CSUF: Sicily Study Abroad (2023)

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Tour Details

Stone & Compass is proud to partner with California State University Fullerton to run Study Abroad trips to Rome and Sicily, Italy. 

Come experience Southern Italy.  Learn about the history of this great land in an intimate and personalized way.  Meet locals and taste authentic food as we travel along the ancient Roman roads.  We start off in Rome with unique traditional walking tours and visits to all of the great archaeological and cultural sites. Then it’s on to the Vatican. We next travel to Sicily and the site of the great Carthaginian Empire where we will get an up-close look at the tragedies that struck this ancient land. 


June 17 – 30, 2023

Departure & Return Location

California to/from Rome, Italy


CSU Fullerton students



Day 1
Travel to Rome

Depart the United States on overnight flight to Rome

Day 2

Arrive Rome mid to late afternoon. Check into hotel. Enjoy some of Rome’s site and then enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a traditional Italian trattoria.

Day 3
Rome/Tour/Street Food

This morning we get a chance to do a street food tour of Rome – this will be an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast the street food we experience from Rome to Sicily.

In the late afternoon, we will visit the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain.

Dinner will be at a traditional Roman pizzeria.

Day 4
Travel to Palermo

Today we will travel from Rome to Palermo. After we check into our hotel, this afternoon we get an in-depth tour led by the famed Dr. Anita Bestler. Dr. Bestler who is affectionately known as Ms. Sicily, will guide students and staff around Palermo and get everyone accustomed to the sights and sounds of this amazing city.

Later, we will have dinner together at one of the famous trattorias of Palermo.

Day 5
Palermo – Elementary School Visit#1 - Urban/Street Food Tour

Today students gain insight into the education system used in Sicily by visiting a local elementary school. Students will be able to interact with teachers and youth in meaningful discussions.

Later today, we will go on a Street Food Tour. Palermo is ranked amongst the best cities in the world for street food. During our walk we wander through carts and kiosks of street vendors, markets and local bakeries We will try local specialties like arancin, panelle and sfincion and learn more about how food plays a role in community here and everyday life.

Day 6
Palermo – Elementary School Visit #2 - Rural

Today, students will have the opportunity to view one of Sicily’s rural schools and connect with students and staff there, continuing to build upon work from yesterday. Then students will have a chance to tour the University of Palermo and meet students and faculty from the educational department.

This evening you will have “free” time in the city. You will have the opportunity to view Sicilian life “in action” – observe families out in the evening – comparing with American culture and utilizing knowledge gained from the street food tour to see how food is incorporated into local culture.

Day 7
Palermo/Orphanage Visit/Puppeteering

This morning we will visit an orphanage and work with youth at a social center called Centro Padre Nostro. This center, directed by Maurizio Artale, runs after school programs for youth, teaches illiterate individuals, works with summer camps, and has programs to teach and care for mistreated women and their children. Maurizio is locally considered a hero as he has stood up against the Mafia over the years and their mistreatment of local citizens and suppression of education.

This afternoon, we get to meet a very special individual in Palermo, Mr Vincenzo Argento. He is the foremost authority on the preservation of this ancient and important art. Students will get to learn about the importance of puppeteering in Sicily and the role it has played in politics over the centuries.

Day 8

We bid farewell to Palermo and head to the east coast of the island, to the region of Syracuse and the island of Ortigia. Ortigia contains many historical landmarks including the Duomo. You will have a chance to explore the city. Later in the day, when it starts to cool down, we will enjoy a walking food tour of Ortigia and taste fresh fish, typical Sicilian appetizers and homemade Sicilian pastries. Eat and drink as locals do. During the tour you will learn about the history, culture and gastronomy of the area while passing the most important monuments of the town.

Lastly, we will have a chance to view the spectacular Duomo by night.

Day 9

This morning we will have the chance to swim in the Mediterranean Sea off of one of Ortigia’s famous swim platforms. Watch cliff divers and enjoy some relaxing time.

We spend the afternoon at the UNESCO heritage town of spectacular Noto, one of Sicily’s most beautiful towns, flanked by grandeur baroque palazzi and churches.

Later we will do a chocolate tour and tasting of the famous chocolate in Modica. You will hear about steps of making chocolate as well the philosophy behind the selection of raw materials up to the final product.

Day 10
Travel to Taormina/Cooking Class

After breakfast we will travel to Taormina for a cooking class. We will visit of Taormina’s Food Market, where local farmers, fishermen and butchers sell their fresh goods. You will select products for your class and with personal guidance from your chef learn culinary secrets of cooking homemade bread, pasta, fish and vegetables dishes in a traditional Sicilian style.

Day 11

Today students visit the Italian Language School of Taormina in the morning and get to partake in an informal lesson on speaking Italian and get to visit a local school to work with students and teachers and learn about the challenges of teaching in rural settings in Sicily. The challenges these schools have are heightened examples of the same challenges facing schools in Palermo.

Day 12

This morning we will travel to Cantania, where we will be met by Anna Maria Mirabella. Anna’s family goes back generations in Catania. Students will learn why this city is very different from other parts of Sicily. We will visit the famous Pescheria, the colorful, loud fish market, which is one of the oldest and biggest in Italy. Held every morning except Sunday, this market is everything one expects an Italian market to be — following the local traditions, fishermen will try to attract buyers with their loud voices and lots of gesticulations.

Visit the Benedictine Monastery, Greek Theater, and Cathedral.

Late this afternoon we will travel back to Palermo (2.5 hrs)

Day 13

Fly back to Rome, where you will have the opportunity to shop for traditional treats to take home. We will then all enjoy a farewell dinner at a famous Italian eatery.

Day 14

Enjoy one last glimpse of this amazing country as you enjoy breakfast then it is off to home with memories that will last a lifetime.


Price Includes

  • All Inclusive
  • Round-trip Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Translator
  • Museum/Historical Site Admission Fees
  • Transportation
  • Tour Guide(s)
  • Tips
  • Health Insurance

Price Excludes

  • Private ExpensesSnacks, gifts, shopping, etc.
  • Alcohol not included

Payment can be made in full or following the payment schedule below.

Total Price




Due:  February 1, 2023

Final Payment


Due:  March 15, 2023