FREE BUS TOURS TO TAORMINA, SYRACUSE AND ORTYGIA
IJAS' conferences are synonymous with educational and cultural bus tours sponsored by tourism organizations within the host country.
On 30 and 31 May, during our conference in Sicily, we will be providing bus tours for our delegates to explore the island and see for themselves the touristic potential it offers for study abroad programs. The tours will deliver an authentic and in-depth immersion in the heritage and community that make this part of the world what it is.
Departure at 9:15 AM. We meet at the base of the elephant monument (Fontana dell'Elefante) in Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square). The monument is only a 3-minute walk from Il Principe (click map) where we will have the conference. We will then walk as a group from the elephant monument to the bus. This applies to both tours.
FIRST TOUR (30 May 2017) TO TAORMINA AND CASTELMOLA: INCLUDES FREE LUNCH (see above Departure note)
Spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain, Taormina is one of Sicily's most popular summer destinations, a chi-chi resort town popular with holidaying high-rollers and those wanting a taste of Sicilian dolce vita.
Founded in the 4th century BC, Taormina enjoyed great prosperity under the Greek ruler Gelon II and later under the Romans, but fell into quiet obscurity after being conquered by the Normans in 1087. Its reincarnation as a tourist destination dates to the 18th century, when northern Europeans discovered it on the Grand Tour. Among its fans was DH Lawrence, who lived here between 1920 and 1923.
Castelmola offers a balcony over Taormina and the bay of Giardini Naxos and is framed by the mysterious and beautiful active volcano, Mount Etna. Its narrow winding streets and Olde world charm make Castelmola a destination for anyone wishing to experience the enchanting beauty of Sicily from one of its most spectacular villages.
Taormina gets extremely busy in July and August and virtually shuts down between November and Easter. May is an ideal month in which to visit this destination.
SECOND TOUR (31 May 2017) TO SYRACUSE AND ORTYGIA ISLAND: ALSO INCLUDES FREE LUNCH (see above Departure note)
Syracuse is a wonder to behold. One of the great ancient capitals of Western civilization, the city was founded in 734 BC by Greek colonists from Corinth and soon grew to rival, and even surpass, Athens in splendor and power. It became the largest, wealthiest city-state in the West and a bulwark of Greek civilization. Although Siracusa lived under tyranny, rulers such as Dionysius filled their courts with Greeks of the highest cultural stature—among them the playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides, and the philosopher Plato. The Athenians, who didn't welcome Siracusa's rise, set out to conquer Sicily, but the natives outsmarted them in what was one of the greatest military campaigns in ancient history (413 BC). The city continued to prosper until it was conquered two centuries later by the Romans.
In the close vicinity of Syracuse lies the island of Ortygia, the ancient city first inhabited by the Greeks, which juts out into the Ionian Sea and is connected to the mainland by two small bridges. Ortygia is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, and we better visit it before it loses its old-fashioned charm in favor of modern boutiques.
The bus tours will be available free of charge to those who register for the whole conference (for $395 or higher). Delegates who register for just one day (US$295) are not eligible to participate in our cultural and educational bus tours.