Call 1-800-387-1483 or email us
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Meeting Tomasi de Lampedusa’s son in his personal library
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Tasting Palermo’s street food on a curated walking tour
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Cooking up a meal at our beautiful agriturismo
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Touring historic Siracusa
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Wine tasting with the producer near Noto

The Key to Italy

Oct 11-22, 2020

12 days | Italy | Literary Adventures

Readings: The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa; Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello; selected Greek and Roman works; and selected 19th- and 20th-century English poetry.

Palermo, in the words of journalist and native son Roberto Alajmo, is an onion—una cipolla. This city at the edge of Italy reveals its nature slowly. The same might be said for all of Sicily. For more than 10,000 years, layer upon layer has been added to the island’s history and culture by conquering warriors, merchants, sailors and travellers from across Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean basin.

On our tour, explore many regions of Sicily and their multicultural richness. Our leaders and guides will weave the diverse threads into a coherent whole through carefully chosen readings, and time for discussion and reflection. As you peel back each layer of Alajmo’s onion, revel
in the new delights: ancient Greek theatres still in use, golden Byzantine mosaics, sprawling Arab-Norman palazzi, vistas over an impossibly blue sea, the ruby red of a glass of nero d’avola. You’ll start in Palermo, where the focus will be Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa’s seminal novel The Leopard. You’ll also have time to explore Palermo’s revitalized art scene and taste its famous street food—the crowd-pleasing arancini (fried risotto balls) and pani ca’ meusa, a soft sesame roll filled with spleen, for those who don’t back down from a gustatory challenge. It’s then time to leave the city behind for a few days at an agriturismo among the olive groves of the south coast. On excursions to nearby Agrigento, stand “with all Olympus before [you]” in the Valley of the Temples, the remains of a 6th-century BCE Greek colony. Zip back into modernity to visit the home of Luigi Pirandello, whose radical works question the reliability of reality and the self.

More marvels of the ancient, medieval and Renaissance worlds await at Syracuse. For British novelist Lawrence Durrell, Syracuse was “the whole of science, magic, total time,” where past and present coexist. Highlights are Caravaggio’s depiction of the burial of St. Lucy, housed in the baroque church of the same name, the 2,500-year-old mikvah (Jewish ritual baths), and the archeological park that houses a Greek theatre where the tragedies of Aeschylus were performed before the playwright.

With our optional extension, end your journey at Mt. Etna. This formidable volcano is also responsible for some of Sicily’s greatest pleasures—its beautiful, fragrant citrus fruit and distinctive wine grapes that grow in the rich soil. Toast your Sicilian adventure with a delicate nerello mesacalese or a savoury, salty carricante.

For the German polymath Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Sicily was the “clue to everything.” We’ll leave that for Italians to decide and instead invite you to join Classical Pursuits on a trip that will unlock Sicily’s boundless treasures.
Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
US$4995
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants
Reserve my spot now!

What’s included: Airport transfers for passengers arriving and departing as per the group itinerary; accommodation based on double occupancy in hotels listed or similar; breakfast daily; lunch or dinner daily; transportation by air conditioned coach; bottled water on the coach; all activities and entrance fees; services of specialized English speaking guides; all gratuities for escort, local guides, drivers, hotel and group meals; all taxes; hosted by Mark Cwik.

"Fun activities and great food." - 2019 literary adventure traveller

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
1Arrive Palermo
2Palermo and Il gattopardo (The Leopard)
3Palermo and Monreale
4Palermo
5Transfer to Mandranova
6Mandranova and Palma di Montechiaro
7Mandranova and the Valley of the Temples
8Transfer to Siracusa, with visit to Piazza Armerina
9Historic Siracusa
10Siracusa, Noto and wine tasting  
11Siracusa and Parco Archeologico
12Depart for Catania 
Optional Extension Taormina and the Mt. Etna area
Download Itinerary

Your Tour Leader

Mark Cwik is education manager and a longtime seminar leader for Classical Pursuits. Mark currently lives in London, England, where he leads seminars with the London Literary Salon.

Reserve my spot now! Email Us

Or call 1-800-387-1483 with any questions or to reserve your spot!

Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
US$4995
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants
Reserve my spot now!

What’s included: Airport transfers for passengers arriving and departing as per the group itinerary; accommodation based on double occupancy in hotels listed or similar; breakfast daily; lunch or dinner daily; transportation by air conditioned coach; bottled water on the coach; all activities and entrance fees; services of specialized English speaking guides; all gratuities for escort, local guides, drivers, hotel and group meals; all taxes; hosted by Mark Cwik.

View More Trips In...

Can’t make the dates of this tour?

Make it a Private Journey!

We can plan this tour:

  • For your dates
  • For your specific interests
  • And we deliver all our signature touches…

Please call us to get started.

Download the Detailed Itinerary
Download the Detailed Itinerary

Click the button to download the full detailed itinerary for the trip:
The Key to Italy

Please fill in the following information and you will be directed to download the detailed itinerary.

First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Confirm Email *
Yes, I would also like to receive this detailed itinerary by mail
Address
Address 2
City
Province/State
Postal Code/Zip
Country
Yes, sign me up to receive your e-newsletter with announcements of new tours, invitations to special events and reports from the field.
Please let us know which e-newsletters you would like to receive:

I am interested in learning about cultural tours from Worldwide Quest

I am interested in learning about nature tours from Quest Nature Tours

Where did you hear about Worldwide Quest?



Reserve My Spot!

Thank you, your adventure awaits! We will be in touch very soon.

Please fill in the following form and we’ll get back to you soon to confirm your booking.

First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Confirm Email *
Phone *