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

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Sicily in 10 Days Tour

Rick Steves' most exotic tour in Italy will immerse you in the distinctive culture, crafts and history of Sicily. On your eye-opening loop around the island, your Rick Steves guide will introduce you to the hearty welcome and home cooking of a Sicilian family farm, the steamy power of Mount Etna, Italy's brightest pottery and boldest wines, Europe's most amazing Ancient Greek ruins, and slow sunsets from picture-perfect seaside villages. Join us for the Best of Sicily in 10 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Sicily come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 18 group sightseeing events • Palermo walking tour • Palazzo Federico tour • Monreale Cathedral tour • Cefalù orientation walk • Visit to Mount Etna (weather permitting) • Wine tasting at Sicilian winery • Taormina walking tour • Taormina's Teatro Greco tour • Sicilian cooking demonstration • Museo dello Sbarco tour (WWII) • Syracuse Ortygia island neighborhood walk • Syracuse Neapolis Archaeological Park tour • Catacombs di San Giovanni • Puppet Theatre performance • Caltagirone orientation walk • Maiolica ceramics demonstration • Villa Romana del Casale • Valley of the Temples tour...and more
  • All group transportation from Palermo to Palermo
  • 9 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including a Sicily guidebook, Sicily Sightseeing Supplement, Italian phrase book, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Sicily

We'll gather at our hotel in Palermo at around 3 p.m. for a "Welcome Meeting." Then we'll dive into the colorful street life of this energetic and exciting city — all spiced with an evocative whiff of Africa. Prepare to be caught off-guard by its surprises — including tasty ones, as Palermo's restaurants seem to have deliciously rewritten the Italian cookbook. We'll meet Contessa Alwine and step into the living diversity of Sicily's conquerors with a tour of Palazzo Federico, and end our evening with a "Welcome to Sicily" dinner together. Sleep in Palermo (1 night). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Spicy Palermo and Seaside Cefalù

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

Day 3: Free Day to Explore Cefalù

Your day is free to wander through old Cefalù. Treat yourself to some of Sicily's oldest Byzantine art inside the Norman cathedral, scramble up "la Rocca" to admire spectacular views from the cliff-top ruins above the town, or plant yourself on one of Sicily's best beaches. This evening join in the local passeggiata to feel the pulse of Sicilian culture before finding the perfect place to eat your way through a seafood menu. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 4: Mount Etna and Seductive Taormina

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

Day 5: Old-World Elegance of Taormina

After breakfast, we'll meet an informative local guide for a walking tour of Taormina and its remarkably-situated Ancient Greek theater, still used today for open-air performances. This afternoon you are free to luxuriate in this cliff-hanging, old-world resort town. Wander through its elegant gardens, posh cafes and shops, ride a cable car down to the beach or explore the nearby mountain-top village of Castelmola. Any way you slice it, you'll have a ringside seat to savor il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing), Sicilian style. This evening we will meet up for a Sicilian pizza demonstration followed by dinner together. No bus. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 6: WWII and Country Living

We'll begin our day with a short drive to Catania, where we'll tour the Museum of the 1943 Landings in Sicily (Museo dello Sbarco). We'll learn how, nearly a year before D-Day, Allied troops found themselves fighting against — and at the same time liberating — their Italian adversaries. On the road again, we'll stop at a local farm to learn about life in rural Sicily, culminating with a midday feast. Then it's on to Syracuse (Siracusa), in ancient times "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all." This evening we'll take a walk through the city's historic old town on the island of Ortygia. Sleep in Ortygia (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Ancient Syracuse

This morning we'll experience the roots of modern drama at Syracuse's impressive Neapolis Archaeological Park. We'll continue our ancient education by learning about the Roman persecution of Christians with a guided tour of the Catacombs di San Giovanni, which are second in size only to those in Rome. The afternoon is yours to wander through Syracuse's delightful jumble of Greek, Roman, Medieval and Baroque layers — or settle on a quiet park bench with a harbor view. This evening we will meet to enjoy a performance of Sicily’s traditional puppet theatre. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: Colorful Maiolica and Mosaics

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

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

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

Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast

It's a breeze to reach Palermo's airport by shuttle bus. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience.On our Best of Sicily in 10 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

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

Reviews

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

Paul

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

George

Wayzata, MN

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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)."

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 .

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"

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."

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."

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."

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 "."

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."

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."

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."

Jeanene

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Herndon, VA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frank

Asheville, NC

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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!"

Jane

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paulette

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek temples"

James

Wakefield, RI

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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"

Judy

Andalusia, AL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judith

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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"

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."

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,"

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."

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!!!"

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."

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."

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!"

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!!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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!"

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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)."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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)"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

Catherine

Dayton, OH

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great adventure! Sicily was everything I hoped for and more. It was captivating and I am so glad I was there in May to see the wheat fields and wild flowers in the interior. There was so much variety, gorgeous seaside resorts, cities like Palermo and Syracuse, and the rugged terrain and Mt. Etna. What made the experience was the expert guide Tommaso. He obviously loved Sicily and wanted to share as much of it as he could in our ten days together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had lots of "wow" moments: sunbathing on Cefalu's uncrowded beach; seeing Mt. Etna which was erupting during our visit; driving through the Valley of the Temples by moonlight listening to evocative music thanks to Tommaso; the view from the Greek theater in Taormina; Syracuse's old town and the best street food lunch thanks to Tommaso too."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Nancy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was as described in the Rick Steves brochures. It would be nice to have a Rick Steves guide book for Sicily instead of the small pamphlet. I think the tour could benefit from being a day or two longer. It seemed as if we had to rush through certain exhibits just to make deadlines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina was a beautiful town and two days is not enough time to spend there."

Linda

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never taken a tour I wasn't sure what to expect......the experience was outstanding! Rick's pre-tour email was a great help.......if you are not an extrovert by nature, pretend that you are ...and guess what......you will become one and have a great time doing it! Nina was a terrific, helpful and knowlegable guide and we were with a wonderful group of people and those two things went a long way in making this a great, fun experience with many fond memories for years to come.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I couldn't even begin to name just one........the visit to the home of royalty in Palmero.....the experience at the family owned winery......the temples at night, viewing the mosiacs.....the wonderful seaside town of taromina........meeting the people at all the stops.....watching our bus driver navigate the impossible tiny roads of the countryside......"

Arnold

Oro Valley, AZ

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled extensively with other tour companies and found this particular tour to be one of the best we have taken. The history, culture and people as well as the beautiful scenery were highlights. The hotels were comfortable and the food was wonderful. Sicily was one of the places we wanted to see and we were pleased with the overall experience. We will be joining another rick Steve's Tour in September.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several WOW moments but the most interesting times were talking with the school children who were eager to practice their English. The tour allowed us time on ourown to mingle with the locals and the children were the most fun to engage in conversations."

April

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am an experienced traveller with years and a variety of travel styles behind me. First Rick Steve's tour, very impressive tour preparation and service from start to finish. Overall found it to be a very enjoyable travel experience. I really liked the Rick Steve's travel philosophy of Europe through the back door. Tour was very well organized, with diverse experiences and opportunities. Group size perfect. Great guide. Comfortable bus and safe experienced driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sicily is an amazing region of Italy. I loved it all from the food, people, sites and history. Being swarmed by 14 year school kids in Cefalu who wanted to practice their English was very fun. I loved our visit to the Baroness' farm, the meal provided was exceptional and she was a graceful hostess. Finding ones way through the narrow streets of Ortigia was a mind boggling fun experience."

Jacob

Ladue, MO

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was outstanding. She was personable, knowledgeable and made this tour even better than my expectations. She zigged when need( huge downpour one morning, cabs for the luggage instead of rolling our suitcases 5 blocks during the rain). Her choices of restarts were superb. The tour itinerary is really good, she put the tour over the top.

Paul

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a Rick Steves first timer, and for the first time on any tour, I thought our experience was excellent. We got to see many things that if we had been on our own, would have been overlooked. The ability to opt out of activities to be able to rest, or do our own thing was nice. I felt that the pace of the tour was demanding, but not overly so. The days to explore on our own were a nice change of pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stay in Taormina was my favorite. From the drive up the hill to the town, to the views and the public gardens. The group dinner with the pizza making demonstration was a lot of fun, and delicious."

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.

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."

Bruce

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily Tour was terrific ! It covered all aspects of life and culture on the island, and afforded a trip-of-a-lifetime feel. All destinations were covered fully while leaving ample time for personal stops for interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The knowledge that Italy is a very un-unified country - each region retains its own local heritage and pride. Sicily is very independent ; and it attempting to turn the tide away from the MAFIA roots that are evil. Teaching against this organized crime wave is key to their future."

Lee

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first on land tour and I could not have asked for a better experience. I loved the smooth transition from hotel to hotel. Our bus driver was just great and very accommodating. Our guide, Stephanie, was wonderful. She was very professional, extremely friendly and able to anticipate our needs before we did. I will recommend your tour and I will highly recommend Stephanie to all my friends and acquaintances.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Easter Saturday and Sunday in Cefalu. The bonfire in front of the Cathedral, the late night Mass and then Easter Sunday Mass was amazing. I also was loved the wine tasting and lunch at the Benanti Winery."

Sylvia

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We would do it again if we could! We brought our sixteen-year-old grandson, and it was a perfect trip for him. He loved the food especially but also the markets, the sights and the group. Our guide answered his questions, chatted with him while walking and generously included him in conversations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We hiked up La Rocca in Cefalú on Easter Sunday morning. It had been a bit overcast, but the sun came out as we ascended. Wildflowers were blooming everywhere, the sea was sparkling, and Cefalú's tiled roofs nestled into the mountain below us. It was definitely an "alleluia" experience! A second "wow" moment happened at night in Siracusa's expansive piazza. My grandson and I danced briefly while an accordionist played "Lili Marlene" under a street lamp."

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."

Paul

Durham, NH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again, the entire tour, start to finish, was amazing. This is why we keep coming back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the terrace at the hotel in Taormina at twilight. The lights coming on around the bay below, the sun setting behind Etna, gentle breeezes coing down the mountain. Perfetto!"

Ann

Berkeley, CA

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on a couple of other tours with different tour companies. While all have been good, this tour was my favorite and Tommaso had a lot to do with that. I fell in love with Sicily and definitely will go back there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the tips on where the locals go in different towns - Tommaso told us where to get the best granita, where to get the best panini - this was really something I enjoyed."

Alan

Madison, NJ

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

this was my first R. Steves tour. I was not expecting the early morning start everyday, especially in March where the weather is still chilly early in the morning. Tommaso was great. He clearly showed his pride for his homeland of Sicily. The bus driver was fantastic. given how crazy some people drive in Sicily, I always felt safe and comfortable. I enjoyed to mix of free time and group activities. Our group bonded early on which lead to a more enjoyable tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Sicily gave me a sense of greater knowledge and comfort each day. I didn't have any special "wow" moment, but when the tour was over, I felt ready to stay (if only that was possible) and venture out on my own. I look forward to a return trip to experience more of the local culture."

Kent

Arlington, VA

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the trip. I had been looking forward to Sicily to explore the history, food, and cultural blend[INVALID]and it delivered. Now we can go back, on our own, with ideas of where we'd like to spend more time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, how about the top 3? (1) Wandering the narrow streets of Ortigia. (2) Practicing english/italian with the locals in Cefalu. (3) Vivid mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale."

Jan

Cave Creek, AZ

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had no idea that Sicily had such beauty and history! What I enjoyed was the variety of city and rural experiences that we had. Tommaso made it even more special by adding on several things during the tour - a few meals, treats, an added stop at a ruin, flowing wine, another cooking class, etc etc etc. He made extra special efforts to make sure every day was special. Stops at the 2 Contessa's homes were memorable & the tour of ruins at night - a true highlight. Loved it - referring friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unexpected drive by the lighted ruins at night with the beautiful music of Emma Shapplin after a memorable dinner with the group at a pizza stop. This moment is one that will stay in my mind forever - the history that was ever present in the background, having toured them earlier in the day, made this the "wow" moment of the 2 weeks!"

William

Pickering, ON

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour but I am sure it won't be my last. Our tour guide, Tommaso, is highly experienced as a guide and is very congenial. He obviously loves what he does and his energy, excitement and interest in Sicily were infectious. Tour length was good but another day would have been good, especially to spend time in Siracuse.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to say as there are a number of things I could cite, but I have to mention a visit to a palace where the descendants of Emperor Frederick II of Sicily live. Having read about the glittering, cosmopolitan medieval court of this "philosopher king" since my university studies in medieval Europe, this visit was both a surprise, since it wasn't listed on the itinerary, and a real treat. A wonderful surprise and a privilege for me to meet the warm and welcoming family in their own home"

William

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Interesting places, great food, got a real taste of what Sicily is about. Tomasso did a great job of educating us and entertaining us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina was gorgeous. The lunches. The Greek temples in Agrigento. Being on mt. Etna. Seeing the beautiful countryside."

James

Naperville, IL

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Knowledgeable, excellent communicator and a great sense of humor. Added what he called "surprises" to the trip that made it more special. A great tour leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch in the rural area on the day before the end. Outstanding food and lots of fun meeting the family."

Matthew

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had heard that the Sicily trip was a winner... but honestly didn't expect much. Was I wrong! It was an adventure of good sights, good foods and good wine from start to finish. Our guide Tomasso earned an A+. We got off to a rocky start with a purse getting snatched from our group but he expertly handled that and from then on it was one great experience after another. From touring the Countessa's residence to a tour and lunch at a Mt Etna Winery to the fantastic Greek temples of Agrtigento- wow

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the way home to our Agrigento hotel after an evening of pizza and vino, Tomasso had the bus driver Salvatori drive along the Temples of Agrigento. I don't know if it was the full tummy, the stirring opera music of Emma Shapplin or the wine... but the sight of the lit up Greek temples sitting majestically atop the hillside took my breath away, put a lump in my throat and had me imagining what it was like thousands of years ago. Totally a Wow-wow-wow moment that i will remember all my life."

Teri

Syosset, NY

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had the most amazing time in Sicily. I loved it and would definitely go back again. The towns were amazing and the food was wonderful. The places Tommaso took us are beyond words. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many "wow" moments. One of them was when we went to the marketplace and had a pannini made by this wonderful animated Sicilian man. You could tell he loved doing this. Another one was when we went to the Contessa's farm and had lunch. Everyone was so friendly."

John

Evanston, IL

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pleasant, well planned and organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many interesting, enjoyable and wonder-filled moments to choose just one."

Janice

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. Our guide, Tomasso, was over the top in experience, knowledge and personality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the beauty of the country while touring on the bus."

Diana

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 03/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour. WHY? Tommaso was the best tour guide I have ever had. His passion for Sicily, his homeland was addicting. We had a great group of 26 well seasoned travelers and everyone got along beautifully. No grumps! Many adventures we had were off the beaten track and I am sure no other tour package offers this. Hotels were perfect, Local tour guides were so informative and sensitive to our groups needs - like some espresso stops!! Food was incredible. Excellent!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment was the nighttime tour in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. This is my 3rd trip to Sicily and each time it amazes me. The Temple of Segesta was magnificent. Getting out of the cities and exploring the Sicilian countryside WOW's every time!"

Kathleen

Washington, DC

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I though it was a great tour. I would like to see a few more days added. There were some additional towns, like Ragusa, that I would have liked to visit. Possibly a trip to one or two of the Aeolian Islands would also have been nice. We spent additional time on our own in Palermo, which I would encourage others to do. I would not advise adding additional time in Palermo to the tour because that is easy for seasoned travelers to do on their own. I

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: Seeing an active Mt. Etna; The "William and Harry" tour (my name for it) of the town house of nobility in Palermo; The mosaics in the Norman churches and the Roman Villa del Casale; seeing the beautiful countryside."

John

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide and fun group of people. Foods soso

Margaret

Norwalk, OH

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was a fantastic guide! Side trips were nicely varied. Our first Steves trip; we'll do more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Cefalu where my grandmother was born."

Lynne

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Sicily surpassed our expectations, probably because our guide, Nina, was simply outstanding. She paid attenton to every detail, prepared us for each experience, and enriched our understanding of the country's history, language, architecture, culture, food, and unique challenges in the twenty-first century. Our fellow travelers were wonderful companions, the hotel locations were convenient, and the group meals delicious. It was a great mix of activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being museum-lovers, we were moved by the WWII museum in Catania, but we loved the red lava flow on Mt. Etna, fabulous views of beaches and villages, the intimacy of a visit to a family castle in Palermo, a historic vineyard, and an incredible dinner at the farm of a baroness."

Judy

Cambridge, MA

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our second Rick Steves tour contained what we liked about the first. Great guide, the right amount of time on our own and some very special treats.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A couple. The visit to the Palazzo in Palermo, the wine tasting near Mt Aetna stand out."

Ralph

Washington, DC

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having an outstanding tour guide to lead us through a part of Italy with a very complicated history really made a difference. We learned a lot while have a great time. The only problem was that it was over too quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "wow" moments to choose just one. Certainly, Cefalu, Taormina, and the Valley of the Temples stand out, as do the visits to the winery and the Palazzo Frederico."

Cheryl

West Valley City, UT

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all great. We had a wonderful group, everything went smoothly. We loved the hotels, guides, and we feel we saw the island well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite was watching Mt. Etna erupt from the terrace of our hotel. It was beautiful."

Elizabeth

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

As this was my first-ever organized tour, I have no reference point for comparisons. However, I was very impressed by the overall logisistics: the hotels were always ready for us, the buses were always waiting and all the details had been flawlessly arranged in advance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples."

Christa

Winchester, MA

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

liked it very much!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the extras, like the tour in the palazzo in Palermo, the wine tasting and the lunch with the comptessa near Catania. Loved seeing the volcano and the lava at night and walking in the old cities ."

Roy

Kings Park, NY

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I found Sicily quite different from the rest of Italy. Nina brought that difference to life through Sicily's history, and current lifestyles of it's people. The towns we visited and the people we spent time with be it the Count's sons, the Countess farm for lunch, the Winery visit with the owner and sons were warm, welcoming and added a unexpected dimension to the tour. Helping the Chef in Cefalu prepare lunch and watching the Pizza Chef is Taormina really was great fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had more than one: 1. The visit with the family and the tour of the Palazzo Conte Federico 2 The tour and wine tasting at the Benanti Vineyards 3. The luncheon feast with the Baroness on her family farm 4. Of course, the breathtaking views 5. Nina's walking tour of the Duomo and Piazza at night on Ortigia"

Jean

Kings Park, NY

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to my expectations and more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had more than one wow moment: 1. The visit with the family and the tour of the Palazzo Conte Federico 2. The tour and wine tasting at the Benanti Vineyards and Winery 3. The luncheon feast with the Baroness on her family farm 4. Of course, all the breathtaking views 5. Nina's walking tour of the Duomo and Piazza at night on Ortigia"

Sandra

Mandeville, LA

Tour: 03/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a really great time. Wish it could have been a few days longer. Would have liked to seen more of the Mediterranean side and Erice. Really enjoyed the Wine tasting in the Mt Etna area. The family was wonderful and the wine was very good. Another highlight was the puppet theatre. It was really very enjoyable. Also the rural farm visit and lunch was interesting. The colorful Sicilian markets were also a highlight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt Etna was fascinating also loved the views from Taormina."

Beth

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 03/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour was outstanding! In a matter of 10 days, we experienced so much - the art and architecture, the food, the street markets, a traditional puppet show, wonderful scenery, superb archeological sites, and the Sicilian people. I can't wait to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alfio had arranged for us to meet a countess in Palermo. After leading us through her 800 year old palace, and answering our many questions about her life, she told us that she had trained as an opera singer. I asked her if she would sing for us. There we were in an ancient and beautiful reception room, treated like honored guests, and she sang a ravishingly beautiful aria for us. It was spell-binding."

Kai

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 03/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 03/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debra

Bend, OR

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Claudia

Johns Island, SC

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Lockport, NY

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marcella

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Cody, WY

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debra

Tampa, FL

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Andrea

Ocean City, NJ

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chad

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 02/28/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Tuolumne, CA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Olympia, WA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Tuolumne, CA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Madison, WI

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily exceeded all expectations - the sites, history, people, culture and food. The tour was exceptionally well planned, facilitated by an expert and enthusiastic guide, and augmented by superb local guides. Although there was plenty to do, there was enough unscheduled time to explore on our own. The accommodations ranged from average-plus to first rate and all were well located. Traveling off season meant cooler weather and no crowds (as well as lower costs).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had them. My favorite "wow" sites were the cathedral at Monreale, la Rocca in Cefalu, Mt Etna, Villa Romana del Casale, Siracusa, and Valley of the Temples. My favorite "wow" meals included the winery lunch, midday feast at the Contessa's farm, cooking lesson and pizza-making lesson. My facorite "wow" experiences included the Palermo visit to the Contessa's home, ceramics tour, the markets in Palermo, puppet theater and WWII museum. As you can tell, very little did not wow me!"

Isabella

Manhattan Beach, CA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved every minute of it. In fact we were so impressed we booked another Rick Steve's tour as soon as we arrived home!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me Cefalu would be my "wow" moment. Our orientation walk took us to the beach just as the sun was setting over the Tyrrhenian Sea. The light was just amazing, so perfect, so romantic. For Bill it was seeing Mt. Etna. It had rained the night we arrived but when we got up the next morning the clouds had disappeared and it was a bright clear day and from the terrace of our hotel we had a perfect view of Mt Etna in all her glory with a fresh mantle of snow. Beautiful!"

Elaine

Shepherdstown, WV

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ronald

Bend, OR

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bill

Shepherdstown, WV

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynda

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Incredible mosaics in Roman villa."

Patricia

Easton, MD

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Montreal, QC

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robyn

Greenbank, WA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stewart

Montreal, QC

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Richmond, CA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Valdosta, GA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tom

Greenbank, WA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kenneth

Valdosta, GA

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peter

Easton, MD

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Etna!"

Joseph

Mt Gilead, OH

Tour: 02/21/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gerald

Carbondale, CO

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth tour and I must say it was the best group of people to spend 10 days with, not that my traveling companions on previous trips were good, but this group was outstanding. It was also probably the only trip that was not as flexible and having as much exploring on my own time. I know that it was because we covered a lot of miles and saw a lot of very interesting things, which I wouldn't change for a minute, but I could have used a bit more time at some of the sights to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment on the tour was when Alfio asked me and my friend Dawn to sing while we were in the cave Ear of Dionysius. We sang "Amazing Grace" and "Dona Nobis Pacem". The acoustics were amazing. I hope our travel group enjoyed it as much as we did."

William

Bothell, WA

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marci

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Chicago, IL

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mt. Etna erupting."

Patrick

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Westfield, MA

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janice

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sam

Washington, DC

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Washington, DC

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Edward

Austin, TX

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jim

Mableton, GA

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Mount Airy, MD

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Good guide, good, friendly group. The smaller towns of Taormina and Cefalu were my favorites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the red glow of the lava flow of Mt. Etna from the terrace of our hotel in Taormina."

Perry

Bloomington, IN

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour, the other travelers, the tour guide, and the tour bus drivers were all outstanding. The hotels and meals that were included were great. I liked the various "extra activities" such as helping to prepare a dinner at a resturant, wine tasting, a tutorial on pizza making, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting one evening on the balcony of the hotel with a glass of wine and watching the volcanic eruption on Mt. Aetna."

Carol

Mount Airy, MD

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Glen Ellen, CA

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was wonderful. I knew nothing about Sicily when I book the trip and after I feel like I have found an incredible place. We seemed to be busy all the time and I felt rushed at times even though I was always on-time for our schedule. I think it would be a good idea to rearrange the trip and maybe add a few days. I would have liked to have summited Mt. Etna but that was not an option. All in all it was an excellent trip and I would do it again. Donald White is a superb guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was walking into a restaurant that was actually a home and sitting down for lunch. It reminded so much of my grandmothers house it was uncanny. Then grandma, the chef, came out and introduced herself. It was my best meal ever."

Brianna

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Todd

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Iyla

New Prague, MN

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Victor, NY

Tour: 02/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Burdella

Canandaigua, NY

Tour: 02/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judith

Sandusky, OH

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darlene

Calgary, AB

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christine

Lebanon, ME

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Renee

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Lebanon, ME

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Budd

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 11/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Ridgewood, NY

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Marlborough, MA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A most pleasurable trip and not overly physically taxing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning the history of Sicily and the food."

Valerie

Arlington, MA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Weather

Sicily/ Palermo

Palermo Weather

Pre-Tour

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

Sightseeing On Your Own

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

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Palermo that we do not do as a group: Cappella Palatina, Teatro Massimo (closed Mondays), Marionette Museum, Museo Archeologico Regionale A. Salinas, Palazzo Abatellis, Cappucchin Crypt, Palazzo Mirto.

Transportation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trip Resources

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

Packing

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

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