Follow in the footsteps of Inspector Montalbano as we explore the baroque towns, imposing architecture, world class archaeology and dramatic coastlines in the much overlooked region of South Eastern Sicily.
See what's planned
- Discover Ragusa, Syracuse and Noto with a local guide.
- Take a guided tour of the Bonajuto Chocolate Kitchens.
- Visit the impressive Cava Ispica Gorge and visit its museum.
- Walk in the footsteps of Inspector Montalbano in Punta Secca, home to the fictional character.
- Capture one of the most attractive towns of Sicily, Scicli!
- Stay in a pretty three star hotel in picturesque Ragusa.
Everyone who has watched the ‘Inspector Montalbano’ television series can’t help but be inspired by the scenic beauty and the baroque towns and cities in the much overlooked region.
The whole of south east Sicily was hit by an earthquake in 1693, the height of the golden age of the Baroque architecture. The towns destroyed in the quake were rebuilt in the style, hence the feast of architectural delights to be enjoyed.
On this holiday you’ll experience imposing architecture, world class archaeology, hillside villages, dramatic coastlines and eclectic local cuisine influenced through the ages by numerous cultures. We also make use of private guides in three of the Baroque cities to get the most out of our visits.
- Return flights from London to Catania
- Airport transfers
- En suite accommodation with breakfast and six dinners
- Light lunch tasting in Ragusa
- All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers
- Guided tour of Bonajuto Chocolate Kitchens
- Local guide in Ragusa, Syracusa and Noto
What's not included?
- Personal Expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary Tips
- Optional Excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind.
There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants.
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions or changes beyond our control. Distances, ascent/descent and timings are all approximate and refer only to the countryside walking element of each day.
Hotel Il Barocco
We fly to Catania and transfer by road to the Baroque city of Ragusa
Transfer Time = 2 hours
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel Il Barocco
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule below but please bear in mind that the order of the days can be amended or sightseeing/walks substituted due to weather conditions, circumstances beyond our control and local opening times. Changes may also be made if we or your Adagio Leader feels it enhances the itinerary.
We have a full day sightseeing of Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla. This fascinating city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the abundance of Baroque architecture. As well as having some time with a local guide, we’ll have a light ‘culinary tasting’ lunch.
Hotel Il Barocco
We spend the day in Syracusa, a former Greek city with a wealth of archaeological sites to explore as well as the charming island of Ortygia, attached to Syracuse by a small bridge. A local guide will take us around tranquil Ortygia, known as the historical centre of Syracuse. Three bridges connect the island to the town, where an abundance of history and monuments decorate the streets.
Dinner is not included this evening so you can venture out and discover the local restaurants of Ragusa.
Hotel Il Barocco
We start in the Baroque town of Noto. A local guide will shed light on its fascinating history, rebuilt after an earthquake in the 1600’s.
In the afternoon we descend to the coast for a walk around the Vendicari Nature Reserve. This oasis for wildlife was established in 1984 and provides an undisturbed life to an entire ecosystem. Look out for flamingos in the autumn!
Hotel Il Barocco
Today is a free day for personal exploration. There are so many walking options to be considered, or maybe immerse yourself in culture by visiting other areas in Sicily.
Sicily is well known for its gastronomy, so why not explore the area more and try some culinary delights and traditional delicacies such as Pastieri (minced lamb and pastry, seasoned with pepper, cheese and eggs), Sacce (thin flour pasta leaves stuffed with spinach and ricotta) or try Caciocavallo (cows milk cheese). Don't forget to find the bakeries with delicious cakes or gelato parlour!
Hotel Il Barocco
We spend the morning in Modica where we’ll have a short private tour of the Bonajuto chocolate kitchens, with a delightful tasting opportunity!
We spend the afternoon in Scicli (pronounced ‘Shickli’), less known compared to its famous neighbouring towns but it is perhaps the most attractive of the towns we visit. It often appeared as a backdrop in the Montalbano programmes, the beautifully conserved baroque street of Via Mormino Penna is home to the fictional police station from the TV show!
Cava Ispica Gorge
Hotel Il Barocco
This morning we have a short walk to the top of the Cava Ispica gorge and visit the museum explaining the significance of the gorge. We will visit one of the open-air museums.
The afternoon will be spent visiting some of the coastal resorts such as picturesque Punta Secca, home of the fictional Inspector Montalbano. We also visit Castello Donnafugata on our return journey to the hotel.
We return to Catania for the flight home. Depending on the flight time we may an opportunity for some sightseeing en route.
Walks & Excursions
We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.
Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.
We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.
An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights. They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people. They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Leaders Evening Briefing
Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.
Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.
Getting to your Holiday
We fly from London to Catania and return. The flight takes about 3 hours.
We include return airport transfers to and from Ragusa. The transfer time by road from Catania Airport to the hotel is approximately 2 hours. During the week we’ll travel on foot and by road.
If you intend joining and leaving the party in Ragusa, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at the Hotel Il Barocco. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements
If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Tickets
When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements.
Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
All breakfasts are included and are taken at the hotel. Buffet breakfasts include fresh fruit, bread, yogurt, ham, meat and a selection of cakes and pastries.
Six dinners are included and are taken at local restaurants. Dinner on one day is not included to allow you to explore the area independently. Local restaurants allow us to enjoy an authentic experience and sometimes lively atmosphere in a traditional Italian restaurant along with local diners and the Italian hospitality. Italian dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients. Usually we can expect a variety of international and local delicacies such as pasta, risotto, meat and fish!
In Italy, traditional meals usually have four courses, antipasto or antipasti, primo, il secondo, and dolce; but this varies depending on restaurants and the regions of Italy.
Antipasto and Antipasti are a traditional course in formal Italian meals and translate as 'before the meal' as they are usually before the primo course. Antipasto refers to one portion and Antipasti refers to more than one portion. This usually includes cured meats such as salami, pepperoni, prosciutto or mortadella. Rich cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, gouda, provolone or Parmigiana-Reggiano are also included. Seafood like shrimp, anchovies and salmon are sometimes included too.
The first course, known as primo, is served as an appetiser and usually consists of rich pasta, soup or risotto. The main course is called il secondo and usually includes meat, fish or vegetarian. The dolce refers to the dessert and ends a traditional Italian meal. Coffee usually follows too.
Please note that depending on flight arrival times the arrival meal may be a light meal at the hotel. We also include one light lunch at a local deli or cafe.
Footwear & Kit List
Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.
General Kit List
We recommend you bring the following items with you:
- Walking boots or shoes with a good sole and waterproof uppers.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes!
- A sunhat, fleece hat and gloves… to cover all weather eventualities.
- Sun cream.
- Hand sanitiser
- Swimwear in case there is time for swimming if the hotel has a pool
- A water bottle. (see Water-to-Go below)
- A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required.
- A simple basic first aid kit.
- A daypack to hold all the above.
- Trekking poles (if you usually walk with poles)
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Travel Document Checklist
To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:
- Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
- Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
- Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
- Holiday currency
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
- Your travel insurance details
- Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
- Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
- A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
Electricity in Italy
Electricity in Italy is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found Power Plugs Sockets.
Maps & Guidebooks
Ideal Maps & Guidebooks
Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information. Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holiday destinations. You may find the below websites, books and programmes useful.
Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK.
Visit Sicily includes pictures and information about various areas of Sicily.
The Lonely Planet Guide.
Rough Guide to Sicily.
Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean on BBC2 player. Follow Michael Scott on his historical journey through Sicily.
Gino D'Acampo visits Sicily on Gino's Italian Escapes, available on ITV player.
You might like to read some of the Montalbano novels written by Andrea Camilleri (available translated into English) as many of the places we visit on the holiday are featured in the books.
Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information regarding the island of Sicily. In literature and film Sicily is closely associated with The Godfather books and films. Various locations were used in the filming of the original Godfather film.
If you have a specific interest in the Baroque period there is a good book entitled ‘The Baroque Architecture of Sicily’ by Maria Giuffre and Melo Minnella.
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Find out more
2.5hrs from UK
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 67mm
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Staying Healthy on Holiday
Health Advice for Italy
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Italy.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.
Further Health Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Adagio that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.
We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public.
In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for future holidays. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
We suggest that you may want to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.