• Palermo
  • Sicilian-style Pizza
  • Doric Temple at Segesta
  • sicily-marsala-windmill
    Marsala Salt Pans
  • Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples
  • Villa Romana del Casale
  • Taormina’s Greek Theater
  • sicily-cefalu
    Cefalù

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Sicily in 11 Days Tour

from $2,795 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

Rick Steves' most exotic tour in Italy will immerse you in the distinctive culture, cuisine and history of Sicily. On your eye-opening loop around the island, your Rick Steves guide will introduce you to the hearty welcome and home cooking of a Sicilian family farm, the steamy power of Mount Etna, Italy's brightest pottery and boldest wines, Europe's most amazing ancient Greek ruins, and slow sunsets from picture-perfect seaside villages. Join us for the Best of Sicily in 11 Days!

You also may be interested in our Off-Season Best of Sicily in 11 Days tours.

Dates & Prices

2015

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Sicily come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 20 group sightseeing events • Palermo walking tour • Palazzo Federico tour • Monreale Cathedral tour • Sicilian Pastry Lesson • Erice orientation walk • Segesta • Marsala Salt Flats boat cruise (weather permitting) • Valley of the Temples tour • Agrigento Archeological Museum tour • Villa Romana del Casale • Syracuse Ortygia island neighborhood walk • Syracuse Neapolis Archaeological Park tour • Puppet Theatre performance • Museo dello Sbarco tour (WWII) • Wine tasting at Sicilian winery • Mt. Etna Volcanologist talk • Taormina walking tour • Taormina's Teatro Greco tour • Sicilian pizza demonstration • Cefalù orientation walk...and more
  • All group transportation from Palermo to Cefalù
  • 10 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including a Sicily guidebook, Italian phrase book, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Sicily

We'll gather at our hotel in Palermo at 3 p.m. for a welcome meeting. Then we'll begin our Sicilian adventure together by joining a contessa for a personal tour of her family's home, the Palazzo Federico. We'll end our evening getting to know one another at a "Welcome to Sicily" dinner together. Sleep in Palermo (2 nights). No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 2: Palermo and Monreale

Let's meet our coach and driver, and head up to the hill-topping town of Monreale, renowned for its Arab-flavored cathedral. We'll tour the cathedral's interior of glittering, golden mosaics as well as the story-telling columns of the cloister. Then we'll return to Palermo, where we'll take a walking tour of Palermo's back streets, churches and colorful Capo street market — all spiced with an evocative whiff of Africa. Then we'll set you free to explore more of this exciting, energetic city, and discover a tucked-away trattoria for dinner on your own. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3:  Ancient Segesta and Mountaintop Erice

This morning we'll head toward the island's western coast, stopping at the ancient Greek site of Segesta to meander through its magnificent Doric temple and hilltop theatre. Then we'll continue to the enchanting medieval mountaintop town of Erice. Believed by Romans to be the home of Venus, Erice eventually evolved into a center for Christian convents and home to heavenly pastries (which we'll learn about and taste). We'll take an orientation walk before setting you free for dinner. Sleep in Erice (2 nights).  Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4:  Salt Harvesting and Seaside Trapani

Today we'll drive down to the Trapani “salt-pans” — a coastal wetland and nature reserve where sea salt has been harvested for nearly 3,000 years. We'll learn about the history and process of salt harvesting as we tour the area by boat. Then we'll have a tasty lunch that includes the region's specialties: sun-dried tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives and Marsala wine. You'll be free to spend the rest of your day exploring the seaside town of Trapani. When you're ready to return to Erice (at the top of the peak overlooking Trapani), you can easily hop on a local bus or take the scenic gondola lift, enjoying sweeping views of Trapani and the Egadi Islands on your way up. Whether you spend your evening in Trapani or Erice, find that perfect terrace, savor your favorite apertivo, and watch the sun slowly dip into the sea.  Boat: 1 hr. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 5:  Ancient Agrigento and Country Living

This morning we'll take a magical history tour through the ruins of Agrigento, one of the richest of the Greek colonies and a thriving democracy 2,500 years ago. We'll focus on Agrigento's “Valley of the Temples” — the largest, best-preserved collection of ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself. This afternoon we'll head to our agriturismo, a tranquil countryside hotel. You'll have plenty of time to soak in the view or head to the beach before tonight's hearty seafood dinner together. Sleep near Agrigento (1 night). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6:  Roman Mosaics and Syracuse

The Romans also colonized Sicily, which we'll learn about at today's first destination, the Villa Romana del Casale. Here we'll spend much of our morning surrounded by the world's most rich and colorful collection of Roman mosaics — including the time-bending “bikini girls” mosaic, discovered less than 60 years ago. On the road again, we'll stop to tour a working farm with its owner, followed by a midday feast. Then it's on to Syracuse. This evening we'll take a walk through the city's historic old town on the island of Ortygia. Sleep in Ortygia (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Syracuse, Past and Present

This morning we'll experience the roots of modern drama at Syracuse's impressive Neapolis Archaeological Park, where an ancient Greek theatre is carved into the rock. Then we'll return to Ortygia and shop the market stalls among the locals, buying their daily groceries. The afternoon is yours to wander through Syracuse's delightful jumble of Greek, Roman, Medieval and Baroque layers — or settle on a quiet park bench with a harbor view. This evening we'll meet to enjoy a lively performance of Sicily's traditional puppet theatre, where the language is no barrier to entertainment. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: War, Wine and Taormina

We'll begin our day with a short drive to Catania, where we'll tour the Museum of the 1943 Landings in Sicily (Museo dello Sbarco). We'll learn how, nearly a year before D-Day, Allied troops found themselves fighting against — and at the same time liberating — their Italian adversaries. Next we'll visit a winery on the slopes of steaming Mount Etna, where we'll enjoy a tour through the vineyards and taste some of Sicily's deservedly famous wines before heading to Taormina. After we check into our hotel, we'll take in the breathtaking view of Mount Etna while listening to a spirited presentation by one of University of Catania's volcanologists. This evening we'll meet up for a Sicilian pizza-making demonstration followed by dinner together. Sleep in Taormina (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 9:  Seductive Taormina

This morning we'll take a walking tour of Taormina and its remarkably-situated ancient Greek theatre, which is still used today for open-air performances. This afternoon you are free to luxuriate in this cliff-hanging, old-world resort town. Wander through its elegant gardens, posh cafes and shops, ride a cable car down to the beach or explore the nearby mountain-top village of Castelmola. Any way you slice it, you'll have a ringside seat to savor il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing), Sicilian style. This evening, join in the local passeggiata to feel the pulse of Sicilian culture, then find the ideal people-watching spot to enjoy your gelato and dinner on your own. No bus. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 10: Seaside Cefalù

We're off to the salty fishing town of Cefalù, tucked beneath a towering cliff, where we'll check into our hotel. After a brief orientation of Cefalù's old town, you are free to wander through the narrow streets, treat yourself to some of Sicily's oldest Byzantine art inside the Norman cathedral, scramble up "La Rocca" to admire spectacular views from the cliff-top ruins above the town, or plant yourself on one of Sicily's best beaches. We'll gather together tonight to say arrivederci, share travel memories, enjoy the freshest Sicilian food, and toast to new friends. Salute! Sleep in Cefalù (1 night). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Palermo's airport by train or shuttle bus. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience.On our Best of Sicily in 11 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Scramble around ancient sites with rocky paths and slippery stairs.

Reviews

Merlene

Sunnyville, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exhausting, but amazing. I loved the varied activities, getting to know my fellow travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose it was visiting Taormina and learning insights into my possible heritage."

Alexander

Dover, NH

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very good tour. Relaxed, informative, and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was the "valley of the Temples" in Agrigento."

Christine

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We really enjoyed the wine tasting at the vineyard. We also enjoyed the puppet show because it was different and probably was not something we would have found on our own. We wish we could have stayed in Trampani instead of Eriche. In fact, I saw no reason to go up to Eriche. There are other scenic high vistas elsewhere. We liked the WWII museum very much. The hour we spent in the square afterward was just a big tourist trap. I would have preferred another place of interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our last tour of Italy was only 1-1/2 years ago. We found Sicily much the same. The wow moments were probably the food which was all great."

Gale

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt that the experiences that were planned for the tour and the tour guides were excellent. Going to several small cities along the coast was also advantageous given the fact that it was quite warm in Sicily at the time of the tour. I especially enjoyed going to the cookie baking and pizza demonstrations. Equally enlightening was the talk that the volcanologist gave us. Overall I had an amazing trip and I thoroughly enjoyed the people on our tour given the fact that I got to know them well..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was in Taormina as my family is from this city. The small town flavor of this seaside town and the public gardens were spectacular along with the ancient arena."

Phyllis

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Sicily was actually more than I had expected. From the overall design and shape to the thought given to menus and wine, this tour surpassed all expectations. Jamie, our guide was witty, amiable, and available for questions. Expert guides at each of the sites encouraged a deeper understanding of the culture, while time was also availble to just stay in place and "soak in" the Sicilian sun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a strenous day - getting to Agrigento is an effort and the heat that day was oppressive. I was sweaty and hot, hugging the edges of the trail for any bits of shade. And then we rounded a corner. The guide was silent. And we stared - the main temple came into view and it was massive, beautiful, magical and THERE, right in front of me. 2,000 years old and still powerful. It's a moment I will never forget."

Demetria

Newfoundland, NJ

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It far exceeded my expectations. We usually travel to Italy on our own but this trip changed our experiences of organized tours. Mari our guide was a delightful, enchanting woman who enriched us with an insiders view of Sicilian life and language. Stopping in Trapani after tour in morning was boring. Everything was closed. Church of Purgatorio with lifesize stautes not worth the stop. Preferable would have been to return to Erice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Erice, Valley of Temples, Countess's villa, Maria Grammatica, farmhouse-not usual tour experience"

Judy

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip was unbelievable!!! Everything was so well planned, our leader Mari was exceptional, kind, helpful and a delight to be around. Our driver was so nice and all the people on the trip were such a joy to travel with. I have been on 8 of his trips and I would have to say this was one of them at the top!! Thank you Rick Steves', your tour office and your wonderful leaders!! Bravo!!! P.S. My husband who went on the trip said "Ditto". He can't wait to go on another trip.

Julie

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Even though I was the youngest person on the tour by an average of twenty years, I still had a great time. I really enjoyed the cultural immersion piece of the tour as well as nerding out on art and history with the different tour guides. It was also a great way to become acquainted with my Sicilian heritage before meeting distant relatives for the first time. I would have appreciated some optional/informal group dinners or activities during free time as I was the only person traveling alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the time at the Benanti winery. I would have loved to have spent a more leisurely afternoon there. It was such a treat to tour the vineyard and then taste superior wines. Sometimes tours take you to mediocre wineries. Benanti is first class and seriously a superior wine. The antipasti served with the tasting was delicious and paired well with the wine selections."

Laura

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Two thumbs up! Our guide was wonderful, tour mates wonderful, too. Comfortable transportation, very nice hotels, overall it inspired confidence in me as a traveler to enjoy every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although every day was fabulous, the Benanti Winery, Taormina, lunch with the Contessa, and the valley of the temples in Agrigento were "wow" moments for me."

Patricia

Albany, NY

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

They knew where to go what to see, and how to get there!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toramina!"

Vincent

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we saw the temples."

Herbert

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We went to all the sites. Our guide was spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maria's dinner was the favorite wow."

Corrine

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't put into words how wonderful the Rick Steve Sicily tour was in every way! It exceeded my expectations and in the future I wouldn't want to travel any other way. The cultural experiences were so unique and varied. We learned so much on sites, and while traveling. The hotels were unique. The food was fabulous. The other travelers became family. And last and most importantly, our tour guide made our trip personal, fun, and complete.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments. I was so surprised to find the town of Enrice built high on a mountain surrounded by stone walls. I loved the winding cobble stone streets, the flower basket balconies , and I loved the experience of learning the dying art of Sicialian baking. There were too many "wow" moments, at least one in every town: lunch with the Baroness, exploring ancient vineyards, cable car travel up the mountain from Trapani to Erice, making pizza, watching a puppet show."

Gerard

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Sicily was very interesting and I'm glad we chose it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No great "wow" moments just overall enjoyable."

Deborah

North Syracuse, NY

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I fully enjoyed the experience. My only regret was that I didn't take a journal with me to remember all the places ,the time went by fast and we saw so many things. It was a wonderful experience and I have been telling everyone that they should look into a tour for them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every hotel terrace was a WOW . Beautiful views from every balcony and every the bus rides had beautiful countrysides."

Gary

Mcarthur, CA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide, Jamie, enhanced the visual experience by filling in all the spaces left open by the sometimes long bus rides. At the end of the tour I was completely satisfied that I had seen Sicily, felt it's culture and learned about it's history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the town of Taormina most."

Olivia

McArthur, CA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Coverage of the island of Sicily was extensive, the information provided, while overwhelming in its volume, was given in such an entertaining and interesting manner that I forced myself to stay awake on some of the longer bus rides just to be sure I didn't miss a word of Jamie's mix of historical facts and myths.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a scenery person, and there many "wow" moments riding up to mountain top towns and gazing down at the azure Mediterranean. The view from the top of the Greek Theatre in Taormina. The glittering gold mosaic of Jesus was another. The bigger than life and well preserved Doric Temple in the middle of nowhere. The meals at the home of the Baroness, at Mama Maria's and at the Benanti Winery. Sorry, I couldn't pick just one!"

Robert

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples"

Kelly

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fun tour. I enjoy the Rick Steves format and would do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner with cooking demonstration by Maria. Fantastic food in a beautiful setting."

Robin

Chagrin Falls, OH

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Sicily was wonderful, so was Jamie. We did so much, walked a lot every day, learned more than I can possibly remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It all was a wow. I had no idea how many cultures made Sicily what it is. But the most powerful moments were those learning about WW II and the part that Sicily played in the war."

Alistair

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

All good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Agrigento - valley of the temples"

Gina

North Syracuse, NY

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was wonderful. This was the first time that I had done a tour with a company and I was very pleased with the organization that was involved, the places we went, and my tour guide. It was very pleasant to not have to worry about anything regarding transportation and hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was being able to experience the wonderful island of Sicily with my family and the wonderful people that were in our tour group."

Diana

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy was not my first choice for a tour, however, what I found was that Sicily is almost a different country entirely. I really enjoyed learning about the history, seeing the variety of architecture, and learning about the culture. The tour did a great job of mixing a variety of experiences without over focusing on one particular things (like churches for example). Probably what made it special and so interesting was Mari, out guide and her personal connection to the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "wow" moments to limit to just one. Several things: the temples, the mosaics, the fish markets, the views and so on."

Lynn

State College, PA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were very lucky to have an extremely simpatico group. We gelled right away and were fortunate to have the wonderful Mari as our guide. I was worried about being a solo traveler, but I found that members of the group made a point to included me. Unfortunately the schedule was challenging to me physically, but Mari never made me feel that I was holding up the others. I managed to keep up. I was extremely impressed with Mari's knowledge as well as that of the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch with Contessa Giovanna and the tour of Mosia."

Ray

Alachua, FL

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was everything one could want: An outstanding itinerary, a great guide, friendly and fun travel companions, great sights, seas and mountains, beach days, excellent food and wine, friendly Sicilian people, a friendly and safe bus driver, a clean and comfortable bus and more excellent food and wine...when can I go back?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I like water and mountains, I thought it was a "wow" that every hotel had a rooftop terrace or levels of terraces and the sea was visible at each hotel. But the "big wow" had to be the view of the sea and Mt. Etna from the terrace at the Taormina hotel."

Cassandra

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves' tour and it won't be our last. The history, the group, the city visits were all outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my "wow" moment was our visit to the "Valley of the Temples". The history of those ruin was hard to wrap my head around. The salt harvesting in Trapani was excellent as well, oh but wait seeing the active volcano of Mt. Etna, oh but wait... it was all a "WOW" moment for me."

Nancy

Harrisonburg, VA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations in terms of what we saw, who we were traveled with and where we stayed. The tour guide, Mari, was wonderful. She gave a nice mix of history, current politics, and personal stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: Erice was magnificent; seeing Mt. Etna steaming was a thrill, and climbing to the top of the mountain at Taormina was great."

Carol

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Would have appreciated some "beach time", any "beach time" Most days were too filled with activities, very limited personal time Some redundancy between the RST guide orientation and the city guides, i.e. Palermo and Taormina Too much time spent in Tripani at the salt flats and island museum Erice was charming but not worthy of spending more than an afternoon

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "bikini girls", the Valley of Temples, Maria's Cooking School and wine tasting on Mt. Etna"

Christine

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful tour. Would suggest two changes: on Day 3-4, stay for two days in Trapani instead of Erice. During day 3-4 just go up to Erice for 1/2 day to have lunch with Maria and tour the city. Tour should end back in Palermo, since everyone has to fly out of there. It was a little odd that we all had to figure out how to get from Cefalu to Palermo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Ortygia and Taormina. Loved the wine tasting at Mt. Etna. Loved the Greek temples."

Vincent

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My brother and I, both retired, decided to go on this tour together, and we're so glad we did. This was our first Rick Steves tour and our first visit to Sicily, where our grandparents came from over a century ago. We had no idea just how beautiful Sicily is, and the tour showed us so many aspects of this wonderful island. It was a terrific experience, thanks to a well-planned itinerary, a first-rate guide, great food, and a congenial group. I would do another Rick Steves tour in a minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose one, but here are some highlights: Great food. Walking through history at the Greek and Roman ruins and the ancient churches. Fantastic mosaics. Great scenery, like the unbelievable views from Erice, or the seacoast and beaches, or Mt. Etna on that rare day when it wasn't shrouded in mist."

Joseph

Winston Salem, NC

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful combination of amazing locations, friendly travelers, extraordinary experiences and a most enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many we coined the term, "wow fatigue." The views ascending to Erice would be near the top of the list, as would the first glimpse of Mt. Etna with her vent plume. Also the lunch spread at Erice. Really too many to mention as Sicily is such a beautiful place."

Maureen

St Louis, MO

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour met most of my expectations. This was my third RS tour and surely not my last! Very nice group of people and accommodations were very good with one exception. We covered a great deal of Sicily and the days were long but interesting. Italian people were always very friendly and pleasant to us. Our guide, Jamie, has an encyclopedia on his shoulders and amazed us with his vast knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"T A O R M I N A Just loved this town. Could spend a week there. The lunch at Erich was one of the best I have ever had anywhere. Food was outstanding and served in a beautiful setting."

Bill

St Louis, MO

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

RS tours are always a great value and the way to see a country. RS handles all the details so I can sit back and enjoy. Great not to worry about tipping.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Agrigenta and the professor who led our tour group. The temples were amazing. Taormina was my favorite stop. Between the pizza and gelato and the view of Mt Etna from our excellent hotel, how could this not be the "wow" place?"

Donna

Naples, FL

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was everything we hoped for from a Rick Steves tour. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about everything Sicily. The other tour guides complimented the information and offered hands on experience that was truly remarkable. The food and extra activities only enhanced our trip. We wanted to see Sicily experience the history culture and food and we did!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral in Siracusa that encompassed the true esense of Sicily's past and present. Of course making cookies at Maria's will always bring a smile to our faces"

Bruce

Auckland,

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Doubt that the tour could have been much better. Comprehensive choice of diverse places to visit, excellent tour guide, flexibility on the day and good accommodation for the price.( we seemed to get rooms with a view most times! Had a lot of fun being the "odd ones out from down under". Jamie was able to play on his knowledge of "Kiwis". After years of touring other parts of Italy we wonder why Sicily doesn't feature more strongly as a top place to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in Monreale Cathedral that feature water scenes. Particularly the one with Christ pulling the sinking Peter up out of the lake.The artists ability to create the feeling of transparency in the waves was gobsmaking. The story about sourcing the mosacic artists to come and work over the relatively short construction period must be unique too."

Irene

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed our tour of Sicily because we were able to appreciate the different layers of antiquities. The expert guides provided relevant information to appreciate the significance of the different sights. The varying pace of free time combined with guided tours to historical sites and museum plus the various well chosen meals and insights into Sicilian life made the tour experience memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The valley of the Temples in Agrigento was a wow moment. Also, the talk by Boris, the Volcanologist was wonderful. Maybe an optional tour with Boris should be offered to see Mt. Etna."

Eduardo

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Before joining the tour, My wife and I drove around Sicily covering some of the places we would not during the Rick Steves Tour, and before coming to Italy we did a lot of reading about Sicily. In light of this, the Rick Steves Tour was very enriching and a great learning experience. Jamie the Tour Conductor is very knowledgeable about the span of Sicilian History and its culture from ancient times to the present. He brought Greco-Roman Mythology alive in situ wherever we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to Palazzo Federico, Monreale, Villa Romana del Casale."

John

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific first tour with Rick Steves!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments were both included meals... The Luncheon at the hilltop town of Erice where we were treated to a sumptuous feast of local foods and then got to make cookies. The Baroness' in the hills of Lentini who prepared a fabulous late afternoon repast in her converted barn and on her grounds."

Karla

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. We took your advice and arrived a day early; got a chance to walk around Palermo and rest up before the tour began. The tour was a wonderful combination of sights (cities, countryside, small towns) planned activities and free time and group meals and an opportunity to go out on our own. I found the pacing of the tour perfect; not rushed anywhere and wonderful not to be on the bus too many hours when we travelled between sights. A wonderful first Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to choose.... The rooftop terrace in Palermo.. The contessa's palazzo... The view of Mt Etna.. The Valley of the temples.... The War Museum in Catania (I would have never chosen to go and it was a favorite part of the trip for me!) The Ocean views from our bus rides up skinny mountain roads (the driver was excellent; better him than me) The salt fields at Trapani I could go on and on...."

Judith

Orangeville, ON

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Our group was congenial and considerate and fun to with. Personally I now know I am not a 'bus tour' traveller but prefer to travel on my own and hire guides as we go along as my travelling friend and I have done many times in the past. However, this did not detract from the general excellence of this specific tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, however, having the chance to see a Greek Tragedy in Siracusa was phenomenal. Seemed it pulled all the history together as we sat in the Teatro Siracusa overlooking the landscape. This was a magical moment for me and a wonderful "extra"."

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was will thought out. The accommodations were acceptable, what we expected. Nothing fancy. I know that a lot of "free time" is built into the tour. But I think that there were times that I'd have liked to wandered around with the guide. Say we had the afternoon off in Siracusa, maybe Tommaso could have offered an optional stroll about with him as a guide. Anybody who wanted to explore with him would be free to do so- or not.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An of the schedule Greek tragedy we attended in Siracusa. Simply wonderfully."

Catherine

Stuart, FL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a pleasant mix of various differing sites, topography, history, winery, "agra tourism", private mansion, country hotel and city hotels....we liked the diversity of the meals offered and the opportunity to see locals making pastry and pizza the "Sicilian" way. Enjoyed the amount of free time mixed into the tour as well as the opportunity for walking, in spite of the necessary time on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Erice andTaormina offered unexpectedly beautiful settings. Our trip to a traditional vineyard provided an added appreciation on the intricacies of growing grapes and producing fine regional Sicilian wines. Greek ruins at Agrigento were stunning."

Marcia

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In a word, awesome. The variety of sights (temples, churches, gardens, beach towns, bigger cities)and cultures (evident everywhere, especially in architecture and food)is amazing. I wish this tour had been a few days longer. We saw a lot, but there was much more to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a "wow" moment every day! Many of them have been noted in other comments on this tour, so I will mention one that's not in the brochure. I loved Erice. Wandering around the gardens under the castle at night was a magical experience; it was like being in another world. Oddly, at about 10:00 p.m. it was completely deserted. Another eye-opener for me was Palermo. Wandering through the streets and alleys and suddenly coming upon an amazing building or charming fountain was a revelation."

Janet

Bellmore, NY

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The towns and sites that we visited were well-chosen to give a good picture of what Sicily was like. Most towns were medieval walled cities with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. The historic sites were spectacular and interesting. Tommaso was knowledgeable and funny, and I always felt safe with Antonio driving the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The one thing that really surprised me was when I walked into Santa Maria Della Rocca above Taormina and saw the ceiling made out of the mountain rocks. It was just totally unexpected and beautiful."

Rick

Tampa, FL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and it met or exceeded all of our expectations of Sicily. Great guide, great group and great fun. Just a little rushed compared to the first two: Southern France and Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner with Maria Grammatico at her school. Wonderful evening. Beautiful view, warm hospitality, outstanding meal and wine and warm and inviting hostess."

Diane

Whitefish, MT

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the "off the beaton path" experience of Sicily. What an incredible island ! So full of history, wonderful people, gorgeous scenery and amazing cities and hill towns. We also had a great group to travel with and the BEST guide, Tomaso. He went out of his way every day to make our trip wonderful and interesting. Totally exceeded my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOW moments on this tour. Once again Tomaso was full of unexpected surprises that really made this tour special. So I am going to choose the Piazza Armerina Morgantina and all the amazing mosaics of the beautifully restored Villa of Casale. Steaming Mt.Etna was also a jaw dropper,"

Cheryl

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth Rick Steves tour and I must say it was the best one yet. When asked I always state that each tour and country are so unique that I can't choose a favorite. The country and itinerary were fabulous as were our traveling companions. Loved the hotels, restaurants and sites, our bus driver Antonio was the best. Not once did I feel pickpocket vibes or unsafe and we wandered everywhere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples Taormina Villa of Casale, really helped to have Tommasso guide us through Touring through a Palazzo with the Contessa who lives there!"

Janine

Berkeley, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour was wonderful! Sicily is much more varied geographically and culturally than I had realized, and its complex history and mix of cultural influences came to life on the tour. I think that Sicilian life happens behind walls, and Tommaso, our guide, gave us the chance to see behind the walls. There is so much to experience in Sicily that I'm tempted to take the tour again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the passegiatta in Ortygia as the sun went down. Walking along the Valley of the Temples. Glimpsing steaming Mt Etna from the terrace in Taormina when the clouds cleared. The mosaics at Monreale, Capella Palatina, and Piazza Armerina--such different styles of the same technique. Learning to make cookies at Maria Grammatico's. Walking through deserted Erice late at night. Standing on the uppermost level of Teatro Massimo in Palermo. The list goes on!"

Carol

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great group, an excellent leader, and a very good time. It seems that Sicily is only now developing all of the things necessary to make it a tourist draw. We didn't have a lot of local interaction, and most Sicilians did not have a command of English (nor we of Italian), but the interaction we did have was most pleasant. Palermo was big and dirty with not a lot of attractions so we were glad it was our first stop so that everything got better from there on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part was at Agrigento. The ruins were fantastic and I could have spent lots longer in the Museum. It was amazing to imagine oneself walking in the same paths of the ancient city. People-wise, my "wow" moment was meeting two couples in Ortygia, none of whom spoke English, who actually 'walked' us to the best restaurant of our trip."

Ron

Escondido, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour, we not only saw things we would never have experienced on our own, but learned things about everyday life in Sicily from the great guide Tommaso, who is a must if you tour Sicily. We certainly enjoyed a backdoor experience visiting people and places we would have not seen on our own tour. The folks on the tour were all compatible and great fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick just one item as almost everyday supplied a "WOW" moment from start to finish, however I would pick the Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale, which were just huge in scope and on location out in the rural landscape."

Susan

Escondido, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour and I have a very positive impression. At first, I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of togetherness, but I got used to it. There was less free time than I expected. There was a reasonable balance for duration of visits to sites. While I could have spent the day at Roman Villa Casale others enjoyed other sites better. It was a very worthwhile experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed Roman Villa Casale, WWII museum, and the volcanologist talk. I enjoyed the Etna vineyard visit and lunch at the Contessa's house."

Susan

Eugene, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Tomasso was a very entertaining guide. He brought to life much of the history and lore of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maria's cooking class was great. The best bread on the trip."

Sharon

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a first of this kind of tour for me and I was very impressed with the organization, the group, the places we visited and the knowledge we gained from this visit to Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose one "wow" moment. Syracuse and Taormina were places of special interest to me. The tragedy at the Greek theatre was amazing and just sitting in the square in the evening in Syracuse was delightful. The puppet theatre was a delightful surprise. The winery tour at Mt. Etna was especially memorable and the lecture by the volcanologist superb. Our guide, Tomamaso, was one of the biggest "wows" of all. The visits with the countessas were also great."

Paul

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was very thorough and personable. The lodging were better than expected ,toy were clean the staff very helpful. The hotel locations were central and appropriate for the tour. The tour length was good. The sites were well worth seeing. Safety was never an issue.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of the hotel roof top views were fabulous."

Kathy

Windsor, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

In general the tour delivered what it advertised. This was my first tour and I generally enjoyed it though I am not certain I will do another. Still processing....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I most enjoyed the roman mosaics at villa romana del casale. Unfortunately we had vey limited time there, due to the schedule."

Carol

Billings, MT

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved Sicily. The tour seemed so complete, and the pacing was to our liking. The lodging was in the middle of the old towns which made walking easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek temples and the great food!"

Michael

Billings, MT

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip overall exceeded expectations. Great itinerary that only a group of this size could do. Some of the old towns had very limited lodging and transportation was all on foot. A larger group would have had major logistic problems.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mine was the hunting lodge with all of the mosaics. To think that they were so well preserved and from roman times."

Ralph

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was terrific! The sites. Our guide. The food. The bus and driver. Only thing not to like was the ineptitude of the people at the Palermo airport, at the lost and found office, who ended up keeping my bag there for the entire eleven days of the trip. Only at the end did they reveal that I had not signed a release authorization ... Which, in fact, they had never presented to me. These people caused a great deal of frustration for three of us on tour, and also for Mari.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pin down. Have to say "Segesta" followed by the Roman Villa."

Christopher

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had done one (non-Rick Steves) tour some years ago and were not overly happy with it. But we know some Rick Steves alumni and decided to give the Sicily tour a try. It was great -- an excellent mix of directed sightseeing and time to ourselves; a knowledgeable guide who yielded gracefully to local pros, had good suggestions for how we might use our free time, and was not afraid to say "I don't know"; and hotel accommodations that were surprisingly good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick a favorite "wow" moment -- there were many! But I think I'll have to go with Monreale, the amazing cathedral near Palermo that was built in -- 15 years! We saw many cathedrals of comparable size and glory in Sicily and in our own subsequent five days in Florence, many of which took not years but decades -- sometime centuries -- to build. None was finer than Monreale, built in 15 years. Now that's a "wow!""

Steven

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide and group were the best. Our bus driver added to the experience with his skill and personality. The tempo with a constant moving from one event to another made the time go fast, but with enough time to take in the sights and enjoy them. So, the itinerary was more than what I expected and luckily Sicily has many interesting sights with the history to back it up. Mari, the guide, was very knowledgable and was able to answer even the worst questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sight, Villa Romana del Casale was the most interesting. Mainly because it is so well preserved and the crowds were manageable. Because of the planning it fit into our busy schedule and was the highlight of the trip."

Joanne

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Traveling with a small group is the best way to experience such an interesting location as Sicily. The history, scenery, food, climate, people are great to share with others. Seeing Sicily with local guides deepens the entire experience. all of the locations we visited were remarkable. Our guide, Mari, was absolutely delightful to be with. Several individuals had lost luggage from the trip over and Mari was relentless in helping them. She added greatly to the total experience with her knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day had its moments. However, when we were at the Ear of Dyionysius cave two of our comparis sang to show how the echo would project. It was magical!"

Jimmy

Everett, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All aspects of the trip exceeded expectations! Tommaso and Stacy were informative, attentive to details and prompt! The hotels that we stayed in were clean,very attentive to requests and well located. Our coach driver went above and beyond to meet our needs. The provided meals were good to excellent! As on our last tour with you in England and Wales the choice of activities and sites we visited were very good.The guides in various sites were also well informed and pleasant.Weather was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Taormina was breathtaking!"

Alex

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations of Sicilia, beatiful place on earth. Tour was well organised. I travelled with different companies in the past as Globus, Insight and etc. Smaller group in comparison Globus and others makes a big difference. Food provided by tour guide was very good. It was our 1st expereince travelling with Rick's Steves company and were are looking forward to travel with this companyin the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting Contessa in Palermo and visiting her beatiful castle in middle of city. To have opportunity to see historic place not only at museums in but at place where very interesting people live and have life conversation with them I consider the highlight of whole tour and what you remember for years."

Marguerite

Nesconset, NY

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A trip of a lifetime for me. My paternal ancestry originated from Augusta, Sicily. An experience like no other in my life. This tour was so wonderfully packed with true Sicilian cultural and historical experiences. The time available was so well planned. Very excellent introduction to each destination by our tour guide, Tommaso. Lots of "on your own" time to fully explore personally chosen adventures and food options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough one. Maria Grammatico's baking school was surely a wow!!! Loved participating in the making and eating of her famous treats. I am afraid that after eating from the most delicious dinner spread she provided, I was really ruined forever from eating "street arancini." The food was so fresh and elegant. Also, enjoyed Maria's demo on filling a cannoli properly. Top Shelf Experience. The Sicilian Puppet Theatre was great fun and a very impressive experience, too."

Pieter

Pretoria,

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily at its best! One of the best tours that I have taken.The tour has been well organised, with a well balanced take on all cultural aspects of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There have been quite a few "wow" moments on this tour, however on the top of my list are: Villa del Casale, with it's incredible mosaics and the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento.On a more cullinary note the dinner at Maria Grammatico and the gelato in Agrigento."

Larry

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The time in Palermo was well spent - would have been nice to have the first days' program the day before so you could visit the opera house and other areas not on the tour. Tommaso - an excellent guide- my wife is a vegan (plant based food) and he made certain there was an above average lunch/dinner she could enjoy. Stacy also very helpful assisting us with getting/checking on transportation at the end of the tour. She was wonderful with our blind traveler.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maria Grammaticas' workshop and restaurant. She invited all to make her cookies, had assistants to explain the process and served a wonderful meal in her business establishment - totally unexpected."

Mike

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The sights were amazing, the food was great and our guide was excellent. We enjoyed ourself very much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were actually two wow moments. The Cappela Palatina was extraordinary. The space in the chapel was filled with figures in gold and other precious gems. We were fortunate to view the chapel early in the morning and very few people were there and we were not rushed. It was an amazing experience. The second wow moment was ville Romana del Casale. I expected to see interesting mosaics. These were by far the best Roman floor mosaics I have ever seen."

Lyn

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Benanti Winery, lunch at the Contessa's country house"

Dianne

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this tour. It is a wonderful mix of ancient history, current history and natural history with Mt. Etna. Our tour experienced some frustration which I will address later.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"it's hard to pinpoint a wow moment. I especially loved the amazing mosaics in the churches -like Monreale--and at the Villa Romana del Casale."

Michael

Ocean Park, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I never thought about Sicily much and my wife chose the tour. I found the tour one of the best vacations I ever had. The scenery was beautiful, learning about Sicilian history was fascinating. Tomasso took us to see things I doubt other Rick Steves tour would see and provided many extras which made for a once-in-a-lifetime tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not a food person but the food on this trip was incredible. The variety, the quantity and the quality were just great. The cities we visited were so beautiful."

Brian

Pretoria,

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organised and provided an overall experience of Sicily.It also allowed one the freedom to explore independently. A most enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman mosaics at Agrigento and the visit to Maria Grammatico (Erice)."

Marta

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was exciting and Sicily is fascinating. However the trip felt rushed and guide and participants felt the strain of the busy schedule. Due to the distances to be covered traveling by bus, in spite of early starts, the group reached destination when churches and shops were about to close,or closed. Very frustrating. If the task is impossible to accomplish, it should not be offered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina, Montreale, The Valley of the Temples, Villa Romana del Casale, Mount Rtna."

Augusto

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itinerary was generally, and most of it, very interesting. Unfortunately, there are plenty of interesting sights that could not be seen within the time allotted. On many occasions the free time occurred in the early afternoon. when many interesting places were closed. To be fair to participants and guides alike, the Tour should be done either in 18 days, or otherwise be offered as two different tours, dividing the country into two sections (East and West?).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sicilia as a whole was amazing!"

Mary Lou

Everett, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was a surprise!! And it was wonderful! Our group was very cohesive and fun. I enjoy the tours so much. The bus driver, Aurelio, was outstanding, and his driving on those narrow, windy roads was amazing. Tommaso had special "toilet" stops for us that also included espresso, gelato. and food opportunities. Loved the trip, and I learned so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wows"!! The mosaics in the churches and at Villa Romana del Casale were quite beautiful and so marvelously crafted. Then our special times and meals at the farm (I did not want to leave!) and the Benanti Winery, and the cookie making with Maria at Erice followed by the best meal of the tour. When you live in the US, which is so young, all the antiquities and ruins of older civilizations are very humbling and unbelievable to see."

James

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide and wonderful food. Loved the "wine included" perk. The visits arranged to Tomaso's special friends were also quite special. Loved the temples and Syracuse. Finally, the price was right, almost as good as the weather. Wish the Ireland tour (my other grandparents) were as affordable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Took time to visit where (i.e., Collesano) my grandparents and great grandparents were born, and the latter died."

Christine

Syracuse, NY

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily trip was my first Rick Steves' Tour and I was thoroughly impressed. Prior to going on the trip, I was slightly concerned with taking an off-season tour in regards to the possibility of resort towns being closed down for the season and rainy weather,but none of this was the case. The trip exceeded my expectations for a number of reasons - The guide was excellent, our fellow travelers were a great group of people, the weather was perfect, and attractions were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it is really hard to choose, so I'll provide a few of the highlights - visiting the contessa's house in Palermo, touring and tasting the Benanti wines in the Mount Etna region, spending an afternoon with a contessa in the Lentini area, learning about and eating pizza in Taormina and visiting Taormina. Tommaso did a wonderful job offering us these really personalized and unique experiences."

Karla

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 9th Rick Steves' tour and it was everything I expected...and more! Tommaso is a gem! Also...I appreciate being able to stay at hotels for more than one nite and having a "vacation from our vacation" on the longer tours. It makes the tour more enjoyable because we are not so worn out!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but I couldn't help but say Wow! everytime we sat down for one of our group meals. I am a real foodie and our meals were fantastic! Tommaso made sure we were able to sample a variety of Sicilian dishes. We really did eat our way through Sicily!"

Allison

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed our tour with Tommaso and the beautiful island of Sicily. Enjoyed being there in off-season for the weather and fewer tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the city of Taormina. It was a nice mix of tourist activities and history and we had some wonderful meals there- with the group and on our own. Also enjoyed shopping there. Tommaso gave a great tour of the mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale- we really appreciated his knowledge and guidance there."

Robbie

Ronda, NC

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tommaso was our guide in Sicily and this was my 6th RS tour. He was the best guide I have ever had. Knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and had lots of surprises for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the temples in the Valley of the Temples in Sicily at night lighted up with beautiful music playing in the bus. A magical moment for sure."

Denise

Plant City, FL

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour exceeded my expectations; the places we visited, where we ate, local guides, friendliness of the group, comfort of the bus and of course our wonderful tour guide, Tommaso. Tommaso took excellent care of us and kept us well fed. I have recommended Rick Steves tours to everyone I have talked to about my trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow moment came in Cefalu during our free time. I took information I had regarding my maternal grandfather and his parents to City Hall and was able to obtain a copy of my grandfather's birth certificate and the address where they had lived. I was able to find the house not far from the town square! Thanks to some new friends from our tour group, I discovered that a likely family member still lives on the same street. I did find her house and met her. We exchanged names and addresses!"

Carol

Plant City, FL

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tommaso was a wonderful story teller and is well versed in the happenings in Sicily, past and present. Every day had surprises and fun. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. Even though this was my first tour, the other members of our group who had been on many tours, agreed that this one was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the temples at night on the tops of the mountains was awesome!!!!"

Irene

Toronto, ON

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a very pleasant surprise. The history was amazing - no idea that it was so rich. The local people including our guide had a great deal of pride in their heritage and culture and shared it with us graciously and generously. The local people were generally warm, welcoming and polite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no real "wow" moment for me as all the experiences were unique and quite high on the scale of interest and surprise. What remains most vividly in my mind was our individual climb up the La Roca promontory overlooking the town of Cefalu. I loved that it was accessible, albeit with some effort, and that ruins of a small temple from a few thousand years were still there. The view overlooking the town along that coastline was magical."

John

Olathe, KS

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

What I appreciated about the tour were the visits I probably wouldn't have been able to make on my own--the palazzo in Palermo, the winery on Mt. Etna, the prize-winning pizzaiolo in Taormina, the puppet show in Siracusa, the farm lunch outside of Catania. Of the 3 RS tours that I've taken, this was the largest with 28. I was surprised that it had that many people. The RS guide, Donald, was excellent in all respects, as were the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 3rd century Roman villa and its floor mosaics."

Karl

Dallas, TX

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic with each stop getting better than the previous one. Donald was very helpful and all the traveling companions were excited to be together every day. Sicily has some economic challenges and sometimes Palermo felt dirty, but it also served as a charming factor and made for a unique experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating lunch at the farm! The homemade pasta and lemon sauce was so tasty but the hosts were so glad that we stopped by. Another moment was tasting wine at the vineyard. The owners are proud of their workplace and made us feel very special."

Scott

Clovis, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was wonderful. The group was terrific and our tour guide top notch. The tour exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high to begin with. There was plenty of free time and Sicily did not disappoint. It was a great way to dive into the mezzogiorno.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There cannot be just one. The winery experience on Mt. Etna, Taormina's charm and elegance, Ortygia's delightful alleys, and the magnificent temples in Agrigento were all superb. I must say, however, that I was most surprised at just how much I enjoyed the puppet show in Ortygia. It was the one thing I was not really looking forward to and it turned out to be one of my favorites."

Rose

Fairbanks, AK

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great, the guides, Donald, Antonio [bus driver], other travelers, food, hotels [except Cefalu], activities and sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This will sound silly but -- I don't like orange juice. At the countess's place [Palermo] she had oj as well as wine out with the snacks. Someone said to try it and I did. It was one of the most delicious things I'd had and I drank it every chance I got."

Donald

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Sicily was excellent.The paces was right, the group congenial and our guide outstanding. Sicily has a lot to offer and our route introduced us to many highlights. We are used to traveling in Europe on our own, but the tour took us to places we otherwise would not have seen. Our tour guide and the three local guides added a lot to our understanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is almost impossible to limit this respond to one "wow" moment, so I'll mention three: 1) We made a quick but wonderful visit to the fish market in Catania. It was quite lively and offered a glimpse into the daily lives of Sicily's city dwellers. 2) The performance at the Teatro dei Pupi in Syracusa was enthralling. 3) The wine tasting at Benanti Winery in Viagrande was fun. Wine and abundant food were served by gracious hosts in a candle-lit tasting room. The setting was perfect."

Shelley

Davis, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Extremely well-organized. Good value for the money. Guide was excellent, competent and mellow. Learned a lot of history and interesting aspects of Sicily that I surely would have missed without the tour. Would definitely do a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to the Valley of Temples at night. With the light on the temples, quite amazing. I also loved hiking up La Rocca in Cefalu then dipping my feet in the Mediterranean. Though if it had been raining Cefalu might have been a drag."

Paul

Bend, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had talked to folks who had done several of your tours, and some that had done sicily. They all highly recommended Steve Rick tours and sicily in pArticular. Every thing they said came to be true. Good value, well organized. Other participants were of a like mind... Good guides. Good hotels. And good weather ( how did you manage that?) good food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paul's wow things were the vineyard visit and wine tasting. Also our final lunch outside agrigento. Mine were Monreale and the wine tasting."

Greg

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding, because of the unexpected things, like: Meeting a "baroness" a woman who's family has lived in the same house for multiple generations, going back hundreds of years. The Baroness invited us into her home and gave us a tour, and told us about her and her husbands life. Having dinner at an Italian Farmhouse. Unbelievably unique.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's difficult to chose just one: The ancient Roman mosaics in/at Artegium . The site is now a World Heritage site."

Marie

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful experience. Our tour guide, Donald, was friendly, knowledgeable and so on top of everything that the tour flowed extremely well. The pacing was good with a nice balance of activity and free time. The local tour guides were well chosen and added greatly to my understanding of the ancient and chaotic history of Sicily. Overall, our accommodations were great and the food fantastic. Our bus was comfortable and the driver, Antonio was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment is a personal one. My father was born in a small town not far from Cefalu, so I have to say that my "wow" moment was having a free day in that city. That it was also a beautiful spot and a lovely day when we were there certainly added to the impression."

Connie

Coto De Caza, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip allowed me time to visit relatives in Petraila Soprana and to share with my granddaughter the place my father's side of the family came from. This trip really gave us insight to our roots. I applied the memories from stories my grandparents told to this trip and it made it an "EPIC" experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, everything was WOW, the Mosaics were unbelieveable"

Claire

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized with a good balance of group activities and independence. Sicily is awesome. History, beauty, culture and the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Villa Romana Del Casale."

Kathleen

Brooks, OR

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on the trip. Very nice people Cool and interesting places to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking on the beach in Cefalu and shopping at the local shops."

Karen

Chicago, IL

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The group was too large for my liking. We arrived in the towns in the evening after dark and had too much free time. It is not a good grouping for single travelers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mosaics and the ruins at Agrigento"

Joanne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour, my first and thought it was very well planned and thought out.Our guide Mari Acari was fabulous and wonderful. She kept the group on track, was a wonderful historian and story teller and made an effort to get to know everyone. I loved her language lessons on the bus, very fun. Local guides also great. I feel like I saw and experienced things, historic and authentic experiences with people that I would not have planning a trip on my own. Thanks to your organization

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Taormina and Siracusa the best."

Alexia

Morristown, NJ

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was really interesting with lots of activities. I don't think we would have found such a good variety of activities on our own. I enjoyed the meals together and running into other tour members when we were out on our own. A good amount of down time too so it was a very good balance. I will so miss the coffee!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 2 things I enjoyed the most were the winery near Mt Etna and the Contessa's farmhouse. The lunches were great and it felt like we were really seeing much of the local flavor."

Samuel

Brant, NY

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time and learned about the history,culture and customs of Sicily .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt.Etna"

Marilyn

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were a little apprehensive before since we knew we would probably be the oldest ones on the tour. But we kept up just fine! Sicily was pretty unknown to us so we learned a lot, and it was a real Sicilian adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the churches, especially the church in Cefalu [INVALID] with Jesus extending his arms in an enfolding hug. The Greek ruins lit up at night. The winery tour and lunch. THe view from our rooftop dining room in Palermo."

Tom

Portland, OR

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time. I am sure we had many experiences that we would not have had without taking this tour. Sicily was great, and we enjoyed the people we met, both fellow tour mates and people from Sicily. We also have discovered that we like our freedom, and next time we will probably go on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite times were the visit to the temple of Zeus, and the geology talk. (And of course, the meals.)"

Gayle

Apex, NC

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip. Excellent tour guides and bus driver. Rick Steves tours are wonderful. We're planning another one with you and I'll tell others about your tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Cefalu. Could have stayed longer!"

James

Merrimac, WI

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was Alfeo. His grasp of the Sicily way of life and his pride in his country made the experience special. We liked the special events like the tour of the winery, a farm lunch and the tour of house of the racing car enthusiast, by his very gracious wife, Contessa. Personally I suffered from information overload at times but my wife did not. I liked the WWII museum but my wife did not. She is more of a wine enthusiast and a foodie, by contrast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed the mix of people, the great meals and wine, the central locations of the hotels, the skill of the driver and the guide. Overall we enjoyed everything. We did not get to experience the volcano but the German professor who gave us a lecture was extremely entertaining. The greek ruins were a definite standout, 2500 years old."

Amy

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful first trip with Rick Steve's tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Palermo (after loonggg overseas travel) and stepping out on to the rooftop restaurant/bar area at the Hotel Ambasciatori - the view over the entire city was AMAZING! And then to see it the next day in sunshine was even more amazing. And then to conclude our tour 10 days later on that same rooftop with a farewell cocktail party."

Roy

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Alfio was a great tour guide; very knowledgable/informative and entertaining. He was a great spokesperson for his native country. Our accommodations were wonderful and the cuisine and wine we ate and drank were even better than we anticipated. We met some interesting new people on the tour and very much enjoyed getting to know them better; in my book a 5 star experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Choosing one "wow" moment is difficult. My fondest memory is of our visit to the Sicily World War II Museum. It introduced me to a part of the war that I was totally unfamiliar with. If I had to choose a second "wow" moment it would be the pasta alla Norma, made so delicious by the sweet red tomatoes that must benefit from the climate and the rich volcanic soil that nourishes them. And how can I forget the palate pleasing vino that highlighted each meal, except breakfast. "Wow upon Wow""

Will

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have avoided most tours in the past, we don't like the "herding" of groups from one site to another. We like to travel at our own pace and explore where we want to go. We were talked into your tour by friends of ours who have taken several of your tours. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the Rick Steve's tour. We liked the large amount of free time to "do our thing" while having a guide to point out the things to see. We liked having the hotel arrangements made for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments"

Marie

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I first did the Villages of Italy tour and continued onto the tour of Sicily.When I was asked if I had ever done a Rick Steves tour before I said,"No and will definitely find out if they are my kind of tour".Yes, they are for me.Sicily is beautiful and is filled with an amazing history.If was different from the villages tour in many ways.The hotels in Sicily were great,the food fabulous, sights and destinations were all different but offered their own special characteristics,history,and beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Once again there were so many "wow" moments. Just a few are: the inside of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, the Valley of the Temples, lunch in the beautiful home at Lentini with the contessa,fabulous farewell dinner,Cefalu, Syracuse,the WWII museum,puppet theatre show,Ortygia,Montreale and a great group of traveling buddies."

Lee

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very good tour with uniformly good guides. Special mention should go to Mari who did a really fine job of handling our group. The [INVALID]ion of places to visit was well thought out and uniformly interesting. The hotels were as expected though at my last stop the bathroom sink literally fell apart and crashed. Mari kindly gave us her room to stay in as the hotel was full. I have seldom been in a group that was this compatible. No problems at all. Restaurant [INVALID]ion was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either Siracusa or the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. Also the Chappell in Palermo."

Nancy

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was so much more that I imagined it would be. I thought that we would have a leisurely trip exploring the countryside, but it turned out that this was one of the most active Rick Steves trips we have taken. It was tiring, but so rewarding in all the incredible sites we saw and experiences we had. Our leader Sarah was a very knowledgeable and experienced guide who did a great job, and our group was a friendly, fun-loving one. It was just a great trip, all the way around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, including the beautiful Monreale Catherdral and Palantine Chapel in Palermo, the views of the sea from Taormina and Ortygia, the Benanti winery, the Roman Villa of Casale with its incredible mosaics, and the ancient Valley of the Temples in Agrigento."

Rose Mary

Albany, NY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I speak for Michael as well when I say that our trip to Sicily with Rick Steves' Tour (our first)was an exquisite experience. It will not be our last. Our tour leader, Sarah broke the ice of twenty some odd people meeting for the first time immediately with a history of Sicily game, which was great fun. She is an extraordinary woman, attentive, patient, very knowledgeable about the history and social mores of the area. We especially loved having a "buddy."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments - for me it was seeing my grandparents town (Caltanisetta which they left in 1912 for NYC) sitting on top of a mountain as our bus drove past. Sarah was kind enough to point it out. For Mike, as always it was the food."

Pamela

Hoboken, NJ

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Mother and I had an incredible trip to Sicily, thanks to your tour. Our guide was knowledgeable, the bus driver was extremely careful, prompt and friendly, the food and wine were fantastic and abundant, and the destinations on the tour were both beautiful and fascinating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a few wow moments. Walking through the markets of Sicily. Strolling through the quiet and breathtaking streets of Ortigia in search for clues of Jewish history. The vistas from each and every hotel's rooftop. The views of the sea from ancient cities. The archeological sites. Sicily is a WOW moment!"

Carol

Rockaway Park, NY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was a wonderful combination of learning the history of Sicily and touring ancient sites, and enjoying the food and culture of the island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, especially the perfectly preserved Temple of Concordia."

Audrianne

Gowanda, NY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a well planned and executed tour. The itinerary allowed for visiting significant sites and treasures of Sicily. Ample free time for independent touring was provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale were astonishing. Learning that my father was a part of "Operation Husky" was exciting."

Carolyn

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have wanted to visit Sicily for over 15 years and have always wanted to go on a Rick Steves tour. The opportunity to do both finally presented itself a few weeks ago! the tour was beyond what I had anticipated!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wish I could single out one aspect of the trip as my WOW moment . Since I can not, I would have to say it was Sarah who presented so many Wow moments with her vast knowledge of the history of civilization in that part of the world!"

James

Plano, TX

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just a great trip. "Sicily is like a whole separate country that just happens to be part of Italy & speaks Italian". Great food & wine and I always love the history lessons. I got a great sense as to the history & how they live today. Great guide!!!! Being a local really made a difference. Hotel keep on getting better & better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say the Greek history and ruins were it. Wow."

Elizabeth

Moraga, CA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. I was pleasantly surprised by so many things. The ruins were amazing. The hike to the high point above Cefalu was great. What a view! Syracuse had a gorgeous town square. Ordering a sandwich from a little corner grocery store while doing the laundry was also an experience to remember. With my little Italian (very little) and her total lack of English, she managed to make 2 delicious sandwiches for us. A great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The temples by night at Agrigento."

Rosanna

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Completely amazing! Cefalu was beautiful...loved its quaintness with a beautiful beach. Mt. Etna was a very exciting experience...have never been that close to a live volcano! Taormina was breathtaking from their gigantic terrace overlooking the square below and the water. Siracusa...stayed in a hotel operated by Nuns. Was spotless! Interesting city. Overall, a fantastic experience and I'm so happy I decided to take this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cefalu was my WOW moment..........I just simply loved it there!!"

Anthony

Lynbrook, NY

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The effort and in depth experience of both Rick Steve's and Tommaso proved the bottom line is to make sure you experience the country and people one on one not from a distance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"drink-food-sights"

Vicki

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fantastic all because of Tomaso our guide. He is the very best guide we have ever had on our 14 tours with Rick Steves. He is such a doll and so very personable. He not only gave us the history of Sicily but he personalized it so we understood and learned about the people "Today".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the water buffalo farm"

Shivaun

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. My fellow travelers were all great and the tour guide Tommaso was wonderful. He was so friendly, funny and knowledgeable. Sicily was a fantastic place to visit. The food, scenery and people are so special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the tour!"

Tammy

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taking the 10 day tour allowed me to see so much more of this surprising country. It was the ruins that attracted me and they didn't disappoint. The amount of time and the timing during the day allowed for fewer tourists and a pleasurable experience that didn't keep rushed nor did it feel overly long. I never felt like I was waiting for other people like I have on other tours where the bathroom and shopping breaks were interminable. There was a nice balance between free and structured time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is such a hard question because the "wow" experiences just kept on coming. I suppose the most surprising experiences where being able to visit the Contessa's home in Palermo and to have lunch at the other Contessa's country home. Pretty "wow" and two things I could never have organized on my own. I loved the Pizza and Tiramisu making demonstrations and the results were the best pizza I have ever eaten and delicious tiramisu."

Sally Ann

Hawley, PA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and it couldn't have been better. Tommaso our tour guide was excellent , his passion for his native land was unmeasurable . He made us all feel we had come home, and for me it was so true because all my Grandparents were from Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch and tour of Benanti winery. The father Guieseppe was such a charming host we did not want to leave. He even sang for me the song when the men were stomping grapes in the old days, and I remembered the song, My grandfather sang it when I was young....."

Sue

Sudbury, ON

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We really liked the 2day hotel stays. The sight seeing was in no way laborious or difficult. The smaller group worked well when it came to trying to get to know people. Good mixing events. Liked having Days of planned events mixed with free time good. Great meals and events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vineyard tour and antipasto afterward, tour of contessa home in Palermo, lunch with contessa in Lintini. We were looking for a more down to earth, local experience vs. staying in Hilton's and touring just major attractions"

Paul

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

You have created a stratum of travelers for optimal interaction (intended or otherwise). The tour was well planned and balanced between the backpacker hostel lads and the overly coddled codgers. Well done. Probably the most memorable moment for me, as an aspiring chef, was the "pizza recipe lesson" in lovely Tiramisu.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm a bit jaded to cite a "wow" moment, but at some point I counted my blessings to be there with these lovely people, and especially with the exquisitely sensitive tour guide, Mari. (Steve: If administratively possible,give her a raise. A good management decision.)"

George

Wayzata, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very nice tour. Mari was wonderful and the other tour people were very knowledgeable as well. Good cities with the exception of Palermo and great food. Also the other tourists in our group were fun and punctual.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cities with the exception of Palermo. Also the mix of Islam and Catholicism we very interesting in the church's. If it is just one moment it would be lunch at the Countess' farm"

Mike

Wayzata, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall very good. Good people to travel with and no complainers. I would make very plain what to see in Palermo that is not covered in the tour for those going early. Include times the Palentine is closed,ie.11:00 to 1:00.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many, the description of the Duomo in Monreale was great. Taormina was wow. Roman ruins with Mosaics was wow. View of valley of Temples from Hotel was wow."

Carolyn

Ontario, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Mari made the trip both enjoyable and provided an opportunity to learn a lot about Sicilian history, culture and language. We're hoping to return to Sicily to see even more beautiful towns and landscape!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wOw was the entire trip but...getting that first glimpse of Mt. Etna was a serious big wOw!"

Robert

Dresher, PA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful experience in Sicily. Virginia was terrific. She was always upbeat and ready to deal with anything that came up. Cefalu was amazing.

Joan

Quesnel, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my sixth tour with your organization and, if I don't get back to Europe, this is the one to end it all. The history, art and architecture, people, food, landscape, and culture were amazing. Such diversity! The people on the tour were wonderful -- and Virginia, our guide, was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that it is impossible to pick only one. However, the views from all our hotels were definitely a "Wow"."

Rita

Los Ángeles, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was great, particular places of interest selected well, gives a good idea of Sicily within relatively short time. Our tour director Virginia was outstanding: knowledgeable, entertaining, responsive, professional .

Grant

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great RS tour because of the mix of history, people, side excursions with not too much travel time between locations. Our wonderful trip guide, Virginia, was upbeat and kept us on track and informed throughout the entire trip. This is a great way to see Sicily and I have already recommended it to friends and co-workers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting both Contessa's, the Bennati Winery wine tasting/lunch and our 'down day' in Cefalu (we spent the day at the local Lido relaxing in the sun and swimming in the sea)."

Therese

Sydney, NSW

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good guides, interesting places, good food, hotels Ok .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Luncheon at the Winery Mt Etna and the luncheon at the farm . The Ancient Agrigento and eth excellent guide Michael was also a highlight."

Ida

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One word: FANTASTIC. And I will do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Where to start? There was the tour of the "living" Palazzo in Palmero, the mesmerizing Monreale Catherdral & Cloister, the spectacular Valley of the Temples, and then there was the amazing mosaics at the Roman Villa Casole, and the stunning monolithic Greek Theatre in Syracuse. But my favorite wow moment has to be when I walked around the rim of the Silvestri crator on Mt. Etna and looking out at the view of the valley. It was breathtaking, it was beyond words."

Marjatta

Quesnel, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great tour in Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many 'wow' moments, but perhaps the 'Roman Hunting Lodge' would be the most amazing one for me. Perhaps due to the rather late discovery the mosaics were most amazing."

Peter

Quesnel, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 'Sicily in 10 Days Tour', with Virginia Agostinelli as tour guide, was just great. Everything was very well organized, the hotels were good and the various meals supplied were often just too much good food and drink. The tour with its group sightseeing stops as well as the overnight locations and the "free" time to explore on our own were a good mix and gave us a good overview of present Sicilian life and history. Angelica and the whole group were interesting to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cefalu was great but Taormina and the view from Castelmola were "wow "."

Gareth

Prahran,

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was expertly run. The right mix of free time and your time. Great people to travel with. Loved the amount of ground covered in such a short time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the view from the top of the Rocca at Cefalu."

Anne

Melrose, MA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful trip. Virginia was exceptional and all of my traveling companions were very nice and friendly. I love traveling to Italy. My husband and I had never been to Sicily and really wanted to go there. Everything was taken care of and our guide, Virginia, was very knowledgeable. I would recommend this tour to family and friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful beach at Cefalu. The weather was perfect, the beach was not overcrowded because we traveled in Sept/Oct, and it was our free day. A vacation from the vacation."

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and I have to say it was a wonderful experience.It fulfilled my expectations in terms of visiting the areas of Sicilia that I wanted to experience and learn more about. I was impressed with the knowledge shared by our tour guide and the local guides. They did this in a way helped me to learn more about this country not only from a historical perspective but also with respect to more contemporary events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that the day of our arrival was such a moment; from the extraordinary view of Palermo from our terrace, meeting with the countess that evening and the wonderful meal that followed. There also happened to be a religious festival going on next to our hotel that was very much like the Italian street festivals that I grew up with as a child.Another "wow" moment was the sandwich man in the Siracusa market that Virginia had recommended. In seemed capture the spirit of the the island."

Angela

Sydney, NSW

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing ! our tour leader Virginia was so well organised and her knowledge of Sicily , italian films , culture and politics was excellent . Overall , the tour exceeded my expectations and I feel that it was a good balance of organised activities and free time. We had a great bunch of people and everyone was fun and always on time ! The accommodation was comfortable and group meals went down well I cannot explain really how wonderful Virginia was-she was exceptional !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to choose only one wow moment , but I loved the Temples in Agrigento Also, the rooftop terrace drinks in Cefalu and the farewell hotel drinks in Palermo on the last night Also the fatrewell lunch was amazing"

Jeanene

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous. We were looking for experiences that would help us find out information on our Lentini relatives. Jamie helped us a great deal and made our adventures hilarious too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To think that so many churches and temples could be build with such skillful precision and technical beauty. We were in AWE!"

Brian

Herndon, VA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was very good. I got to see and experience things I wouldn't have even thought to see or try, while not having to worry about the hassle of booking hotels or traveling between places. Could've spent less time in Cefalu and Taormina, which were very touristy and not a whole lot to see or do culturally or historically, and more time at some of the historical sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say as there were several of them. Probably the Norman cathedrals with their incredible mosaics."

Frank

Asheville, NC

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations of a Rick Steves tour was high, and my expectations were exceeded. The trip was "hassle free" with plenty of free time, and I considered it a great value. The tour went to places no independent could go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the Benanti winery we tasted a wine that had just been featured on the cover of Wine Spectator magazine."

Lori

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Before this trip, I'd done 2 My Way tours (GAS, Spain) and was hesitant to do a fully guided because I like the freedom to do what I want when I want. But with the limited selection of MW tours, I choose Sicily. While I did often wish for more free time, the guided activities were wonderful. RS advertises the MyWays as a good value, but the fully guided tours are a phenomenal value by comparison. Sicily was even more amazing than I imagined it would be, and my tourmates were the best bunch ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Agrigento's Valley of the Temples, the Catania fish market, the view from the terrace of the Palermo hotel (Ambasciatori), the risotto and penne at Casabiancha, Silvestri Crater on Etna, the view of Cefalu from my hike up to La Roca, even the gorgeous bus ride between Caltagirone, Piazza Armerina, and Agrigento... I can go on and on with the wow moments. Another wow: no stragglers on the tour [INVALID] everyone was an early bird and as mindful of the group as could be."

Jill

Hudson, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was bello! (beautiful!) My favorite part of the tour was visiting the town of Taormina. I also really enjoyed the countryside contessa house. My least favorite was the first contessa house in Palermo and the Archeological museum. One suggestion of something that might be interesting would be to visit an olive oil factory.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment happened each time I opened the shutters from our hotel room and saw the beautiful view out the window. Whether it be the waves from the ocean crashing into the rocks or an amazing view of the countryside."

Gail

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour, and we loved it. As usual, the love of travel brought together a great group of people who were fun to travel with. Although we didn't particularly like Palermo, the rest of the trip was full of amazing vistas, charming towns, great group meals, and plenty of wine! We had the right mixture of group and free time, and Tomasso was the ultimate guide. The seaside towns of Cefalu, Taormina, and Syracuse were delightful to stroll, and all of our hotels were delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say our group meals were the best! Pizza making in a courtyard in Taormina, wine tasting lunch at a Mount Etna Winery, the beyond amazing lunch at the Countess house in a farmhouse in Lentini, dinner in a Villa in Piazza Armenia, and our farewell lunch on a hilltop in Agrigento. Abundant food, wine and Limoncello...wonderful memories!"

Dennis

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never really thought about going to Siciliy. However, the tour seemed to fit our schedule and after reviewing the itinerary piqued our interest. Our tour guide, Tommaso, did a very great job of keeping us on the go and informing us about this area. The places that were [INVALID]ed for our lodging and group meals were excellent. We had a good mix of group activities and free time.

Pamela

Eagle, CO

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had minimal expectations and just went with a "lets see" attitude. We were pleased with the program and the variety in the places we visited. Palermo was our least favorite of these, but is probably a "must see" if you visit Sicily. The rest of the tour of beach towns, ruins, Mt. Etna, and country living were a nice mix. This was probably the best group we have traveled with which can probably be attributed to great food and wine which always makes things fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ruins of Agrigento are some of the best preserved and most interesting because of the Greek, Roman and Christian elements. The whole history of Sicily is just amazing as it was held by so many different groups and they all are evident somewhere on the island today. Also, the pizza and tiramasu demo/dinner was just fun!"

William

Hudson, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was in constant awe at the beauty of Cefalu. I loved every part of that town."

Frank

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It starts with our guide Tommaso. Throughout the tour he was very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. I am sure that if we tried to tour Sicily on our own we would not have gotten as much out of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but the top as probably the Greek Temples in Agregento."

Kristine

Riverwoods, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour - and Sicily - exceeded my expectations! The tour was certainly an active walking tour which has both its pluses and minuses. The big plus was learning and seeing a great deal of Sicily. The minus was too little time in a couple of spots and the early departure time in a couple of cases - not a lot of sleep-in or slow start days! The pluses most definitely outweighed the minuses!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sicily itself was the big WOW moment. Continually fascinating historically and geographically. A welcoming island unique in character."

Michael

Riverwoods, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip hit all the highlights, with only several exceptions, every stop was interesting, worthwhile and entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name; La Rocca in Cefalu', the Greek/Roman theater in Taormina, also in Siracusa, the Greek Temples in Agrigento, Roman Casale (the great Roman villa), others."

John

Cobbs Creek, VA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was well thought out and very organized. Tommaso really made the experience memorable. He is an excellent guide, host and caring individual.He really enjoys his job. He gave his all to make sure we had a great experience. I particularly liked the use of radio communication on the tour. We witnessed other tours in which it appeared that only 15-20% of the folks could hear when the guide spoke, and only then if they were right next to them. Food and wine great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Etna and Taormina are my selections, although as a rescue person I wonder about the sanity of visiting an active volcano. It doesn't really "know or care" about the instrumentation etc....too bad a father lost his children in a neighboring area due to an unexpected eruption while we were in Sicily."

Carol

Cobbs Creek, VA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I LOVED every minute of the trip. Our tour guide, Tommaso was outstanding. I didn't like the travel time getting there and back or the long lines in Security.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing La Rocca in Cefalu was long and hard, but well worth the views The food in Sicily is WOW. Every meal was delicious Another WOW moment were the 142 beautiful ceramic steps that I climbed in Caltagirone. The Pizza and Tiramasu demonstration was fun. I got to help make the Tiramasu. The Tiramasu that was served was THE BEST I've ever eaten, so light and delicious Seeing Lucky Luciano's picture in the WWII museum was an eye opener. The Puppet Theater was fun."

Linda

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good - every tour member was great! It didn't matter who you were walking next to - we all got to know each other. The name game seems silly at first, but it made all of comfortable with each other's names for the rest of the tour - very good idea. I know that we were warned about the activity level, but the first few 90+ degree days in Palermo were rough. After that, the activity level was exactly as published.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Etna was spectacular! The day we were there, the wind seemed to be at about 40-50 mph sustained winds, which made it all the more exciting!"

Sal

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized with a good balance of structured time and free time to tour on our own. I particularly liked the way our tour guide, Tommaso, explained the highlights of things that we could see on our own. He gave explicit details about each of his suggestions that made it easy to find and see own our own. I could have asked for a better tour experience, but I would not be able to find one. Tommaso would not have it any other way. He was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! There were so many.... If I had to decide on one, it would be: The lunch we had with the Countess on her plantation. She was so gracious, and the people there (her staff) were charming. And the food: was delish! I especially like the tour of the surroundings and I have to admit that my imagination ran wild while studying the many sketches on the stable walls. Did Michelangelo spend a night here?"

Donna

Roselle Park, NJ

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the very start we knew it was going to be a great tour. The whole group just clicked and Virginia was wonderful. Gave concise instructions and k r put to a time schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many. Taormina was very special. The history. The culture. The scenery. All amazing and exciting. The farm luncheon was a special treat."

Dennis

Lakewood, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

After six previous Rick Steves' tours I can be a pretty good judge when I say this was one of the better overall experiences we've had. Very intelligent and diverse travel companions made the trip seven more rich. Too bad we didn't have more time to bond. Food and wine in abundance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved exploring the narrow backstreet markets in Palermo with rich unfamiliar senses mixed with cacophony of street barters. Colorful, a bit too close, a world apart from my Costco. Just a touch of excitement when pressed by a motor scooter zipping through the crowd. Loved it!"

Cheryl

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our second trip with Rick Steve and we enjoyed so much as well. Our tour guide Virginia is terrific and we had a great group! Everyday had a different flavor, in addition to the ancient ruins, we also enjoyed the side trips, like visiting Countesa de Federica and having the great meal at Countesa (?)'s farm. Tasting wine, watching sandwiching making in the market. Even the ping pong sized hail was a memorable surprise at the fantastic pizza dinner!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wild wind at mount Edna!"

Joe

Rockville Centre, NY

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and will probably only take tours from now on. Its too much trouble in making all the arrangements in putting our own tour together. The guide chosen for our tour was terrific she had us on time and ready to go every morning, the plan was great and time at each city was ok. Could have spent more time in Cefalu and Torramino. We thoroughly enjoyed the people on the tour, once the ice was cracked everyone opened up and the friendship started to flourish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ancient ruins in Agrigento"

Flo

Rockville Centre, NY

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and will definitely not be our last Rick Steve's Tour. It was organized as we thought it would be - with adventure,sharing,and great planning. Thank you. We loved every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WE LOVED THE RUINS AND THE ROMAN VILLA. THE BEACH AND WATER WERE AMAZING. WARM AND CLEAR-WE EVEN WENT SWIMMING!"

Susan

Lansing, IL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned, a very active tour. From day one to the last day, my legs knew that they were made for walking! The first day after walking & walking, I thought I have to get some rest. And, I did rest well each in the fine accommodations. The tour guide enhanced the experience, sharing historical information and making adjustments when rain could have spoiled the day. Through the excellent dining activities, our group became fast friends sharing food,wine and ourselves. Bravo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of favorite wow moments was at the Benanti Winery, climbing the hills,taking in the lovely view and touring the barrel room. The lunch sampling of wonderful wines, olives, meats and cheeses was great. However, the real "wow" moment was sitting in the private chapel and listening to Giuseppe Benanti sing "Ave Maria". It was a beautiful and touching experience."

Jane

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trip was well organized with great tour guides and excellent sites to visit. Loved all of it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the wine visit. They poured ample samples of the wine served with the food that accentuates the flavor of both. The tour of the old facility that processed the grapes was fascinating. We were treated very well and loved the visit."

Paulette

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt I got to see a lot of the country's regions considering the short length of the tour. We had unseasonably hot/humid weather, and I felt this kept all of us from relaxing, and enjoying more of the activities. (Not the tours fault of course). I see it will be expanded to 11 days next year and I think that is a smart change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek temples"

James

Wakefield, RI

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The food, our guide, and the people in the group were wonderful. We did this at the end of a 26 day journey. I wouldn't do it like this again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the beach at Chefalu. I saw way to many ruins and churches."

Carol

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Can you duplicate Mari for all your Italian tours? She is a fabulous guide, story-teller, manager, and entertainer! And she conveyed her love of Sicily in all its complexity and passion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being an art lover, it's hard to choose between the Norman mosaics at Monreale out of Palermo, or the Roman mosaics at Villa del Casale. Either site makes the whole trip worthwhile, which reminds me of the Roman theaters at Taormina and Syracuse - either one is absolutely stunning. Or the Greek ruins at Agrigento. And luckily I saw them ALL!"

Heather

Delta, BC

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. Excellent tour guide. Makes it difficult for the next guide to come up to the high standard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all a wow moment."

Judy

Andalusia, AL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall the tour was more informative than I thought it would be, especially concerning the history of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Villa del Casale, the Roman Hunting lodge. The visit to the World War II Museum also was a favorite of mine. I really enjoyed the visit to the Contessa's home in Palermo, the visit to the winery, and to the farm. The Greek temples in Agrigento were outstanding."

Judith

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Sicily 10 day tour was one of the best we have taken with you - this was #7. Our group was very inclusive and friendly. We all became instant friends from the first night. I enjoyed all the cities we visited and all they had to offer. The museums were good and the local tour guides did a great job. It was great to have a lot of free time to explore on our own as well as dine on our own - although we all went with other tour members and had group meals with our new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments were the times we visited local people - the Contessa in Palermo, the winery tour complete with wine tasting and lunch, the luncheon feast at a local farm. These were special moments where we were able to learn from the real people of Sicily. They were all very gracious to us. It was also incredible to experience and climb a portion of Mt. Etna - a place I'd always heard about, but never thought I would see."

Christopher

Laguna Beach, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Seeing all of Sicily is a daunting concept, however with the planning of Rick Steve's Tours and the execution by the very talented Virginia, Sicily was a complete pleasure and wonder. From the busy streets of Palermo, to Mt. Edna and the sleeping seaside villages, the tour was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up for an early morning stroll through the little town of Celalu."

Michael

Laguna Beach, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Would not have had the chance to see Sicily if we had done this on our own. The sites, food and the leadership was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everywhere we went was a surprise and interesting"

Philip

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is a old business saying, that "The speed of the leader is the speed of the pack." Virginia Agostinelli was a dream guide. Virgina is smart, funy and knowledgable,a joy to be with, a great guide. Your tour took us to places we would never have seen,but so glad we did. The group we were with quickly (because of Virgina's lead) became a team. Now we know why there were so many Rick Steves "repeaters" on our trip. You'll be seeing us again soon. Phil & Sharon Ferraguto

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Siracusa Sicily, a perfect blend of ancient and modern."

Ann

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the itinerary, the balance of time with the group and free time. The pace was good, the places visited great. The local guides were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was in sensory overload the whole trip! I don't have a favorite 'wow' moment."

Donna

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour guide and a great group of people. Very well organized. Virginia had a "surprise for us" every day sometimes more than one a day. The winery tour was outstanding. Loved walking thru the vineyards with the owner, tasting the grapes and then eating a wonderful lunch with wine. The local guides were great also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery tour. The owner spend many hours with us walking the vineyards& telling us the history of the vineyard,"

Candy

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour. We've always used Rick's books in our travels and love his travel shows, so were very excited to try out his tours. I can honestly say that Rick Steves Tours are the best travel value out there. You stay in the heart of the action, have opportunities to see and do things most tour companies never do and meals are special events, not just for eating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like many others say, it's impossible to pick just one. Palazzo Federico, dining al fresco, the amazing mosaics, CasaBianca farm lunch, Mt Etna and it's first snow, Benanti Winery tour, WWII Museum, the incredible ruins and some of the most beautiful coastline you can imagine. To find yourself standing in a theater or at at temple that was built in 400 BC is so surreal. Our guide Virginia went over and above to make this tour so special to each and every one of us. She is amazing!!!"

Albert

Andalusia, AL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Saw and learned a lot of history about the island of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek ruins with all the mosaics unearthed, the Greek temples and the visit to the working winery"

Nancy

Riverdale, GA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic giving me the opportunity to see areas of Italy,and even to stay in an area of Rome, that I had never seen or heard of before. The strenuous of the tour was greater than I had anticipated possibly because of the extreme heat. The tour experience was affected by the fact that the air conditioning on the tour bus was not working at all so we would get on the bus after walking miles in the heat & never really get cool. I thought we should have gotten a new bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing the caves by boat off the coast of Vieste."

Kris

Duxbury, MA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my 4th RS tour. I keep returning because Confidence in quality of sites, food, accommodations, guides, fellow tour members I feel safe Schedule of day, activities & free time Knowledgable & accommodating tour guides Direct & helpful pre tour information Daily routine & expectations clearly stated

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of Casa el Frederico home. Farm Feast in Syracuse Cefula beaches & quaint shops"

Goffe

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

You feel like your time is well spent, that the three flights it took to get there was well worth it. Sicily, like the rest of Italy, has many layers of history, and you learn something about each layer: from ancient Greeks who settled to what became some of the most important cities of the time, to the Romans, who put their stamp on the island, to the Arabs, who influenced the culture, architecture, and food, to the Normans, who ruled there for centuries and built some stunning cathedrals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Okay, one of many: probably the stunning view from the ancient Greek theater in Taormina, where you can see Mt Etna, miles of coastline and towns, even mainland Italy, all from the same place."

Sara

Oxford, OH

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The last night of the tour, I was wishing we could start the tour all over again. I had a great time, met wonderful people, and enjoyed just about every minute of the experience of traveling for the first time by myself. The whole experience was enhanced by the small size of our group; all the personalities worked well together. The group meals were fun and of course the food was incredibly delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day featured "wow" moments. The fantastic landscape scenes, the historical sites, the special people we met. So many once in a lifetime experiences."

Carol

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved seeing this old part of the world. However, there is something missing in the experience - dont feel we got a good overview of the entire island, nor were we introduced to Sicilian food in a meaningful way. Our guide, a Sicilian & very passionate about her roots, did not expand on the culture, etc. Just a little reserved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples was good as was the Villa Romana del Casale."

Robert

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

So far as it is, we all had a good time. The guide, hotels & included meals were good. There seems to be some reservation about sharing the culture & area in the makeup of the tour though.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Greek Theater in Taormina was a surprise in this size of town."

Weather

Sicily/ Palermo

Palermo Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Italy: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Meridiana (www.meridiana.it) is the only airline that operates a non-stop flight from the US (JFK) to Palermo. All other flights to Sicily require at least one connection, typically through Rome, Milan, London, Amsterdam or Naples. At the end of the tour you’ll find convenient train connections from Cefalù to Palermo’s airport.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

For information about traveling by train, read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Sicily before your tour begins, use your Sicily guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Italian, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Palermo that we do not do as a group: Cappella Palatina; Teatro Massimo (closed Mondays); Marionette Museum; Museo Archeologico Regionale A. Salinas; Palazzo Abatellis; Capuchin Crypt; Palazzo Mirto; Galleria D’Arte Moderna (GAM).

Packing

This tour has several opportunities for swimming so you’ll want to pack a swimsuit and a lightweight microfiber towel.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.