An Italian Road Less Traveled: Calabria and Sicily

October 2-11, 2018

Trip Overview

Come join us as we travel to an extraordinary part of Italy much less traveled and touristic –Italy’s southern regions of Calabria and Sicily.  Both are unimaginably ancient – traveled and inhabited well before the Romans by Phoenicians, Greeks and Saracens – and stunningly beautiful, with mountains and seas joining to create extraordinary and vivid landscapes.  The people are extremely hospitable, proud and eager to have you enjoy their company and their lands.  Foodies and wine lovers will also discover cuisines of the south with surprise and delight.  Welcome to An Italian Road Less Traveled.

Day one we will meet in Lamezia, Italy to begin our journey and adventure.  We start in Calabria on the Tyrrhenian coast, enjoying the touristic towns nestled by the sea.  Visiting the Greek art museum at Vibo Valencia, tasting the famous tartufo of Pizzo, and visiting the castle and museum of Gioacchino Murat, we settle for the night in Tropea.

On our second day we travel to Reggio Calabria to see the famous statues, the Bronzi di Riace, then eat a special lunch in Mammola.  We then visit the open-air Musaba Museum of the famous artist, Nick Spatari. We overnight in the Riace area.

The third day we explore immigration policy and the mafia with the mayor of Riace and local politicians before taking jeeps to visit a hidden natural treasure, the Marmarico waterfall.  Returning to the Riace area, we can enjoy some afternoon beach time.

Traveling on a panoramic road to the Greek mountain town of Bova the fourth day we will visit the ruins of the Castle di Duffo, visit a Bergamot farm, and proceed to Reggio Calabria overnight.

Crossing the Straits of Messina, we arrive in Sicily! We will spend our fifth day visiting the volcanic Mount Etna, enjoying a wine tasting and light lunch at 1,600 meters.  Coming down the mountain we will visit the Greek influenced theatrical and historical center of one of Sicily’s most beautiful ports, Taormina.  We stay overnight in Catania.

The following day we visit Syracusa’s Archeological Park and Ortiga, the old town and Piazza del Duomo.  We go on to one of the best examples of baroque architecture, the planned town of Noto.  We return to overnight at Catania.

The seventh day finds us looking at mosaics at the Piazza Armerina and the Villa Romana de Casale, then on to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, where we stay overnight.

We move on to the far west of Sicily to Marsala and the Saltpans and the Phoenician Island of Mothya, with tastings of Marsala wine. We observe the layers of history here, with Phonecian, Greek, Norman, and Romanesque influences. A short trip to Erice, and almond pastry tasting, we finish off the day by arriving in urban Palermo.

Our final touring day we visit Monreale with its famous Cathedral and Cloister, and visit the UNESCO area of Palermo downtown with a street food tasting in the historical market.  We end our day promenading on the Salotto di Palermo, and enjoying a farewell dinner.

Departing the tenth day from Palermo, some of us will return to the USA while others enjoy other destinations in Europe.

Tour Leaders

Jack and Deborah Harris

Professor Jack Harris, P'02, P'06, of the HWS Sociology Department, and his wife Deborah ’73, P'02, P'06, are passionate about Italy. Jack and Deb have a great feeling for Italy, its people, its landscapes, and its culture. Jack served as faculty director of the Rome, Italy semester abroad program in the Fall 2015. He is an experienced group leader, directing the London, England program three times, the Vietnam program twice, and leading groups of HWS faculty and alumni several times. Jack and Deb have traveled to southern Italy many times, and have toured the mountains and sea sides of Calabria, and sailed Sicilian waters on a clipper ship. They are excited to share with you the sights, artifacts, and food and wine of these two regions of Italy, on the road less traveled.

Trip Details

Cost: $3100 per person for double occupancy; $3750 per person for single occupancy

What’s included:

  • Hotel accommodations for 9 nights in 4 star hotels
  • All tours as stated in the itinerary
  • Group transfers from Lamazia Terme and Palermo Airports
  • Tips and all admissions
  • Five group dinners and seven group lunches as stated in the itinerary
  • Local English-speaking tour guides and 24/7 English-speaking traveler assistance to guarantee a worry-free trip.

What’s not included:

  • International flights
  • Any meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Medical and travel insurance:
    • Every traveler needs to have medical coverage while in Calabria and Sicily so check with your current medical insurance provider to see if you are covered abroad. If you are not, you can purchase a short-term travel medical policy online from companies like CMI or Med Ex Assist, to name just two. Wood Travel (see below) can also procure this insurance.
    • We also strongly recommend that everyone purchase travel insurance to cover trip cancellation (not just trip interruption) in case you are unexpectedly unable to travel after you have paid for the trip.
    • Some companies offer a combined medical/travel policy if you need both. The best place to start the search for insurance is at http://www.insuremytrip.com/plans/index.html where you can choose medical, travel cancellation or both, and compare policies from different companies side by side. You should also inquire with your credit card provider to determine if you have specific coverage.

Reserving a place on the trip

  • To reserve a place you will need to complete the online registration form. Reservations are on a first-come-first-served basis. Please note that alums and parents of HWS students and graduates, along with their guests, have priority in booking this trip. When we reach the maximum, we will start a waiting list. If we don't meet a minimum of 20 travelers, the cost per person may increase by $100.
  • Once we have received your online reservation, we will email you the require “Part 2” of the registration form.
  • Within 10 days of completing the online registration, we require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person. The deadline for deposit is June 1, 2018. We prefer payment by check but credit card payment can be arranged by calling Alumni House at 315-781-3700. The deposit will be applied to the overall cost of the trip. In the unlikely event that the trip is cancelled, the deposit will be fully refunded.
  • You will find an option to pay by credit card on the registration form.
  • The remainder of the trip cost will be due by July 2, 2018

Cancellation Policy:
Once you have paid the deposit, if you cancel your trip before June 15, we may, at our discretion, refund your deposit if we are able to find a replacement for you.

If you cancel the trip after August 17, you will lose your deposit and you will be responsible for any fees or deposits that we have paid to vendors on your behalf that are non-recoverable by us. For this reason, we recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance (see above under “What’s NOT included.”)

Flight and Travel Arrangements to and from Italy:
Professor Harris recommends Wood Travel for pre- and post-trip travel services. Wood Travel will coordinate your international arrival and departure flights and is offering a discounted ticketing fee to tour participants. In addition they can provide travel and medical insurance, as well as additional travel planning and related accommodations. Kathy Wood can be reached at 518-346-4066 (or toll free at 800-886-9148) and by email at kathy@woodtravel.org.



Dates: October 2-11, 2018

Cost: $3100 per person for double occupancy; $3750 per person for single occupancy

Register: Complete and submit the online registration form by June 1, 2018.

Deposit: A deposit of $1000 per person by June 1, 2018.

Full Payment: Due by July 2, 2018.


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