discover & work in
discover & work in
Visit famous ruins and gorgeous coastline during your 10-day Sicily Workation package. Walk a lunar landscape, view Norman architecture, and relax on the golden beaches as you find the best wasy to experience your work-life balance in Sicily.
This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist
Palermo is an ancient city with vibrant contemporary life surrounding the Norman Palace and historic cathedral. After you arrive at the airport, your Workation representative will take you to your accommodations in the city.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you may have the opportunity to visit the iconic monuments of the Normal Palace and the cathedral. Visiting with a guide will give you more information on the intention and importance of the designs and remains. The Norman Palace was originally built by Arabs in the 9th century and further embellished under the Norman ruler Frederick II. Inside the Sala di Ruggiero, you can find the room covered in mosaics depicting hunting and animal scenes.
Focus on the mosaics in the Sala di Ruggiero. What images stand out to you? What about them connects with you, the color, the image, the story it tells, and why?
For an introduction to Palermo, enjoy a sweet rum baba, a small yeast cake soaked in rum and often topped with cream.
With a full day to experience Sicily, you can start the day early with a guide to visit Palermo’s famous market. The loud and vibrant atmosphere comes from vendors calling to one another and to passersby. You can taste the fresh produce, buy fresh seafood, or try a traditional arancini.
Head outside of the historical center to walk through Monreale, a Norman cathedral featuring a cloister covered in gilded mosaics. The mosaics represent the Byzantine culture and spread across more than 68,200 square feet with images dating back to the 12th century. You can witness images of the Old and New testaments traveling across the walls.
Stand in the cloister, close your eyes, and listen. What do you hear? Does it feel the same as when surrounded by the mosaics?
When visiting the Palermo Market, you can try sfincione, a cross between bread and pizza crust often seasoned with onion and tomato sauce.
You have another full day to explore and discover Sicily before the work week begins. In Cefalu, take your time to relax in the coastal city known for its Phoenician foundations and stunning golden beaches. You can walk among the lidos, dig your toes in the sand, or feel the warmth of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Before reaching Taormina, you can stop at Villa Romana del Casale to tour the historic mansion preserved in mud and dirt. The villa revealed one of the best examples of a Roman mosaic in the world with artwork dating back to teh 4th century CE. One of the most famous mosaics features “The Little Hunt,” with men, dogs, horses, and a variety of games. When you arrive in Taormina, you can settle comfortably into your new accommodations for the week to find the amenities you need for your best Workation package experience.
Take off your shoes and dig your toes into the sand. How does it feel? What other sensations do you notice? What does it smell like? What sounds are present? Does it help remind you where you are?
If you have time, visit the Museo Mandralisca in Cefalu to learn more about the artistic and archeological history of the area, especially during the reign of the Arabs and Greeks.
To help you ease into work on your first day, you can start a ritual. Practice a movement or create a practice that signals the starting of your work day. You can use a similar technique to divide the end of work with the remainder of your day exploring Taormina and the surroundings.
When work ends, you can travel to Mt Etna for a view of one of Europe’s most active volcanoes. You can take the cable car and travel beneath the peak looming at more than 9,800 feet above sea level. The gondola can give you incredible views of the slopes leading up to the volcanic surface but you can take a car or trek the remainder of the way to see the landscape resembling the craters and sands of the moon.
Listen to the sounds of the volcano. Does it rumble, churn, or crackle? Does the air smell fresh or sulfuric?
Visit Mt Etna with a guide to see the true beauty and drama of the landscape, including fumaroles, hot springs, and lava flows that have changed the land surface.
Follow the ritual you put in place the previous day to focus on work. At the end of the day, complete the ritual that helps you step away from work so you can enjoy the present moment exploring Sicily.
Travel to the ancient city of Siracusa in the afternoon for a fantastic introduction to the Magna Graecia, the emigration of Greeks from the mainland to Italy. A guide can give you a more focused experience as you walk along the small island of Ortigia that represents the city’s ancient historic center. Walk among the narrow lanes, active cafes, and boutique shops for a taste of local life before noticing the remaining old city wall and 15ht-century Moorish gate. Wild papyrus has grown in the Arethusa Fountain, which is actually a freshwater spring and one of the few places wild papyrus grows in Europe.
Visit the ear of Dionysius. Listen for the whispers of conversation. What do they say?
If you have time, visit the Archeological Park and the Greek Theater to see one of the largest theaters of ancient Greece.
After the work day ends, separate yourself from your ongoing projects with a walk around Taormina or take in the view of Mt Etna and the sea from the top of the Greek Theater. In the afternoon, you can meet with a local chef and learn the art and secrets of traditional Sicilian cuisine.
By now you have noticed the land, sea, and culture of Sicilian shines with many colors, and the cuisine takes on a similar vibrancy. Using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, you can create a multi-course meal. The kitchen may fill with the smells of tomatoes, garlic, and basil before you start making pasta dough, working with the fresh catch of the day, and learning the elements that make a dish typically Sicilian, such as Pasta alla Normana or Pesto alla Siciliana.
Focus on the flavors of the dishes you create. Pay attention to different ingredients that blend together; or do they create layers of flavor and build on one another? Can you recreate this meal at home?
If you like sweets, don’t shy away from the Sicilian desserts, which can include cannoli and biscotti di mandorla.
Wine in Italy is a connection to heritage and part of the dining, as well as life experience. After you finish work for the day, you can enjoy a wine tasting that focuses on Sicilian wines and demonstrates the importance of finding the right grapes for the right soil, especially when the earth offers rich nutrients from volcanic activity.
Wineries around Mt Etna emerge with some of the finest ingredients and fortified flavors from the excess of minerals in the terroir. Meet with local winemakers and learn more abou the techniques used around Taormina that respect tradition while also maximizing productivity. Enjoy pairing different wines with the flavors of sweet Sicilian pastries or fresh seafood as your guide walks you through the tasting notes of a red wine with elements of Nerello Mascalese grapes offering herbal and berry scents paired with hints of chestnut barrels.
Wine tasting is all about your senses. Focus on the sensory details beyond color. What do you smell and taste? What do you hear and do the sounds affect the way you connect with the wine?
If you prefer cheese or baked pastries for dessert, try pairing the dish with a glass of Moscato di Pantelleria.
After work, you can spend your time relaxing in Piazza del Duomo and watching the city pass you by or, depending on the season, visit the beach at Isola Bella where a narrow sand strip connects the small protected island to the mainland. Terraces overlooking the water and a cable car connect the upper town streets with the coastline.
For a different view, you can walk to the neighboring town of Castelmola to enjoy the picturesque village perched on the hilltop. The lofty terraces provide fabulous views of Taormina, the Ionian Sea, and Mt Etna in the distance. Narrow streets weave and wind beneath colorful buildings and ceramics decorate the walls set beneath the crowning castle ruins.
Sit in a cafe and practice eavesdropping for two minutes. Can you make out the words, delineate between phrases vs. accents?
If you don’t want to make the trk to Castelmola, you can take a local bus.
You have a full day to explore Sicily and travel farther than the borders of Taormina or Etna. You could make the hours-long journey to the Valley of the Temples for views of Ancient Greek ruins or visit the towns of Ragusa and Noto to find opulent Baroque architecture.
Ragusa emerges from between rocky peaks and has an easy to navigate grid shaped by Baroque palaces and beautiful squares. The joys of visiting Ragusa are wandering through the maze of cobblestone streets with one narrow alleyway opening to a piazza drenched in sunlight. You can visit the Palazzo Arezzo di Trifiletti to explore the aristocratic home glowing with a showpiece ballroom and Neapolitan majolica tiles. In Noto the connection to Baroque grandeur will continue as you find buildings glowing with red and gold surrounding the breathtaking PIazza Municipio.
Make a to-do list of all the things you want to see while in Ragusa and Noto. When you return from your outing, cross off all the things you saw.
Climb to the top of San Carl al Corso church’s belltower for the best view of Noto.
Depending on the time of your flight, you can walk around Taormina in the morning and enjoy the quiet as many locals visit church or visit the beach one more time to dig your toes into the warm waters of the Ionian Sea. Enjoy the view of Mt Etna once more, stroll down Corso Umberto, or sit in Piazza IX Aprile with an espresso before your Workation representative meets and takes you to the airport for your return flight. You can continue your Workation package and see more of Italy now that you have established the rituals to help you balance work and life.
Practice mindful breathing before leaving for the airport. Pay attention to the sensation of each breath you take, how it feels in your body, how long you inhale, hold, and exhale. Do this for five minutes.
If you have the time in the morning, you can visit the terraces and colors of Villa Comunale before heading to the airport.
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