs that glide down the slopes of Etna.
Not far from the coast, near modern Capo Molini, there is a small spring called by locals "the blood of Acis' for its reddish color.
Always near the Cape there was a small village called Mills, in memory of the shepherd Acis. In the eleventh century AD an earthquake destroyed the village, causing the exodus of the survivors who founded other towns. In memory of their city of origin, the refugees wanted to call the new centers under the name of Aci to which was added a nickname to distinguish a village on the other. This explains, for example, the existence of Aci Castello (name due to the presence of a castle built on a reef which was then destroyed by a lava flow in the eleventh century) and Acitrezza (the town of the three stacks).
The Grand Tour is a journey in stages from XV cent. onwards, spread throughout Europe, including Sicily. It is a necessary path to the young scion of an aristocratic family to complete his university education. After completing his studies, the boys begin a journey of "education" that leads them in major European courts. Of course Italy, the cradle of the Renaissance was at the heart of European artistic and cultural life, hosting in its courts a large number of foreign students, with great benefit to the artistic and intellectual life of the time. The cities visited were Rome and Florence, the cradle of humanism and the Renaissance, but also Milan, Turin, but the travelers never go beyond Naples, at least until the eighteenth century ...
In XVIII, Wincklemann, a world-renowned archaeologist, unearthed Pompei and Herculaneum. A renewed interest in classical art pervaded European intellectuals, the Enlightenment movement increased, and a brand new encyclopaedist interest in scientific phenomena. This puts Sicily in the center of European cultural life, and for the first time, exceeds the boundaries of traditional Grand Tour of Rome and Naples to continue his journey to a land rich in history and myth, colors and flavors, which unfolds in the eyes of the astonished travelers lush.