Syracuse & Ortygia
With a history stretching back almost 3000 years, the city of Syracuse has the rare accolade of being classed as a World Heritage Site in its entirety. At the heart of the ancient city is Ortygia, painstakingly and dazzlingly restored.
We follow in the footsteps of the Greeks, Romans and much later civilisations who landed upon these shores. More than two thousand years later, we can still gaze out over the same harbour and imagine the cool blue waters heaving with triremes. Discover not only Ortygia, but surrounding sites including the Pantalica hills, honeycombed with ancient tombs.
Benefit from this limited time offer:
- Pay a low deposit of £99, was £500.
Single supplement: £245
Day 1 - London - Ortygia
We fly to Catania from London and drive to our hotel on the island of Ortygia, in Syracuse’s historical centre.
|Hotel||Royal Maniace Hotel, Syracuse|
Day 2 - Ortygia
This morning we explore Ortygia, starting with the Temple of Athena, remarkably assimilated into the fabric of the Cathedral and continuing with the Temple of Apollo, Fountain of Arethusa, and the Great Harbour, where the sea battle between Syracuse and Athens in 413 BC took place. The afternoon is free for us to enjoy. Visit the Caravaggio painting in Santa Lucia, or the Byzantine Jewish baths or the ruins of the Temple of Artemis.
Day 3 - Ortygia - Noto
We enjoy a free morning, where we might choose to explore the harbour by boat before driving to Noto, famed for its exceedingly well-preserved Baroque architecture. The city, built ex-novo following a severe earthquake in 1693, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also take in the late-Roman villa of Romana del Tellaro, which has fine mosaics depicting the ransom of Hector’s body and a hunting scene, reminiscent of the Piazza Armerina mosaics.
Day 4 - Piazza Armerina
Today we travel to the late-Roman villa in Piazza Armerina for a chance to see its exceptionally fine mosaics first-hand. More than 50 of the villa’s rooms depict vivid hunting and mythological scenes. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an astounding example of a luxury Roman villa. We tour its rooms and admire these excellent works of art.
Day 5 - Syracuse
We visit the fine Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum before exploring the spectacular Neapolis archaeological area famed for its theatre. After lunch, we shall visit the catacombs of San Giovanni in Syracuse, underground Greek cisterns transformed into Christian burials in the Paleochristian era. Here, we also visit the Norman basilica of San Giovanni, felled by the 1693 earthquake, along with the crypt that is home to well-preserved frescoes.
Day 6 - Syracuse - London
To mark our final morning, we take a short drive to Megara Hyblaea, founded by colonists in the 8th century BC, from whom the city took its name. We then transfer to the airport for our return flights home.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
- Field notes
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single Supp.||Availability|
|20 October 2020||ASIR201020||20 October 2020 (Tuesday)||25 October 2020 (Sunday)||Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves Lois Ferguson||£1,995