Explore stunning baroque style cities and old, creepy catacombs, try the Sicilian cuisine and enjoy hiking to Mt. Etna.
Catania is an ancient city in Sicily that has been shattered by several earthquakes and eruptions of Etna during its history. The most powerful occurred in the 17th century. The city was renewed in baroque style and you can visit the historic centre Piazza Stesicoro, cathedrals, as well as evidences of more ancient times there - the ruins roman amphitheatre, for instance, or a stroll on the market. On the next morning take a short excursion and head to Palermo – the capital of Sicily. Visit the Squares Quattro Canti, Pretoria and Marina surrounded by stunning historical buildings, the cathedral and the catacombs of Capuchin monks. The first burials there started in the 16th century and the last one dates back with 1920. It is worth to admit that this experience can be quite creepy – open and suspended coffins and mummies. On the next morning take a short drive to the town of Montreal offering beautiful vistas of La Conca d'Oro Valley. It is famous for the Norman cathedral with Arabic and Byzantine architectural influences. Return to Palermo and enjoy a free afternoon. Then hit the road southeast to Ragusa town for an orientation excursion. This old town is listed UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Baroque architecture and artistic creations.
On the next morning get ready for three stops – the towns of Modica, Scicli and Syracuse as the closing one. Modica is famous for its Aztec chocolate and Baroque architecture. Visit the historic centre and catch a glimpse of the stunning Church of San Giorgio. Enjoy a chocolate tasting from a traditional Aztec recipe here before a cheese tasting with a light lunch. Continue on to Scicli, another charming ancient town, and don't miss the fantastic Church of San Matteo visit and the traditional piazzas. Travel on for a night in Syracuse (Siragusa). It is the UNESCO listed Greek-Roman coastal town. One part of it is located on mainland and another - on the island of Ortigia, joined by three bridges. Visit to the ruins of ancient Greek buildings - the temple of Apollo, theatre and the Archimedes' grave, stroll on the historic streets or have a rest at a beach. Drive to Giarre, a town on the outskirts of Catania late afternoon. Stay in a farmhouse and enjoy local dinner and lovely setting. In the final part of the tour hike to Mt. Etna that is planned not to be difficult. Hike the south side past lava flows for a dramatic view of the four craters and the coast of Sicily. Take an option for a more strenuous trek with a local guide if weather permitting. Continue to Catania for a free afternoon and another night in the city.