JEWISH SICILY

Palermo and Taormina

5 nights and 6 days


Day 1: Palermo

Private transfer from Palermo airport to Palermo hotel

 

Afternoon: The Jewish quarter of Palermo

Our proven guide will escort you in the historical centre of the city, walking through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter and the fascinating remains. We will visit to the site of the Synagogue 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 the hotel

Day 2: Villa del Casale and Caltagirone

Breakfast in hotel

 

Private mosaics and ceramics tour

After breakfast, we will go to Piazza Armerina to see the ruins of a Roman Villa of Casale, with spectacular mosaics Discovered Among scholars of antiquity. In the afternoon, we visit the baroque town of Caltagirone known as "the city of ceramics" . Ceramics have been produced here for over 1000 years. Climb the Steps of Santa Maria del Monte, city's symbol made out of 142 steps decorated with splendid glazed majolica tiles.  

 

Overnight in the hotel


Day 3: Palermo - Agira - Taormina

Breakfast in Hotel

Private Transfer from Palermo Hotel to Taormina with e route stop in Agira

 

Hebrew inscription of Agira and Mount Etna visit
In the morning you will meet your guide for 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 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.

 

Overnight in the hotel

 

Day 4: Syracusa and Taormina

Breakfast in hotel

 

Morning: Syracusa and the Island of Ortigia  
Departure to 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.  

 

Afternoon: Taormina and the Greek Theatre  

In the afternoon our guide will show the most sightseeings in Taromina where clients visitors can still find fine examples of Taormina’s golden times: the splendid Greek Theatre, the Roman “Naumachiae”, the 10th century Palazzo Corvaja, the 13th century Cathedral of Saint Nicolò, the 16th century Palace of the Dukes of Saint Stefano, the public gardens, the “Badia Vecchia” (Ancient Abbey) and many others.

 

Overnight in the hotel


Day 5: Messina

Breakfast in hotel

 

The Jewish heritage of Messina
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 iscription 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.

 

Overnight in the hotel


Day 6: Taormina

Breakfast in hotel
Transfer to Catania airport for departure.

 

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