Painting a wonderful picture of Palermo and its countryside, this tour explores a centuries-old mountainside sanctuary and includes a stop for a local dessert.
Begin with a picturesque drive up Mount Pellegrino, the mountain overlooking Palermo. The higher you go, the more spectacular the views, and near the top you'll stop at the Santa Rosalia Sanctuary. Built in 1625, it consists of a convent and small church, part of which is carved out of the rocky mountain, taking advantage of a natural cave. Inside, you'll find an 18th century marble statue of the Virgin Mary; outside you can wander about taking in the magnificent panorama of Palermo and the deep blue Mediterranean sea as a backdrop.
Continuing north along the Mediterranean, you'll soon pass through the village of Mondello, a fishing village that has developed into a lovely seaside resort. It's a beach-blessed setting with pastel-colored changing cabins, a waterfront piazza, and striking Art Nouveau-style villas. It's no wonder so many Sicilians vacation here.
Your route back to Palermo is equally scenic and passes many of the downtown landmarks, including the opera house, circular Politeama Theater and Four Corners, the city's historic heart.
For a literal taste of Palermo, you'll stop for a refreshing granita, meaning "little grains" in Italian. This cool treat consists of thin flakes of ice mixed with sugar and fresh fruit, such as strawberries or lemons, and often topped with dollop of whipped cream. When finished, you'll return to your coach and drive back to the pier, passing even more landmarks along the way.
Please note: This tour includes just over 1-hour of moderate to easy walking/standing. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.