Pre and Post Wedding Tours in Sicily
Private Tours - Day Trips - Local Excursions
Sicily is not only the largest region of Italy, it is also the largest island in the Mediterranean (9,926 sq miles) and is steeped in history with an unparalleled wealth of archeological treasures strung like jewels all around, offering yet another valid reason to choose this magical place for your destination wedding. Both yourselves and your guests will enjoy the exceptional choice of the many fascinating sights to see, with something here for everyone.
Inhabited by primitive man since early times, Sicily was always the key to power and control of the Mediterranean and so for centuries numerous civilizations have constantly conquered and dominated the "Kingdom of Trinacria" (the Greek name for Sicily, meaning three cornered); Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Spanish (Aragonese & Castillian), Austrians, Bourbons and many more, all of whom have left important traces of themselves all over the island. Modern day Sicily is a medley of everything that has gone on beforehand; lifestyle, traditions, architecture, flora, customs, flavours, and even the language spoken has all been woven like a tapestry around its colourful past history.
A good choice of multi-lingual excursions operate on a regular basis from the Taormina area.
Tailor made private tours can also be arranged for you from Taormina or Cefalù as follows (all vehicles fully airconditioned):
Private car with driver (1-3 passengers) and local guide at the site
Private car with driver (2 passengers with tour escort/guide)
People carrier with driver (5-6 passengers with tour escort/guide)
Minibus (8-15 passengers with tour guide)
Coach (16-52 passengers with tour guide)
Tour escorts accompany you for the journey and can also guide in some locations - at certain archeaological sites it is compulsory to take a local guide
THE ETNA EXPERIENCE & ALCANTARA GORGES (Eastern Sicily)
A tour of Etna’s fascinating volcanic countryside, incorporating a stop at the unique and completely natural Alcantara gorges which are a wonderful example of the lavic phenomena of columnar jointing. You will be able to see and feel Sicily’s most famous natural landmark and savour and purchase the flavours of her produce as well (honey, jam, nuts, wines, liqueurs etc). At 2,000 metres (6,500 feet) on the south side you can explore the extinct Silvestri craters of 1892 and the lava flows from one of the most recent lower level eruptions (Oct 2002 - Jan 2003) and there are also souvenir shops restaurants and snack bars for lunch. Further optional exploration of the higher slopes is only possible with the cable car (newly rebuilt for the 5th time in 2004) and the four wheel drive minibuses.
HISTORICAL SYRACUSE (Southeast Sicily)
A step back in time, where the present town gracefully embraces the remains of the splendid ancient capital of Greek and Roman Sicily. In ancient times, Syracuse rivalled Athens as the most beautiful and powerful city of the Greek world, provoking such jelousy that Athens sent a fleet to Sicily to destroy Syracuse in 413 BC but was defeated resulting in 7,000 Athenian soldiers being captured as prisoners to work as slaves in the 'Latomie'; the enormous stone quarries, where the rock was cut by hand to build the growing city. The beautiful archaeological ‘park’ of Neapolis contains the most significant historical monuments; The largest Greek Theatre in Sicily, a separate Roman Amphitheatre, the remains of the largest sacrificial altar in the whole of the Greek world built under the rule of the last of the tyrant Kings Heiron II, and the awesome Latomie with the cavern of Dionysius' ear and its marvellous accoustics. On ancient Ortygia island (linked by a land bridge) you will enjoy fine ornate Sicilian Baroque architecture and visit the unique Cathedral incorporating the columns of the Greek Temple of Athena dating back to 480 BC transformed in the 7th C AD into the first Christian church outside of Antioch. Ortygia is also the site of the remains of the Temple of Apollo, the oldest Greek Temple in the whole of Sicily and the mythological Aretusa freshwater spring. You can also enjoy a fine lunch in one of the lovely restaurants by the harbour.
AWESOME GREEK TEMPLES IN AGRIGENTO (Southwest Sicily)
In the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento which has majestically survived time and the elements you will discover the finest Doric Greek temples that Italy has to offer. The Temple of Concordia is better preserved than the Parthenon in Athens. You can take a leisurely stroll down the Via Sacra passing by the best preserved of the temples all of which date back to the 5th C BC and a large Byzantine necropolis with its many open tombs. It is a marvellous experience to admire the panorama and remarkable beauty of this awesome valley. The archeological museum is close by and has one of the finest collections of the bronze age in Sicily together with much that is of artistic merit of the Greek and Roman period, including a reconstruction of the largest of the temples in the valley, dedicated to the Olympian Zeus and an original telamone - a giant staue used as a supporting column in the temple itself.
ROMAN MOSAICS AT PIAZZA ARMERINA (Southeast Sicily)
An opportunity to visit the heart of Sicily with its rural open countryside dotted with isolated hilltop villages. Piazza Armerina’s outstanding Roman mosaics are marvellously preserved in the Villa del Casale dating back to 330-360 AD and give a fascinating insight into the Imperial age of Sicily. The villa was discovered by accident in 1929, having been completely covered by a landslide of mud and earth which marvellously preserved the 3,500 metres of polychrome mosaic floors. There are over thirty different floors, each one telling its own story - the most famous of which is one depicting 10 women gymnasts engaged in sports and clad in two-piece bathing suits nicknamed the bikini girls and an erotic scene in what would have been the bedchamber. Enna is the highest town in sicily at 948 metres and on a clear day its affords views all over Sicily.
THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS OF LIPARI & VULCANO (Northeast Sicily)
There are seven volcanic islands off the northeast coast of Sicily. From Milazzo, you can combine a very enjoyable sea crossing with a delightful scenic tour of Lipari, the prettiest and largest of the Aeolian archipelago and a unique mud-bath and swim in the warm sulphurous sea on Vulcano! A super day out and a great way to top up your suntan.
PALERMO AND MONREALE (Western Sicily)
A visit to the main highlights of Sicily’s bustling capital city would include; the magnificent Norman Cathedral with its royal tombs of the Norman kings of Sicily; the Church of St. John of the Hermits built in 1132, the most arabic of the citys Norman relics with its five domes topping a small church that was built upon the remains of an Arabic Mosque, The royal Norman Palace with its beautiful Palantine Chapel an artistic jewel of central Palermo the private royal chapel of Count Roger II with a cupola, three apses and the nave entirely covered in Byzantine mosaics; the Cappucin catacombs with over 1,000 mummified bodies on display in niches and coffins. The spectacular Cathedral of Monreale a few miles from the city centre has outstanding golden mosaics of the testaments completely covering its interior.
MESSINA THE GATEWAY TO SICILY (Northeast Sicily)
A modern city by Sicily's standards having been completely destroyed and rebuilt after a massive earthquake in 1908 and further damaged by the allied invasion in 1943. The impressive Cathedral has a campanile (bell tower) housing the largest astronomical & mechanical clock in the whole of Europe which has its chimings and movements at midday to the sound of Schubert's Ave Maria.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
CATANIA built from lava stone in Sicilian Baroque style with its colourful daily fish and flea markets (Eastern Sicily)
The sanctuary of the black Madonna in TINDARI (Northeastern Sicily)
Fine Sicilian Baroque arcitecture in NOTO and RAGUSA (Southeastern Sicily)
Colourful ceramics at CALTAGIRONE (Southeastern Sicily)
The doric Greek temple of SEGESTA (Western Sicily)
The salt pits and wineries of MARSALA (Western Sicily)
Impressive ERICE perched on a rock pinnacle (Western Sicily)
Bouquets and Bows "Experience Shows"