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A Tour to discover the ancient crafts and to not forget the value of the ancient traditions skilfully hand down from local artisans during the centuries.
1st day Monte Etna - Milo - Aci Sant'Antonio
Arrival at Catania , transfer to the hotel and lunch. In the afternoon, excursion on mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe (it is 3.370 metres high). The bus will arrive to the height of 1.900 metres to let you admire the panorama. Stop at Milo, a little village at the bottom of mount Etna, known thanks to the wine production and visit to a wine-cellar . Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay .
2nd day: Caltanissetta
Departure for Caltanissetta to visit the Mineralogical and Sulphur Museum. Continuation for Gessolungo and Trabonella mines, one of the biggest mining area in Europe. Full-board treatment at hotel in Caltanissetta.
3rd day: Caltagirone - Comiso
After breakfast, departure for Caltagirone, situated in a charming position between the Iblei and the Erei mountains. It is important for the ceramics handicraft and for the Ceramic Museum. Lunch at a typical restaurant and continuation for Comiso to visit the stone quarries, which clamber up on the last spurs of the Iblei mountains, and from which the stone of Comiso is extracted. This kind of stone has contributed to the birth of the baroque in Noto Valley thanks to the local artisans who have dug out and engraved it. You will continue the tour visiting one of the numerous workshops where craftsmen dedicate themselves to the manufacture of the sfilato of Comiso (a particular kind of embroidery), according to the ancient tradition of preparing the trousseau for the future bride who, after marriage, will bring it with her to his husband's house. Arrival at Ragusa, accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
4th day: Modica - Ragusa Ibla
All day is dedicated to the visit of Modica, the Nobel prize winner Salvatore Quasimodo's birthplace, which preserves ancient traditions in handicrafts. You will attend the production of chocolate, which derives directly from the ancient "Xoc˛at", a typical product of all the Middle-American populations' culture. The tour continues with the visit of a workshop where honey is produced and sold; and the Mercedari' s Palace, to visit the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, one of the most interesting in our region, which shows a magnificent heritage of farm tools and artisan workshops completely rebuilt in order to reproduce the rural life of those places. Back to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit Ragusa Ibla, which is one of the most charming places in all Sicily, where big sneering masks and baroque decorations assault the visitors who penetrate the labyrinth of little streets which characterize this splendid town. Dinner in a typical masseria, where you will taste local products, as hot cow milk ricotta and caciocavallo, typical local cheeses. Overnight stay in hotel.
5th giorno: Chiaramonte - Giarratana
Departure for Chiaramonte, the town of museums; where the presence of many olive-trees has given life to the production of olive-oil. There are still traditional oil-mills, even if most of them have been replaced by the mechanical ones. It is possible to admire their evolution in the Olive Oil Museum. Lunch at the restaurant and carrying on for Giarratana, to visit the suggestive Open Air Museum, which winds through the most ancient and picturesque streets of the town. The reconstruction of various workshops, inside which the arts and crafts of old times are reproduced, will make you relive scenes of everyday life, of a still living past. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay .
6th day: Portopalo - Marzamemi - Noto
Departure for Portopalo, the most southern town in Italy, to visit the the Tafuri Castle, and the most important fish market in Eastern Sicily. The tour continues with the visit to Marzamemi, the nice fishermen's village developed around the tonnara, which is by now abandoned. You will visit a characteristic bunch of houses built of stone which protect the little harbour, the ruins of the ancient tonnara built by the Arabs, where tuna was processed and inside which it is still possible to find testimonies to the fishermen's life, and some tuna workshops. Lunch at a restaurant along the route and continuation for Noto, defined Stone Garden by the writer Cesare Brandi and acknowledged the capital of its beautiful baroque churches. Continuation for Siracusa, accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.
7th day: Siracusa
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit of the Papyrus Museum or Archaeological Museum, the archaeological areaand the isle of Ortigia. Continuation with an excursion by boat on the river Ciane, along the banks of which the wild papyrus grows abundantly. This precious plant was used by the local population as a raw material to make ropes; that of a rope-maker, in fact, was one of the most common crafts. Full-board treatment at hotel.
8th giorno: Departure
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Catania for the departure.