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SICILY

SEPTEMBER 11 TO SEPTEMBER 22, 2022

Reserve risk-free: Your deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure.

Faculty
Tyler Jo Smith, Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program

Pricing
$4,595 per person, double occupancy, land only

$4,795 per person, double occupancy, with economy class round-trip airfare from New York, plus $479 airline taxes and fees

$4,995 per person, double occupancy, with economy class round-trip airfare from Washington, DC, plus $479 airline taxes and fees

$5,195 per person, double occupancy, with economy class round-trip airfare from Charlottesville, VA, plus $479 airline taxes and fees

Program Highlights

  • Palermo’s Arab-Norman UNESCO sites
  • Stunning Monreale Cathedral (UNESCO site)
  • Medieval walled town of Erice
  • Trapani Nature Reserve and salt pans
  • Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples (UNESCO site)
  • Archaeological Park of Neapolis in Syracuse (UNESCO site)
  • Wine tasting
  • Sicilian cooking class
  • Taormina touring
  • Mount Etna excursion
  • Farmhouse lunch
  • Distinctive, well-located small group hotels
FACULTY
Image
Tyler Jo Smith in Greece
TYLER JO SMITH
Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program

Tyler Jo is Professor in the McIntire Department of Art at UVA, and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program. Her current research focuses on the relationship between art and religion in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. She is the author of Komast Dancers in Archaic Greek Art (Oxford 2010), Religion of Archaic and Classical Greece (UPenn 2021), and co-editor of the Blackwell Companion to Greek Art (2012). She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for both teaching and research, including fellowships from Harvard University at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC and the Institute of Classical Studies in London, and grants from the Mediterranean Archaeological Trust and the Center for International Studies, UVA. During the academic year 2018-2019 she was appointed Elizabeth A. Whitehead Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where she also represents UVA as a member of the Managing Committee. As an field archaeologist, Tyler Jo has participated on projects in Greece, Sicily, Turkey, and England.

Overview

Crossroads of the Mediterranean … the “toe” in Italy’s boot … “God’s Kitchen” … Sicily is all this, and much more, as this stellar small group journey reveals. Your 12-day Sicilian sojourn begins in Palermo, where highlights include the city’s prized Arab-Norman architecture – one of the itinerary’s four UNESCO sites – and world-class street food. Discover the medieval walled town of Erice, and Trapani’s famous salt pans. After viewing Monreale Cathedral’s breathtaking mosaics, sample the offerings at a family-owned winery. In Agrigento, explore the impressive Valley of the Temples. Admire Villa Romana del Casale’s magnificent mosaics. During a three-night stay in Syracuse, tour the renowned Archaeological Park of Neapolis and take a Sicilian cooking class. Following an excursion to Mount Etna, enjoy a small group highlight: lunch with excellent Sicilian wines at a private farm. The final destination is Taormina, with touring and time at leisure in this delightful medieval town.

Trip Itinerary
Day 1 - Sunday, September 11, 2022
Depart U.S. for Palermo, Italy
Day 2 - Monday, September 12, 2022
Arrive Palermo

We arrive today in Palermo, capital of Italy’s autonomous region of Sicily. This evening we gather at our hotel for a briefing on the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner. (D)
Artemisia Palace Hotel

Day 3 - Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Palermo

On this morning’s walking tour, we discover 2,700-year-old Palermo’s twin claims to fame: impressive architecture and world-class street food. Highlights include Palermo Cathedral and Palazzo Reale, both part of Arab-Norman Palermo, a UNESCO site comprising nine civil and religious structures dating to Norman rule in Sicily (c. 12th century). We also see Massimo Vittorio Emanuele Theater, one of Europe’s largest opera houses; and the Church of San Cataldo, another of Palermo’s Arab-Norman treasures. Along the way we pass through vibrant markets selling arancini, cannoli, and other Sicilian specialties – which of course, we stop to sample. Following our tour, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then return to our hotel in the city center. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration. With dinner on our own tonight, perhaps a culinary adventure is in order – and thanks to Sicily’s strategic Mediterranean location that lured many invaders, Sicilian food incorporates Italian, Arabic, and African influences into a singular, and delicious, cuisine.
Artemisia Palace Hotel
(B,L)

Day 4 - Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Palermo/Erice/Trapani

A full day of touring takes us first to the medieval walled town of Erice. Perched atop a mountain nearly 2,500 feet above sea level, Erice offers panoramic views of the valley below, the port town of Trapani, and the Tyrrhenian Sea beyond. We continue to Trapani, where we visit the region’s famed salt pans. Though the area is a designated Nature Reserve, Sicilians still harvest salt here using centuries-old methods; indeed, the oldest of the area’s 60 working windmills dates to the island’s Arabic regime. We tour the museum here then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Palermo.
Artemisia Palace Hotel
(B,L)

Day 5 - Thursday, September 15, 2022
Monreale/Agrigento

En route to Agrigento today, we stop in nearby Monreale. Sitting on the slopes of Monte Caputo, Monreale looks over La Conca d’Oro, or “the Golden Shell,” a richly fertile valley studded with groves of orange, olive, and almond trees. Here we visit the city’s celebrated cathedral, another gem of Arab-Norman Palermo and one of the finest examples of Norman architecture still in existence. The imposing main façade and ornate outer cloister serve to prepare us for the cathedral’s breathtaking main sanctuary, where every inch of wall and ceiling space is covered with painstakingly detailed mosaics. Crafted by artisans from Constantinople (now Istanbul), the dazzling mosaics contain some 4,850 pounds of pure gold. Next we visit a nearby family-owned winery, where we enjoy a wine tasting and lunch. Our journey then continues; late this afternoon we reach Agrigento and our hotel, where we dine together tonight.
Hotel Baia di Ulisse
(B,L,D)

Day 6 - Friday, September 16, 2022
Agrigento

This morning we visit the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO site and archaeological zone whose ruins of fallen Doric temples and sanctuaries date to Greek rule in the 5th century BCE. Known in its heyday as “the most beautiful city of mortals,” Agrigento was one of the leading cities during the Golden Age of ancient Greece. Our tour features both the eastern zone, where we see the beautifully preserved Temple of Concordia (c. 430 BCE), and the western zone, with the massive temple of Olympian Zeus, believed to be the largest Doric temple ever built. From the outdoor sites, we then move on to Agrigento’s archaeological museum, with exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of this outpost of classical Greece. Then we return to our hotel for a cooking lesson and dinner.
Hotel Baia di Ulisse
(B,D)

Day 7 - Saturday, September 17, 2022
Piazza Armerina/Syracuse

We travel across Sicily’s southern reaches today to Syracuse (Siracusa), stopping along the way in Piazza Armerina to visit Villa Romana del Casale, an elaborate 4th-century CE villa and UNESCO site boasting one of the richest, and largest, collections of mosaics in the Roman world. Thanks to having been buried by landslides, the villa, its vivid frescoes, and the more than 3,200 square feet of mosaics survived the millennia in remarkably good shape. Following our tour here, we continue on to Syracuse, arriving late this afternoon. Once the largest city in the ancient world, Syracuse today is an alluring spot known for its superb archaeological sites and the relaxed seaside ambience of its Baroque old town.
Hotel Borgo Pantano
(B,L,D)

Day 8 - Sunday, September 18, 2022
Syracuse

Today we discover what this city is best known for: the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, a UNESCO site that comprises a range of ancient monuments. We begin our explorations at the 5th-century BCE Greek theater, the 16,000-seat amphitheater where the tragedies of Aeschylus were staged – in his presence – and still in use today. Next: Latomia del Paradiso (Paradise Quarry), the now overgrown shaft from which the white limestone used to build Syracuse was cut. Because it has excellent acoustics, the quarry also is known as the Ear of Dionysius. We continue on to the Roman amphitheater, the 1st-century BCE arena that once held gladiator spectacles; today it hosts musicals on its ancient stones. Then we take a walking tour of Ortigia, the “white pearl” of Sicily, the historical center of Syracuse, and a UNESCO site.
Hotel Borgo Pantano
(B,D)

Day 9 - Monday, September 19, 2022
Syracuse

This morning we embark on a cruise along Sicily’s Ionian coast dotted with tiny islands and caves. We see the Spanish Wall, 13th-century Castello Maniace that served as a bulwark against invaders in the Middle Ages, and historic Ortigia Island. We disembark on Ortigia, where we’re free to explore and enjoy lunch on our own. Late afternoon we return to our hotel, where we dine tonight.
Hotel Borgo Pantano
(B,D)

Day 10 - Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Mt. Etna/Taormina

We depart Syracuse this morning and make our way up the coast to Mt. Etna, one of Europe’s largest active volcanoes. The ancients believed conical snow-topped Etna to be the forge of Vulcan, god of fire; today, modern-day Sicilians have a very personal relationship with the volcano, which frequently erupts but is seldom destructive. Descending from the volcano, we stop at a private farm set amidst acres of lemon and kiwi groves, where we enjoy a small group highlight: a homemade lunch prepared by the family who lives here. To accompany our meal, we sample some excellent Sicilian wines. Then we resume our journey to Taormina, arriving late this afternoon. This evening is at leisure, with dinner tonight on our own.
Hotel NH Collection Taormina
(B,L)

Day 11 - Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Taormina

This morning we embark on a walking tour of this delightful medieval town set on a rocky terrace overlooking the Ionian Sea. Highlights include the 3rd-century BCE Greek theater, where gladiators once battled; the 13th-century fortress-like Duomo; and grand Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, site of the ancient agora and today an inviting plaza. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy Taormina as we wish; tonight we celebrate our Sicily adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel NH Collection Taormina
(B,D)

Day 12 - Thursday, September 22, 2022
Depart for U.S.

We transfer today to the Catania airport for our return flight to the U.S.
(B)

Trip Details
Accommodations
  • Palermo – Artemisia Palace Hotel – 3 nights
  • Agrigento– Hotel Baia di Ulisse – 2 nights
  • Syracuse – Hotel Borgo Pantano – 3 nights
  • Taormina – Hotel NH Collection Taormina – 2 nights
Meals

22 meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners

Program Fees

$4,595 per person, double occupancy, land only

$4,795 per person, double occupancy, with economy class round-trip airfare from New York, plus $479 airline taxes and fees

$4,995 per person, double occupancy, with economy class round-trip airfare from Washington, DC, plus $479 airline taxes and fees

$5,195 per person, double occupancy, with economy class round-trip airfare from Charlottesville, VA, plus $479 airline taxes and fees

Other Gateway Cities Are Available.

A limited number of single rooms will be available for a supplement of $1,095 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $3,795 per person.

Premium Economy upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $1,395 per person.

How to Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646 or e-mail cavaliertravels@virginia.edu with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A refundable deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately 110 days prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days prior (June 8, 2022) to departure.

Deposits can be made by personal check or credit card. Our tour operator, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., reserves the right to cancel any reservations that are not paid in full at any time after final payment is due. If you make your reservation after the final payment date, payment in full will be required upon reservation.

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

General Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully, as payment of a refundable $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.
Cavalier Travels reserves the right to use photos that might include you in marketing materials and for other purposes unless you specify otherwise.

Payment Schedule: A refundable deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days (June 8, 2022) before departure.

Included in Tour Price: Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; 10 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class and First Class hotels; extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; 22 meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners; services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip; luggage handling for one bag per person; gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare and airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; airfare from your hometown to your departure city; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10–$15 per traveler, per day); and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.

Cancellation, Refunds, and Changes: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon the University of Virginia’s receipt of your notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: cancel 95 days or more before departure: full refund; cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price; cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price; cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; cancel 29-0 days before departure: no refund. If you make any changes to your reservation from 94 to 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure.
Upon reservation, you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport, as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, and restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, or of their employees, agents, servants, or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including, without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise lines, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.

Health and Medical Issues: We request that you be in good health to participate in this University of Virginia tour. There is a considerable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that many of our itineraries, for reasons beyond our control, cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Please call or e-mail us to inquire and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. and the University of Virginia assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information: Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities, and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight is usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols: The well-being of our guests and staff members on tour will continue to be our highest priorities. To maintain a healthy environment for travel, we will be establishing and adhering to a detailed set of health and safety protocols for all facets of your tour. We are committed to following the guidelines of the State Department, CDC, WHO, and authorities of respective countries regarding travel to a particular destination. Detailed protocols for this tour, based on conditions at the time, will be provided approximately 115 days prior to departure.

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