Sicily: an island of myths and legends, and of ancient ruins; a land that has been repeatedly invaded and conquered, that has inspired travellers and adventurers, great artists and writers. It is a land of mystery and magic, of the Mafia and of revolutionaries, and a place where the Arab world meets the European. It is also a place of rare beauty – of hilltop towns, of golden beaches, and dominated by the majestic beauty of Mount Etna and the twinkling turquoise Mediterranean Sea.
It is also a place rich in stunning vineyards producing incredible wines, and an island that in 1943 was witness to the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever seen. The thirty-eight day Battle for Sicily that followed saw some of the bitterest fighting of the Second World War as the British and American forces bludgeoned their way to Messina and gained a crucial foothold into Nazi-occupied Europe.
The Battle for Sicily has become rather overshadowed by the events that followed, but it remains a remarkable episode of naval engagements, a ferocious air campaign, special operations that included SAS heroes and airborne landings, beach assaults, small and large land battles, and the kind of astonishing assaults over inhospitable terrain that more than seventy years on, simply defy belief.
In this first Beckford Bottle Shop Wine & War trip, historian James Holland will be leading you on a tour of some of the key places where British Eighth Army fought during that hot and brutal summer of 1943, while wine expert and BBS co-owner, Nicolas Barker, will then be tearing you away from the fury of battle to the calm of two of the island’s most spectacular wineries.
Cost £650 to include:
Three night’s high-quality accommodation, all meals, wines with dinners each night, and all talks on the island. All you need to bring is sun cream and cappuccino money! Oh, and a bit of cash for the odd tip….
Deposit of £335 payable immediately to reserve your place and balance due 1st August. (single person supplement £100)
Flights NOT included and to be purchased individual. Recommended flights are:
Friday 30 September 2016
EasyJet London Gatwick 1145
Arrive Catania 1545
Monday 3 October 2016
Norwegian Air Catania 2030
Arrive London Gatwick 2240