To see Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all. It makes sense of everything - Goethe
Key Information & Pricing
- 4th May to 2nd June, 2020
- Return Emirates flights
- 5 nights in Malta
- 19 nights in Sicily
- Overnight Dubai stopovers
- Performance tickets
and all scheduled entries and activities
- Daily buffet breakfast
- 10 dinners, 3 'long' lunches
- Professional tour manager
and local guides
- Hosted by Jennifer & Stewart
- Contact us for full details
Music-Lovers Tours by OPERATIF!
Why Travel With Jennifer & Stewart?
- A boutique, 'hands-on' operation, we create every tour from the ground up, booking all hotels, activities, tickets, restaurants directly with the suppliers. This guarantees high standards, meticulous organisation and excellent value for money.
- We give personal attention to all aspects of planning and hosting our tours, and you will always deal directly with us.
- OPERATIF is an established business, operating since 1994, which also offers Music Lovers Tours.
- As professional singers we have a high level of industry knowledge and are confident in choosing performances and in dealing direct with theatres and opera houses.
- Our tours are guaranteed to depart. Being so popular they are never dependent on numbers. Many people now reserve their place even before tours are on sale.
- Our travel clients love music, so you have something in common with your fellow travellers from the outset.
- We have an enviably high number of repeat clients which is testimony to our product and level of service.
- With no need of glossy brochures, expensive advertising or other ‘overheads’ our clients receive better value.
- We devote countless hours, days and months to researching and creating every tour 'from the ground up.' We do not use travel agents, or incoming travel companies. We do not use '3rd party' ticket agencies to acquire opera or concert tickets, as we have direction relationships with the theatres.
- Even once a tour is on sale, we continue to work on the itinerary, honing it and inserting more activities or visits we’ve discovered.
- We give advice on weather, what to pack, money to take and how and the best ways of communicating with home. We are there to assist you at all times.
- We choose high standard (4-star), character/ historic hotels in prime, central locations.
- We strive to create lasting, wonderful memories, including special experiences that we know will stay with you long after the tour finishes.
- Our tours are at a leisurely pace, (on average, three night stays in each hotel) so you’ve time to really ‘feel’ and absorb everything.
- We hate early morning departures, rushing and feeling you are jumping on and off coaches. We avoid all of these things.
- We allow free time for you to relax or to explore in smaller groups...to shop, sit in a village square, visit small galleries, gardens or see extra concerts.
- You’ll have Jennifer and Stewart as your hosts, plus, on European and Asian tours, our tour director and local specialist guides to look after you.
- Our meals are superior quality. Unlike many package tours, we generally offer 3 courses with 3 choices in each. We choose each course in consultation with the restaurants. All meals are served with local wine, mineral water, or softer drinks if you prefer.
Stewart and Jennifer LOVE returning to places they’ve enjoyed before. A little familiarity allows further ‘depth.’ Just like visiting old ‘friends’ you haven’t seen for a while, memories are rekindled as new ones are created....lovely!
We aim for every client on every tour to experience a ‘trip of a lifetime. We hope to see you soon.
Jennifer & Stewart
'Southern Passion!' - The Exotic Islands of Sicily & Malta - May 2020
Join Jennifer and Stewart on a tour filled with layers of history and culture, stunning vistas and endless contrast as we explore the fascinating islands of Sicily & Malta!
Our spectacular tour includes Dubai stopovers to ensure you are at your peak to enjoy every moment..(and not too tired to tell all your tales on your return!) You will travel in the good company of other music-lovers and together enjoy performances of opera and other music, including regional folk performances of song and dance as well as the giant Sicilian puppets known as 'pupi'. A highpoint is the authentic and atmospheric performance of one of the famous Greek tragedies, in the Ancient Theatre at Siracusa...'an experience you will never forget!
Our tour begins In Malta, where we stay 5 nights in a truly stunning 5-star hotel nestled beside the city walls in the capital, Valetta. (You can even touch the massive wall as you enjoy a swim in their fabulous pool which overlooks the harbour.) This will be our base for exploring Valetta and surrounds from the prehistoric to the authentic nearby Arab towns of Mdina and Rabat where you can wander silent streets of stone buildings.
We'll explore the War History with an excellent museum located at the fortress. Then there is the fascinating legacy of the Knights of St John, signified by the famous Maltese Cross. This is a big part of Malta's story past and present and we'll visit the incredible St John's Co-Cathedral and learn all about it. There is much to see in the centre of Valetta and you'll enjoy walking the wide pedestrian streets lined with huge sandstone buildings and many appealing cafes and eateries. The Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens too offer endless views over the magnificent harbour, and places to relax at an outdoor café. Here, at the Upper Barrakka you can see the soldiers daily ceremony which proceeds the deafening cannon salute over the harbour at midday. Oh..and if you don't hear a brass band or two...we'll be amazed! They seemed to be everywhere when we were there!
After Malta it's a short flight to stunning Sicily, a place you'll fall in love with as you visit a variety of tiny coastal and mountain villages, grand, bustling cities and elegant resort towns, the latter frequented over the years by many famous celebrities.....writers, actors, musicians and artists. As you look out at the brilliant blue sea and up at the snow-capped living volcano of Etna, it's easy to see why artists sought inspiration in Sicily. You will be amazed at the ingenuity of the ancients as we visit sites including the famous 'Valley of the Temples' at Agrigento. Here, the largely intact Temple of Concordia is a striking sight to behold. Then there are stunning churches and cathedrals, many filled with glittering mosaics and gold and all holding rich histories and many secrets within their walls.
Noble villas too are a big part of Sicily and you won't forget the breath-taking mosaic floors, (all that remains), of the huge hunting retreat of Villa Romana. We'll visit at least one villa which is still inhabited by a noble family, filled with antiques and stories and possibly even a prince or princess to greet us if they are home. This can never be guaranteed but if they are home, they do delight in sharing their heritage with we visitors.
Everywhere you will see grand sandstone buildings, many ornately decorated with all manner of statues and gargoyles.
As we tour around, we'll savour many local specialties and wines, with many dinners included as well as a couple of long lunches. One memorable occasion is a tour and lunch at a small farm where everything you eat, from cheeses and breads to olives, cured meats, vegetables, the famous caponata, wine, liqueur, even those fabulous Sicilian Cannoli has been produced on the farm, the history of which goes back centuries. This visit brings home the raw earthiness which lies beneath the surface all over Sicily. We will visit TV Insp. Montalbano's Ragusa and the nearby baroque sandstone beauty, Noto, where the buildings are ornately decorated with statues, gargoyles and flourishes. Here we'll have the special thrill of seeing the 'Infiorita' - their annual festival where artists 'paint' images on the streets with flowers. You will love such regional experiences and you will love the grandeur of Palermo and Catania with their wide streets, majestic buildings and magnificent opera houses! We aim to hear opera in both places and to tour Palermo's Teatro Massimo. ( its stage rivalled only by the Opera Garnier, Paris )
You will be welcomes enthusiastically to a private show of traditional Sicilian songs and dances. This family-owned company passionately presents performances in their own small theatre in Palermo. On this tour, everything is brought to life by our local guides and knowledgeable Tour Director. You'll be amazed as you unlock layer upon layer of history featuring many nations of the world and set in some of the most breathtaking scenery and locations you will ever encounter. There is truly so much to explore and enjoy on these two completely different but equally fascinating islands, we simply can't mention it all here. Join us and you'll very quickly see what we mean as you are instantly absorbed in all that surrounds you.
Each of our delightful 4-star hotels has been hand-picked for its character and charm as well as its central location for easy exploration on foot. Enjoy full buffet breakfasts daily (and try to resist the sweet treats!!) Relax as all visits and entries in the itinerary are included and everything is meticulously organised. You will be well cared-for throughout the tour by our professional tour director, our local guides and your hosts and tour creators. Do join us. Jennifer & Stewart.