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  • SOUNDS & VISIONS OF THE SICILIAN BAROQUE

    8 days/ 7 nights

    Sicilian baroque is known for its flamboyance and theatricality, with architectural curves and flourished, balconies complemented by intricate wrought-iron balustrades and plenty of leering masks and putti (cherubs), blush a delicate shade of pink.

    Eight days to discover the intimate baroque carved out of volcanic lava stone from 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 in 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 sunsetSoul of inan island where heartfelt sentiments and firmly held beliefs, find their ultimate expression within the most theatricality of the baroque edifices

    “I was enchanted.... The limpidity of the sky, the restless splendor of the sun, the beauty of the countryside, a certain excitement of the fantasy.... Which brought to mind the time when in the fields one encountered the divine. " Jean Houel, 1735 - 1813 French painter  The south-eastern Sicily is the culture declined in its best expressions. (Massimiliano Fuksas)

    Itinerary

    Catani syracuseDay 1 : ARRIVAL CATANIA - SYRACUSE HEARING PEARLS OF CLASSICAL MUSIC IN A PALACE

    Arrival at Catania airport . Warm welcome by our English speaking driver -guide and transfer to Syracuse, city with colourful history and beautiful landscape. Check in at our charming and unique hotel 4* in Ortigia. .
    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, among the most beautiful of Sicily's Baroque townhouses , welcomed by the owner, a dashing Sicilian baron with a schoolboy glint in his eyes .

    Barooque TownhousesThe chef is at our disposal to draw up special menus to meet your own particular requirements. And you will also be able to enjoy the fine wines produced by the Baron. 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 - SYRACUSA

    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. A pearl in the pearl.

    What it was in the last century a factory of nougat and jams is now the laboratory of a craftsman who monumental creations as the host city. Its owner is a great master of taste, devoted to the perpetual quest for excellence and perfection that never distorts the taste of memory. He will dazzle us with a tasting of his many products (ice creams, jams, sauces), and serve us lunch, combining all of these with exciting flavors. Have the greatest taste experiences of your life Back to_Syracuse. Ancient history surrounds you during a visit of the city . The historic center is located on an isthmus where a mix of Medieval and Baroque provide a delightful blending in the narrow streets. Fonte of Arethusa, a mythical spring-fed fountain tied to legend , the Temple of Apollo, a 7th century BC site that was the first great Doric temple, the beautiful baroque Duomo dedicated to St. Lucy who was born and martyred here .

    Visit the “Archaeological Park of Neapolis” (Parco Archeologico della Neapolis) and of its Greek theatre, nowadays still stages new theatre performances, the Roman amphitheatre, and a rock cave known as the “Ear of Dionysus”. We will head out to the countryside to a citrus farm ( agriturismo ) owned by a Baron and his talented chef Signora Rosalba that 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)

    Day 3: COLOURS, FLAVORS, SMELLS AND SOUNDS IN THE SCENIC SOUTH 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 until today has been keeping its original colors and shapes. From its ancient “Tonnara” (tuna processing plant), to a new plant for the conservation of fish, tuna and swoedfish. We will visit, and listen to a fascinating explanation: from the Phoenicians to the Greks, the Romans and the Arabs, in Marzamemi fish processing is a tradition in.
    A walk along the sea will lead us in a cute , little Taverna where you can enjoy a delicious lunch of local fish.If we follow the road south we will end up at the very southeast corner of Sicily, one of the outposts of Europe o the border with the Mediterranean and Africa: Portopalo di Capo passero. Capo Passero, on Sicily’s southernmost tip, is one of those outposts of Europe on the border with the Mediterraneam and Africa. Time has stood still in Portopalo, a village which still lives from fishing and agriculture.

    Portopalo is a far off place both geographically and in terms of atmosphere and it is the ideal location to get back to Sicily as it once was, the real Sicily.
    Transfer to Modica. At the center of a deep vallery, 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 one of the rooms of the palace, with a repertoire especially compiled for you. Baroque music that enhances the environment to be a form of expression and at the same time entertainment. Overnight (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day 4: AMONG QUARRIES, LIBERTY AND BAROQUE - a Day in ISPICA

    Breakfast at the hotel. Ready for a “relational experience” ? This day will be dedicated to make you feel like a “Sicilian” Ispica lies in the southeast of Sicily and is the site of some important prehistoric caves and monuments. The cave systems for which Ispica is best known, cover an extensive stretch of valley, approximately 13 kilometers long. The caves are often interlinked with tunnels and were occupied at many different stages from the Bronze Age onwards, with later 'additions' including early catacombs and frescoes The city was rebuilt after the great earthquake and now it’s an excellent baroque town of churches on a white limestone plateau.  Part of the morning will be dedicated to a visit of the historical centre.
    At 12pm we will start our cooking workshop with the wish of spreading the culture of “Ispica” cuisine.
    You will prepare 'mpanati, which are a sort of pastry stuffed with homemade pasta (miliddi) prepared with sugo di maiale (pork with tomato sauce), local sausage and "ciurietti" Lunch with the dishes prepared by yourself Now we will attend an Artisan Laboratory to learn how to build, thanks to local craftsmen, precious artifacts, symbol of the city : “ u muru a siccu” or drywall. The “muru a siccu” is a monolithic splendor . 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 World Heritage site by the UNESCO with its terraced narrow alleys and its successful integration into the wildly romantic landscape. Modica is an open air museum. Hard to describe, you have to be there! .
    In the oldest part of the city the participants will have the opportunity to take a step back in time thanks to the collaboration of a company of medieval reenactment, which on this occasion will offer visitors a glimpse of local life dating back to the XIV century. But Modica needs also to be smelled: when chocolatiers and cake's shops bake local specialties and when the flowering jasmine embraces you in the summer nights. Enjoy all this still made in the traditional way, that is 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

    Move now towards Ragusa through the countryside. Check in at our country chic farmhouse . We Continue our ride between the dry stone walls heated by the sun, the chirping of cicadas in the golden fields, citrus, olive and carob trees breezy by the sirocco, and after the alternation of expanses and hills, here suddenly in front of you is the ecstasy of Ragusa with its glimpses of baroque nativity scene waiting us at the bottom. With a special Narrator around Ibla to visit the craft shops .

    A special dinner awaits us at a country resort. In this chic place we will discover the unique flavors of the Hyblean 'cuisine” . A special evening of Sicilian food, wine and folk music to listen and dance. Overnight ( Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day 6: LIVE THE PRECIOUS JEWELS OF THE BAROQUE WITH A MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCE. DONNAFUGATA - SCICLI

    Breakfast at the hotel. Set in rolling countryside among rocks and giant carob trees, we’ll discover the “Donnafugata Castle” one of the most beautiful buildings in the south of Sicily , 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 '800's .

    The big park around the castle contains botanical rarities, and it’s here that you begin to dream. There are several little details added to the sense of being in a fantasy world.

    Depart for Scicli, situated in the south eastern part of Sicily, close to the Mediterranean sea, and included in the World Heritge 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.

    An itinerary of sensuous experiences with instructions-for-use, recipes, and tastings-aperitifs in an event space created in one of the greenhouses. Cooking demo lunch

    Our afternoon will be consecrated_to a visit of Scicli. Small town hidden in a valley overlooking the sea on the horizon. The extraordinary late-Boroque buildings makes this city unique in the Val di Noto. Our tour ends at the ancient pharmacy where you will see the interplay between food and medicine, between ancient remedies and popular recipes. 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)

    In the afternoon we’ll move to Catania and after the check in at our elegant hotel, we’ll visit the city.

    Catania radiates a strange romantic beauty with its broad boulevards and spacious squares, grandiose palaces, and great cathedrals, that still striking in their black and white colors, lava and limestone, crumbling plaster, and marble columns.

    Catania lies in a delightful geographical position between the Ionian Sea and the slopes of Mount Etna. It was repeatedly destroyed over the centuries by eruptions and earthquakes. In 1693 a massive earthquake

    leveled much of the city, but the people of Catania created an even better city.

    This evening you will enjoy an unforgettable farewell light dinner in a sumptuous palace.

    After an elegant aperitif, the owner of the Palace will guide you into a private tour through the rooms, and he will then accompanies you in the ballroom, where a light dinner with live violin music in the background will make your last evening in Sicily a once -in - a lifetime experience . You will enjoy a private concert with the best movie soundtracks.

    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 at Catania’s airport

    The curtain falls .....It’s time to say Goodbye Sicily keeping in mind images,

    tastes and sounds of the Sicilian Baroque.

    See you on your next “relational experience” in another corner of Sicily
    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 as a city of olive oil, and museums, overlooking the scenery of Mounts Iblei with its beautiful panorama called the Balcony of Sicily.
    After a walk around the old town, we’ll reach a very known farm where the owner will lead us through a sensory exploration of handcrafted olive oils .

    INCLUDED in THE PROGRAM

    • 7 overnights accommodations in manors, country resort and hotels as per program

    • Welcome dinner in a palace in Syracusa on day 1

    • Private classical concert at the palace on day 1

    • Stop at Cafe for a taste of pastries on day 2

    • Dinner at citrus farm day 2

    • Visit a “tonnara” and have a tuna’s products taste on day 3

    • Lunch at “Taverna” on day 3

    • Private baroque concert in a palace on day 3

    • Experience day in Ispica with cooking class and lunch on day 4

    • Vespa ride in Modica and Renaissance group exhibition on day 5

    • Visit and taste at a very known “Pasticceria” on day 5

    • Dinner and folk music on day 5

    • Cooking demo, lunch and sensory journey in Scicli on day 6

    • Dinner at restaurant “old granary” on day 6

    • Visit olive oil farm with tasting and brunch on day 7

    • Farewell light dinner in Palazzo Biscari with private violin concert on day 7

    • HD guided tour in Syracuse

    • Private car + driver guide speaking English or French or Spanish at disposal of the clients for the entire tour from arrival to departure

    NOT INCLUDED

    • Airfare

    • Meals not mentioned

    • Drinks during meals

    • Entrance fees at all the monuments and archaeological sites

    • Excursions not mentioned

    • Tips and extras of any personal nature

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