A Grand Tour of Sicily

This tour is currently sold out. Please contact [email protected] or 413-243-4155 to be added to the waitlist.

The ICAA is pleased to partner with Classical Excursions to present this exceptional tour of Sicily, during which participants will experience the splendor of such historic cities as Palermo, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania, and much more. The tour includes special visits to beautiful private homes within the region, as well as exclusive lunches and dinners at historic residences. This excursion will be led by Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions, accompanied by several local experts throughout.

This tour is arranged by Classical Excursions. Please note that a registration form and deposit must be submitted to Classical Excursions and a confirmation of receipt must be received from Classical Excursions in order to be considered registered for this program. Payment of the $500 donation to the ICAA prior to registration does not guarantee placement on the trip. To inquire about registration for this program, please contact Lani Summerville at [email protected] or 413-446-8728 or Tom Hayes [email protected] or 413-243-4155.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this travel program. All travel program participants have the opportunity to receive a complimentary Individual level membership for one year to the ICAA.

Palermo's Historic Center

The program will begin with an evening walking tour of Palermo’s historic center, viewing such historic monuments as the Quattro Canti, Fontana Pretoria, the Church of San Cataldo, and the Baroque church of San Domenico.

Palazzo Ajutamicristo

Participants will enjoy a welcome dinner at the privately-owned Palazzo Ajutamicristo. Located in the Kalsa district of Palermo, the Palazzo was originally built in the 15th Century for Guglielmo Ajutamicristo.

Palazzo dei Normanni

Featured on the tour is a visit to Palazzo dei Normanni, including the beautiful Cappella Palatina which is considered a masterpiece of Norman art.

Palermo Cathedral

Participants will tour the magnificent Palermo Cathedral, constructed in 1185 in the Norman style.

Palazzo Lanza Tomasi

The tour features a private luncheon at Palazzo Lanza Tomasi. Participants will be accompanied by the owner, the Duchess of Palma, Nicoletta Lanza Tomasi, who is a direct descendent of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of Il Gattopardo.


Participants will visit Ziza, a tremendous Moorish-inspired palace located in Palermo.

Palazzina Cinese

Participants will tour the 18th Century Palazzina Cinese, known to be the first example in Sicily of an entire building designed in the Chinese style.

Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi

The program features a late-afternoon tour and drinks at the privately-owned and rarely-seen Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi, located in the heart of the Kalsa district of Palermo, hosted by the owner, Principessa Carine Vanni Calvello Mantegna di Gangi.

Monreale Cathedral

Participants will enjoy a tour of Monreale Cathedral, with its stunning gold mosaics.

Villa Spedalotto

At the privately-owned Villa Spedalotto in Bagheria, participants will enjoy an exclusive lunch.

Villa Palagonia

Participants will tour the splendid 18th Century Villa Palagonia, commissioned in 1715 by Ferdinando Francesco Gravina, Prince of Palagonia.

Greek Ruins at Segesta

The tour features a visit to the majestic Greek ruins at Segesta, including a tour of the great Doric Temple with its well-reserved colossal columns built in the 5th Century BC. Here, participants will enjoy a picnic lunch.


Participants will tour Selinunte, considered to be one of the most striking archaeological sites in the Mediterranean area.

Valley of the Temples

Featured on the tour is a day exploring the great Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the Greek colony founded in 581 BC. Here, participants will view the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Temple of Heracles, and the Temples of Concord and Hera.

Villa Romana del Casale

Participants will tour the remnants of the 3rd-4th Century Villa Romana del Casale, containing some of the most well-preserved and beautiful mosaics in the world.


The group will visit several noteworthy sites in Siracusa, including the Museo Archeologico, Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dionysius, Duomo di Siracusa, and the Temple of Apollo.

Palazzo Beneventano

Participants will enjoy a dinner at the privately-owned Palazzo Beneventano, hosted by Baron Beneventano. Built after the earthquake of 1693, the Palazzo stands as one of Siracusa’s most complete Baroque achievements.

Ragusa & Noto

Participants will spend a day touring the Baroque towns of Ragusa and Noto, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693.

Palazzo Biscari

The group will enjoy a tour and dinner at Palazzo Biscari in Catania, considered one of the most important Rococo achievements in Sicily. Here, the owner, Prince Ruggero Moncada, will host pre-dinner drinks in his private apartment, with dinner served in his courtyard restaurant.

What’s included

  • A three-night stay in the city of Palermo, the capital of Sicily built along a bay at the foot of Mount Pellegrino.
  • A two-night stay at the beautiful Hotel Villa Athena, located in Agrigento.
  • A three-night stay at the Grand Hotel Ortigia, located on the historic peninsula of Ortigia.
  • A one-night stay at the Imperiale Hotel in Taormina, featuring spectacular views of the surrounding city.
  • A private motor coach for transportation to all sites on the tour.
  • Two meals per day, including breakfast and either a three-course luncheon or dinner.

Temple in Agrigento

Duomo di Siracusa (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Giovanni Dall'Orto)

Fontana Pretoria in Palermo

Interior of Monreale Cathedral in Palermo (Image: Wikimedia Commons/ Michal Osmenda)

Palazzo Beneventano (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Berthold Werner)

Palermo Cathedral

Palermo Cathedral

Quattro Canti in Palermo (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Michele Ursino)

Town of Ragusa

Temple in Segesta

Temple in Segesta

Temple in Selinunte

Temple in Selinunte

Villa Palagonia

AIA Continuing Education Provider Information:

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the architectural history of such towns as Palermo, Agrigento, Siracusa, and Catania, touring sites such as the Quattro Canti, the Church of San Cataldo, the Valley of the Temples, the Temple of Apollo, and more.

2. Learn about the specific architectural and artistic movements that have influenced the built environment of Sicily, including Baroque, Rococo, and Classical influences.

3. Understand the architectural principles and building techniques used by the architects in Sicily.

4. Understand the classical roots of much of Sicily's built environment, including the Temple of Agrigento, the Duomo di Siracusa, the Greek Ruins at Segesta, and much more.

Instructional Delivery Method: Live In-Person Learning Program

Approved LUs and Type: 35 AIA CES Learning Units|Elective

AIA CES Program Approval Expiration Date: March 28, 2022

Prerequisites: None

Program Level: Introductory

Advance Learner Preparation: None

Provider Statement: The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number G193. All registered AIA CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider or this learning program may be sent to AIA CES ([email protected] or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3).

This learning program is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.

AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.


How do I register for an ICAA travel program?

If you would like to register, you may contact the travel operator organizing the program. Please note that a $500 donation per person to the ICAA is required in order to participate in each travel program. The contact information for ICAA tour operators is included on individual travel pages. Kindly note that the ICAA works with three different consultants for program offerings. If you are unsure which travel consultant to contact for a given program, you may email [email protected] or call 212-730-9646 x109

What does the required $500 donation fund?

Your $500 donation helps to further the ICAA’s goal of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts by supporting its varied educational programs, including continuing education courses, college workshops, the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture, New Heights, and many more.

Am I required to pay a $500 donation for each travel program I register for?

Yes, a donation of $500 to the ICAA is required for each travel program you register for. The donation is required for each person attending a tour.

How do I make my $500 donation to the ICAA?

You can make your $500 donation to the ICAA online, or you can download, complete, and mail this form to the ICAA. You can alternatively fax a copy to 212-730-9649. You may also call 212-730-9646 x109 or email [email protected] to make a donation. Donations must be made separately from the registration fee.

Do I have to be a member of the ICAA to participate in an ICAA travel program?

No, membership is not required to attend an ICAA travel program. However, complimentary Individual membership to the ICAA is included with your $500 required donation.

I don’t see the full itinerary for the tour I am interested in. When will it be released?

For full itinerary and more information, contact [email protected], 860-926-4895. Due to the exclusive nature of our tours, some private locations or visits may be omitted from the ICAA's website.

What kinds of trips does the ICAA offer?

Over the past several years, the ICAA has travelled to destinations including Paris; Andalusia; Atlanta; Barbados; South Africa; Chicago; the Netherlands and Belgium; Scotland; the French Riviera; Morocco; the Italian Lake Region; Charlottesville; Naples; and New Delhi, among many other locations. The ICAA is always looking to diversify its travel offerings. If you have a suggestion or location you would like to see added, please email [email protected]