• Palermo, Sicily, Italy
    Palermo
  • Hilltop Erice
  • Windmills in Trapani, Sicily, Italy
    Trapani Salt-pans
  • Temple of Concordia, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
    Agrigento
  • Villa Romana del Casale mosaic, Piazza Armerina, Sicily, Italy
    Villa Romana del Casale
  • Siracusa, Sicily, Italy
    Syracuse
  • sicily-mini.jpg
    Sicilian Puppet Theatre
  • Taormina and Mt. Etna at dusk, Sicily, Italy
    Mt. Etna from Taormina
  • Sicilian Wine Tasting

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Best of Sicily in 11 Days Tour

from $2,295 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2019

2020

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 21 group sightseeing events • Palermo walking tour • Palazzo Federico • Monreale Cathedral and Cloister • Segesta • Trapanese food tasting • Sicilian pastry lesson • Erice • Trapani orientation • Marsala salt flats boat cruise (weather permitting) • Mozia Island • Valley of the Temples • Agrigento Archeological Museum • Villa Romana del Casale • Syracuse Ortygia walking tour • Puppet theater performance • Winery visit and tasting • Mount Etna volcanologist talk • Taormina orientation • Taormina's Teatro Greco • Museo dello Sbarco (WWII) • Catania orientation…and more
  • All group transportation from Palermo to Catania
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • 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 2020
  • 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 your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key

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

Day 1: Welcome to Sicily

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

Day 2: Palermo and Monreale

Let's meet our local guide and take a tour through Palermo's colorful and bustling Ballaró street market — all spiced with an evocative whiff of Africa. Then we'll greet our driver and hop aboard our coach bound for the hill-topping town of Monreale, renowned for its Arab-flavored cathedral, blending Byzantine, Arab, Jewish, Gothic, and Norman traditions, heritage, and art. We'll tour the cathedral's interior of glittering, golden mosaics as well as the story-telling columns of the cloister. After lunch, we'll return to Palermo, where you'll be free to explore more of this exciting, energetic city, and discover a tucked-away trattoria for dinner on your own. Bus: 1 hour. Walking: strenuous

Day 3: Ancient Segesta and Mountaintop Erice

This morning we'll head toward the island's western coast, stopping at the ancient Greek site of Segesta to meander through its magnificent Doric temple and hilltop theater. Then we'll continue to the enchanting medieval mountaintop town of Erice. Believed by Romans to be the home of Venus, Erice eventually evolved into a center for Christian convents and home to heavenly pastries (which we'll learn about and taste). This afternoon we'll enjoy a tasty lunch that includes the region's specialties: sun-dried tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives, and Marsala wine. We'll take an orientation walk before setting you free for the evening. Sleep in Trapani (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Salt Harvesting and Seaside Trapani

Today we'll drive down to the Trapani "salt pans" — a coastal wetland and nature reserve where sea salt has been harvested for nearly 3,000 years. We'll tour the Phoenician island of Mozia and learn about this bygone civilization. Then our guide will teach us the history and process of salt harvesting as we tour the area by boat. You'll be free to spend the rest of your day exploring the seaside town of Trapani. Find that perfect terrace, savor your favorite aperitivo, and watch the sun slowly dip into the sea. Boat: 1 hour. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Ancient Agrigento and Country Living

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

Day 6: Roman Mosaics and Syracuse

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

Day 7: Syracuse, Past and Present

This morning we'll learn more about Ortygia and take a closer look at this small fishing island. We'll explore the local market, stroll through centuries in the Cathedral of Syracuse, and marvel at the masterpiece of the Piazza del Duomo. This afternoon we'll enjoy a lively performance of Sicily's traditional puppet theater, where the language is no barrier to entertainment. Then the rest of the day 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. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Mount Etna, Wine, and Taormina

We'll begin our day with a short drive up the coast to Catania, where we'll take in the breathtaking view of Mount Etna, while learning more about the volcano with a spirited presentation by one of the University of Catania's volcanologists. Next we'll visit a winery on the slopes of the mountain, where we'll enjoy a tour through the vineyards and taste some of Sicily's deservedly famous wine before heading to Taormina. After we check into our hotel, we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk. This evening, join in the local passeggiata to feel the pulse of Sicilian culture, then find the ideal people-watching spot to enjoy your gelato and dinner on your own. Sleep in Taormina (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Seductive Taormina

This morning we'll tour Taormina's remarkably situated ancient Greek theater, which is still used today for open-air performances. This afternoon you are free to luxuriate in this cliff-hanging, Old World resort town. Wander through its elegant gardens, posh cafés, 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'll meet up for a Sicilian pizza dinner together. No bus. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 10: Colorful Catania

We're off to Catania, nestled at the foot of Mount Etna, where this morning we'll tour the Museum of the WWII 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. After a brief neighborhood orientation, you are free to wander through Catania's famous fish market, admire the Baroque architecture of the grand Piazza del Duomo, or enjoy people-watching in one of the city's many cafés. We'll gather together tonight to say arrivederci, share travel memories, enjoy the freshest Sicilian food, and toast to new friends. Salute! Sleep in Catania. (1 night). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

John

Columbus, IN

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour, well coordinated and covered the history of Sicily with many rulers. Also many important sites related to the history and present day Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was actually the total experience."

Daniel

New York, NY

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had heard great things about Sicily from my wife, who had been there before. Nonetheless, the tour exceeded our expectations in equal parts because of Sicily itself -- its fascinating history, people, culture, geography and geology, its beauty, its wonderful food and wine -- and because of our guide, Alfio, whose warmth, knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment led us to people and places we would never have been able to find on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I can limit it to one moment. Walking into that incredible Baroque church in Palermo, St. Catarina; the view from the terrace of our hotel in Taormina; the phenomenal lunch at Maria Grammatico's [INVALID] among many other superb meals; learning from Alfio about Charles Poletti's role in Sicily in World War II about which I knew absolutely nothing, when I thought I had known a fair amount about Poletti [INVALID] too many "wow" moments to narrow it down."

Caitlin

Portland, ME

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

My tour got off to a rough start with some hotel difficulties at the Palermo hotel and food poisoning which caused me to miss two tour days and the included activities & meals. There were some unique and very interesting experiences. That said I was disappointed in Sicily overall. It lacked the charm, beauty and sophistication of the mainland Italy towns and cities I have visited. Roadside trash dumping, decrepit buildings, noisy, dirty streets, and so-so hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting both contessas: the house tour and reception in Palermo and the delicious gourmet lunch at the working farm. Also the Valley of the Temples, the cathedral with gold mosaics, and the Roman Villa with amazing mosaics . The winery tour and sampling was excellent."

Joseph

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The quality of the guides was outstanding. Sicily is a beautiful island with many interesting sites to see. I thought the time we spent at each location was appropriate and very informative. Alfio did a great job shepherding us around the island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mount Etna was very exciting because there was a small eruption as we approached. The town of Taormina was also a wow moment."

Ronald

North Billerica, MA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our magical experience in Sicily exceeded all of my expectations: great food, beautiful scenery, greek temples from a forgotten time, roman, norman and arab mosaics that have withstood the tests of time, and a superb guide that both lead us and shared stories of life in Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The greek temples at Agrigento were amazing. Afterwards, we had a wonderful meal at the hotel from which we could see the ruins under the shining lights."

William

Belden, MS

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent tour and ok guide. He is the least personable but excellent knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"beautiful cathedrals with influences from all the civilizations was remarkable"

Linda

Belden, MS

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Sicily and was most blown away with the many different layers of history that has taken place on that little island. I loved the architectural ruins. The beauty of the island was breathtaking!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many...I loved the beatiful cathedral in Monreale and the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale. Mount Etna was amazing! I loved the sheer beauty of Taormina."

Donna

Groton, MA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time Rick Steves traveler. Loved it and learned so much. Good pace mixing the guided tours and free time. Especially appreciated the educational part from experts who joined us at various sites. Group was right size. Tommaso is a magical genie. It felt that everyone in Sicily knows him and gave us special attention, even at the open air markets. He added little touches, like stopping the bus at a little place on the way to somewhere for the best gelato in the world. And he was right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had favorite learning, fun, food and wine, tour group community, adventure and Tommaso parts. I will say not so much a specific place but more learning in those places how the architecture came from the history of the people, from Phoenicians, to Carthagenians, Moors and Normans. Now we know why some Sicilans have blue eyes. Walking into a magnificent Catholic church and seeing it full of Moorish tile design was fascinating."

Cameron

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Food was outstanding. Favorite moments - Villa Romana de Casale roman mosaics and Monreale cathedral golden internior mosiacs."

Ronald

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is a fascinating: ancient ruins, hill towns, chaos, noise, grit, wonderful food, and life. The scenery is unusual and beautiful; the people are lovely. Our guide was a delight, and our travel companions were a great group. This was our first tour with RS (or with anyone, for that matter), and we were very, very happy with our experience. With the tour we were able to get to things that a.) we might not have navigated, and b.) see things we would otherwise not considered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can it be plural? -Mt Etna -Segesta - ruins set in the midst of hills with nothing around it -Ortigia - wonderful place for food and passeggiata"

Elaine

Naples, FL

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steves Tour and it did not disappoint. Sicily was a beautiful island that was full of surprises. Our guide, Tommaso was the best. Our fellow travelers were a wonderful group of people and we enjoyed everyone's company. It was a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one particular place stood out. I enjoyed all the Greek ruins. The views from the Taormina amphitheater to the sea."

Ruthann

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomasso is a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide who worked hard to ensure a fun and worthwhile tour. The local guides always add to the tour experience and are one of the reasons why we chose RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food - all of it."

Dianne

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour, with just about enough time in each location, with the exception of Catania which I felt was redundant because we saw many of the same sights e.g. ruins, cathedrals, markets etc. as in other locations; also our accommodations and location in Catania were not up to par with the rest of the tour. Could use Catania time for more time elsewhere. Guide was excellent. Hotels w/rooftop terraces very special. Pastry making/lunch,lunch @ farm, on Mozia & winery were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of those. I would say the shared meals, visits to Trapani, Siracusa, Agrigento and Taormina were my favorites. Church at Monreale was astounding. Isola Bella in Taormina was breathtaking."

John

Coronado, CA

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding, what else to call it?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picnic style lunch served the afternoon of the Trapani salt flats excursion"

Wendy

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was delighted to discover that because of our tour guide, Tommaso, we quickly formed a very congenial group. Each new local guide held a wealth of knowledge about the place they were touring with us and they were so open to questions. The bus was extremely comfortable and we saw a great range of cities, towns, historical sites and countryside. And I really appreciated the time we had to ourselves, to explore at our own pace or just to have some down time. Every place we went was fascinating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments for me. I was stunned at the site of huge, flowering cactus in many parts of Sicily. Having been an actress, I was thrilled to find the sweet spot of the hilltop theatre at Segesta, where I could speak conversationally and others could hear me up at the top of the theatre. I was amazed to see that the Roman mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale, looked absolutely modern in design."

Stuart

Orlando, FL

Tour: 06/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour, and it was everything we were expecting. Looking forward to our third tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tomasso helped arrange a boat ride around the cliffs in Taormina for 6 of us on our tour. he arranged the time, negotiated the price, and make it so easy for us. it was a highlight of our tour."

Sandra

Westlake, OH

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Karin was a fabulous tour guide. She made our experience the best by adding fun side events. She got us tickets to a Greek Play in the Greek theater in Syracusa. She arranged for cabs to transport us. In Catania Karin arranged for a trip partially up Mt. Etna to see a crater and later have a picnic lunch on site! This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. The food was beyond incredible and so was our bus driver, Giuseppe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved visiting the Palazzo Federico and spending time with the Contessa. I also loved Maria Grammatico and the fun we had trying to make the "beautiful and the ugly" pastries. Her lunch was fantastic and so was she!"

Marilyn

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour, and it exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed the camaraderie of the interesting and interested group of tour mates.The tour guide was fantastic, and the local guides at sites provided a high level of information that was not dumbed down, but was engaging and accessible. The food and a cooking demonstration were wonderful. Although we are experienced travelers, the tour enabled us to participate in activities that we could not have done on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The unity of different experiences made this a "wow" trip. The spectacular scenery, the marvelous food, the antiquities and history, a performance at the Greek theatre in Siracusa, hiking on Mt. Etna, and experiencing the rich mix of cultures that make Sicily so unique added up to a most pleasurable and memorable trip."

Margaret

University Place, WA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 7th Rick Steves tour and we continue to be amassed at how wonderful our trips are! We feel we have the best guides, the best experiences, and best food. We'll be back for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "Trojan Women" in the Greek amphitheater."

Cynthia

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The good: We experienced amazing, inspiring, and just plain (well, actually not-so-plain) beautiful places and learned much about the history of Sicily, which were our goals. We would not have been able to arrange on our own the breadth of experiences we had on the tour: cooking with Maria G, attending a pupi show, and seeing the Casale Romano mosaics. Having said that... The bad: The packing and unpacking was exhausting, even though we packed light (less items than recommended).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics at Casale Romano were breathtaking. We had been to Fishbourne in the UK the first week of our trip (prior to Sicily tour), and there is no comparison. The people watching was spectacular, especially in Palermo! Standing on top of the volcano vent Karin and Gisueppe took us to, the spectacular view and the lack of tourist hordes -- that was very special."

William

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were multiple high points. My most memorable even was going to see the Torjan Women at the Greek theater in Taorima, which Karin set up outside of the normal tour. This was typical of the way Karin went out of her way to make this trip so fantastic."

Lorri

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All Rick Steve's tours are great, but this is probably my favorite so far. The special combination of Roman and Greek historical sites and the melting pot of countries coming together make Sicily an amazing place all by itself. Add a Rick Steve's tour, Karin as a guide and Giuseppe as a driver and you have a perfect trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat trip with 9 tour group members, Karin and Guiseppe to Favignana and a dip in the cold Mediterranean Sea, then watching the sunset with an Aspertivo was my favorite day. However, also up there was the amphitheater and view of the temple at Segesta, personal tour of Palacio Fredrico, Agrigento and the trip to see the Women of Troy in the original Greek Theater in Sircusa facilitated by Karin and Giuseppe."

Vincent

Westlake, OH

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On a scale of 1-10 it was a 20 ! Coming in we did not have high expectations as the pre-planner talked about maybe sharing bathrooms, possible no air conditioning etc. We were pleasantly surprised at the great hotel accommodations and the group dinners. I guess you could say that you under promised and over delivered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say our lunch at the farm house with Maria. We found her story fascinating and her personality just delightful. We actually loved all of the group lunches."

Sharon

White Hall, MD

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great value for the overall cost. All of our local guides were extremely knowledgeable. Our Rick Steve's tour guide was excellent. Not only was she knowledgeable, she also adjusted our itinerary based on the weather, the unique opportunities that became available, and the personality of our group. It was my first Rick Steve's tour and I absolutely love his philosophy of travel - a good balance between planned time and free time and the local hotels were wonderful. 5 stars !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our Rick Steve's tour guide impromptu asked if anyone was interested in attended a Greek play in the ancient ruins of the Greek theater . Our guide had researched and discovered tickets were available. As I sat in the open air ancient theater, listening to the translation and watching the Greek Play unfold, I realized that this same play was probably performed in this same theater so long ago. I was literally immersed in history, up close and persona!. WOW!"

Marlena

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting the Contessa at her home in Palermo"

James

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour director was excellent and the the pace of the tour was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited a palace where this woman had married into royalty. She gave us an excellent tour of the palace where she lived. She also sang for us and she was an excellent singer."

Frank

Newport Beach, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally very good. Virginia and the bus driver do well. One hotel had uncomfortable beds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the hotel in Palermo"

Julie

Kailua Kona, HI

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We have used several tour agencies over the years so it is fun to compare. We really enjoyed the tour pace and itinerary. The accommodations were nice, just fine. Our tour guide was very pleasant but we did not feel that she extended herself at all. The food was fabulous we loved every meal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many beautiful locations, we loved learning the history. I really loved the wine tasting at the end. Spectacular!"

Dan

Monterey, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent Guide (Virginia) and excellent bus driver. She made it look easy, but we know she worked very hard to adapt to any required changes with grace and integrity! Sicily is such a historic island, and we were overwhelmed by the wonderful people, delicious food and great weather for this time of year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ancient temples and the fact some were over 2500 years old!"

Donna

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour Guide, Virginia a 10+, bus driver, Alesandro(?) awesome (he got lots of applauses from us for his driving talents (and he was a nice friendly person.) Hotels were fine except the last hotel (Liberty Hotel) in Catania (it was run down in a run down part of the city.) Good group of travelers/all friendly Tours were a nice balance of history, culture, food & wine experience and a nice balance of scheduled activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking Mt. Edn"

Amy

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There are really no words that can truly describe my overall experience from this trip. Even though I knew what the itinerary was, each day was a new surprise and delight. For example, the Cannoli making day and the farmhouse lunch. Virginia was AMAZING - she enhanced the experience so much, and by the end of the trip, we were all saying "Bene" over and over again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were outstanding moments and views throughout the trip, I'd have to say my favorite "wow" moments were a couple of amazing turns and tricks by Allesandro our bus driver. He always got applauded after each!"

Elizabeth

Louisville, KY

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every moment of it. Our group was wonderful, as was Virginia. She is the best. Our rooms were lovely, the food was fantastic, and it was fun soaking up all of the history, scenery, stories. I do love Sicily the most of Italy, and seeing it again with all our new friends was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Etna may have been the best, but that includes all the surrounding days of exploration, food, company, etc."

Gael

Monterey, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"The Best of Sicily in 11 Days" is our third Rick Steves tour. It is also the most interesting, organized and delicious of all of the tours we have taken in our lifetime of traveling. We were blessed to have Virginia Agostinelli as our guide for these eleven days. During this trip, our daughter, Samantha, had a special birthday (#30!). Virginia thoughtfully acknowledged her birthday and a celebration ensued. The food, the beautiful scenery, the Greek ruins, the salt harvesting, Mount Etna..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few WOW moments; this is the BEST RS tour we have taken: The FOOD (loved Erice, Trapani salt area meal, the Ballaro market, the feast in Lentini, wine tasting - Mount Etna), the Greek Ruins (Temple of Concordia, Agrigento; also ancient Segesta's temple and theater), the puppet theatre performance; the "contessa's tour" in Palermo...as well as the beauty of Taormina - and its Greek theater."

Jeff

Kailua Kona, HI

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We have done six tours by various operators over the past fifteen years, and this one was average to good. Accommodations and food were very good, destinations and local guides, just ok. A wasted day in Catania even though that city did have some interesting sites. We hired a local guide for a one day wine tour before Best of Sicily and got more local flavor visiting a shop selling wine in 2 liter water bottles and a co-op recently confiscated from the mafia as well as a small vineyard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Buffet lunch at Moria."

Joanne

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is by far one of the very best tours I have ever been on, if not the best. Enjoyed every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day was special and had a wow moment."

Richard

Louisville, KY

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a well-run trip to beautiful, historic places. We had a great time. Good food and wine. Virginia is a dedicated, knowledgeable and compassionate leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A morning rainbow from the terrace of the hotel in Palermo."

Susan

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful trip! Liked everything I saw and experienced. Loved the history of the island, of the many conquerors and what Sicily has retained of each. As usual, loved meeting all our fellow tour members. They help to make the tour great. We were especially blessed to have a smaller than normal group. Kudos to Enzo our bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every place we visited was a wow! Monreale mosaics,Greek theatres and temples,Roman mosiacs in situ ,puppet show, cooking lesson, wine tasting, Mt Etna. Loved the visits with the Contessa and Baronessa. They were delightful. Thank you to all our fellow tour members who contributed to my fine experience."

Andy

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wanted to learn more about Sicily by experiencing it. Mission accomplished. I now have a great appreciation of Sicily's colorful history and culture, not to mention its warm people, beauty and delightful food. If you don't like fish or ricotta, this may not be the tour for you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy has numerous exceptional churches, but I've never seen mosaics like those at Monreale. Stunning."

Anne

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the second RS Sicily Tour in which I have participated. The first was a 10-day winter tour about five years ago. I enjoyed the more relaxed pace of this tour, and the warmer weather! i also appreciated Palermo more than previously. The contessa was enlightening, both in terms of the tour of her "home," and the reality of having to find a way to maintain it! The street market was a lot of fun, too, partly because of our guide. Stacy made sure that we sampled our way through the market.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My scientist husband and I had toured a Norman Castle during our free time, and afterward, had a multi-lingual conversation with a Sicilian family that was trying to figure out a botanical question. We laughed ourselves silly in three languages and hand gestures as we made jokes about the flotation qualities of tree parts and belly fat. I also enjoyed the Almond Wine on our free-time boat tour. Wow!"

Marie

Greenville, TX

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was very nice and well organized and the other travelers were wonderful

Charles

Belmont, MA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very nice. I had never been overseas before and I was anxious about the traveling the country. But I found that the tour and our excellent guide, Stacy, helped me be oriented, relaxed and to enjoy the unknown.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the Greek amphitheater are Segesta, looking out over the valleys and hills to the sea and being in the middle of the ancient world that I has studied in college long ago. It all became real and then standing in the middle of the theater and reciting some Latin (sorry, no Greek but close enough) and hearing it echo through the site was thriving! BTW, this wasn't on the tour but we flew to Munich and went over the middle of Italy, Venice and the Alps-spectacular!"

Mary Jane

Carpinteria, CA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. This was our first Steves tour experience. We will undoubtedly repeat.

Marilyn

Belmont, MA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my husband's and my first overseas tour together. My husband was anxious and excited about the upcoming tour: he read the preplanning lists and packing lists over and over. We were very pleased and surprised by the brevity and clarity of the pre-tour information. All timed perfectly! Ah, now Sicily! Why did we choose this tour? We didn't want to go from Michelangelo to Leonardo to the Vatican. We wanted to see how people lived, played, ate, and drank. Hence, Sicily!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although we knew that Sicily was called"Magna Greacia," we were astonished to see so many ancient Byzantine and Greek temples and settlements. Seeing the sparkling mosaics at Monreale and the garden surrounded by mosaic-covered columns. Simply spectacular! Touring Agrigento was a revelation: all the pictorial vases showing Greek life and the giant Titan sculptures that held up the temple structures. Art was not a specialized subject: it was all around us in the ancients' spiritual lives."

Gary

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Accommodations were very good as was the food. Our guide Stacy was great! Very knowledgeable about the various cultures that occurred in Sicily. Kept us abreast of the current political situation also. Enzo our driver was superb..always courteous and smiling. The ladies loved him! The historical sites and cultures displayed on the tour were amazing. The re- purposing of all the various temples and churches was impressive...the church at Monreale was jaw dropping! markets were fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Agrigento! Impressive , in the middle of nowhere. Monreale..Erice..had to be seriously committed to make that trek up to the temple of Venus. Wonderful tours of the Contessa's home as well as the Baronessa's estate. Great food and wonderful wine. A little too much wine as I incurred a gout attack??. How could I forget Taoramina. Beautiful, a little bit crowded, but still wonderful. I did'nt finish my overall evaluation as it , for some reason, wouldn't allow me to type anymore."

Craig

Hinsdale, IL

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great variety of tour items seen/accomplished Sites and tour items I would not do on my own but were valuable Packed filled days

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna tour with Boris with us in the crater"

Thomas

Jacksonville, OR

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour. I didn't know what to expect. It was great. Nina could not have been a better guide and leader. The other guides were also top notch. Just a good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were on the slopes of Mt, Etna at the winery. The wine tasting room was 300 years old. A beautiful room. Outside it was raining with thunder and lighting , Inside we were enjoying good wine, good food with people we had grown fond of in a short period of time."

Karen

Jacksonville, OR

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first group tour we have taken and we really did not know what to expect. Happy to say, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience - a great group of people, excellent guide, informative, varied activities and very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is difficult to answer because so many locations and experiences impressed me. Visiting the Palazzo Federico was eye-opening, I enjoyed exploring and imaging living in the town of Erice and the history of the Phoenician island was fascinating."

Rebecca

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded expectations! Learning about Sicily's history and culture, tasting epicurian delights, meeting kind citizens, and soaking in the gorgeous scenery was a traveler's dream. Our tour guide, Nina, was fantastico. Her knowledge, preparation, charming personality and kindness was the icing on the marzipan! Thank you Rick Steves' team for an unforgettable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The color of the Ionian sea took my breath away. There are too many "wows" to describe."

Thomas

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sorry to use a cliche, but this trip exceeded any expectation I had going in. First Rich Steves tour, so unsure what it would be like...but beyond doubt the funnest and deepest immersion into another culture I've ever had. Friends have asked me, Why Sicily?, and actually I wasn't 100% sure why Sicily... after this trip, I know my intuition that this is/was a remarkable place was right on. Some author commented that Sicily is a metaphor for our world right now, and this trip confirmed that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my wow moment was the combination of all the food events we had. I've never eaten like we did on this trip. And it just kept on coming, day after day. The meal experiences (and of course the wine too) were kind of the hinges on which the trip swung... how Sicilian!"

Donna

Branford, CT

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderfully organized and included so many opportunities that we would not otherwise have had. Travel was smooth and seamless. The hotels were all different giving us opportunities to be in countryside and in cities. The food and wine were both amazing!!!! Our tour guide was phenomenal and as a result of her inclusive personality, our group bonded and felt like a family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments and it is difficult to pick just one. The rooftop view from the very first hotel in Palermo was striking and set the tone for a wonderful trip. The winery was also exceptional as were all of the special tours that we were provided with."

Janice

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. In a way, it was surreal because I was seeing things I had only seen in pictures. Nina was a fantastic guide and our tour was a good mix of ruins, churches, out-of-the-way places, and free time. I had a lovely time and learned lots about a place about which I had previously known next to nothing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had lunch in a little restaurant in Trapani. While we were eating a man and his two friends stopped by. The man started speaking to us in Italian with breaks to let Nina translate. Soon he was obviously performing, but we couldn't understand the Italian. Later we learned that he was reciting Dante!"

Norine

Blawnox, PA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour but have traveled independently relying on RS's books for over 20 years. The tour's organization was outstanding, which was expected, however the top quality hotels we stayed in were a very pleasant surprise. The history, stories, and insight provided by our guide Nina, plus the personal feasts we enjoyed, added a depth to the trip that we couldn't experience on our own. The views, antiquities, and food were superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Out of the many wow moments I experienced, I guess my favorite would be from early in the trip. At the ancient Greek theater in Segesta we sat and listened to Nina quote greek philosophy. I was overwhelmed by the beauty, history, and stillness of where we were."

Robert

Decatur, IL

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie was fantastic and our smaller group (20) was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Winery and Tarmornia hotel...views incredible"

William

Riverside, CA

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 6th Rick Steves tour and another great experience. Stephanie was a great tour guide, lots of great information during our trip and she worked very comfortably with the group. I had never been to southern Italy and decided Sicily was one way to experience southern Italy. We coordinated our tour with our own time in Paestum (fantastic) Pompeii, Herculaneum Sorrento and Naples. Sicily was a wonder tour. Lots to see, friendly environs and great food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of wow moments. The biggest "wow" for me was a combination of the Church of Santa Caterina Monreale Cathedral in and near Palermo. The Valley of the Temples was also spectacular."

William

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second trip to Sicily, and our first Rick Steve's tour. In fact, it was our first land group tour ever. Our goals were to see the areas we missed on our first trip, especially the archeolgical sites. We found the tour to be better than expected in all areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many highlights, but if I had to pick one it would be the Valley of the Temples tour."

Diane

Decatur, IL

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the small size of the group (20) and the cohesiveness of this group and Stephanie! Loved the island of Sicily, would have loved another day or two so we could have had a vacation from your vacation!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the cathedral in Palermo and discovering another gorgeous church by accident!"

Cynthia

Storrs Mansfield, CT

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The towns we visited in Sicily were charming and beautiful. The accommodations were clean, centrally located, and many had special features: the rooftop lounge in Taormina provided a breathtaking view. Loved learning about salt harvesting, visiting a winery and the delicious lunch served in the beautiful old, stone building, making cookies and lunching on regional specialties. The small group of 20 were all friendly and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty and European atmosphere and accommodations in Taormina."

Dudley

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's always amazing to meet great people to travel with, Rick's tours collect a good selection of travelers. I never fail to learn more than I expect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sicily was more beautiful than I expected, wonderful views at every location. I especially appreciated the Greek and Roman temples and theatres. They were much in much better condition than I expected and Stephanie and the Local guides really filled in their history."

Haynes

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found Sicily to be a unique place with a fascinating mix of cultures. The island contains some "must see" sights -- the cathedral at Monreale and the roman mosaics at Villa Romana -- as well as a lot of beautiful scenery and interesting places. Taormina is a stunningly beautiful town. The temple complex at Agrigento is a rich array of buildings and artifacts. As an architect, I was surprised at the variety and quality of the building styles that you could encounter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monreale is one of the great churches of the world and a place that should be on everyone's bucket list. One of the main reasons I wanted to take a tour of Sicily was to see this church and it did not disappoint. This building alone should put Sicily on everyone's list of places that have to visit."

Alan

Folsom, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very well organized and fun tour. Great towns, beautiful mosaics, Greek and Roman ruins. And the food! Our guide Virginia was tops. Our driver Alessandro was skilled and fun to break bread with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first view of Palermo from the rooftop terrace of our hotel."

Alvan

Logan, UT

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Of the four Rick Steves tours we have been on, this group was the most fun to be with on a daily basis; all have been good, but this group especially so. Learning about the history of Sicily (architechure, religion, culture, etc.) was very rewarding. I learned more new and previously unsuspected information than any of my previous tours. The advance reading suggestions were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale blew me away. Seeing these in situ, and thinking about the possible builder, still have me thinking."

Diane

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I felt like there were too many on the tour, especially when we were all pulling luggage for blocks down cobblestone streets. We were always moving so fast, it was hard to enjoy all the sites.

Bonnie

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time in Sicily. This tour opened my eyes to the rich history of Sicily and the tolerance the Sicilian people had for others. Virginia did a great job of weaving together the historical events, culture and politics of Sicily. We were immersed in the lives of Sicilians then and now. I really enjoyed all the experiences... making pastries with Maria Grammatico in Erice, our farm lunch with views of Mt. Etna, and the wine tasting and food pairing at Benanti Winery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our time in Ortigia, Syracusa. We wandered through the streets, taking in the local culture and architecture. I loved exploring the Food Market. We saw a fun puppet show in Ortigia. We had the best arinchini at Antica Giudecca, in Ortigia, with all the locals! Seeing and learning about the Temples of Agrigento was incredible, too. Viewing Mount Etna "venting" from the terrace of our hotel in Taormina was literally a blast!"

Jeff

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great experience and gave us a good exposure to much of the island. There is much to like about Sicily, including its people, food, culture, and of course history. I knew that Sicily had a history of religious tolerance but being there really brought this aspect home. This makes one wonder why this wasn't more commonplace and why it couldn't last. I think I liked our time on our own better than on other tours; we spent a lot of time eating in local markets and just exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be Mount Etna venting on our next to last day of the tour, but since you can't always arrange that let's go to numero due. Ortigia was special. The streets are narrow and have a wonderful charm. We stayed across from a very old "mikveh" which was really interesting, the Teatro dei Pupi was remarkably fun, and we found a fabulous, low cost, hole-in-the-wall ristorante with great pizza and the best arancini. Trying to translate the symbols on Archimedes statue was oddly fun."

Laura

Berea, OH

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw many places I would have missed if I'd gone on my own. It was good to get a sense of Sicily and a feel for how different the various areas of it are.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Wow moment must have been when Mount Etna exploded (well, a little bit) and let some steam off for us. We were far away by then or I might not have liked it."

Michelle

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour covered nearly all of the things we wanted to see in Sicily, and it was great to tour with a group of like-minded people and an experienced native Italian guide. This was our fourth Rick Steves tour, so we knew mostly what to expect, and it is always a pleasure to experience the excellent organization and planning that has gone into preparing the tour for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most impressive sight was the mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale, which we extremely well preserved. Even though the walkways were pretty crowded, we could get good vantage points for everything. The most memorable moment was in Segesta, where there was a downpour while we were at the top of the hill. Some of us huddled in a small shelter until it was mostly over, but we had very wet clothes and feet for our drive to Erice."

Dean

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I heard in advance of our tour that Sicily was very diverse in its cultures, food, and people. And lo and behold, I discovered first hand how diverse the island of of Sicily was each and every day of the 11-day tour. Our tour guide Stacy along with the local guides were awesome as they all did a great job explaining in detail and at an overall level, the cultural richness of the island over the past 3000 years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coastline views from the elevations above Taormina, and the snow-capped Mt. Etna from Catania."

John

Cambridge, MA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Memorably satisfying and gratifying, especially the aura both of a warm shared enterprise with celebratory occasions and a serious pursuit of cultural and historical knowledge. This was my wife's and my first commercial multi-day tour anywhere and we approached it positively but with some apprehension. We were impressed by the easy friendliness of a group of obviously different but agreeable travelers, and give huge credit to the remarkable skills, tireless focus and good nature of our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, there were many. On a perfect day, the sweeping, dramatic view from the Greek theater in Taormina out over the Ioninan Sea and south down the coast toward Naxos. Breathtaking. The mosaics at Villa Romana moved and excited me more than any other art or place. So I must report, first, my pleasure at seeing them; and then my disappointment at being limited to an hour. So much magnificent potential in this charming, extraordinary, playful work of genius: so painfully little time."

Rebecca

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We particularly enjoyed Stacy, the tour guide, who was well prepared to discuss or provide significant information about the towns, churches and other sites we visited. She was friendly and always made time to answer any question posed to her. Most importantly, she knew the best fish market to find raw oysters. Yum. This was our first Rick Steve's tour but will not be our last. This was an outstanding tour and we are strongly considering taking a tour of Ireland next even though we

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples - outstanding."

Mary Alice

Jackson, MS

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour, and once again, it surpassed our expectations. We got a real feel of the country, culture, and people. We often travel independently but a Rick Steves Tour offers opportunities to visit unique places not generally on tours. To me, this is special. The small groups, large bus, knowledgeable guides, and independent time to explore on your own set a Rick Steves Tour apart from the others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments. The Villa Romana del Casale and Valley of the Temples are two outstanding highlights. Maria Grammatico's baking class and delicious lunch in Erice, visiting the Baronness's farm and enjoying a mid-day feast, and listening to the Contessa give a tour of Palazzo in Palermo are "wow" moments I would not have experienced had it not been for a Rick Steves Tour."

Eric

Medford, NJ

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stacy our guide lead a perfect tour. Her enthusiasm was contagious. The sites on the tour gave a taste of the multi-cultural history of Sicily. An understanding of the influence of the Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Normans and Spaniards on Sicilian culture was explained by our guide and the various location guides. The food included with the tour was exceptional while giving a true flavor of the island. Our group of travelers were collegial and open to new experiences. Rate this tour A+.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples and Archaeological Museum are unforgettable. Waking up to seeing Mama Etna from our hotel was breathtaking."

Carol

Combined Locks, WI

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour experience and I really loved it. Just enough freedom, bus time and group time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My two "wow" moments were the lunch and baking experience with Maria Grammatico and lunch at the Baronessa's farm. These are the experiences we would not have been able to do on our own. They were the type of cultural immersion I really enjoyed."

Gail

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Sicily is beautiful and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The puppet show was great as was the trip to the Contessa."

Mary

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience. This was my first tour ever, and certainly my first Rick Steves tour. So many things lead me to my happiness with this Sicily tour: The varieties and number of adventures that we were able to enjoy, the back door experiences such as the wonderful meal at the Countesses farm, to knowledgeable tour guides, to our great leader Stacy. She was perfect, in her ability to guide us, avoid possible interference with our plans, her knowledge of both the locality and Italy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The comradeship that Stacy fosters. We were all friends by the end, having experienced a great adventure Toby!"

Barbara

Flagler Beach, FL

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My objective was a good orientation of Sicily; that was achieved. I do like the small group size as you never feel overwhelmed when touring a city or getting to/from a location. I enjoyed the mix of planned and free time. The activities were comprehensive covering all facets of Sicily; history, culture, cuisine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a specific "wow" moment. Every activity was equally enjoyable. I did like the unique personalized activities for example the family home tour (by the contessa) in Palermo, the baking class with Maria Grammatico was exceptional along with a WONDERFUL meal, and visit to the agriturismo in Siracusa for lunch hosted by the baroness."

Mary Ellen

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour so we had great expectations after our Portugal tour the previous year. Sicily did not disappoint. We got both our cultural/historical fix as well as our hedonistic fix. Sicily has so much history and such good food! We also had a good balance of time on our own vs group activities. I guess you would classify us as "spry seniors". As such we were easily able to keep up with the group although we did sneak in a nap or two.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my "wow" experience was in Catania and watching Mount Etna spew some steam as I ate my breakfast."

Patrick

Marietta, GA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was terribly ambivalent after having booked this tour. Not knowing what to expect and hoping for good weather was my biggest concern. Knew that we didn't like funny hats and name badges it just fit us. Also, had done a Rick Steves Italy My Way tour before we knew it just had to be outstanding. We found it more than that. It was "Fantastic"!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no favorite "wow" moment really. Ever turn on every street was a surprise. Every visit to every city along the way was a "Wow" moment. In some ways we hated to see it come to an end!"

Deborah

Irmo, SC

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This, our 4th Rick Steves tour, was everything we have come to expect from this fine company. Our guide, Karin, was very knowledgeable, approachable, caring, and fun. Much of Sicily is breathtakingly beautiful. The food is divine. All of the planned activities were well chosen, giving us a well-rounded picture of the history and culture of Sicily. We appreciated the balance of planned group time and free time. We had a fun and cohesive group of travelers on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views! A panoramic of Palermo as seen from the rooftop of our first hotel; a Roman temple we visited, later seen in the distance while exploring the succulent garden at our hotel in Agrigento; snow-capped Mt. Etna and lovely Taormina from yet another hotel."

Richard

Fremont, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good balance of touring and free time. Lots of time at archeological sites. Very capable, diligent, and well-prepared tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Segesta theater."

Janis

Marietta, GA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a Christmas gift from my Husband. Not knowing what to expect and hoping for good weather was my biggest concern. Knew that we didn't like funny hats and name badges it just fit us because Rick Steves doesn't either. Also, had done a Rick Steves Italy My Way tour before we knew it just had to be outstanding. We found it more than that. It was "Fantastic"!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no favorite "wow" moment really. Ever turn on every street was a surprise. Every visit to every city along the way was a "Wow" moment. In some ways we hated to see it come to an end!"

Lisanne

Fremont, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We're not big tour takers (usually travel on our own), but overall found the tour very easy. The challenge of traveling by bus driven by someone else, is that it is hard to get a sense of where one is going; one just arrives at a site. As a person who likes orienteering, it was a little discombobulating. I didn't find the special events (Maria Grammatico, or the farm lunch), particularly tasty or interesting, but appreciate that organizing a special event/meal for a group of 30 is tough.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the views best. In Syracuse, it was wonderful to look out on the calm sea from the hotel balcony. I really appreciated learning the history of the island. Richard loved the archeology. All the ancient sites were interesting, but I wished we had gone to one of the old caves or caverns, such as Mangiapane Cave and/or the Ear of Dionysius, especially since the visit to Mt. Etna was a bust."

Clifford

Elko, NV

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very smooth and well organized, loved that I did not have to drive or make decisions on where to go and what to see, but had plenty of free time to do what we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the view in Erice, could have marveled at it for hours."

Steven

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is everything I expected and more. The adventures the tour offered covered every aspect of this multi-cultured island. Learning about the various cultures that influenced Sicily over many centuries gave me a greater appreciation for the world I live in today. Katin ability to bring everything Sicily has to offer alive was a blessing I'm every aspect. Thank you Rick Steve's for making this adventure available for the common person. Viva Italia!

Macouta

Sunnyside, NY

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and it was beyond what I expected. Karin, our tour guide, was so engaging and enthusiastic I forgot about how tired I was from travel. She made this trip so special for my mom and I. I'm biracial (African father and Polish Mother) and an introvert and was hesitant about this trip, but my mother and I traveled through northern Italy before this trip on our own, which was wonderful, but exhausting. I can't type anymore due to your ch. lmt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Palermo!! Visiting the Countess and experiencing/hearing about her life was life changing. Both Karin and the Countess made/feel this experience so special and unique. This part of the tour was a 'WOW'moment for me. I could go on and on, but Karin facilitated a very, very unique experience for my mother and I. I'm very grateful for this trip, overall."

Emily

Northville, MI

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great, I enjoyed everything we saw and most of the restaurants we ate at.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Greek temples on Agrigento."

Janet

Kaysville, UT

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Food and wines of Sicily. Also very impressed with the Greek and Roman ruins. The history was very impressive."

Perry

Austin, TX

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour with a super guide. Sicily was great to visit. The only downside was a virus that attacked the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive up to Mt Etna was gorgeous."

George

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This as my first Rick Steve's tour and I didn't know what to expect. It didn't take long for me to begin to appreciate the stress free environment of a Rick Steves tour. Having a knowledgeable tour guide like Stephanie, along with all the local experts, enhanced my experience well beyond what it would have been if I had planned the trip myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and climbing Mt. Etna was a real highlight."

Kay

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with my other RS tours, this one was great! Well organized and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing the well preserved Greek ruins."

Earl

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was well worth the time-- a beautiful place with an interesting history. The Rick Steves format worked well for us once again: we learned a lot, walked a lot, ate well and had lots of time to explore on our own with many options on how to spend our time. I am sure we will do more Rick Steves tours. This was my third, my wife's fourth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the Cathedral in Monreale. The mosaic art was stunning and the blend of cultures unique and made for a positive experience. The view from up there was wonderful too on a sunny day, but the church and its cloisters were exceptionally engaging."

Linda

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my very first tour so I was not sure if I would like it or not. Turned out to be great. Not too much bus time, great active people on tour with us and a great guide. The tour guides in the places we visited were so interesting and also our tour guide Stephanie had so much to offer as well. I thought the places we stayed in were very nice except the last one in Catania was a chain hotel which wasn't what I expected. The special meals and the little perks from the tour guide were a t

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were the views from atop churches, hotels and the crater of Mt. Etna"

Timothy

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our ninth trip to Europe and 1st group tour. We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of detail that went into the Sicily itinerary. In the past I would spend a good portion of the year planning a Spring trip to Europe. I wouldn't have been able to line up some of the great activities that we did during these 11 days. We also enjoyed the group dynamics. Overall this was an extremely positive way for us to travel going forward.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A wow moment for me was ruins and history of the sites we visited along with the excellent guides."

Janet

Vienna, VA

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Sicily tour was my fourth Rick Steves' tour and another wonderful travel experience! Our tour guide, Stephanie, was a fantastic tour leader, very knowledgeable about Sicily and its history and customs, and with a great sense of humor! Our tour group was very congenial and bonded quickly and well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was visiting Mount Etna and getting to climb part way up. We were very fortunate to have a clear sky and good visibility for our visit. Then we also got to enjoy the lovely view of Etna from our hotel in Taormina!"

Tony

Rohnert Park, CA

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, great food, and great itinerary. Overall we loved our trip and it seemed to get better as it progressed. I wish it could have included more of southeastern Sicily: Noto, Ragusa, Modica. That sounds really interesting to me, and would have been much better than salt ponds in Trapani.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many great moments. Overall the food was the best; we had two group lunches (one at a farm in southeastern Sicily and one in Erice) that were fantastic. As far as activities, the tour of the Contessa's home in Palermo was really interesting. Our Palermo tour guide was great. The view from the town of Taormina was really nice."

Thomas

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 04/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily proved to be a diverse and engaging place. The tour was absolutely terrific. I enjoyed the places and people that we saw and met. Our tour leader Stephanie was exceptional. Stephanie would tell us that each new tour group for her was a new family. She also stressed the importance of family in Sicilian life. I left the tour feeling that I had been part of a family meal of people and places that left me hungry for more of what Sicily might have to offer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The almost nightly ritual of la passeggiata. It started in Palermo when we had the good fortune of being there during a national holiday. Families of all shapes and sizes strolling about through the Quattro Canti and beyond. The same ritual repeated in Taormina, Tripani and elsewhere. My other wow moment was the frenzy of the Bolero Market. A cacahony of sounds, a whirlwind of smells and a panorama of sight."

Kenneth

Waukesha, WI

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour to be extremely well-developed and organized. There was a good mix of group and independent time. Our guide was mature, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly, flexible, considerate and absolutely professional.I could not have been happier with my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The extremely well preserved temples at Agrigento and Segesta."

Melinda

Denver, CO

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour!! Sicily has so much interesting history, beautiful countryside and delicious food. Susanna was a perfect guide, friendly, informative and fun to travel with. We had a good variety of activities including some fun group lunches in interesting locations. I would highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments. The mosaics in the Monreale cathedral, the amazing Greek temples in Segesta & Valley of the Temples, the well preserved mosaic floors at Villa Romana del Casale were just a few. There were wow moments every day."

Robert

Marietta, GA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour gave me what I expected in the sense that I was exposed to a side of Italy that my previous four trips had not given me. It was really more of what I expected on my first trip to Italy. I had realized how much more varied Sicilian history is than that of northern Italy. Our group was varied enough that everyone was able to find members with whom they were comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples was the highlight for me. I had seen pictures, but pictures never compare to being there. We had good weather too and that always helps."

Mary

Darien, IL

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour was fantastic. I would not change a thing. You showed us the history, culture and local flavor of the entire island. I will remember this trip forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ruins - and the food & drink!"

Susan

Flat Rock, NC

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily has been on my "bucket list" for years and I had to cancel 1 tour. I cannot express how pleased I am I made it there and with this particular tour group. Wonderful people to share this amazing experience and place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First wow - the view from our Hotel terrace over the City of Palermo. The Countesses home in Palermo. Valley of the Temples. All of Taormina Mount Etna I can't say just one!"

Jean

Macungie, PA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my tenth Rick Steve's tour. It was certainly very good, but not the best or my favorite---great food, interesting sites, as varied a program of touring as possible, but maybe Sicily is not an area for an 11 day tour. Too many Greek and Roman theaters.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We happened to be in Ortigia for a festival of St. Lucia. Watching the townspeople (and some tourists) react to the solid silver Saint being hauled out of her spot in the Duomo and carried around was unusually interesting. Also the mosaic of the Great Hunt in the Roman villa. The agrotouism 'feast' was an unforgettable meal."

Dominic

Belmont, NY

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our third RS tour to Italy and was, once again, very enjoyable. The pace of the tour, balance of free time to tour time as well as the selection of sites to see was spot on. Palermo was a bit to gritty for many on the tour and it was wise to start the tour there and finish in Taormina. The food was outstanding and gave tour members a good overview of Sicilian cuisine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Trapani, we stopped into the tiniest of wine enotecas to be greeted by Irina, the server. She drew our Nero D'Avila and Catarratto directly from two of several 55 gallon wine casks. After tasting some of Sicily's finest local wines we enjoyed some squisita pizza and dipped crusty bread into local olive oil. We soaked in a cool Trapanese evening by chatting away the night with locals sitting on the storefront stoop as we spilled along Corso Vittorio Emanuele. "Il dolce far niente, eh?""

Howard

North Bethesda, MD

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves tour and was the best. Not sure if it was the location (Sicily), the fellow participants, or the tour guide (Susanna). There was never a moment I thought I had made a mistake nor had regrets attending. I also did not think we overlooked any place for the tour to go or allowed me to go during my free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I probably would say the "wow" moment was Agrigento and going to the Villa Romana del Casale. Seeing the Greek temples was amazing - I have not seen any like that or several in one place. And, to see all those mosaics in one place was mind blowing. I've seen mosaics before in Israel and Portugal but nothing like at the Villa."

Brenda

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was very well organized and our tour guide, Susanna, was AMAZING! Anything we needed she was there for us. She made this tour outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments I don't know if I can narrow it down to one. The lunch with the Baroness, making cookies/lunch in Erice, exploring new places, all were wows for me."

Michael

West Bloomfield, MI

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour and guide. We enjoyed many of normal tourist sites, and added adventures I would not have considered. Travel and hotel planning were flawless. This first Rick Steve's tour exceeded expectations in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful food and wine events, really added to the overall flavor of Sicily."

Christopher

Lemont, IL

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 11 day tour of Sicily was great, the sites, history and food were great. I especially loved the Valley of the Temples, and Taormina. The group launches, and the group pizza dinner in Taormina were delicious. The overall history of the towns were wonderful, I learned a lot about Sicily. The museum in Catania and the history of Sicily in WW II was very informative. The overall tour was very memorable. Alison and I will have many years of great memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina and the Valley of the Temples, also the lemon pasta for the group lunch. Another wow moment was ch and making almond cookies with Maria Grammatico."

Lois

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia was the perfect guide: knowledgeable, fun, efficient, full of little surprised and flexible. Sicily is an amazing island. Beautiful countryside, lots of history, delicious fresh food and beautiful cities. All of the tour participants we're friendly and fun loving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Seeing the countesses palace. Taormina was my favorite city despite the crowds. Trapani felt like another world. The lunch buffets were delightful - so many fresh vegetables! Canollies with breakfast!"

Christine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fantastic tour and exceeded my expectations. The itinery was nicely developed with educational experiences, wonderful food experiences, and the right amout of free time. Our tour guide could not have been any better. Our bus driver, Joseppi was professional, courteous, and a great driver. Everything in everyway was nothing but POSITIVE!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many. -The intact Doric temple in Segesta and Agrigento's "Valley of the Temples" -cathedral in Monreale -Roman mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale -the varied landscape and beauty of each city visited -The fantastic table spread of food provided at lunch and the wonderful flavors."

Cathy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There are so many layers of history and civilizations in Sicily. I really learned a lot on the tour and in a very enjoyable way. The local guides were so interesting. In fact, when I had free time and went out on my own I really missed having an expert along to inform me. It just isn't the same when you read about it in a book. The people in the group were fun to travel with and to get to know. It was nice to run into them when wandering in a town during free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments. Monreale cathedral mosaics in Palermo with commentary by the fabulous local guide Jackie. Traditional salt making - I had no idea how many steps there are. The views from all the hotel terraces. Especially the view from the terrace in Taormina featuring Mt. Etna. The talk by Boris the volcanologist was so interesting. The puppet show in Ortygia was surprisingly entertaining. Greek and Roman temples everywhere."

Paul

Edina, MN

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. The usual perfect blend of excellent tours and enough free time to enjoy everything. It was just what I was looking for to learn about and experience Sicily. The food also added to the experience of course. Great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm a history guy and knew that Sicily had been conquered many times. However I was surprised when I learned that the Normans had occupied Sicily starting in 1061. They instituted a number of reforms and improvements to life in Sicily. They weren't there long but the guide suggested it was the golden age of Sicily and they were beloved when they ruled. As an additional testament to this was our bus driver had red hair which almost certainly due to Norman lineage."

Clyde

Edenton, NC

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The group was cordial, we enjoyed the fellowship without exception. Virginia is an exceptional guide, energetic, knowledgeable, entertaining, always with a plan "b" in the event plan "a" goes astray. The hotels were comfortable, clean and located in the "center of the action." Perhaps the schedule included too many stops, it would have been nice to spend three nights each at two of the locations rather than two or one night. Perhaps a few of the tour stops could have been optional day trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments were discovering the marvelous views from each hotel's roof top lounge after a full day of touring ruins, markets and bus rides!"

Carolyn

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had great weather and a great group of travelers. Virginia was fantastic and so much fun with all of her little surprises for us. The sites we visited were varied and interesting and a nice mix of culture. The meals we had as a group were delicious especially the meal with the cannoli making session. That one was absolutely fantastic!! It was fun to have down time during which we could explore little knooks and crannies on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my "wow" moments was visiting the cathedral in Syracuse and realizing that it has been a place of worship for people of different faiths continuously for 2500 years. To observe the architecture and to appreciate how it was repurposed over the centuries instead of being torn down was wonderful."

Kristin

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our tenth RS tour over the last 15 years! Needless to say, we like these tours! Virginia was probably one of our youngest tour guides but she did not disappoint! She was very well organized and fun to be with as well as knowledgeable about Sicily! Each days brought a wonderful new experience which will remain in our memories! We also had the usual great group of traveling companions that we are sad to say goodbye to at the end!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour and wine tasting luncheon at the family owned vineyard near Mount Etna was a favorite experience for me. It seemed like heaven on Earth to me!"

Don

Freehold, NY

Tour: 04/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. A lot promised. A lot delivered. Expectations set high, and expectations met.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one "Wow" eclipsed the rest, so here are my Top Ten bus rides provide scenic vistas of Sicily's landscapes and long bridges views from hotel terraces – Palermo, Trapani, Ortigia, Taormina Maria Grammatico – an experience to cherish mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale Palatine Palace (on own) and Monreale mosaics and ceilings Greek theater Taormina Segesta amphitheater – view across the valley salt harvesting near Trapani picnic lunch at Mozio guide Michaele at Agrigento Archeological"

Diane

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous trip! Far exceeded my expectations. Karin was an outstanding guide. Other participants were jovial, helpful and full of life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beautiful scenery, churches and ruins."

Barbara

Tuscaloosa, AL

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip better then I expected

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ruins and churches were outstanding"

Karen

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing experience! Karin led us on a delicious, interesting, beautiful tour! Sicily is rich in history, food, culture, and passion. And we enjoyed it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mosaics in Monreale were breathtaking. Easter processions in Palermo inspiring. Tasty seafood in Siracusa. And every local guide beaming with pride that Sicily includes a history of multi cultures and religions coming together."

Bill

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a full and amazing experience. I experienced Sicily's rich history, culture and food. The group worked will together in our travel and connected together. Karin provided good, positive coordination and supported us with background information and stories. This enhanced the experience and prepped us for the activities ahead.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Agrigento archeological museum and the ancient city of Akragas. The art and engineering on display was overwhelming."

Becca

Edina, MN

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily tour exceeded my expectations. The diversity of experiences was perfect...historical learning, active exploring, having time with the group and on our own... all while being immersed in Sicilian culture. Karin was a super guide and made this tour informative, engaging, fun and totally stress free. I especially enjoyed all the outdoor opportunities-lunches (with wine !) and roaming over and through ancient ruins. Doing this tour in late April had the bonus of gorgeous wildflowers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment hard to pick. So many! Will go with tie between (1)Trek at Mt Etna through the lava fields with amazing views- and (2)lovely, peaceful setting of Agrigento hotel with views of the valley of the temples. Could have stayed longer at this hotel."

Gregory

Torrance, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour was fantastic and met my high expectations. The itinerary was a good balance between historical/educational experiences, wonderful food and wine, and free time. Karin, our tour guide could not have been any better. Definitely had command of the topics that were discussed. Our bus driver, Gaetano handled the narrow and hectic roads expertly. The tour was a very positive experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several. Climbing Mt. Etna to the crater of the 2002 eruption, seeing the spectacular mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale, and our hotel in Taormina with amazing views and scenery."

Sara

Kapolei, HI

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steves tour and I was very impressed. I really did not know what to expect. The itinerary had just the right amount of free time, and we were exposed to some fabulous sights and history. All meals were fantastic! Fresh food and there was no stinginess with the wine! I loved Sicily. Foremost, I have to say we had an extraordinary tour guide, Karin. Her knowledge, her unrelenting energy made this trip one of the best I have ever been on. She is an A plus - fabulous in every way

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all wow!!! The countess home in Palermo, the ruins in Agrigento, the food and baking session at Maria's . I have to say, everything ! Including listening to Karin."

Emilie

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was what was promised in the itinerary and more. Transportation was good, the driver thoughtful and kind...and is a good driver. And on those tiny roads barely big enough for a bus but had two unmarked lanes, Karin is a good tour guide. We laughed a lot on this tour. Our whole group was friendly and fun and seemed interested in everyone else. Everyone cooperated with Karin and each other. We followed the guidelines we were sent pre-tour. Good group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How about three? The history of Sicily The food in Erice The amazing landscape"

Lynn

Edina, MN

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Karen, our guide, was superb. The locations [INVALID]ed for us to visit and the activities we did were varied, unique, and enjoyable, and there's no way we could have found or done them all on our own. The bus rides were all reasonably short, and we were physically active enough to keep me[INVALID]someone who works out hard and often[INVALID]satisfied. The hotels were charming and comfortable. The group meals were delicious. And how could anyone top Sicily in the spring for sheer beauty?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing Mt Etna's lava fields! Spectacular and most certainly THE most unusual thing we did. But the WWII museum was my second biggest wow moment, followed closely by the beauty and grace of the setting for our hotel in Taormina."

Gary

Newark, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent Everything went off, without a hitch. Including all the Guest hosts (visit farm, villa, cooking class etc) made for special memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing Mount Etna"

Mark

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was a fantastic mix of walking tour, history and art appreciation, and food! I found the length of the tour to be just right--actually leaving me with a bit of wanting more, but also ready to be on my own. This tour included a good amount of free time, which left us time to just wander, try new foods, catch up on minor chores, take a nap, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Valley of the Temples was spectacular. But I also had lots of fun at Maria Grammatica's place."

Peter

Napa, CA

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were dazzled by the mountainous beauty and classical antiquity of Sicily. Add to that the endmost skills of our guide, Ms. Bernardo, whose language mastery and in-depth knowledge of the history of the region kept us amazed and wanting more. I feel that I now have seen the important aspects of Sicily and understand its origins and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Taormina, with its combination of antiquity and contemporary, made us feel that we must return."

David

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily surpassed even the raves that we've read on-line from other RS travelers and from friends who have visited it either independently or on cruises. To be there at Easter was a bonus due to the profusion of wildflowers that made the entire motor coach trip more scenic and really added a "punch" to the sites of Greek ruins and visits to towns in the countryside. The "mystery" procession of the Stations of the Cross was an insight to a culture that mixes devotion with a touch of carnival.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to pick just one. Visit to the Contessa in Palermo? Easter brunch with a Baroness on her country estate? Visit to the winery on the slopes of Etna? Watching my wife fashion "Nun's Boobies?" Can't choose just one!"

Kathryn

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful 11 days visiting a beautiful, friendly island with great food and wine--and those amazing pastries! Nina was an informative, effective tour guide who gave us just enough free time to allow further exploration or rest & recharging. Also a good balance between ancient ruins and baroque cathedrals and more personal visits to a farm, a winery, a puppet theater, and a pastry kitchen. Sicily has lovely coastal resort towns and the grittier cities of Palermo and Catania. We loved them all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed amazing views of ancient ruins and coastal cliffs--and of course, Mt Etna--but my biggest "wow" moment was the Good Friday procession of the 20 "misteries" through the streets of Trapani. The rhythmic, dirge-like music of the brass bands accompanying these life-sized representations of the last days and resurrection of Christ, and the faces of the men and youths carrying their heavy burdens through the streets were extremely moving. What an experience!"

Bick Mee

Waltham, MA

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think the tour is very organized and well carried out. the local guides are very knowledgeable and informative. I enjoyed it a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there are many Wow moments in Sicily!! if I have to pick one, it would be the Villa del Casale Probably because I didn't realize how large and elaborate of the mosaics works are. awesome!"

Andrea

Arlington, MA

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour experience and it was a very positive one. Our tour guide, Nina Bernardo, was knowledgable, organized and fun! We felt that we got a solid overview of the history of Sicily and saw places of interest and importance. We particularly loved the 2 cooking classes and the visits to the farmhouse and winery. Being in Sicily on Good Friday was special. Taking on the steep climb at Mt. Etna was harder than we thought, but it was satisfying and memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Good Friday in Trapani was an exceptional experience. We went into the church the night before and saw the statue floats being prepared. On Good Friday we were affected by the solemn drum beats, the focused support of the men who bonded together in carrying the floats, and the pride of the children who marched and played music in the procession. We also found the birth home of my grandmother on a street in Palermo, a link to my personal history that was surprisingly touching."

Stephen

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was a very fine manager and guide. Appreciated her extensive knowledge of Sicilian and Italian history. Appreciated her suggestions regarding sites to see of artistic and cultural importance on free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monreale, followed by Capella Palatina, Villa Casale."

Jacqueline

Flower Mound, TX

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every aspect of the tour from the tour guides, to the mix of history, culture, food and wine. Each day we had plenty of free time in addition to our tours and group lunches or dinners. Great combination of activities from visiting ancient sites, to visiting a Contessa at her Palazzo, to a boat ride, cable car, salt flats, walking tours, pastry making, wonderful group dinners and food making demonstrations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was actually an entire day of wonderful experiences. The day started with a drive to the beautiful ancient Greek site of Segesta, which was covered in wildflowers and was amazingly picturesque. After Segesta, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of local specialties at Maria Grammatico's place and then had a wonderful time making pastries with her! After that it was on to the Medieval mountaintop town of Erice with beautiful views, then a cable car ride down to Trapani."

Jon

Flower Mound, TX

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is hard for me to come up with a criticism of the experience. Nina was magnificent and the experience was the perfect blend of group activities and free time to explore. My wife and I are very experienced travelers who are comfortable managing our own travel arrangements. We have traveled to Italy 7 times previously, and many other places in Europe and around the world. This is our first organized tour and we were delighted by the unique approach. We shall come back for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to describe in only 500 words. Multiple wow moments every single day!"

Cami

Provincetown, MA

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the trip, the guide and my fellow travelers very much. Taormina was my favorite and Palermo my least. I liked what we saw in Palermo, but found the city dirty. I had no idea what to expect of Sicily--we went basically on Alfio's recommendation. I enjoyed the history, learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was when we toured the Villa romana de Casale. Amazing!"

Ruth Ann

Provincetown, MA

Tour: 04/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I always enjoy touring with Rick Steve's! I like being shown the highlights, then given a few options from the guide. I like being able to sightsee as I choose.I toured with a different company, and felt I was being treated like a child-wear a name tag, assigned seats on the bus stay with the group as though we were attached at the hip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was definitely the Good Friday procession in Tampani!!"

Lawrence

Grosse Pointe, MI

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was an unexpected delight as it was unique from the rest of Italy due to the mix of cultural history. The hotels were great (all showers had hoses) and had the usual Rick Steves accessibility to the important parts of town. Would highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Holy week at Trepani was really cool."

Sue

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, Tomosso made the trip extra special. He is a caring, intelligent, superb travel professional. All of our hotels were much more "4 Star" than expected and the breakfasts provided were way beyond expectations. I was concerned about "group" travel as I have usually traveled to Europe with a max of 3 friends, but I would go on another Rick Steve's tour in a heartbeat. WE had maximum free time each day to do as we chose and the group activities were a real perk.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The three WOW women Tomosso shared with us on our tour!! The countess in Palermo and her amazing home, the wonderful, spirited Maria and her boobie cookies and the Countess who shared her lovely villa with us for a special Sicilian lunch. Eating in a barn has never been so wonderful!!"

Diane

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour. It far exceeded my expectations. Even though I knew what was coming each day from the schedule, what we did and saw each day was even better. Tommaso, our guide, made even the toilet stops fun and interesting, but arranged a number of special stops that an average tourist would never have or even know about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many...but one of my best was walking into the Plazza de Duomo on our orientation walk the first night in Siracusa with Tommaso. Another would be Tommaso's explanation of "mamas boys" and his family during a long bus ride one day. Wish I had it on tape...it was priceless."

Robert

Wauna, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of folks, great guide, and great driver. Enjoyed all the sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna and the Greco-Roman ruins in Taormina."

Cynthia

Madison, NJ

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tommaso was a great tour guide. Being Sicilian made all the difference. Group seemed like a manageable size and everyone was very nice. Bus transportation was very nice as was Enzo, the driver- excellent on those winding, mountain roads. I think the trip was planned well- just enough time in all of the cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one. My favorite gelato was at one of our bus stops on the way to Taormina. Best I've had in Italy!! Also found the Good Friday parades in Trapani very interesting."

Donald

Olympia, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent . Our guide Tomasso was excellent, and he was able to find new and exciting experiences everyday. His knowledge of Sicily is very impressive.

Renate

Lennon, MI

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the most interesting and most enjoyable trip I have ever taken. This wonderful experience was largely due to the decisions made by the guide, Tommaso. Tommaso had first-rate local guides and managed to have us experience the 'real' Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two churches in Palermo, S. Cataldo and the Martorana, just blew me away. The mixture of styles (Arabic, Byzantine, etc.) were exactly what I had read about but was unable to visualize."

Suellyn

Olympia, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trips completes our 5th trip with Rick Steves. Tommaso is the best tour guide we have ever had! He really made our trip fantastic! His personality, knowledge of the area, and special places and people made this a very memorable trip for us. We both agree, Tommaso is a definite asset to the company and deserves a raise! And NO...he didn't pay me to say that!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from Erice and the meal at Maria Grammatico's cooking school. She is a special person, so nice to meet her and play in her kitchen. Also understanding world history, I can not believe I was in the Palazzo Federico! The history of that family is mind blowing!"

Sylvia

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Having been a follower of Rick Steves for more than 30 years, this tour (my first with the company) was exactly as I expected. Our guide, Tommaso was extraordinary and I feel fortunate to have had him in charge. He was sensitive to our needs and went out of his way MANY times to enrich our daily experience. I'm grateful. The bus was comfortable and the driver demonstrated expertise in every mile. His gracious personality enhanced our days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museum visit in Agrigento was an unexpected treasure trove; I could have spent the day!"

Chere

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've wanted to do this tour for several years & was elated to go! This was my 4th RS tour & my favorite! Tommoso Pante was so wonderful; his organazional skills, knowledge about history & culture, patience, sense of humor, & positive energy enriched the tour for me even more! Sicily was everything I'd hoped for and more. I have so much respect for Tommoso; tour members are like children in many ways and he did such a great job keeping everyone fed & with pottybreaks! He was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I can pick just one but the lunch at the Countessa's farm was heavenly, Ortygia was incredible."

Patricia

Grosse Pointe, MI

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves Best of Sicily tour was the 3rd Rick Steves tour that we have taken. The tour was fantastic and encompassed the profound history, culture, architecture and flavors of Sicily. We were so fortunate to have Tommaso, a native of Sicily, as our tour guide! We also had a wonderful, fun group of tour companions that shared our love of travel in the "Rick Steves way"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a "wow" for me. From the ruins to the Contessa's tour of her historic home, the cathedrals, Erice's castle and the funicular ride down the mountain, Trapani and the Good Friday processional through town, the Roman mosaics including the "bikini girls", Mt Etna and the winery tour and lunch, Maria Grammatico's baking demo, tasting and beautiful lunch, the amazing lunch Tommaso arranged in the farmlands, the WWII museum. To experience the people and culture was amazing!"

John

Madison, NJ

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed every moment of every day. The itinerary was well thought out. Cannot imagine being more satisfied or impressed with any other tour of Sicily with any other company. This was our second Rick Steves vacation, and both times we were blown away by the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Savoring the best gelato in all of Italy at an obscure little roadside café on the bus ride from Agrigento to Siracusa. Completely unexpected, not on the daily agenda, an untouristy exposure to the local inhabitants and environment, perfectly timed by our guide Tommaso to leave a maximum impression:) To me this was what Rick Steves intended when he envisioned his company's objectives."

Lisa

Ventura, CA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very pleasant experience, many more planned details than we would have managed on our own. Tomaso was a great guide and Enzo a great driver. Would not change a thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So much good food!"

Peter

Houston, TX

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience on my first guided tour in Europe. All prior trips were independent travel. Would definitely do another RS tour...which maximizes your time and efficiency of travel. No wasted time driving and parking, finding your hotel, or waiting in long lines for tickets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the narrow streets of Ortygia and central piazza."

Gabriele

Wauna, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th Rick Steve's tour and like the others 8t met my expectations. Tommaso was knowledgeable and helpful and lots of fun. The tour members were terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not just one WOW moment. Mt. Etna was awe inspiring, the salt flats in Trapani, Segesta, Erice, Taormina were all thought provoking."

Amy

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!! Everything exceeded my expectations. The folks on the tour were warm and friendly, our guide, Virginia, was knowledgeable and so much fun to be around, she gave us lots of information, but never overwhelmed us. The hotels were nicer than I expected and the food was wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to travel to places I could have never gone on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views. I went on the Sicily tour and the views were spectacular! Mountains and the Mediterranean! Amazing!"

Karen

San Diego, CA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of interesting travelers, great guide (Virginia), great driver (Giuseppe), good location guides, good hotels, great extras. Appreciated the balance of group activities and free time. The history of Sicily was fascinating. I also liked the fact that it wasn't overrun with tourists. There were many normal Sicilians out and about going about their business. It was very different than our other trips to Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery visit with lunch and wine tasting was a wonderful experience. It was a great way to finish the trip."

Chris

Houston, TX

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After numerous "self guided" tours to Europe north of the Alps, this was my first with a tour company. Overall the experience was very good. The hotels were interesting, and typically better than I would book for myself. The group meals did a good job bringing local foods and wine forward allowing tour delegates to be one with local customs. The pace was good, the balance of group activities vs. down time worked well. Also the mix of big city vs rural experiences was a good balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a larger scale and a smaller scale "wow" moment. The larger scale is how the historic core of the cities retain what is likely a medieval layout. Streets can be very narrow, a "main street" being hardly 2 car widths across. The smaller scale moment was my visit to the Palatine Chapel in Palermo. The golden Byzantine mosaics form the 12th century were visually stunning, and learning that they had been constructed in a matter of a few years was hard to believe."

Lisa

Redmond, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Winery visit"

Kim

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The only thing I would have like more is if we walked more. In the past I think we walked more and got more exercise. The history and variety of architecture buildings were great. I loved the Roman Villa that was so old and so detailed. The Greek temples were very interesting, especially the ones that lasted. As an engineer I realize the beams over the pillars were too shallow or spanned to much to prevent cracking. Rock doesn't like tension, bla bla bla.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "farmers market" alway is very interesting, especially the fish I dont recognize. The vegetables looks great, no pressure for buying. I liked the spices display allot. The two churches we saw in or near Palermo were awesome, especially calmly the mosaic made by middle eastern labor."

Susan

Fremont, CA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth Rick Steves' tour and like the others, we had a great itinerary and guide as well as a very congenial group of fellow travelers we enjoyed spending time with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was most wowed and amazed by the Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale.They were in remarkable condition and the stories they told about Roman life left little to the imagination."

Robert

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful to see an ancient place and debunk the mafia sterotypes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Taormina with its views, Greek/Roman theater, views of mainland Italy in one direction and smoke plumed Mt. Etna in the other."

Peter

San Diego, CA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I decided to "try on" the Rick Steve's tour experience. It was our first tour, although we've used RS's travel books on earlier travels and loved them. Our first tour was a great experience. We'll do another tour for sure. Our guide was excellent and every additional guide who visited to teach us was informative and professional. The food was outstanding. Our guide rearranged the last two days of our trip and it worked out well. She knew what she was doing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was fascinated by the duomo in Ortigia. It was originally built as a temple to Athena, and through time morphed into a Catholic Church, with a couple other permutations as houses of worship before resting in its current state as a beautiful duomo, which retains the columns from its days as a pagan temple."

Barbara

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with our prior RS tours, I thought that the tour was great! Well-organized, informative, fun, good participants, amazing guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day and new locale brought a new wow."

Andrew

Duvall, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well run trip, Virginia was an excellent guide. Most events and meals were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The unique experiences (Count's house, pastry class, volcano expert, etc)"

Susan

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 04/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Loved our guide Virginia. All of the local guides were very good. Good selection of sights and activities. Provided meals were very good There are a few things that I would like to

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Some things I especially enjoyed were the fish market at Catania, the ruins at Segesta (especially with wildflowers in full bloom) and the meal and pastry lesson in Erice."

Frank

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first organized tour and the experience overall was great! I've watched Rick Steve's short travel shows on PBS for a few decades and was really looking forward to finally joining one. My previous trips to Italy were independent and we did go to Naples/Sorrento the week before the tour of Sicily and to Umbria the week after, but on the tour we felt much more informed and "cared for" but still adventurous. I will definitely do more Rick Steve's Tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many moments of amazement; the panoramic views, the tremendous and historic constructions and cultural basis of where we come from were awe inspiring. Seeing the people living everyday lives in this context as I considered the past wars, periods of recovery and achievements that were so apparent, everywhere, really did "wow" me."

Pippa

Clackamas, OR

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very enjoyable trip. Great group, great guides. Didn't realize what a historic island Sicily is. Interesting to know the best preserved and the oldest Greek temples are not in Greece but in Sicily. Food was great with abundant fish and loved the local wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There really wasn't one moment but several. The Greek columns in some of the churches were awesome! I was mesmerized by the talk on Mt. Aetna and the video presented."

Sydney

Eastsound, WA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about the tour and thoroughly enjoyed Jamie Gould as our leader for the second time. The hotels were excellent, the scenery and history interesting, food fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was in Taormina viewing the volcano Etna spewing in the distance. I kept my fingers crossed that the Big OOne wouldn't happen while we were there! Haha loved Taormina! But, Agrigento was my favorite part, and the Erice pastry making, and the Ortigia puppet show. Everything!"

Richard

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is a beautiful land with a rich history and warm and friendly people. Each day brought us along the path through the history. From ancient Greek and Roman ruins to Byzantine, Norman, Spanish influences, and finally the effect of WWII. In between we saw the land, met the people, and tasted the excellent seafood and wines. The days started early and were packed with covering new territory. I feel we got a full (and wonderful) taste of what makes Sicily tick.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment? Which meal? Sicily is a foodies paradise and seafood reigns. From our first dinner to our last, we had the tastiest and most satisfying meals."

Timothy

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An exceptional look at the many waves of settlement of Sicily and how these cultures are reflected in its architecture, language and food. Truly an "eating and wine-tasting your way" through a fascinating island. Many of the cities we visited were intimate environments that we could explore with the lively group as well as on our own. Almost all hotels were conveniently located in historic city centers. Our bus trips were very comfortable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breathtaking vista across the Roman arena on a steep Taormina hillside with snowy Mt. Etna rising above the historic town flanking the sea. The 1943 Invasion of Sicily Museum was a sober reminder of how little our outlook on handling conflict has actually changed. Mosaics at Villa Romana near Siracusa beautifully depicted Roman life. To top it all off, we feasted on some fine raw fish antipasto and a huge bowl of fresh mussels to remind us why Sicilian seafood is unsurpassed."

Ken

Marietta, GA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It had been 15 years since our last tour. Things had changed. It was apparent that in regards to accommodations and group meals. that there had been an improvement. The hotels were a cut above our past experiences and the group meals (in part to Jamie's input) were definitely much better. The pacing of the trip was good in regard to bus time and activity time. The only comment I would make is had we not had two full days in Palermo, prior to start, I would have felt a little shortchanged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay at Baglio della Luna, especially the ruins at Argrigento illuminated at night and our GREAT dinner at Trattoria Caico!! Loved presentation of entire fish that we devoured!!"

Linda

Calgary, AB

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really believe that "seeing Italy without seeing Sicily, is not seeing Italy at all"...as per Goethe. Or in other words, Sicily is like Italy, but not! Our fellow tourmates were fun, well-traveled, and respectful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, including many Unesco sights, but I felt the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale were personally most fascinating!"

Donald

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour, good group of folks, good guide, good city and specialty guides, good food.

James

Renton, WA

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of travelers join my wife and I, with a very good guide, to visit a beautiful and interesting location. Can't get much better than that. The weather was sunny or cloudy most of the trip, unusually cold for Sicily, but never hindered our experiences. Any rain we had seemed to fall while we were on the bus and not out and about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I took the tour to see the Greek ruins mostly but, being from the Seattle area (with Mount Rainier looming over us when it is clear), the site of Mount Etna both when we drove up its flank to see it up close and the views of it looming over Taormina and Catania were most impressive. I also loved the volcanologist that gave us the Mamma Etna presentation."

Jillian

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent overall. Loved the people, the country and the tour guides! Our trip leader, Stacey, was awesome! She was so attentive to the they guides and seemed to genuinely enjoy herself. I highly recommend her to everyone I know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved just seeing all the Greek influenced art. There wasn't really one moment as the entire country was one big wow moment!!"

Gordon

Calgary, AB

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed all aspects. History is so amazing in one region of Italy. The tour brought me a better understanding of 3 millenniums of Mediterranean civilization. Tour members were great travel buddies, interesting, interested and easy to get along with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples. Temple of Concordia still standing after 2500 years! Massive scale of Temple of Olympian Zeus is mind blowing."

George

Richmond, VA

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a superb experience with an especially cordial group of travelers, despite some rainy days. The variety of activities was enjoyable. It's heavy on medieval art. We would have enjoyed the hotel in Agrigento more with a second night. Taormina was lovely, but too touristy for my taste.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things: the massive Temple of Jupiter in the Valley of Temples, and the pizza-making demonstration in Taormina, and the salt-making film. No, will start again: three things, the Temple of Jupiter, the pizza-making demo, and the salt-making film, and the gorgeous views of Mamma Etna in Taormina. No, at least five things, because it was one of the best tours I have been on."

Bev

Markham, ON

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We covered a lot of territory, and learned very useful, interesting info from our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Palantine Chapel in Palermo with all the tiny moasics was a big WOW. And everything else was a smaller wow!"

Jerry

Olympia, WA

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin? We had a great guide, truly dedicated to insuring we had a wonderful and educational experience. The hotels and food were good. Our tour buddies were an excellent bunch. We came together quickly as a functional traveling team and everyone seemed to get along very well. Our group ranged in age from 80 something to mid 30's and it was fun mixing with them all - everyone had something to add.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments on this delightful tour. I was impressed by the Cathedral in Syracuse partly by the building itself but because of the deep spiritual history there. Our local guide pointed out that humans have been worshiping on that site for over 2500 years. The blended Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Baroque demonstrate mans' need for and recognition of a higher power."

Michael

San Leandro, CA

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My tour was informative and although with a group of 28 - seemed relaxed and informal. Other than perhaps a number of churches and of course the Valley of the Temples, Sicily was devoid of the big ticket items traditionally found in the larger cities of Rome and Florence, et al.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing Valley of the Temples, especially the Temple of Concordia just blew me away, as anything would that was built 300 years before Christ...!"

Pat

Metairie, LA

Tour: 03/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When we signed up for this tour, all I really wanted was to soak up some Sicilian culture because my ancestors were from Sicily. I got so much more than I bargained for. I loved learning about the ancient history, was dazzled by the gorgeous coastline, and I just had so much fun with our group. Being a "foodie" I especially enjoyed the way the Siclians took so much pride in their food preparation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Monreale cathedral was more than I ever expected. I must have taken 50 pictures."

Bonnie

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved every minute of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first bite of bruschetta at Maria's in Erice. I swooned & then ate more. A perfection of fresh tomatoes, a hint of garlic, EVOO, fresh crusty bread. #2 was walking on Mt. Etna. A live volcano! We felt some flurries & the next morning, from the hotel's breakfast room, we saw a snow capped Mt. Etna."

Trudy

Newton Highlands, MA

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my husband's and my second RS Tour (1st was Athens and Peloponnese; before that, we travelled individually) so we understood the tour philosophy and scheduling. The tour met our expectations for number of places visited, the variety of experiences and the very high quality of the guides. There was an adequate amount of free time at each location. I would have preferred 2 or 3 more days, with more countryside stays. Sicily is very intense, densely packed and requires time to absorb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking on the slopes of Mt Etna was a transforming experience. I was overwhelmed by the volcano's power, its overwhelming, brooding presence, its vastness. I guessed at its impact in shaping the Sicilian psyche. We should have spent a full day there. Agrigento was also impressive. I was moved by the recent addition of memorial headstones commemorating Falcone and Borsellino and other anti-Mafia fighters. It attempts to keep the historical artifact alive to current Sicilian generations."

Daniel

Newton Highlands, MA

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was as I expected, a very well organized trip with a very knowledgeable tour guide. The sights appear to have been chosen to focus on the most prominent historic and cultural sights given the limited time available for touring. Tommaso Pante was very knowledge and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment of the tour was in Agrigento at "The Valley of the Temples". I am amazed that structures remain standing (more or less) where the ancient Greeks constructed them 2500 years ago."

Deborah

Fremont, CA

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was the perfect blend of visiting sites, bonding with tour group members, and free time. Sicily is a "must see" destination! It is very scenic, has fascinating archaeological sites, delicious food, and warm, welcoming people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The isolated Greek Temple at Segesta wowed me! Walking down from the Greek Theater to the main parking lot you can see the temple sitting alone on the hillside. As you approach the temple it is surrounded by wild flowers. By far this was the most photogenic building in Sicily, and that is saying a lot, because Sicily has loads of fascinating and photo worthy spots."

Gordon

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and our second land-based tour. I was exactly as we had expected/hoped. We signed up for the Sicily Tour as we felt unprepared to plan and execute a trip to Sicily. We also wanted more information than we could gather on the history, culture, society, archeology, and architecture of Sicily. Plus, we wanted a RS adventure with plenty of personal time. The tour as exactly what we had wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Mount Etna from our hotel and Greek theater in Taormina"

Deborah

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very interesting tour of Sicily, a place I confess I knew little about beforehand. I was very impressed by the number of Greek and Roman archeological sites we visited, and also enjoyed our glimpses of Sicilian life in the cites, especially Syracuse and Taoromina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not one "wow" moment, but several, listed in no particular order: The visit with the contessa in Palermo, the mosaics in the church in Monreale, the Roman mosaics at Romana del Casale, the breathtaking views of the sea and Mount Etna from our hotel in Taoromina, and the ruins of Agrigento."

Janice

Houston, TX

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our expectations of the tour were met and then some. We saw and did things we didn't expect, which is what makes a Rick Steves tour exciting and fun. The beauty of Sicily was masterfully shown to us by Tomosso, our guide. His love of Sicily was apparent in the places we went, the things we saw, the history we learned, and the food we ate. Our group was congenial and we never had any issues that Tomosso could not solve quickly. Love Rick Steves Tours (3rd)and look forward to another soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose just one, but seeing the Contessa's home was pretty spectacular way to begin the tour."

Gale

Sharpsburg, GA

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were apprehensive about taking a "structured" tour because we have virtually always traveled by ourselves while vacationing in Europe. However, this tour was fantastic and far exceeded our expectations. The pace was right, the fellow travelers were great, accommodations were first-class, the food...wonderful, and best of all was our tour guide, Tommaso! He truly made it all "special".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to pick just one! However, I think Agrigento would be it for me. It was just so amazing to see the temples."

Carol

Sharpsburg, GA

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour made me fall in love with Sicily. Such a wonderful mix of natural beauty, amazing history and outstanding food and wine. Prior to this tour I was not aware of the rich history of this island. Tommaso was such a great tour guide. He really helped to make the whole trip one of my favorite travel experiences. I think the mix of group time and individual time was well judged. The hotels were all very nice. The local,guides/historians added a lot to the whole tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one! I would say the visit to Agrigento because I am fascinated by Ancient Greece but have not traveled to Greece (yet!). So amazing to stand before structures built some 2400 years ago and think "How did they do that!""

Ricardo

Mascoutah, IL

Tour: 03/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous! Our guide, Tomasso, was truly outstanding. Everything was well-organized and Tomasso's enthusiasm, people skills, and organization skills made it happen. Not to mention, Sicily is charming and beautiful. We stayed in great hotels, ate at fine restaurants, and were entertained and educated by our guide. I would do it again, but there are so many other places to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to, and our views from, Mount Etna were truly magnificent! Walking around the crater and taking in the scenery is something I'll never forget."

Tod

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily and the tour exceeded all expectations! Everything went exceptionally smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Greek temple at Segesta was stunning! I really had no idea it would be so well preserved and picturesquely set in a beautiful landscape."

Ted

Eugene, OR

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional. My wife and I have always planned our own trips to Europe and never take a tour. Sicily looked to be one place better suited to a tour. The itinerary, both written and unwritten, was truly "the best of Sicily". There were experiences we had we could not have arranged on our own. Our guide (Alfio) was outstanding in every regard. Our bus was new and quite comfortable. The meals throughout the trip made it seem as though we were on a gastronomical excursion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went to a medieval mountaintop village named Erice. The village is just as you would imagine it 500 years ago. A woman who grew up in a convent and became a legendary chef fixed us the best meal we had during the trip with 18-20 classic Italian dishes. Speaking with her and hearing about her incredible life was so inspiring. Then she taught us how to make a pastry she invented."

Catherine

Norristown, PA

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour (or any group tour) and it exceeded my expectations. From our tour guide, Alfio, who was knowledgeable, funny, and kept the tour running smoothly, to my fellow travelers, bus driver, local guides, hotels, and restaurants, all contributed to a memorable experience. I learned so much about Sicily and it's history and culture. I didn't find this tour any more strenuous than what I have done traveling on my own and there was a nice mix of structured and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so may fantastic moments but I think I can narrow it down to two "wow" moments. One was making cookies with Maria Grammatico, a famous Sicilian pastry chef (I love to bake so...) in Erice, a quaint and beautiful mountain top town. I didn't know that this was part of the itinerary so it was the best surprise for me. The other was visiting the craters on Mt Etna and then seeing the gorgeous mountain from the hotel rooftop in Taormina."

Samuel

Sainte Genevieve, MO

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide, knowledgable, personable and attentive. Hotels were excellent and clean, only one place seemed to really not be very interested in having us there. Sicily is a beautiful country, with much history and style. When I got back to the USA I felt like I was away from home. Our group was fun, excellent company with a cross section of individuals who shared experiences, the life in Sicily and each helped others around them make the vacation successful and rewarding. Excellent value!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinners out as a group...especially Mt. Etna and Syracusa great wine and food"

Hal

St Louis, MO

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a wonderful time in Sicily. As always, our hotels were in the perfect location and our guide, Alfeo, was extremely knowledgeable. Alfeo provided extras that really "topped off" the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taramino, Agrigento, Mt. Etna and Mt. Etna Winery."

Susan

Concord, MA

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed tour! Joined in Trapani, so missed Palermo. Alfio was a wonderful tour guide. His passion for Sicily was infectious. Came home wanting to learn more. Good balance of structured and free time. Great meals with great group of fellow travellers. My did not arrive with me in Trapani and Alfio was instrumental in getting it back. Antonio was great driver with many musical talents! Scenery and historic sites were spectacular, as was food, wine, gelato.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Teatro Antico with view of Mt Etna beyond. Spectacular! Taormina- Castelmola. Chiesa di San Filippo Apostolo with crypt, bomb shelter and ritual Jewish bathing pool. Agrigento temples. Villa of Casale at Piazza Armerina. Magical final night dinner outdoors on beautiful evening."

Nina

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Sicily Tour was amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed the tour from our amazing tour guide, Alfio, to the beautiful scenery! There was so much to like. Traveling on a Rick Steves tour is just easy. There is a good pace and we have such amazing outings!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am sorry, but I could not possibly pick a favorite "wow" moment. The whole trip was wonderful! Each place has its own uniqueness, that it would be difficult to pick one favorite moment! Everyday was a "wow" moment!"

Tom

Concord, MA

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great food choices, and special trips like winery, bakery and pizza making. Good timing on travels, group meals etc. Good choice on museums and ancient temples, villas etc. Would like to have gone to Ragusa but not sure what I would cut. Always seems like we should spend 2 or 3 more days on a tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess the Greek Temple at Seragusa (sp) and the basement of the church of Fillippo in old Syracuse."

Marilyn

Colbert, WA

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fell totally in love with Sicily! It's diverse history has created this wonderful melange of architecture, food and traditions. Our guide, Alfio's love and enthusiasm for his island and encyclopedic knowledge of the history, culture and architecture; created the total Sicilian experience. It is now one of my favorite places!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alfio took us to the main piazza in Ortygia in the evening of the day we arrived. The lighting was perfect and the buildings and stones in the piazza just gleamed with a kind of ethereal glow. Families and friends were gathered in the cafes, chatting. It had such a lovely, casual ambiance that I'd love to live there and experience every day."

Pat

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 03/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was a new adventure! We saw many interesting and beautiful sights. We did many fun activities. We had great food and fantastic guides. All the hotels were more than comfortable. The bus was comfortable and the driver was very good. Not all the travelers were of the Rick Steve model however, there were a few complainers. I couldn't understand how you could not have had a great time though.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but my favorite was the Valley of the Temples. Wish we could have had more time there. The guide was very good and covered a lot of ground. Mount Etna was also fantastic and the guide was excellent."

Lisa

Dagsboro, DE

Tour: 03/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic experience! This tour was so much more than I expected. The mix of culture, history, local traditions, food, etc. was a great learning experience. I love the philosophy of Rick Steves travel which is to get out and experience as much as possible in the places that you're visiting. The tour provided a much more in-depth experience of Sicily than I was expecting. I liked the fact that each day offered several structured tours as well as time to explore on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one "wow" moment. But, I would have to say Segesta and the Valley of Temples. It was so hard to believe that we were walking on the pathways the people had trod upon thousands of years ago....it was amazing. And, our local guide in the Valley of the Temples, was outstanding. But, really, the whole trip was a wow moment for me!"

Edward

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 03/19/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my 5th Rick Steves tour and our third visit to Italy. Over all it was enjoyable but not up to the standard of my previous tour experiences. The Sicilian countryside is beautiful and the people are warm and gracious but the arrival and departure cities Palarmo and Catania are extremely dirty,charmless, covered in graffiti, and outright dangerous. We had a good group and guide but I don't think I would recommend this tour to any previous travel companions or friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had a lot of this good even great moments, sights, and sounds but nothing on Sicily moved me in any momentous way."

Lawrence

Cheyenne, WY

Tour: 03/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent guide, Virginia, who made the trip fun and interesting and stress free. The local guides were also terrific and they added important information and color to each location where they joined us. The vulcanologist on Mt. Etna was especially interesting. I enjoyed some of the more off the beaten path places, particularly Mozia, for its ancient ruins and salt producing history. The hotels were all fine, none particularly outstanding but all clean, comfortable and serviceable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Segesta, Mozia, Valley of the Temples, Taromina. Mozia in particular is very interesting. Taromina a must see and I am glad we spent two days there."

Francesca

Quezon City, 00

Tour: 03/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I joined the tour because I've always wanted to see Sicily, but didn't want to go by myself as I wasn't very familiar with the place and culture unlike mainland Italy.I greatly appreciated the information provided by the guides and also the extra things included in the tour like the cookie-making with Maria and the visit with the countess. It was a great introduction to Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps it was Maria's almond cookies and cannoli. Yes,I do believe I would return to Erice just for that. I also really enjoyed the tour of Palazzo Conte Federico with the Countess at Palermo. She's just absolutely fabulous and very real at the same time. That was very much a pleasant surprise. I'd like to stay in their place in the future too. Also that the people in Sicily were warmer and friendlier than I first thought. :)"

Maria

Pemberton, BC

Tour: 03/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Glad we arrived a couple days ahead of time to get our bearings of the surrounding area, Palermo. Our guide was FABULOUS! Made the tour having someone so knowledgeable and whos enthusiasm was infectious. Bus rides weren't too long and rest stops were provided when necessary. Saw some amazing historical sights, and again, the local guides were very knowledgeable, loved hearing local stories about each city/town. Tour rated as "strenuous" but felt that was a bit over-stated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning first hand bakery tips in Erice form Maria Grammatico, and having a fabulous lunch, delicious!"

Clifford

Columbia, SC

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. The tour had changed enough from four years ago to be a new experience. The guides provided more detailed information, which I enjoyed. Our previous tour to Sicily left us with a lot of reading, which in turn left us with more questions. It was very cool to get to ask the follow-up questions to the same people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say there was a wow moment. Our previous Rick Steves guides in Italy advised us to go to Sicily. We still find Sicily to be our best tour so far and the second time around we still think so."

Tonia

Huntington, NY

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour met all my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were viewing a smoldering Mt. Etna from many angles because we had clear, sunny weather, and because our hotel in Taormina had a terrace that was perfect for viewing the volcano."

Edmond

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide and local guides were excellent. While we did see homeless people, beggars, people hawking goods on the street, and graffiti, overall the streets felt safe and the locals were friendly. The food, and hotels were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot pick one moment, but the star of the show was Sicily itself. The views, from the bus, while walking, from hotel terraces, were exceptional. The Churches and Cathedrals were wow moments in themselves inside and out."

Janice

Coeur D Alene, ID

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It worth every penny to have a guided tour. I was able to see so much and learn so much about the towns we visited. Not having to worry about transportation, meals, hotels, and sights to see was the best experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was at the end of the tour..............WOW! That was the most fantastic trip to Sicily ever! All my moments were WOW! The food was WOW! The hotels were WOW! The sights were WOW! The tour guide was WOW! The tour group was WOW! The bus driver was WOW!"

Richard

Verona, WI

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well run by our tour leader, Stephanie, who was capable, knowledgeable, and charming. We had a good mix of sights and presentations. I wasn't a great fan of the local cuisine, however, much preferring the cuisine of mainland Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps the highlight was the Roman villa with its marvelous mosaics."

Barrett

Idaho Falls, ID

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour, and Stephanie was outstanding. The other experts that spoke/guided were also very knowledgeable. We learned a lot and especially enjoyed the food. Stephanie even provided some unexpected snacks every so often. Very nice. The hotels were very comfortable; better than we expected. Even the weather cooperated. However, I do have a suggestion that I will provide in the comment section of this survey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour provided good variety: from Nature (salt from the sea; Mt. Etna); mankind's construction of temples, churches, monuments, etc. from many different occupants over the centuries; farming (vineyards, lemons, oranges, etc.); and the arts of long ago (pottery, jewelry, mosaics, etc.) My "wow" moment was when I realized all that I had seen and learned about Sicily. Quite a place."

Ken

Lafayette, CO

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After using the RS guidebooks for years, this was my first organized tour and I was duly impressed. I can't think of a single thing I'd change about this tour. I loved the extras like wine tasting, fish cous cous, cookie and pizza making and the volcanologist. Lots of great experiences you don't get when traveling independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the temples at Agrigento! I will never forget seeing them on the ridge as we approached."

Barry

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour for so many reasons. Our group was the most engaged, pleasant, interested and interesting of any I've traveled with. The stops were well paced will all interesting things to see and do at each one. Having uniformly pleasant hotels made things just that extra bit better. Then of course there is Sicily itself which provided such rich experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna was the biggest single "wow" for it's size, lava fields, constant activity and the opportunity to hear from a Volcanologist. A profession I hadn't thought of before. For overall 'wow' I found Siracusa to be the most most engaging, surprising, and pleasant stop. The market, the puppet theater, the history and of course the cuisine all came together. We had enough free time and may return for more!"

Mark

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall for money and quality, Sicily is amazing it has places I want to see again. Food is great and unbeatable for price. The tour included a good portion of Sicily and their other ancient sites I would like to see also. I didn't get bored and everyone had a very good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views especially coastal, how old buildings balanced with nature. Taormina stood out when you could see Mt Etna and the sea in the same view."

Patricia

New York, NY

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am not a tour person. My meager experience with tours has always been dreadful. Too many people, too much time on a bus, not enough free time and mediocre food. The guides were generally ok, but that was about it. This tour was outstanding. Jamie, our guide, couldn't have been better. His knowledge and his delivery of that knowledge was wonderful. I don't know how he keeps that much information in his head. I know he's been doing it for a long time, but still. And a nice guy to boot!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not one wow moment but many. We were very lucky, we had brilliant weather. All sun and good temperatures, except for one day of extreme wind, which we dealt with. The other 25 people on the tour were great. We all got along, everyone was always early and always pleasant, I made some good friends."

Sandra

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had lots of fun and enjoyed all of the sightseeing, hotels, food, guides, bus and everything else I can think about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that seeing Mt Etna from our hotel terrace in Taormina was my WOW moment. I could just sit there all day and stare at the view."

Mary

Laguna Woods, CA

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 16th Rick Steves trip was wonderful as expected. It was a delightful mix of great sights, fascinating history and culture, wonderful food and fun travel buddies. I was so glad to be in Sicily in March when the weather was about perfect and crowds non-existent. The local guides are the best part of all Rick Steves trips, and this trip was no exception. Loved being able to meet Maria Grammatico in person. Was fascinated by the abundant knowledge of Michele at the Greek Temples in Agrigento.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Palermo from the rooftop terrace of the hotel that first morning after arriving at midnight the night before. And also seeing Mt Etna looming over us from another rooftop terrace in Taomina. But what a delightful surprise to be able to meet the Contessa Maria and have her welcome us all to her home that first night. That set the stage for the rest of the trip....very classy. I did not know how much I would love all of the food that we had in Sicily. I miss the fresh sheeps milk ricotta!"

Linda

New York, NY

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and I wasn't sure what to expect. I had the most wonderful time, our guide Jamie was not only knowledgeable he had a great sense of humor and lots of stories. Our hotels were very nice, WiFi in every hotel, the bus was super nice, clean and the driver Alessandro was the best. I would not recommend anyone to travel through Sicily without a guide since there is just too much history you would miss. All in all very pleased and will plan another trip soon

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite moments were the impromptu moments when the group visited sites and were treated to unexpected treats. The visit to the pastry chefs school where we learned how to make pastry, or the pizza demonstration, listening to the myths our guide Jamie would tell, very entertaining and fun."

Tsuru

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip, a nice mix of sightseeing and free time. It was like we were in Time Travel - ancient time through modern Sicily. We enjoyed visiting all those ancient sites, vineyards & winery. Our tour guide Jamie was outstanding. He was very knowledgeable and fun. His recommendation of local restaurants were great. He often took us to his favorite places and ate with us. Our tour members were all that RS tours represent - fun loving, considerate, independent and well traveled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many WOW moments to count. But, my favorite was the wind blown (literally) hill top Doric Temple and Greek theater in Segesta. The beautiful Mosaic floors of Villa Romana del Casale was spectacular, beyond imagination. Cathedral of Syracuse was the historical master piece. Vineyards and winery on Mt. Etna was beautiful and fun to visit."

Linda

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour!! It was fascinating to view the ancient temples, theaters, churches, and ancient cities. The Sicilian people I met were warm and very patient with our limited grasp of their language. The food was so delicious that I wish the restaurants we experienced were not so far away! Our guide and the group that accompanied us were fun to be around. I miss them now that the tour has ended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is a tie between the visit to the winery and meeting as well as tasting the cookies of Maria Grammatico. The ancient building the winery is in is like a castle. The paintings on the wall are inspiring and the food and wine we had was quite special. Maria reminded me of my Aunt Polly. I loved the cookies she made and was pleased when she assigned the book I purchased for her!"

Daniel

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken numerous overseas trips but this was our first tour. None of our pre-tour concerns such as the compatibility of the group; would it be non-stop; the quality of the guides, etc. emerged. The guides, both main and specific, were exceptional. Our fellow tourers were all interesting people who were experienced travelers. The tour had a nice mixture of planned outings and free time. Accommodations were all comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the view of Mt. Etna and the sea from the terrace of our Taormina hotel. And running into a good friend of my oldest and dearest friend on that same terrace. He was on another tour that was staying at the same hotel."

Robbie

Panama City, FL

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this Best of Sicily tour. Jamie, our tour guide, was exceptional. By sharing his knowledge of Sicily's multi cultural history, the tour was educational as well as fun. Immersing ourselves into the local communities was special,also. We participated in pastry and pizza demonstrations and ordered the best sandwiches ever at a local market. We felt more like temporary locals rather than tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments. Walking onto the balcony at our first hotel in Palermo and enjoying the view as the sun set was breathtaking. Also, seeing Mt Etna, walking around one of the lower craters and listening to the volcanologist was a memorable experience."

Joanne

Boise, ID

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great presentation of Sicily's history plus modern life. I really enjoyed the guide's insights on the bus rides, which were mercifully not terribly long, and the excellent presentations by local experts at the various stops. I learned a lot about the culture, food, wine of the regions. The "free time" each day was especially valuable as it gave me time to explore at my own pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My biggest surprise was Palermo. I hadn't heard much good about it, but I found the city completely intriguing, and the people quite nice. The food was wonderful. I could happily spend quite a few days in Palermo."

Barbara

Acme, PA

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great guide, fun people on the tour,great accommodations, and good food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Mt.Etna"

Sandy

New Kensington, PA

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and second trip to Italy. I was very impressed with our guide and everywhere the tour took us. Our guide Donald was extremely knowledgeable on everything Sicilian from places to eat, shop, sites and cities. I don't think we would have had nearly the wonderful time if we had done this on our own. The local guides in the cities enhanced our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mt Etna and the bikini girls at the Roman villa."

Janet

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lots of variety in what we did. Good venues. I enjoy the out of the way places that are interesting. Tour guide was great. We could have used a few more shopping opportunities. Always interesting people on these trips. Lots of good information on history, geography,culture. We greatly get a flavor of the area. Class act all the way.The views in

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views and feel of Taormina, specifically the Greek theater.i did a lot of closing my eyes to picture what it would have been like in it's hey day. It's always amazing how old things are and how they are uncovered so many years later pretty intact. So many people are involved in that process and work very hard to uncover but also preserve."

Hugh

Duluth, MN

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Our tour guide, Rainer made an effort at our first meeting of the group to determine what each of us wanted to get out of it and then worked hard to deliver on everyone's interests. Mine was to get to know the people and culture of Sicily and Rainer delivered a tour that allowed me to experience the people and the culture. It was a real "Europe Through the Back Door" experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow Moment" was getting caught up in the Carnivale celebration and parade in Taormina. Taormina is beautiful on any given day, but this experience was the icing on the cake."

Tommy

Lincoln, CA

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Sicily tour was outstanding. Rainer was a terrific tour guide. We quickly bonded as a group and soaked up the Sicilian culture. The group dinners and lunches were a highlight...and the education and laughter were contagious. This was my 2nd Rick Steves tour and I look forward to my next trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was being in Taormina for their Carvinale celebration... the streets were full of costumed people, floats and music."

Samuel

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 6th Rick Steves tour and, without doubt, it was outstanding in every way. Rainer was a great leader and his knowledge and enthusiasm, along with his ability to deal with the unexpected, energized the group. The comraderie and friendliness of the tour members was as great as I have come to expect on these tours. And, without doubt, every site visited and the local guides served to make this an incredibly memorable and enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Temple of Athena, now a Catholic church, was my "wow" moment. I was in awe to see a structure that has been in use for 2500 years."

Frederick

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a wow moment. I have wanted to go on the Sicily tour since it started and I did not come away disappointed. Sicily is a wonderful place to visit, loaded with so much history that is hard to imagine. I would highly recommend this tour be on your bucket list."

Catherine

Bedford, NS

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and provided excellent opportunities to learn about the history and culture. In addition to the organized activities, there was a good balance of free time to further explore. This allowed for personal tastes and interests. Everything moved so smoothly we were always free to enjoy ourselves and forget the details.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. It was an absolute treat to find ourselves following the Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras parade in Taormina. I also had no idea how rich the history of Sicily was. The cathedral in Syracuse was such a wonderful example of the adaptation and evolution of cultures from the Greeks to present day. Seeing the original column brought the history to life. Wow!"

Charles

Boston, MA

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marvelous guide and great group. Lucked out with phenomenal weather. Loved the scenery, food, museums, theaters, churches, etc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina. Gorgeous and lucked out to be there during Carnevale."

Carole

Greendale, WI

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first Rick Steve's tour we have taken but we will certainly look forward to traveling with a group in the future. I'm a retired French teacher who regularly took students to France. Thus I used some of the same practices as were used on this trip Our guide Rainer was outstanding in every way. His passion for Italy & Sicily as well as for his work is most apparent. We felt fortunate to have him as our guide. The itinerary was simply outstanding. Enjoyed all the activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples and the city of Taormina. Guides on every stop we're excellent."

Paul

Monroeville, PA

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th RS tour and by far the best mostly due to Rainer's knowledge, skill and personality. It helped that we were blessed by perfect weather with mostly sunny days and cool temperatures as well no crowds. I cannot think of one thing I would have changed on our itinerary, the pace of which was perfect. I was unaware of the history of Sicily, its richness and depth but unfortunately its abuse by ignorant and unenlightened leaders save for a few.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not so much a single wow moment but many. The "Youth of Motya" was worth the price of admission. The ruins of Agrigento, the cathedral at Monreale, the Carnavale parade in Taormina, almost being physically knocked to the ground by the gale force winds on Mt Etna. But, in reflection, THE best was Rainer playing Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma while cruising the Sicilian countryside. Simultaneous goose bumps and tears."

Kristine

Duluth, MN

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time on this tour. Sicily was beautiful. Our guide Rainer was fantastic and our tour mates were a joy to travel with. This tour is packed with a wide variety of activities and cultural experiences. We didn't realize that Sicily had such well preserved and impressive ruins and our guides taught us so much on these visits. Maria Grammatico's lunch and pastry making session was so much fun. The hotels on this trip are really nice! We enjoyed them all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment would have to be our time spent in Taormina, an incredibly beautiful city. We were fortunate enough to be in Taormina during Carnivale and we got to experience their Mardi Gras parade and celebration. Everyone was decked out in costumes and it was so much fun to be caught up in all of their excitement."

Sandra

Boston, MA

Tour: 02/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish the time in Sicily was my finest travel experience. Rainer, our tour guide, could not have been more pleasant, professional, informative and fun. His love for the island showed every step of the way with his language skills invaluable. Sicily holds so much to explore because of the extensive history there, and the itinerary was perfectly designed around that. The culinary stops including a vineyard, and hotels were top notch, and weather spectacular for a Feb trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was probably the drive into Taoramina. The scenery there is spectacular along the route. High cliffs encapsulating ancient ruins, the Mediterranean Sea sparkling, and the hill towns inviting us to explore."

William

University Park, FL

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This island is amazing! I had a super, happy tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We stopped at La Sosta for the best gelato I think I've ever tasted! I am relatively simple to win over. Feed me well, and I am happy. I regret not over-indulging there."

Robert

Valencia, CA

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tommaso, our tour guide, was very good at making us feel welcome in his country. His commentary was lively and knowledgeable. We knew nothing of Sicily before arriving in this wonderful country but we were soon charmed by its wealth of history, culture, and people. Accommodations were very pleasant and always near the center of activities. I especially like the radios with earbuds. I could easily hear our guides even in noisy conditions or when the group got spread out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my, so many interesting places and people. Touring Palazzo Frederico the first night was delight. Meeting the Contessa and viewing her ancient family home set the tone for our entire Sicilian adventure."

Emery

University Park, FL

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was so much more than I expected. The rich history, the melding of cultures, the food; the scenic beauty, you name it - the experience was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one moment. It seemed every day offered something special. Perhaps the view of Mt. Etna from the terrace at breakfast in Taormina would fall in this category. The snow-capped peak was stunning in the morning light."

Jane

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomasso made this trip magnificent by sharing with us the cultural attributes of his native country. What a treat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"(One of our favorite "Wow" moments was having the wine provided thus not having to wait in line thirty minutes at a restaurant to pay for one glass of wine. That made for a truly "Wow" trip!) Also,however, the vistas from coastal Sicily and the archeological sites and ruins were amazing as was the puppet show! Taormina was the most beautiful site of the trip and seeing Mt. Etna and its surrounds was incredible."

Donna

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tommaso shared his love and passion for Sicily .He was well organized, knowledgeable , entertaining and attentive to the needs of the group. All of the UNESCO sites were incredible .Could write 500 characters on all the wonderful ruins and temples, The accommodation was always in the heart of where you want to be and the rooms were comfortable and clean. The food was delicious . This tour had more group lunches than group suppers which was great. It was a really well paced tour .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments. All of the UNESCO sites , ruins and temples . Valley of Temples , the Roman mosaics, the amphitheater in Taormina , and Mount Etna as viewed from our fabulous hotel."

Cathy

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomosso made the trip for us. He was an excellent guide. He brought extras and created experiences we will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having an antipasto plat next to the water in Syracuse."

Laura

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very happy with the itinerary and the special events and experiences that were selected for us. Enjoyed the lunch at Stagnone, the nun cookie cooking lesson and lunch, the archelogical sites, gelato stop, the puppet show, the Roman villa, lunch at the farm house B and B with the view, pizza lesson, antipasto lunch in the market, the volcanologist who spoke. And of course, all the ancient ruins.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"historic tour in Taormina of the Greek theater with the beautiful views and the mosaics in the Roman Villa. Worth the stop."

William

Westminster, CO

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was fantastic. Tommaso was fantastic. The tour group was fantastic. Our bus driver Massimo was great!!! This tour was a great way to see Sicily without the worry of driving on narrow, curvy lanes that had few directions. Expert local guides along the way were also very good. Good choices of hotels and restaurants

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, too many to list."

Betsy

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 02/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves tour! Sicily was more intriguing than we expected and traveling off-season was a great eye-opener for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna. We were able to visit it at an elevation of 6,000 ft and it was a landscape I'd never encountered. It was like being on the moon [INVALID] it was so unique. But the view of Mt. Etna from Taormina is not to be discounted either. The town is charming and we were fortunate to be there during Carnevale which was loads of fun."

Cindy

McKinney, TX

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was super affordable and full of some very unique and fun experiences. We wanted to see Sicily because we understood it was the "true" old Italy. The hotels were very nice and located for the convenience of doing the famous Rick Steve's walking orientations. All our group meals were a great representation of the local food and culture. We had an easy group of travelers that got along well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to name 2 of favorite WOW moments: - Cooking School with Marie Grammatico was so much fun! We were served a tradition Sicilian meal with flowing wine and then we all participated in making cookies - Mrs. Grammatico was hysterical. The cooking school is beautiful. It was a perfect day to relax there after so many tours. - Toaromina - Sitting on the Hotel roof sipping wine with a fabulous view of snow covered Mt. Etna having her sunset "smoke"!"

Karen

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it! It completely exceeded my expectations. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up but that wasn't a problem at all. The other tour participants were all cheerful and fun to be around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As surprising as it sounds, the cookie-making class with Maria was really special--we were invited to a lovely lunch--to eat local cheese, try local wines, and eat the marvelous cookies we made during the class, as well as to take extra cookies with us. Plus Marie was really funny!"

Kim

Klamath Falls, OR

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never taken a group tour before I came in with modest expectations. Every day my expectations were exceeded! Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable and always prepped us well for what we were going to see and do. In addition, we had local tour guides who were enthusiastic and brought the history to life. Every day built upon the last one and by the end of the tour we had a well rounded experience with knowledge of Sicilian culture and history. Sicily is wonderfully fascinating!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Given my personal interests, meeting Maria Grammatico in Erice and tasting all the wonderful Sicilian food and getting lessons on making desserts was phenomenal! Secondly, visiting mount Etna and having a presentation by such a well known volcanologist was really fantastic! Of course, spending my birthday in Taormina was incredible, as was the Greek theater and pizza dinner with tiramisu birthday dessert. ?? Lastly, Mozia was a great "wow!" surprise!"

Timothy

Columbia, MD

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Satisfyingly in many ways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Villa Romana-would have liked an extra 45 min"

Donald

West Yarmouth, MA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I am glad I arrived a day early, as recommended. The group was varied in age (I am pretty sure I was one of the oldest), and the Guide (Donald) was quick to evaluate everybody's capabilities and match the pace of the tour accordingly. The group was very compatible, friendly and helpful throughout. I enjoyed seeing all of the ancient structures from the many cultures that successively conquered the island but most enjoyed the vistas of the sea, hills, mountains and the farmlands. No sprawl!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Mount Etna, snow capped, steam rising out of it's peak."

Ann

Louisville, CO

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had so much fun on this trip! Donald, our tour guide, was wonderful and thoughtful and kept us laughing often. My fellow tour travelers were kind and welcoming. I loved every location we visited in Sicily. I am not likely to visit these places on my own with the exception, possibly, of the Palermo area and the Catania area. Going with a well organized Rick Steves' tour took away all of the uncertainty I was feeling. So maybe I will go on my own some day!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow!" moment was seeing the Roman mosaics at Roman Villa Casele. The artistry of the mosaics was spectacular, and the stories they told revealed a lot about life in those times. I was astonished at how many there were, how beautiful they were and how well they were preserved."

Josefa

Houston, TX

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an amazing experience! The tour guides were excellent and made learning about the different places we visited enjoyable. The anecdotes they shared gave me an insight into the people and places. I now have a better context of the events in history that I learned in college and inspired to read more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was being on Mt. Etna the morning after the snow fell: the view was gorgeous- nature in it's glory!"

Shiloh

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour was my sixth trip to Western Europe and my 2nd Rick Steves tour. I have to say that this tour turned out to be one of my all time favorite vacations thanks to the great group of people and the incredible food/wine/sights that Sicily has to offer!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose from so many fun activities but I loved seeing Agrigento's Valley of the Temples even though it was blustery weather that day. The temples were so picturesque and in great condition considering how old they are."

Weather

Sicily/ Palermo

Palermo Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your online customer account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your customer account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Palermo and out of Catania ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or overnight stay. Note: Flights to and from Sicily often require at least one connection, and in some cases an additional night's stay in Europe.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Sicily guidebook.