New Year's In Sicily

December 30th, 2017 - January 8th, 2018

Start Your Year Off With an Italian BANG!!!

If you’ve ever wanted to see the Catacombs of Palermo, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, and feast on unparalleled food and wine with your two favorite Renaissance performers, now is the time. Learn how to make Sicilian food from local chefs, experience the twelfth day of Christmas (Epifania) and cap it all off with a Medieval banquet in a Norman Castle in Catania.

RenAdventures have developed the most absolutely incredibly amazing experience you will treasure the rest of your life!

Julianne M. Reiner

Itinerary

Saturday, December 30th

Benvenuti a casa! Welcome Home! You will arrive anytime in Catania. We’ll pick you up from the Catania–Fontanarossa Airport and after settling into our gorgeous villa we’ll spend a leisurely day relaxing and wandering with Paolo and Carl downtown. We’ll shop for monday’s feast and then return to our new home for a homemade dinner by Paolo and Carl and get to know each other.   After dinner you may choose to explore nightlife in Catania and go in search of our first gelato.

 

Sunday,  December 31st – New Year’s eve in Catania

Today we’ll see something few people have ever seen. A church which had been buried in lava in the 1600’s and rediscovered by a young man in the 1960’s. It is not yet open to the public and the only other Americans to visit this extraordinary place were our tour last year.  A kind of RenAdventures exclusive.  We’ll come back to the BnB and get ready for our New Year’s Eve party at a wonderful Sicilian restaurant then head to the main piazza to party with locals and see how they celebrate Sicilian style.

Monday, January 1st

New year’s day we’ll do what Paolo’s family always did.  Eat. All. Day.  We’ll be making various Sicilian dishes with the help and instruction of local chefs. We’ll also learn to play “Scoppa” Sicily’s national card game and watching a beautiful Italian movie filmed nearby.  

Tuesday, January 2nd

From Catania we head towards Agrigento, where Paolo’s family lives.  We have some fun stops along the way planned as well.  We’ll arrive just outside the city of Agrigento in an excellent agriturismo with resplendent views of the countryside.  Many natural sites to be seen together or wander the farm and countryside on your own. Dinner at the Agriturismo country style and play scoppa with the family.

Wednesday,  January 3rd

Outside the modern city of Agrigento are the ruins of the ancient greek city of Akragos.  We will visit these ruins and the 2500 year old temples in the Valley of the Temples.  Paolo will give you his best play-by-play of the 400 years of battles between the Greeks and the Carthaginians while we tour the series of small walls.  If you wish, for an upcharge, you can rent little electric scooters to get from temple to temple. From there we will wander and shop the streets of the modern city of Agrigento which has built up from 2000 years of consistent habitation.  Ancient Greek temples mix with more modern buildings from the Normans and even into the modern era.   After an exciting day of sites we shall feast together in a classic Agrigento restaurant and eventually return to our country villa for the night.

Thursday, January 4th

Ciao Agrigento! After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll head to Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, with a surprise or two along the way. Before heading to our home for the next couple days we’ll stop at the Catacombs of the Cappucini Monks and get creeped out. You should sleep soundly tonight.

Friday, January 5th

After breakfast we’ll head to the streets of this bustling and busy city and discover the sites of Palermo: we’ll tour the Cathedral of Palermo and climb it’s 125 steps to the top of the roof for unparalleled views of the city. Then we will witness a sicilian marionette show which has been showing here for hundreds of years before going onto a delightful dinner in a restaurant that is older than the U.S.

Saturday, January 6th

Rising early we head to the wonderful coastal city of Cefalu’.  We’ll climb the Salita d’Saracino, where from the top of the rock you can see the entire town. We’ll find a cafe for lunch, and then head  to greek/roman theatre of Taormina where the backdrop is Mt Etna. We’ll have dinner together in a great restaurant in Taormina complete with wine tasting and song.

Sunday,  January 7th

Today is the day we break out our medieval garb for a sumptuous feast!  Just outside of Catania is the majestic Castle Ursino from the 1300’s which we will first take our time to explore.  That evening we will have a grand medieval feast at the castle and a romantic evening with entertainment and song fit for our RenAdventure kings and queens.   

Monday, January 8th

Today we say “arrivederci” to our new friends and our new favorite country, and drop you off at the Catania–Fontanarossa Airport. We know it’s a little sad but we hope that you have gathered many memories to last a lifetime.  And the good news is…you can come back.  And we hope you will.

What You Get

Included:

  • Welcoming and full assistance during the tour by our quasi-bilingual tour leaders.
  • 9 nights accommodation in double occupancy room, with breakfast and local taxes.
  • Lunches and dinners specifically listed (this tour covers 7 out of 9 dinners).
  • Visits, including licensed-guide(s) and entry to the monuments.
  • The activities listed in the daily programme.

Not Included:

  • Airfare.
  • All meals not mentioned as “free lunch/free dinner”.
  • Tips and personal expenses.
  • Personal insurances (cancellation, luggage, early departure, etc).
  • Optional activities not listed in the week programme, which you can book through our tour leader.
  • Everything else which is not clearly specified in the “Included” list.

All our accommodations were top-notch and we traveled in comfort on a private chauffeured mini-bus.

Damaris Wilcox

My husband and I enjoyed Italy tremendously and would never have been able to plan such a visit so well on our own.

Jeanne Lynch

Andiamo!