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Ancient Sicily SCS

Visiting: Italy , Sicily
Tour Duration 15 Days
Reviews for Ancient Sicily 5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Ancient Sicily tour available at present.

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4.5 John Wallace, 03/12/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Picking a highlight is hard to do as each site was spectacular. Perhaps then it was the incredible vistas from the heights of ancient, Medieval and Baroque places of habitation. the interplay of architecture, vegetation, and vistas encompassing fields, valleys, mountains and sea shore was thrilling.

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5 Rachael, 29/10/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"The mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale
The beautiful towns of Noto and Cefalu
The food!"

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5 Irene Mathieson, 17/07/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Arriving  first at the top of Mount Etna in bright sunlight and seeing an uninterrupted 360 view over the calderas and down to the coast and then walking around near the summit with vents pouring hot steam into the air, Magical walking around in the silence in the snow with Etna spewing sulpur smoke into the blue, blue sky and then watching as the clouds descended at obscured the view after 1 hour. feel so privileged to have had such a wonderful experience and to find the only totally clear morning to see the magnificent view.

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0 Micheal Johnson, 21/09/10
If it's bloody history you want, this is the tour for you. Sicily has it by the bucket full.  Successive waves of invasion make it one of the most fought over places in Europe. Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Normans, they all wanted a piece of this fertile, sunny and strategically important island. Then there were the human sacrifices which were carried out by the Carthaginians at one of the sites we visited, Motya, off the west coast of Sicily. And the mafia of course. The place where judge Falcone was assassinated is marked by a plaque on the way into Palermo. The Greeks did at least leave behind some impressive ruins. My particular favourite is Selinunte, set in a peaceful location overlooking the sea. Giant carved blocks of stone from the fallen columns and pediments of several temples lie in a chaotic jumble. One temple, partially restored in the 1950s gives an idea of how magnificent they would have looked. Walking the streets of the nearby acropolis, with shops and houses either side, their walls standing shoulder high, it is possible to imagine what life in the ancient city might have been like. And so much remains to be excavated including the theatre, which must have been huge for a city this size. Other highlights? The Norman mosaic decorations inside various churches in Palermo and Cefalu are stunning - go and see the ones in the small church of La Martorana (which wasn't included in the itinerary), as well as those in the big cathedrals. The baroque architecture in Syracuse, Noto and other places is also pretty amazing. Elaborate decoration on an enormous scale. A fantasy of flying putti, marble twisted columns, swirling staircases, balconies supported by grotesque figures - frankly I found it all slightly odd, barmy even, but you have to admire the heightened sense of civic pride and personal vanity, not to mention  the skill of the craftsmen, that produced it. Disappointments? There were a few, the closure of the roman villa at Piazza Armerina in particular. This is one of Sicily's star attractions and I question whether Explore should have arranged the tour unless they knew it would definitely be open. Another site (Segesta) was also closed, as well as the main archaeological museum in Palermo (due to yet another invasion, this time by cockroaches). Overall though a good tour which I would recommend, though not for the squeamish. (SCS- 19th June 2010)
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