Arrive in Palermo and transfer to the pier to embark Corinthian.
From Marsala, enjoy a morning excursion to Selinunte, the most westerly ancient Greek colony in Sicily. A highland overlooking the sea provides a tranquil setting for the expansive ruins of what was once among the island’s most progressive cities. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Marsala. Alternatively, explore Mozia,founded by Phoenicians in the 8th century b.c. as a commercial base. Its museum exhibits superb sculptures. Also drive to Erice, a mountainous town in the Trapani province.
From the port of Porto Empedocle, a choice of excursions is offered. Drive inland to tour Sicily’s finest Roman site, the Imperial Roman Villa. Located outside Piazza Armerina, a town situated amid wooded hills, the villa was built in palatia lproportions in the 3rd century and features superb floor mosaics. Alternatively, visit Agrigento’s series of superb Doric temples, which are among Sicily’s most captivating Greek ruins. Marvel at the 6th-century b.c. Temple of Hercules, the remarkably preserved Temple of Concord, and the Temple of Juno, noted for its graceful proportions. And admire the extraordinary collection at the Archaeological Museum.
In the morning explore the Palace of the Grand Masters and the National Museum of Archaeology. Then it’s a short drive to the remarkable Tarxien Temples, which date back to 2800 b.c., and onto Hagar Qim, an even older temple that stands atop a hill on the southern edge of the island overlooking the sea.
Syracuse sits at the head of a beautiful bay on Sicily’s southeast coast. Colonized by the Greeks in the 8th century b.c., Syracuse became one of the most powerful and prestigious cities of the ancient world, rousing the hostility of Athens. Discover the spectacular 15,000-seat Greek theater, among the most impressive to survive from antiquity, and the elliptical Roman amphitheater, one of the largest of its kind. Walk the winding lanes of Syracuse’s Old Town, situated on the island of Ortygia, and explore the remains of the Temple of Apollo, the Fountain of Aretusa, and the Cathedral, which incorporates the remains of the famed Temple of Athena.
Corinthian will anchor in Messina for your excursion to Taormina. Clinging to the edge of Mount Tauro, Taormina looks out to sea and the dramatic cone of Mount Etna. A Greek colony was founded here in 403 b.c. and prospered throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Visit the magnificent Greek theater before spending time exploring on your own.
Arrive at the white pumice slopes of Lipari, one of the seven islands of the Aeolian Archipelago claimed by Greek mythology as home of Aeolus, the god of the winds. Dominating the unspoiled, twin-harbor town of Lipari is a 16th-century Norman castle-turned archaeological museum on the site of an ancient acropolis. On the dramatic island of Stromboli, see the striking black basalt rocks of Strombolicchio. At night, after dark, sail close to Stromboli to observe the eruptions from one of Europe’s few active volcanoes.
Disembark in Palermo and transfer to the airport for return flights to the U.S.