A full day in Cefalù will give you the opportunity to discover its history, its archaeology, its monuments and its traditions. The morning will be dedicated to the town walking through its medieval streets discovering its hidden treasures to end up in the magnificent Duomo, built by the Norman King Roger II in 1131.
After lunch we’ll be heading for the Rocca di Cefalù, that is the mountain overlooking the town which became a Byzantine fortification during the war with the Saracens in the 9th-10th century AD. There we will see the so-called Temple of Diana, a megalithic building of uncertain date. Lunch will be at a local restaurant or in one of the many Paninerie of the town.
You will be taken to my home town set in the middle of the green hills of Sicily. This tour is “Off the beaten track” therefore very few know about this lovely town where Luchino Visconti shot part of his masterpiece “The Leopard” (Il Gattopardo) in 1962.
With dozens of churches, all with important paintings and statues, the town is also rich in archaeology. The most important church is the CHIESA MADRE, built in the 1500s it has a fantastic Tribune decorated with stucco statues by the Li Volsi brothers in the early 1600s. Other churches are San Domenico, San Francesco and San Giovanni, this last one by Paolo Amato, one of the most famous representatives of Sicilian Baroque.
This Tour will take you to discover two of the most stunning Elymian sites in Sicily, Segesta a Erice. The former is an archaeological site with one of the most impressive Greek Temples in Sicily, probably built by the Athenians, and a 2nd century BC Theatre.
The latter was famous in antiquity for its temple dedicated to Venus Ericina, goddess of love, nowadays a lovely medieval town with its Norman castle and Punic fortification.
Punic Tour – Mothia
You will be taken to one of the most beautiful sites in Sicily, Mothia. An islet just off the coast destroyed by the Greek Sikeliot Tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysus the Elder in 397 BC and never rebuilt or inhabited.
Archaeological excavations started thanks to Joseph Whitaker a British trader who also invested in the local Marsala wine exporting it to the whole world. The site has a beautiful museum which houses the famous Motya Charioteer. One day Tour.
Ancient Greek Tour – Solus
These are two of the most significant archaeological sites in Sicily and yet little known by the public at large. The former is located on Mount Catalfano it has one of the most breathtaking views of the north coast of Sicily. Of Phoenician origins the actual town dates to the Hellenistic period but still with traces of Punic influence.
Here we have evidence of both Punic and Greek divinities being worshipped in the same town. The excavations have brought to light elegant houses with floor mosaics and wall paintings, some of great importance. The site has a small museum displaying the most significant finds of the town.
Ancient Greek Tour – Selinus
Ancient Greek Tour – Akragas
They lived as if they were to die tomorrow and built as if they were to live for ever. This is what…….said about Akragas, the richest Greek town of that age. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, known also as the Valley of the Temples it has one of the best preserved Greek Doric Temples in the world, the Concordia Temple.
Unlike Selinus, the ancient Greek city has not been uncovered. It lies underground in the bowl shaped valley that goes from the new town right to the Temples. Part of the Roman town has been excavated, usually closed to the public, which is near the Museum.
Ancient Roman Tour – Villa del Casale
Looking for Minos Tour
This tour will take you to some of the most famous but less visited sites in Sicily. The Grotte della Gurfa is located near Alia, a small town near Palermo. It is a building dug into the soft lime stone probably dating to prehistory but what is impressive is the main room dug out like a Mycenean burial and used as a living space especially in the middle ages by the Arabs.
Whilst Sant’Angelo Muxaro is near Agrigento, probably the Camicus where Dedalus sought shelter being chased by King Minos himself. Again the burials are very similar to the Mycenean ones and it is still being debated nowadays if they actually were or not burials for Minos and his Cretan soldiers.