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SARDINIA & SICILY (Italy's biggest islands) May 2017

  • to

  • Chicago O'Hare Airport

    10000 W O'Hare Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, United States, IL (map)

    41.990604 -87.800735

  • Details to follow closer to the date of departure


  • IF YOU RSVP, PLEASE SEND ME AN EMAIL WITH ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. MY EMAIL CAN BE FOUND THERE AS WELL. THANKS!

    MAY 27 - JUNE 9, 2017

    Sardinia and Sicily are the two biggest islands in Italy. Visit them with me, Rossana, and find out how wonderfully alike and different they are! Sardinia and Sicily harbor their own distinctive cultures and unique natural wonders. Explore gorgeous rugged coastlines, villages tucked into seaside slopes, and some of the most pristine waters in the Mediterranean.

    An Introduction to our Guide:

    My name is Rossana Strunce, I am a native Italian and lived in Milan for over 30 years.  I know the culture, history, traditions and customs of both regions very well.  In addition I have been living in the States for more than 20 years and, therefore, know the language, preferences and expectations of American travelers.

    I have dual citizenship (Italy and USA) and speak fluently 3 languages (Italian, English & French).  I have an Italian degree in tourism and have been traveling throughout Italy, Europe and the world for most of my life.

    In all my tours, my fellow travelers get a complete experience. It includes history, culture, traditions, architecture, sociology, natural beauty, incredible food and special wines. I have chosen to keep the group small (maximum 12 people) in order to give the experience more of a family feel.  My goal is for my travelers to return to the States feeling like they have lived the Italian life for 12 days instead of just visiting Italy.

    Rossana will personally accompany the group throughout the trip to ensure an unforgettable experience!

    Sardinia

    Imagine a trip sailing in a sea of emerald, between large and small coves of white sand: this is Sardinia, an island that surprises the visitor for its natural contrasts, lights and colors, a land of ancient traditions, immersed in wild and unspoiled nature.

    Located at the center of the Mediterranean Sea with mostly mountainous territory, but without high peaks, Sardinia offers visitors a unique natural setting and particular cultural traditions that you cannot find anywhere else in Italy.

    Sicily

    Sicily is the largest Italian island, divided from the mainland by the Strait of Messina. Like Sardina, it offers unspoiled natural landscapes, but the archaeological remains here, mainly Greek and Roman, are more evident. Sicily is surrounded by smaller islands and has several active volcanoes, the biggest of which, Mt. Etna, is near Catania.

    Sicily is sometimes referred to as “Trinacria”, which is its ancient name.

    ITINERARY

    SATURDAY, May 27th

    Depart USA for the Italian airport of Olbia (OLB), on the island of Sardinia.


    SUNDAY, May 28th  

    Arrival at the airport. Transfer by motor coach to our hotel in Santa Teresa di Gallura area. Take the rest of the day to relax and meet for the welcome dinner. (D)

    Hotel in Santa Teresa Gallura: Hotel Corallaro -  www.hotelcorallaro.it


    MONDAY, May 29th - Sardinia / Corsica

    After our first Italian breakfast, we will take a boat to go and visit the town of Bonifacio in Corsica, France, the birthplace of Napoleon Boneparte (sea conditions permitting). Take the time to explore this village on your own. (B)

    Hotel in Santa Teresa Gallura: Hotel Corallaro - www.hotelcorallaro.it


    TUESDAY, May 30th - Sardinia / Costa Smeralda

    Today, after breakfast, we will visit the villages (Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo) for which this coast, called the Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda) is famous. The area is famous for jetsetter celebrities who make these places their vacation destinations. To give you an idea, in 2011 Costa Smeralda had the 2nd, 4th and the 6th most expensive hotels in the world.  (B)

    Hotel in Santa Teresa Gallura: Hotel Corallaro - www.hotelcorallaro.it


    WEDNESDAY, May 31st - Sardinia / Grotte Nettuno

    Today we will travel from the Emerald Coast to the western part of the island, more precisely to Alghero, where the landscape and cultural identity are very different. Alghero is called the “Barceloneta de Sardegna”, because it keeps the vivid Catalan identity and traditions from previous Spanish rule. Once we arrive there we will take an excursion by boat which will take us to one of the most beautiful natural caverns in Europe: Grotte di Nettuno. We will also meet for dinner. (B + D)

    Hotel in Alghero: Hotel Catalunya - www.hotelcatalunya.it


    THURSDAY, June 1st - Sardinia/ Bosa

    Today we will take an excursion by bus along one of the most scenic routes on the island. After breathtaking landscapes of pristine beaches we will arrive in Bosa, where we will be free to spend the day visiting the castle and the medieval downtown. (B)

    Hotel in Alghero: Hotel Catalunya - www.hotelcatalunya.it


    FRIDAY, June 2nd - Sardinia/Cagliari

    After breakfast we will travel by train to the biggest city of Sardinia, Cagliari, where we will have the rest of the day to visit before our ship leaves. In the evening we will travel from Cagliari, Sardinia to Palermo, Sicily in private staterooms by ferryboat, where we will arrive at 7:30 am. (B)

    Accommodations: Night on the ship


    SATURDAY, June 3rd - Sicily/Palermo

    After a guided tour of the city of Palermo (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), we will travel by train to our new destination in Sicily, Agrigento. We will meet for a group dinner. (B + D)

    Hotel in Agrigento: Foresteria Baglio di Luna - www.bagliodellaluna.com


    SUNDAY, June 4th - Sicily/Valley of the Temples

    This morning we will have a close-up look at the Valley of the Temples on a visit to the Archaeological Area of Agrigento. On our way to our new destination, we will stop at the “Villa Romana del Casale”, which is a Roman villa built in 320 AD. (Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites.) It contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world. At the end of our visit, we will continue to our destination: Syracuse. We will meet for dinner. (B + D)

    Hotel in Syracuse: Grande Albergo Alfeo - www.alfeo.it


    MONDAY, June 5th - Sicily/Syracuse

    Today we will have the whole day to visit the beautiful town we are staying in, Syracuse (UNESCO site). It was originally founded by the Greeks, but it kept its importance throughout the centuries. It has a castle, a Greek theater, a Roman amphitheater, to name a few of its monuments.  (B)

    Hotel in Syracuse: Grande Albergo Alfeo - www.alfeo.it


    TUESDAY, June 6th - Sicily/Noto

    After breakfast today we will visit one of the most beautiful towns known for its baroque architecture:  Noto, in the Val di Noto (UNESCO site). Noto was rebuilt after a 17th century earthquake destroyed it and is also known as the “Stone Garden” for its beautiful curvilinear buildings and impressive stone carvings. (B)

    Hotel in Syracuse: Grande Albergo Alfeo - www.alfeo.it


    WEDNESDAY, June 7th - Sicily/Mt. Etna

    This morning we will move north to our next destination, Taormina. On our way, we will stop on Mount Etna (UNESCO site), the tallest and most active volcano in the Western hemisphere for an excursion led by special guides. (B)

    Hotel in Taormina: Hotel Villa Diodoro - www.hotelvilladiodoro.com


    THURSDAY, June 8th - Sicily/Taormina

    Today we will have all day to explore Taormina, with its breathtaking views and the world renowned Teatro Greco, built in the third century and still in use today. In the evening you are invited to join me for a farewell dinner. (B + D)

    Hotel in Taormina: Hotel Villa Diodoro - www.hotelvilladiodoro.com


    FRIDAY, June 9th - Sicily/USA

    It is time to return to the U.S. After breakfast, we will be heading to the Catania airport (CTA) to catch the plane which will take us back to the US. (B)


    COST: 13-day tour price is $2900.00. (Single supplement is $800, limited number available.)

    DEPOSIT: A non-refundable deposit of $350 is due when you RSVP.  If you have a paypal account,  payment can be made via Rossana's account at [masked]. You may also pay by check. Please contact Rossana to make other arrangements.

    BALANCE DUE: The remaining balance of $[masked] will be due 60 days prior to departure on March 27, 2017.

    REFUNDS: A full refund will be given if the trip is cancelled by the organizers.  If member cancels after final payment has been made, partial refunds may be available IF your space is filled by another member.

    INSURANCE: It is strongly recommended that you purchase insurance. Contact Rossana Strunce for information.

    The tour includes:

    · 11 nights in beautiful hotels

    · A night-transfer from Sardinia to Sicily by ferryboat

    · A boat excursion along the Italian Mediterranean coast (weather permitting)

    · A one-day excursion to Corsica, France (weather permitting)

    · An excursion to Mt. Etna, the highest volcano in Italy

    · Breakfast daily, and 5 dinners in authentic restaurants

    · Small friendly group of not more than 12 travelers

    PLEASE NOTE:  

    The trip price includes accommodations, all breakfasts and the five dinners indicated in the program; see B (breakfast), and D (dinner) in the daily itinerary. Land/sea transportation is included as described above as well as the excursions and any admission fees to the sites mentioned in the program. 

    Flights are NOT included in the price. Estimated cost for flying into Olbia, Italy and out of Catania is currently around $1200 - $1500. Price also does NOT include wine/beverages at included breakfasts and dinners unless specified. 

    The trip requires transfers by train. It is therefore important that you be able to easily get on and off a train with your luggage, and we strongly suggest keeping your luggage to a minimum, as we will be utilizing buses, trains and boats on our trip.

    Important: by regulation, your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your scheduled return to USA and 6 months is strongly suggested.

    QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED: (Sorry, the meetup question feature is not functioning)

    1. Please send your contact info; best phone number and email address to reach you at.

    2. Do you have a roommate arranged? If not, would you like one assigned? 

    3. If you would like a roommate assigned, please let me know your sleep habits (night owl, early riser, light sleeper, snorer, etc.)

    4. Do you have any food restrictions or allergies?

    Please contact Rossana Strunce at[masked] or [masked] with questions.


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  • Rossana
    Organizer,
    Event Host

    I was born in Milan, Italy and moved to Madison in 1994. After raising my two kids and earning a... more

  • Teri E. +1

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