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Baroque Riches of Sicily

Ragusa, Noto, Siracusa & Catania
Take a self-guided, cultural journey by rail from Ragusa to Catania via Noto and Siracusa. Explore UNESCO-listed towns using our detailed walking notes, admire volcanic Mount Etna and marvel at the flowering of Sicilian Baroque.
Baroque Riches of Sicily. 7 nights
Baroque Riches of Sicily. 7 nights

Holiday information


A touring holiday in eastern Sicily

In 1693, a powerful earthquake razed the eastern cities of Sicily. In an extraordinary civil effort, the toppled towns were re-built, re-modelled and embellished, creating light-filled public spaces, glorious palaces and luminous churches. This was the flowering of Sicilian Baroque.
On this holiday by rail, we invite you to fuse this past with Sicily’s present. Trace the great founding cultures of Greece and Rome; explore medieval winding streets, open boulevards, Byzantine remains and the sheer physicality of Etna, suffused by Sicilian light.


The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Ragusa
    Night 1: at Locanda don Serafino (the first of two nights here).

    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Ragusa
    Draped over two hills, this extraordinary city rises and falls and separates into two towns. Taking steps to the upper town, you rise steeply past churches and palazzi to reach the gridded streets that surround the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. Returning to the lower town, you reach two beautiful sun-soaked squares and a garden, ideal for catching a glass of Nero d’Avola before the sun sinks behind the upper town.

    For those with extra nights here, we suggest taking the bus to nearby Modica, which you can explore using our town trail notes.
    The two towns of Ragusa
    Wander around the atmospheric old town
  • Ragusa to Noto: 1hr 30mins by train
    This morning, you have more time to explore Ragusa Ibla before catching an early-afternoon train to Noto where our choice for your overnight stay – the elegant Hotel La Dépendance – is in an ideal position to begin your investigations. Completely rebuilt on a new site, Noto is the apogee of Sicilian Baroque: small but beautifully formed, its cluster of convents, churches and palazzi glow pink in the late-afternoon sun, while each interior is a celebration of this style, often lighter and sparer than you might imagine.  
    Noto Cathedral
    The ornate interior of the cathedral
  • Noto to Siracusa: 35mins by train
    Continue your discovery of Noto, along whose café-lined streets intricate stone carvings support curved, wrought-iron balconies, invoking a fantasy of serpentine lions, winged horses and green men. Following a short afternoon train ride, you arrive in Siracusa, where your next two nights are spent at the Alla Giudecca, occupying a fine location on historic Ortigia ‘island’.
  • Explore Siracusa
    Siracusa owes its importance to the sea, and once rivalled Athens as a great maritime city state. Archimedes was born and died here; and, despite the earthquake’s destruction, the city still contains a marvellous Greek amphitheatre. Cooled by ocean breezes, you can take in the city’s great Baroque central square, its fine cathedral and ornate churches, and Caravaggio’s Burial of Santa Lucia. Close by is the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its superbly preserved Greek theatre and Roman amphitheatre.
    The Baroque central square
    Explore around the port
  • Siracusa to Catania: 1hr 15mins by rail
    One more early-afternoon train ride brings you to Catania, a thoroughly absorbing city in which to end your journey. You will soon get a sense of its past – over the years it has been subjected to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and war – as well as its present-day allure as a monument to Baroque architecture. Your two nights here are spent at Hotel Il Principe, just a couple of streets from the cathedral.
  • Explore Catania on foot or circle Mount Etna by train

    Follow our self-guided city walking tour
    Central Catania is easy to explore on foot with our self-guided tour. The streets are carved out of black tufa, edged by white limestone, and the Baroque buildings here are as fine as any that you will already have seen, but with traces of the great Roman city, too. The modern city lives alongside the Baroque: there are gritty side streets, a historic fish market, and a deliciously varied street food scene.

    Take a trip on the Circumetnea railway
    As its name suggests, this 110-kilometre railway line almost completely encircles Mount Etna. Dating back to 1898, this diminutive train – as well as being narrow-gauge, it usually consists of just a couple of carriages – offers memorable views of the volcano’s lava fields on a languid loop to the terminus of Riposto, a little farther up the coast. It’s more of a local commuter train than a tourist service (it doesn’t run on Sundays or public holidays), and it’s by no means luxurious. It’s far from speedy, too (the full journey will take just over three hours), but it’s perhaps the ideal way to ‘round off’ your discovery of this compelling corner of Sicily.
    Explore Catania
    The Circumetnea railway


You stay in an eclectic mix of rustic and chic accommodation.
Prices & travel options
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  • 7 nights: 01 November 2019 - 24 December 2019, 06 January 2020 - 30 June 2020 & 22 August 2020 - 23 December 2020

    Start any day except Thursday or Friday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Nov - 17 Dec 2019 £735 £405
    6 Jan - 29 Feb 2020 £735 £405
    1 - 27 Mar 2020 £765 £420
    28 Mar - 11 Jun 2020 £845 £470
    12 - 23 Jun 2020 £795 £445
    22 - 31 Aug 2020 £860 £495
    1 - 30 Sep 2020 £895 £520
    1 - 31 Oct 2020 £860 £495
    1 Nov - 16 Dec 2020 £795 £445
    3rd & 4th person discount -£10 to -£25
    Single traveller supplement £10 to £25

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    For a twin room at Locanda Don Serafino, an upgrade to a junior suite is required (see Room upgrades & extra nights for prices).

    Included travel: rail Ragusa–Noto–Siracusa–Catania

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Locanda Don Serafino, Ragusa
    Junior suite: 01 Nov - 24 Dec 2019 £12
    Junior suite: 06 Jan - 30 Jun 2020 £12
    Junior suite: 22 Aug - 23 Dec 2020 £12
    Hotel La Dépendance, Noto
    Superior: 01 Nov - 24 Dec 2019 £16
    Superior: 06 Jan - 30 Jun 2020 £16
    Superior: 22 Aug - 23 Dec 2020 £16
    Il Principe, Catania
    Deluxe: 01 Nov - 24 Dec 2019 £12
    Deluxe: 06 Jan - 30 Jun 2020 £12
    Deluxe: 22 Aug - 23 Dec 2020 £12
    Suite: 01 Nov - 24 Dec 2019 £70
    Suite: 06 Jan - 30 Jun 2020 £75
    Suite: 22 Aug - 23 Dec 2020 £75

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Locanda Don Serafino, Ragusa Double room Single room
    01 Nov - 24 Dec 2019 £75 £125
    06 Jan - 31 Mar 2020 £75 £125
    01 Apr - 01 Jun 2020 £95 £165
    02 Jun - 30 Jun 2020 £85 £145
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2020 £108 £190
    01 Oct - 01 Nov 2020 £95 £165
    02 Nov - 23 Dec 2020 £85 £145
    Hotel La Dépendance, Noto Double room Single room
    01 Nov - 24 Dec 2019 £95 £190
    06 Jan - 30 Jun 2020 £95 £190
    22 Aug - 23 Dec 2020 £95 £190
    Alla Giudecca, Siracusa Double room Single room
    01 Nov - 21 Dec 2019 £58 £104
    22 Dec - 24 Dec 2019 £70 £115
    06 Jan - 06 Jan 2020 £72 £120
    07 Jan - 02 Apr 2020 £60 £110
    03 Apr - 13 Apr 2020 £72 £120
    14 Apr - 30 Apr 2020 £65 £107
    01 May - 30 Jun 2020 £72 £120
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £72 £120
    01 Nov - 23 Dec 2020 £60 £110
    Il Principe, Catania Double room Single room
    01 Nov - 24 Dec 2019 £80 £116
    06 Jan - 31 Mar 2020 £80 £116
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £85 £125
    22 Aug - 31 Aug 2020 £85 £125
    01 Sep - 23 Dec 2020 £92 £136
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail and ferry travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Catania (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM,  KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Catania TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Catania Alitalia,  British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Catania Air Malta 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Catania easyJet 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Catania

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus Catania airport to Ragusa bus terminal (1h45, pay locally), taxi Ragusa bus terminal to hotel (0h15) £9 2000
    taxi Catania airport to hotel (1h45) £74-84 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    own arrangements to the airport pay locally flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 7 breakfasts
  • notes for city walking tours
  • detailed cultural information
  • rail travel Ragusa-Noto-Siracusa-Catania

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi and Lizzie to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our travel insurance policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your alternative policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa. If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them when the UK withdraws from the European Union (EU).

    It currently seems highly likely the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will take place on 31 January 2020, at which point the UK will enter a minimum 11-month transition period through to the end of December 2020. During this transition period there will be absolutely no changes to current arrangements for UK citizens travelling to an EU destination, so you can book your 2020 holiday certain that there will be no disruptions or complications caused by Brexit.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/12/2020 4:31:18 PM