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Saint Rosalia, also called La Santuzza (The Little Saint), was born in 1130 AD and is the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily. According to legend, Rosalia was born of a noble family. Devoutly religious, she retired to live as a hermit in a cave on Mount Pellegrino; dying alone in 1166, none knew of her demise. Tradition says that she was led to the cave by two angels. On the cave wall she wrote "I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses, and Quisquina, have taken the resolution to live in this cave for the love of my Lord, Jesus Christ." In 1624, as the plague ravaged Palermo, St. Rosalia appeared to a hunter to whom she indicated where her remains were to be found. She ordered him to bring her bones to Palermo and have them carried in procession through the city. The hunter found the cave, did as he had been asked in the apparition, and after the procession, the plague ceased. After this St. Rosalia came to be venerated as the patron saint of Palermo, and a sanctuary was built in the cave where her remains were discovered. Come explore Palermo and the rest of Sicily on this fascinating journey.
Sicily ~ 12 Days - Italy
Day 1: Depart the USA on your flight to Rome, Italy. Meals will be served on overnight flight.
Day 2: After arriving in Rome, we transfer to our flight to Palermo, Sicily. Transfer to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Palermo.
Day 3: A full schedule awaits us today with a full day tour of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. From the Quattro Canti ("Four Corners") at the center of the city, to La Martorana, popular name for the Church of St. Mary of the Admiral with its glorious mosaics to the 11th century Church of St. John of the Hermits with its pink domes and cloister, Palermo has many sights for us. We will also visit Monte Pelegrino, where the cave shrine of Santa Rosalia may be found. Dinner and overnight in Palermo.
Day 4: Our day excursion take us to Gibilmanna and Cefalù. The Sanctuary of Gibilmanna is among the most celebrated of Marian shrines in Sicily. Its beginnings go back as far as the 6th or 7th century. Cefalù dates back to the 9th century BC; its Cathedral, begun in 1131, is one of the finest and best preserved of Norman churches. From its elegant facade and twin bell towers to its interior with brilliant Byzantine gold mosaics and the striking mosaic of Christ clothed in blue, it is not to be missed and surely never forgotten. Dinner and overnight in Palermo.
Day 5: Our journey continues to as we travel to Marsala, sited on the westernmost point of Sicily, Mazara del Valo and Sciacca with its many churches and then on to Agrigento. Dinner and overnight in Agrigento.
Day 6: Today we take a day trip to Ragusa, a picturesqe town built on two levels, with its beautiful baroque Basilica di San Giorgio. Dinner and overnight in Agrigento.
Day 7: Today, our travels take us first to Agrigento, home of the outstanding archaeological site, the Valley of the Temples with its magnificent collection of Greek temples. Agrigento is also home to the Church of San Nicola with its unusual fount of a hand holding a shell with holy water in it. We continue on to Catania with its many churches, several dedicated to the city's patron, Saint Agatha. We end our day in Taormina. Dinner and overnight in Taormina.
Day 8:

Day 9:
Today, we have an excursion to volcanic Mount Etna,
and then a city tour of Taormina, with its many wonderful sights including the Greek amphitheatre dating from the 3rd century BC and with excellent acoustics still today. Notable churches include Duomo-Cathedral (Church of San Nicola) built around 1400 on the ruins of an ancient church in a Gothic style making it look like a fortress, and the Church of San Pancrazio (the patron saint of Taormina), with its interior of multi-colored marble and native stone, housing a fantastic fresco depicting the martyrdom of San Pancrazio. Dinner and overnight in Taormina.

We travel to Syracuse and enjoy the city's many places of interest. Dinner and overnight in Syracuse.
Day 10: Our journey continues with a day excursion to Tindari and Patti located at an elevated point on Sicily's northern coast, site of the ancient Greek settlement of Tindaris. High above the sea stands the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Tindari. The Black Madonna statue now sits behind the altar with the Latin inscription Nigro sum sed formosa ("Black am I, but beautiful") on its base. An curious coincidence to note is the shape of the lagoon, which the sanctuary overlooks; it is said to resemble the profile of Our Lady's face. Dinner and overnight in Syracuse.
Day 11: We leave sunny Sicily and travel to Venice or Turin to prepare for our trip home. Dinner and overnight in Venice or Turin. Note: This itinerary will conclude in either Venice or Turin, depending upon the departure, prior to our return to the United States.
Day 12: We bid farewell to Italy as we board our flight back to the USA, arriving later that day.
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FIAT Holidays, Inc. 916 N. Western Avenue, Suite 225, San Pedro, CA 90732
Telephone: 310-832-FIAT (3428) with 24/7 text capability, or 310-328-FIAT (3428) Fax: 310-781-9070
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