During the eighteenth century, young offspring of the British aristocracy were used to going to an educational journey, which could often last for months or even for years, all over continental Europe, in order to refine their education, both human and cultural.
The Grand Tour was typically bound for Italy, to be concluded by the tour of Sicily. During their Grand Tour, the British youngsters would come into touch with society and culture of those countries they were visiting from time to time; there, they would tour, whilst applying themselves to their studies; besides, they would often spend their time purchasing fine work of arts and antiques.
Owing to its climate, landscape and traditions, both artistic and historical, Italy became soon the privileged destination of the Grand Tour, also for young people from other European countries. Among these, mention is to be made of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, the great German poet. Having gone on his famous Journey to Italy 1786-1788, he said about his tour through Sicily: “One cannot form any idea of Italy if one does not know Sicily. Sicily is where the key for everything can be found”.
Following the outbreak of the French revolution, the Grand Tour vogue was interrupted, although it was soon recovered in the Restoration period, when this habit was also extended to young women of high rank.
The Grand Tour of Sicily is an exclusive, educational activity that aims at revisiting the traditional Grand Tour vogue from a modern viewpoint, by exploiting the extraordinary heritage of Sicily.
In an exceptionally attractive environment, along the wonderful Sun Coast, between crystal clear waters lapping on the shore and the traces of a multimillenial civilisation, our Holiday Farm will be hosting, starting Summer 2010, a series of residential Courses on Culture for those young people (12-26 years) who wish to know more and more whilst approaching an outlook on life based on recovering historical memory as well as traditional values.
The Savoir Vivre Residential Courses will have a duration of two weeks. Please note that the single participants will be divided into groups, which will be of no less than 4 and no more than 12 Guests at a time
The Grand Tour of Sicily is a holiday that combines education and fun. However, it is more, far more than a usual study vacation.
Educational activities within the residence intermingle with a rich schedule of visits with privileged access to extremely attractive places, both from environmental and cultural points of view. Excursions are also provided, such as to the Aeolian Islands, Palermo and the Conca d’Oro, the Etna, Syracuse as well as to other destinations, always with the assistance of qualified tourist guides; if necessary, overnight stays are also provided within hosting facilities to equivalent standards. Furthermore, according to the genuine spirit of Grand Tour, the otherwise inaccessible world of the more illustrious Sicilian families will be disclosed to our young Guests: for instance, by visiting renowned cellars where vintage wines and liqueurs, or art collections are kept, within historical residences, or primary factories, where tradition is revisited through masterly innovations on technology to be acknowledged throughout the world. Furthermore, assistance is provided to a number of events, such as: cultural evenings in the splendid Grecian theatres through the island, in an atmosphere which goes beyond time and space; pageantries; sacred feasts, with their typical theatricality; classical music concerts; arts and performance festivals, and many other activities.
The residential Courses on Culture, which The Grand Tour of Sicily provides, offer far more than a Summer Camp of Etiquette for teenagers and young adults. They are a real school of life. They favour the harmonious formation of the character for those who shall have growing responsibilities as well as strong decision-making positions some day in the world. Therefore, they are particularly suitable for those young people who are training for some brilliant career in the world of business, professions, high finance, diplomacy and institutions.
Give your children the Grand Tour of Sicily: the best investment in your life. For their lives.
A former noble agricultural resort from the mid-nineteenth century, this is surrounded by lemon, banana and olive tree cultivations, as well as by a wide park with refined flora essences, some of which imported, rare and, in some cases, even unique in Europe.
Located in a naturalistic area within the municipality of S. Agata di Militello, in the district of Messina, Rosmarino Park Holiday Farm can easily be reached by train (S. Agata di Militello station), by plane (Catania, Palermo or Reggio Calabria airports) or by car (A20 Motorway, Messina-Palermo: “Rocca di Caprileone” exit, for those coming from Messina; “S. Agata di Militello” exit, for those coming from Palermo).
At a distance of about 800 metres, there is a beach, with all facilities, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, facing the Aeolian Islands, with free access for all bathers. Our Holiday Farm is situated on the edge of The Nebrodi Mountains Regional Park, the widest park in Sicily, which can be easily reached also for ecological walks.
The Grand Tour of Sicily Courses on Culture apply a residential formula, comparable to the one of the Colleges of oldest traditions (such as many of the British and Swiss ones).
Accommodation is provided in rooms with all modern conveniences, with a single bed or two beds. Our young Guests have the opportunity to socialise with their companions; in addition, as they are to share this educational experience of exceptional value, even in the simplest things, they are likely to establish invaluable ties of solidarity and friendship, which may even last a lifetime.
The residence has a private library (about 7,000 books, with computerised list), which our young Guests may autonomously use to learn.
In the park surrounding the residence, our Guests will have plenty of facilities at their disposal, such as a swimming-pool, billiard and chess tables, pieces of equipment and facilities for water sports, or, simply, for some relaxation and entertainment.
A Roman-Catholic priest may be present within the residence upon request, both to give spiritual assistance to our young Guests and look after their moral forming. However, all those whishing to attend the Holy Mass which is celebrated in the family chapel on Sundays will be most welcomed.
Touristic and Cultural Outings
Part and parcel of the culture residential Course, as they combine education and fun, are visits with privileged access to places of special attractions, both environmental and cultural, through Sicily.
As for tourist excursions, a true, this land offers an inexhaustible scenery of environmental wonders, from volcanoes such as Etna and Stromboli, to the Islands where the myths of Grecians revive perennially.
The beautiful landscape includes most ancient settlements, such as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the Mozia region and the mosaics at the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina.
The art of the great ancient poets lives up to our days in the many Greek theatres, such as in Taormina, Tindari, or in Siracusa, where another attraction is represented by the Ear of Dionysius, a cave where, according to legend, the tyrant could eavesdrop what his captives would say.
The subsequent dominations also left unmistakable traces in stunningly beautiful monuments, such as the Palace of the Normans and the Cathedral in Palermo or the Duomo in Monreale.
A visit should also be paid to the superb baroque buildings in Noto, where the Cathedral was recently restored to its full splendor.
In addition to tourist excursions, cultural tours are also provided for which aim to literally open to our young Guests, in the genuine tradition of the Grand Tour, the doors of some special places such as the cellars of an ancient Sicilian family which produces fine wines; or the shipyard where luxury vessels are produced for highly selected international customers; or also the precious art collections kept in some private residence in town.
Especially during the summer months, in Sicily many festivals and shows are kept which draw many people from the entire world. The Greek theaters in the Island, especially the one in Taormina, are the usual spaces where the traditional season of classical plays is kept, in an atmosphere which is out of time and space, and sometimes also special festivals are kept which are devoted to the various arts (theater, music, dance, cinema). renowned Festival of classical music is kept in Noto, the capital of the Sicilian baroque. And tradition lives in the religious feasts, characterized by dramatically evocative processions and ceremonies, and in historical events such as the Palio of the Normans in Piazza Armerina or the Palio and the Feast of the Sea in Siracusa.
ProgramArrival and Introducing Just as soon as they arrive at the station or land at the selected airport (Palermo, Catania or Reggio Calabria), our Guests will find a driver waiting for them. They will then be driven, by car or luxury minibus, straight to the private residence where they will live and attend courses.
There, they will be welcomed by the Tutor. First of all, he will describe the program and will make his best to have Guests making themselves at home.
In the evening, dinner will be served either in the residence garden or in the swimming-pool.
After conversation, our Guests shall go back to their apartments by 11 o’clock.
The following is only one of The Grand Tour of Sicily schedules that have been planned for our kind Guests:
In the last evening, a gala dinner will be held, either within the residence or the historical seat of a primary Circle.
The party will be honoured by the presence of some personages, who may be glad to have conversation with our young Guests at the very end of their educational experience.
Leave and departure
During the last morning, either before or after lunch as they prefer, our kind Guests will take leave of the residency and their companions. Those having previously make the request will be driven by car or luxury minibus to the station or the selected airport (Palermo, Catania or Reggio Calabria), where they will embark on their flight back.
Calendar of Courses and Enrolment
Each series of Courses will take place over a two weeks period, Monday to Saturday of the following week.
There is a choice among the following three periods: