Sep 20 - Oct 6, 2019
17 days
$8,420per person, twin share (land content only). $1,500 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Dr Kathleen Olive
Sep 20 - Oct 6, 2019

Tour Leader

Dr Kathleen Olive$8,420per person, twin share (land content only). $1,500 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions

Overview

Sicily and the Aeolian Islands have a remarkable history and culture that is a blend of Mediterranean civilisations. From the well-preserved remains of Greek and Roman cities and temples, to Norman cathedrals with fine Byzantine mosaics and Arab-influenced cuisine, the island’s unique and varied history is tangible. This 17-day tour has been designed to give the first-time visitor an overview of Sicily’s diverse and fascinating past, its art and traditions, and shows how the extraordinary landscape – volcanoes, rugged coastlines and the jewel-like ocean – has shaped the island’s vibrant history and culture.

A five-day extension to Malta is also available as part of this tour.

Experience

  • The thriving colonies of the ancient Greek world – wealthy, cultured centres of literature and art
  • Ancient Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman societies, and their struggle to control the Mediterranean
  • The lasting legacy of medieval Arab and Norman rule, expressed in the impressive mosaics and architecture of Palermo
  • The distinctive period of Sicilian Baroque architecture
  • Dramatic countryside, including active volcanoes and rugged limestone cliffs
  • The natural beauty and traditional lifestyle of the Aeolian Islands

Highlights

  • A scenic private boat trip of the Aeolian Islands, from Lipari to Stromboli and Panarea
  • Outstanding archaeological museums in Siracusa, Agrigento and Lipari
  • The Sicilian Baroque architecture of Noto and Ragusa that evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • The exceptionally well-preserved 4th-century mosaics in the imperial Roman villa at Piazza Armerina
  • The UNESCO World Heritage-listed mosaics in the cathedral of Monreale and Palatine Chapel in Palermo, undertaken by Byzantine masters for their Norman rulers
  • An excursion to the summit of Mt Etna

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–4: Take a group flight from Rome. Arrive Siracusa, tour archaeological sites and the baroque old town.

Days 5–6: Travel to the Greek temples at Agrigento via the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina.

Days 7–10: Explore the capital Palermo, including Monreale, the Norman Palace and Palatine Chapel. Visit the tiny island of Mozia.

Days 11–13: Continue on to Cefalù en route to the Aeolian Islands. Take a private boat trip from Lipari to Stromboli and Panarea.

Days 14–17: From Taormina visit the Greco-Roman theatre and Mount Etna, before taking a group flight to Rome.

A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.

Getting There

Emirates offers the best connections to Rome. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. Bookings are open for this tour, however if you would like to receive the detailed itinerary booklet once available, please register your interest below and we will send you a copy.

Dr Kathleen Olive

Has a PhD in Italian Studies, speaks fluent Italian and lectures on the art, history and culture of Europe. Kathleen has an outstanding knowledge of Italy.

Dr Kathleen Olive is a literary and cultural historian with close to 15 years’ experience leading tours to Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Japan and the United States. She has a strong personal interest in the visual arts, interior design, fashion history and contemporary fiction.

Kathleen holds a BA with first class Honours and a PhD, both from the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Sydney. For a number of years she worked as a lecturer at the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney, teaching Italian language, literature and history. Kathleen continues to teach, as a national lecturer for the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS), and in adult education courses in Sydney. In 2015, her edition of the Codex Rustici (a 15th-century commonplace book that Kathleen worked on with Nerida Newbigin, for her doctoral studies and for publication) was presented to Pope Francis on his first official visit to Florence.

Kathleen’s historical and artistic knowledge stretches from the Middle Ages through to the early 20th century. In Italy she has led numerous tours focusing on the medieval and Renaissance periods. In Spain she has a particular concentration on the “Convivencia” of Islamic, Christian and Jewish cultures in the south, and on the medieval pilgrimage routes of the north. Her tours of the USA’s north-east have focused on American collectors and their Gilded Age reinventions of European glory days, and in Japan she is particularly interested in contemporary design, from fashion to architecture. Kathleen speaks fluent Italian, is conversant in Spanish and understands French.

Kathleen was first involved on a tour to Italy in 2003 and it sparked her passion for on-the-spot communication of art and history. Since 2010 she has worked exclusively for Academy Travel, leading 6 tours a year. She has designed a number of our popular tours, from the Florence residential, to surveys of the courts of Renaissance Italy and of central Italy’s villas and gardens, as well as “twin city” tours to Palermo and Naples and to Florence and Rome. Closer to home, Kathleen is leading Academy Travel’s inaugural tour to Japan and our popular tours to Tasmania.

We asked Kathleen, what do you enjoy most about leading a group tour?

“I really enjoy travelling with groups who share interests in the history, culture and even food of a destination. It means that those personal connections are there right from the beginning, just waiting to be made.”

“There’s nothing I enjoy more than finding out the particular interests of my fellow travellers – an artist, a dish they love eating, their memories of a particular place – and finding a way to make an experience happen for them. That might mean recommending a particular wine bar, directing them to a museum that features artists they already like, or suggesting the best time of day for a view over a town. It’s so satisfying to be involved in making these kinds of memories for people.”

“Many of the people I travel with comment on my passion for the places I visit. It’s not just that I know my names and dates – it’s that I really enjoy bringing out the connections between history and art, for example, or between landscape and food. I never grow tired of injecting this kind of life into ‘dry’ academic knowledge.”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours

Hotels

Hotels will be selected principally for their central location. All hotels used are a comfortable four-star standard.

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

What is not included in the tour price?
Open-age tours do not include the following:

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

Booking conditions

You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.

Deposits

A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 60 days before departure: $500*
  • 60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
  • 44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
  • 14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due

*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.

Unused Portions of the tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Travel Insurance

Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.

Passport and Visa

A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.

Will the tour price change?

If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.

Will the itinerary change?

Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.

Final Payment

Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.

Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.

Fitness rating

Grade 2
i

A Grade 2 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
More Details

Bookings

Book Online Now More Details
Hold a Place Download Booking Form

Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Kathy Wardrop 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)
kathy@academytravel.com.au

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