Catania is not imaginable if you don’t visit it yourself. “Melior de cinere surgo”, is written on the Porta Garibaldi in Catania; the words of the “Araba Fenice” which summarizes why the city was always reborn more and more beautiful. Destroyed 9 times by earthquakes, eruptions, invasions, 9 times it was rebuilt more beautiful than before. The Catania that we see now is that of the last reconstruction, of 1693, when a violent earthquake razed it to the ground. We were right in the Baroque style, with which almost all the noble palaces and the city churches were rebuilt. Luckily untouched since then, today they represent an architectural complex of exceptional value so that the historic center of Catania is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. We will guide you to reveal the city of a thousand contrasts, starting with the strong voices of the fish market “LA PESCHERIA”, famous all over the world. A few steps away, in the heart of the wonders of the Baroque of Catania, “PIAZZA DUOMO” with the beautiful CATHEDRAL and after admiring the city from the baroque dome of the ABBEY OF S. AGATA, we will touch the grandeur of the Roman era with the visit of the GREEK ROMAN THEATER and the annexed ODEON. At the end a taste of STREET FOOD based on fish or Sicilian gastronomy delicacies will complete the reconnaissance of the soul of the city.
Live for one day like Ulysses and the Cyclops. The famous legend narrated by Omero in his poem Odyssey, is still alive in the nature of the place. Cruising between the rocks thrown by Polifemo from the top of Mount Etna, living the myth, the legend, the nature where the water is clear. We will cruise and admire Stazzo, Santa Tecla, Capomulini, Acitrezza and Acicastello for the most unforgettable cruise along a wild black coast where the Etna lava has flowed to reach the enchanting Timpa Nature Reserve and the Ciclopi Islands Marine Protected Area, one of the 100 most beautiful protected marine areas in the world. A full day to swim and snorkel or to sunbath on deck of the boat and, when we will anchor in one of the several fisherman villages, you will discover the best of the typical Sicilian cuisine and the freshly caught fish in one of the several seafront restaurants. After a small walk in the village and maybe after a tasty granita, we’ll come back slowly and relaxing before one more bath in the fantastic lights of the afternoon.
“Monuments and archaeological sites situated in Syracuse are the finest example of outstanding architectural creation spanning several cultural aspects; Greek, Roman and Baroque. Following on that ancient Syracuse was directly linked to events, ideas and literary works of outstanding universal significance.” With this words, the committee of UNESCO decides in 2005 to insert Syracuse as a world heritage site.This city is maybe the most important site to visit in Sicily if you want to see the real importance of the Greek period (VII B.C.). Many historians tell us that in the period of maximum expansion, Syracuse counted more than one million of citizens; This incredible number,awarded Syracuse a very cool nickname that we want to share with you. Welcome to the Greek Manhattan!
SIRACUSA COAST – MARZAMEMI
Marzamemi is a fisherman village located in the deep south-east of Sicily, founded by Arabs in 10th century. Arabs built the tonnara that, although is no longer in function, has left to the city a deep-rooted fishing tradition. Tasting some of the huge variety of fishing products on which Marzamemi’s economy is based, is considered a must when you visit the town. Recently Marzamemi has become an incredible spot for people who want to enjoy a nice walk in the old town, surrounded by the ocean and the breeze. The village extends around the harbor, with its pretty, colored fleet made by wooden little boats; the centre is characterized by narrow streets and little stone houses with roof tiles, while a large, picturesque square is the center of the town. Marzamemi, with its lovely atmosphere, its delightful local fishing products and its amazing view on a turquoise sea, is definitely worth visiting.
SIRACUSA COAST – RAGUSA
Ragusa, located in the southeast side of Sicily, is a wonderful Baroque town belonging to the UNESCO Heritage, together with the other cities forming part of “Val di Noto”. After the earthquake of 1693, which destroyed the city along with its neighbors Modica, Noto, Scicli and Catania, it was rebuilt in two parts: Ragusa Superiore (Upper Ragusa, the modern town) and Ragusa Ibla, rebuilt on the ruins of the old town. Constructed on a spur, Ibla is a very charming town. The city centre is a pedestrian zone and characterized by its palaces and churches in Baroque style. Eighteen of its buildings are protected by UNESCO patronage. The focal point of the town is the Cathedral (St. George Dome). Among the numerous, marvelous highlights, here we just mention the Hyblean Gardens, that offer a breathtaking view of the city, and the Church St. Mary of the Stair. We can certainly affirm that Ragusa is one of the most fascinating towns in Sicily. Here you’ll get the chance to be astonished by the magnificence of baroque architecture that characterizes its magnificent churches and palaces. Furthermore, if you are a fan of the “Inspector Montalbano” ,the successful series written by Andrea Camilleri is the imaginary country of “Vigata (Scicli)” we’ll cruise in front of the “Irminio” river mouth for an unforgettable swim and bath and afterwards to “Punta Secca”, in front of the house of the “Inspector Montalbano”. Punta Secca.
SIRACUSA COAST – NOTO
The history of Noto prior to the 1693 quake belongs to the old town, now called “Noto Antica” and known in antiquity as “Netium”. The remains of the early inhabitants are almost entirely hidden beneath the ruins of the medieval town. Today Noto is considered, with good reason, the triumph of baroque style, and it is undoubtedly the heart of the “Val di Noto”, the valley of the Sicilian Baroque belonging to the UNESCO heritage list since 2002. One of its unique features lies in the typical golden-honeyed color of the buildings; this is due to the fact that the main building material used for the reconstruction was the local limestone, a substance that absorbs the sun’s rays and transforms them into a gold-like sparkling. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the city at sunset, and you’ll be enchanted by this shining effect. A walk in the city centre is an immersion in the virtuosity and magnificence of churches and palaces. Just enjoy the stroll along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, and let yourself be enchanted by Noto’s most representative buildings; the majestic Cathedral, the Church of San Francesco, the Jesuit Church and College and Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata are just few examples. A visit to Noto is definitely an experience of beauty and splendor not to be missed.
SIRACUSA COAST – PORTOPALO
At the southernmost point in Sicily, Portopalo di Capo Passero is a pleasant old fishing village. There are sandy beaches and reefs punctuated by little coves to offer something for everyone – for sunbathers, kids, stronger swimmers, snorkelers divers, and those who want to fish. The town was historically tied to Siracusa, dating back to the ancient Greek epoch. But its primary industry was tuna fishing,
packing and exporting, which it has done for centuries. The remains of the old tonnara stands as testimony of this ancient trade that is still an important one today. There is also abundant farming, with melons, tomatoes, citrus and vegetables being important crops. Portopalo is small but pleasing, with 4000 inhabitants and spectacular seascapes. You can enjoy both sunsets and sunrises here that are breathtaking. There are restaurants, shops and seafront cafes. The fancy Castello Tufari is an ornate mansion built at the turn of the last century that looks like a storybook setting. The Island of Capo Passero sits just 250 meters form the coast and covers 37 hectares. There is an old fortress and some old tuna fishing warehouses where fishermen stored their nets and equipment. Today it is a refuge for birds and marine life who love the undisturbed natural landscape. The smaller island, Isola delle Correnti, is tiny and connected to the mainland by a strip of rock. There is an abandoned lighthouse and light keeper's dwelling, a popular spot for windsurfing.
At the geographical centre point of the Mediterranean, the tiny island cluster of Malta, Gozo and Comino has been an important crossroads for sailors for centuries and now offers a favorable tax regime for commercial yachting. Lying 60 miles south of Sicily, Malta’s reputation – as far as it reaches – is one of megalithic temples, ancient Hypogeums, fortified cities with towering walls and staggering architecture. Malta packs such a historical punch that its capital, Valletta, became an UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it’s not all history. The island has a thriving yachting community. Party at Portomaso Marina, where the cappuccinos rival Italy’s finest. Paceville is as nocturnal as Barcelona, but without the pretensions. Indulge in excellent dining around Grand Harbor, Europe’s largest natural harbor, which has a spectacular backdrop of limestone fortifications. Ensure you try fenkata, a traditional stew of rabbit in garlic. Set sail to escape the heat of the summer and explore deserted beaches and the eerie moonscapes of weather-worn limestone. Anchor offshore to dive shipwrecks, swim through caves and fish off the back of the boat, or visit Selmun or St Paul’s Bay for some secluded beach walks and a chance to explore the countryside, decorated with wildflowers.