Sicily 2015

IWJ Logo-travel stampSPRING in SICILY 2015


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— A Cultural & Gastronomic Experience!

TOUR DATES : APRIL 8-18, 2015

Sicily02Disclaimer:  This is not a commercial, package tour! — I’ve teamed up with a geography professor at the U. of Catania in Sicily to bring you something truly special & one-of-a-kind!  READ ON…

NOTE:  Knowledge of Italian not required for this trip!

ITINERARY in BRIEF  (Full details below)

11 Days/10 Nights

Day 1 – Arrival in Catania2000px-Sicily_in_Italy.svg-map3
(3 nights in Catania)
Day 2 –Catania, Taormina
Day 3 –Catania, Mount Etna
Day 4 –Siracusa (2 nights in Siracusa)
Day 5 – Noto, Marzamemi
Day 6 – Modica, Ragusa, Piazza Armerina
(1 night in Piazza Armerina)
Day 7 – Aidone, Agrigento
(1 night in Agrigento)
Day 8 – Agrigento, Palermo
(3 nights in Palermo)
Day 9 – Palermo
Day 10 – Cefalù, S. Stefano di Camastra
Day 11 – Catania & arrivederci

Note: Tour starts and ends in Catania, where there is an airport. Trip participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Catania and may arrive from wherever they choose. Note: Due to time-zone difference, flights out of the US arrive in Italy the following day. =>Visit FAQs for more travel info<=

– Printable / Downloadable Tour Description + Itinerary, Click Here

Help Spread the Word!  Downloadable Trip Flier

Trip Presentations!  INFO / Q + A  SESSIONS

Check out the VIRTUAL SICILY TOUR Slide Show! ==>

TRIP OVERVIEW – A Dream of a Tour!

Boutique tour – leisurely paced – small group limited to 10-16 travelers – experience the sicilia101-map3paradise that is Sicily with its rich history still visible in a stunning mix of Baroque, Greek, Roman, Gothic, Norman, Arabic and Byzantine architecture and ruins – See the best Sicily has to offer – Leave the details to us and enjoy the ride! Travel with fellow like-minded admirers of Italy – Add in mouth-watering food & tastings, comfortable & gorgeous accommodations, and you’ve got yourself one amazing trip! …One you’ll be talking about for years to come!

This trip includes:

  • A tour around all of Sicily, Italy’s largest island and region (18,000 sq mi total approx land mass).Sicily81
  • 10-night stay in a variety of hand-picked, highly rated accommodations of exceptional quality across Sicily, located in the hearts of historical city centers and countryside “agri-tourism” farmhouses – all faithful to traditional Sicilian hospitality, culture, charm and architectural style –and all with excellent amenities, most with spas, most/if not all with Wi-Fi and of course, delicious traditional Sicilian cuisine.
  • Excursions to Taormina, Catania, Mt. Etna, Siracusa, Noto, Marzamemi, Modica, Ragusa Ibla, Piazza Armerina, Aidone, Agrigento, Palermo, Cefalù and Santo Stefano di Camastra.
  • All related excursion expenses, including guided walking tours (in English) of historical city centers and admission to all visited sights, museums, nature preserves.
  • Private luxury transport and all related expenses to and from lodgings, excursions and visits, including our own dedicated driver and coach style bus.
  • A very well-crafted itinerary that allows us to leisurely cover an immense expanse of land (offering amazing views of Sicily’s natural beauty) with most legs of the trip under 1/1.5 hours.Sicily28
  • Delicious group meals featuring regional specialties traditionally prepared using local,   in-season food sources.
  • Restaurant gratuities, local sales tax, municipal hotel tax.
  • Comfort – convenience – flexibility – plenty of free time.
  • Informal conversational Italian instruction.
  • Jodina’s travel guide, “Best Travel Tips & Suggestions”.
  • Accompaniment of a multi-lingual (English, Italian, Spanish, French) tour director trained in first aid & CPR.
  • Option to stay additional nights at Catania hotel location preceding/following the tour at a special discounted price.
  • Option to enroll, for group courses or individual private lessons, preceding/following the tour at an Italian language school in Catania at discounted fees exclusive to tour participants.

Not included: • Airfare • Transfer to/from Catania airport to hotel (fixed cab fare: €20) • Some meals (See tour itinerary) • Optional gratuities: tour guides (€1-2/half day, €3-5/full day), driver (€2-3/day), chambermaids (€1-2/day) .

COST: 11 days/10 nights – April 8-18, 2015 – $3,350 per person (double occupancy), Single-Room Occupancy Supplement: $400. Don’t have a travel partner and would like to share a room?  Let us know – we may be able to match you with a roommate.

How does this trip compare price-wise to similar tours? It’s very, very reasonable… have a look:  Pricing Notes & Comparisons

Check out the VIRTUAL SICILY TOUR Slide Show! ==>Slide show cover

*Reviews from Spring 2014 Amalfi Coast Tour*


Sicily Facts / Outstanding Trip Characteristics:

If you’re someone who likes a more leisurely, more intimate approach to travel – the chance to really get a feel for the place you’re staying and savor the best it has to offer – the people, the culture, the land, the food, the wine – this is a trip for you!

Sicily76This boutique tour offers a more intimate and immersive way to travel. Join a small group of fellow Italy enthusiasts and tour exotic Sicily, Italy’s Mediterranean jewel, largest island, and home to the country’s greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Comfort, ease and convenience: Forget your cares at home, and leave the details to us. Enjoy a variety of well-appointed, high-quality lodgings and delicious cuisine on an unforgettable tour around sunny Sicily.

This is a worry-free vacation with flexibility built in – you’ll have plenty of personal time for exploring the places we visit — for strolling, shopping, eating, and having another gelato or espresso – all against the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea; Mt. Etna; ancient baroque/Greek/Norman/Moorish/Roman/byzantine architecture, art and ruins; the timeless scent of citrus groves carried on island breezes.

                                      VIRTUAL SICILY TOUR Slide Show ==>


Day 1 | Wed 8 April – CATANIA {3 nights}Sicily32
Arrive in Catania • Check into beautiful 4-star Hotel Principe in the heart of the city’s historical baroque downtown • Settle in/rest/stroll around and take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant quarter • Group welcome dinner & orientation in the evening • [Night in Catania] • Meals: D

Day 2 | Thurs 9 April – CATANIA ==> TAORMINA ==> CATANIA                      [40 min / 40 min / 65 tot mi]     • Depart from Catania for morning guided walking tour of the gorgeous, chic seaside town of Taormina • Group lunch in a typical Sicilian trattoria • Afternoon free to roam/shop/explore • Return to our lodgings and evening free in Catania • [Night in Catania] • Meals: B-L

Day 3 | Fri 10 April – CATANIA ==> MT. ETNA ==> CATANIA                               Sicily51[60 min /60 min / 100 tot mi]    • Visit to Catania’s colorful old fish-market • Depart for Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest and still-active volcano • Visit the Silvestri Craters • Delicious lunch and wine-tasting at a vineyard and cantina near Mt. Etna • Visit Catania’s Benedictine Monastery • Guided walking tour of the city’s historical center • Free evening in Catania • [Night in Catania] • Meals: B-L

Day4 | Sat 11 April – CATANIA ==> SIRACUSA {2 nights}                                        [50 min / 40 mi]     • Depart Catania for Siracusa • Visit Ciane Nature Reserve and take an idyllic boat ride along dreamy Ciane River • Guided walking tour of Neapolis Archaeological Park • Arrive at Ortigia (cultural and historical heart of Siracusa) for a group lunch in a typical Sicilian restaurant • Guided walking tour of Ortigia • Check into 4-star Hotel Livingston located directly on the coastline • Remainder of afternoon and evening free to explore and have dinner on your own • [night in Siracusa] • Meals: B-L

Day 5 | Sun 12 April – SIRACUSA ==> NOTO ==> VENDICARI ==> MARZAMEMI ==> SIRACUSA   [20 min/10 min/10 min/30 min / 68 tot mi]Sicily73
• Depart Siracusa for Noto, a small town noted for its stunning baroque cathedral and surrounding structures • Walking tour of Noto • Visit Venidicari Nature Reserve • On to the quaint old fishing village of Marzamemi • Lunch at your leisure • Visit to a Tonnara, an age-old traditional tuna processing facility • Free time • Return to Siracusa • Evening group meal • [night in Siracusa] • Meals: B-D

Day 6 | Mon 13 April – SIRACUSA ==> MODICA ==> RAGUSA IBLA ==> PIAZZA ARMERINA {1 night}    [50 min / 15min /70 min /108 tot mi]  • Depart Siracusa for Modica • Guided visit of the old city • Tour & tasting: Bonajuto pastry and chocolate factory • Free time • Group lunch in a typical Sicilian restaurant • Guided walking tour of the old town of Ragusa Ibla, including a visit to the filming location of Inspector Montalbano • Free time in Ragusa Ibla • Depart for the medieval town of Piazza Armerina where we’ll spend a relaxing evening dining and lodging in the country at Torre di Renda • Group dinner • [Night in Piazza Armerina]   Meals: B-L-D

Day 7 | Tues 14 April – PIAZZA ARMERINA ==> AIDONE ==>AGRIGENTO    {1 night} [10 min/80 min/ 62 tot mi]     • Guided tour of Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily80renowned for its exquisite and extensive mosaic collection • On to Aidone and a visit to Morganitna Museum, which houses the famous Venus of Morgantina • Artisan cheese factory tour & tasting • Free time and lunch at your leisure • On to Agrigento to check into the tranquil and elegant Grand Hotel Mosé • Group dinner in hotel • [Night in Agrigento] Meals: B-D

Day 8 | Wed 15 April – AGRIGENTO ==> PALERMO {2 nights} [90 min / 80 mi]
Morning guided tour of Valley of the Temples archeological park in Agrigento • Lunch on your own and free time to explore the historic downtown of Agrigento • Head to Palermo; check into the splendid and superbly located 4-star Quintocanto Hotel & Spa • Group dinner • [Night in Palermo] • Meals: B-D

Day 9 | Thurs 16 April – PALERMO & MONREALEcucina siciliana cannoli
Today is dedicated to Palermo: Morning guided visit of Monreale Cathedral and cloisters • Guided walking tour of the historical city center • Tour & tasting: traditional pastry factory • Afternoon free • Lunch at your leisure • Group dinner in the evening • [Night in Palermo] • Meals: B-D

Day 10 | Fri 17 April – PALERMO ==> CEFALÙ ==> SANTO STEFANO DI CAMASTRA ==> CATANIA  [60 min – 44 mi / 30 min – 22 mi / 1 hr 50min – 87 mi]     Sicily13• Depart Palermo for Cefalù • Guided walking tour of the historic city center • Visit to Santo Stefano di Camastra, a locale best known for its many ceramic workshops and factories • Time to stroll, shop and lunch on your own • Return to Catania • Group celebration dinner in evening • [Night in Catania] • Meals: B-D

Day 11 | Sat 18 April – CATANIA
Breakfast in hotel + departure (or extend your stay). Grazie e arrivederci Sicilia!

For even more detailed info & facts on daily activities and visits, click here.

.   .   .   .   .   .

I love this trip! How do I sign up?


Sign-up form on right (scroll up)

  • Trip cost: $3,350 per person, double occupancy. Single supplement: $400. (Costs based on Euro and could change due to market fluctuations.)
  • Deposit to hold spot: $1,000, due by Jan 15, 2015
  • Payment options: Online via credit card or PayPal, or by check ==> Pay by check and SAVE $100.00
  • Final Balance due: => Feb 25, 2015 <=
  • N O T E S :
  1. Tour size limited to 10-16 travelers | Availability on a first-come-first-served basis.
  2. Hold your spot : Send in your deposit & completed Tour Enrollment Form.
  3. Form available by email or regular mail, on request. Email:, Tel. 760-201-7594.

5 Responses to Sicily 2015

  1. June gottleib says:

    Hi creative Jodina. This Friday would have been fun to attend (but it’s Yom Kippor – a special reflective time in the Jewish faith when fasting is part of that so would’ny work for your Jewish admirers). However, I will make note of the other events yu are planning and next year may even be able to join yu on the Italian trip – pass on the details to me via email. Have a fun evening. Hope to see yu at the upcoming Italian movies at La Paloma -pass on the info to your students, tooXxJune

  2. Marcia says:

    unable to make Oct 3, but keep me posted on upcoming Sicily trip . thanks

  3. Francesca Sofia says:

    Yes, I plan to come, and so looking forward to it.

  4. laurie says:

    Wow, such a fun and exotic sounding tour, Jodina! Here’s an interesting article (and great pics) about Palermo that I just ran across:
    I want the spices! (:

  5. Jodina says:

    Grazie Laurie! Come with us! 😀

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