August 26th, 2011
For the archaeologists among you, the Valley of the Temples is a must see, the greatest and most noteworthy collection of ancient Greek ruins found anywhere. Thrill to the necropolis, residences, avenues and all the other artefacts you'd expect to see in an ancient metropolis. Check out the modest amphitheatre, the many auditoria, and the world-class archaeological museum. Do not leave out the Concord Temple,its 13 tall columns showing the effects of the wind. Located outside the city of Agrigento, situated on the southern coast of Sicily, the temples are an evening highlight when floodlights dramatise their form and dimensions.
December 4th, Saint Barbara Day, is celebrated inside the Sicilian town of Paterno on the slopes of the Mount Etna volcano. Following the parade, citizens set up a nativity scene. Santa Lucia Day, December 13, is celebrated in many Italian localities such as the city of Siracuse whose impressive parade includes a golden coffin carrying the saint towards the Church of Santa Lucia.
Then follows a week of festivities culminating in a huge fireworks display over the harbour and a different parade that brings the coffin back towards the crypt. Among the many nativity scenes, don’t miss the one in Custonaci, re-enacted inside a cave. The exhibition consists of a conventional nativity scene set in an ancient village complete with shops. Celebrate New Year's Eve in Palermo with fireworks and an outdoor music show.
Nearly each region on the island has a museum dedicated towards its local history. Agrigento’s displays antiquities located during the excavations of the last century. The highlights consist of finds from the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and nearby cities.
Examples of other tours include: In Trapani, the "Myth, History and Ancient Cookies: Erice and Segesta" tour, a full day private tour to understand of Sicily, view a Greek temple and theatre, and sample the almond cookies and marzipan from ancient recipes; the "Alcantara Gorge and Fancavilla" tour, which can be a private tour along the gorge to observe how the lava flows created the impressive gorges and ravines and the "Messina Taormina Jewish Tour" where visitors can see the fampous Jewish quarter.
For more info on touring Sicily, check out the traveler's F.A.Q. at Sicilytraveltours.com with its table to help tourists find the best period of the year to plan their vacation. http://www.sicilytraveltours.com/Sicily_tours_season.htm
http://www.sicilytours.org is a free weblog that lists some practical information, charts, transport and attractions to take a look at.
Sicilytourguides.net offers a good list of shore excursions for boat lovers. http://www.sicilytourguides.net/Taormina_day_tours.htm
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