Catania and Taormina - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Catania and Taormina - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Two of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Sicily in one tour!

Catania is the volcano's city: known for its seismic history, having been destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1169, in 1693, and by several volcanic eruptions the most violent of which was in 1669. Today, Catania is one of the main economic, touristic, and educational centres in the island.

For this guided tour we we will pick you up from your hotel of b&b; the peak of the volcano is visible from a long distance before arriving in Catania, the second city for population in Sicily. Founded possibly by the Sicels, an ancient population, in the 8th century BCE, it then became a Greek colony. In 1434 in Catania it was built the first university in Sicily and in the Renaissance the city was one of Italy's most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centres. Today, Catania is one of the main economic, touristic, and educational centres in the island.

The Baroque city centre of Catania is a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2002: to be mentioned its Cathedral, originally constructed in 1078-1093 on the ruins of the ancient Roman Achillean Baths by order of Roger I of Sicily but destroyed and rebuilt several times because of earthquakes and eruptions from the nearby Mount Etna; the Church of the Badia di Sant’Agata, facing the Cathedral; the Church of Sant’Agata la Vetere, built in 264 and cathedral until 1094, rebuilt many times for the usual issues. Also the Ursino Castle, built by Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century. Even though it is not related to the UNESCO, a granita, a popular flavoured sherbet, is compulsory!

Oh yes, lunch... Pasta alla Norma is a classic in Catania, made with tomatoes, fried aubergines, grated salted ricotta, and basil leaves. Very likely its name origins from the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, opera composer in the 19th century. Obviously is just one out of the many local dishes you can have.

From Catania we arrive in Taormina in about 75 minutes. The most remarkable monument remaining in the city is the Ancient Greek-Roman Theatre, which is one of the most celebrated in Sicily on account both of its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location; then Palazzo Corvaja from the 10th century built by the Arabs, the Duomo from the 13th century built by the Normans, and the Baroque fountain. Furthermore, Taormina has many lively bars, fine restaurants, and antique shops that make the city one of the most visited in Sicily.

Taormina is famous for its link to modern and contemporary art and culture, too. Taormina's first important tourist was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who dedicated exalting pages to the city in his book titled Italian Journey. In the late 19th century Taormina gained further prominence as the place where Wilhelm von Gloeden worked most of his life as a photographer of predominantly male nudes. Also credited for making Taormina popular was Otto Geleng, best known in his hometown of Berlin for his fine paintings, which he composed and painted in Italy but exhibited in Germany. From April 1950 through September 1951, a villa was home to Truman Capote, who wrote of his stay in the essay Fontana VecchiaHalldór Laxness, the Icelandic author and Nobel Prize winner, worked here on the first modern Icelandic novel: Vefarinn mikli frá Kasmír.

Why touring with Palermo Walks? We have been awarded the patronages of the Sicilian Parliament and of the City of Palermo, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, our vehicles are checked every month, you can always talk to one of our managers. Our style is based on storytelling, our unique way of sharing with you the history and stories of people, art, culture, food, traditions. Book your tour now to enjoy the best of Sicily!

 

Schedule:

  • 7:00 Hotel or b&b pick-up by car or minivan
  • 9:30 Catania
  • 13:00 Lunch in Catania (not included)
  • 14:30 Departure from Catania towards Taormina
  • 15:30 Taormina
  • 17:30 Departure from Taormina towards Palermo
  • 21:00 Hotel or b&b drop-off

 

  • Booking Box

    Your experience starting from €139,00
    Number of People:
    * Date:

    Customise your Experience

  • Options

    • Internet connection: €10 per person.
    • Customisation: if you prefer a shorter or a longer tour, to add or remove some points of interest, and/or if you require different hours, please contact us.
    • For a guide speaking a language different from English or Italian, please contact us.
    • For luxury services please contact us.
    • For special needs please contact us: convertible car seats for babies and foldable wheelchairs may be rented at €15 each.
    • For a tour leader service (cheaper than the guide service, only general information is provided) or a driver service (the cheapest option, good for those who don't need information about the sites), please contact us.
  • Specifications

    • Frequency: daily (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day).
    • Departure: 7:00 from your hotel or b&b in Palermo's city centre. The time may slightly vary according to the total number of people, so it will be confirmed via email; if your hotel or b&b is outside Palermo's city centre please contact us.
    • Length: 14 hours.
    • People: 1-8, for more people please contact us.
    • Group: open (people from different groups may join in), though limited to 8 people in total; for a private tour please contact us.
    • Location: Catania - province of Catania; Taormina - province of Messina
    • Modality: by car or minivan.
    • Dress code: no shorts and no sleeveless garment as not allowed in religious sites; it is recommende to wear comfortable shoes.
    • Contribution: 1 person €299, 2 people €169 per person, 3-8 people €139 per person.
    • What is included: hotel or b&b pickup and dropoff by car or minivan, Tour Leader speaking English and Italian.
    • Entry tickets: not included.