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Story Land & Sea®

Amazing Sicily:
Alumni & Friends Adventure

To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything. —  Goethe

This Story Alumni & Friends "Special Touch" itinerary presents a unique approach to discovering the best Sicily has to offer the Story Way®.

10-day itinerary through the Sicilian landscape featuring Taormina, Syracuse (Siracusa), and Palermo

This tour is the perfect balance of inclusions and free time in magical Sicily.

If you've never been to Sicily, then you're in for a real treat. If you have previously visited, then you already know you want to go back and see more. Sitting at the tip of the boot of Italy, Sicily is a place like no other on Earth. The mild Mediterranean climate and the nostalgia are things that must be experienced in person...words cannot describe.

The island is filled with wonders from the old world and panoramas not-to-be-missed, to the world-famous volcano, Mount Etna, to exotic beaches, old ruins, and sweeping vineyards and farmlands. Sicily is truly a special destination, and is sure to delight. Come see it with us!

 

  • Sicily and Mt Etna
  • Noto, Sicily
  • Taormina, Sicily
  • Valley of the Temples
  • Sicilian Culinary Experience
Transatlantic Flight Departure Day

Day 1: Monday, October 17, 2019: Depart North America on Transatlantic flights. The flight is not included.

Can we help you with your Airfare? Yes, we can arrange your air travel from the Story Land & Sea® air service department. We'll work with you to get the absolutely lowest fare available based on your travel preferences. We utilize both our own air department and online agencies to find the best rate. At the end of your Sicilian adventure, you should set your flight to return from Catania.

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination (Palermo) on time regardless of whether Story Land & Sea® has arranged your air.
 

Travel Protection
Story Land and Sea® recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on available plans or to enroll, go to travelexinsurance.com or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9297 and reference location number 06-0051.




Palermo
 

Day 2: Palermo Arrival

WELCOME TO THE AMAZING SICILY TOUR

Arrival Transfer
Meet the Story representative upon clearing customs and enjoy a transfer to our amazing hotel in Palermo.

Palermo, Italy

Private Tour
After your bags are stored securely (rooms aren't ready until 3pm), you will have free time until we meet later today to begin our adventure through Italy with Story Tour Captain Jodie Hedrick and our Local Expert Guide. Along the way we will take time to visit the Palermo Cathedral. The Cathedral of Palermo is a treasure of the Norman architecture in Sicily. Enjoy our Unique Perspectives Experience and then return to the hotel to prepare for tonight's wonderful Dinner.

food icon   Story Way® Dining: Included Welcome Dinner
The Story Land & Sea® Way of Dining debuts as you join your Story Local Host for the Welcome Dinner. Experience what can only be described as a night of the best cuisine and vino from the region.

About The Story® Way of Dining
Our approach to dining is truly unique: Our favorites dishes represent the region we're traveling through. We call this 'speaking the language of your food.' From our unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants we visit for each included dinner to the variety of hand-crafted dishes, it's truly an immersion into authentic cuisine paired with wine. Your Story Local Host is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly and will help you interpret any menu item. For the 5 total included dinners, your Story Local Host will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your wine for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region in which you're traveling ~ and yes, "the wine does flow." It's an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience in the local culture.

Accommodation
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea - MGallery by Sofitel or similar 3 nights

The Grand Hotel Villa Igiea offers a 5-star experience in a stunning villa on the coast of Palermo. Restored at the end of the 19th century by famous architect Ernesto Basile, it still retains frescoes and original furniture and decor. We've complemented these with modern facilities and gastronomic restaurants. The hotel has classic, superior and deluxe rooms, and junior and grand suites, as well as a Ballroom, Lounge & Pool Bar, Conference Center, Meeting Rooms, Pool and Beauty Corner.

The sophisticated, 5-star Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel is a haven of peace on the coast of Palermo. The free shuttle service will get you to the city center in minutes for some shopping and sightseeing.

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Palermo

Day 3: Segesta & Erice Day Trip

Segesta Temple

Private Tour
This morning we drive about an hour to visit what is arguably "the best preserved Greek temple in the world" --- Segesta.

This large, magnificent Doric temple looks as if it were built just yesterday! Built before 430 B.C., the temple is about 200 feet long and 85 feet wide, with a total of 36 impressive Doric columns. Your guide will provide you all the fascinating history of this incredible well-preserved temple.

Next, we travel to the spectacular town of Erice, a spectacular, medieval city, with cobblestone streets and castles, located 2,400 feet high above sea level, in one of the most picturesque settings you can imagine. Erice overlooks the city of Trapani and the Aegadian Islands --- providing sweeping, spectacular, panoramic views from all around.

We shall make a visit to the Antique Convent Pastry Shop, in via Guarnotta, one of the most renowned Sicilian bakeries. There enjoy a taste of the fine Erician pastries first created within the convent walls, and as a special treat, sample some of the typical almond dough desserts filled with candied lemon. Afterwards, a guided walk through the quaint, narrow, cobblestone streets in this picturesque town, perched high above the Sea, with panoramic vistas everywhere.

After our guided tour of Erice, you will enjoy lunch on your own at one of the restaurants offering a breath-taking, panoramic view of the beautiful, blue Sea and the surrounding islands.

Palermo Return
Returning to Palermo you have the balance of the day as you wish.

food icon   Optional Dinner: Enjoy an optional dinner tonight: Join your Tour Captain or explore on your own.

 
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Palermo

Day 4: Cooking Class

Cooking Class
Handmade Sicilian Pasta Cooking Class
Your cooking workshop will begin in central Palermo, where you'll join your instructor and fellow chefs. Enjoy a relaxed environment as you learn the traditional method of making pasta with a rolling pin and other traditional tools, before mastering the modern technique by machine. Blend eggs, flour and other essential ingredients, and try your hand crafting three types of Sicilian pasta and sauces, with help from your instructor as needed. To complete your culinary know-how, learn how to make an authentic Sicilian dessert. Afterward, take a seat at the table for lunch and enjoy the dishes you've prepared. Sip a glass of Tuscan wine and dig in with your newfound friends. When your pasta making class concludes, your instructor will leave you with Sicilian recipes to take home.



Palermo Leisure
After your amazing cooking class and lunch you have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy Palermo as you wish.

food icon   Optional Dinner: Enjoy an optional dinner tonight: Join your Tour Captain or explore on your own.

Palermo Food & Wine Walking Tour   $119 pp

Go off the beaten tourist trail in Palermo and discover the city's cuisine and wine as you go. With a guide, you'll discover traditional eateries where samples of food and wine await. Sip on prosecco, chow down on Sicilian pastries, and admire several Palermo landmarks including the Church of San Francesco d'Assisi. Numbers are limited to 15 people for a small-group experience. Visit a family-run tavern for prosecco and fresh fish Sip on regional red wine as you learn about Palermo's history Savor samples of Sicilian pastries and liquor in the Quattro Canti piazza.

Palermo Street Food Walking Tour    $79 pp

Snack your way through the streets of Palermo on this Sicilian food tour. Explore backstreet markets and food stalls specializing in local delicacies like stuffed rice balls and chickpea fritters as your guide fills you in on local history, culture. Plus, this small-group tour has a limited number of participants for a more personalized experience. Visit Sicily's open-air markets including Vucciria Market and Mercato di Capo Taste five authentic Sicilian street foods and one local wine.

Palermo Catacombs and Monreale Half-Day Tour  $249 pp

Discover two of Palermo's most distinctive landmarks on this immersive, half-day tour. Set off from your accommodation—hotel pickup and drop-off are included—and venture first to the Capuchin Catacombs: a macabre destination home to thousands of mummified bodies, many of them priests. Next, you'll discover the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Monreale, famous for its fusion of Norman and Arabic architecture. A break for Sicilian coffee and nibbles is also included. All entrance fees are included in the tour price.

Fly Over Palermo $499 pp
(1-3 people)

A fantastic panoramic flight to discover Palermo and Mondello. Enjoy the breathtaking colors of the crystal clear sea in the bay of Mondello and the spectacular views of the city or Palermo. Transfer to and from your hotel is included.

 

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Agrigento
 

Day 5: To the Valley of the Temples

Segesta Temple

Sightseeing Immersion
We depart Palermo and drive two hours south to Agrigento, a city on the southern coast of Sicily, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Here at Agrigento you will take a guided tour of one of Sicily's most famous, historical sites --- the "Valley of the Temples" --- a "masterpiece" that stands testament to Greek art in Sicily. This archaeological park consists of not one, but eight temples (along with other remains), built between about 510 B.C. and 430 B.C.

Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.

Orientation Walkabout
Enjoy a walkabout with the Tour Captain

food icon   Story Way® Dining: Included dining tonight with the Tour Captain.

Accommodation
Villa Athena Hotel or similar, 1 Night

 
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To Siracusa

Day 6: Piazza Armerina

Siracusa (Syracuse), Italy

To Piazza Armerina
This morning we're bound for Piazza Armerina. We shall tour the famous Villa Romana del Casale, built during the 4th Century. This villa contains the richest, largest, and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world. In addition, this Villa is one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites. The precious and beautiful mosaics in this Villa constitute some of the best conserved anywhere in the world today.

We are then bound for the ancient city of Siracusa (Syracuse).

Siracusa is well known for its rich Greek history --- culture, amphitheaters, architecture, and birthplace of the famous mathematician and engineer, Archimedes. We begin our experience with a guided tour of the historic heart of Siracusa, the island of Ortigia. After the tour, enjoy time for lunch, exploring at your leisure. This 2,700-year-old city is right next to the Ionian Sea. Cicero once described Siracusa as "the greatest Greek city and most beautiful of them all." The Bible mentions that Paul, the apostle, stayed here in Siracusa. In 2005, the entire city of Siracusa was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Siracusa Orientation Walkabout
Arriving in the late afternoon we will check in, freshen up and then enjoy a short guided tour of Siracusa and then make our way to the reception.

food icon   Story Way® Dining: Included dining tonight with the Tour Captain.

Accommodation
Hotel Grand Hotel Ortigia Siracusa or Ortea Palace Luxury Hotel, or similar, 2 Nights

 
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Siracusa

Day 7: More Siracusa

Sightseeing Immersion
Our sightseeing immersion includes the most-famous sites at the Neapolis Archaeological Zone in Siracusa, the historic section of Siracusa, including a visit to the 16,000 seat Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dionysius, and the Roman Amphitheatre.

We begin our experience with a guided tour of the historic heart of Siracusa, the island of Ortigia. After the tour, enjoy time for lunch, exploring at your leisure. Then we continue with our exploration of Siracusa. This 2,700-year-old city is right next to the Ionian Sea. Cicero once described Siracusa as "the greatest Greek city and most beautiful of them all." The Bible mentions that Paul, the apostle, stayed here in Siracusa. In 2005, the entire city of Siracusa was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Our sightseeing immersion includes the most-famous sites at the Neapolis Archaeological Zone in Siracusa, the historic section of Siracusa, including a visit to the 16,000 seat Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dionysius, and the Roman Amphitheatre.

Afternoon at Leisure
Enjoy this afternoon of leisure time on your own.

food icon   Optional Dining: Join the Tour Captain to an optional dinner or explore on your own.

 
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To Taormina
 

Day 8: Mount Etna Experience

Mount Etna

Story Exclusive®
Your private driving guide or driver and guide will take you to Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.You will reach the 1800 meters level. The excursion will continue with the visit of some small villages such as Santa Venerina and Milo, where we will stop at Barone di Villagrande Winery, which has been in the Nicolosi family since ancient times. In 1727 a decree issued by Emperor Charles VI conferred privileges and the title of Barons of Villagrande to the Nicolosi family also as recognition of their skill in the production of their famous wines. The farm is set in the heart of the Etna D.O.C area.

Orientation Walkabout & Story Exclusive®
After a spectacular day out plan to enjoy a little downtime today before our walkabout to a Story Exclusive.

Accommodation: Hotel NH Collection Taormina or similar, 2 Nights
The 5-star hotel NH Collection Taormina is in the heart of beautiful Taormina, the famed city on Sicily's eastern coastline. The hotel building combines early 20th century features with modern touches to create a truly outstanding look. Just a few steps away is the city's most popular shopping street, Corso Umberto in central Taormina, the most famous seaside destination in Sicily right in the historic center, near shops, cafés and bars 5 minute walk to the PalaCongressi and iconic ancient Greek theatre.

food icon   Optional Dinner: Enjoy an optional dinner tonight: Join your Tour Captain or explore on your own.


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Taormina

Day 9: Day at Leisure

Cooking ClassTaormina with Mt. Etna in background.
 

Enjoy today at leisure in Taormina.

Story Exclusive®: Farewell On The Sea
The coastline at the foot of Taormina conceals the jems of a nature still unspoiled that deserves to be fully experienced. Sail around Isola Bella – a luxuriant outrock once home to Florence Trevelyan, a British gardener and, most of all, the pioneer of bird habitat conservation in Italy – and along Sant'Alessio Cape to admire its fortified castle, defensive stronghold used from Roman Times to World War II. Stop for a swim in the clear waters of the Ionian Sea and discover the bays of Mazzarò, San Nicola and Spisone, where ancient people coming from all sides of the Mediterranean landed, spellbound by a land the essence of which has to be found in the sometimes harsh contrast between earth and sea. Heavy aperitvo and drinks will be served on board.

Etna Wine Tour with Tastings   $315 pp

Discover three different Sicilian wineries as you sample tasty regional reds, whites, and rosés. Driving in an air-conditioned car, you'll cruise past picturesque villages, fruit orchards, and lava-made churches as you explore the fascinating region of Etna, known for its volcanic terroirs. Sip samples of the volcano-infused drink in family-run wineries, munching on local gastronomic delicacies, from cheeses to salami. An intimate, immersive wine tour through Etna, Sicily's famous volcanic wine terroir. Round-trip transportation from your hotel is included, plus all food and drinks.

Etna Countryside Food & Wine Lovers Tours    $179 pp

Indulge your love of food and wine on this half-day tour of the Etna countryside. After a convenient hotel pickup, learn about the region's history and culture from a local guide as you cruise through scenic Sicilian villages. Stop at a family-run winery, a picturesque farmhouse with delicious food, and a pastry bar. Enjoy wine tastings and samples of local cheeses, salumi, and pastas included in the tour price. Get an insider's view on the region while exploring beautiful villages. Enjoy hotel pickup/drop-off and all food and drink samples included.

Valley of the Temples & Villa Romana de Casale Day Trip  $129 pp

See two of Italy's greatest archeological sites on this exciting guided tour of the Valley of the Temples and Villa Romana del Casale. Leave Taormina with a local guide and be prepared to get very acquainted with Ancient Greek statuary and architecture, as well as, as centuries-old monuments from the Roman Empire. See the amazing collection of mosaics and even an ancient hunting lodge. Leave Taormina and discover Sicily's finest ancient Greek and Roman ruins with a guide See monuments like the Temple of Juno inside Agrigento's Valley of the Temples Spend an afternoon at Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina. Admire one of the world's largest collection of Roman mosaics including the famous 'bikini girls' wall.

Godfather vs Mafia Tour and Sicilian Lunch  $149 pp

Compare the unforgettable storyline of the Godfather saga with real-life Mafia history during this in-depth guided tour, with stops at three Sicilian villages. See famous Godfather filming locations, like the church where Micheal Corleone married his young bride, Apollonia. You'll also hear true stories from Sicilian Mafia clans and learn about their grip on southern Italy. The tour concludes with a tasty pasta buffet at a typical trattoria. Enjoy comfortable, private car transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle, with hotel pickup.

Half Day Pizza Making Class  $79 pp

Make pizza like a pro during a 4-hour cooking class in Taormina. Under the expert of a local 'pizzaiolo' you'll make a versatile dough from scratch and top it with a fresh sauce. Hear tips, learn about the ingredients, then sit down to savor your Sicilian feast. Bruschetta, wine, and soft drinks are also included.

Taormina Coastline Boat Tour  $139 pp

Enjoy a 2-hour boat trip to explore the most beautiful places of Taormina coastline. This small group tour will depart from Giardini Naxos port and will take you to discover some stunning sites such as: Cape Schisò, Cape Taormina, Cross' rock, Prickly pears' rock, Cave of the mermaids, Grotta Azzurra ( Blue Cave), Coral Cave, Bay of Mazzaro Bay of San Nicola (or the Bay of the Mermaids) and Rock of "Ziu Innaru". Also, during the tour you'll have the chance to stop for at Isola Bella (Beautiful Island) bay for a swim or for snorkelling and then enjoy a snack/drink or some fresh fruit. A truly unmissable tour if you are in Taormina for your holidays!

10 GUEST MAXIMUM
PRICE IS PER PERSON

 

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Arrivederci Sicily!

Day 10: Homeward Bound Or Extend Your Journey

This morning depending on your flight time consider an optional transfer to the Catania Airport for your flight back home or onward to the Aeolian Islands or perhaps the Amalfi Coast – see below!

Call today to place your reservation at 1 (877) 865-6711.

 
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EXTEND YOUR VACATION TO THE BEAUTIFUL AEOLIAN ISLANDS or ENCHANTED AMALFI COAST

 


Heart of City Hotels mean your experience is like none other in the travel industry.

There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story Land & Sea®'s Heart-of-City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages.

Our small group Italy tour hotels feature historical architecture with all the amenities you'd come to expect. The properties are located in the heart of the cities, towns and villages.

Remember, availability in tour hotels may be affected based on seasonal demand. Alternate hotel properties of equal quality will be used when the following hotels are not available.

 

Palermo Hotels - 3 Nights

Agrigento Hotel - 1 Night

Siracusa Hotels - 2 Nights

Taormina Hotels - 2 Nights

Extension: Consider Amalfi Coast or Aeolian Islands Extension


What's Included in Your Small Group Tour?


What's Included in this Small Group Tour of Sicily?

We've tried to include everything on our Guaranteed Departures ~
However, make note of the following:

  • Optional AnyTime Arrival Experience into Palermo: Includes Meet & Greet by Story Land & Sea® Tours' Representative Host, Shuttle from Airport to hotel and all gratuities. Regular Rate: $69/person, 2 Guest Minimum.
  • Breakfast is included daily
  • Lunch is not included - Our Tour Captains and Guides will offer great, affordable suggestions for delicious lunches every day.
  • Five (5) dinners are included ~ our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night, however.
  • We Stay in the Very Heart of Cities & Towns.
  • Gratuities Included: Story Land & Sea® includes gratuities for Local Tour Guides, Drivers, Hotel and Restaurant Staff included.
  • Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included, and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.

Airfare is not included but it can be quoted here. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group Italy tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even if Story Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your Italian land tour vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.

Travel Protection is not included. Story Land and Sea® recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on available plans or to enroll, go to travelexinsurance.com or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9297 and reference location number 06-0051.

 

That's it ~ everything else, excluding personal item purchases, is included. Read on below for all of the inclusions to this tour through of Amazing Sicily.

Something for everyone…Whether you’re a “first-timer” to Sicily or have visited many times, we invite you to join us for this exciting tour program designed especially for Story alumni.

 

Amazing Sicily (And Greece Option):
STORY ADVENTURE FOR
ALUMNI & FRIENDS

 
AMAZING SICILY TOUR: OCT 17 - 26, 2019
Published Date Deluxe
Hotels Package
Departures in October 2019
Oct 17
$6,879

 

ADD 3 DAY PACKAGE TO GREECE:
OCT 26 - 29, 2019
Published Date Deluxe Hotels Package Classic Hotels Package On-Tour Required Airfare
Departures in October 2019
Oct 17
$2,339 $1,339 $268

Published prices are based on double occupancy and are a guaranteed departure with at least six (6) Story guests — Inquire with reservations to find out your preferred departure's current tour size and pricing.

Or do these dates not work for your schedule?

Call us: 1 877 865 6711

Take over a departure for your own private group.
Inquire for details.

Prefer to travel with just the two of you?
Inquire for our Private Journey option.


Get Started: Ask a Question, Schedule a Call, Request a Trip Quote, or Have us Craft Your Trip

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