2012 Sicily & Southern Italy


Sunday, March 4, USA to Palermo

Overnight flight from USA to Palermo (PMO). My cell phone number: +39 346 624 5308. Call me or the hotel if you miss a connection somewhere along the line.

Monday, March 5, Mondello/Palermo

Upon arrival, transfer by taxi to the Mondello Palace Hotel. (+39091450001) (I will pay for the taxis but will need a receipt. If you don’t have any euro, go to the front desk in the hotel–I will leave enough money with them to pay for the cab.) Spend the afternoon in recovery from the flights–shower, nap, take a walk down to the beach. Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel dining room, overnight in the Mondello Palace Hotel. (I will schedule our dinners for 7:30 unless indicated or announced differently.)

Tuesday, March 6, Mondello/Palermo

9:00 a.m. departure for full day of sight-seeing in Palermo with our excellent English speaking guide, Jacqueline Alio. Stops will include the Cappella Palatina, the Cuba with the Punic Necropolis and the Capuccini Monastery. After a stop for lunch (independent) we will visit the Massimo Opera House and the Archaeological Museum,–if it has reopened. Late afternoon return to Mondello. Dinner and overnight in the Mondello Palace Hotel.

Wednesday, March 7, Mondello/Palermo

9:00 a.m. departure for a half day excursion to meet Jacqueline and again and visit the Cathedral of Monreale and the Diocesan Museum and the Benedictine Cloister. Afternoon opportunity to explore Palermo independently and return to Mondello on Bus #806 (at own expense). Or you can call it a day and stay on the coach and return to the hotel. Leave hotel at 7:15 to walk to dinner at Da Calogero, 091-684-1333. They specialize in fish, but they do serve pizza. Overnight in Mondello Palace Hotel.

Thursday, March 8, Agrigento

9:00 a.m. transfer from Mondello to Agrigento. On our way, we will visit the Grecian sites of Segesta and Selinunte. Dinner and overnight at the Colleverde Park Hotel, +390922 29555, in Agrigento.

Friday, March 9, Agrigento

In Agrigento, we will visit the Valley of the Temples and the adjacent archaeological museum. Dinner and overnight in Colleverde Park Hotel, Agrigento.

Saturday, March 10, Siracusa

9:00 a.m. transfer from Agrigento to Siracusa. On our way we will detour to view the incomparable mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale. Time permitting and bus driver willing, we will also stop at Aidone to view some previously looted treasures that have recently been returned to Italy. Upon arrival, the bus will drop us off at the bus parking lot, Molo Sant’Antonio, and we will walk the rest of the way. The hotel will arrange for the luggage transfer. Meet in lobby at 7:20 to walk to dinner at La Foglia (0931 66233), an informal trattoria, overnight in the Hotel Roma, +390931 465626, Siracusa.

Sunday, March 11, Siracusa

In Siracusa we will visit the Greco/Roman site with an incredible theater and the archaeological museum. We will then return to Ortygia and visit the duomo which is right behind our hotel. Here you can see evidence of its past usage as a Greek temple, an early Christian church, a mosque, and finally as the cathedral. Dinner at Zsa (0931 22204), a pizzeria across the street from the hotel, overnight in Hotel Roma, Siracusa.

Monday, March 12, Reggio di Calabria
9:00 a.m. transfer from Siracusa to Reggio di Calabria. Assuming interest and the weather and volcano permitting, we will swing off for a closer look at Mt. Etna, possibly followed by a stop in Taormina to see the Greek Theater. Dinner and overnight in the Grand Hotel Excelsior, +39 0965 812211, Reggio di Calabria.

Tuesday, March 13, Paestum

9:00 a.m. departure from hotel for a short walk to the Archaeological Museum in Reggio to view I Bronzi di Riace, two of the most beautiful statues to survive from Ancient Greece. Return to hotel, 10:30 transfer from Reggio to Paestum. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel Ariston, +39 0828 851333, Paestum.

Wednesday, March 14, Paestum

We will first take a short walk to see a demonstration on the making of buffola mozzarella. Afterwards we will visit the newly uncovered site at Paestum and the related museum. Assuming clear weather, we will then take a drive along the incomparable Amalfi Coast. Time permitting, we will stop first in Sorrento and then in Amalfi. Return to Paestum for dinner and overnight in the Hotel Ariston.

Thursday, March 15, Pompeii

9:00 a.m. transfer from Paestum to Pompeii. Upon arrival, we will drop off our bags at hotel and walk across the street to visit the ancient city of Pompeii. 8:00 p.m. dinner at the hotel restaurant, overnight in the Hotel Forum, +39 081 850 11 70, Pompeii.

Friday, March 16, Pompeii 
9:00 a.m. departure for excursion to Herculaneum, and Oplontis. Leave hotel at 7:30 to walk to dinner at Zi’ Caterina (0818507447), overnight in the Hotel Forum, Pompeii. 

Saturday, March 17, Rome

8:30 a.m. departure for Rome, first visiting the Archaeological Museum in Napoli where most of the important finds in Pompeii are displayed. After the museum visit, we will visit the newly reopened Teatro San Carlo, the largest opera house in Italy (if it is open to visitors), and then drive to Rome via Sperlonga with a stop at this interesting site. We should arrive in Rome in the late afternoon. 7:15 depart hotel to walk to Locanda Barberini for dinner, overnight in the Ludovisi Palace Hotel, +39 06.42020396, Rome.

Sunday, March 18, Return flight to USA or Rome Option

When leaving the tour, I have arranged and paid for airport transfers from the hotel. Do not make your own arrangements. The transfer vehicle will usually leave the hotel three hours before your flight, but the times need to be confirmed. Leaving today: David Krug, Judy Harrison, Dave Stein.
Rome Option Remember that there will be some entrance fees involved that are not included in the $180 per person per day price that you paid. This will give us more flexibility and you won’t end up paying for something that you don’t visit.

Sunday, March 18, Tivoli w/Dr. Alessi

8:30 departure for all day excursion to Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este in Tivoli with coach, followed by a blowout, take no prisoners multicourse lunch at the Ristorante Sibilla. Return to Rome in the afternoon. Dinner on your own. Overnight in the Ludovisi Palace Hotel.
Monday, March 19, Rome w/Dr. Alessi

Leaving today: Mickie McElroy. Today’s activities will be “Holy Rome”–St. Peters Basilica/Vatican Museums. (I highly recommend that we share cabs to go to St. Peter’s and then return independently.) Time permitting we will also visit the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza NavonaDinner at a nearby pizzeria. Overnight in the Ludovisi Palace Hotel.

Tuesday, March 20, Rome w/Dr. Alessi

Leaving today: Sara & John Patterson. Today we will include as much as your stamina permits: visits to the Forum and Palatine, Colosseum, Imperial Fora, Markets of Trajan, and Santa Maria Maggiore. Dinner TBA. Overnight in the Ludovisi Palace Hotel.

Wednesday, March 21, Depart for USA or continue Rome w/Dr. Alessi

Leaving today: Ben & Gail Plummer, Terry & Lousie Weidner, Scott & Merri Plummer, Roy & Diane Ellis; Rudy & Genny Estrada, Katherine & Jacques Wyatt. Museum Day: National Museum, Capitoline, Borghese Galleries. Dinner TBA. Overnight in the Ludovisi Palace Hotel.

Thursday, March 22, Depart for USA or continue Rome w/Dr. Alessi

Leaving today: Harry & Ellen Carter, Scott Anderson & Janet Woltman; John & Janie Wendelken, Laurence Barker. Paul: Enjoy your free day in Rome!

Friday, March 23, Depart for USA
Leaving today: Paul Alessi.