• Tour package Southern Italy, Calabria and Sicily

SOUTHERN ITALY TOUR: SICILY AND CALABRIA

SOUTHERN ITALY TOUR: SICILY AND CALABRIA

This tour represents typical sample of our itineraries to Sicily and Calabria.

You can have some original idea, useful to realize your private customized travel to Sicily, Calabria and Southern Italy. The first step to realize your dream travel to Italy is calling your Taste and Slow Italy private Advisor. This is a very easy, smart and positive experience for all our Clients. Your travel starts just here, telling us your personal tastes and interests. We will guide you to organize your personal travel project to Southern Italy.

Southern Italy is an authentic way to visit Italy. People is friendly and warm. Despite the stereotypes, Italy is a safe country with an excellent welfare (high-level free healthcare, public services and public security). Actually Italy is pretty different from north to south. The Southside is so rural and Mediterranean, rich of history heritage and local traditions. You can choose to visit Reggio Calabria and the small villages as Acireale, Stilo, Gerace, Locri, Pentedattilo. Then add private visit to authentic local destinations “off beaten paths” or more popular proposals. You can drink wine in front of Stromboli Volcano, an incredible landscape experience indeed. The archeological area in Tindari for a guided tour. An exclusive lunch in Cefalù, in a typical farmhouse. Then Messina and a trekking around Etna volcano. Participating to a local cultural events.

Please consider that we can adjust and customize the mystery tour plan in Northern Italy following your travel expectations, preferences and personal interests.

Read the pdf sample itinerary below.


WHAT IS INCLUDED

 


    • 8 nights in hotel 4* (in Calabria and Sicilia) bed and breakfast
    • Typical products tasting in Etna area
    • Minicruise and dinner on board (Panarea and Stromboli)
    • Private transfers
    • Local guide for 2 half days (Reggio Calabria and Messina); 1 full day (Tindari and
    • Cefalù)
    • Hydrofoil Reggio Calabria – Messina round
    • ticket entrance fees, as per itinerary
    • visits and tastings as per description (optional experiences are not included)



OPTIONAL
  • Private driver transfers
  • Medical, cancellation and baggage insurance
  • Other tailored services (to book previously), the services requested on site will be quoted apart
  • Full or half board
  • 8 days tour escort

 

TOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN SICILY - CATANIA

Arrival at Catania airport, meeting with your tour escort and departure by van, private transfer to the harbor.

Boarding in Messina and transfer to Reggio Calabria. During the transfer to the harbor, stop in Acireale to take a walk and visit the city.

Acireale superbly sited high above the rocky shore, and surrounded by lemon groves. It’s been a spa town since Roman times, but was destroyed by the devastating 1693 eruption of Etna, and rebuilt over the solidified streams of lava.

Today, the town is known for hosting some of the best Carnevale celebrations in the country (on February), with extraordinarily elaborate flower-decked floats and fancy dress parades taking over the city for five noisy days.

 

Desembark and private transfer to your nice 4* hotel in Reggio Calabria.

Reggio itself was one of the first ancient Greek settlements on the Italian mainland. The Museo Nazionale at is

Reggio’s main attraction. It preserves s the most important collection of archeological finds in Calabria, full of items dating from the Hellenic period, with examples from all the major Greek sites in Calabria, including the famous pinakes or carved tablets from the sanctuary of Persephone at Locri.

However the most renowned exhibits in the museum are the Bronzi di Riace: find them at Level D of the museum. Two perfect bronze statues dragged out of the Ionian Sea in 1972 near the village of Riace.

Do not miss a stroll along the lungomare seaside esplanade is pleasant, affording wonderful views of the Sicilian coastline and, if the weather is good, Volcano Etna. There are remains of sixth-century-BC city walls and a Roman bathing complex at the southern end before the Villa Comunale

Dinner and overnight stay.

Our personal tips: There are a handful of eating places around Corso Garibaldi, excellent restaurants which offers authentic local recipes. We suggest the fish, spaghetti with fiori di zucca e pesce spada (courgette flowers and swordfish).

 

DAY 2 | STILO AND GERACE

Breakfast in the hotel and departure, by private transfer to Stilo.

Stilo is a marvellous village down the Monte Consolino, dominated by the ruins of a great Norman Castle. The village is also known for being the city where the philosopher Tommaso Campanella was born, and for the “Cattolica”: a jewel of byzantine art and architecture. The Cattolica is built on the rock, in one of the most beautiful and picturesque places of the village.

After the visit, we leave to reach Gerace. Light lunch in a typical farm with organic products.

Visit of Gerace. It is the most important city in Calabria for its history and its monuments. First of all, the Cathedral (XI century) with its unique style architecture: after three naves and the central apse, reach the crypt with a Greek cross and 26 columns from Locri Epizefiri. Really interesting also the Church of San Francisco and San Giovannello one, all well preserved.

Back to the hotel for the dinner and overnight stay.

 

DAY 3 | LOCRI

Breakfast in the hotel and departure towards Locri to visit the city.

Locri is a city rich in culture, as the famous archaeological site of Locri Epizephiri, an ancient and not fully explored Greek colony (founded in the eighth century BC). Visit the ruins of Ionic Temple Marsa, the sanctuary of Persephone, the Greek - Roman Theater and the necropolis: a real travel in the past. In the archaeological site museum you can also admire the numerous remains as collections of coins and votive objects.

Travel back to Reggio Calabria and lunch at leisure.

In the afternoon, meet our native Guide to visit Reggio Calabria.

Back to the hotel in the evening, dinner and overnight stay

 

DAY 4 | PENTEDATTILO

Breakfast check out and departure by private driver for a visit to Pentedattilo.

Pentedattilo is 250 meters above the sea level. It stands on the rock of Mount Calvario, and has the characteristic shape that resembles a giant hand with five fingers. It stands in a picturesque setting between the hills overlooking the Ionian Sea, between Salinas and Melito Porto Salvo. The name of this village comes from the greek pentedàktylos, that means five fingers. Clearly visible from all around the coast is the first of the ancient centers scattered across the Ionian Aspromonte worth visiting at least once.

After the visit, we leave to go to Bova Superiore for lunch in a unique ambient.

Bova Superiore: the origin of this ancient village and archeological ruins from Neolithic near the Norman Castle. The first historical evidence dating back to the early second millennium

when between 1040 and 1064 the Normans imposed their reign on the Arabs and Byzantines in the domain of Sicily and Calabria. In the VIII - VI B.C. it became a colony of Magna Grecia, while in the following centuries it was besieged by the Saracens, Arabs and Normans.

We will have lunch in a typical farm where you can taste home made spirits. The owner will show you the bergamot plantation and the production of bergamot spirit.

 

Calabria has many culinary traditions with its neighbours Basilicata and Sicily. The most peculiar identity of Calabrian cuisine, however, is peperoncino, spicy chilli pepper, used liberally in many dishes, and thought to ward off illness and misfortune. Try the spicy sorpressata salami, the unique ’Nduia, a hot peperoncino and pork fat spread. As in all southern cuisine, cheeses such as caciocavallo, mature provola and pecorino are ubiquitous. The cipolla rossa di Tropea (local red onion) is a sweet red onion used in rustic pies, meat dishes, and in sweet preserves called composte. For desserts, try mostazzolo, an almond cookie sweetened with honey or wine must, or anything containing bergamotto, a citrus fruit that grows along the south coast.

Cirò is the success story of Calabrian wine-making.

 

Or alternative tour

visit of Scilla and Chianalea.

Heading south along the coast, the proximity of Sicily becomes the dominant

feature.

Scilla is an enchanting coastal village with a fine sandy beach and lots of action in the summer. Known as Scylla in ancient  times, this was the legendary location of a six-headed cave monster, one of two hazards to mariners mentioned in the Odyssey, the other being the whirlpool Charybdis, corresponding to the modern Cariddi located 6km away on the other side of the Strait. Crowning a hefty rock, a castle separates the main beach from the fishing village of Chianalea to the north.

Back to Reggio Calabria and transfer to the Messina harbor, to board towards Milazzo. Arrival in the hotel in Milazzo, dinner and overnight stay.

 

DAY 5 | MILAZZO AND PANAREA

After breakfast in the hotel, take a walk to the Milazzo harbor area to board for an original mini cruise.

The Castle of Milazzo is the largest one of all Sicily, over 7 acres and nearly 14.000 square meters. It rose up on places of the early settlements of the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.

Sailing towards Panarea, with a wonderful view on the sea of the Baia di Calajunco and Zinneri beach landscapes.

Stop at S. Pietro harbor to have lunch in a typical restaurant “Eoliano” and take a walk. From here you can take a walk (in about 45 minutes) or take a typical Panarea taxi cab to reach

the prehistorical village of Capo Milazzese, dated to 1400 b.C.

 

Departure from Panarea and circumnavigation of the archipelago in front of the island, transfer to Stromboli Volcano Island. Stop on the sea in front of the picturesque village of Ginostra. Sailing near the island coast in Stromboli Scari harbor until the sunset.

Next stop to the Sciara del Fuoco to admire the volcano eruptions. During the transfer

on board you will taste a typical local recipe pasta dish accompanied by a local wine, water and excellent bread.

 

Back in the hotel and overnight stay.

 

DAY 6 | TINDARI and CEFALU’

Breakfast in the hotel and departure by private driver towards the archeological area in Tindari for a guided tour.

Tindari is one of the most visited destinations in the province of Messina, in Sicily, for its extraordinary beauty of the landscape and its archeological compound. The old Tindarys was founded in the IV century bC by Syracuse, it stands on a rock 300 meters high. The Greek Theatre is one of the most important ruins, but also importanrt are its streets, the walls and the Roman Villa. It might also be interesting to visit the shrine of Tindari.

You will leave Tindari and go on to Cefalù, where we will have lunch in a typical farmhouse and will visit the city with your local guide.

Cefalù is one of the 15 municipalities on the Sicilian Madonie Park, an important naturalistic and historical center, as it preserve evidences of the man´s life over millennium. A city as Cefalu it strikes for its charm because of its location, its marvelous Roman Cathedral that rose from a tangle of narrow streets and the some medieval elements, as those found along the slopes ranging from Rocca to Corso Ruggero, the area with small picturesque streets and archway that join the various buildings.

 

Back in Milazzo, dinner and overnights stay in the hotel.

 

DAY 7 | MESSINA

Breakfast and departure to visit Messina with your local guide.

You will have the chance to admire the church of San Francisco, the Government Palace, the Neptune Fountain, Via Garibaldi, the Opera House, the Municipality and the Church of the Annunziata Catalanos in Arab-Norman style.

From here we reach the Piazza del Duomo to visit the Cathedral, in Norman style modified different times with other architectonic styles. The cathedral is now also famous for its astronomical clock made by Strasburg Ungerer brothers in 1933 (possibility to visit the campanile tower or Duomo where the treasure was found, among other things, the famous Manta gold, jeweled).

Back in the hotel for a light lunch or in a local restaurant our seasoned partner, and after, visit of the city with our tour escort.

 

Afternoon at leisure… we will be glad to suggest the best activities considering your personal interests

Dinner and overnight stay.

 

DAY 8 | CATANIA AND VOLCANO

Breakfast and departure for the transfer to Catania. During the transfer stop in Zafferana Etnea to take a walk down the wonderful Etna volcano. We will a “merenda” snack in a farm with local products as wine and honey.

 

OPTION 1 Mini hiking Etna Volcano North slope activity weather and dresses depending on the season

Arrival at Piano Provenzana

Meeting with your guides

Pick up your snowshoes “Ciaspole”, if winter

All the procedure will take at least 30 min.

 

Mini hiking 3 km to the Mout Sarorius

 

At Monti Sartorius meeting with your bus drivers and transfer to the wine cellar.

Light lunch in a local excellent Volcano Wine Cellar

Cantine Gambino (Linguaglossa):

Four wine baloon glasses and Local typical food

Water included

 

 

OPTION 2 Etna Volcano South slope

Meeting with your bus driver front the Hotel

Arrive at Volcano shelter Sapienza , 1900 meters over sea level

Meeting with your guides

 

Cableway up to altitude 2500 meters

Meeting with the snowcats and transfer to altitude 3000 meters

Mini hiking guided around the craters, 3 hours

 

Return to the buses (toilet and cofee break at leisure)

 

Light lunch in a local excellent Volcano Wine Cellar

Cantine Gambino (Linguaglossa):

Four wine baloon glasses and Local typical food

Water included

 

The mentioned experience can vary, or even canceled for reasons due to force majeure (as bad weather or eruption conditions). In that case the related quote will be refunded.

 

Alternative activity at leisure - winter:

Ski (Nordic or Alpine) in the Etna Volcano ski pistes

Relax to your hotel

Dinner in a local typical restaurant in Catania

 

Or alternative experience

Catania city tour an enchanting baroque city

One city in Sicily in particular has been shaped by the likes of earthquakes and eruptions several times: Catania. The very name of the city comes from the dark, rough, pocked stone that makes up much of the territory around Catania. The Sicilians called it Katane, which means ‘skinning place’ or ‘grater.’ When the Greeks arrived, they thought this an apt description of the place, and simply adopted the Sicilian word.

Dinner at the hotel

 

DAY 9 | SEE YOU SOON ITALY!!!

Breakfast and transfer towards Catania international airport


 

 

INQUIRY [PDF] TOUR ITINERARY