Arrive in Palermo.
All day in Palermo: Archaeological Museum, housing, amongst other fine collections, the carved stone metopes from the Selinunte temples which illustrate the development of Greek figurative art.* The Cappella Palatina of Roger II, a glittering jewel of Norman architecture, with cosmatesque inlays in the lower walls, goldin- glass mosaics above, and an exquisite stalactite ceiling of wood.
*The museum has been undergoing massive restoration since 2010, and it is still uncertain what will be open in 2013. Other visits will be arranged accordingly.
Explore the beautiful hillside ruins of Roman Solus (Solunto), with fine views across the coast. Afternoon visit to the magnificent Norman cathedral and abbey founded by William II in 1174 at Monreale.
The famous unfinished Doric temple at Segesta is set amongst rolling hills. There is also a fine theatre on the hilltop above (access by minibus). Continue to see the remains of a Punic boat at Marsala, sunk on its maiden voyage during the first Punic War; cross by boat (passing the salt-pans) to the island stronghold of Phoenician Motya.
Ancient quarries at Cava di Cusa, from which came the stone for the temples at Selinunte - unfinished column drums still lie abandoned here. The site of Selinunte has many temples, now rather unromantically labelled A-G (and more!) - the original dedications are unknown.
Agrigento, where a row of magnificent Greek temples are imposingly ranked along the southern ridge of the ancient city - built to impress all those approaching. The Temple of Concord was later reused as a church and is one of the best-preserved, whilst the largest of the temples (to Olympian Zeus) is considered one of the most ambitious and innovative temple buildings ever attempted, and was never finished.
The ancient settlement of Morgantina, laid out over two hilltops; the palatial Roman villa with exceptionally fine mosaics at Piazza Armerina. These have been left in situ and can be viewed from raised walkways - the site has only just re-opened following several years of extensive restoration.
Syracuse: Archaeological Museum; Roman amphitheatre; Greek theatre; Altar of Hieron II and the ancient quarries. Early evening stroll around the beautiful island of Ortygia where the cathedral encapsulates a standing Greek temple. You may be tempted to break off and have an aperitif in one of the chic bars here as your hotel is close by.
The earliest Greek colony in Sicily at Giardini Naxos, and the Graeco-Roman theatre at Taormina, with amazing back-drop which includes Mount Etna.
Euryalus fort, constructed at the beginning of the 4th century BC by Dionysius the Elder, and one of the few Greek fortifications surviving from this date. Remarkable prehistoric tombs at Pantalica with stunning views across a series of gorges.
Return flight from Catania.
- Flights -Scheduled flights London to Palermo / Catania to London, via Rome or Milan
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach; boat to Motya
- Guide Lecturer - Tony O'Connor (Sep 13). Not to be confused with "guest lecturers"! The guide lecturer will be with you from breakfast to supper, and probably even a drink in the bar afterwards. There is the occasional site where they may not be allowed to guide because of local regulations but otherwise the guides are just that. They will have been chosen because of specialist knowledge and their ability to communicate and interest you. After 28 years of making tours worldwide, we are highly appreciative of the attributes of a good guide, and intensely critical of people who do not possess them
- Tour Manager - Roxanne Besse (Sep 13). We never know how best to call the very special people whom we choose to accompany you on your tour. They are usually employed in this capacity only by us, and have been trained to do things in the Andante way - unobtrusive, friendly and quietly efficient
- Meals - All meals included (dinners with wine) except dinner Day 8 & lunch on travelling days
- Entries & tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
3 nights in an elegant and friendly hotel in the heart of Palermo;
1 night in a simple hotel 100m from the beach at Selinunte;
2 nights in a hotel overlooking the temples in Agrigento;
4 nights in a good hotel in beautiful Ortygia, Syracuse
|Thu 2nd - Sun 12th May 2013 with Dr Eireann Marshall
||Singles: On request
||Twin/Doubles: Last two
|Thu 26th Sep - Sun 6th Oct 2013 with Dr Tony O'Connor
||Singles: Last two
Twin/Doubles: On Request