Jewish Sicily Private Tour

Day 1: Arrival in Palermo

You are greeted at Palermo airport and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will meet your tour Escort, for a briefing to your private Jewish tour. Overnight in Palermo.

Day 2 : After breakfast, we will explore the historical center of the city, walking through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter and the fascinating remains. We will visit to the site where once was Synagogue and the Archivio Storico guarding precious Jewish manuscripts and a rich documentation about the Sicily’s Jewish communities. and with the help of some descriptions made by Jewish mediaeval travellers, we will discover the biggest Jewish community of Palermo. Later, we will walk from the cathedral to the imposing building of the Norman Palace for a deeper understanding of the social intercourse between Jews, religious power and political power. The tour ends in the splendid Norman royal palace of the Zisa, built in Norman Arab style, that still keeps a Hebrew inscription and a Jewish candle-holder. Overnight in Palermo.

Day 3: Palermo – Erice - Trapani – Palermo

After the breakfast, we will reach Erice city- centre by cableway. The mediaeval town of Erice was settled by the Elymians and was an important religious site associated with goddesses of fertility. Walking tour through the ancient streets and visit some of the famous home-made pastry-shops, world-famous for marzipan candies and other sweets with almond and pistachio. Wandering through its narrow streets we will discover the old Giudecca area and see a Jewish tombstone conserved at the civic museum. We will head then to the town of Trapani for a walk in its lovely historic center to Palazzo Ciambra or palazzo “Giudecca” while at the Pepoli Museum we may see a collection of Judaic-Arabi coral jewelry. On our way back to Palermo we stop at Firriato winery for a tasting of Sicilian wines, organic extra-virgin olive oil combined with local products. Overnight in Palermo.

Day 4: SICULIANA- AGRIGENTO
On our way to Agrigento we stop in a the small village of Siculiana to see a Jewish tombstone reused and transformed into baptistery. We have lunch in a wonderful restaurant right on
the beach. Agrigento, whose history dates back to 6th century BC, guided tour of the Valley of the Temples, a magnificent Greek ruins with sea view on the Mediterranean Sea. This region boasts a rich production of wheat, citrus fruits, olive oil. Later, we'll drive to Enna Overnight at Agriturismo Gigliotto.

Day 5: AGIRA - SIRACUSA

Short drive to the town of Agira. Visit the Synagogue site and the magnificent stone portal of the aron hakodesh with its Hebrew inscription. The portal, unique example of Jewish architecture, will give us an insight into the life of a small Jewish community in the heart of mediaeval Sicily. Then we continue to Siracusa. Overnight in Siracusa.

Day 6: SIRACUSA FD
Syracuse, once the most important rival of Athens, founded by settlers from Corinth in 735 BC. Our first stop is at Acradina, the site of the earliest Jewish settlement. We will visit the
Catacombs of S. Giovanni and the crypt of S. Giovanni and the crypt of S. Marciano, who, according to the legend, was killed by the Jews of the city. Then, we'll move to the island of Ortigia and walk in the narrow streets of the Giudecca (the ancient Jewish quarter). See the site of the Synagogue and the Miqwè - Jewish ritual bath, 11 metres below ground level, the most archaic that has ever been found in all Europe. The tour ends in the Bellomo Gallery, where some of the tombstones from the Jewish medieval cemetery are displayed. Overnight in Siracusa.

Day 7: Mount Etna – Taormina
Departure to the slopes of Mt Etna. Weather and volcanic conditions permitting, we experience the lava fields and incredible views of Europe's highest and most active volcano. After a stop at a winery and farmhouse located in the lovely village of Linguaglossa for wine tasting and to admire the magnificent panorama., we will drive along the coast to Taormina with
its views and atmosphere. Overnight in Taormina

Day 8: Taormina - Messina -

Taormina In the morning we will drive to Messina to explore the city - center and its ancient Jewish quarter. Visit the Norman Cathedral - with its latin inscription against the Jewish city- community and the beautiful Palazzo Penso -Jewish family heritage. It will follow a visit to the Regional Archeological Museum that, amongst its artistic treasures, has a Hebrew synagogal inscription of unestimated linguistic value. Then, we will drive back to Taormina. Visit of the Greek Theatre and its antiquarium, where Greek inscriptions demonstrate the Jewish presence in the city since the classic age. Later, walking tour to the site of the Jewish quarter and the mediaeval convent of S. Domenico.

Day 9: Catania departure
Transfer to Catania airport for departure.

Day 1 Overnight Palermo
Day 2 Overnight Palermo
Day 3 Overnight Palermo
Day 4 Overnight Agriturismo Gigliotto Enna
Day 5 Overnight Siracusa
Day 6 Overnight Siracusa
Day 7 Overnight Taormina
Day 8 Overnight Taormina
Day 9 Departure