Sicily Baroque

Scrolling architecture. Rolling bike rides.

Beautiful discoveries. Architecture. Landscapes. Chocolate.

Enter a different century, an ancient world as you explore the beautiful baroque towns of Sicily. Ragusa, Noto, and Syracuse will enchant you with elaborately designed palaces and churches easily discovered at the end of narrow, winding streets. You will also discover the popular Modica chocolate along the way. Experience the natural beauty of river valleys and mountains that outline our bike tour routes. A lovely experience from many perspectives. Baroque Sicily is best enjoyed by bike.

2015.New.Baroque

General Info

Price

$ 4740

Duration

8 days/7 nights

Start/End

Taormina – Syracuse

Cycling Ability

Active Cyclists

Siciclando Equipment

Choose Your Bike!

2017 Tour Dates

October 2

Open/awaiting reservations

October 15

Open/awaiting reservations

2018 Tour Dates

April 6

Open/awaiting reservations

June 13

Open/awaiting reservations

October 14

Open/awaiting reservations

November 3

Open/awaiting reservations

Do you have a different date in mind?

Email us the tour and dates that work for you.

Explore the Sicilian baroque towns of Ragusa, Noto, and Syracuse a UNESCO Heritage site
Bike beautiful river valleys lined by mountains
Enjoy Sicilian recipes expressed in contemporary ways - perhaps a Jasmine granita
Discover Modica chocolate – Aztec-style chocolate introduced during Spanish domination of Sicily
Visit Pantalica archeological site; an interesting look into Sicily’s roots
Experience the award-winning Planeta winery

Baroque Towns & Rolling Hills

Itinerary
Day 1 – Welcome to Catania!

We begin our Baroque Sicily tour from the ancient city of Catania which was settled in 8th Century BC.

The city today is a beautiful mix of baroque architecture, ancient Roman baths, Greek-Roman theaters, and churches. These ancient monuments, which are still evident today, date back to the prosperous Roman period when it was one of the richest provinces in the empire.

At the end of the 19th century, the city underwent a cultural and social rebirth with the unification of Italy. Art, literature and music flourished in Catania. It was here that composer Vincenzo Bellini, attained worldwide recognition. The magnificent Opera House bears his name and is considered one of the most prestigious theaters in Italy and is internationally recognized due to its excellent acoustics.

We gather in the afternoon for a guided walking tour of the city to discover these enchanting sites.

Then we will enjoy dinner together at one of our favorite places!

Meals: welcome dinner included in town this night

Day 2 – Palazzolo Acreide and bike to Ragusa Ibla   (21 miles/35 kilometers)

We begin with a transfer from Catania to Palazzolo Acreide, a small village with an old Greek amphitheater, aquaducts, as well as centuries-old tombs and sacred chambers.  We will have a chance to walk through the town and purchase a panini or pizza before our bike ride.  Our bike route takes us along fields of grain, cattle, and sheep.  The fields and roads are lined with white volcanic rock creating a beautiful crisscross amongst the green.  Enjoy the peacefulness as we make our way to the lovely baroque town of Ragusa Ibla.

Explore this spectacular city as you set out for dinner on your own.

Meals: Breakfast included, independent arrangement for dinner

Day 3 – Ragusa and Modica bike loop – a chocolate lovers most memorable ride (16 miles one way, 35 miles full loop /26.5 kilometers one way, 58 full loop)

Today we enter the UNESCO site of Val di Noto. This region, was destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1693 and carefully rebuilt in what has become the world famous Sicilian Baroque style.

Enjoy a lovely bike ride that takes us through Modica, the town of 100 churches and chocolate. Modica’s old town is situated at the junction of two valleys and split into alta and bassa (upper and lower). As such, the city has only two main streets that run through the small valley bottom, while residential homes and even the city’s large cathedral are built up into the steep hillside.

The production of the Modica chocolate comes from the ancient Aztec cold-process method which was imported to Modica by the Spanish during their domination of Sicily. In this process the sugar does not melt, creating a grainy texture and aromatic flavor.  The many flavors of chocolate are fun to experience.  Leave room in your suitcase for a few bars.

Meals: Breakfast included, independent arrangement for dinner

Day 4 – Bike to our private retreat Masseria Cianciò (36 miles/59 kilometers)

This morning a private transfer takes us to Donnafugata castle an interesting ancient noble house used sometimes as a location for movies. This Venetian-Gothic style castle was built in the 17th century. Take some time to visit the inside of the castle to learn about the noble families of Sicily.  Then explore the gardens and take a chance to find your way through the rock labyrinth built by the Baron Corrado in the 1800’s to entertain his guests.

From here we will bike to the Masseria enjoying the familiar rock fences that frame fields of cherry tomatoes and citrus farms.  It’s a perfect location for our ride this day. Enjoy!

Once at the Masseria take time to relax at this lovely inn converted from peasant housing to charming rooms with the original tiled Sicilian kitchens in most rooms.  The surrounding grounds are perfect for a quiet walk or a swim at the pool.  Our dinner at the Masseria will include local cheeses and fresh tomatoes that are well known in this region.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included today.

Day 5 – Rest day or optional bike ride along the coast (28 miles one way, 47 full loop/46 kilometers one way, 79 full loop)

Today you can choose a slower paced day at the Masseria or a bike ride to the coast.  If you stay at the Masseria you may consider a walk along the fields and orchards, yoga or stretching on your own in the gardens, or time at the pool located on the grounds.  If you prefer more activity, enjoy a gentle group ride along the sea where you may like to swim or enjoy a picnic.  Our bike route takes us to an abandoned tuna factory.  There are trattorias and cafes to consider for a Sicilian lunch.  After lunch you can transfer back to the hotel or return  by bike, if you prefer.

We will shuttle back to the Masseria in the afternoon where everyone will later reunite for an interesting cooking class.  We will make the special folded focaccia known only to this area and we will learn to make the Modica chocolate.

Meals: Breakfast, cooking class/dinner are included.

Day 6 – Noto loop – the capitol of Baroque (29 miles/47 kilometers)

Noto is universally recognized as the capitol city of the Baroque Style.  After the 1693 earthquake, the Noto Valley was rebuilt with new aesthetic ideas in mind that aligned with the extravagance of the political and religious powers at that time.  You can see the Baroque detail in the palaces and churches which dominate the popular plazas of the towns.

Our ride stops in Avola where we will take a private shuttle back to Masseria Cianciò.

Tonight there are a few dinner options including quiet dinner at the Masseria or an option to coordinate with your tour leader to go to a seafood restaurant along the ocean or in a nearby village.

Meals: Breakfast is included today

Day 7 – Bike to Planeta Winery and on to Siracusa (14 miles/23 kilometers)

Today we’ll leave Masseria Cianciò and move towards ancient Siracusa. On the way we’ll stop for lunch at Planeta Winery where we’ll enjoy a wine tasting led by our friend Viviana.  This is one of our favorite stops because we also get to enjoy good olive oil and a wonderful picnic under the carob trees.

We will then shuttle to Ortigia. This island is the ancient heart of Siracusa, which was established by the Greeks.  Discover Ortigia on a guided walking tour before our celebration dinner at a favorite fish trattoria.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and farewell dinner included.

Day 8 – Departure Day

Enjoy breakfast and time on your own in Syracuse before your departure. Ciao!

Meals: Breakfast is included.

Actual tour itinerary may vary slightly due to unforeseen circumstances.

Pricing

Additional options and fees

Included

  • 7 night in 4-star accommodations
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners
  • 1 lunch
  • Chocolate tasting
  • Cheese tasting
  • Cooking class
  • 2 Walking tours – Catania and Ortigia
  • 1 Wine tasting at Planeta winery
  • Hybrid bike rental
  • Guide with van assistance
  • Route notes and maps

 

Not included

  • Admission to museums and archaeological sites
  • Tickets for trains or any public transportation
  • Wine or beverages
  • Airfare
  • Transfers to the starting point or from the finishing point unless specified; we can assist you in planning and arranging for any necessary shuttles
  • Transport of bike case (for guests who bring their own bike)
  • Personal expenses (laundry, personal supplies, phone calls, etc.)
  • Gratuity
Testimonials

“Perfectly planned and perfectly executed trip, my highest recommendation.”

David S
 
 
“The pre-trip correspondence is always so professional and friendly. It’s very much appreciated that you could tailor the trip to our needs.One of the reasons we always come back is the Siciclando staff — very, very service-minded, friendly, and professional at the same time. Many companies have something to learn from you when it comes to building customer relationships. Siciclando is our choice for biking trips on Italy!”

Carol S
 
 
“Sicily is beautiful and the Siciclando routes were fantastic. Transport was effortless.”

Earl L
 
Hotels

Siciclando carefully chooses every aspect of a tour, including the accommodations.

Our choices are based on comfort and quality. We often choose hotels that are family-owned and operated because they provide a richer experience and because it is important to us to support the efforts of these individuals. We have developed relationships with many wonderful hotel operators. Here is a sample of the hotels on this tour for the “guided” version (please, ask us the hotel list for the “self guided” version which, due to the logistic, may be different).

Tour accommodations will be based on availability and the time of year. Once you have made your final payment for the tour, we will send you a confirmation letter that includes daily accommodations and contact information.

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The
People
You'll
Meet
Along The
Way.
Meet The Team!
Dario CarzanCompany FounderDario is the master of tiramisu and the visionary behind Siciclando. H...
Giuseppe CrinòCompany FounderGiuseppe loves to bike and he is responsible for our custom tours &...
Daniele TarozziTour LeaderDaniele enjoys sharing his country and culture: the food, wine, art, a...