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Discover Sicily's culture and landscapes with Alex Polizzi
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With a heady mix of ancient Roman and Greek ruins, sparkling sandy beaches and intricately carved Baroque palazzos, Sicily is an island and dazzles the senses. It's full of romantic scenery, and its restaurants showcase Italian food at its finest, offering up seafood fresh from the deep blue Mediterranean Sea that surrounds you.
On this nine-night tour exclusively for Country Living readers, you'll experience all of this and more - as you're joined by Alex Polizzi, the popular presenter of hit show The Hotel Inspector. She visited Sicily in her series Alex Polizzi's Secret Italy and Alex Polizzi's Italian Islands, and will share her love for the island during a talk, private dinner, and when you tour historical monuments together.
"I know Sicily better than almost anywhere in Italy. There's so much to it. I'm enormously looking forward to joining you there."
- Alex Polizzi
Meet 'The Hotel Inspector'
Alex Polizzi, granddaughter of the hotelier Lord Forte, will stay with you in Castellammare del Golfo - the 'Sea Fortress on the Gulf' - for two days. She will join you on tours of the medieval Arabic hilltop town Erice, and the Greek temple and amphitheatre at Segesta. Plus, Alex will give an exclusive talk about the island and join you for a delicious dinner in an authentic trattoria.
The treasures of Palermo
The historic city on the north coast has a heady mix of influences, from Arabia to Europe. See the Palatine Chapel, the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily; marvel at the gold leaf mosaics of Monreale; and take in the sights and scents of a lively street market.
You'll eat at wonderful restaurants, such as Baglio Fontana, a 19th-century rural farmhouse near Palermo; Ristorante da Vittorio, as seen on Sicily Unpacked and Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes; and Relais Torre Marabino, an ex-Norman fortress that produces its own organic wines.
Enjoy off-the-beaten-track tours, such as one to television detective Montalbano's Scicli, as well as visits to a working olive oil farm, chocolate tasting in Modica and a local wine tasting.
Valley of the Temples
Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is possibly the greatest archaeological attraction in Sicily. It includes the wonderfully preserved Temple of Concordia.
Comfortable hotel stays
You'll tour the west, south and and southeast of Sicily and stay in carefully selected hotels throughout, such as Hotel Punta Nord-Est, Colleverde Park Hotel, Hotel Principe d'Aragona and Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel (or similar).
Reasons to book
Valley of the Temples
Activities with Alex Polizzi
Explore ancient Palermo
Eat at wonderful restaurants
Carefully selected hotels
- Comfortable accommodation in three- and four-star hotels around
the island throughout:
- Three nights at Hotel Punta Nord-Est in Castellammare del Golfo
- Two nights at Colleverde Park Hotel in Agrigento
- Two nights at Hotel Principe d'Aragona in Modica
- Two nights at Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel*
- Excursions including:
- Guided tours of Selinunte, one of the largest and most impressive Greek archaeological sites in the Mediterranean
- Walking tour of Valley of the Temples
- Guided tour of the Villa Romana del Casale
- Exclusive talk and dinner in a local trattoria with Alex Polizzi.
- Visit Erice and Segesta with Alex.
- Nine breakfasts, three lunches, including one at Ristorante da Vittorio, and seven dinners, including one at Baglio Fontana, with a wine tasting.
Day1Arrive in PalermoPalermo, Italy
Fly to Palermo today and upon arrival, transfer to Castellammare del Golfo ('Sea Fortress on the Gulf'), a delightful seaside town with what has been described as the most beautiful peninsula in Italy. It has also been noted for being the birthplace of many American Mafia figures. Tonight, there is an evening meal in a local trattoria.
Day2Erice and SegestaErice, Italy
Today you'll visit the medieval Arabic hilltop town, Erice. This afternoon, explore the Greek temple and amphitheatre at Segesta. Alex Polizzi will deliver a presentation before dinner in an authentic trattoria.
Day3Monreale and PalermoMonreale, Italy
Spend a full day today visiting Monreale and Palermo. Marvel at the gold leaf mosaics at Monreale, stroll through a typical Palermo street market, and visit the Palatine Chapel. This evening, enjoy dinner at Baglio Fontana, a 19th-century rural farmhouse near Palermo, enjoying a wine tasting and traditional meal with an explanation of the tuna fishing industry in Sicily.
Day4Selinunte and AgrigentoAgrigento, Italy
Visit Selinunte, one of the largest and most impressive Greek archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, followed by a long and leisurely seafood lunch at the fabulous Ristorante da Vittorio. This lovely eatery has featured on Sicily Unpacked and Rick Stein's Great Mediterranean Escapes. This afternoon, take the coastal drive to Agrigento and check in to Colleverde Park Hotel.
Day5Valley of the TemplesValley of the Temples , Italy
This morning, there is a walking tour of the Valley of the Temples before an afternoon visit to a working olive oil farm including a tasting and lunch. Continue to the hilltop town of Naro with its medieval castle and panoramic views.
Day6Villa del Casale and ModicaModica, Italy
Enjoy a guided tour today of the Roman Villa del Casale, then continue on to the Baroque south-east for an early evening arrival in Modica. You'll spend the next two nights at Hotel Principe d'Aragona, Modica (or similar).
Day7Modica and RagusaRagusa, Italy
Enjoy a leisurely guided walk around the Baroque treasure of Modica. There'll be free time for a snack lunch, and perhaps even chocolate tastings-for which Modica is renowned, hosting an international festival every year.
This afternoon, depart to the nearby Baroque town, Ibla di Ragusa, a UNESCO gem, including a short guided tour. There'll be free time for lunch in Ragusa before dinner at the superb boutique agriturismo, the Relais Torre Marabino, an ex-Norman fortress which produces its own organic fare and wines.
Day8Scicli and NotoNoto, Italy
Depart to Scicli, featured in popular scenes from the detective series Montalbano, to discover its fabulous churches and Baroque architecture. This afternoon, there is a visit to Noto to explore its highlights. Continue to Ortigia to check in to your next hotel and enjoy dinner in a local pizzeria.
Day9Ortigia (Siracusa)Siracusa, Italy
Morning visit to the stunning Baroque peninsula of Ortigia (Siracusa), with a guided walking tour and lunch in a typical trattoria. Enjoy free time this evening to wander around the beautiful town and choose from numerous fantastic trattorie for dinner.
Day10Travel homeCatania, Italy
Transfer to the airport in Catania for your departure home.