Centrally positioned in the Mediterranean Sea, the captivating islands of Malta and Sicily have been influenced by a succession of disparate cultures since ancient times. Some made significant impacts on the course of civilization; others faded into historical footnotes. All left their mark, reflected in the numerous archaeological ruins, diverse architectural styles and delightfully intermingled cultural traditions that have beckoned travelers for centuries.
Embark the 36-cabin Variety Voyager for an in-depth exploration of these two compelling islands, beginning and ending in Malta and circumnavigating Sicily. During ten days in the Mediterranean, visit Agrigento's Valley of the Temples, Taormina's Greco-Roman theater, Monreale's glittering Byzantine mosaics and the Silvestri Crater atop snow-capped Mt. Etna, among other fascinating sites. Meet with aristocrats and literati; experience elegant dining in a historic palazzo; and taste nature's bounty at a rural agroturismo. While under sail, delve into the sweeping political, strategic and cultural history of the Mediterranean Sea during the on-board educational program.
A two night pre-trip extension in Malta is offered.
Pietro Frassica, professor of Italian, the associate chair of the Department of French and Italian and former director of the interdisciplinary Program in Italian Studies will serve as the Princeton Study Leader for this program. A native of Sicily, Professor Frassica earned his Ph.D. in Italian literature in 1976, the year in which he joined the Princeton faculty. During his tenure at Princeton, he has taught seminars on Italian Renaissance, the contemporary Italian literature (Marinetti, Sciascia, Primo Levi) and on the theater of Pirandello. He is the author of more than one hundred published articles and numerous books. In recent years, he has extended the field of cultural studies to literary texts concerned with gastronomy in two wildly popular seminars, "The Literature of Gastronomy" and "Italy: The Land of Slow Food." For his lifetime's work in promoting the Italian culture, Professor Frassica was awarded the title of "Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic" by the Italian government, the country's highest-ranking honor.