Western Sicily: From Palermo to Agrigento with Alice Bifarella
Context's Before You Go online seminars are designed for travelers looking to enhance their in-person experiences at famous landmark destinations in cities around the world.
The Sicilian island is a veritable Mediterranean jewel. Since antiquity it has been plagued by dozens of conquests–from the Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks, all the way up to the unification of Italy in the 20th century. This rather long list of conquerors inevitably entails a deeply complex history that is key to understanding the uniqueness of the island. The aim of this conversation is to provide travelers an overview of East Sicily, encouraging and preparing them for a future visit in person. Our conversation has been designed to compliment Context's Private Tours of Sicily.
Led by a local expert in Sicily, our discussion will begin with an introduction to the island’s geography and history, before exploring in some depth some of the most important and enticing sites in West Sicily, from Palermo to Agrigento. You will learn a great deal about Palermo, Sicily’s capital, its fascinating architecture that perfectly mirrors the different cultures that were present on the island over the centuries. And of course, we would be remiss if we didn't learn about Sicilian culinary traditions which have stood the test of time.
Our journey will then continue through the province of Trapani, with its charming medieval hill-top village of Erice, the scenic ruins of Segesta, the amazing Zingaro Natural Reserve, and the salt pans of Marsala. We will finish our journey on the south-western coast of Sicily, looking at two of the Mediterranean’s most prestigious Greek archaeological sites, Selinunte and Agrigento. This stunning mix of nature, culture, traditions, food and wine will make for a wonderful introduction to West Sicily that will meet everyone’s tastes. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants of this online learning experience will get helpful and inspiring tips to better enjoy their in-person travels to Sicily.
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Alice Bifarella holds a degree in Classics from the University of Bologna and a postgraduate Master's degree in Art History and Archaeology from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris. She has been working for many years as a field archaeologist. Since the beginning of her career, her main goal has been to make archaeology and art more approachable to the general public. Her long experience as a museum educator has given her the training to work easily both with children and adults. She likes to see herself as an enthusiast and passionate ambassadress of Sicily’s cultural heritage.