Today meet our staff and departure for Marsala. The region of Marsala was always known for its fine grapes, but it was since 19th century that several firms started to produce the fortified Marsala wine: Woodhouse, Ingham, Good, Whitaker and the world renowned Florio.
Around 10am we visit a Winery to taste the Marsala wines. Marsala can be dry or sweet. While the city's natives sometimes drink "vintage" Marsala, the wine produced for export is universally fortified similar to Port, Madeira and Sherry. Originally, this addition of alcohol was to ensure that it would last on long ocean voyages, but now it is made that way because of its popularity in foreign markets.
Then we travel along the Salt Way Road and through the Nature Reserve of the Stagnone (that literally means large pool). Since this large lagoon has shallow and very salty water, it is the ideal place for saltworks. While travelling you will be fascinated by this unusual landscape: panels of mirror-like water, held by thin strips of earth and white windmills. Beyond the saltworks stand out some islands - including Mothia, once joined to the mainland by a paved road - while Isola Longa (Long Island) encloses the lagoon. The sea salt in the tradition of this part of Sicily is obtained by the evaporation of the sea water. In Summer it is possible to admire piles of salt just harvested.
Light lunch will be served in an Olive Oil Producer (Farmhouse/Winery). You will be served a tasting of mixed local products such as cheese, salumi, olives, local bread combined with their production of extra-virgin olive oil (water and local wine included).
Later this afternoon we will reach Segesta to visit the ancient Greek temple (Admission fee: not included) that boasts a hilltop position. This magnificent and impressive Doric temple is one of the best preserved in the world, though (strictly speaking) never completed, as the roof was never added and the pillars never fluted.
Then we return to Palermo.