A tour of Sicily’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Our one-day tour between Piazza Armerina and Caltagirone will take you to some of Sicily’s most renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and will also include a novel and ‘delicious’ treat for your lunch break. We assure you that you will not be left disappointed!
Details of the program:
Departure from at: planning
Return at: planning
The tour includes:
Piazza Armerina, the magnificence of Baroque combined with the living stone of the Middle Ages
The first stop on the tour will be the famous medieval town of Piazza Armerina, a jewel in the heart of Sicily that stands out thanks to the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale and the imposing cathedral that occupies the highest position in the city. Strolling through its historic centre is like travelling back in time, embraced by the opulence of the Baroque combined with the living stone of the Middle Ages, as can be seen by the proximity of the Palazzo Trigona and the Aragonese Castle.
Villa Romana del Casale, a masterpiece of late imperial luxury
Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina is a masterpiece of Roman luxury that marked the passage of this great civilisation on the Sicilian territory so much that it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What makes the Villa an extraordinary attraction is the opulence of its mosaics, among the most beautiful to have been rediscovered, which testify the lifestyle of the Roman upper classes and the exchanges, both commercial and cultural, with the North African area. Its discovery dates back to 1950 by the archaeologist Gino Vinicio Gentili, who was the first to carry out excavation campaigns on the site that brought to light the now famous and much-appreciated mosaics from the Roman era.
The Villa was built on top of the ruins of a rural farm and thanks to extensive studies carried out directly on the mosaics, the Villa is believed to have been constructed between 320 and 370 AD. There are two hypotheses about the possible owners of the building: it is thought either to have belonged to Lucius Populonius or to the Emperor Maximianus, and the latter idea is the most corroborated as there are inscriptions in the mosaics that would confirm it.
A delicious lunch break at Agriturismo Gigliotto
Now we come to the treat we have kept in store just for you: an unforgettable lunch at Agriturismo Gigliotto, a stone’s throw from the centre of Piazza Armerina! Surrounded by green hills, not far from the foot of Mount Etna, on a wonderful hill suspended between time and space, the Agriturismo Gigliotto is a feud of more than 200 hectares of fertile land cultivated in the sign of rural tradition. At Gigliotto you can taste the best typical Sicilian cuisine based on appetisers, Sicilian cheeses and cold cuts, homemade pasta, roasts and grilled meat, game, fish, local vegetables and vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil from its own olive groves, all in the correct combination with GIGLIOTTO wines. If you want to taste pure Sicilian tradition, you cannot miss it.
Caltagirone, the charm of ceramics and handcrafts
Our tour will then pass through the extraordinary ceramics city of Caltagirone, a UNESCO heritage site since 2002 thanks to its glorious past that has seen it for millennia a favourite destination of the Arabs, Byzantines, Genoese and Normans, who, merging together, have created an invaluable cultural heritage. Its main attraction is, as you may have guessed, the manufacture of ceramics dating back to the 5th century B.C., the tradition of which we find evidence in the Museo della Ceramica (Museum of Ceramics), which houses more than 2,500 exhibits. For a first-hand look at pottery making, you will be guests of a guided and detailed tour inside the local ceramics workshops, where the work of the craftsmen and the importance of the thousand-year-old tradition will be explained to you step by step. Another renowned attraction is the staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, over 130 metres long, which is the emblem of the city’s beauty thanks to its 152 steps decorated with colourful, handcrafted majolica tiles. Our tour will end with a visit to the 50 Nativity Scenes of the town, the well-known tradition of Caltagirone, which has always been one of the most renowned centres for the creation of terracotta nativity scenes, and is now a peculiar aspect of the town’s craftsmanship that attracts thousands of tourists every year.