Baroque Riches of Sicily

Catania, Siracusa & Ragusa
 

Holiday Highlights

Sicilian style | Experience the best of the island’s Baroque art and architecture.
Protected towns | Numerous UNESCO-listed towns with incredible art and history.
Mount Etna | Ride the Circumetnea train for a unique view of Etna.
Siracusa | Historic, charming and coastal –with magnificent Greek remains.
Ragusa | Relax in the beautiful sun-soaked squares and gardens of its lower town.
Baroque Riches of Sicily. 6 nights
Baroque Riches of Sicily. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in eastern Sicily

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

 

Itinerary

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 Catania
    Night 1: at Il Principe (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 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. You will soon get a sense of its past – over the years it has been subjected to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and war. The bustling streets are carved out of black tufa, edged by white limestone, and the Baroque buildings here are as fine as any that you will see later on the holiday, but with traces of the great Roman city, too. The modern city lives alongside the Baroque: there are gritty side streets, a historic – and very lively – 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, either (the full journey takes just over three hours), but it is a good way to appreciate one of Europe's most famous volcanoes.
  • Catania to Siracusa: 1hr 15mins by rail
    Today you catch a mid-morning train to Siracusa, where you stay for two nights at the Domus Mariae Albergo, a small hotel occupying a waterfront 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.

    Also within easy reach, and very much worth the train journey if you decide to add an extra night in Siracusa, is the city of Noto. Completely rebuilt on a new site following the devastating earthquake, Noto is the apogee of Sicilian Baroque: small but beautifully formed, its cluster of convents, churches and palazzi glowing pink in the late-afternoon sun. Along the café-lined streets intricate stone carvings support curved, wrought-iron balconies, invoking a fantasy of serpentine lions, winged horses and green men. Each interior is also a celebration of this Baroque style, often lighter and sparer than you might imagine.
    Siracusa's Baroque central square
    Noto Cathedral
  • Siracusa to Ragusa: 2hrs 30mins by train
    Another mid-morning train brings you to Ragusa, the quietest of the three cities and a special place at which to finish your journey. You spend your last two nights at the Locanda Don Serafino on the edge of the Old Town. 
  • 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.
    The two towns of Ragusa
    Wander around the atmospheric old town
 

Accommodation

You stay in three well-located hotels.

In Siracusa, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. Both are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

Whichever hotel you stay at in Siracusa, we recommend adding an extra night so that you can take a day trip to Noto.
 
Prices & travel options
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  • 6 nights: 02 March 2024 - 22 December 2024 & 01 March 2025 - 30 December 2025

    Start any day except Wednesday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    2 - 26 Mar 2024 £950 £620
    27 Mar - 9 Jun 2024 £1020 £690
    10 Jun - 31 Aug 2024 £985 £670
    1 Sep - 27 Oct 2024 £1020 £690
    28 Oct - 16 Dec 2024 £845 £530
    1 - 26 Mar 2025 £990 £645
    27 Mar - 9 Jun 2025 £1065 £720
    10 Jun - 31 Aug 2025 £1025 £700
    1 Sep - 27 Oct 2025 £1065 £720
    28 Oct - 24 Dec 2025 £880 £555
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    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 Catania–Siracusa–Ragusa (pay locally for transfers between railway stations and hotels)

    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)

    Il Principe, Catania
    Deluxe: 02 Mar - 22 Dec 2024 £20
    Deluxe: 01 Mar - 30 Dec 2025 £21
    Suite: 02 Mar - 22 Dec 2024 £97
    Suite: 01 Mar - 30 Dec 2025 £101
    Superior: 02 Mar - 22 Dec 2024 £13
    Superior: 01 Mar - 30 Dec 2025 £14
    Domus Mariae Albergo, Siracusa
    Sea view & balcony: 02 Mar - 22 Dec 2024 £17
    Sea view & balcony: 01 Mar - 30 Dec 2025 £18
    Locanda Don Serafino, Ragusa
    Junior suite: 02 Mar - 22 Dec 2024 £17
    Junior suite: 01 Mar - 30 Dec 2025 £18

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

    Il Principe, Catania (B&B) Double room Single room
    02 Mar - 31 Mar 2024 £84 £124
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £89 £135
    01 Jul - 31 Aug 2024 £84 £124
    01 Sep - 22 Dec 2024 £89 £135
    01 Mar - 31 Mar 2025 £87 £129
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2025 £93 £141
    01 Jul - 31 Aug 2025 £87 £129
    01 Sep - 30 Dec 2025 £93 £141
    Domus Mariae Albergo, Siracusa (B&B) Double room Single room
    02 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £119 £238
    01 Nov - 22 Dec 2024 £79 £158
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £124 £248
    01 Nov - 30 Dec 2025 £82 £164
    Locanda Don Serafino, Ragusa (B&B) Double room Single room
    02 Mar - 31 Mar 2024 £117 £231
    01 Apr - 31 Oct 2024 £145 £290
    01 Nov - 22 Dec 2024 £117 £231
    01 Mar - 31 Mar 2025 £122 £241
    01 Apr - 31 Oct 2025 £155 £310
    01 Nov - 30 Dec 2025 £122 £241
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Catania
    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 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Catania jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Catania jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Catania British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Catania British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Catania Air Malta 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Catania Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Catania easyJet,  jet2 
    Manchester - Catania (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    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 for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. 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.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Catania

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    own travel arrangements hotel to Catania airport pay locally flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Ragusa bus terminal (0h45), bus Ragusa bus terminal to Catania airport (1h45, pay locally) £14-£15 1200
    taxi hotel to Catania airport (1h45) £92-£96 flexible
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 6 breakfasts
  • notes for city walking tours
  • detailed cultural information
  • rail travel Catania-Siracusa-Ragusa
 
Reviews

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 >

 

FAQs

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 routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. 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. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). 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 us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to 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 incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • 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 (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). 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 the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • 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.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) 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.
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