LIBERTYVILLE, IL – Among TourCrafters’ roster of off-season European “market packages,” one of the most appealing is the 5-day/4-night Palermo (Sicily) Vucciria Market Package, which starts at US$965 and is valid from November 1 to March 31. The package includes round-trip air from New York, fuel surcharges, four nights at a choice of hotels, daily breakfast, a Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour of Palermo, and a brioche with gelato at the celebrated Caffetteria La Giada. What’s more, off-season in Palermo means no tourist crowds, temperatures in the low sixties, and almond trees that blossom as early as February.
The Palermo hotels on offer — there are six of them — range from the comfortable, centrally-located 4-star Artemisia Palace Hotel to the elegant Art Nouveau-style Villa Igiea Hilton with its terraced gardens and seaside swimming pool.
The Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour takes in the highlights of this fascinating port city, whose cultural mix reflects past invasions by Greeks, Arabs, Spaniards, Normans, and Byzantines. There are palaces, churches, piazzas, fountains, even catacombs, not to mention open-air markets, the most famous of which is the noisy Vucciria. Here, in this sprawling 700-year-old market, is a look at the daily life of Palermo, as vendors call out their wares — fresh fish, meat, artichokes, blood oranges, pasta, cheese, and designer knock-offs — to housewives and visitors. Stalls sell tasty lunchtime sandwiches and trattorie serve inexpensive pasta con le sarde (spaghetti with sardines) and other local specialties. Then, too, it’s possible to make day trips to the towns of Monreale and Cefalu, both of which boast beautiful, mosaic-covered cathedrals.
All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, are subject to availability, and do not include airport taxes that can be as high as US$116. Reservations must be paid for within 72 hours of booking. Add-on air fares are available for departure cities other than New York.
For additional information about the Palermo Vucciria Package and market packages to Paris, Nice, Madrid, and Istanbul, visit www.tourcrafters.com . For reservations, call 800-482-5995.