1° Day: Arrival
Meeting with our tour leader who will accompany the participants to the hotel in Messina Accommodation at the reserved hotel rooms, dinner and overnight stay.
2° Day: Cathedral - The Treasure of the Cathedral of Messina - Bell Tower.
After breakfast, we will reach the Cathedral of Messina dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. Inside it, we will admire the XV century mosaics, some funerary monuments and some Saint’s statutes, including Saint John the Baptist of Antonello Gagini dating back to the 1525.
The church also contains a big organ, made by the Tamburini firm. With its 16.000 pipes, it is the second in Italy, after the one in Milano and one of the biggest in Europe.
At twelve noon, we will admire the movement of the mechanism of the bell tower. All the gilded bronze statues move thanks to a complex system of counterweight, levers and gears, telling us the civil and religious history of Messina.
The lion, holding the city banner, symbolises its strength and roars three times. The cock, a symbol of the reawakening of consciences, crows three times, moving the head and opening the wings. Dina and Clarenza, heroines of the city, ring the bells. The Ave Maria of Schubert accompanies the movements.
We will continue with the visit to the “Treasure of the Cathedral”, created for the 2000 Jubilee, containing about four hundreds works dating back from the X century to the XX century, mostly the work of Messina’s goldsmiths and silversmiths. The absolute masterpiece kept in this museum is “The Madonna of the Letter’s Gold Mantle”, made in 1668 by the goldsmith Innocenzo Mangani, it is chiselled gold, covered with precious jewels.
Tasting of typical local in the Old Zanca Palace and visit of the “Antiquarium”.
Visit to the bell tower of the Cathedral to see at a short distance the complex mechanism of the clock and enjoy an amazing view of the city.
Walk in the streets of the city, return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
3° Day: Tindari – Patti
Breakfast at the hotel and departure towards the Shriny dedicated to the Black Virgin of Tindari, one of the most famous shrinies in Europe. Inside it, there is the wooden statue of the Black Virgin dating back to 750 A.C. or to the period of the Crusades.
In this lovely old village the cult of the Black Madonna is related to a legend according to which a vessel had taken refuge in the Bay of Tindari to escape from the storm. When It stopped raining, the sailors were unable to start the boat, so they decided to lighten it.They realized in one box there was hidden a statue of Black Vergin Mary, perhaps to save it from the iconoclast persecution. Before sailing again, the sailors decided to leave the image of the Madonna on the highest hill of the village,
You can also visit the Greek RomanTheater built by the Greeks in the third century BC Lunch in a restaurant of Patti, one of the main cities of the Tyrrhenian coast.
Here, we will admire the Basilica Cathedral, dating back to the eleventh century. It houses the sarcophagus of Adelaide del Vasto, the first Queen of Sicily. Under the churchyard you can visit the Gallery, hosting some interesting historical artifacts.
Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay
4°Day: Cristo Re Shryne – Monastery of Montevergine - Regional Museum of Messina
After the breakfast we will reach the Cristo Re's Shryne, It has one of the biggest working bells in Italy. At sunset it tolls as a sign of respect and honor for Second World War fallen soldiers.
Then, we will find out some details and places related to the life of Eustochia, born in 1434 in Messina, founder of the Monastery of Montevergine. In 1988 Eustochia was proclaimed Saint by John Paul II. Also we will follow the footsteps of Antonello da Messina, an important painter of Italian Renaissance period.. According to some critics, Eustochia posed as model for the “Virgin Anunciate”, one of the most famous works of Antonello da Messina.
After the lunch in a typical restaurant, we will go to the Regional Museum of Messina where we will admire some sculptures , mosaics and pottery made by local manufacturers.
The museum also features notableart works of Caravaggio (la Resurrezione di Lazzaro and Adorazione dei Pastori) and Antonello da Messina (Polittico di San Gregorio).
Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
5°Day:Syracuse - Our Lady of Tears Shrine -Catacombs of St. John - Crypt of St. Marziano - Basilica of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro
Breakfast at hotel and departure to Syracuse, one of the most important cities of the " Magna Grecia". We will reach the Our Lady of Tears Shrine. After attending the Divine Liturgy we will take the lunch in a restaurant.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Catacombs of the Christian Martyr St. John , the Crypt of St. Marciano and the Basilica of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro
Short visit to Ortigia Island and its Cathedral. Return to hotel , dinner and overnight stay.
6°Day Catania - Riviera dei Ciclopi.
After the lunch, tasting a lot of typical Sicilian products (arancini, cipollina, schiacciata, cannolo , etc) at one of the most famous pastries of the city, we will reach the Riviera dei Ciclopi, one of the most popular Sicilian seaside destination. Visit of Acicastello and Acitrezza. Return to hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
7° Giorno: Taormina - Our Lady of the Rock Shriny - Castelmola.
We will take a guided tour of the Monastery and an excellent wine tasting and local products . In the afternoon we will visit the Rufo Ruffo Castledi of Scaletta Zanclea, built by Frederick II of Swabia around the year 1220. Here we can admire some different types of religious medals and medallions, weapons and armor of different periods .Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight .
Breakfast at the hotel and check out operations. End of our services.
3 overnight stays in affiliated hotels, b&B, guest houses (Religious Guest House on request)