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Taormina, Etna and Syracuse

Between the greek period and th Volcano

 

Days   6
From    Catania

 

3

DAY I Arrival at Catania airport and transfer to the hotel, in Taormina. Dinner.
DAY II After breakfast, visit of Taormina: we’ll begin with the wonderful and panoramic Greek Theatre, then visit of the splendid Villa Comunale (Municipal Gardens). Lunch and visit to the medieval Palazzo Corvaja (dating back until X century), with a wonderful courtyard with a stairway. Visit to the Naumachie, a unique Roman monument. Then, we’ll have a walk in the main street of Taormina, Corso Umberto I, and in the little and fascinating streets, which make Taormina so beautiful. Return to the hotel and dinner.
DAY III Breakfast and transfer to the near town of Giardini Naxos, through the wonderful coastal street of Taormina. Visit to the Archaeological area of Naxos, first Greek colony in Sicily. Transfer to Nicolosi and lunch. Ascent to he craters of Etna (until 2,900 m), with a cableway and jeeps; from that height it’s possible, in brighter days, to observe the entire island. Then, it will be possible to taste local products, first of all honey. Afterwards, transfer to Syracuse to the hotel and dinner.
DAY IV Breakfast and visit of the city of Archimedes; we’ll begin with the island of Ortigia, with the marvellous Piazza Duomo, with its many palaces and churches: above all, the baroque Cathedral, built on a Greek Temple devoted to Athena, mostly still visible. Through the wonderful baroque streets, we’ll arrive at Arethusa Fountain, which reminds the myth of the nymph from Stracuse. Then, visit of Castle Maniace, imposing fortress dating back to the age of Frederick II, with strong gothic influences in the interior. Lunch and visit to Palazzo Bellomo, with a splendid courtyard, hosting the Regional Gallery: it hosts many paintings and sculptures; above all, the Annunciazione of Antonello da Messina and the Seppellimento di S. Lucia of Caravaggio. Then, visiting Via della Maestranza, it will be possible to admire the nicest baroque palaces in the city. Afterwards, visit to the Temple of Apollo. Return to the hotel and dinner.
DAY V Breakfast and visit of mainland Syracuse: the ancient districts of Akradina, Tyche and Neapolis. Visit to the magnificent Archaeological Park, with the Greek Theatre (the first in Sicily and one of the most important in the Mediterranean area), where still today ancient tragedies and comedies are played; then, the “Latomie”, splendid and enormous cavities carved in the rock; the imposing Grave Monument of Hieron II; the Roman Amphitheatre (the third in Italy). Lunch and visit to the wonderful Archaeological Museum, fundamental to understand Greek colonization in Sicily. Afterwards, visit to the fascinating Catacombs of S. Giovanni, the most important after the Roman ones. Return to the hotel and dinner.
DAY VI Breakfast and transfer to Catania airport.
 
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