Treasures of Malta & Sicily

Travel back in time with art historian, Nigel McGilchrist to the islands of Malta and Sicily. This tour, based in the cities of Valetta, Syracuse, Agrigento and Taormina, is full of the blend of art, architecture and history that SBMA travelers have come to expect. Enjoy highlights such as:

  • Mdina, the ancient capital city of Malta, known as the "Silent City" due to its narrow, quiet and pedestrianized streets.
  • An out-of-hours visit to St. John's Co-Cathedral of the Knights in Malta. Including two masterpieces by Caravaggio, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist and St. Jerome.
  • Visit the privately owned Casa Rocca Piccola, the 16th century palace of the 9th Marquis de Piro.
  • Experience the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tarxien Temples, megalithic temples dating back to around 3150 BC.
  • Enjoy a private visit to the 18th century Palazzo Parisio in Valetta.
  • Take in the beautiful gardens of Il Biviere and the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum of Syracuse to see highlights of the collection and its impressive numismatic collection, by special arrangement.
  • Experience the magnificent Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana at Casale.
  • Explore the vast Valley of the Temples to visit the Temple of Hera and the massive Temple of Olympian Zeus.

With lectures by popular art historian, Nigel McGilchrist, private visits and SBMA customized experiences, this is a trip one will not soon forget!

Email with questions.

Tour Guide

Nigel McGilchrist

Nigel McGilchrist is SBMA travelers’ favorite study leader. His ability to interpret and disseminate information spellbinds and fascinates his fans.

Nigel McGilchrist was born in Scotland, educated in England, and for the past thirty years has lived and worked in Italy, Greece and Turkey.  He studied first at Winchester College in England, and then at Oxford University where he took First Class Honors and three University prizes and medals in English and in Art History. He lectures widely on art and archaeology at museums and institutions in Europe and the U.S. 

Nigel was introduced to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art by his friend Pico Iyer, with whom he studied at Oxford. Pico carries a deep respect for his former classmate, stating, “In our class at Oxford, Nigel was by far the most brilliant of them all.” Nigel has since led several very popular trips for the Museum and has become a treasured friend to the Museum and its Members.

Share this
Santa Barbara Art Museum

Museum Hours

Tues - Sun 11 am - 5 pm
Thurs 11 am - 8 pm
Closed Mondays and holidays
» see complete schedule

Visit Us

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
» view map


Find SBMA on