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Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Nice

SICILIA (Sicily)
Sicily is the largest of all the Mediterranean islands.   Called Trinacria (“three-pointed” by the Greeks, it is a veritable admixture of multiple cultures:  Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, French, Spanish, Savoyan and, finally, Bourbon, until Garibaldi incorporated the island into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.

SARDEGNA (Sardinia)
Sardegna is the second largest of the Mediterranean islands.  Isolated for millennia as traditional pastoral lands, this had fostered the development of an autonomous and independent culture steeped heavily in the Iron Age.  The Savoys received the island from Austria and the Kingdom of Sardegna was born, lasting until Italian unification.

CORSICA (Corse)
Corsica, the fourth largest Mediterranean island, was “…’sold’ to Louis XV by the Genoese (in 1769)…(The Corsicans) understandably felt cheated by the French…and have resented them ever since.”  Corsicans still speak their own Italian dialect.  Known as the Mountain in the Mediterranean, it has a wildly beautiful landscape.

NIZZA (Nice)
The largest resort on the Mediterranean coast, and the capital of the famous Cote d’Azur, originally Roman/Italian, it has become the world’s playground for all who travel and enjoy the good life, boasting excellent museums, fabulous beaches, incomparable cuisine and a seemingly never-ending, perennial, active and almost festive ambiance.  

Day 1 - Evening departure from JFK (NYC) for Rome on overnight flight.

Day 2 - Arrival at Roma’s Fiumicino airport, transfer to domestic Alitalia flight to Palermo’s Punta Raisi airport.  Private bus transfer to hotel in Erice. Evening tour of this ancient Phoenician city.  Welcome cocktails and dinner at hotel.

Day 3 - Mass (& tour) at 14C Chiesa Matrice,  Drive to Marsala; visit archeological museum or Marsala winery, if possible.  Lunch at typical seaside Sicilian trattoria.  Afternoon guided city tour of Marsala and visit island of Mozia.  Evening return to Erice.  Dinner on our own.  

Day 4 - Drive to Trapani and board aliscafo for the Isola di Favignana.  Late morning visit to a aprivate medical clinic.  Lunch at traditional Favignana restaurant.  Return to Erice.  Dinner on our own.  

Day 5 - Drive to Capo San Vito, then through the Riserva dello Zingaro nature preserve, a paradise for birds of prey.  Lunch at country restaurant.  Return to Erice.  Early diner on our own.  Bus to Trapani, board Ferry (with bus).  Overnight cruise (tirrenia navigazione) to Cagliari. Private cabins.

Day 6 - Arrive in Cagliari.  Bus to Oristano, the main city of Western Sardegna; brief city tour. Lunch in Oristano.  Afternoon drive back to hotel in Sassari.  Dinner on our own.

Day 7 - A.M. visit to the nuragi at Barumini.  Lunch in Tharros (?).  Early afternoon return to Sassari, with free time for shopping.  Dinner on our own.

Day 8 - Full day in Sassari, with visit to the University Hospital; didactic sessions.  Lunch in Sassari.  Afternoon visit to Pediatric Clinic.  Evening tour of Sassari.  Return to hotel.  Dinner on our own.

Day 9 - All day excursion to La Costa Smeralda.  Lunch at seaside restaurant.  P.M. browsing and shopping time or visit Sardinian vineyard.  Return to hotel in Sassari.  Dinner on our own.  Cooking demonstration.

Day 10 - Car-ferry from Santa Teresa Gallure, Sardegna, to Bonifacio, Corsica.  Drive along Eastern coastline road of Corsica.  Lunch en route in Porto Vecchio, Moby Dick restaurant.  Late afternoon/evening arrival at hotel in Bastia.  City tour of Bastia.  Dinner on our own.

Day 11 - Drive through the Castagniccia (chestnut) groves of Upper Corsica.  Lunch in La Porte, at l’Ampugnani, Corsican country restaurant.  Afternoon visit to the University of Corsica, hospital or clinic, in Corte.  Return to Bastia; late evening and dinner on our own.

Day 12 - Drive through the Northern Cap Corse Peninsula, to St. Florent, L’lle Rousse, to Calvi.  Lunch in Calvi, at bayside Chez Tao restaurant.  Drive to Ajaccio  (time?) or visit cheese factory.  Return to Bastia; late evening and dinner on our own.

Day 13 - Car-ferry from Bastia (Corsica) to Nice (Nizza).  Drive to hotel.  Lunch on our own.  P.M. city tour of Nice.  Leisure time for perambulating and shopping.  Dinner at typical restaurant in Nice.

Day 14 - A.M. visit to hospital in Nice.  Drive along French and Italian Rivieras: to Monte Carlo (elegant casino, dress code required), to San Remo.  Lunch in Monte Carlo.  Shopping in San Remo.  Late evening return to Nice hotel.  Dinner on our own.

Day 15 - Visit Grasse (center of the world’s perfume industry) and St-Paul-de-Vence.   Lunch on our own.  P.M. free for shopping.  Gala Dinner at typical Nice restaurant.  Distribution of Certificates and awarding of prizes.

Day 16 - Return flights directly from Nice to USA hubs.  Connection for domestic flights.

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