Sicily 2019

Hosted by Father John Gatzak

Executive Director, Office of Radio & Television
and General Manager, WJMJ-FM

October 31 to November 13, 2019




Book Now Rates (until June 15, 2019):
   Double $3,749 (That's just $268 per person, per day!)
   Single $4,547** 
​Regular rates (after June 15, 2019):
Double $3,949; Single $4,747**

​*All quoted rates are per person, double occupancy and based on a minimum of 30 passengers traveling in your group.  Price includes all estimated government-imposed taxes and fees and airline fuel surcharges and fees of $468.13 as of March 18, 2019 (subject to change until ticketed).  Important Conditions: Your price is subject to increase prior to the time you make full payment.  Your price is not subject to increase after you make full payment, except for charges resulting from increases in government-imposed taxes and fees or airline fuel surcharges and fees.  **The number of Single rooms available is limited.
​​Please be advised that there is extensive slow paced walking every day of this tour over uneven surfaces, cobblestone streets and walkways.​

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1 Overnight non-stop flight to Rome
Day 2-4 Palermo, Grand Hotel Wagner
Day 5 Trapani, Baglio Oneto Resort
Day 6 Agrigento, iH Resort Agrigento Kaos
Day 7-10 Taormina, Excelsior Palace Hotel
Day 11-13 Siracusa, Hotel Parco delle Fontane
Day 14 Return flights to JFK, New York

​​​Air Transportation Provided by Alitalia


  • Palermo+, Sicily’s largest port and its capital
  • Monreale+ and Cefalu+
  • Erice, a beautiful, medieval mountain top town
  • Mozia, once the home to a Phoenician colony
  • Trapani and the Archeological Park of Selinunte
  • Sciacca founded by the Greeks in the 5th century BC
  • The Valley of the Temples+ in Agrigento
  • Villa Romana del Casale+ with its Roman mosaics
  • Savoca and other locations filmed for "The Godfather"
  • Taormina… Roman ruins and breathtaking views of Mt. Etna and the sea
  • Messina, Sicily's 3rd largest city
  • Mt. Etna+, Sicily’s tallest peak and Europe’s tallest active volcano
  • Catania+, and its old town
  • The Baroque towns of Modica+ and Ragusa+,
  • Siracusa+ and its old town, Ortigia

+UNESCO World Heritage Sites


  • Round trip, economy class air transportation from JFK, New York.
  • All government-imposed taxes and fees and airline fuel surcharges and fees as of 3/18/2019.  If at ticketing these are greater than estimated, the additional amount will increase your price.
  • Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure in Italy.
  • 12 Nights accommodations at tourist class hotels or better, double occupancy (twin beds) with private bath or shower.
  • All hotel taxes and service charges.
  • 23 Meals:  12 Breakfasts; 4 Lunches and 7 Dinners, with wine and mineral water included.
  • Fully escorted by professional English speaking Tour Director from arrival to departure.
  • English speaking local guides.
  • All sightseeing, excursions and entrance fees as per itinerary, subject to change.
  • Modern, private air-conditioned motor coach.
  • Hotel porterage of one (1) bag per person while in Italy.
  • All gratuities for tour director, drivers, local guides, porters and restaurant staff.
  • Tour listening device for entire tour.​


  • Optional travel protection.  See Group Travel Protection Plan flyer/application for details and costs.
  • Optional round trip JFK airport motor coach transfer from Hartford or Prospect: $149 per person.
  • Optional sightseeing or pre/post tour extensions.
  • Air travel deviations.
  • Passport or Visa fees.
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g., laundry, telephone, extra or non-included beverages/meals, etc.).
  • Items not specified in tour brochure and itinerary.
  • Meals not listed in tour brochure and itinerary (most lunches and 5 dinners).
  • Mass offerings.

Note: Itinerary, optional sightseeing tours and sequence of same, Mass frequency/locations, and meal locations are subject to change, and are conducted weather and time permitting.  Vatican events, including Papal General Audiences and Masses, are subject to ticket availability, scheduling and change/cancellation without notice, solely at the Vatican’s discretion.  In the rare case where alternate hotel accommodations might be necessary, a similarly classed hotel will be substituted.  Please be advised that hotel check-in may not be possible until after 3 p.m.  Please note that the tour host may change due to reasons beyond the tour operator’s control.  In addition, the tour host may not and representatives of the tour sponsor and tour operator do not accompany passengers on included air and ground transportation.  All Information displayed and printed in the tour brochure is as of 4/25/2019 and is subject to change.

Optional Tours

Mt. Etna ExcursionThe “Funivia dell’Etna” (Cableway of Etna) is the only society on the south side of the Etna that makes it possible to reach, by cablecar and special off-road buses, the authorized upper crater zones of the highest volcano in Europe.  Cost per person is €65 and includes cablecar, off-road bus and Etna mountain guide.  Cost does not include gratuity for the Etna mountain guide.  Recommended gratuity is €2 per person. Minimum group size is 10.

Recommended Clothing: the Mountain requires specific clothing and accessories.  Trekking shoes and anoraks are recommended (these can also be rented at at the cablecar stop at 2,500 meters).

This excursion is not recommended for those who have high blood pressure or heart problems or those who suffer from asthma or have any ambulatory issues.


(subject to change)

DAY 1/Thursday, October 31 - Depart Home
Overnight flight from JFK International Airport, New York to Rome(meals in flight)

DAY 2/Friday, November 1 - Arrive Rome/Transfer to Palermo, Sicily
On arrival at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport you will transfer to your connecting flight to Palermo.  On arrival at Palermo’s Falcone Borsellino Airport, you’ll be met by your English-speaking tour director and transfer to and check-in at the Grand Hotel Wagner.  Remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the historic city of Palermo on your own.  This afternoon, Father John will celebrate a welcome Mass at a local church.  Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.  Overnight at Grand Hotel Wagner, Palermo. (D)

DAY 3/Saturday, November 2 - Palermo/Monreale/Cefalù
This morning you’ll meet your local guide for a full day of sightseeing.  This morning you'll tour Palermo, whose Arab-Norman influences have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the Duomo and see a typical Sicilian street market.  This afternoon, you'll visit the Cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalù. Dinner is on your own this evening.  Overnight at Grand Hotel Wagner, Palermo.  (B)

DAY 4/Sunday, November 3 - Palermo
This morning together with your local guide you’ll explore some of Palermo’s unique attractions.  Including the 16th century Oratorio di San Lorenzo (Oratory of St. Lawrence), the Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita (Oratory of the Rosary of St. Cita) and the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo.  Free time for lunch will be offered between visits.  This afternoon learn all about the history of anchovies when you visit the Anchovy Museum.  Remainder of the day is free to experience Palermo at your own pace.  Note: depending on local parish schedules, either Father John will celebrate a private Mass for the group or the group will attend a local parish Mass in Italian.  Dinner is on your own this evening.  Overnight at Grand Hotel Wagner, Palermo.  (B)

DAY 5/Monday, November 4 - Palermo/Trapani
This morning you’ll depart for Trapani with a few stops along the way, including the beautiful, medieval mountain-top (elevation 2,460 feet) town founded by the Phoenicians... Erice and its spectacular views and sweet Sicilian treats. Then you’ll proceed to Mozia for lunch at a local ristorante and a visit to the Salt Museum.  Following lunch continue to the Baglio Oneto Resort in Trapani and check-in.  Dinner is at your hotel this evening.  Overnight at Baglio Oneto Resort, Trapani.  (B, L, D)

DAY 6/Tuesday, November 5 – Trapani/Sciacca/Agrigento
This morning you will visit the Archeological Park of Selinunte, an ancient Greek city that at its peak, before 409 BC, had a population of 30,000 people, excluding slaves.  Lunch is included today at a local ristorante.  After lunch, continue to Sciacca, a town founded by the Greeks in the 5th century BC because of its thermal spas, for a self-guided visit.  Then continue to Agrigento and check-in at the iH Resort Agrigento Kaos.  Dinner is at your hotel this evening.  Overnight at iH Resort Agrigento Kaos, Agrigento. (B, L, D)

DAY 7/Wednesday, November 6 – Agrigento/Taormina
This morning, Father John will celebrate Mass in the 12th century Cistercian church of San Nicola. After Mass, you'll meet your local guide for a walking tour tour of Agrigento's archeological she known as the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then you’re off to Piazza Armerina “The City of Mosaics”.  On the way you’ll stop for lunch at a local ristorante highligting "agriturismo".  After lunch, a local guide leads you on an exploration of Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which contains over 12,000 square feet of mosaics which are considered among the most beautiful mosaics of the Roman Empire.  Following the tour continue to Taormina… a town of runaway bougainvillea, cacti adorning the hills, pastel colored walls, garden terraces, ancient ruins and views of Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea.  Here you will check-in to your home for the next four days the Excelsior Palace Hotel.  Dinner is on your own this evening.  Overnight at Excelsior Palace Hotel, Taormina.  (B, L)

DAY 8/Thursday, November 7 – Taormina/Savoca
After breakfast you’ll depart for a visit to Savoca, a beautiful Sicilian village where scenes from “The Godfather” were filmed.  Then continue to the Barone Platania estate, where the villa featured in “The Godfather” is located.  This afternoon, return to Taormina where a local guide awaits to lead you on a walking city tour featuring the Roman Theatre.  Remainder of the day is free for self-exploration or shopping!  Dinner is included at the hotel this evening. Overnight at Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina.  (B, D)

DAY 9/Friday, November 8 - Taormina/Mt. Etna
This morning you’ll visit Mt. Etna, Sicily's tallest peak, Europe’s tallest active volcano, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a self-guided visit or take part in the OPTIONAL excursion to Mt. Etna's upper crater.  The visit of Mt. Etna is followed by lunch at a local osteria in the countryside.  Remainder of the day is at leisure.  Dinner is on your own this evening.  Overnight at Excelsior Palace Hotel, Taormina.  (B, L)

DAY 10/Saturday, November 9 - Taormina/Messina
Today you have full day excursion to a city founded as Zancle by the Greeks in the 8th century BC and now is Sicily’s 3rd largest city.… Messina.  Here your local guide for the day takes you to some of Messina's historic sites, including the Cathedral and its famous Astronomical  Clock Tower and Treasury, and the promenade overlooking the city and the Straits of Messina“The most beautiful kilometer of the Italian peninsula”.  You’ll also visit nearby Milazzo and its castle and citadel.  Free time will be allotted for lunch.  Late afternoon return to Taormina and your hotel.  Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight at Excelsior Palace Hotel, Taormina.  (B)

DAY 11/Sunday, November 10 – Taormina/Catania/Siracusa
This morning you’ll depart for Siracusa, stopping in Aci Trezza, a small village with a long maritime history on the Ionian See, and then continue to Catania , whose Baroque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Here you'll meet your local guide for a walking tour.  Free time for lunch, then you’ll continue to Siracusa and check-in at the Hotel Parco delle FontaneNote: depending on local parish schedules, either Father John will celebrate a private Mass for the group or the group will attend a local parish Mass in Italian.  Dinner this evening is at a local ristorante in Ortigia, the old town of Siracusa.  Overnight at Hotel Parco delle Fontane, Siracusa.  (B, L, D)

DAY 12/Monday, November 11 - Siracusa/Modica/Ragusa
Following breakfast, you’ll depart for a full day excursion with a local guide to Modica, famous for its chocolate produced with an original ancient Aztec recipe, and Ragusa.  Modica and Ragusa, together with five other cities in the Val di Noto famous for their Baroque architecture, are listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  They were all rebuilt after the destructive earthquake in 1693, either on or beside the towns that existed at the time.  They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement.  Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building (source: whc.unesco.org).  Free time for lunch then return to Siracusa where the remainder of the day is free for personal activities or relaxing by the pool.  Dinner this evening is at your hotel.  Overnight at Hotel Parco delle Fontane, Siracusa. (B, D)

DAY 13/Tuesday, November 12 - Siracusa
This morning, you'll meet your local guide for a sightseeing tour of Siracusa which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the Archaeological Park of the Neapolis, where the Roman Amphitheater, Greek Theatre and Ear of Dionysius are located.  Then continue to Siracusa’s old town… Ortigia.  Free time for lunch and shopping then return to the hotel.  Remainder of the afternoon is free to relax by the pool or pack... yuck!  This evening join your fellow travelers and celebrate your time together in Sicily with a farewell Mass celebrated by Father John at the Church of St. Paul in Solarino, the hometown of Father John's maternal grandmother.  After Mass, enjoy the group's farewell dinner at a local ristorante.  Overnight at Hotel Parco delle Fontane, Siracusa. (B, D)

DAY 14/Wednesday, November 13 - Siracusa/Home
Today, you’ll say arrivederci to Sicily.  Early wake-up, breakfast, check-out and transfer to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport for your flight to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport, and transfer to your connecting flight home to JFK International Airport, New York(B, meals in flight)

(B) = Breakfast • (L) = Lunch with Wine • (D) = Dinner with Wine

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Sicily 2019 Terms and Conditions

TOUR PRICES:  The tour price includes round-trip airfare from JFK International Airport, NY and land services in Italy as outlined in the tour brochure and itinerary.  All prices stated herein are quoted in U.S. dollars (unless otherwise stated) and are based on tariffs, taxes and currency exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.  Your price is subject to increase prior to the time you make full payment.  Your price is not subject to increase after you make full payment, except for charges resulting from increases in government-imposed taxes and fees or airline fuel surcharges and fees.  Tour documents and airline tickets will be issued after final payment has been received and processed, normally during a pre-departure group meeting held 1-3 weeks prior to departure.

A deposit of $350 is required to secure a reservation.  Late reservations (within 60 days of departure) accepted, if space is available, with full payment due immediately by bank check or money order, and may be subject to a $100 late reservation fee plus any increase in quoted airfare.

Payment by cash, check or money order made payable to FJ Tours, LLC or credit card.  Returned checks are subject to a $25 fee.

GROUP SIZE:  All tour prices herein are per person and based on a minimum of 25 passengers, except for optional tours which require a minimum of 10 passengers.

AIR TRANSPORTATION:  Regularly scheduled economy class service on any International Air Transportation Association (IATA) or Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) (i.e., commercial) carrier.  Transatlantic air transportation is based on special, non-refundable economy class contracted fares for this group.  The air taxes (domestic and foreign government taxes, which include security fees (including the September 11th security fee), airport facility charges, customs, immigration and inspection fees, etc.) and airline fuel surcharges and fees, as of 03/18/2019, are included in the tour cost, and are subject to change until tickets are issued.  If final government-imposed air taxes and fees or airline fuel surcharges and fees are greater than estimated, the additional amount will be billed on a final tour invoice.  There is no advance seat selection for group departures.  Early check-in is required to secure seats with a travel companion.  International flights require arriving at the departure airport at least three (3) hours prior to departure.  The passenger is solely responsible for getting to departure airports, check-in and boarding for all flights within the airline's published times.  The Tour Operator assumes no liability or responsibility for missed flights or connections.  Land Only packages do not include airport-hotel transfers in destination countries.

PASSENGER NAME:  Passenger is responsible for ensuring that the passenger name printed on the tour invoice matches EXACTLY the name as it appears on their passport.  Due to security requirements, any name change including minor spelling corrections are subject to airline change fees, and may require airline reservations to be cancelled and rebooked.  Airline reservations are subject to availability at the time of rebooking and may result in an increased airfare.  Any airline change fees or increased airfare are the passenger’s responsibility.  Airline tickets once issued are nonrefundable.  The Tour Operator assumes no liability or responsibility for denial of services by any carrier due to any name discrepancy.

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS:  Double occupancy, standard twin bedded rooms with private bath throughout.  Single rooms are available at an additional cost as stated in the tour brochure.  Single rooms, although assuring privacy, may be small in size and may be located in remote parts of the hotel away from the rest of the group.  A limited number of single rooms are available.  Special requests such as bed types, smoking preferences, and connecting rooms are subject to availability.  On those rare occasions when we are not able to find a roommate for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement.  Every effort will be made to give you sufficient prior notice if we cannot find you a roommate.  Triple rooms may not be available in all countries and usually have limited availability.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS:  Passports are required of all passengers.  A valid U.S. passport that does not expire for at least six months after your scheduled return date (May 13, 2020) is required for all U.S. citizens.  U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the European Union of which Italy is a member.  Non-U.S. citizens must check entry requirements with their respective Embassy or Consulate, and are responsible for obtaining their own visas and any other required travel documents at their own expense.  The Tour Operator assumes no liability or responsibility for passport or visa procurement, or denial of services by any carrier due to lack of proper travel documentation.

LUGGAGE:  Each passenger is limited to ONE (1) checked bag, that may have a maximum weight of 50 pounds and not exceed 62 linear inches (L+W+D), plus one (1) carry-on.  Any bag exceeding these rules is subject to the airline’s excess baggage fees and are the passenger’s responsibility.  Please visit the airline’s web site for complete baggage rules and restrictions.  Hotel porterage services of one (1) bag per person are offered with this tour throughout Italy.  The Tour Operator accepts no liability or responsibility for loss or damage of luggage, although maximum care will be taken to ensure safe handling of your luggage.

CANCELLATION POLICY & PENALTIES:  All cancellations must be received in writing and signed by the person who made the original reservation.  Cancellations are only effective from the day they are actually received, either by fax, email or U.S. Mail, by FJ Tours, LLC.  No refunds are issued for cancellations received after the tour departure date.  If you cancel your tour, cancellation penalties will apply and will be deducted from any refund.  Cancellation penalties apply to each passenger and the amount of the penalties assessed is based on the date the cancellation is effective, as follows.  On or before August 1, 2019 - Full Refund less $50 administration fee; on or before August 31, 2019 - $350.00; on or before September 15, 2019 - 50% of total tour cost; on or before September 30, 2019 - 75% of total tour cost; on or after October 1, 2019 - 100% of total tour cost, no refund.  Any unused tour portions are non-refundable.  A travel protection plan with trip cancellation coverage is highly suggested.

TRAVEL PROTECTION:  The Tour Operator offers an OPTIONAL travel protection plan for this tour.  Please see the Group Travel Protection Plan flyer/application for complete details and costs, and the Group Travel Protection Plan Document for complete terms and conditions. Both the Tour Operator and Tour Sponsor strongly encourage all passengers to protect their travel investment with a travel protection plan.

MEDICAL CONDITION:  The Tour Operator makes every effort to provide a high level of service to all passengers.  Passengers who require special assistance must be accompanied by a qualified helper who assumes total responsibility for the disabled passenger’s well being.  The Tour Operator is not responsible for any medical condition that occurs prior to, during or after the tour.

RESPONSIBILITY:  The responsibility of FJ Tours, LLC, 15 Peach Orchard Road, PO Box 7177, Prospect, CT 06712-0177, Tel.: 203.805.5035, Fax: 203.916.5800, email: info@fj-tours.com,
www.fj-tours.com, herein called the “Tour Operator”, and/or their agent (agents) is (are) limited.  We (they) act only as agent for the passenger in regard to all matters connected with the making and securing of reservations with transportation carriers and other suppliers of services (“suppliers”), all of which are independent contractors, for accommodations, tours and travel, whether by railroad, motor coach, private car, boat, aircraft or any other conveyance; and assume no liability or responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned by either reason of defect, through the acts or default of any company or supplier or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the tour, or as a direct or indirect result of acts of God, dangers incident to the sea, fire, breakdown in machinery or equipment, acts of governments or other authorities, de jure or de facto, wars, whether declared or not, hostilities, civil disturbance, strikes, riots, theft, pilferage, epidemics, quarantines, medical or customs regulations, or from any causes beyond the Tour Operator’s control, or from any loss or damage resulting from improper passports, visas or other documents.

You are responsible for, and release the Tour Operator from: passport, visa, vaccination requirements, if applicable, and safety conditions in tour destination countries.

The airlines concerned are not responsible for any act, omission or event during the time you are not aboard their aircraft.  The passenger contract in use by the airline, when issued, constitutes the sole contract between the passenger and airline. The passenger is solely responsible for getting to departure airports, check-in and boarding for all flights within the airline's published times.  The Tour Operator assumes no liability or responsibility for missed flights or connections.

Anyone not utilizing the included transportation (i.e., Land Only package) is responsible for all subsequent transportation.

No changes in the itinerary are expected but we reserve the right to make them if necessary.  Because of unforeseen changes in transportation schedules, the land portion of your tour may be occasionally extended or curtailed.  The Tour Operator cannot be responsible for changes of itinerary.  The number of days indicated for each itinerary begin with the scheduled day of departure and end with the scheduled return arrival day, irrespective of the hour of departure or return, and may vary due to transportation schedule changes.

The Tour Operator reserves the right to accept or decline any person as a member the tour, or to require any passenger to withdraw from the tour at any time who presents a significant risk to the health or safety of him/herself or of others which can not be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by the Tour Operator’s reasonable accommodation.

The Tour Operator reserves the right to cancel a tour in the event that the minimum number of passengers is not secured, and after refunding all partial and full payments, the Tour Operator has no further obligation to passengers on a cancelled tour.  Unused portions of the tour itinerary are not refundable.  Any deposit, partial or full payment for a tour reservation constitutes agreement by the passenger to all the provisions of the tour brochure, itinerary, and tour terms and conditions.

HOLD HARMLESS:  ORTV, Inc., D/B/A the Office of Radio & Television and/or WJMJ Radio (the “Tour Sponsor”), has selected FJ Tours, LLC to offer travel arrangements for its “Sicily 2019 with Father John” pilgrimage tour.  The tour passenger hereby acknowledges and agrees that:  (a) the Tour Sponsor is not in the business of providing travel services, and (b) the Tour Sponsor disclaims any liability or responsibility with respect to such travel services.  Consequently, in engaging FJ Tours, LLC for this tour, the tour passenger expressly agrees to hold the Tour Sponsor harmless from and against any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities or judgments, at law or in equity, related to, arising from, or in connection, with respect to the travel, accommodation and tour services procured by the tour passenger.  “Claims” include, without limitation:  claims for personal injury, disability or death, directly or indirectly related to, arising from or in connection with, any negligence or breach by FJ Tours, LLC or by others.