Current Photo Tours 2017/2018 Schedule 

            - Kenya & Tanzania Tour - September 12th to 26th, 2017

                 - Franklin Islands Workshops - September 15th thru October 6th, 2017

                    - Fall Foto Fest September 30th & October 1st, 2017

                        - BC Interior Grizzly Bear Tour - September 16th to 21st, 2017

                          - Sicily Photo Tour - October 3rd to 15th, 2017

                               - Machu Picchu Photo Tour - November 3rd to 10th, 2017

                                   - Galapagos Islands Photo Tour - Nov 30th to Dec 12th, 2017 

                                       - Download our New 2017/2018 Tour Brochure



Sicily Photo Tour - "Exploring and Photographing the Island of Sicily"  


Sicily Photo Tour -  Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the southernmost region of Italy. Famous for its blue skies and mild winter climate Sicilia is also home to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. 

   This fertile paradise was settled by Sicily, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Spaniards and the Bourbons. The remnants of these astounding cultures cover the entire island, from the temples of Agrigento to the priceless mosaics of Piazza Armerina and the ancient capital of Siracusa. 

    I would like to invite you to join us as we photograph and explore beautiful Sicily in October. Each day of our journey we will experience the culture, intimate villages, amazing foods, wines and the landscapes this beautiful island has to offer.  During our Sicily tour we will be visiting Palermo, Monreale, Bagheria, Cefalù, Siracusa, Noto, Modica, Scicli, Catania and Taormina. Our tour includes breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 8 dinners ... And of course besides great photography no tour would be complete without wine tasting opportunities during our journey.

   Come explore and photograph the colours of Sicilian splendor with us in October. I'm looking forward to traveling with you.

                                                                                                                     James Cowie

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Sicily Itinerary - October 3rd to 15th, 2017

Day One: Tuesday October 3rd, 2017  We will be offering afternoon motor coach departing from London, with pick ups enroute to Pearson International in Toronto. Our evening and overnight Alitalia flight will see our group arriving in Italy the following morning. 

 Day Two: Wednesday October 4th, 2017  Welcome to Palermo, Sicily. We will transfer to our hotel and have some time to settle in and familiarize ourselves with area and hotel. This evening cocktails and a welcome dinner. Overnight Hotel Federico II Central Palace, Palermo. (D)

Day Three: Thursday October 5th, 2017 Breakfast. This morning is dedicated to visiting various regions of Palermo. First we will take a short walking tour through the city centre: the Massimo Theatre that is one of the largest theatres in Europe and the lyrical temple of the city, staging the opera and ballet official season; Piazza Quattro Canti, the exact center of the ancient Palermo (the four corners of the buildings that make up this octagonal square were decorated in 1617 with fountains and statues depicting the four seasons, the Spanish kings and the patronesses of Palermo); and yet Piazza Pretoria with its beautiful Renaissance fountain, originally built for a villa near Florence, a masterpiece of Tuscan art in the center of a city Arab-Norman. We will then travel by motor coach to Piazza Marina, a square surrounded by beautiful buildings. This is were public shows of various kinds were organized, including executions and torture made by the tribunal of the Inquisition, which was located in the adjacent Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri. Today at the centre of the square is a beautiful garden which is home to Europe’s largest Ficus. We will have lunch near the square then continue to photograph and explore this part of Palermo. Late in the afternoon return to the Hotel. Dinner and overnight Hotel Federico II Central Palace, Palermo. (B)(D)

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Day Four: Friday October 6th, 2017  Breakfast, meet in the lobby, then travel to a nearby village, Monreale. Positioned high above “the Conca d’Oro”, the walls are covered with beautiful polychrome mosaics and fine gold. "A miracle of goldsmith", depicting the Bible and the advent of Jesus, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, which is being deployed for six thousand and three hundred square meters. One of the world's largest displays of this art. We will carry on to the Norman Palace in Palermo. Built in the IX century on Punic and Roman remains, it has always been the seat of Sicilian and Palermitan governors. Emirs, kings and viceroys lived in this building, which today houses the Sicilian Regional Parliament. The Palace features the Palatine Chapel built in 1130, definitely one of the most famous sights in Palermo. We will then walk to the Cathedral. Inside it contains the silver urn housing the remains of Santa Rosalia, patroness of Palermo and the tombs of Frederick II. Great photo opportunities as we visit the Sicilian palace. The palace is still home to Italian nobility who welcome you into their homes. “Count Frederick Palace” is one of the oldest and prestigious buildings in Palermo. From courtyard the large red marble staircase leads to the first main floor with many salons furnished with original furniture and painting by famous artists, painted wooden ceilings of the XV century, collections of weapons and ancient pottery. Count Alessandro Federico and his family who are the descendants of the Great Emperor Frederick II still live at the palace. Later in the afternoon we will return to our hotel of some time to relax and dinner. Hotel Federico II Central Palace, Palermo. (B)

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Day Five: Saturday October 7th, 2017  Breakfast and depart to Bagheria our first stop today the ancient Villa Palagonia. One of the best known monuments in Sicily. This superb and eccentric villa was already visited by famous travelers in the 17th century, who considered it "the most original in the world and famous throughout Europe". The interior and exterior decoration have made the villa known throughout the world as the "Villa of Monsters". These statues represent imaginary animals, anthropoid figures, statues of ladies and knights, musicians and other various caricatures all make for great photo opportunities. Afterwards we wukk drive to Cefalù, a small seaside town with a picturesque harbor. True undisputed star of Cefalù is the Duomo, a noble example of Norman culture that reveals inside the sparkle of precious mosaics. We will visit the medieval wash-house, which is accessed via an elegant staircase made of lava stone. Lunch at a restaurant with a terrace on the sea. This afternoon we will have some time for photography as we walk the narrow medieval streets and visit the waterfront. Late afternoon return to our hotel. Hotel Federico II Central Palace, Palermo. (B)(L)(D)

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Day Six: Sunday October 8th, 2017  Breakfast and check-out. Drive to the interior of Sicily to reach Siracusa. Here we will have lunch and wine tasting in the ancient Feud of Targia, more than 140 acres of landscape nestled between the Ionian Sea and the ruins of the majestic Euryalus Castle. Euryalus built between 402 and 397 BC offers up our main photo shoot location of the day. The Farm occupies a good part of the estate and is situated a few kilometers from the archaeological park and the historic center of Syracuse. During our lunch we will taste red and white wines and a liqueur wine,Moscato di Siracusa. We will have time to take a walk into the vineyard. This afternoon check into our hotel. Overnight Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa - Siracusa. (B)(L)

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Day Seven: Monday October 9th, 2017  Breakfast. Today we will visit Siracusa, one of the most ancient cities in the Mediterranean region. You will experience eras gone by as walk through this ancient city. We will see first hand a city permeated with a vast array of myths and legends. We will visit the island of Ortigia, the historical heart of the town. Wandering down the narrow medieval lanes, past crumbling baroque and medieval palaces and churches. The Archaeological Park of Neapolis with the Greek Theatre, is one of the finest and largest of its kind and the famous Latomie of Paradise and the Dionysius “ear”. This afternoon we will drive to Noto, a great example of Sicilian Baroque style. Noto was built to an octagonal plan and is crossed through by the main streets. This “stone garden”, as it is commonly called, contains a never-ending number of Baroque monuments that appear on the streets and squares. The material most commonly used is limestone, which creates an extremely spectacular effect at sunset, when the sunlight brings out a pinkish hue from the majestic façades. This evening return to our Hotel - Overnight Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa - Siracusa. (B)(D)

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Day Eight: Tuesday October 10th 2017  Breakfast. Our first location of the day is the ancient town of Monica. It is a picturesque town in the southern part of the Iblei Mountains. The town is divided into a high and low part, both completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693. The town has many palaces and churches in late Baroque style, that stand between the typical lanes and the buildings. The Church of San Giorgio, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, is a monumental example of Baroque architecture including a staircase of 250 steps, that was built after the church in 1818. The city is also known for a special chocolate still made following ancient craft traditions, which guarantee the special granularity of the product, due to the sugar crystals that remain undissolved in the chocolate. A tradition that started during the period of Spanish rule, that imported cocoa seeds from the New World. Then we will drive to Scicli, another Baroque village that lies in a basin surrounded by rocky hills and is often therefore called "the town with three hills". There architecture and Baroque palaces were built between 1700 and 1800. We will visit the Church of Santa Teresa, the Church of San Giovanni, the Church of San Bartolomeo and Palazzo Beneventano, all these locations are on Unesco’s World Heritage list and will offer up amazing photo opportunities. This afternoon return to our Hotel Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa - Siracusa. (B)(D)

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Day Nine: Wednesday October 11th, 2017  Breakfast check-out of our hotel and depart for Catania. Catania is situated at the foot of the Mount Etna. We will visit of the fish market where we will experience the drama and passion that fish generates on this island. We will explore Via Etnea, walking the Baroque streets of Via Crociferi, the Piazza Duomo with the Cathedral and the “Liotru” statue, symbol of the city. We will have some free time to explore the Piazza and for lunch. In the afternoon travel to Taormina, the famous resort town of Sicily. The mythical atmosphere has enchanted visitors from all over the world for years and years. We will check into our Hotel, free time before dinner. Spectacular sunset opportunities. Overnight Hotel San Domenico - Taormina. (B)(D) 

Day Ten: Thursday October 12th, 2017 Breakfast then a walking tour of Taormina. Taormina dominates two great, sweeping bays, one below Mount Etna and one on the southern side. Ancient people like the Siculi, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans and Spaniards choose this region as a place to set up residence due to its favourable position and mild climate. Today we can still find landmarks of Taormina’s golden times, the Greek Theatre, 13th century Cathedral of San Nicolò, the 14 century Palazzo Crave, gardens and the ancient Abbey “Badia Vecchio” We will have some free time this afternoon to enjoy this beautiful resort town. Overnight Hotel San Domenico - Taormina.(B)

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Day Eleven: Friday October 13th 2017 Breakfast meet in the hotel lobby and take a morning drive to Mount Etna, the highest and largest active volcano in Europe. The peak has changed in size over the years, but is currently in the neighbourhood of about 3.300 metres. Etna has been active in modern times (in 1928, the little village of Mascali was buried under its lava), and eruptions in 2001 and 2002 rekindled Sicilian fears: the air was thick and dirty over eastern Sicily as Mount Etna once again spewed out columns of ash that blackened skies as far away as Tripoli, on the coast of North Africa. Lunch in a typical country house at the base of Mount Etna, were we have opportunity for wine tasting. A traditional Sicilian menu. Afternoon return to our Hotel. Hotel San Domenico - Taormina.(B)(L)(D)

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Day Twelve:  Saturday October 14th, 2017 Breakfast Savoca – Forza d’Agrò, two charming villages in the surroundings of Taormina, where Francis Ford Coppola shot some scenes of his Godfather in 1972 then visit the Church of San Nicola di Bari, this is where Coppola shot the scenes of Michael Corleone and Apollonia’s weddings. Landscape opportunities over the Arab Norman castle of Cape Sant’Alessio from the village of Forza d’Agrò. Farewell dinner. Overnight Hotel San Domenico - Taormina.(B)(D)

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Day Thirteen:  Sunday October 15th, 2017 Travel Day Breakfast, check-out and transfer to the airport for our journey back to Canada. Our connecting Alatalia flight departs at 12:05 p,m. arriving into Pearson International at 7:05 p.m.

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Sicily the eternal crossroads of the Mediterranean, this gorgeous island continues to seduce travelers. The island today is a fascinating collection of Greek temples, Norman churches and Baroque palazzos ... And don’t discount the natural wonders such as the smoking craters of Mount Etna the the miles of untouched beaches of the southern coast. Discover the cutler, photograph the beauty and immerse yourself in the history. 

The temperature in October ranges from 22C during the day dropping down to 16C after sunset. Making this a great time of year to experience Sicily.


 The cost of our Sicily Photo Tour: $4799.00 per person CAD based on double occupancy including airfare departing from Pearson International, plus air taxes of $596.86 CAD plus HST $11.47. Single supplement is available of an additional $875.00 CAD.

Cost of your tour Includes:

Round trip Airfare Toronto connecting to Sicily via Alatalia Airlines

- Motor coach departures from London with pick-up points enroute to Pearson International

- All airport and hotel transfers

- 4 nights Hotel Federico II Central Palace Palermo

- 3 nights Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa Siracusa

- 4 nights Hotel San Domenico Toarmina

- Breakfast included each day of the tour

- Lunch included 3 days 

- Dinner included 8 days (3 course including wine, bottled water & dessert)

- Air conditioned motor coach during our tour of Sicily

- Licensed English-speaking guide who travels with the group during the tour

- Local guides (Palermo/Montreale full day and Sirausa half day

- Photo Workshops

- Tour hosted and escorted by photographer James Cowie

Excludes:

Items of a personal nature, laundry, phone calls, etc.

- Optional entrance fees to monuments on free days

- Local guide tips and gratuities

- Alcoholic beverages 

A non refundable payment of $550.00 is due at time of booking and balance due 60 days prior to our departure. Carlson Wagonlit Travel recommends the purchase of travel and health insurance as tour takes us out of the country. Health insurance is highly recommended.  You may also redeem RBC points for this tour, and this tour pays RBC points.

Please note your passport expiry date must be valid 6 months past our return date of Oct 15th 2017.


Click here to Register for our Sicily Photo Tour

Click here to download our Sicily Photo Tour Brochure


If you have any other questions or require booking assistance please contact:

James Cowie at Carlson Wagonlit Travel London
1-866-614-7717 or 519-679-8520 ext 5
or by email jcowie@carlsonwagonlit.com 
Katherine Hirtzel at Carlson Wagonlit Travel London
or by email khirtzel@carlsonwagonlit.com
1-866-614-7717 or 519-679-8520 ext 3
 
Carlson Wagonlit Travel, 224 Central Ave. London, Ont. N6A 1M8
 
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