Basic Palermo City Tours
Whether you are “On Your Own” for a 6 hour jaunt, or you have opted for a 2.5 hour city tour, highlights typically include Seeing the Monreale Duomo, the Teatro Politeama, Via Ruggero XII (nicknamed the “salon of Palermo”), Quattro Canti (the Four Corners), the Rpyal Palace, Corso Vittorio, Emanuele, and the Piazza Marina. Tours typically end with a visit to Mondello, which was once a fishing village but has now evolved into Palermo's seaside resort. Refreshments might be included in the tour, and it's our understanding that the ice cream is marvelous.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $44 to $47.
Booking Advice: City tours of Palermo are usually rated as moderate in terms of physical exertion. While cruise line tours are generally competitive, we do suggest the “Hop On/Off Bus Tours,” especially if you want an “On Your Own” type of experience. You can book your Hop On/Off Bus Tour in Palermo at http://www.palermotours.net/?event=offer.detail&offerId=2150
You'll see the exteriors of the Teatro Politeama, the Teatro Massimo, the Quattro Canti, the Royal Palace, and the Piazza Pretoria en route. Then, you'll see the Catacombs of the Capuchins, where the mummified remains of 8,000 people wearing burial clothing from as early as the 1400's are housed. Your next scary but historical stop is at the Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri (fortified castle of the Chiaramonte Family). Construction for this castle began in 1307, and from the 1600's until 1782, this was the seat of the Tribunal of the Inquisition. Impressive Gothic architecture in the “Charamontan style” abounds. You'll see the Great Hall, and the original La Vuccira by Renato Gusso. There may be time for shopping and walking about at tour's end.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $52 for tours which typically last 4.5 hours.
Booking Advice: Because of the walking involved, these tours are rated as moderate in terms of physical exercise. Cruise line prices appear to be competitive. Children under 11 years of age are not permitted, and the tour is not recommended for persons with asthma.
Taste of Sicily
On this excursion, you'll drive past some lovely countryside to the quiet little town of Erice with its array of Medieval acrchitecture. You'll see a bunch of churches, and will visit the Chiesa Madre, which is known for its beautiful bell tower. You'll also visit a local bakery, and have opportunity to sample cakes and marzipan. Time is usually permitted for shopping.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $70.
Booking Advice: It's good to bear in mind that 3 of the 5 hours of this tour are for transportation. Tours of Erice are rated as moderate regarding levels of physical exertion.
The Valley of the Temples
The ruins of six temples dot a ridge below Agrigento, and represent the remnants of Akragas, an ancient city of major cultural importance and immortalized by many famous writers. You'll visit each one, and see two sacrificial alters. These structures were dedicated to Greek and then Roman gods and goddesses.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $115 for these full day (7.5 hour) tours.
Booking Advice: Transportation to this site takes 4 hours round trip, and two hours are planned for the tour and free time. Because of the terrain and the amount of walking involved, these tours are considered to be physically arduous.
This little village's history extends back to ancient times, and was conquered by the Syracusians and the Romans. While there, you'll see the exterior of a 12th century Gothic Norman cathedral, and actually visit an ancient laundrymat, the Wash House, with majestic archways and a massive central area where water flowed as designed from three places in the walls. Most tours allocate an hour for walking about and shopping in the Cefalu Center.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $45.
Booking Advice: Because of the walking involved, including traversing uneven surfaces, these tours are rated as moderate in terms of physical exercise. Cruise line prices appear to be competitive.