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

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Sicily in 11 Days Tour

from $2,795 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

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

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

Dates & Prices

2015

    • May 25–Jun 4 (Mo-Th)
    • $3,095 + Air

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    • Jun 1–Jun 11 (Mo-Th)
    • $2,895 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Jun 8–Jun 18 (Mo-Th)
    • $2,895 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Jun 15–Jun 25 (Mo-Th)
    • $2,895 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 21–Oct 1 (Mo-Th)
    • $2,895 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Oct 5–Oct 15 (Mo-Th)
    • $2,895 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Oct 12–Oct 22 (Mo-Th)
    • $2,895 + Air

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What's Included

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Sicily

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

Day 2: Palermo and Monreale

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

Day 3:  Ancient Segesta and Mountaintop Erice

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

Day 4:  Salt Harvesting and Seaside Trapani

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

Day 5:  Ancient Agrigento and Country Living

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

Day 6:  Roman Mosaics and Syracuse

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

Day 7: Syracuse, Past and Present

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

Day 8: War, Wine and Taormina

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

Day 9:  Seductive Taormina

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

Day 10: Seaside Cefalù

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

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

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

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

Reviews

Karla

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Allison

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Irene

Toronto, ON

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Denise

Plant City, FL

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Plant City, FL

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robbie

Ronda, NC

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christine

Syracuse, NY

Tour: 11/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Connie

Coto De Caza, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rose

Fairbanks, AK

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Olathe, KS

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shelley

Davis, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Greg

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karl

Dallas, TX

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Clovis, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Bend, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marie

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alexia

Morristown, NJ

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Claire

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Villa Romana Del Casale."

Kathleen

Brooks, OR

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Samuel

Brant, NY

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt.Etna"

Karen

Chicago, IL

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mosaics and the ruins at Agrigento"

Joanne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 11/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Taormina and Siracusa the best."

Tom

Portland, OR

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Will

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments"

Gayle

Apex, NC

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Cefalu. Could have stayed longer!"

Marilyn

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roy

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Merrimac, WI

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 11/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful first trip with Rick Steve's tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marie

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lee

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

Hoboken, NJ

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rose Mary

Albany, NY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Rockaway Park, NY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Audrianne

Gowanda, NY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shivaun

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the tour!"

Tammy

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Plano, TX

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sally Ann

Hawley, PA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Moraga, CA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The temples by night at Agrigento."

Rosanna

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anthony

Lynbrook, NY

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"drink-food-sights"

Vicki

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the water buffalo farm"

Paul

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sue

Sudbury, ON

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

George

Wayzata, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mike

Wayzata, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Ontario, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Therese

Sydney, NSW

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Angela

Sydney, NSW

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ida

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marjatta

Quesnel, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great tour in Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peter

Quesnel, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gareth

Prahran,

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Dresher, PA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Anne

Melrose, MA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joan

Quesnel, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rita

Los Ángeles, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Grant

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frank

Asheville, NC

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lori

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Herndon, VA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeanene

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

Eagle, CO

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Hudson, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frank

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kristine

Riverwoods, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Riverwoods, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Cobbs Creek, VA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Cobbs Creek, VA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dennis

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Jill

Hudson, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sal

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gail

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dennis

Lakewood, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Flo

Rockville Centre, NY

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cheryl

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wild wind at mount Edna!"

Donna

Roselle Park, NJ

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Lansing, IL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joe

Rockville Centre, NY

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ancient ruins in Agrigento"

Jane

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paulette

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek temples"

Carol

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Wakefield, RI

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christopher

Laguna Beach, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Laguna Beach, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everywhere we went was a surprise and interesting"

Judith

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Philip

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Heather

Delta, BC

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all a wow moment."

Albert

Andalusia, AL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Candy

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judy

Andalusia, AL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

East Rochester, NY

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience on this tour to Sicily was awesome! I really feel I need to credit our guide Mari along with our tour assistant Amanda for making this a trip to remember! The trip was very well organized and well put together. We were given the necessary tools in each city to feel comfortable there and get the most out of each place we went too. The excursions we did as a group in each city area were well done and very informative and interesting. The restaurant choices were excellent too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I can really pick one... each place we visited and thing we did had its own charm and appeal. I would say my whole trip was a "wow" moment!"

Susan

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lots of content, variety, great food, great guide, very nice group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed just relaxing at the beach when unexpectantly found a film crew doing some kind of Iron Chef filming within a hundred yards. We had so much fun just lying there and watching the competition."

Jennifer

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mari and Amanda were wonderful, knowlegeable guides who were organized and generous. Always positive and helped group members. Enjoyed the variety of locations and hotels. Very comfortable hotels - the air conditioning was great. Food excellent. Great balance of planned activities and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cefalu. This small city was easy to navigate, on the sea, and provided nice walking activities. We hiked up to La Rocca and the Temple di Diana. The city was not too crowded, like Taormina. People very friendly."

Steven

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a 25th wedding anniversary for my wife and myself. It met all our dreams.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples in Agrigento."

John

Longmont, CO

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was well organized. Mari, and Amanda, both did the necessary spade work to make sure nothing was missed. Mari is very knowledgeable and made sure that everything was worked out ahead of time. It was very smooth!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people. The sites were enjoyable and the information well presented, but the people made the difference."

Colleen

Webster, NY

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mari was an excellent tour guide. She showed much passion for her job and for Sicily. She tried to make everyone feel comfortable and she was very approachable with any problems we had. Everyone on the tour enjoyed each other's company. The tour didn't have one mishap or uncomfortable incident. The food was wonderful and the hotels were all very nice and clean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Over looking the city of Palermo at dusk from the hotel top deck. Just never got tired of looking at it."

Carolyn

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Mari did a fantastic job with all the arrangements of this tour. Her choices of sites to see, knowledge of the history, and deep understanding of the local culture was outstanding. This tour totally met my expectations and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I truly enjoy the group dinners planned by Mari. The menus and wine selection really represented the region of Sicily we were in. Some dinners were formal with many courses and others were more informal such as a demonstration on how to make & toss pizza doe. Fun!!!"

Nancy

Riverdale, GA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kris

Duxbury, MA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Adele

Porter Ranch, CA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed this trip, but feel that other RS tours I've been on were more spectacular, specifically Heart of Portugal and Basque Country. I felt there was a lot of filler time in the Sicily tour that was not in these other tours, such as having a 3 hour lunch at a farm house, the winery tour that seemed to be focused on sales of wines (albeit the lunch was fine), too much empty time in Cefalu and Taormina, and the visit in Palermo to the Federico Palazzo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three WOW moments: Villa Romana Del Casale with the spectacular mosaics; the archaeological park in Siricusa; and Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. All exciting, beautiful, educational, insightful."

Tom

Duxbury, MA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth Rick Steves tour in three years and this tour was every bit as good as the first three tours. It was non-stop learning and adventure from the moment we arrived in Palermo until we the moment we left Palermo 11 days later. We again had an outstanding tour guide who was complemented with excellent local guides at our various stops. The balance of tour activities to free time was just right and it is what we love about the Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento was my "wow" moment. The temples are remarkably well preserved and gives you a good idea what Agrigento might have looked like 2500 years ago."

Kristin

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the experience! It's my third tour so I knew what to expect for the most part. Everything seemed to work perfectly on this tour. The bus was super comfortable and our bus driver Massamo was really good. My thing is art so I'm still basking in the wonderful art and architecture we saw. I'm happy to have seen my favorite painter, Caravaggio in the little church at the Plazza del Doumo in Syracusa.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many! The rooftop view of Palermo. The visit to the Palazzo. The beach at Cefalu. Mt. Etna. Taramina . The country lunch. Syracusa was wonderful, the Plazza del Duomo was a highlight. Caltagirone ceramics studio and shops was great. The most wonderful were the Greek temples at Agrigento. Wonderful!!!"

Dennis

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was very interesting, well-paced (although some days were a bit long) and provided a healthy mix of structured group and free time. The content of the guide-led tours was, in my opinion, far too heavy on historical, architectural and archeological minutae. I have a PhD, so I am quite comfortable with scholarly material, but less would be more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The World War II museum moved me deeply due to my father's role in the War."

Michael

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was an unexpected pleasure. Did not plan on seeing so much greek and roman ruins and old churches. The tour was well paced. Seemed odd that the second day was a free day at Cefelu . This was a beautiful place and the beach was wonderful but it would have been nicer at the end of the trip. I also really liked the "street food" arencini , stuffed bread with sausage.... this was great for a quick meal. Sicily was pretty easy to maneuver. we were mostly in tourist areas so it was fine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wow moments. The countess and her son and home were really cool. She was so gracious and welcoming. The puppet theater was a super surprise. I was dreading going to see the puppets but was totally enthralled. I wished it would go on forever."

Peter

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I am very happy with our tour and this was our fourth RS. Nina is a fantastic guide and reinforced why we choose to tour with your company. We saw and did so many things we would never be able to do on our own and met wonderful traveling companions as well. Massimo, our driver, was a great driver and we always felt in good care with him behind the wheel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from.... visiting Conte Federico's Palazzo in Palermo, lunch at the farm with the Contessa, climbing La Rocca, swimming in the Tyrrhenian and Ionian and visiting many wonderful ancient Greek sites. My favorite city was Ortigia."

Allen

Porter Ranch, CA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoy and travel to Europe regularly and have been on 3 RS tours thus far. Overall had an enjoyable time with nice educated fellow travelers. However, there are areas that need improvement that make me think about trying other tour companies. See my comments below.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Villa romana Del Casale - spectacular mosaics best ever seen in my travels. 2. Archeological Park/museum in Siricusa 3. Views in Taormina"

Judith

Lawrence, KS

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman Villa, the Valley of the Temples, the views!"

Sophia

Rowville,

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally an independent traveller, i was apprehensive but the tour was a wonderful surprise. The destinations were good, the places of interest that were highlighted were varied and very well chosen. Our tour guide was excellent. The hotels on our tour were mostly great. The schedule was well balanced with hectic days & then adequate down time & independent exploring time. All up it was a great success!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Monreale cathedral was the highlight of my tour. The Villa Romana was another very special site."

Kurt

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guides were wonderful,especially Virginia. The cultural, historic, and artistic bent of the tour was exactly what I wanted. Only complaint I have was how hard the beds were. But that wasn't terribly important to me. Bravo! Selfishly speaking, if the tour had been only built around my wife and me, I would have rather skipped Taormina, and had another day on the back end for the many things in Palermo we didn't have time for. The jet set crowd left me cold in Taormina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Catheral at Monreale. Syracusa in toto. The Villa Romana. Agrigentum. The farm house meal and the farewell dinner."

Maria

Chicago, IL

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was defined not only by the country but by our tour guide Virginia, who was such a pleasure to be with. She was informative, helpful, kind and fun. Our bus driver Massimo, was also very professional and helpful, they were a good team! The guides in each of our cities were extremely informative and knowledgable. They answered any and all of our questions. The sites and stops that were chosen were wonderful. The meals were also great and I loved the small group size.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Besides the wonderful sites and natural beauty, I would say our stay at the agroturism Torre di Rende was a wow! moment. I didn't expect something so breathtaking and peaceful!"

Goffe

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sara

Oxford, OH

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darcy

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the perfect tour. It was unique, flexible, full of surprises, inexpensive, and comfortable to do. I had experiences that I'll remember forever and I met friends I will keep. I immersed myself in a new way of life and forgot about work. Our group had a warm, charming guide who had an uncanny knack of balancing guided sight-seeing with time for independent wandering. I liked that she always gave us several suggestions for things to do during unstructured time. Go, Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three Wows! The pebbly Taormina beach at Mazaró with white umbrellas, chaise lounges, and a parade of vendors was an experience. We beachcombed, watched excursion boats sail in and out, and waded in the Ionian sea. At Villa Romanadel Casale in Piazza Amerina, I could almost feel the heartbeat of past inhabitants as I looked at mosaics from third century AD. Going home, in a slice of life, we coaxed our cabbie back on the freeway after he pulled off the road to argue on the phone with his boss!"

George

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A wonderful group of fellow travelers to travel with a number of very interesting sites. Would recommend that the tour have less free time, save the tour meals for the evening. While the lunches were very well prepared, they took two to three hours away from touring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the ancient Greek Temples."

Marianne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic 10 days. Virginia led the tour beautifully and imparted terrific information, offered insights and assistance whenever asked, and was infinitely cheerful, encouraging and sensitive to the needs and desires of her very disparate flock. Our local guides were also wonderful and broadened our experiences exponentially. This trip offered us a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Greco/Roman ruins in Sicily. I am so glad we took advantage of this chance!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"With our guide's help, we attended the final performance of "The Orestaia" at the Greco/Roman theatre in Syracusa. Even though the language spoken was Italian, we were familiar with the story and could follow it quite easily. As theatre professionals in Seattle, just imagine our awe and delight sitting there in that ancient theatre watching a performance of an ancient Greek tale in a sold out audience of around 10,000 people!! This would NEVER happen in the U.S. but it did there!!"

Bruce

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Charming group leader, excellent local guides and a great group of fellow travelers---just what we expected on our 3rd tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tie between the Greek amphitheater in Syracusa and the World war II museum in Catania."

Janet

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had only just begun and I realized again why I love Rick Steves and his tours. I appreciate the Rick Steves philosophy and always feel like I receive more than I expected. Our guide, Virginia, was amazing. Organized, communicative, thoughtful, fun-loving, positive...a star! I was in awe of the other members on our tour...respectful, kind, interesting...quickly became friends. What an educational, stimulating, superb 10 days!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose one...my arm was sore from pinching myself, realizing that I really was in Sicily. Walking along the sea, eating gelato from a brioche, wine-tasting and enjoying the antipasto plates, the WWII museum, walking the ruins and thinking about "life", enjoying breakfast outdoors, taking time to walk the streets and alleyways by myself. All grand!"

Maureen

St Johns, MI

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've written this evaluation backwards so I don't have much else to add, except that we had a small and very interesting group of compatriots in our tourgroup. We enjoyed all the time and experiences we got to share together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed our visit to Benanti Vineyords and the meal/wine pairings, as well as the visit to Casa Bianca ,near Lentini, and her wonderful meal. But, the pizza and tiramisu demonstrations at Villa Zucchero in Taormina, with the subsequent meal, are probably what I tell the most people about."

Laurie

South Colby, WA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

really enjoyed our guide. Her enthusiasm was contagious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"first dinner"

Jerry

Keizer, OR

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first trip to Sicily. Our group consisted of 19 travelers led by our wonderful guide, Virginia. We had just completed the Southern Italy tour which had 27 travelers, so the Sicily group of only 19 had an incremental enjoyment for us. Wonderful tour. Highlights for me included Taormina, Siracusa, and our Mt Etna day (including the fabulous luncheon at the Winery).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be the wonderful luncheon at the winery following our visit to Mt Etna. Host was excellent, wine amazing, and quite a feast. Our pizza and tiramisu lessons in Taormina was yet another wow moment followed by a five pizza feast...(spoiler....diet BEFORE coming to Sicily)."

Jeffrey

Chesterfield, MO

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our third Rick Steves' tour. It was well-organized and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In addition to the natural beauty, the Roman villa and the Valley of the Temples."

Christine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a very good variety of activities to do, plus the valuable free time to do things that are not included on the tour. Our guide was delightful and took care of all of our needs. It was pretty exciting walking around one of the craters at Mt. Etna a week before it had a lava eruption!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always a hard question because there are usually so many. One would definitely be the WWII Museum in Syracuse."

Laurel

Chesterfield, MO

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met my expectations for a "Rick Steves experience". I loved the group size (19)!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I always enjoy the "non-tourist" spots and think they are one feature that makes RS tours different (and better) than other tours. On this tour I really enjoyed the trip to the farm and the winery."

Robert

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Geoffrey

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great trip with "Uncle Rick." Well planned and executed as usual.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral at Monreale was the biggest surprise and "wow." for me."

Jane

Sapulpa, OK

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the trip very much. As usual, the group was congenial and committed to the RS style of travel, and the tour itself was well worth taking. We particularly enjoyed the puppet theater, Piazza Armeria, and Agrigento. We would suggest that more time be spent in Palermo. Stan and I went four days early, stayed a day and a half after the tour, and still didn't have enough time to see what we wanted. Not to mention such "back door" experiences as street food at night in Vucciria!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment that had the biggest impact on me was the Museo dello Sbarco in Catania. The village before the "bombing'", the bomb shelter experience, and the village after the "bombing" were experiences that all Americans need to have. I also had a "wow" moment when we visited the Madonna dellle Lacrime church in Siracusa. Awe inspiring."

Charles

Arlington, VA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my second RS tour and again lived up to my expectations, except that I suggest you add a day or two to the tour. There is so much to see in Sicily and making the pace more leisurely would be helpful .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moments were the tour stops with very interesting real people, e.g., the tour/wine tasting/lunch by the owner of the Benanti brothers' vineyard on Mt. Etna; the countess' tour of her "palace" in Palermo; the master pizza making chef in Taormina; the ceramics artisans in Caltagirone."

Tim

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well thought out and planned. I did not get the agro tourismo stop for lunch though as there really did not seem to be a description of what we were doing there. The food was great though.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was wow moments from tour guide to local guides to free time to site selection to wonderful dinners together and on our own."

Dallas

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thought this trip was exceptional itinerary, meals provided and the insight to Sicily. It made us sad that we had not taken a RS tour before. We thought the hotels were well chosen and we really enjoyed the free time allowed. We have avoided wine tasting before but this one on this trip was fantastic and so informative. I can't think of a better way to see Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cathedral of Monreale and the valley of the temples. And the Pallentime Chapel was a highlight (we did that on our own)"

Debra

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour - and our first tour period. I was very impressed with the schedule and tours. Never a minute wasted and moving on to the next city of attraction. It was a very easy tour to be part of. People on the trip were very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the town of Syracuse was the best "wow" moment."

Christine

Arlington, VA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Adding a few more days would be appreciated because there is so much to see. At times, I felt rushed. And for our "free time" there were other sites to see, but often I felt it best to rest up for the next adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments: Monreale Cathedral; fortifications atop Cefalu; scenic view from our Taormina hotel; the convent accommodations given my Catholic upbringing; ceramic demonstration; Agrigento, and more. Farewell party on rooftop in Palermo had a gorgeous sunset that I hope you see in some pictures. Cannot plan for it ahead of time. I loved how the site seeing was punctuated with wine tasting and 'snacks' there were complete meals in most cases."

Carol

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bonnie

Reno, NV

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the Sicily tour! This was our sixth RS tour, and as always we enjoyed great food, beautiful scenery, excellent hotels and friendly traveling companions. Having come into the tour with little knowledge of Sicily, we appreciated learning about the history and culture, and having a native Sicilian, Alfio, as our guide was a huge plus. We were honored to view his island through his eyes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments to mention. We especially loved Cefalu - the view coming into the town and, of course, the beach. It's a lovely town and we wish we could have spent more time there. The weather was perfect, too!"

Douglas

Danville, CA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Highlights were Taormina, Cefalu, Mosaic flooors at Villa Romana del Casale, and Greek Temples and coastal views, and the Duomo on Ortigia and views of sunsets near the Fonte di Aretusa Skippable sights were Monreale and the crowds, most of Palermo's sights and noise, Mount Etna, WWII Museo dello Sbarco in Catania, Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina with views from the Greek Theater, and wandering the streets along Corso Umberto. Views of the sea near the ancient amphitheater near Segesta."

Carol

Summit, NJ

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we were very pleased with the organization of the tour and the quality of the special events. Our tour guide was not only knowledgeable but a fun, warm person. The guides themselves develop the special events such as wine tastings and tours. These are what distinguished our tour from what we could do on your own - we could have never set these up as individuals. Sicily is also a large island with much distance between sites so a bus is key.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first evening was a tour of Palazzo Conte Federico in Palermo. This palazzo has been in the count's family for generations, with a 12th century second floor, original furnishings and original tower from Palermo's city walls. The tour was given by the Countessa herself, a lovely, gracious Austrian who sang opera for us! The count was happy to discuss car races with all those interested. What a fantastic start to our tour!"

Merine

Sequim, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 9th tour with RS and definitely one of my favorites. Sicily is a beautiful island with lovely scenery and the blue sea all around. The local people we met were friendly and welcoming and happy to be sharing their Sicily. Our guide, Alfio, was a delight. He clearly loved his home, was knowledgeable, informative, articulate and fun to travel with! A great 10 days! Gorgeous setting, great food, good companionship!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing amazing ancient Greek ruins in such spectacular settings!"

Jeanne

Bonney Lake, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think Sicily has more to offer than what 10 days provides. The tour should be longer. There is so much history to cover in Sicily. I believe Sicily warrants it's own Rick Steve's book. I thought it strange to provide a Lonely Planet book. Alfio is passionate about his job and teaching us travelers. The local guides were also very passionate about their culture and being Sicilian. I think Rick Steve's should allow them more time to show their stuff and to shine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek temples."

Pamela

Cottage Grove, OR

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide definitely made our trip. Alfio was wonderful and took care to meet all of the group's needs. Sicily, since it is an island, warranted shorter bus rides with more time in the wonderful cities we visited. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The absolutely gorgeous coastline, and the best food I have ever had!"

Patricia

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I most often choose to travel independently rather than on a tour. However, Sicily seemed to be a place that would be more convenient to travel on a tour and I am glad that we chose the Rick Steves tour. It was well-organized and I appreciated that the tour group was not too large. Our tour guide and the local guides were very good and informative. Hotels were conveniently located and nice. The bus driver did an excellent job of getting us around, including on narrow, twisting roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed our visit and luncheon with the Contessa on her farm near Siracusa. The food was delicious and the Contessa was friendly and gracious."

Linda

Lacey, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was my 7th or 8th tour and it had the quality I've come to expect. Fellow travelers with a mixture of backgrounds, home states and ages. The 'no grumps' motto continues to work pretty well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to the Palazzo of Count Federico in Palermo -and- the Roman Floor Mosaics at the Villa Del Casale - they were incredibly well preserved and interesting in content! Much better than any I've seen before."

Rob

Seabeck, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, the tour was very good. However, this tour demonstrated that I have finally reached my limit of old churches and large (repetitive) museums. I will select future tours based on the time spent on other activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time spent with Contessa Alwine at the Palazzo Conte di Federico was remarkable. Please thank her and her husband for opening their home to us."

Trent

Reno, NV

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent. This was my sixth RS tour and I certainly would not continue to travel with RS if I didn't enjoy the the way your tours are conducted. My only issue with The Sicily tour is the final day was a bit too hectic trying to squeeze in a bit too much for one day arriving back in Palermo at around 8:00pm. That made it hard for us to get organized to leave the country early the next day. However our tour was wonderful none the less.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frankly, I found everyday to be a wow moment all because of our excellent guide - Alfio."

Daniel

Independence, OH

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! Exceeded high expectations after the great Greece tour with Colin. The pace was slower than the Greek tour, but I liked that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As with the last tour, two wow moments: 1) how great everyone on the tour was, and 2) collectively, the food."

Jim

Moscow, ID

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw a variety of things-charm of the coastal town of Cefalu--beauty of Taormina high above the ocean with an ancient Greek Theatre--World War Two Landing and Sicily Museum--delightful stay at Torre di Renda (local agritourismo)--plus Mt. Etna and a local pizza making demonstration followed by an incredible pizza dinner. The Valley of the Temples was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire island was a "wow" moment--it was fun to explore and experience. The Sicilian pizza was even better than in Southern Italy."

Mark

Prince George, BC

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the pace and amount of things we did balanced with personal time. Tomasso was very personal and knowledgeable. Fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Day in Cefalu, climbing La rocha in the morning and swimming in the sea in the afternoon."

Larry

Carmel, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour experience, led by a truly outstanding Sicilian tour guide. Every one of the diverse stops was very interesting and enjoyable. It would gave been nice to spend an additional night or two in virtually each location. The hotels were convenient and comfortable, three of them were really quite special! The tour group was friendly and enjoyable, no problem people and virtually no delays at all. The special group events and stops beyond the published itinerary added value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one particular moment or experience jumps out for me, there were many, but the true "wow" of this experience was spelled "Tommaso". Our guide Tommaso constantly shared his passion and enthusiasm for his native Sicily; his endless information, insights and contacts throughout Sicily; and caring and friendship for each of us travelers and our experiences. It was Tommaso who made this tour experience so special."

William

Laguna Woods, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tommaso was fantastic and really made the tour a joy. The sites, the local guides, the food and Tommaso's insights into Sicilian culture. You need to listen to his story about the Sicilian "Mama" culture. Absolutely, fascinating. Who would have thunk Sicily could be such an interesting place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night ride by the Temples at Agrigento with all of the temple lit up."

Jenny

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is beautiful, and everywhere we went was interesting. The accommodations were fine, and the food was marvelous, especially at the "Agritourism" places. Our guide, Tomasso, was outstanding, and the three other local guides were also great. All in all it was a fabulous trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving past the temple (Valley of the Temples) lit up at night, with some wonderful music chosen by Tomasso."

Juri

Pollock Pines, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was superb. Tommaso was the best tour director I have had to date.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The size of the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento is hard to imagine, a truly "wow" moment."

Connie

Pollock Pines, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour so we had no prior knowledge of how it would go. It was great! The lodging seemed to get better with each new town. The sights were amazing. The food was excellent. I've been cooking Sicilian ever since we got home. The tour bus was clean and very comfortable. Our guide was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. He had pride in his country and went out of his way to make everything just right for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many of them to count! Loved lunch with the contessa."

Richard

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and it exceeded expectations. It starts with our tour guide, Thomasso. He was fantastic. He was personable and knowledgeable. He cared about everyone on the tour and was very organized in keeping things on schedule without making you feel "herded". It was also great being able to bypass the lines and get right into the sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think there were several, however two stand out. The first was when we toured the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale. We've seen other mosaics, but this was by far the largest and most outstanding display we've ever seen. The second "wow" moment was when we drove by the "Valley of the Temples" in the evening, simply breathtaking!"

Marilyn

Laguna Woods, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was a surprise in the European context. So much history compacted into one little island. The other tour members were fun and easy to be with. Most wonderful of all, was Tommaso, who made the experience outstanding. His comments and guiding were the best I've ever experienced. His sharing of personal and historical information about Sicily made me appreciate European history and culture more than any other trip I've taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening bus tour of the lit monuments with Tommaso's own choice of beautiful music was a spiritually lifting experience."

Paul

Bryn Mawr, PA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fantastic trip, full of incredible scenery, history, and food and an awesome guide. Tommaso is the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The temples at Agrigento at night The view of Palermo from our hotel terrace The view from our hotel room in Siracusa Seeing lava explode from Mt. Aetna in a view from our hotel terrace."

Sharon

Cottage Grove, WI

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomaso, our guide, was well-organized, humorous, passionate about Sicily and knowledgeable. He gave us personal insights and experiences into the Sicily he loves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but seeing the Greek temples lit at night at Agrigento was an unforgettable experience. As we traveled by the temples, the bus was hushed and we listened to beautiful recorded songs by Tomaso's favorite singer."

Richard

Grants Pass, OR

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Too short a trip. Need to add a couple more days and see more of the island. You should minimize the time in Polamero. The rest of the island is wonderful but Palermo is a dump

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving by the Valley of the Temples at night, with the temples all lit up and the moving music Tomasso played. WOW!"

Joellen

Boerne, TX

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the history and the unique architectural sites. I loved the personal touches that included visiting the two contessas's homes. The Museum acknowledging the Sicily raids during the World Wars were truly outstanding. The bus was comfortable.

John

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. Prior to this trip I had used his guide books, watched his shows, listened to his audios, and met him; all of those experiences were so good I decided to give this tour a shot. On our last trip to Italy, four years ago, a travel agent arranged several intimate tours (e.g. four people on a Vatican tour) and I was concerned that a larger tour would be disappointing. I was so wrong. This tour was fun and informative. I highly recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After dinner one night, when we were staying in Agrigento, the bus took a side trip and drove past the lighted structures in the Valley of the Temples, while our guide, Tommaso played Emma Shapplin over the bus speakers."

Al

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Super guide!!!! Enjoyed the experience with a great group of people, even tho some may have had a bit of difficulty with my approach to life. My wife and I were with your first Sicily tour , this time was equally informative !! Definitely worth the money! Keep it up!!!! I think you may be on to something !! Al Tennant.

Marianne

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We traveled on the first Sicily trip many years ago and initially we thought we would see many of the same things....not true. Yes there was some repeats, but it was well worth seeing again. What I particularly liked about the tour was it were many special side trips that got us off the beaten path. The lunch with the Baronessa, the wine tasting,pizza making, etc. It was just a wonderful tour with an exceptional leader in Nina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually had many a "wow" moment...yet I believe that Nina really deserves a big WOW for being so well informed and keeping everything interesting and running smoothly."

Jill

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was excellent. I greatly enjoyed each of our destinations, all of the included tours and activities, and the delicious meals that were included with the tour. Our guide and driver were both terrific. Sicily is beautiful and interesting. I found it to be less crowded with tourists than other places in Italy. As a result, I had the pleasure of being among the local people in cafes and restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have narrowed it down to 2 wow moments. The first was the extraordinary visit to the home of Contessa Alwine on the first day of the tour. The second was the visit to the Greek theatre of Taormina with Mount Etna visible through the walls at the back of the stage."

John

Stow, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily proved far more interesting, especially the history, local culture, scenary and agriculture, than expected. For such a small part of Europe, it packs a lot to like in a small package. We were pleased with the short bus rides (excellent driver), the small size of the group, which was extremely compatable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't really pick out one WOW moment, but there was always a new highlight around each bend in the road. Greek temples at Agrigento, Norman fortress in Palermo, and the cliff-top view in Chefalu. We were really impresed by the wines at Benati Vineyards near Mt. Etna. The two reds we tasted were superior. Seeing the ski chair lift at Mt. Etna was a surprise."

Carole

Stow, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily proved to be more interesting, especially the history, local culture, and agriculture, that we expected. We were pleased with the short bus rides (excellent driver), the small size of the group, which was extremely compatable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We can't really pick out one WOW moment, but there was always a new highlight around each bend in the road[INVALID]Greek temples at Agrigento, Norman fortress in Palermo, and the cliff-top view in Chefalu. We were really impresed by the wines at Benati Vineyards near Mt. Etna. Seeing the chair lift at Etna was a surprise."

Weather

Sicily/ Palermo

Palermo Weather

Pre-Tour

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

Trip Resources

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

Transportation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sightseeing On Your Own

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

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

Packing

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

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