Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sicily Tour Savings

Our friends in the tour department have told us that they are offering discounts of 100 euros or more on the popular Golden Sicily tour for Spring, Summer and Autumn start dates. This applies to early reservations, made through April, for places based on double occupancy (two participants traveling together sharing a double room).

This is a one-week tour across Sicily. Groups are limited to just 16 participants, and start dates are every two weeks.

No other company in the world offers comparable tours of Sicily with such frequent departures. In fact, very few guarantee such a small group size.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sicily Tours for University Groups

Our friends over at Sicily Concierge asked us to remind readers that they do tours for university groups. In recent years, most have been from New York, and usually in late Winter or early Spring, rather than the Autumn semester. Having attended a lecture given to one of these groups in Palermo a few years ago, we were impressed.

Classical archeology is just one choice for the focus of such a tour, and the company has consulting/lecture arrangements with more English-speaking historians than any other tour operator in Sicily.

The point is that there are very few companies here in Italy that do such tours very well.

Check out their university student Sicily tour page for details.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sicily's Royal Family Unites

The dynasty of Bourbon Two Sicilies reigned from 1734 until 1861. Like too many - dare we say most - Italian families, they have been divided by a familial dispute for a long time. Over fifty years. It had become quite bitter indeed.

In this case it was a dynastic dispute over a crown unlikely ever to be restored. In 1960 two cousins, grandsons of King Ferdinando I (who was born in Palermo in 1810), emerged to claim to be head of the family. The feud spawned concern because the family administers certain institutions in Italy closely connected to cultural initiatives and the Catholic Church, particularly the Constantinian Order of Saint George. Some people supported one claimant and some the other. Some time ago we published an interview with Carlo de Bourbon, who is planning a visit to Sicily this month.

A week ago the Bourbons signed a family agreement of reconciliation, seeking, in a spirit of Christian brotherhood, to work out their differences over a series of matters that the outside world considers, to say the least, arcane. Carlo, Duke of Castro, and Pedro, Duke of Noto, the princes signing the agreement, are second cousins once removed. Both men had lived with the dispute for an entire lifetime.

In this picture (from left): Pedro's son Jamie, Pedro and his wife Sofia, Carlo's wife Camilla, Carlo and his two daughters Carolina and Chiara.