Sicilian Baroque

 

Sicilian baroque is known for its flamboyance and theatricality, with architectural curves and flowering balconies complemented by intricate wrought‐iron balustrades and plenty of leering masks and cherubs carved out of volcanic lava stone from Mt. Etna. A journey in discovering the intimate baroque soul of Sicily, in an island where heartfelt sentiments and firmly held beliefs find their ultimate expression within the most theatrical of baroque edifices. This whirlwind tour of 18th century Sicily, takes us from Noto to Ragusa, from Modica to Catania visiting any number of elaborately decorated churches and “palazzi”, the ornately carved facades of which, at sunset, blush a delicate shade of pink.

Eight days to discover the intimate baroque Soul of the island where heartfelt sentiments and firmly held beliefs, find their ultimate expression within the most theatricality of the baroque edifices.

 

Photo: Giuseppe Parello

 

«South‐eastern Sicily is the culture declined in its best expressions» ‐ Massimiliano Fuksas

 

 

A private exclusive tour of Sicily. Price on request.  Itinerary can be customized to suit your needs

Sicily by experts

                                                                    Fransicile tour operator

 

 

                                                                                                                                      Sicilian Baroque tour/ Day-by-day Itinerary

Day 1- Arrival Catania ‐ Syracuse listening to pearls of classical music in an aristocratic palace

Arrival at Catania airport. Warm welcome by our English speaking driver‐guide and transfer to Syracuse, city with colorful history and beautiful landscape. Check in at our charming and unique 4 star hotel in Ortygia. A welcome drink and meeting with our facilitator‐guide for an introduction to the philosophy of Relational Tours by “in the Soul of Sicily”. 
Are you ready to discover Sicily from a inner luxury perspective? Our welcome dinner will be in a historical and private house welcomed by the owner.
The chef is at our disposal to draw up special menus to meet your own particular requirements.
After dinner the “owner” of the palace will guide you into a private tour through the gallery and the historic rooms of the palace.
Our evening isn’t finished yet: a private concert of Classical music will be the last “perspective” of the day. Back to the hotel for overnight (welcome dinner included).

 

Day 2- In the garden of stone: Noto ‐ Syracuse

Sicilian Baroque tour

Breakfast at the hotel. Our adventure today begins in Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, an authentic treasure chest brimming with baroque jewels: churches and palaces. Stop at a special Cafe for a different experience of Sicilian pastry. Back to Syracuse. Ancient history surrounds you during a visit of the city. The historical center is located on an isthmus where a mix of Medieval and Baroque provide a delightful blending of styles in the narrow streets. Visit the “Archaeological Park of Neapolis” (Parco Archeologico della Neapolis)
We will head out to the countryside to a citrus farm (agriturismo) where the owners will give us a demonstration of some of the iconic dishes of this very Greek part of Sicily. Back to the hotel (breakfast , lunch and dinner included).

 

 

Photo: Aristide Tassone

 

Day 3- Colors, flavors, smells and sounds in the scenic south of Sicily: Marzamemi ‐ Portopalo ‐ Modica

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. Departure to a small charming village of Arabic origin: Marzamemi, one of the prettiest seaside fishing villages which even today has been kept its original colors and shapes. From its ancient “Tonnara” (tuna processing plant), to a new plant for the conservation of fish, tuna and swordfish. Enjoy a delicious lunch of local fish. Time has stood still in Portopalo di Capopassero, a village which still lives on fishing and agriculture and is a far off place both geographically and in terms of atmosphere and it is the ideal location to get back to the authentic Sicily. Transfer to Modica. At the center of a deep valley, the town of Modica appears like a nativity scene carved in stone. Check in at a beautiful charming historic dwelling in the historical centre. Dinner on your own. And now get ready to attend a private concert of baroque music in a aristocratic palace. Overnight (breakfast and lunch included).

 

Day 4- Among quarries, liberty and baroque styles – A day in Ispica

Breakfast at the hotel. Ready for a “interpersonal experience”? During this day you will feel like a “Sicilian”! Ispica lies in the southeast of Sicily and is the site of some important prehistoric caves and monuments. The city was rebuilt after the great earthquake and became an important baroque town of churches on a white limestone plateau.Part of the morning will be devoted to visit the historical centre. At 12pm we will start our cooking workshop with the wish of spreading the culture of “Ispica” cuisine. Lunch with the dishes prepared by you. Now we will attend an Artisan Laboratory to learn how to build “u muru a siccu” or drywall. The prehistoric building technique of drywall is still used in the region today. Back to the hotel. Overnight (breakfast , cooking and lunch included).

 

Day 5- Vespa, baroque and fragrances of Sicily: Modica – Ragusa

Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Today we will live an original experience: discover the baroque jewels of Modica riding a “Vespa”. The town has been declared a UNESCO site. Modica is like an open air museum. But Modica also needs to be smelled: when chocolatiers and cake shops bake local specialties. Enjoy all of this, that is still based on Aztec methods and old recipes. For the real chocoholic, it will be possible to watch the chocolatiers at work. Lunch on your own. Moving now to our country chic farmhouse to check in.

 

Day 6- Live the precious jewels of the baroque period with a multi ‐ sensory experience Donnafugata ‐ Scicli

Sicilian Baroque tour

Breakfast at the hotel. Set in a rolling countryside among rocks and giant carob trees, we’ll discover the “Donnafugata Castle”, with its 122 rooms and more than 1000 years of history. With a bit of imagination you will find yourselves stepping into the shoes of Sicilian nobles at the end of 1800’s. Depart for Scicli, situated in the south eastern part of Sicily, close to the Mediterranean sea, and included in the World Heritage List. The first visit will be carried out in a nursery between Scicli and the sea, where we will be guided through an olfactory “journey“ made of unknown aromas and forgotten scents. Cooking demo lunch. Our afternoon will be consecrated in a visit of Scicli. The extraordinary late‐Baroque buildings makes this city unique. Our tour ends at the Ancient Pharmacy. Dinner at a restaurant that was an old granary in stone. We will taste the traditional Hyblaea cuisine revisited while maintaining the traditional flavors. Back to the hotel. Overnight (breakfast , lunch and dinner included).

 

Photo: Vincenzo Cicchirillo

 

Day 7- Food, sounds and visions of the baroque: Chiaramonte Gulfi ‐ Catania

Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Departure for Chiaramonte Gulfi, an ancient town of Greek origin, famous for its olive oil and museums, overlooking the scenery of the Iblei mountains with its beautiful panorama known as the “Balcony of Sicily”. After a walk around the old town, we’ll reach a well known farm where the owner will lead us through an exploration of the senses of homemade olive oil. In the afternoon we’ll move on to Catania and after checking into our elegant hotel, we’ll visit the city.
 The city has been repeatedly destroyed over the centuries by eruptions and earthquakes. In 1693 after a massive earthquake the people of Catania created an even better city. This evening you will enjoy an unforgettable farewell dinner in a sumptuous aristocratic palace. Live violin music, in the background, will make your last evening in Sicily a once in a lifetime experience. Back to the hotel and overnight (breakfast, brunch, light dinner).

 

Day 8- Departure

 

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. A private minivan will transport you to Catania airport.
The curtain falls…It’s time to say Goodbye to Sicily, keeping in mind images, tastes and sounds of the Sicilian Baroque. See you on your next “Relational Experience” in another corner of Sicily. What an amazing 8 day tour this has been! And when we look back at the memories of the trip with ”In The soul of Sicily”, we will remember it as one of the most rewarding, wonderful experiences of our life.

Photo: Antonio Barracato