• Sicily | Palermo

  • Sicily | Agrigento

  • Sicily | Agira

  • Sicily | Taormina

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Want to learn more about this trip?

Contact Georgia Hardy Tours directly for pricing and availability.

mail_outline
info@ghardytours.com

phone_iphone
416-483-7533 ext.100

 

"I've travelled now on two trips with Eric.  Having him provide world-class context and insight on Canada's wartime history while visiting some of the most beautiful European countries is incredibly educational, and frankly, priceless."
-Nicole, Toronto

 

“All but forgotten today, the invasion of Sicily marked a turning point in the war and ushered the Canadian army into its longest land campaign of WW2...the battle for Sicily witnessed some of the most remarkable feats of arms ever achieved by Canadian soldiers. Through the rugged, ancient Sicilian landscape, young men from every part of the country won Canada’s first victories of the Second World War.”

– Eric McGeer

 

Eric McGeer’s Tour of Sicily and the 1943 Canadian Campaign

This luxurious tour of Sicily will include the major highlights of the island known as the “Crossroads of the Mediterranean” including: epic ancient ruins, magnificent baroque architecture, stunning vistas of volcanic Mt. Etna, fabulous gastronomic experiences, and much more. Woven throughout will be the narrative of the Canadian military’s role in the Allied liberation of Sicily in 1943. Led by Prof. Eric McGeer, a noted historian, author and educator, this will be a true immersion in the best that Sicily has to offer. We hope you will join Eric on this Sicilian odyssey!

Dates: May 7-May 15, 2019

Trip Code: SICILY-MAY2019

Price: $3,995.00 per person*

Registration Deadline: November 30, 2018 (or call to enquire)

Why Choose This Tour?

  • Palermo: Baroque elegance and melting pot of civilizations 
  • Agrigento: Monumental Greek ruins at the Valley of the Temples
  • Piazza Armerina: Ancient mosaics of Villa Casale
  • Canadian Battlefield Sites: Leonforte, Assoro, Agira 
  • Siracusa: Historic port of Ortigia and ancient amphitheatre
  • Catania: Museum of the Allied Landing, 1943
  • Taormina: Stunning vistas of Mt. Etna amid Roman ruins
  • Eric McGeer, noted historian and author will be your expert resource
  • Off-the-beaten path exploration of Sicily's hidden gems
  • Convivial small group atmosphere 
  • Accommodations in centrally 4-star hotels  
  • Unique gastronomic experiences and great restaurants 
  • Local guides and 24/7 trip manager to handle logistics

 

Tour Price Includes:

  • Private transfers from Palermo airport to hotel on arrival
  • Daily private coach as per itinerary 
  • Entrances and excursions as per itinerary
  • Services of Prof. Eric McGeer, Historian 
  • English speaking local tour manager for entire tour 
  • 6 dinners (three courses)
  • 1 lunch at Agroturismo Masseria
  • 1 Wine tasting at Mt. Etna winery with local cuisine    
  • Double rooms including breakfast at following hotels (or similar):
  • 2 nights Palermo: 4-star hotel in the heart of the historic centre
  • 1 night Agrigento: 4-star hotel with gardens and located close to Temples
  • 2 nights Enna: 4-star modern hotel 
  • 2 nights Siracusa: 4-star hotel in a converted 19th-century villa with lush gardens
  • 1 night Taormina: 4-star hotel with panoramic views across the ocean and steps from the main street  
  • Private english-speaking local guides at the following destinations: Palermo, Monreale, Selinunte, Agrigento, Villa Romana del Casale, Siracusa, Catania      
  • Earpiece “Whispers” daily for enhanced audio during excursions
  • VAT 22% and city taxes
  • Porterage of one suitcase at hotels
  • Gratuities 

Tour Price Does Not Include:

  • Return international airfare to Sicily, departure taxes, baggage fees
  • Beverages at included meals
  • Single supplement for solo travellers or those who prefer to not share a room: $700.00 
  • Travel Insurance (dependent on age-please call GHT for rates)
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Anything not specified in the itinerary or what’s included

Payment Schedule:

  • Registration and Deposit Deadline: November 30, 2018 
  • Second Payment: $1,647.50 due December 30, 2019
  • Final Payment: $1,647.50 due February 5, 2019 (+ single supplement if applicable) 

Fine Print: Price is based on a minimum of 20 participants in shared double accommodations. There will be a surcharge if the minimum participant number is not reached. Single supplement applies to a person travelling solo without a partner/roommate, or who prefers to not share a room. Price is based on exchange rates as of October 31, 2018. Please note the possibility of increases in land costs due to exchange rates prior to final payment.  Any increase must be borne by the individual participant. 
Terms and Conditions apply. Click here for full details. 

May 7-15, 2019

Trip Itinerary:

Day 1, May 7                Welcome to Palermo   
Palermo enjoys architectural and cultural remnants from the many different peoples and civilizations who colonized this strategic location: consequently, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arabic, Norman and Baroque influences animate the city. Our program begins with a late afternoon easy walking tour of the neighbourhood around our hotel in the heart of the historic city. This will be followed by dinner (included) at a fine local restaurant.
Meals: Dinner
Overnight: Palermo

Day 2, May 8                Palermo and Monreale
Our walking tour will include the Norman Palace, originally built by the Arabs, enlarged by the Normans and restored by the Spanish, the Palatine Chapel, the small court chapel decorated with spectacular mosaics between 1130 and 1140, the Romanesque Cathedral with its two chapels containing royal tombs, the Cappuchin Catacombs, and some of the city’s most characteristic churches. After free time for lunch, we depart on our private coach to visit Monreale, the hilltop town overlooking Palermo. The cathedral of Monreale boasts stunning medieval mosaics and magnificent bronze doors cast in 1186, as well as one of the most fabulous cloisters in Italy. Dinner this evening is on your own.
Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Palermo

Day 3, May 9                   Ancient Selinunte 
Today we depart Palermo and travel to Selinunte on the Southwestern coast of the island.  Selinunte was once the most important Greek colony in Sicily, with a 4th century BC population of 30,000 people. The vast archeological site and impressive ruins include the magnificent temples of the Acropolis and the Necropolis. After free time for lunch, continue to Agrigento.  Dinner (included) will be at the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Agrigento

Day 4, May 10                Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples and Piazza Armerina
This morning visit Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, one of the most splendid survivals of ancient Greek architecture in the world. Our guide will walk us through the complex exploring the temples of Hera, Hercules and Concord, as well as viewing the huge telemons that survive from the largely vanished Temple of Zeus.  After free time for lunch, we will leave Agrigento for the drive to Piazza Armerina in the centre of the island. This small town is the site of one of the most impressive and remarkable survivals from Roman antiquity in Sicily: the Villa del Casale. Notable mosaics in this enormous imperial-age villa feature female athletes and the animals hunted, captured and shipped to Rome for games in the Colosseum. Long believed to have been an emperor’s villa, the complex is now thought to have possibly been a kind of ancient luxury hotel spa.  After the guided tour continue to Enna, a perched medieval town hosting spectacular panoramic views and check-in to the hotel.  Dinner (included) will be at the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Enna

Day 5, May 11                Canadian Battlefield Sites: Leonforte, Assoro, & Agira 
Today’s full programme will encompass a series of mountain towns that saw pivotal battles in summer 1943. Leonforte, a Baroque gem was the subject of fierce house-to-house combat between two Canadian infantry regiments and Nazi forces on July 21,1943.  Over treacherous hilly terrain the Canadians secured the city.  Retrace the soldiers’ steps and admire the town that was rebuilt after the artillery bombardment.  Continue the short distance to Assoro, where the Canadian’s valour was described as “a spectacular triumph of endurance and initiative”. Walk the town and follow in the footsteps of the Canadian infantrymen. Lunch (included) will be at a local “masseria” farm where there will be a chance to wander amongst the olive and orange groves and admire the view towards the mountains after a typical local meal.  In the afternoon, continue to Agira, the picturesque village perched on a hilltop at the bottom of which lies the Canadian Cemetery.  Overlooking a lake and Mount Etna in the distance, here lie the remains of all 490 Canadians killed in Sicily. Time permitting, stop at Sicily’s largest designer outlet mall before returning to Enna for a late dinner (included) at the hotel.  
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Overnight: Enna        

Day 6, May 12                Enna and Siracusa
After breakfast, check-out of the hotel for a panoramic walk of Enna that will provide context to the city’s rich history dating back to the Neolithic period. Principal sites include the Lombard castle and the impressive Duomo.  There will be free time for lunch and sightseeing in Enna before boarding the coach and transferring to Siracusa (Syracuse) on the eastern side of the island.  After arriving to Siracusa the remainder of the afternoon and evening are free, with dinner on your own.
Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Siracusa

Day 7, May 13                Siracusa: Ancient and Modern
This morning begins with a visit to the Archeological Park and wonderfully preserved Greek theatre, which is still in use today. Then, we will enter the ‘Ear of Dionysius’, a series of enormous caves carved in ancient times from the cliffs; the site received its evocative name from Caravaggio. After free time for lunch, reconvene for a leisurely walking tour of Ortigia, the ancient historical centre of the city.  This evening enjoy a gastronomic experience: a dinner accompanied by music from a quartet of classic instrumentalists. This will be an opportunity to learn about the unique cuisine of Sicily.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Siracusa

Day 8, May 14                Catania, Wine Tasting and Magnificent Taormina
After leaving our hotel we drive along the coast to Catania where we will have a guided walking tour of the city ending at the “Museum of the Allied Landing 1943”, an evocative war museum permitting visitors to experience the terrors associated with the allied liberation of Italy from fascism. Continue to Taormina with a stop along the way to sample some of Sicily’s famous wines near Mount Etna. Every year, vines are cultivated among the old “sciara” (lava soil), which imparts a unique characteristic to the wine, so a journey to eastern Sicily cannot be considered complete without visiting one of the fine cellars producing red, white and sparkling wines. After visiting the vineyards, hearing the history and legends of the wine and seeing the production, we will then taste the wines, together with traditional local gastronomic products. Arriving in Taormina, we will check into our centrally located hotel with sea-view rooms. The remainder of the day is free to explore the charming streets of Taormina and unparalleled views of Mt. Etna on your own.  Farewell dinner (included) this evening at a local restaurant. 
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Taormina

Day 9, May 15                End of Tour         
Check-out and morning departure by coach to Catania airport for individual return flights onward or home.  End of services. 
Meals: Breakfast

Icon - travel

Want to learn more about this trip?

Contact Georgia Hardy Tours directly for pricing and availability.

mail_outline
info@ghardytours.com

phone_iphone
416-483-7533 ext.100

 

"I've travelled now on two trips with Eric.  Having him provide world-class context and insight on Canada's wartime history while visiting some of the most beautiful European countries is incredibly educational, and frankly, priceless."
-Nicole, Toronto

 

“All but forgotten today, the invasion of Sicily marked a turning point in the war and ushered the Canadian army into its longest land campaign of WW2...the battle for Sicily witnessed some of the most remarkable feats of arms ever achieved by Canadian soldiers. Through the rugged, ancient Sicilian landscape, young men from every part of the country won Canada’s first victories of the Second World War.”

– Eric McGeer

 

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