Friday, December 27: When checking in, make sure that your luggage is checked all the way through to Palermo. Depart San Antonio on Delta FLT:708 at12:35 p.m. arrive Atlanta at 3:54 p.m. Depart Atlanta on Delta FLT 70 at 5:40 p.m. on overnight flight to Rome.
Saturday, December 28: Arrive Rome at 8:45 a.m., clear customs and then fly on to Palermo at 11:50 a.m., arr. 12:50 p.m. on Alitalia FLT 1779. Coach transfer to Mondello and the Mondello Palace Hotel. (011390) (0)91 45 0001. After check-in, you will have the rest of the afternoon to shower, nap and recover from the long flights. Dinner at 7:30 at the hotel (fixed menu, restaurants choice).
Sunday, December 29: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant (and every morning for the rest of the tour). 9:00 a.m. departure from hotel for half day city tour of Palermo. At the end of the tour you have the option of staying on in Palermo and taking a public bus back to the hotel or returning on the coach. Dinner at 7:30 at hotel (fixed menu, my choice after first night).
Monday, December 30: 9:00 a.m. departure from hotel for half day city tour to Monreale. Meet in lobby at 7:45 to walk to dinner at Da Calogero, a local fish restaurant (you order from menu.
Tuesday, December 31: Coach transfer to Agrigento and the Grand Hotel dei Templi (011390) (0)922 610175 with en route stops at Segesta and Selinunte. NYE Gala at hotel. Warning: Arrive at the gala sober, hungry and thirsty as you are in for a long, multi-course dinner with different wines for each course. Don’t even think about having a warm up party in your room or you will never make it through the night. This is a dressy affair–coat and tie for men, nice dress for women. Note: This gala is costing me €103 per person and is not optional, i.e., I pay whether you go or not. Kick back and enjoy!!
Wednesday, January 1: Very late morning walking tour of Valley of the Temples. Nothing else will be open today. Dinner at the hotel. (Fixed menu, but who cares today).
Thursday, January 2: Morning visit Archaeological Museum in Agrigento. Afternoon free. I will arrange for the bus to drop us off and pick us up at a specific time and place in the town of Agrigento. Dinner at the hotel (fixed menu).
Friday, January 3: Coach transfer to Piazza Armerina in the interior of Sicily. After visiting the Roman villa, we will continue on to Caltagiorene, a city known for its ceramics. Dinner and overnight in Ragusa at the Mediterraneo Palace Hotel (011390) (0) 932 621944 (choose either fish or sausage for dinner).
Saturday, January 4: Transfer to Siracusa and the Grand Hotel (011390) (0)931 464 600. Half day city tour upon arrival, focusing on the island. Dinner at the hotel (limited choice menu).
Sunday, January 5: Half day city tour, this time focusing on the Greco/Roman ruins. Dinner at the hotel (limited choice menu).
Monday, January 6: Mostly a free day in Siracusa, but we have the bus and if there is an attraction open such as the Fortifications of Euryalus, we will go for a little drive and check it out. Dinner at the hotel (limited choice menu).
Tuesday, January 7: Early morning transfer to Reggio Calabria to visit Archaeological Museum and I Bronzi di Riace, then continuing on to Paestum. We will arrive rather late in Paestum and the Hotel Ariston (011390) (0)828 851333 so we will get our rooms, wash up and immediately have dinner at the hotel (fixed menu that I have chosen).
Wednesday, January 8: After breakfast, we will walk a short distance to see a demonstration at 9:30 of the making of bufala mozzarella cheese, a local specialty. The presentation will take about 30 minutes and we will then leave immediately to visit the Magna Graecia site at Paestum. [End of services for our Sicily bus.] I suggest that we visit the excellent museum first so you can understand the site. The visit to the site should take anywhere from two to four hours. There are snack bars available. I will arrange with the hotel to send their van at specific times so small groups can return to the hotel when finished. Prior to our arrival to the Ariston we can call 0828 851870 to make individual appointments in the afternoon for a massage, hair dresser, Turkish bath and various other options. There is also a full gym, swimming pool and much, much more. Dinner at the hotel (fixed menu that I have chosen).
Thursday, January 9: Coach transfer to Sorrento via Pompei. Those who have already visited Pompei may opt to stay on the bus and go directly to Sorrento and the Hotel Bristol (011390) (0)818784522 for a free afternoon. I will arrange to have a bus sent back for the group that visits Pompei. Dinner at the hotel (choose from three pastas, three main courses).
Friday, January 10: Morning visit to the Archaeological Museum in Naples with lunch (independent) and some sight-seeing around Naples. Return to Sorrento with stop at Herculaneum in the afternoon, dinner at the hotel (choose from three pastas, three main courses).
Saturday, January 11: Very early morning (4:30) transfer to FCO in Rome for return flight Depart Rome on Delta FLT 71 at 1045 a.m., arrive Atlanta at 340 p.m. Depart Atlanta on FLT:965 at 6:50 p.m., arrive San Antonio at 820 p.m.
Lisa Schweers & Mary Rose Walls
Paul Alessi & Thu Cox
Joe di Dio & Robert Terhune
Jay & Evelyn Rogers
Linda Nelson-Baugh & Jennifer Schooley
Rita Linard & David Herbert
Jim & Francine Plunkett
Sue Edwards & Jim Ernest
Mary Rucas & Josie Krueger
Richard & Ann Adams
Allan & Maureen Nowotny