Classical Sicily and Route of The Shrines

DAY 1 MADRID – CATANIA Meeting in Madrid-Barajas Airport to embark on a flight to Catania. Transfer to the hotel Dinner and lodging.

DAY 2 CATANIA Breakfast and full day tour with lunch in a restaurant, Catania is a lovely city razed seven times by natural catastrophies that has known how emerge from its ashes over and over again, and was declare World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2002. We will visit the Cathedral Square, jewel of the Italian baroque consecrated to the veneration of Saint Agatha that houses its relics around the The Fountain of the Elephant of Vacarini; the Via dei Crociferi, with Its eternal row of churches; the markets of the ancient fish market and the fair; Bellini Gardens; the Máximo Vicenio Bellini Theater, which owes its name to the illustrious local composer, the via Etnea, with its businesses and ice cream shops; San Nicolo and the Benedictine Convent; without without forgetting Ursino Castle and the numerous baroque palaces that proliferate in Catania. Return to the hotel, Dinner and Lodging.

DAY 3 CATANIA (EXCURSION AL ETNA and A TAORMINA) Breakfast and departure for Etna (climbing to 1900 meters), the largest active volcano in Europe, from where we will have a privileged view of all the coast. Lunch and continuation to Taormina, planted at two hundred meters above Mount Tauros. It has been the birthplace of inspiration and rest for writers and artists, like Goethe, Truman Capote, Greta Garbo, or Dalí. It is worth noting the Greek-Roman Theater, magnified by the panoramic view of the Bay of Naxos and Etna. Later we will return to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 4 CATANIA (EXCURSION TO SYRACUSE) Breakfast. Full day excursion to Syracuse, one of the richest archaeological heritages of Sicily, with the Ortigia Peninnsula, original nucleus of the population de the Corinthians who founded the city, and the archeaological park of Neapolis with its Roman amphitheater and its Greek Theater. Later we will visit the Latomìe (stone quarries), Dionysius’ Ear and the Grotto dei Cordari, or that of the Capuchins. Next to the sea and naturally emanating fresh water, we will find the Fountain of Aretusa, a pond with ducks, fish of several species and papyrus plants. Lunch in restaurant. Afternoon tour of Our Lady of Teras Shrine, a building built in memory of the “miracle of the tears” that happened when a plaster carving of the Virgin shed tears for four days. Return to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 5 CATANIA – TINDARI- SAN STEFANO DI CAMASTRA – CEFALÚ – PALERMO Breakfast and departure for Tindari to take a tour of the Shrine della Madonna Nera, where the image of a black byzantine image of the virgin is venerated, and honored every September 8 with a piligrimage. We will continue on to San Stefano di Camastra, famous for its ceramic, and we will arrive in Cefalú where we will visit its Norman Cathedral from the 12th century, with the air of a fortress and a legendary origin. Lunch in restaurant. We will arrive to the hotel in Palermo in the afternoon. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 6 º PALERMO Breakfast and full day tour with lunch in a restaurant in the center of Palermo, capital of the island, and astonishing city of narrow streets, replete with history. We will visit the Arab-Norman Mosque, Saint John of the Hermits, with its magnificent Cathedral, the Palatine Chapel of the Norman Palace, or Quattro Canti Square, where the two princiapl streets of the city, Vittorio Emmanuele and Via Maqueda, converge. We will continue visiting the Catacombs of the Capuchins, the Norman-Arab Zisa Palace; the Normand Palace; the Cathedral, which was a paelochristian basilica, Arabic mosque, and Christian temple for the Normans; the Martorana (also called Santa Maria del’Ammiraglio, current worship center for the Greek Orthodox Rite); the Cathedral of Monreale, one of the loveliest cathedrals in Europe. Lunch. Afternoon tour of Mount Pellegrino. Natural Reserve in whose grottos is planted the Shrine of Saint Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo. Later we will return to the hotel. Dinner and lodging

DAY 7 SEGESTA – ERICE- SELINUNTE – AGRIGENTO Breakfast and departure for the ancient Greek city of Segesta where we will visit its Doric Temple, unfinished despite its grandiosity and its perfect state of conservation. We continue to Erice, on Mount San Giuliano where the view, at 751 m. high, reaches Tunez or Etna. Lunch in restaurant. Afternoon departure for Selinunte -one of the most prominent archaeological enclaves in the Mediterranean- and Agrigento, which has the world’s best preserved Historic Grouping of Greek temple. Continuation to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 8 AGRIGENTO-CATANIA Breakfast. We will dedicated the morning to a tour of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, all doric in style and whose state of conservation varies in function of how they were affected by earthquakes and plundering. We will continue on to Piazza Armerina, in the province of Enna, known worldwide for Having the best preserved complex of mosaics from the Roman period. We will see the town of Casale, which was the luxurious Residence. Departure for Catania Airport. Departure on a special flight to Madrid. Arrival and END OF TRIP