• Palermo
  • Cefalù
  • Sicilian-style Pizza
  • Teatro Greco in Taormina
  • Villa Romana del Casale
  • Agrigento

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Sicily in 10 Days Tour

Rick Steves' most exotic tour in Italy will immerse you in the distinctive culture, crafts 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 10 Days!

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 18 group sightseeing events • Palermo walking tour • Palazzo Federico tour • Monreale Cathedral tour • Cefalù orientation walk • Visit to Mount Etna (weather permitting) • Wine tasting at Sicilian winery • Taormina walking tour • Taormina's Teatro Greco tour • Sicilian cooking demonstration • Museo dello Sbarco tour (WWII) • Syracuse Ortygia island neighborhood walk • Syracuse Neapolis Archaeological Park tour • Catacombs di San Giovanni • Puppet Theatre performance • Caltagirone orientation walk • Maiolica ceramics demonstration • Villa Romana del Casale • Valley of the Temples tour...and more
  • All group transportation from Palermo to Palermo
  • 9 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, Sicily Sightseeing Supplement, 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 2014
  • 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 around 3 p.m. for a "Welcome Meeting." Then we'll dive into the colorful street life of this energetic and exciting city — all spiced with an evocative whiff of Africa. Prepare to be caught off-guard by its surprises — including tasty ones, as Palermo's restaurants seem to have deliciously rewritten the Italian cookbook. We'll meet Contessa Alwine and step into the living diversity of Sicily's conquerors with a tour of Palazzo Federico, and end our evening with a "Welcome to Sicily" dinner together. Sleep in Palermo (1 night). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Spicy Palermo and Seaside Cefalù

Ready, set, go! This morning we'll meet our coach and driver, and head up to the hill-topping town of Monreale, renowned for its Arab-flavored cathedral. With our local guide, we'll tour the cathedral's interior of glittering, golden mosaics. After free time for lunch, our local guide will give us a personal introduction to Palermo's backstreets, churches and scintillating street markets. Then we're off to the salty fishing harbor and old town of Cefalù, tucked against a towering cliff, where we'll check into our old town hotel. After some time to relax, we'll take an orientation walk before setting you free for dinner. Sleep in Cefalù (2 nights). Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Free Day to Explore Cefalù

Your day is free to wander through old Cefalù. 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. This evening join in the local passeggiata to feel the pulse of Sicilian culture before finding the perfect place to eat your way through a seafood menu. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 4: Mount Etna and Seductive Taormina

Today we'll head toward the island's eastern coast and our destination is the lava-crusted slopes of steamy, 10,000-foot Mount Etna. We'll drive up the mountain (weather permitting) and see for miles and miles as we learn about Etna's geology and its millennia-long impact on the surrounding area. Next we'll visit a winery on the slopes of Mount Etna, where we'll taste some of Sicily's deservedly famous wines and enjoy lunch before heading downhill to Taormina. Your evening is free to find that perfect terrace, savor your favorite apertivo, and watch the sun dip below the horizon. Sleep in Taormina (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Old-World Elegance of Taormina

After breakfast, we'll meet an informative local guide for a walking tour of Taormina and its remarkably-situated Ancient Greek theater, 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 we will meet up for a Sicilian pizza demonstration followed by dinner together. No bus. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 6: WWII and Country Living

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. On the road again, we'll stop at a local farm to learn about life in rural Sicily, culminating with a midday feast. Then it's on to Syracuse (Siracusa), in ancient times "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all." 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: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Ancient Syracuse

This morning we'll experience the roots of modern drama at Syracuse's impressive Neapolis Archaeological Park. We'll continue our ancient education by learning about the Roman persecution of Christians with a guided tour of the Catacombs di San Giovanni, which are second in size only to those in Rome. 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 will meet to enjoy a performance of Sicily’s traditional puppet theatre. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: Colorful Maiolica and Mosaics

Today we'll drive inland to the pottery-famous hill town of Caltagirone, where we'll learn from a local artisan how the region's colorful Maiolica ceramics are made. Our focus on color continues to the Villa Romana del Casale, where we'll spend much of the day studying the world's richest collection of Roman mosaics (including the time-bending "bikini girls" mosaic, discovered in the late 1950s). Then we'll kick back at our countryside hotel. Tonight we'll enjoy a hearty dinner together. Sleep in or near Agrigento (1 night). Bus 4 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 9: Ancient Agrigento, Greek Temples and Return to Palermo

This morning we'll take a magical history tour through Agrigento's amazing "Valley of the Temples" where the remains of several dramatically-situated Greek temples await your discovery. After a traditional Sicilian lunch, we'll continue to Palermo and check back into our hotel. We'll gather together tonight to say arrivederci, share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute! Sleep in Palermo (1 night). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast

It's a breeze to reach Palermo's airport by 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 10 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; navigate over worn, slippery steps, dirt paths, broken stones and loose gravel; and even climb around a dormant crater!

Reviews

Nancy

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 03/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a congenial small group with a wonderful guide. There were many experiences we wouldn't have had if we were on our own. The cooking class, wine tasting and visit to the Countess were highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the visit to the home of the countess and the wonderful meal she provided for us."

Kai

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 03/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw a lot, I learned a lot, I ate a lot. The participants were friendly. The guide was friendly. A very enriching experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping of the bus in Palermo was a bit of a culture shock, as if I entered an ancient world. There were so many wow moments that I can't pick favorites. Every day was different and each day had its wow moment. There was such a wide variety of daily learning experiences."

Chad

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting the Countessa and Baronessa. There's no way we would have had a chance to do that on our own."

Kathleen

Cody, WY

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeding my high expectations. Donald is so organized, personable, knowledgable, and has a great understated sense of humor. Aldo was a great tour leader also who gave us wonderful and often humorous insights into Sicilian society. I felt that both tour leaders gave much more than 100 percent to making sure we enjoyed our time in Sicily and learned about Sicilian culture, politics, economics, and culture. They never coasted, and I felt they truly love what they do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing Agrigento's Valley of the Temples. The wild flowers were blooming, and we almost had the site to ourselves. Choosing one wow moment was hard!"

Marcella

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sicily in 10 Days Tour. Going in February was a plus for me because the temperatures were cool but not freezing and there seemed to be few other tourists at the various sights, which made it more comfortable for moving about. The other tour members were friendly and it was enjoyable to spend time with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "Wow" moments. The Valley of the Temples at Agrigento was very memorable the local guide was especially knowledgable. The view from the Greek Theater in Taormina took my breath away. Being the food and winer lover that I am I felt the winery visit in the shadow of Mt. Etna was an exceptional highlight of the trip for me and the farmhouse lunch just outside of Catania was (IMHO) the best group meal of the tour."

Andrea

Ocean City, NJ

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations! I never wanted to take a tour. I love the prep work involved in planning a trip. However, when I was researching Sicily, I realized that it would make a lot more sense to look into a tour. Your tour fit the bill. It is well organized, covers a lot of ground, active, and fun. It also gives you enough free time to explore on your own. I liked the idea of a small group. This allowed us to get to know the other tour members, as well as the guides. Fantastico!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Mt. Etna's lava flow at night from the terrace of our hotel in Taormina! It was an amazing! I have never witnessed anything so magnificent ( and a little frightening)! Con't from below: Milan tour guide alice.slv@gmail.com Rick should interview her at least!"

Claudia

Johns Island, SC

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Sicily was amazing; we never expected to see the countryside in bloom, lemons and oranges on the trees, and artichokes in the fields! Our bus driver, Salvatore, was exceptionally skilled at getting us to where we needed to be, from Mt. Etna to Taormina! Our guides were informative and fun; Aldo especially helped my husband, Ron, through his Lost Suitcase issue! It finally caught up to us in Cefalu, and without Aldo or Don, we just could not have gotten through all the phone calls.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be Taormina and Agrigento; Taormina was so breathtakingly lovely that we could not get enough of the views - and Mt. Etna cooperated by erupting on the first night of our stay! We also took part in celebrating Carnival, which was wild and fun and amazingly crazy!"

Debra

Bend, OR

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

I felt that there were too many people on the tour. Especially when we had dinners together it was very loud. The cooking demonstration was not a very good experience. But the pizza demo was very good. This was my 5th RS tour and probably last one - I need to travel on my own or with my husband. It is getting uncomfortable to have a roommate even though it saves me a lot of money. The dinners that we had together as a group were WAY too long and LOUD. It was nice that the wine was included

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Cefalu after breakfast I got to hike with another woman from our tour group up to La Rocca - it was wonderful to get the exercise and to see the wonderful views of the town. We hiked all the way up to the very top and scampered among the broken walls."

Charles

Lockport, NY

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip was excellent. Both Donald and Aldo went the extra mile to have every day have many wow moments. The hotels, the meals, the guides, except for one, were exceptional. Salvatore was a great driver and even though communication was limited because of the language factor, his concern and interest in our welfare was constantly evident. The new elements to the tour - the visit with the Countessa, the trip to Segesta, the over night in Agrigento, and the late afternoon return to Palermo were great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose just one. Sights - the view of the temple at Segesta from the theatre; meals - the wine tasting and late lunch with the Benati's; hotels - the Domus Mariae - sharing a place with religious; individual - Mardi Gras in Taormina."

Debra

Tampa, FL

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour of Sicily was simply amazing! Every day was such a surprise and delight - like opening a Christmas present each morning. The impression that most Americans have of Sicily is not accurate. People, landscape, food - all charming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three: 1. Visit with Contessa in Palermo - like attending a cocktail party with Sicilian aristocracy 2. Visit to Benati Vineyard on slope of Etna: the presentation, tasting, lunch 3. Visit and meal with Baronessa at agritourismo outside Lentini Really, the whole island is a "Wow" moment!"

Elaine

Shepherdstown, WV

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of people to tour with and a great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three. Contessa Frederic palace, the Roman Villa, and the valley of the temples. If I had to chose one it would be the valley of the temples. Also Taormina was fantastic, very picturesque."

Ronald

Bend, OR

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Tommaso, was fantastic. He was passionate, humorous, engaging and very knowledgeable about Sicily, about the culture, the history and the food. He really made the experience in Sicily a very memorable one. We really got a sense of what Sicily is all about. Actually I wished we had one or two more days, for there was so much more to see and experience, and at the end we were somewhat rushed to try to fit it all in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Norman Cathedral in Monreale near Palermo was unbelieveable - just so gorgeous and stunning. But also visiting the Greek Temples in Agrigento on a beautiful, sunny morning was fantastic."

Kathleen

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment it started, the tour felt like family. Tommaso, and most Sicilians we met, gathered us in. We felt welcomed everywhere, awed by people, history (new to many of us), and natural beauty. Usually I'm so tired at tours' end I'm ready to go home, but I wasn't ready to leave Sicily. Peopled wondered, "Why just Sicily?" It is a "hidden" gem!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite memories: Toasting with local who share the same birthday as my mother. A hug and kiss from winery owner. Cooking and making pizza dough with the chef. Wows: Seeing Mt. Etna's glowing lava at night, and the snow-covered, steam-spewing view the next morning."

Bill

Shepherdstown, WV

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great guide and a wonderful group of people to travel with. The weather cooperated for the most part. Everything went very smoothly. Good Hotels and good food. Great sights. Personally I thought that the visit to the WWII museum was a waste of time. I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know from the History Channel or movie "Patton". We didn't need extra time after lunch at Caltagirone, all the stores were closed. More time at the Roman Villa would be better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The valley of temples was my favorite. Just getting to actually see these amazing feats of construction was awesome. The Roman Villa was also amazing, so well preserved. The visit to Countess Frederico palace was very interesting. Also seeing the fish markets was a unique experience."

Paul

Tuolumne, CA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The vacation was very relaxing and a great experience. The guide, Tommaso, was the best. The group of travelers were also enjoyable. The people in Sicily were also nice: one lady at a pizza shop asked a couple of locals if it would be O.K. if she could wait on us first and they were more than happy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina, what a great town to visit and someday spend much more time. The stairs at Caltegirone. The Contessa's Farm House and the wonderful food. The great food, every meal, and the desserts. Many other things too."

Nancy

Olympia, WA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After 13 Rick Steves tours, my expectations were quite high. This tour not only met, but exceed my expectations. The whole experience was unforgettable from tour buddies, to sights, to food, to wine, to our fantastic guides, to beauty of the island - each day was more alluring than the previous one. I shall forever remember the good times we had and shared on Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many "wow" moments on this tour, the one that outshines everything else are the beautiful gold mosaics at the Cathedral Monreale. We have seen many mosaics in Italy, Turkey, and Greece, but never have I had a reaction like this visit. The cathedral was so calming, peaceful, yet joyous. I could have sat and stared at the size and magnitude of the cathedral and mosaics for hours. It truly was magical."

Diane

Tuolumne, CA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour and we like the principles of how these tours are run. There is a good combination of free time and "educational" time. I like the "buddy" system bc we know in a moment if anyone is missing. Sicily was a wonderful place with so much to experience. I think we could have used an extra day or 2 as the last several days were a bit busy, there's so much to see. I really enjoyed the cooking demos and of course the food was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick just one. Some stand outs would be; the Benanti Vineyard visit, meeting Antonio and his sons;Monreale Cathredral with its wonderful mosaics; the Villa del Casale with its ancient mosaic floors; coming into Cefalu and stopping at the vista to get a photo; and Mt Etna from the patio of the hotel in Taormina."

Carol

Madison, WI

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, my tour experience exceeded all of myexpectations. I loved it all, the tour guide was outstanding, group members were great trip companions, sites, food, everything, wonderful. If I have one criticism it is that the trip was too short. I LOVED Sicily and even though I arrived two days ahead of time, anadditional two days on the tour would have been very welcome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What? You want one wow moment from a 10 day tour of Sicily? Truly, everything and everywhere were my favorites."

Peter

Easton, MD

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My answer to the 1st question asked should answer this question. However, this was are 3rd attempt to tour Sicily and we where very pleased with the wide coverage of Sicily provided by the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Etna!"

Stewart

Montreal, QC

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great. Both guides (as well as the local guides) were fabulous, the weather was good, the food and wine were excellent, and the members of the group were super. Once again, I had a lot of fun and learned a good deal at the same time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments were many: eating the best pizza of my life in Taormina, conversing with the very charming count in French in Palermo, tasting the fabulous Benanti wines, having lunch on the baroness's beautiful estate, preparing Sunday lunch in Cefalu."

Linda

Richmond, CA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour, and I was very pleased with the balance of tour time and independent time. The hotels were well located and comfortable, the guides were knowledgeable and experienced, and the included meals were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunning in a lounge chair on the hotel patio in Taormina with snowy Mt Etna rising up on my right, and the sea sparkling below me on my left. Or, the way the light changes on the cathedral in Cefalu. Or the first sighting of the Greek temples in Agrigento. How can I pick only one?"

Lynda

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time getting to know a little bit about the beauty and history that is Sicily. Our guide shared the

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Incredible mosaics in Roman villa."

James

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the special surprises like the cooking lessons, the winery tours, and trip up Mt. Etna. All accomodation were very good ... the hotel in Cefalu was a little cramped. Nina, the tour guide, and Mert the assistant tour guide were outstanding with respect to their knowledge and guiding the tour. Just the right amount of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in the Roman ruins in Caltagirone ... most unexpected."

Joseph

Mt Gilead, OH

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was a great experience. Overwhelming at times, but you still want to take it all in. Nina made everyone feel comfortable in every situation. Mert was our comedy relief, yet he never let us forget that Turkey was his first love.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were allowed to participate in the perpetration of a meal in a real restaurant. It was one of my major highlights. The view of Etna's lava flow from our Taormina hotel was also a show stopper."

Barbara

Valdosta, GA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Sicily included many unexpected treats and experiences. It was amazing that one "little" island would have such a varied history and so many different artifacts left on the island. We were able to experience such varied geography from the seas to the mountains to the farming areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was Mt Etna, climbing up the craters, viewing it from the roadways approaching and leaving the area, and viewing from the terrace in Taormina, sunrise, sunset, and the lava flowing in the evening. Also, the Mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale were amazing and the Mosaics at Monreale. Such artistry was breathtaking."

Tom

Greenbank, WA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wonderful! great group as usual. everyone got together the first night and just started talking with one another as if we were all old friends. transportation was easy since we came in from amsterdam and just followed the book. so many highlights, sights, food, great weather (im sure you had something to do with that too!) everything well planned out and went off without a hitch. if there were any, we never knew about it. guides kept everything going smoothly and on time. a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"for me the "wow" moment was the greek theatre in taormina. sitting there in the sun and taking in the ruins themselves and then looking across to snow covered mt etna was just too much. an unexpected double treat!"

Kenneth

Valdosta, GA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the entire tour experience: fun places, right paced, great people (participants and guides). Had at least one "Wow" moment a day! Guide was quite knowledgable, enthusiastic, energetic, well organized with the right amount of "guid...ance". And, of yes, the food: would go again for the food. When we went, I thought it would be an archeological theme......no, no, no it was a food themed tour....and the food was great!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I will not list them all, but from the first "Wow" moment looking out over the Palermo rooftops from the terrace of the hotel just before the initial tour orientation to the last day at the Valley of the Temples, there was at least one day. Some of these were things like sunrises and sunsets, others were the many faces of Mt. Etna. Wow1"

Robyn

Greenbank, WA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides- Nina and Mert- Outstanding info from both- super attitudes- great sites-lots of fun folks on our tour-many had done 3 or more RS tours and loved them- we had a fantastic time- exceeded out expectations-

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nina took us on our Orientation walking tour of Siracusa- when we walked onto the Piazza Dumo - I was in awe. The open space, dusk light and the magnificent church and surrounding buildings were so beautiful- almost spiritual. a Big WoW for me."

Patricia

Montreal, QC

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every minute was worthwhile. The tour was extremely well-organized, and so time passed very quickly. It was everything that I had expected before I went on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments during the trip. I think the three-hour lunch with the Baroness was fantastic, like living in another time and place. The visit to the house of the Countess and Count was also unique. We loved making Sunday lunch together with the help of the chef in Céfalu, and we also loved the demonstration of how to make pizza in Taormina."

Patricia

Easton, MD

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very comprehensive tour covering so much more of Sicily than most tours. We had so many experiences that will stay with me and I feel that it was very well organized and executed. The extra stops at the Mt Etna winery, the luncheons, and the puppet show added depth to our trip enhancing the regular tours

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when we arrived in Taormini after dark and saw Mt. Etna flowing lava down it's side. We had seen the steam and smoke spouting up earlier, but it wasn't until after dark that we could see the hot lava flowing. It isn't often you get see a spectacle like that."

Susan

Washington, DC

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience that stands out the most was our walk through the market in Ortygia. This was an authentic market, crowded with people going about their daily business ... shoppers, fish mongers, farmers. The sounds, colors and smells were fabulous. Topping the visit was a stop at a family-run stand where we sampled wine and fresh cheese, and then purchased the most incredible Panini. My only regret is that we don't have markets like that here at home."

William

Bothell, WA

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is tour number 4 for us. We really connected to Alfio's passion, and his ability to make all the history and food Fun!! We appreciated his attitude and perspective on life, we were happy to have a guide from the place we travelled to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cappella Palatine in Palermo! Intimate and stunningly beautiful mosaic church from the 1100"s that had norman and arab and byzantine influences, trying to tell the christian story. WOW!!"

Gerald

Carbondale, CO

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was great! Mostly due to our guide, Alfio. He is something special. His knowledge and care of the entire group was spectacular. Almost super human. What a great, compassionate, educated guy. And with a sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not one but three .... The WW2 Museum; The lecture on Mt. Edna, The charm of all the hotels."

Patrick

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed our fellow travelers, our guide Alfio, our careful driver, the wonderful old cities of Sicily, and the hotels we stayed in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Breakfast outdoors on the top floor patio at our hotel in Palermo overlooking the city. The view was outstanding!"

Marci

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was the one region that remained a mystery to me. This tour showed me a truly wonderful and enchanting island. The 'backdoor' visits with Sicilians added immensely to the trip. I experienced a place with vibrant, art-filled cities and towns; lush countryside welcoming visitors to field-to-table meals and farm stays; natural wonders in the form of majestic Mt. Etna and the surrounding blue, blue seas and multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day brought another 'wow' moment. Highlights for me: to be up close & personal with a snow-covered Mt. Etna, and then hearing a local vulcanologist explain why Etna eruptions and formations are different from my local Pacific NW volcano Mt. St. Helens. Staying in modern-day Ortygia, a historical part of Syracuse and site of ancient Greek Siracusa was wonderful. Baroque architecture, beautiful Duomo square, puppet theatre, market day, stone ramparts & seawall views...marvelous."

David

Chicago, IL

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel that we saw the highlights of Sicily plus more than I expected. Our tour guide and the tour members were all great people. The included meals were all feasts. This tour exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mt. Etna erupting."

William

Westfield, MA

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. We enjoyed the company of both the guide and other tour members. I thought the tour was evenly paced. The food and wine were amazing. I enjoyed walking the small towns and wished there were more. Overall, I wished we had more time, but I doubt I would have signed up for more time in the beginning. Maybe a Sicily, Part II tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the very first night, looking at the Palermo skyline from our hotel rooftop."

Janice

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide. Alfio, was great[INVALID]very knowledgeable and was always giving us ideas for our free time. His sense of humor matched the humor of our group. This was our 6th tour and we've always loved our tours and the people on them. The information given us before the tour begins is always helpful and also when it's time to leave and we get help to airport, trains, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many[INVALID]I love the small villages and also the ancient ruins. The sea views were wonderful. Watching the fishermen coming in with their catches was interesting."

Sam

Washington, DC

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, it was a really good trip. Excellent sights, history, food and, of course, wine. Who can we credit for the excellent weather? Free time was adequately balanced with tour and bus time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples was a definite highlight."

Edward

Austin, TX

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip! Sicily is beautiful island. Weather was near-ideal, with light fog one day. Meals at noon and evening were seemingly endless, with break in the morning. Hotels were well-located. Rooms comfortable-with sometimes tiny shower stalls. WIFI spotty but generally available at the hotels. Tour companions were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one moment. Every location visited was interesting. However, Palermo is similar to other large cities, congested, etc. The view from the hotel roof top cafe/patio was great! The Greek ruins in southern Sicily overall were equal to or better than in Greece."

Jim

Mableton, GA

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am an experienced Europe traveller with Rick Steves' books, but this was my first Rick Steves's tour and my first visit to Sicily. I thought the tour and our guide, Donald, were excellent. Donald shared his extensive knowledge with us and went above and beyond to help each one of us. He and the local guides gave us information and experiences we would not have gotten otherwise. There were a good mix of things to do and free time. The food and wine were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments including the visit with the countess, Monreale, Mount Etna erupting, scenery on most days including from our hotel terraces, and the food and wine after the winery tour, at the citrus groves, and on the last day near the water with wonderful seafood."

Iyla

New Prague, MN

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! I would return to Sicily in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view after hiking up LA ROCCA in Cefalu...worth the climb to see forever! A close second, was viewing the red molten lava flowing down the side of Mt Etna at dusk...from our hotel terrace in Taoromina."

Carol

Mount Airy, MD

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Lots of great sites, cute villages, (especially Cefalu), good food and amiable tour companions including our guide Donald. This was our 10th tour with Rick Steves so much of the mechanics of the tour was anticipated. However, it was never boring. We took this tour to get away from cold winter weather and we did miss 20 inches of snow at home. The weather in Sicily was balmy and comfortable -- just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think probably the whole group's "Wow" moment came as we stood on the deck of our hotel in Taormina and watched Mt. Etna spew lava. It was a clear night and the color was spectacular. The next night was cloudy so we were extremely lucky."

Brianna

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time and Donald worked incredibly hard to ensure that we were having a great time in Sicily. Never had any idea that Sicily was so beautiful but the tour opened us up to great experiences, amazing views, new friends, and expanded our horizons into a much beloved country!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are many... but to name a token few: - Going up to Mount Etna to see the lava flowing on the same night from our balcony in Taorima - Cathedral in Monreal - Valley of the Temples - Being one of the only ones there at the time so that we could walk through the Villa Romana del Casale in quiet reflection"

Todd

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was excellent. Great people who all loved to travel and knew how to have fun together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sunset over the water in Cefalu was a great moment - especially coming from a very cold Chicago in February."

Burdella

Canandaigua, NY

Tour: 02/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was WONDERFUL...My friends and I have used your books for all our trips in the last 10 years. This was our 1st Rick tour in fact it was the first for all 10 of us on this tour. It would be hard to explain what I liked best as in question#2 as I liked/enjoyed everything we did. I am a retired teacher so learning about a country's history that I visit is very important to me. .I liked that we enough free time in each city so we could also do "our thing".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many things...The meal at the Baroness farm home was so good but not as good as the one we prepared ourselves in Cefalu. I hope you can do that with other smaller groups it was awesome! So food is important to me but also the Roman mosaics at Villa Romana del Casole were WOW! All the meals together ...dinner/lunches were very good much more than we had expected (4/5 courses) so I think that should be put in more detail in the PR for the trip if possible. ."

Ann

Victor, NY

Tour: 02/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded my expectations. I have been using Rick's guides for years using them to plan trips for our little "travel group." This trip to Sicily seemed difficult to do without a car so we decided to try traveling with a Rick Steves tours. This tour traveled to places that would have been difficult to find even with renting a car and well as locations and events that the average traveler would not have known about or been able to arrange.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose just one "wow" moment. The special cooking class in Chefalu and pizza making demonstration in Taormina were wonderful. My favorite sites we visited were the Valley of Temples in Agrigento and the Piazza Armerina Roman Villa. It was so fantastic to see sites that were built from time periods so long ago. There was not one site or event that we experienced on this tour that I would say to omit. They were all so fascinating."

John

Lebanon, ME

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group was a nice mix of 1st time R. Steves participants and those who had been on as many as 8-9 tours. So we had the benefit of their past experiences which helped the tour flow smoothly. The small group size allowed us to get to know each other quickly and we made new friends whether on a scheduled site visit or during free time when we were on our own. The tour was a satisfying mix of local culture, past history, art, food and wine, and a bit of exercise. I was never bored!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and the Greek Temple in Segesta. It boggles the mind when thinking about the quarrying, transport and the raising of these massive structures."

Mary

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! This was a good sampling of a fascinating part of the world. As expected for this time of year, the weather was not always great, but there were a few absolutely perfect days along with the gloomier ones.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were abundant amazing sights and experiences, but I would say that the biggest wow was having most places almost completely to ourselves! Almost no other groups were around, and it felt as if we were having private showings of the areas. And also, I really, really, really enjoyed the puppets."

Judith

Sandusky, OH

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily in 10 days tour was fantastic. My husband's grandparents, both sides, are from Sicily, so we wanted to see the country of his ancestors. We were not disappointed. The only thing I would change is the last day, last stop, of the tour. Instead of another ruin, which was not that spectacular, I would have perferred to visit a winery since we were in wine country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't choose just one, the beauty of Cefalu and Taromina, Mt Etna, the cathederals in Monreale and Siricusa, the markets, the food, the ruins...all were "wow" moments."

Renee

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best feature was Jamie, our guide. He was terrific....knowedgeable and with a great sense of humor ( must be a requirement to herd around 24 of us!). Sicily was a great place to see on a tour due to language ( little English spoken ) and very limited public transportation options. We love traveling at this time of year ( late November ) when the tourists are gone....will gladly put up with some less than perfect weather to visit when it is almost entirely locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Villa del Casale in Caltagirone....incredible mosaics and spectacular villa that we had to ourselves and an excellent local guide."

Budd

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely well done overall! Jamie was an incredible guide. Off-season made it better for us. Itinerary was not too rushed. So much to see in Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many Wow moments ...the Greek ruins in Agrigento and the Villa Romana site ...with an incredibly well preserved Roman villa were the best! Visited late afternoon with a great local guide and got an incredible look at Roman excess."

Christine

Lebanon, ME

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all I expected it to be. We have been Rick Steves 'fans' for quite a while but this was our first tour. Most of the other travelers have been on several trips with your company and were very pleased with your services.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) The mosaics of Ville del Casale were spectacular!! Such detail of the designs and the characters and it is so well preserved. The guide Sabrina really explained the details of the mosaic and history of the building and the people that lived there. 2) It was just a bit overwhelming to realize that you were really standing on and in Greek and Roman Teatros which were built 300 years BC!!"

Darlene

Calgary, AB

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The driver, tour guides and agenda were all great. It was especially good having included many of our dinners giving us a variety of food experiences we would probably not have chosen on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but among my favorites were the mosaics, all of the ruins and the history behind them. I very much enjoyed staying at the Convent in Syracusa and being allowed a look at their chapel."

Jane

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've traveled for years on our own, with Rick Steves books in hand. We've loved every minute, but when I decided I HAD to see the Greek ruins on Sicily, I knew the only way we would manage it was to take a tour. Your tour hit every spot I wanted to see and spending 2 nights in the majority of places was a plus. We usually park at a hotel in the middle of a city and branch out from there, so I was concerned - but we had a fabulous time with wonderful people. Thank you

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a theater person and was thrilled to see the Greek/Roman amphitheaters I've dreamed of them and read about them most of my life. To see them in situ was the thrill of a lifetime. I will return."

Diana

Swampscott, MA

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have to say, it was one of the best trips we have ever taken. Alfio our guide was so wonderful, he was knowledgeable about each area. He would accommodate our every need gracefully. He found out at 2pm that it was my birthday and we were on our way to the villa to have dinner and stay overnight. At dinner they had a cake for me and everyone sang happy birthday in English and Italian, it was a wonderful moment for me. The other guides that met the tour group at different locations were extremel

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several: I think the favorite "wow" moments were learning the history of the Silicians, the Contessa's farmhouse where we had lunch, the villa where we had dinner and stayed overnight, and the winery where we also had lunch, walking the streets, visiting the markets in different towns really gave you the flavor of how the Sicilians live."

Kathryn

Spokane, WA

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was great. It was filled with gifts of good food, historical treats and beautiful scenery. It was great to be able to see Greek and Roman ruins in one place! The volcanism lecture, wine tasting, ceramics and farm visit were rare treats. It was especially fun to participate in the pizza and tiramisu demonstrations. The local guides also added special flavor to their cities. Thank you Alfio for making this a memorable experience. It was like traveling with good friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing mosaics and how well some of the ancient ruins were preserved."

Robert

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled a number of times to Europe and South and Central America. We always researched and made arrangements on our own, mostly through the internet, particularly in recent years. I was skeptical about going with a tour but Sicily seems so daunting with its complex history and complicated driving. I could not have been more pleased with the tour. The guide was great, the hotels were fine, the amount of free time was just right. You have made a believer of me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking to the top of the big rock at Cefalu."

Jeannette

Spokane, WA

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My over all experience was excellent. I enjoyed the amount of together time and alone time. It was really a nice split of time to allow me to explore without having to do what everyone else was doing. When we were together it was full of great information and fun facts about the community we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Mt. Etna burst out her steam! We were just on the Mt. Just the day before and then to see it start to explode. A wonderful WOW moment. Actually it was the whole next day!"

Virginia

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was top notch - accommodations, guides, bus transportation, meals. We were surprised because we had comparison shopped and we chose the Rick Steve's tour because it was the most reasonable priced of the three tours we investigated. So we were expecting a "budget" tour. Far from it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was the guided tour of the archaeological ruins given by Rosa Rizza. Her explanation of the construction and use of the amphitheater and the hollowed out limestone cave, setting it in the context of history and the daily lives of the people at the time, is something I will never forget."

Ray

Monmouth, OR

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd R/S tour. It was my 8th tour overall. This was the best tour I have ever been on. This tour will be the one I compare all of my future tours to. I had a fantastic time. I would do it again tomorrow. I realize that all tours are a compromise, and I think that with the current set up this tour is as good as it will probably get. I loved Sicily and I was very interested in the differences between Sicily and the Italian Mainland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we visited the "Allied Landings in Sicily" Museum. Alfio can tell you why it was a special visit. But until you get a chance to ask him about it I will just say I gave a donation to the museum that they were very appreciative of. When I found out that the tour was going to visit this particular museum, that was what made me decide that I wanted to go on this tour. I had heard great things about this museum when I was in Malta in 2012. I really wanted to see it, and we did. Wish fulfilled."

Hitomi

Saratoga, CA

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was definitely too short. I could spend more time in each city. The group dinner/lunch we had was wonderful and too much to eat. The Casa Bianca, where we had group lunch was very memorable with warm welcome from the countess. The winery tour and lunch at the base of Mt. Etna also exceeded my expectation. Everywhere we went for food was exceptional, both in quality and quantity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The blue water of Mediterranean sea. I've never seen such blue water. The town of Cefalu was unexpectingly charming that this place still keeps old time ambience. We had hotel roof top pot luck gathering at Cefalu and that was very memorable since we just started the tour. We got to know the members early on."

Jiyoung

Amherst, NY

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first tour with Rick Steves group. It was fantastic experience I've ever experienced! Great tour program and tour guide, Alfio who made my tour go smooth and great. I would definitely join tour again! !!

Gene

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 10/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In the past decades, we have planned our own trips, so I know how many details are required and how easy it is for things go wrong. So I am truly impressed with the smooth and seamless quality of the trip. I found it perfectly balanced with bus, hotel stays, group activity and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I like classical history--so all the antiquities were great. A singe moment would be too hard to choose."

Rose

Rochester, MI

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and we loved both of them very much. Rick Steves company does an outstanding job. They think of everything! We would highly recommend using Rick Steves and we do to all of our friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe it was just the bus ride thru all the beautiful country side! Sit back, relax, let Antonio do all the work for us!"

Joseph

Ridgewood, NY

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience.. Everything was perfect. All I had to do was simply enjoy myself and the company and culture!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fortunately many "wow" moments happened over the course of the tour.. To name one is difficult but the moment that followed our Pizza dinner in Taormina stands out in my memory. I have never been with a group of people that all were enjoying the moment and each other at the same time.. A more delightful group of people at that moment would be hard to find."

Douglas

Anoka, MN

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had used Rick's travel guides on three prior self-guided trips to Germany, Switzerland and Italy, with great success. After years of viewing his PBS shows, I had high expectations for our first Rick Steves tour. Our Sicily tour met and exceeded my high expectations. The tour was well thought out, with a great combination of important sites, high quality hotels, good food, perfect guide and driver, a fine sense of pacing and a system of bringing together interesting travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and I asked this of each other on our return flight and we decided that it not possible to name a favorite one. But if i must pick, for me, it was either the Roman villa near Piazza Armerina with the mosaics or the Phoenician wall at the Norman palace in Palermo."

Sara

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd tour with Rick Steve's and will definitely continue to take these tours. We enjoyed being able to sit back and relax and not worry about travel plans, transportation and hotels. Guides are experienced and we get to see things and places we would never manage if we were on our own. Also enjoy the people that we meet when we travel with a group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many Wow moments to list. Fantastic views and historical ruins. Walking to the top of Mount Etna!! Laughs with our guide and new friends."

Linda

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While this was our third trip to Italy, it was our first Rick Steve's tour. We had a most positive experience. The countryside was beautiful, the food beyond delicious but best of all, the other travelers on our tour were not only fun to travel with but kind, warm folks. Everyone was friendly and pleasant to spend time with. Our guide, Virginia was charming and extremely helpful. The accommodations were fine and the arranged tours interesting. We had a wonderful, wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each evening we were in a new town, we walked along the water with fellow travelers and explored our new surroundings."

Claudia

Ridgewood, NY

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, from the outstanding guide to the wonderful tour mates to all that we saw, experienced...and ate!! I'm a big fan of history, so I always appreciate the opportunity to go to historical places and be led by expert guides. I wasn't sure what to expect from Sicily, although based on prior reviews I figured it had to be a great tour. It was that and more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorites was entering Monreale Cathedral and seeing the incredible mosaics. I actually walked in and said "wow" out loud. The beautiful coastal scenery, ancient temples, Villa Romana del Casale: these are just some of the experiences that provided many "wow" moments."

Ed

Gladwyne, PA

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is for Frank and Ed

James

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good pacing and sites. Excellent meals and activities. Virginia was fabulous; I felt like I was auditing a college course on Sicily - the best of electives!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting like minded tour mates"

Angelo

Naperville, IL

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was that the trip was absolutely wonderful. Everything we experienced was great, starting with our guide and the people on the tour all the way through to the sites we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our lunch at the Contessa's estate was our favorite wow moment! She was so gracious and the meal was absolutely out of this world."

Starr

St Gallen,

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

First let me say, I enjoyed the trip. Probably the best part of any Rick Steves' tours are the other people--and this was no exception--my fellow travllers were absolutely wonderful. However, unlike the Basque Country tour (the only other Rick Steves' tour I've been on), this one was was more hectic. We definitely saw A LOT of Sicily, but I felt rushed most of the time. Sometimes less is more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not exactly a "wow" moment, but I was surprised at how interesting the WWII museum in Catania was. I was not expecting that. The mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale were also exceptional, but we did not have enough time there to really appreciate them. Again, I felt rushed."

Sarah

Addison, PA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such a great time !!...We just can't think of a thing to complain about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It seemed everyday brought another Wow moment..but if I had to choose I would say the Roman Mosaic at Villa del Casale...I could have spent hours just looking at all of the details."

Michele

APO, AE

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely great! This was my first tour with this organization. There was flexibility in the schedule. Pretty much everything I experienced was wonderful. The Greek and Roman ruins were wonderful. The food was great. The tour was well paced with more than enough free time for people to venture off to do their own activities.

Russell

Black Butte Ranch, OR

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the third one that all were back to back. As in all other Rick Steves' tour it was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How great the City of Palermo was. Was not expecting this."

Marilyn

Loves Park, IL

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour, and it was fabulous! We are recommending Rick Steve's tours to all our friends, and we will go on another one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment had to be looking at the fabulous Sicilian landscape off the patio at our hotel in Taormina. The beauty was breathtaking, and the patio was a perfect vantage point!"

Joseph

Marlborough, MA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thought this was a wonderful experience, truly full of "wonder ". It was well structured, but not restrictive. Although ideally I wish I was fluent in Italian and could do it on my own, I knew I needed the expertise of the Rick Steves tour format. I was very impressed with our guide, Stephanie. She was well-organized, knowledgable and sympathetic. The various local guides added a rich dimension. And Sicily, it just bows me away!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The puppet theater in Palermo. I am wring a poem about it!"

Jane

Marietta, GA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was so well planned & orchestrated. The tour guide was knowledgeable of Sicily Italy made the tour exciting & fun. I learned so much. There were other tour guides and they too were very knowledgeable. The meals and tours were fabulous. We did some unique things such as walking around Mt Etna active volcano and we also met a countess who fix us a wonderful Italian meal. The people I traveled with were very nice & we laughed a lot. It was truly a wonderful experience. Go!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina Mt Etna was my Wow moment. Being on the largest active volcano in Europe how cool was that. It was amazing experience. I know I will not forget it...I took enough pictures to remind me."

George

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

second of two back to back tours; A lovely tour filling in for me a previous tour of Sicily 24 years earlier and allowing me to come back to Sorrento and Positano on the immediately previous tour but also to Taormina where my wife and I spent 5 days at the Villa Belvedere, still as beautiful and welcoming as ever. I now have a much more complete and generous picture of Sicily than on our previous self arranged tour of 24 years previous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Believe it or not, it was a sandwich bought for two Euros in a local market in Siracusa from a family that turned them out like fast food as part of our tour of Ortygia at the recommendation of our Tour Director. It was like experiencing all the exotic flavors of tomatoes, olives, oregano, garlic, fresh Mozzarella, and onions in one incredible explosion of flavor, like no other I have ever tasted."

Thomas

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. Learned a great deal about Sicily, it's history and culture. Great sites, great food, adequate hotels, appropriate amounts of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in the Palatine chapel in Palermo (although technically not part of the tour)"

Nancy

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment I stepped into the Hotel Tonic I stopped worrying about details and was able to just enjoy the next 10 days; such a wonderful thing to not have to worry about all those details! Amanda, our guide, excellent and our fellow travelers a pleasure. We got so much accomplished, ate so well, exercised, and enjoyed free time. We went home grateful and feeling full of good memories of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much appreciated the down- to- earth Sicilians. There are many travel destinations where being a tourist is clearly annoying to the locals. The Sicilians made me feel at home and normal and welcome. I came home and cooked a meal that made me think of Sicily and I entertain the possibility of learning some more Italian because of the genuine warmth we encountered. The wow for me is that I did not expect that. I thought we would be surrounded by shouting Italians."

John

Monterey, CA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good tour leader, good tour mates, good weather, good food. What's not to like!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the Rock at Cefalù. Challenging and worth the effort."

Betty

Murphy, NC

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The trip's physical activity level was reasonable and no worse than what I would do on my own. The mix of people on the tour was good and there were no negative moments in that regard. I enjoyed most of the sightseeing and the meals at the various locations of your plan were certainly enjoyable and representation of the the local environment. I felt the hotels were a mixture of good and not so good. free time at the end of the trip and less in beginning would have suited me better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several..Mt Etna, the pizza demo and party afterwards, some exchanges with local people."

Richard

Valley Center, CA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour because it instilled in us a love of Sicily. The itinerary provided a well rounded slice of Sicilian culture, geography and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Piazza Duomo in Siracusa, the terrace view from hotel in Taormina, and the Mt Etna tour."

Terry

Marlborough, MA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased with the overall tour experience compared to my usual solo trip. I picked Rick Steve's because of the philosophy, hoping it would attract like-minded co-travellers, and it did. My tour-mates were interesting, engaging, adventuresome, well educated, and a downright nice bunch that really helped make the tour an exceptional experience. The itinerary lived up to what I expected from the PBS travelogues. I'll gladly do another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting goose bumps upon walking into the Greek theater in Segesta. An awesome experience, similar in the sensory overload effect to the first time you enter Packer stadium, my own hallmark for 'wow' moments. Adding to this, one of the tour members softly sang a piece from South Pacific from the center of the stage, demonstrating the fantastic acoustics of the theater. Beauty and functionality."

Katrina

Woodbridge, Ontario

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and I was a little apprehensive. However, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the experience. It was great to wake up each day with your days agenda all set out. It was great to be able to walk into exhibits, museums, etc without waiting in line. The education I received on the history of Sicily, the people and culture was wonderful. Even though the 10 days was jammed packed, I felt like I really experienced the Sicilian lifestyle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my "wow" moment was when we drove into Cefalu and stopped on the hill to take in the incredible view. I was speechless as I took in this spectacular site. I was even more amazed as we got into town and walked around. I couldn't believe how beautiful this spot was and was so thankful that I was there to experience it."

Michael

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A most pleasurable trip and not overly physically taxing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning the history of Sicily and the food."

Kevin

Springfield, VA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding and I have recommended it to my friends. Sicily was sunny and warm with little rain. Tommaso continually shared his in-depth knowledge about the history and customs of the people. The food was great and the scenery and historic sites were very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1 Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples. After a rainy night, the day sparkled in sunlight with no clouds in the sky. Temperature was perfect about 75. We walked the road between 3 Greek temples with a view of the Sea in the distance. #2 Cefalu. We walked along the waterfront watching the waves crash onto the rocks. #3 Mt Etna parking spot. We walked around Silvesti Crater and had a fantastic view of Mt Etna, the sea and Catania suburbs. #4 Winery near Etna was great."

Cheryl

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we weren't sure how we would like group travel. Both the tour and Sicily exceeded our expectations. The balance between group activities and free time was great - we had plenty of time to explore on our own. Meanwhile, our guide offered great insights into Sicily - everything from family dynamics to where to find the best gelato to why Sicilians see themselves as Sicilian first, European second and Italian, third.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible cathedral in Monreale, the "agritourismo" meals at wineries and farms that showed us the wealth of Sicilian food and drink, the hazelnut gelato at our guide's favorite gelato place, eating pizza and enjoying wine a few feet from the sea in at the fisherman's village of Cefalu, the Greek theater in Taormina."

Nancy

Odum, GA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Far exceeded my expectations - Sicily is a country of beauty and intrigue and has become a destination I have recommended to friends and I will return to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mama Etna - I'm from the NW and St. Helens is a landmark, but Mt. Etna is a national resource. Tommaso shared the relationship of Mama Etna and the country and I feel honored to share the story and have been there."

Olivia

Woodbridge, CA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip with my 3 daughters was very, very special in many ways. Since my paternal family is from Sicily, we were all able to experience the culture first hand and get back in touch with our familial roots. I thought the trip agenda provided for a nice balance of locations and experiences for the group. Tomasso Pante was a wonderful guide. Since he is a native of Sicily he was able to share with us insights and experiences that made the culture come alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Cefalu. This ancient fishing village is so packed with little treasures at every turn. Walking the ancient streets was an experience of lifetime."

Leslie

Lodi, CA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really felt the richness, influences and cultures of Sicily. Tommaso Pante was wonderful and made the trip unique with his history and special touches to the trip. He took good care of our needs. Schedule was full days and at times seemed rushed. Was tired and run down toward end of trip. Bathrooms a bit challenging outside of hotels. Often out of toilet paper and seat covers, dirty. Have travelers prepare to carry disposable wipe with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many- Cefalu, Monreale, castlemola, the Dumo in Siracusa, WWII museum, Greek theatre in Taramona. Loved the personalized lunches at the winery, with Contessa at her beautiful farm and the farm house we stayed in toward the end of trip. Gelato and cannoli - yum!"

Lynn

Bronxville, NY

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

exceeded our expectations, guides were great, food out of this world, a little to much food, the Sicilians, my great ancestors were great people I mean really great, no need for money belts never wore one never crossed my mind, felt right at home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt Etna was a wow, so was Taormina, and Palermo, so was Syracusa, the winery, the farm."

Michael

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our first RS Tour and we found our fellow travelers very fun and interesting. Transportation between venues was very well planned as to time spent on the bus. Our driver Rosario was exceptional. We were very lucky and had great weather. The mix of tour time and free time, as well as meals on our own, was also a plus for us. Loved the buddy system.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna for one of us. Monreale, Villa Romana del Casale and Agrigento for me."

Mary

New Hartford, NY

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments at every location."

Guy

New Hartford, NY

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey, two years ago, was about seeing first hand what I had some knowledge and appreciation of. Sicily was learning about a culture and experiencing the island's beauty and enjoying its people, about whom I knew relatively little and appreciated even less. The tour changed that. Big time. What more could I ask?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to be fair. How compare its beauty (esp Segesta) with its markets with conversations with our guide with...."

William

West Linn, OR

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first ever tour but my fourth trip to Italy. Let me say straight away that it was my very best travel experience. The group members were all absolutely wonderful. Our guide was outstanding in guiding our group. She made Sicily come alive in so many ways, creating memories that will last forever. Her knowledge of the people, culture, history, art, architecture and cuisine is incredible. The food was awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many for sure but the "Valley of the Temples" in Agrigento as well as the town of Siracus rank at the top."

Leslie

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very thorough tour, with almost all the places I'd wanted to see. With maybe a day or two more, it could have included the chapel in the Norman Palace (Palermo) and the gondolas up Mt. Etna.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral in Siracusa with original doric columns. Unbelievable."

Karen

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace, variety of experiences and food were exceptional. The good distribution of guided tour and free time allowed me to do everything that interested me. The camaraderie developed in this group was extraordinary and I believe directly related Amanda's skill managing the group and details of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved learning about the rich history of Sicily. Even more surprising though was Amanda's ability to bring Sicily to life through food experiences. The market, the Contessa's farm, the winery, the pizzeria, our first and last restaurant experience, gave me a new appreciation for enjoying quality food prepared especially to make people happy. This was my wow moment that kept repeating over and over. Thanks you Amanda"

Richard

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous. A treat was to be had at every turn. Sicily is just so full of history, beauty, and omg- great food. It would be hard not to have a great time. But the best part of the trip was Amanda, our guide. She made it all "happen".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to list just one. The tour group was an unexpected pleasure - so many interesting and fun people that just added to the experience. I think that Rick Steves' tours must attract a certain group of folks - an added benefit/"

Chris

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot think of anything negative to say about the tour. Everything was up to your wonderful standards and I regularly recommend your company to my friends. Tour guide was very professional, on the ball, and diligent, as was our driver Rosario. Your formula is great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Museums and the top of Mt. Etna. I know not everyone is hot about museums, but I learned much from them. I think a little more time should be allowed on Etna to allow for people to go to the very rim. Being on the inactive rims was not too thrilling."

Tracy

Forks, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Sicily and my first Rick Steves Tour. I truly believe that because I was on a Rick Steves tour I got to see so much more of Sicily, learn the history, eat the best food and drink the best wine. Because I did not have to worry about making all the arrangements I was able to drink in so much of my surroundings. Our guide was personable, knowledgeable and passionate about Sicily and it was catching. Our driver, Rosario was the best. It was a blast!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several but I think my very best WOW moment was about a day and a half into it, the group gelled and almost became familial. Cefalu was my other WOW moment...it was a city that was not to touristy, had a wonderful beach for sunbathing and swimming, the people were warm and friendly and it had the best little deli with the most wonderfully fresh meats and cheeses and olives and whatever else you could think of."

Kenneth

Richboro, PA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I had very high expectations that were met, and even exceeded. I loved the pace of the tour and the ample mix of free time on our own. Immersion in the culture and history of Sicily was an important plus. Our guide was congenial, knowledgeable, helpful and did an outstanding job both leading and mxing with the group. On top of that, Sicily was gorgeous and the history of the Greek and Roman temples and ruins was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the Greek theater in Siracusa listening to the local guide Rosa bring the history of this place alive!"

Stephen

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour from start to finish was amazing. I felt well supervised throughout, from the guides o the hotels to the meals to he local information given to me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the tour of villa casalas, the roman hunting lodge, was the most memorable to me. That tour allowed me to visualize the ancient Roman hunters in their day to day blood sport experiences like I was there. Being a hunter and fisherman myself, I felt that I shared the same thoughts and experiences in my outdoor adventures as they did. It was a thrilling experience."

Gregory

Ripon, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really don't like to fill out this type of review as it does not give a good take on the tour itself. I can tell you that our guide was great and I have been on a lot of tours, same type of tour but done by large companies and were incentive trips. So many things were the same and some not so much. I had forgotten that there were "bathroom issues" in Sicily and Italy. What I do want to say is our guide made sure we stopped and that where we stopped had as good a bathroom as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the Greek temples in Sicily, just mind blowing. Could have listened to the local guide for hours."

Jerroll

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour to Sicily. It was so fascinating to compare Sicily to Northern Italy, as there are such similarities and contrasts. I especially enjoyed the way the myths and legends of the country add depth to the understanding of the culture. This was our 4th Rick Steves tour, and each one of them has been entirely different, although all excellent experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many such moments; viewing Mt. Etna for the first time, the gorgeous Greek ruins, and the special meals at the farmhouse and winery for instance. But one of our favorite moments was a "back-door" experience when we tasted the mouthwatering cheese and wine at a family owned deli inn Ortygia. We were lucky enough to be with our two guides, who made this experience possible. We will never forget the people we met and the camaraderie shared."

Ron

Malibu, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour and great choice of cities to explore on Sicily. Each city had unique aspects compared to the other cities, giving us a good overview of Sicily. Excellent guides and enjoyable group to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amphitheater in Taormina. It just struck me how amazing the Romans were in all their accomplishments, and to be so dedicated to having a venue for performance so long ago."

Karen

Ripon, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on many tours throughout Europe but this was our first Rick Steves' tour and it was great! The towns and villages we visited were each unique in their own way and it would be hard to pick a favorite. The mix of planned activities and free time was perfect. We really enjoyed the lunch at the winery and the farm lunch - those are definitely two activities we could not have experienced if we had been traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to choose just one but when the bus stopped at an overlook on the way to Cefalu and we saw the little village nestled below between the rock and the ocean it was just breathtaking. I could not wait to get there and start exploring!!"

Michele

Lincoln, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour was awesome, filled with rich history, beautiful sights, and wonderful people. In middle of September, the weather was perfect. The tour was well organized and took us to the main sights, along with unique out-of-the-way spots and personalized dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Greek and Roman theaters/coleseums which were built in 500 BC!!"

Douglas

Lincoln, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chemistry of the group was very good. The leader set the tone and we had a very cooperative and fun loving group. The best we have had so far.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was great but the group meals were a really special experience. These could not have been arranged by individual travelers. They provided the opportunity to build group bonds which enriched the travel experience."

Donah

Minocqua, WI

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Please see my husbands comments. Loved everything about the trip.

Barry

Minocqua, WI

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were 100% satisfied (delighted !)with the tour. Our guide was outstanding. From what we have read and discussed with other travelers the tour included almost all the high points of Sicily, and certainly not much more could have been packed into the nine days without eliminating some of the free time which was so nice to have. I think the Rick Steve's "attitude" [INVALID]s out good travelers, and we found all members of the group to be compatible, friendly, and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps the biggest "wow" moment was the view from the top of the Greek theatre in Taormina which included the theatre itself, Mt. Etna, and the town and seashore below. But the meals at the winery on the to Taormina, the meal at the restaurant in Palermo, and the Pizza making demonstration in Taormina were close seconds. As an amateur potter I was also very impressed at the ceramics studio."

Jo Ann

Cape Coral, FL

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fabulous tour with like-minded people. Casual, adventuresome, easy-going, fun group from across the US. The buddy system was fun and worked so well! Everyone was prompt, friendly, and watched out and cared for each other. The itinerary was great and thorough, and hit all the highlights of Sicily. Our guide was delightful, knowledgeable & fun! Great bus (and driver!), accommodations, & awesome food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one! A few come to mind: The view from the terrace atop the hotel in Taormina - breathtaking The view from the agriturismo in Piazza Amerina - beautiful & serene The Greek temples in Agrigento & Segesta - rival those in Greece The gold mosaics in the churches - awe inspiring"

Mary Diane

Venice, FL

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was interesting, informative,active and a very fun experience. i enjoyed every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the intricate mossaics at the Vill del Casale, in Piaazza Armerina."

Charles

Osprey, FL

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very good. I felt that we were able to see as much of Sicily as possible in the 10 days. Enjoyed the walks and the other tour members. Made some new friends who live very close to where we are from.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The floor mosaics at the 4th century Villa del Casale"

Patricia

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour experience ..... FABULOUS !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard one......... there were many WOW moments . Excuse me for not remembering the name of the place .... but we went to a farm where a Contessa was our hostess .......That was a WOW..... the food , the food demonstration, the wine , the food, the countryside , the Contessa ........ Marvelous . ( did I mention the food !! )"

Mary

Winter Haven, FL

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on many tours and our guide was hands down the best tour guide ever. She took care of us, was a wealth of information and a joy to be around. Cefalu was my favorite city - charming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Domus Mariae with its lovely accommodations and secret chapel."

Ronald

Fresno, CA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. The route chosen, the points of interest, the meals and the accommodations all exceeded our expectations and the bus driver, Rosario kept us save over every type of road condition Sicily had, even the dirt farm roads to get to our best dining experience of the tour. Most important to any tour however are your fellow travelers. Ours were fun to talk with and rich with travel experiences that they were willing to share with the group. No divas.....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek ruins, hands down. I've [INVALID]ped Greece down on my bucket list after viewing what Sicily has uncovered and preserved."

Wanda

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Packed into 9 days were a fantastic amount of history, beautiful ruins, wonderful 5 course meals and a very enthusiastic guide. Our guide loves his country and very obvious his work. There is no way you could see and do so much on your own in that time. Every guide, except one (more later) were the high caliber we have come to expect from our Rick Steve's trips. The bus driver worked miracles in some of the narrow streets and hilly terrain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Piazza Armerina was fantastic. To be able to see restored 3rd and 4th century A.D. mosaics uncovered is mind boggling. The meals in the country were memorable."

Angeline

Webster, NY

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw many interesting places and beautiful scenery. There is a great deal of history in Sicily. The group was great. Everyone cooperated and was fun-loving. The guide was outstanding. He was very helpful, knowledgeable and caring. The food was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This one is hard to answer. I think I had a few "wow" moments. Some of the churches in Palermo took my breath away. I loved seeing the volcano, even from a distance."

Veronica

Ijamsville, MD

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I guess what i realized is that i am not a good fit for a structured tour. I expected more free time. For example, when i saw 2 nights in Cefalu I made the presumption we would be there early enough the first day to have a swim and relax. we actually arrived in the evening. The sights were beautiful, as is all of italy. I realized I really like some time to just look around casually when i visit a place, and that was not really easy to do on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think arriving in Cefalu, after Palermo. the contrast was amazing."

Laura

Dublin, OH

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed all parts of the trip in Sicily. The food was terrific as always. Hotels were what we expected and were all clean and well managed. I think the trip might go better in reverse order so that the free day in Cefalu is toward the end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking back, I would say that Taormina was a highlight as well as the trip to Mt. Etna. Since this was our 8th trip, we have seen lots of ruins, otherwise they might have been more exciting."

John

Dublin, OH

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Enjoyed seeing Sicily - the history there is amazing! All of our guides were well versed in the history of Sicily & Italy in general & you come away from the trip with a lot of knowledge of that region. The many Greek ruins were exciting to see. As much as we enjoyed the trip, Sicily didn't seem to have as many "wow" moments as some of the other Rick Steves tours (such as Greece, Eastern France, & Southern Italy). Again, our guides were excellent, from our lead to all of our local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed Cefalu, the quaint old city, the hike up to the Temple of Diana, and a good swim at their sandy beach with a cold brew! Enjoyed visiting Mt Etna - hiking around the volcanic area, and then the wine tasting & delicious lunch that followed at the Winery. The old town areas of Taormina & Sirakusa were fun to explore, see their sites, stop in the local cafes, & have a gelato or two. Also enjoyed the Greek ruins at Agrigento. The Greek Temple there was in great shape!"

Jennifer

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time my husband and I had taken a Rick Steves' tour. We went to Sicily for 10 days. The worst part of the trip was the flight there and home. We did go a day early, as was recommended, and I'm glad we did. We enjoyed the tour; we really got to see a lot of Sicily. It was exhausting but in a good way; we were on the go and saw many sites. The guides really made the trip for me. I could not have done half of this on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Cefalu, the view from the mountain looking down at the city was just beautiful. Cefalu is a beautiful town with a nice beach and small so you could really get a feel for the people. I wasn't going to take the hike up the mountain to the temple of Diana but I'm glad I did."

Valerie

Arlington, MA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on my Sicily in 10 Days tour even though I usually prefer the freedom of traveling on my own. Alfio was great about sharing his knowledge of Sicily including personal stories. He was sensitive to the needs of the group and individuals, had a great sense of humor, showed excellent attention to details and added some fun surprises to the tour. The tour group was really a fun, intelligent, "no grumps" :-) group which made the tour that much better. Sicily itself was incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to choose one "wow" moment for this tour, but one of the best "wow" moments for me was visiting Mt Etna and then going to our hotel where a volcanologist gave our group a one hour presentation on Mt Etna and volcanoes and then answered our questions. I could have listened to him talk about this subject for another few hours."

Cynthia

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, wonderful! When we landed in Sicily, it was so stark at the airport, I thought "Ah-oh, what have we signed up for?". But as my husband and I acclimated to Palermo, the trip became better and better as we learned more about the culture at each town. By the end of the trip, we had such a better understanding of Sicilian life & history, and are so glad we came.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip is very diverse, starting with a big town, to small coastal fishing towns, a resort, farms, wineries, and hilltop towns. I like the surprise factor we experienced in each place: the church in Monreale, the patio with a view in Taormina, the gardens/rock quarry in Syracuse, wine tasting/lunch at Mt. Etna, lunch at the Contessa's farm, the puppet show, pizza night, the unexpected thunder/lightning storm at the hill top farm, and ending with the Valley of the Temples."

James

Webster, NY

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The food was delicious and the group was very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was really impressed with the food at the winery and at the Contessa's. The war museum was very interesting."

Christian

New Wilmington, PA

Tour: 06/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. It was our first experience with your company. We are definitely looking to go on other tour with this company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food! It was so much like what our family cooks. We were very pleased to make this connection to our family's history."

Margaret

Hamilton, NJ

Tour: 06/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We experienced things we would never have done if we had gone on our own. Our guide Aldo was terrific, and we were with a great group. This trip was fabulous and quite memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few "wow" moments. 1. Traveling up Mt. Etna and seeing the magnitude of what a volcano can do was amazing. 2. Visiting the vineyard and the baroness' home were fabulous. We were able to interact with the locals and enjoy the beautiful countryside. 3. Each town we visited was more beautiful than the other. I absolutely love Taormina."

Francie

Orlando, FL

Tour: 05/26/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We loved Sicily, but were exhausted by the end of the tour. Adding one or two days to the length of the tour would have made the last part less hectic.

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.

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, Cappucchin Crypt, Palazzo Mirto.

Transportation

Most 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. We recommend talking to your travel agent about "open jaw" airline tickets (flying into and out of different cities). Only one airline, Meridiana, operates a non-stop flight from the US to Palermo (see www.meridiana.it). All other flights will require at least one connection in another European city (Rome, Milan, London, Amsterdam, or Naples).

If you have extra time and flexibility, you might want to check into a flight into and out of another city and then purchase a flight on a low-cost carrier to/from Palermo. This could save you money, but you will need to spend at least one additional night in Europe in order to make the connection. 

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 railpass.

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.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

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.

Packing

While it is important to pack light, there is one item you may wish to include when packing for this tour. This tour has several opportunities for swimming. You may want to consider a swimsuit and perhaps a lightweight microfiber towel.

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.