• 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

2020

    • Feb 23–Mar 4 (Su–We)
    • $2,295 + Air

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    • Mar 1–Mar 11 (Su–We)
    • $2,295 + Air

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    • Mar 8–Mar 18 (Su–We)
    • $2,295 + Air

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    • Mar 15–Mar 25 (Su–We)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Mar 22–Apr 1 (Su–We)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Mar 24–Apr 3 (Tu–Fr)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Mar 29–Apr 8 (Su–We)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Apr 5–Apr 15 (Su–We)
    • $2,795 + Air

    Opportunity to experience Easter in Sicily

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    • Apr 12–Apr 22 (Su–We)
    • $2,795 + Air

    Opportunity to experience Easter in Sicily

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    • Apr 17–Apr 27 (Fr–Mo)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 19–Apr 29 (Su–We)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 21–May 1 (Tu–Fr)
    • $2,995 + Air

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    • Apr 26–May 6 (Su–We)
    • $2,995 + Air

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    • Apr 28–May 8 (Tu–Fr)
    • $2,995 + Air

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    • May 3–May 13 (Su–We)
    • $2,995 + Air

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    • May 5–May 15 (Tu–Fr)
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    • May 10–May 20 (Su–We)
    • $3,095 + Air

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    • May 17–May 27 (Su–We)
    • $3,095 + Air

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    • May 24–Jun 3 (Su–We)
    • $2,995 + Air

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    • Jun 7–Jun 17 (Su–We)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Sep 6–Sep 16 (Su–We)
    • $2,995 + Air

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    • Sep 20–Sep 30 (Su–We)
    • $3,095 + Air

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    • Sep 27–Oct 7 (Su–We)
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    • Oct 4–Oct 14 (Su–We)
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    • Oct 6–Oct 16 (Tu–Fr)
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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Sicily come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 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

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: 2 nights in Palermo. No bus. Walk: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs.

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. Walk: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

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: 2 nights in Trapani. Bus: 3 hours. Walk: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs.

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. Walk: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs.

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: 1 night near Agrigento. Bus: 3 hours. Walk: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

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. 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: 2 nights in Ortygia. Bus: 4 hours. Walk: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs.

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. Walk: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs.

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: 2 nights in Taormina. Bus: 3 hours. Walk: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs.

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. Walk: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs.

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: 1 night in Catania. Bus: 3 hours. Walk: 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.

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

Emily

Irvine, CA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed my second overall visit to Sicily and third trip with RS Tours. Enjoyed some incredible seafood and saw sights that I will always remember for the rest of my life. 10/10 would return to Sicily in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mosaics at Villa Romano del Casale. Absolutely incredible. Could not believe the size of the venue and the intricacies of the mosaics. Second place would be the entire island of Ortygia, which was simply magical."

Roger

Richland, WA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is an amazing island with many beautiful places to visit. Our tour never ceased to impress me from the hotels we stayed-in, the knowledge of our tour guide Stephanie, the skill our bus driver, the bakery and pizza demonstrations, and the sites we had the privilege of visiting. If nothing else... go for the fabulous food!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around on Mr Etna... an active volcano!"

Jennifer

Richland, WA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As our past Rick Steves' tour experiences have proven, the tour guide (in this case, Stephanie) made the 11 days easy, educational, fun, and most delightful. Sicily is beautiful--we have some of the most breathtaking photos of all our travels. But Stephanie -- she made the tour special. Plus, all the wonderful fellow travelers we met during those 11 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments! Wonderful ancient architecture in cathedrals such as in Monreale, the sweeping vistas from Erice, the Roman mosaics preserved in the Villa Romana del Casale, the majestic Greek Valley of the Temples, a gloriously sunny day on Mt. Etna, and wine tasting/dinner in a Taormina vineyard. And an entertaining pastry demo by a former convent resident. A wow moment has to be the weather--wow, we were grateful!"

Woon-Wah

San Diego, CA

Tour: 11/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary is perfect. Our guide, Virginia, was fantastic - helpful, respectful, informative and humorous; we just love her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but the Valley of Temples was the top for an art and history buff like me."

Ann

Harleysville, PA

Tour: 11/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply wonderful!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Making cookies with Maria and visiting the salt fields in Trapani."

Marion

Mechanicsville, PA

Tour: 11/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monreale cathedral"

Jeff

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 11/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour of Sicily. I was captivated by the ruins of the many ancient conquering peoples. As this was our 4th Rick Steves tour I must admit I've seen enough churches to last, they are everywhere, it's where the art is in Europe. We had a blast though and it seemed we were surprised every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was on our trip up to Mount Etna at 6000 feet I believe. It was a nasty day, rain and sleet, winds about 25 mph, and cold enough to get your attention. I was at Etna after all and I intended to see it. So I pulled my rain coat tight and went out to the small crater not far from the cafe. It was quite an excursion and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. And besides, on the way down we stopped at a great winery on Etna and tasted some wonderful wines to warm me back up."

Valerie

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 11/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Like the tours we've taken previously, this was a fabulous tour. Everything about it was great - RS Guide, events, food, hotels, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow"moment was The Valley of the Temples. Seeing all of the Greek ruins, especially the Temple of Concordia, and learning more about the history was educational and breathtaking. Also, the mosaics we saw at Villa Romana Del Casale were amazing. We only spent a couple of hours seeing those uncovered mosaics, but I could have spent all day there."

Gene

Boston, MA

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Had some initial reservations about the cost of the tour sans airfare, but with the expert local guides, wonderful included dinners and lunches, and Alfio's masterful use of classroom (i.e bus) time, concluded the cost was an exceptional value. Saw and learned things we surely would have missed had we planned trip on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Polpo bollito at Palermo market, buffet and pastry lesson at Marie Grammatico's, wine-tasting on Aetna, Contessa's home tour, Alberto's presentation at the Museo della Sal, Valley of Temples guided walk (exceptional guide), pizza lesson and dinner with Corado in Taormina, boat ride and Caravagigo's "Burial of St Lucy in Ortygia . . . so hard to choose. Tie breaker: Alfio's surprise treat at Catania market!"

Robert

Columbia, MD

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We love traveling with the Rick Steves program. Everything was well planned, the site tours were very well done. The hotel rooms were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. The views were spectacular. With Mt. Etna, the Mediterranean Sea, the Ruins, the beautiful houses were breathtaking."

Ted

Kihei, HI

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Sicily Tour packed in so many great highlights I hardly know where to begin. Monreale Cathedral and the cloister garden capitals, the theater at Segesta, the Temple of Concordia and the Telamon in the Valley of the Temples, the mosaic floors in the Villa Romana del Casale, the Cathedral of Syracuse, wine tasting on the slopes of Mount Etna and the town of Taormina were just a few of my favorites. Plus we had a fantastic guide in Alfio.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 37,000 square feet of mosaic tile in the Villa Romana Del Casale. In our other travels throughout Italy, Greece and Croatia we have seen mosaic tile floors but never to this extent."

Qing

Irvine, CA

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my first Rick Steve Trip and I am really impressed with the agenda, the logistical arrangement, and the personal touch on birthday celebrations. It was really a great experience. No wonder some of the tour members were on their 5th or even 9th trip. This surely won't be my last Rick Steve trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Birthday celebrations during the trip!"

Patricia

Dyer, IN

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was not my first tour with Rick's tours so I was not surprised that the tour went smoothly, was expertly led, and the people on the tour were very like-minded and eager to learn and be adventurous. I was amazed at the beauty of Sicily. I admit, I had low expectations and was just going to see the country my grandparents came from. But from the first glimpse of the mountains from the plane, I knew this was going to be a special trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding our bus from Trapani to Agrigento I saw a road sign with the name of my grandparents' town. I looked around at the beautiful scenery and I felt sad that they had to leave such beauty. I also was completely unaware of Sicily's part in WWII. That whole story was amazing. I wish my father was alive so I could talk to him about it."

Vickie

Kihei, HI

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th Rick Steves tour and, as always, coordinated to perfection. Our guide, Alfio, had everything well planned out from the Welome Meeting to the final dinner. The sites throughout Sicily were amazing and being able to tap into Alfio's knowledge and passion for his country was truly outstanding. The history of Sicily from the ancient ruins to the effects of WW II was certainly a learning experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We have done a lot of European travel and have seen some beautiful ancient sites but the Villa Romana del Casale was truly a WOW moment for me. I have never seen such well preserved mosaics. They were truly breathtaking. I could have spent hours just marveling at this beautiful site."

Jo

Johns Island, SC

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was wonderful with lots of variety -- the history was remarkable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing Mt Etna from the Greek/Roman theatre in Taormina."

David

Johns Island, SC

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was as good as previous tours although I'd prefer having a little smaller group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having gelato every day and trying pistachio gelato for the first time."

Barbara

Uniontown, OH

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's Tour and I was not disappointed. We had a great group of 28 people. Just the right size. I had been on one with 40+ people and the smaller size allowed us to get to know everyone. The tour was the right length although it was still hard to leave. Our guide Alfio was terrific; very knowledgeable, friendly, funny and patient. I will definitely consider another tour. The only apprehension I had was getting to the first hotel on my own but it was not bad.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Taormina. It was so breathtaking and with a view of Mt. Etna. The Greek ruins at Agrigento were also incredible."

Robert

Danville, CA

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the Sicily Tour from start to finish!! The group was easy to travel with and very social. Alfio was our guide and his knowledge, passion for Sicily, and humor throughout the tour made it very memorable. We expected the food and wine to be amazing and it was above our expectations. The hotels were well located and the provided lunches exceptional. The visits to the Palazzo Ferderico, the Trapani salt flat and the cannoli pastry lesson in Erice were great. Sicilian Pizza !!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alfio leading the "three tenors" in the Theater near Segesta."

Sam

North Canton, OH

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour. As with our previous tours, this tour was well planned and well executed. The tour members were very friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I most enjoyed our time in Taormina, but seeing Mount Etna was my favorite part of the tour."

Kelly

Denton, TX

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded my expectations, especially the level of planning, the quality of the guide, local guides, guest speakers, the activities and sights, and the wonderful meals. We could not have planned all of these details ourselves. Before the tour, my husband was not so sure about the expense, but as we experienced the sights, the meals, and the hassle-free transportation, we both knew we had made a smart decision in booking with Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my most beautiful moments was on the restaurant balcony of our Taormina hotel. To my right, Mt. Etna sputtered a tiny plume of gray, straight ahead the cerulean blue ocean sparkled, lovely red and pink tropical flowers peeked around every corner, and the storybook, white stone town of Taormina climbed from below up the hilltop. Even better, I was with my husband, a lively and very friendly group of fellow travelers, and the most warm and interesting tour guide, Alfio!"

Catherine

Salem, OR

Tour: 11/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. We went to places and did things I would never have thought to do on my own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "Wow" moments! My favorite place was Taurmina, the views, the town. It was a nice mix of old and new. I also loved the talk by the Volcanologist, which was so interesting - who knew that would be good?!"

Jenny

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 11/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very enjoyable. A wonderful guide, a great group of people, fascinating history and culture. Very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the mosaics at the roman villa."

Kay

Canfield, OH

Tour: 11/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of of people and Donald was a wonderful guide. Donald was informative, shared interesting and humorous stories about the places we were seeing, and provided us with excellent suggestions for eating and free time on our own. The weather was bad the day we were supposed to visit Mt. Etna, so Donald rearranged things so that we saw the WW II museum in Catania instead of going to the volcano and then we went to Mt. Etna on the day set for the museum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cannot decide between the overwhelmingly beautiful mosaics at the Monreale Palace near Palermo, the feast provided by Maria and her cookie-making demonstration in Erice, and the fantastic views from the Greek-Roman Theater in Taormina. All these experiences were quite different, but all were amazing!"

Ingrid

Kingston, WA

Tour: 11/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the entire tour. Every day was an adventure. This was my first tour of any kind and it exceeded my expectations in every way. We had fun, relaxed and just really immersed ourselves in the history, food and culture of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at Maria Grammatica's home. The cooking lesson was fabulous. Food was incredible. Delightful staff! A wonderful day touring Erice and then riding the cable cars down into town."

Frank

Columbia, TN

Tour: 11/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a pleasing mix of ancient ruins, churches, delicious cuisine, educational experiences and natural beauty. The pace was about right. Our guide really took good care of us. I especially appreciated his flexibility in managing our schedule to allow us to visit Mt. Etna when the weather was good. I would recommend this tour and this guide to almost anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monreale Cathedral was very impressive and was my favorite tour. I also enjoyed walking on the craters on Mt. Etna. Another favorite was thetour of the castle in Palermo with the countess. She was a very gracious hostess."

Robert

Kingston, WA

Tour: 11/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Donald was great. Facilities great guests great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at Maria garammatica"

Jackie

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on four Rick Steves tours, all of which were great. This one exceeded any possible expectations and was fabulous, wonderful, marvelous, fun, fantastic! Every day had a "wow" that was worthy of being the highlight of the entire trip. Being late in the season, we virtually had many sights to ourselves and that was great. Rainer was outstanding in every possible way. I loved, loved, loved, this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The palace and the Contessa, Eurice and Maria, The Greek temples, the Villa Romana del Casale and the mosaics, the vulcanologists, even the puppet show. If I had to choose only one, it would be the mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale. Maybe my real "wow" was how this tour over delivered every single day."

Donna

Queen Creek, AZ

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily came alive through its history, culture, food and people. Rainer was an excellent tour guide. Each city and region was thoroughly understood through Rainer, city guides,and field trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Salt harvesting...had no idea what to expect and found it extremely interesting. Also Syracuse, the island of Ortygia was so historic and charming."

Jane

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was incredibly "WOWED" on this tour of Sicily. Having traveled to the Italian mainland several times, I now consider Sicily to be the hidden gem that the mainland doesn't want anyone to know about. Sicily's beauty is breath taking. The mix of cultures over the centuries provide a very unique travel experience, - be it food, art, lifestyle, nature, or architecture. Rainer, was an outstanding Guide. Top notch and a true professional in every way. Lauren was great too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ancient, well preserved - Churches, Temples, Mosaics was the "MINOR WOW" for me. Seeing the Amphitheaters and Mt. Etna was the "MAJOR WOW". Seeing the Salt Flats and sea salt production was fascinating as well."

Sylvia

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. The bookings of hotels, local guides and restaurants went very smoothly. Travel companions were great. There were no "high maintenance" individuals as I usually encounter on other trips. We all got along well and helped each other out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say that the Cathedral in Ortygia summarized our history lesson perfectly. It started out as a Greek Doric temple to Athena, then a Roman Temple to Minerva, a Byzantine Basilica, an Arab Mosque, a Norman fortress/church and finally a Catholic Cathedral. All the architectural elements can still be identified. At night, a light projection on the east side of the cathedral illumines the Greek columns, and contrasts them from the dark filled-in walls."

Helberg

Honeoye, NY

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot say enough about this tour. We were able to see all the available sites of high interest. There were twl that we visited on our own in advance of the trip (Ragusa, Monica,) but these were not easily accessible to bus travel. At each stop the tour followed a predictable pattern: check in, orientation tot he area, major tour event, downtime. The group we were in was exceptional and we all got along. The knowledge of the local guides was most impressive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taromoina Mount Etna"

Barbara

Wilmette, IL

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. As always, Rick Steves's guides were excellent. The food and choice of tourist attractions were varied and all very interesting. The buddy system is brilliant. It keeps us in check and helps forms a more cohesive group. Also the group was very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list. Think the tour of the World War museum in Catania was extremely informative. The Roman Villa was amazing. Also the mixtures of different cultures that formed present day Sicily gave me a better understanding of countries around the Mediterranean Sea."

Barbara

Maple Grove, MN

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

What I really enjoyed about the tour was the size of the group. How Rainer took our pictures at the beginning of the tour with our names on them so that we could remember everyone's name. Only suggestion would be to put where they lived. I liked that we were able to rotate in the bus and many have times have our seat to ourselves. I have to give a big "Thank You" to our bus driver who was an excellent driver, and he kept his bus very clean. He also had a big smile every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "Wow" moments, but I think my favorite was Mt Etna, on a beautiful clear sunny day. We were able to get to our hotel in time to see the sun setting behind Mt Etna also. I loved the towns of Taormina, and Syracuse because we were so close to the sea."

Lisa

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect blend of history, culture, walking, climbing, and free time. And the FOOD was almost center stage. I have been referring to this as my gastronomic tour of Italy. Was a whirlwind tour through history, and I am not a history buff so essentially I learned so very much. Already starting to plan my next trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so very many but the one that took me most by surprise was the WWII museum in Catania. I went in feeling a bit indifferent about it but left emotionally moved. Rainer's narration was deliberate, powerful, and emotionally impactful. My father was a WWII veteran, he fought in Europe, he kept most of his stories to himself, didn't feel "the girls" needed to hear his stories. Walking through that museum I could see his face in almost every GI picture. What a gift. Now, tears again."

Dona

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Virginia, did a great job leading us as well as explaining a variety of aspects of life in Sicily. She was always up beat and available if needed. Our group, 28, was a good group with the majority being married couples, a rareity in travel. The hotels were well located, up dated rooms, clean and excellent desk people. Often our free time in local areas was during siesta time during which shops were closed so we couldn't see much. Would prefer to be able to shop where locals shop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ancient Agrigento, hands down. Great guide, Michael, and interesting displays of how the buildings may have been built."

Kathy

Davidson, NC

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we were very pleased with it. It was very nice to have some group tours, but time to explore on our own. We were pleased with our fellow travelers and the Rick Steves philosophy seemed to weed out annoying people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed the Etna winery lunch. The food was outstanding and we enjoyed talking to the owner. The Monreal cathedral was amazing."

Margaret

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we had a wonderful experience! Sicily is lovely and has such interesting history, beautiful scenery and delicious food! Our tour guide, Virginia, was awesome! She is knowledgeable, organized, thoughtful, and helpful. Our accommodations were great, the bus was comfortable, and the sights that we visited were interesting and the local guides were top notch. The group of travelers got along famously, and the group meals and events were great fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the tour of the ¨Valley of the Temples¨ and museum in Agrigento. What a fabulous spot, and the hotel there was so beautiful!"

Vicki

Ames, IA

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, friendly bus driver. There was a lot of space to spread out on the bus, which was very clean. The accommodations were very diverse, clean, good breakfasts, friendly desk staff. Local guides greatly enhanced our experience & understanding. I loved the meals on the farm and at Benanti.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prior to the tour, I spent every day practicing our song, "I Only Have Eyes for You," as I walked across campus at work. When we got to the theater at Segesta, we were the only people there for the first 5 minutes! I marched right down to the stage and sang our song to my husband. He was surprised and a little tearful. (I was a nervous wreck.) It was awesome."

Mark

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with organized group travel. I have always enjoyed Rick's guides as travel companions. I was pleasantly surprised with the experience. The group was eclectic, happy, and considerate of each other. The balance of group activities and free time was ideal. Travel by bus was never onerous, our driver Giuseppe a true professional. I attribute most of the success to our guide Virginia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Norman Castle in Montreal, near Palermo"

Thomas

Folly Beach, OR

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a fairly new itinerary. I thought it was very well chosen. As Goethe said, "To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two: the Valley of the Temples (and museum), and Monreale."

Susan

Wausau, WI

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything. A perfect country to take a Rick Steve's tour. We have traveled many times on our own using the Rick Steve's books to guide us with our travels. My husband would rather not drive so he can enjoy the travel time. Sicily was definitely a country where we were able to enjoy the time on the bus and also to be able to visit and learn about what this fascinating Island had to offer us to see and learn about."

Kathleen

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour though we've often used Ricks's tour books on our previous European vacations. The words I would use to describe the overall experience are: awesome, fun, stress-free,active, interactive, educational and delightful. We'd read some books about Sicily before we departed the US and got to Palermo 2 days early to be over jet lag. I'm sure this helped us to fully enjoy the entire tour. Virginia our tour guide was delightful and supremely organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gosh, first I thought it touring Monreale, then I thought it was the day in Agrigento touring the Greek ruins followed by staying at the Bagio della Luna overlooking those ruins. Then the next day I thought the highlight was seeing the Roman Mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale until I got to Taormina and explored that town and could see active Mt. Etna from our lovely hotel. Finally I was entirely wowed by the going away luncheon and wine tasting at the Bananti vineyard."

Connie

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour! Virginia, our guide, was excellent. Fun, energetic, and knowledgeable. There was a good mix of activities from food and wine, to the many layers of history, to the current state of volcanic activity on Mount Etna. I love that each hotel is different, with its own vibe, comfortable and centrally located, most close to the water or with a view.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museum and Greek temple at Agrigento, views from the top of the amphitheater at Taormina."

Mary

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of lifetime for my husband, whose grandparents all came from Messina. It was wonderful to experience the entire island; each stop on our itinerary held a spectacular sight, delicious food, or enlightening encounter (sometimes all in the same place!) Our tour companions were all congenial and fun to spend time with. Best of all was our guide Virginia, who is an absolute delight. Her knowledge, patience and sense of humor made this our best tour yet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many smaller "wow" moments. Among them were visiting the contessa at Palazzo Federico, the beauty of the cathedral at Monreale, the view of the Valley of the Temples from our agriturismo hotel in Agrigento in the early morning light, and many small episodes of people watching in cafes along the way."

Suzanne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well-planned itinerary, with the sights and activities getting better day by day. Appreciated the general congeniality of the tour members!

David

High Point, NC

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The buffet lunch with all the Sicilian food and wines."

Candace

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought that Sicily was great, but I'm sorry there was not more time spent in Palermo since it is there is such a lot to see there. I know that I could have arrived a few days earlier, but I prefer to have a guide to the city and that is why I sign up for the Rick Steves tours because the guides are so fabulous. So I think a few more days added on to the tour would be a good idea.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the visit to the Palatine Chapel was my favorite moment."

Ann

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled to Italy quite a bit, but were told we "had" to do Sicily, so we decided instead of researching the whole island ourselves, to let Rick Steves do it for us! This was our first Rick Steves tour and it was very special, indeed. All of the villages and towns we visited were charming, all of the hotels where we stayed were great, and Jamie, our guide, was fabulous. Jamie was quite knowledgeable of the area, its history, and as an added bonus, the food and the wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The contessa in Palermo, who strikes you as an "everyday" regular teacher/mother living in a palace, ends our tour of her house with some typical appetizers and wine before belting out an operatic song. It was just amazing!"

Catherine

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and hopefully will not be the last. It was OUTSTANDING!!!! I've told everybody about the rules", including "no whining,be on time, find your buddy, and be able to carry your bags" as making the tour efficient, effective and targeting the right kind of people: curious, flexible, open, interesting, friendly. Then the places selected, the knowledge imparted, the structure of the tour were also outstanding. I have traveled widely for work and pleasure and I have

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many!!! The palazzo in Palermo, the hotel/views in Trapani, the darling town of Ortygia, the Greek ruins in Agrigento, the Roman villa and its mosaics (!), the history of Siracusa (Archimedes and Pericles!), the rooftop terrace in Taormina (!). And the food/wine along the way!"

Mark

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beat expectations. Had thought Sicily couldn't engage me for so many days. I was very wrong. Jamie was a terrific, knowledgeable guide (and after dinner debater).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Noting all the "no mafia" symbols in Palermo."

John

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS trip and it was great; we will definitely book another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What made the trip great is that there were so many great experiences and memories."

Donna

West Redding, CT

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves Tour and it truly exceeded my expectations. The knowledge of all the guides was so AMAZING! Our main guide was Jamie who was INCREDIBLE- all the information that he shared - how does one person remember all the names, dates, myths; and make it so interesting and fun? We were glued to his words. The hotels, meals, driver, sites chosen - everything wonderful. Will definitely be planning another Rick Steves Tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Syracuse Cattedrale and Villa Romana del Casale Mosaics. Ceto dei Naviganti - Processione dei Misteri - Trapani statues Temples"

Judith

High Point, NC

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well planned, entertaining, and very informative. The logistics (buses, taxis, hotels, meals, etc) were handled professionally. We enjoyed our guide, Jamie, very much. Sicily itself was gorgeous and loaded with fascinating Greek and other temples and ruins.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The buffet lunch at Maria Grammatico's hilltop restaurant was the highlight of the trip, to me. This was absolutely the best meal we had, with everything fresh and beautifully prepared, and each dish native to Sicily. My second favorite moment, since you asked, was starting the day by sitting on the balcony of the hotel in Taormini, drinking coffee and watching Mount Etna slowly spew a bit of ash into the air."

Ed

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Brilliantly led by the knowledgable, well-organized and entertaining Jamie, we learned a tremendous amount about Sicily and visited places we would never have thought to see in our 11 days. The food was great, the hotels well-located and, with rare exception, quite lovely. We had plenty of "free" time to create our own side excursions and explore places not on the main tour. It exceeded our expectations on all fronts. Our first Rick Steves Tour, it will likely not be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman mosaic-laden hunting lodge was the biggest WOW for me. A stunning setting for brilliant mosaics on an unimaginable scale. Add in the centuries since it was created and it just boggles the mind."

Judi

Melbourne, VIC

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful time, largely because of Jamie'a terrific guiding. I've worked with groups for 40 years and I was impressed by his skill as a group leader. He is such a robust character but I also noted his attention to detail and to the needs of the group. It also was a plus that he loves good food and wine ... we all benefitted from his knowledge of the best local eateries. And he can't help being a Pom, we Aussies didn't hold that against him ... much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I went to Sicily in 1986 when only a small section of the mosaics in Villa Romana had been uncovered. It was a thrill to see the full splendour of the Villa and how well they are presented. And I loved the pizza making session, the evening with the Contessa"

Linda

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another incredible Rick Steves tour for us; our 9th! It was an amazing tour of Sicily; so many historical sights to learn about and visit! Our guide Karin was so incredible! Not only was she extremely knowledgeable about our destinations, but she was so down to earth, so warm and friendly. She kept everything running so smoothly the entire tour. She was the perfect tour guide for our friendly group of 28 to tour Sicily!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was making cannolis and cookies with Sister Gramatica! Followed by an incredible Sicilian lunch prepared for all of us. Although the temples were amazing!"

Laura

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was amazing! Very informative and fun. Learned about history, culture, people and sites in cities. Saw beautiful scenery along the way! Karin made the bus rides fun with stories from ancient times and music. She also gave us the opportunity to get to know the other members of our group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first evening when we got to our meeting place on the roof of our first hotel, the view was such a surprise. We could see much of the city of Palermo! The sunset was shortly after this and again it was gorgeous!"

Diana

Fredericksburg, TX

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 8th Rick Steves Tour over a 20 year period. During this time I've noticed the hotels have improved; they have become more upscale.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to have to say I was most impressed with the Villa Romana del Casale, and its mosaics."

Stephen

Queen Creek, AZ

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's no wonder that this is one of Rick Steves top Tours. From the geography and ancient ruins to the quaint little villages, this is truly an experience you won't want to miss! This is our third Rick Steve's tour and I couldn't of been more pleased with the tour guide, the other people on the tour with us, and the daily activities! If you've been to Italy before you'll be pleasantly surprised as this is a totally unique experience. I highly recommend this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" Moment was the Orthodox portrayal of Christ in the cathedral in Monreale! To think this was made with tiny tiles in a little gold fleck was truly remarkable!"

Thomas Gregory

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jane and I saw so much more than we have when we are on our own. We enjoyed the company of the other guests , made some new friends. Our guide Karen was Great and really helped us understand the Sicilian Culture and Life Style. Our tour was put together very well , our Bus Driver was Super. Thanks, Greg

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a wow, just a good time."

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Etna experience was great with the plumes and walk/hike in the park. We were lucky with the weather. Lunch at the nearby shelter was overrated but I don't know what it could be replaced by. A catered picnic?"

Albert

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1. Karin was the best RS guide we ever had. I like that the fact that she lived in the United States, and has lived in Italy for over 20 years. She is a wealth of knowledge. I wish I could have spent more time with her. 2. Every day was a wow experience. I loved the Greek ruins.

John

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide was super, open, engaging, knowledgeable. Most of the hotels had spectacular terraces and views. Transport was excellent as was the driver Guisseppi. Palermo and Catania were gritty as advertised. Initial experience on arrival "what are we in for" but then the hotel terrace was like "WOW" at sunset. Sicily delivered spectacular vistas and food. Balance between incredibly old sites and contemporary culture was reasonable. Sicily history spanned almost all of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Monreale Cathedral with Norman, Moor heritage and beauty confirmed the tour was going to be special and Sicily had some very cool stuff. Hotel terrace view in Tamorina of coast and Mt. Etna was a close second."

John

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In a nutshell, the tour started out great and simply got better each day. Our guide, Karin, went above and beyond anything we could reasonably have expected to make sure that everyone on the tour had the best time possible. As far as I am concerned, Karin set a standard that might be hard for other guides to match. The bus was clean and comfortable, and our drivers, Guiseppe and Gaitano, were warm and friendly, not to mention terrific drivers. All in all, a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time with Maria Grammatico. She was so warm and gracious, and by the time our cooking demonstration was over I wanted to adopt her and bring her home to Sacramento. We saw so many wonderful things, but for me it is always the people you meet that provide the greatest memories. Long after I am done talking about the frescoes or temples, I will remember fondly Maria's smile and personality."

Donna

Queen Creek, AZ

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being my 3rd tour, I was extremely very happy with everything, especially our tour guide, Karin! She went above and beyond! Very knowledgeable, of course. But also a great person! It was a pleasure meeting her and everyone else on our tour! My husband and I were a little nervous because there were a lot of people from Washington state! Turns out we made friends! We thought they would be clicky, but they were not at all. We have since kept in contact. All arrangements were spot on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not a museum person, but for me I really enjoy going into churches! Their history for me is WOW ! ! Cooking classes are always a lot of fun! Meeting people is always a plus!"

Robert

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized and comprehensive. Meals were wonderful. Some of the hotel stays were somewhat underwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a tie between the puppet show and the visit to the salt harvesting site; both were incredible experiences."

Cindy

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Karin, our guide was a gem. So knowledgeable and articulate. Her way of conveying all the information she wanted us to have was wonderful. It was very much a dialogue rather than a lecture. She has the perfect personality to make an excellent guide. The places we went and stayed were great, with the exception of the hotel in Catania. The staff was lovely but the accommodations were not great. It's the only place we stayed I would not revisit or recommend to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to hike in Mt. Etna. Not like any experience I've had on a RS tour. It was amazing and the weather even cooperated. Seeing the lava flows and hiking all over them was a treat!!"

Larry

Fredericksburg, TX

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed almost every moment of the tour. I didn't realize the breadth of cultural influences across the island, from the Greeks to the Phoenicians, the Moors, Romans, Normans, etc. The locations we visited really brought that to life. The people and the food was amazing. My only regret was I missed the entire World Series. Bad timing on my part, I guess. Go Astros!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Duomo di Siracusa really impressed me. It's hard to imagine that parts of it date to 600 BC and the location has been a house of worship for 2600 years."

Michael

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great mixture of varied experiences. The city guides were excellent, and the main guide, Karin, was wonderful. She was willing to change the schedule to get better weather when we were doing outdoors things, and she made the time on the bus go by quickly by reading stories of the myths that matched the places we were to visit, playing Italian music, telling us about life in Italy, and going over what we heard in various visits. She also seems like a genuinely good person.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seriously, it was the way Giuseppe drove the big bus around curvy mountain roads. Other than that, it would be the various vistas seen from the tops of mountains and the beautiful sea views."

Pamela

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 10/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

OMG! The trip was fantastic. They guides were incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Mt Etna! The time of year was perfect - leaves turning and the temperature was perfect!"

Donald

St Stephen, NB

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was a great and wonderful surprise after many trips to Italy. First RS tour and a great experience I would recommend. One sees and understands far more on a tour vs individual travel. Tour guide alone worth the difference.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Syracuse and Mount Eta were the favourites."

John

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie always had the requisite expertise to handle both the routine and the exceptions of travel. Storms, for example, played hob with two of the sites, but we had acceptable substitutes. Local guides, most listed in the Sicily book, were uniquely qualified to educate us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An event that may have been spontaneous was a stop near the farm market in Nicolosi's square. It may have been for gellato (we had a lot of those, and the welcome toilettes) but the raptor exhibit, glorious produce, and the cheese-making were a genuine slice of the fertile Etna slopes."

Megan

Seal Beach, CA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great itinerary! Loved all the places we visited. It was fast paced. I didn't mind the walking involved but the moving so frequently. It would have been nice to stay 3 nights in one of the charming cities (Taurmino?) so there would be a day of just relaxing and enjoying the fabulous place that we were in. The local guides were outstanding! I enjoy learning about the history of where I am traveling. In Sicily, I really got a great lesson in Ancient History.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Valley of the Temples. It was amazing to be in a place where 2500 years ago people lived and built monuments to their gods. The engineering was incredible! I finally realized why the new occupants of an area would just take stones from the previous rulers - so much easier! And cheaper and faster! Our loss but it finally made sense!"

Karen

St Stephen, NB

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All good .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ortigia ."

Charles

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

From day 1 this tour was jam-packed with activities. Everyday, it seemed, we visited a historic church (or churches), ancient Greek or Roman theater or temple, or the site of an ancient Greek or Carthaginian (?) settlement. If we not were visiting an historic site, we were experiencing a variety of cultural events: a contessa's view of living in a splendid home in Palermo, a puppet show, a wine tasting, a cooking demonstration, a talk about Mt. Etna, and sampling fresh local foods and wines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was most impressed by the temple and theater in the Segesta area. On a clear day, the views of the countryside from these sites were also stunning. The Greek theater at Taormina was also impressive."

Robert

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 10/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide was Nina . She was superb . Timing / hotels / activities all good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many wow moments every day"

Martin

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding guide (Nina). Very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and an excellent leader. Terrific hotels and excellent transportation. Very good local guides and special visits. All arrangements and connections worked perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one special moment, rather the whole trip was thoroughly enjoyable."

Bonnie

Monkton, MD

Tour: 10/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Most appreciated were the variety of activities, the walking/learning tours, our delightful guide, the friendliness of the locals, the chance to practice my newly learned Italian, the fabulous food, the restoration of antiquities, the volcano, and the scenic places on the water.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about salt production, volcanoes, and baking with Maria."

Susan

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our very first Rick Steve's tour couldn't have been better! Our guide, our hotels, our transportation, places visited, were all excellent!

Laura

Lakemont, GA

Tour: 10/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed learning and experiencing Sicily in Rick Steves' fashion. Enjoyed all the cities and sights (other than Catania) along with the special experiences. **The Contessa visit @ Palazzo Federico was interesting but should be shortened - dragged on a bit and everyone was hungry and/or tired since this was our first day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several - Villa Romana del Casale, Cathedral @ Monreale, Valley of the Temples"

Carla

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first RST and I joined a friend who had been on several. I knew there would be 6-8 miles walking on uneven paths. I was surprised by the 15 minute lectures that we had to stand for every mile or so. While I should have known that these tours are educational, I was a bit overwhelmed by the names and dates that our knowledgeable guide shared with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many parts that I truly enjoyed that I would not have experienced on my own. I especially enjoyed the cooking demos and meeting the locals such as baking cookies with Maria and making couscous and busiate pasta with another chef. I really enjoyed the contessa at Palazzo Federico. I wish we could've had more time in Taormina to explore more of the levels and take the cable car to the beach."

Ellen

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this trip and learned so much ancient history

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't narrow it down to just one wow, there were many for me. The mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale and Monreale, the Valley of the Temples, cooking with Maria, the lunch at the Contessa's farm, Ortigia, Taormina and its ancient theater. I could go on and on...Mt Etna..."

Peggy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunrise and sunset on our hotel's terrace in Taormina to watch the plumes from Mount Etna!"

Deborah

Edinboro, PA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was @ our 8th RS tour so have come to expect a certain rhythm and flow. However we are a bit older than our 1st tour so a little worried as to whether we could handle a tour that billed itself as most strenuous. We ventured on because we really wanted to experience Sicily, and in a way that we have come to rely on the quality of RS tours. We were not disappointed in any of our experiences, just maybe in trying to "squeeze" a little too much in for these older persons.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No particular "wow" moment, but everyday offered something unique. Loved the luncheon and atmosphere at the farm of the Contessa, Mt. Etna was amazing, ALL of the various temples, churches & ruins were inspiring, winery visit and luncheon were great, WW II museum very interesting, boat ride. Character limit constrains me!"

Carol

Merced, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman villa, Ortigia fish market with crazy wild market owner, trip to flanks of Mr. Etna with volcanologist, salt pans tour & museum, WWII museum, all boat rides, all ruins, gelato Alfio bought us one night!"

Anne

Crozet, VA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is packed with the wonders of Sicily, an island that I knew nothing about. Sicily is a gloriously beautiful place, rich in cultural diversity in its history, food, architecture, archaeological sites, and people. The people are welcoming and very vibrant in their approach to life. I strongly recommend that people read about the history of Sicily in advance, as some knowledge will enhance your experience. I recommend "Sicily" Island at the Crossroads of History," by Julian Norwich.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, so it is hard to pick one. If I pick just one, I think it would be sitting on the rooftop terrace of the hotel in Taormina, gazing out at the magnificent vistas of sea and mountain and seeing Mt. Etna belching smoke and ash against a rosy pink sunset sky. Goosebumps. Also wow was the breadth and depth of knowledge of our guide, Alfio!"

Darlene

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this is our third Rick Steves' Tour, we had certain expectations that were met satisfactorily. Alfio was a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. We were told that this was the most rigorous of Rick's tours so we brought the correct shoes and walking apparel and while there is a lot of walking in this tour we thought that Greece was more strenuous. There was still the schlepping of your luggage through the towns that is my least favorite aspect of the Rick Steves' tours but the Hotels

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love mosaics and for me the highlight was the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale. These were the most extensive and well preserved mosaics that I have ever seen in one place."

Peter

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overview tour of Sicily. Good mix of larger cities and smaller towns. Guide was fabulous - very informative and witty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Didn't expect Mt. Etna to be so dramatic."

Ben

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

BOS was an excellent tour. The number of sights and experiences we experienced in 10 days made for a great value. We were in 10 locations, each one a treat in my opinion. The food was interesting and delicious--so much so that a number of us skipped dinners or opted for super light ones because of the feast we had experienced at one of our locations. Our tour leader, Alfio, was superb. He was insightful, often delivering his info with a fine, dry wit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay at Trapani on the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, along with a side visit to the ancient island of Mozia and a salt farm, was informative and gorgeous. Taormina was also amazing, nestled high above its surroundings, with a town rich in history and easy for exploration. Our all-seafood dinner in Agrigento at Trattoria Caico was spectacular. Our pastry lesson in Erice was great fun with participation opportunities for many of us."

Mark

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was beautiful, gritty, historic, friendly and overall a wonderful experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An unexpected trip to a new Art District in Catania and a chance to meet and talk to a number of artists that our guide Alfio arranged on our last day. It was a wonderful surprise for this art lover."

Vicki

Kaplan, LA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd Rick Steve's Tour and was by far my favorite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments to have a favorite! The entire tour was amazing!"

Ann

El Granada, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of our favorite Rick Steves tours. The itinerary is so well thought through. We were shown the many different layers of Sicily's history and people. And our guide? Perfection!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one??? This is difficult! Because the Carthaginians were virtually obliterated by the Romans, visiting Mozia (one of the few places in the world with ruins of this ancient culture) was mind-boggling."

James

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the tour, country, companions and loved Virginia our excellent guide. Mostly our hotels wee nicely located and adequate to more than adequate for our needs. Several had spectacular rooftop view for drinks or dinner , much appreciated. We learned tons about the history and contemporary status of Sicily chichis interesting and again appreciated

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were starstruck by the tiny village of Ortygia,several, including us , talked of spending more time there. also Taormina was a delight..Add to that the Cathedral in Monreale."

Josephine

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The fascinating places we visited, the wonderful tour director and local guides, the delicious food, the comfortable well appointed hotels, the really nice people in our tour group, all made for a truly memorable time I will always cherish. I didn't feel like a tourist but an awestruck traveler who was so grateful to have had this experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday I woke up and saw the beauty and history that surrounded me was a wow moment!"

Brian

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A delightful trip around the isle of Sicily. Our tour guide shepherded our group from one fascinating location to the next. We enjoyed lots of local food and wine along with many outstanding sites and experiences. Our guide was outstanding. She was intelligent, witty, fun and full of energy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Etna. The presentation of the volcanologist prior to visiting the volcano made the trip up Etna a very worthwhile experience."

Susan

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is beautiful! Our tour guide helped make it even better. I really enjoyed all of the information that the site guides provided - they were all great. Loved the food in general and the group dinners/lunches were a lot of fun and well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"favorite!!! I had a favorite for each day!! But if I could go back today it would be to the Villa Romana del Casale. To be in a "home" that was used for daily life; to see the wonderful mosaics in the children's room - that was pretty emotional for me."

Patricia

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A very good tour with a variety of activities, sites, and city cultures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The puppet show in Siracusa."

Kathleen

Surrey, BC

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This lived up to the usual high standards for a Rick Steves tour, especially the "local flavour" visits. I appreciated the switch in itinerary when we visited Monreale, going in the morning before it was closed for a wedding and visiting Ballaro market later.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favourite out of the variety of experiences, but I have to admit that watching Mt Etna from the breakfast terrace of our hotel in Taormina might have been the one for me!"

Dennis

Thornton, PA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Whoever put the trip together is amazing the bus was fabulous the bus driver was fabulous all the tour guides were fabulous the food was unbelievable hotels were great but most of all our tour guide Virginia was absolutely fabulous couldn't of asked for a better tour guide she was very very nice very informative very direct on what she wanted I will absolutely do another Rick Steve's tour just not sure when or where.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Virginia !"

Rand

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia, our tour guide, was exceptional. She was very informative and organized. She was effective in keeping us on time and on task. The bus was new, clean and comfortable.The driver was skilled and friendly. The tour members were diverse, friendly, and compatible. There was a good balance between scheduled and free time. The included meals were very good, well presented and in interesting and varied locations. The local guides were very knowledgeable and informative. Hotels were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible! Every day had at least one: The markets. The Sicilian puppets,their history and performance art. The Montreale cathedral. The tour of the only existing Phoenician city ruins. Hand harvesting at the Trapani salt flats. Many large Greek temple ruins. The massive well preserved Roman villa ruins. The active eruption of Mt Etna. The volcanologist's talk about the volcano's past and present. The museum of the WWII invasion of Sicily. The many ruins of Roman arenas seating 15,000 or more."

Richard

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It definitely met my expectations. I was expecting a tour packed with Greek and Roman history and was not disappointed. I loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The puppet show in Syracusa was a huge hit. I was expecting something a little childish and maybe somewhat cheesy but it turned out to be fantasticly fun. It's little surprises like this that are always the most memorable moments on tour. I'm really glad we got to see it."

Debra

Delmar, NY

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour and I was most impressed by the emphasis on cultural experiences. There was less "hand holding" than with other tour providers and all the fellow travelers seemed to understand and embrace this. Our guide, Virginia, was outstanding. Her knowledge and enthusiasm made everyday fun with unexpected surprises along the way. I am of Sicilian heritage and am glad I chose Rick Steves to explore an island I've long wanted to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food was 5 star! Every included was superb."

Larry

Des Plaines, IL

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Site experts at the archeological were fantastic and felt the guides were speaking just to me. Good balance of free time VS group time. Lunch and diners were great since they reflected local cuisine and crops. Bus driver great, bus was always clean. Efficient, providing adequate time at the sites, felt rushed at the Roman Mosaics. Wish there were power outlets on the bus for recharging phones The Museum of WW2 was a lot better than expected. The tombstone at the end was humbling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rick Steve tour item: 1Valley of the Temples, with the guide explaining the items in museum as well as the outside temples. 2Maria Grammatico lunch followed by cooking demo. Virginia's qualified suggestion: I really enjoyed the Italian Opera House in seductive Taormina. It brought local talent to the stage and it was great to see and listen to these stars. Since the venue changes, it may be a hit or miss, and if you are an opera aficionado, then you may not enjoy the performances."

Richard

Langley, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a wonderful mix of experiences including historical sites, current events, foods, and loads of information, both interesting and intimate about Sicily. My own joys were focused on current situations rather than relics. The tour of the winery and the salt processing facility were prime examples. Glimpses of local street markets, becoming acquainted with road conditions, seeing how utilities are provided, witnessing the agricultural and urban landscapes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The War Museum in Catania provided the most emotional experience on the tour, not the normal expectation of excitement and awe at sites and scenes. It demonstrated the intimacy that Sicilians feel about its experience of WWII and it makes one wonder how Americans would feel if invasion happened on their soil. The displays provide educational elements about WWII that I haven't come across in my 80 years and they display bluntly the tragedy of war."

Paul

Healdsburg, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily has so much to offer, and the tour as organized gave us a very good sampling of the island's history, culture, food and natural beauty. This was (as advertised) a tour with a lot of walking, but we had a good group and an outstanding guide who gave us the opportunity to gain the most from the trip. We were fortunate to have nearly perfect weather as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral at Monreale was just breathtaking. I thought I had seen enough historic cathedrals to last a lifetime, but the mosaics in this church make it unique."

Jerry

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every culture in the Mediterranean at some point was involved with Sicily. The tour gave a good look at the remnants of all these cultures. Also, thanks to our excellent guide we had a mini course in contemporary Italian culture and recent history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guide in Syracuse was very enthusiastic about her city. When she took us to the Duomo Cathedral she promised an ancient Greek temple inside the Baroque facade. And so it was clearly. There was a group inside worshiping and she asked us for a moment of silence in respect. The guide described herself as quite touched by the moment reflecting that for thousands of years that space had been used for worship and prayer, and hoping it could be used in peace and harmony in the future."

John

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. The group was very cohesive. The sites were amazing. Food was terrific. I wish we could have stayed longer in Erice, perhaps and overnight, and perhaps had dinner at our Agrigento Hotel. This would have been a little more relaxing at that point in the trip, but I did enjoy our dinner in town. Choices?? Sometimes I would just love to go out to a late breakfast and put my feet up half way through a tour. This tour was jam-packed with activity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples. Loved Taormina."

Theresa

Healdsburg, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful, we enjoyed it very, very much. We had a FANTASTIC guide (Stephanie) and wonderful local guides at each location. We were blessed with wonderful weather for the entire trip so that was great. We had great food and a nice variety of sites and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Monreale Cathedral was what I was most looking forward to and it was even more incredible than I imagined. I was also very happy to see the temple at Segesta - what an incredible site. I have to say the gelato was also a highlight!!! I mean, dear heavens, it puts all the gelato in America to shame and I would say it was better than in Rome or Florence or Venice!"

Michael

Chino Hills, CA

Tour: 10/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Accommodations were well placed. City guides were knowledgeable and well versed in sharing. Everything good, I'd suggest a day or two in the middle to just sit and enjoy. Everything was well handled and planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many...Temples, Enrice, Taormora, Syracuse, the markets, just being in parts of the towns and able to wander. Enjoyed the Countess and Barrones."

Patti

Altadena, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our eighth Rick Steves' tour so we pretty much knew what to expect. Everything was perfectly organized as usual. Unlike previous trips, however, Sicily was an area that we knew very little about so everyday was a learning adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many moments that could be my "wow" moment. However, one evening in Taormina sticks out in my mind. The group was slowly gathering on the rooftop terrace of our lovely hotel. Off in one direction was Mount Etna with a slow ash stream spiraling up. Off another direction was a lovely sunset over the sparkling Ionian Sea and, in a third direction there arose a stunning orange "Hunters" moon. It seemed like we were in a fairy tale - unspeakably beautiful!"

Stan

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotel selections were very comfortable with a couple being extremely nice with fabulous views. Many of the hotels had delightful social areas for drinks and gathering with our fellow travelers. The balance of touring and free time was well done and appreciated. Mostly, my wife and I agreed that we might have traveled the same roads on our own, the experiences presented to us would not have been nearly as rich or engaging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I feel like there was at least one a day...ancient sites; how did people do so much 2500 years ago; a truly memorable dining experience with the folks who made the meal; etc."

Susan

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour, although we have used his books for years for our independent travels. The mix of touring with Jamie and/or local guides, special experiences, group dinners, riding in the bus, and free time was just about as perfect as it could be. It is obvious that this organization knows what it is doing and strives to deliver a positive, memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from the rooftop terrace at our hotel in Palermo and the restaurant deck at our hotel in Taormina took my breath away. I couldn't stop taking photos... When people ask what I liked best on the tour, I truly cannot pick just one. I have never had a trip of this length with so many exceptional experiences and with such variety. Great job!"

Dennis

Atkinson, NH

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour and was very impressed that each day was a new and different experience. Our tour leader, Jamie, was excellent in leading our group through each days activities and providing meaningful information for each visited site.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day provided a new "wow" experience whether it was visiting the Monreale Cathedral, cooking class in Erice, the salt pans of Trapani, the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento, Roman Mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, activity of Mt Etna volano, and the Greek theater of hill town of Taormina. One of the most unanticipated "hot damn" moments was when the Countness of Federico began to sing...truly an amazing voice and moment!"

Thomas

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Tour was good. Our guide, Jamie, was very knowledgeable and interesting. The last two days - from Taormina down to Catania and our get away day were rushed and not up to what I expect of RS Tours. We were rushed through the WW2 museum, dragged through the fish market (28 people single file in tight quarters) and then released for the day with very minimal orientation to the rest of the city. We had several excellent local guides along the way - why not one in Catania?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wows - Etna was amazing - the time at the craters, the presentation from the Volcanologist and the winery visit in the Etna area really illustrated how the volcano affects the population and how the population respects Etna. Secondly - Taormina was the best stop in the trip."

Janis

Rome, NY

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another good Rick Steves tour which could be rated "great" with minor modifications.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna and the volcanologist were definitely the most exciting events of the trip."

Barry

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first RS tour exceeded expectations. Great overview of Sicily with excellent guides, hotels and travel arrangements.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Night time terrace view of the the Concordia temple from the hotel in Agrigento."

Joanne

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Sicily exceeded our expectations. We were dazzled by the sites and amazed at how smooth the tour ran. We never waited or were inconvenienced during our trip. We loved the fact that the tour included other activities other than the usual historic sites and museums. We loved the cooking, unusual meals and other cultural experiences. We also appreciated the free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the magnificent cathedral at Monreale."

Victoria

Clarkston, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of people on our tour (first tour ever)and Donald was a great director. He encouraged independence and was very clear about times that were scheduled and unscheduled. If there were any problems, I was unaware of them. I loved having a variety of experiences, from the tour guides, to cooking demos, wine tasting, farm lunches, so much more than I expected. These were all experiences that traveling on my own I'd never know how to access. Awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monterole was amazing, but I really just enjoyed (especially the first night) having dinner and getting to know our tour group. Of course wine with the dinner helped get over any shyness in the group, but the chance to relax after a walk and enjoy new friends was a great way to start the trip."

Alan

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have travelled many places in Italy and Europe, all on our own. This tour amplified the experience with superb organization, attention to detail, and wonderful guide. I would take another Rick Steves tour in a nanosecond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many such moments: Monreal cathedral, the Countess in Palermo, Maria's cookies come to mind."

Julieann

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the first morning of the tour we watched the sunrise over the city of Palermo while eating breakfast on the outdoor terrace of our hotel. It was a memorable start to the tour and was followed by many more "wow" moments."

Shar

Port Macquarie, NSW

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved the variety of experiences, smooth operation, wonderful guide Donald and Driver Gaetano. My first organised tour of any kind and would love to do another. I found the tour great value ( except for our AUD presently ??). I think your formula and pre trip tips and expectations a practical and positive method.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all so different there were many. I loved it all. Day 1 for a late start was a packed fun and fabulous stint to open the tour. Each day was one new learning and entertaining event. Again the variety was amazing. History, cuisine, scenery, exciting and amusing entertainment, cooking classes, the finesse of transportation, hotels and free time all appreciated."

Thomas

Clarkston, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First Rick Steve's trip, had high expectations and you exceeded them. Donald was an outstanding guide, I think we got the best guide in your whole organization. Will be using Rick Steve's again very soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MonReale was amazing. As was Taoromina."

John

Richland, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Donald made the tour with his enthusiasm and knowledge of the places and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure I can provide an e ample of the "WOW" moment. There were several times and places that places."

Deborah

Mason, MI

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour by far exceeded my expectations. Sicily is often overlooked in so many aspects, but I felt this tour brought it front and center, and I'm grateful for everything I experienced and learned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the WWII museum visit. So much history was brought to life by photos, exhibits, videos, etc. I was near tears when I exited the bomb shelter, thinking of what the general populace must have endured."

Paul

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Guide did an excellent job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tour."

Margaret

Point Pleasant Boro, NJ

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great tour! I learned so much about Sicily and it's history, food and culture. It was a great mix of ancient sights and modern food and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the Roman villa we visited. I've seen a lot of mosaics, ruins,etc.,but this was fabulous. You could almost imagine Romans living there. It is so well preserved that you could really picrure how it must have been when new. The temples and theaters we saw were also phenominal."

Rebecca

Anoka, MN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are both delighted with our Sicily tour, It was far above our expectations. The hotels were first rate and had elevators, much to our surprise and joy. The food and meals that were included were exceptional and included so many lovely local dishes. The tour guide was so attentive, knowledgeable and helpful and fun. He gave great commentaries, made directions and times very clear and was very professional as well as very kind. The special guides were also very knowledgeable. The best tour ever

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but visiting the home of the Countess in Palermo and touring her home and her delightful commentary. Maria 's cooking school and the delicious meal and great demonstration of her pastry skills and the farm of the Baroness. also a delight and such wonderful abundant food."

Susan

Spokane, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very surprised with the quality of the tour. There was a great balance between group activities and personal free exploration times. In Group activities, radios were a plus. You could hear everything the guide said and he brought valuable historical interest to every venture. I know we hit the best highlights of Sicily. Suggestions were given for your free time and enough time was given to shop!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the tour of the Contessa's house. Would never have that incredible experience if not on the Rick Steves Tour. Wow moment was touring the Cathedral at Monreale. It was so incredibly beautiful with it's mosaics."

Stephen

Spokane, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour, so we weren't sure what it would be like. My wife and I were impressed at every turn. The personalized nature of the tour was not expected and very much enjoyed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To many to pick one!! But we very much enjoyed the smaller towns visited as compared to the time in Palermo and Catania."

John

Burr Ridge, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Alfio was terrific! His passion really shows. We had a wonderful time. The mix of sights and activities was great. Not too much of anything and a great balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to decide."

Brian

Dupont, WA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth Rick Steves tour. We have enjoyed all of them. Alfio was our guide, and was outstanding. His knowledge of Italy, and specifically Sicily, was amazing, and made the trip special. While we have had good guides on all of our tours, Alfio was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was fortunate enough to have my birthday on the tour. Alfio made sure it was a special, memorable day. We were in Ortygia, and during the boat tour around the island, the group did a limoncello toast and sang happy birthday. Later in the day, we attended a puppet show, where the puppet sang happy birthday to me after the show. The many Greek ruins were the visual wow moment."

Sibyl

Collinsville, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an absolutely wonderful experience from beginning to end. Everything was well-managed, each day was packed with fascinating activities and great food, and yet we still had plenty of time for additional exploring on our own. The tour guides were universally excellent; the events, sites and extra activities such as cooking demonstrations and puppet shows were all interesting and worthwhile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments it is really impossible to name just one. We had wow moments several times every day. The first that comes to mind was the mind-blowing view of the duomo in Ortygia at night,with its many-layered history on full display in the floodlights, followed by gelato at an equally mind-blowing gelateria just steps away. We assumed this would be a pleasant trip through a lovely country, which it certainly was, but it was unexpectedly exciting as well."

Richard

Collinsville, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steves tour; certainly not the last. Alfio was the best. I believe we were the only first timers on the tour and it was a delight to see the way the gaggle bonded. True or not, I felt like we got a nice peek into the day to day life of Sicily as well as seeing some of the textbook highlights. More interesting still were the chance encounters with locals that Alfio convinced to add some flavor to the walk or tour we happened to be on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a bit cruel to even ask the question. I think our farewell dinner in Catania at an Israeli-Sicilian restaurant where we all enjoyed one another's company, relaxed and happy was very memorable."

Semiramis

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Bella Sicily! Gorgeous mosaics, wonderful food (Arancini, seafood, gelato, etc), warm and welcoming people, beautiful mountaintop villages and countryside, dramatic Mt. Etna, fascinating multicultural history, etc. Our tour guide, Alfio, was a gem! Very knowledgeable and friendly! Our driver, Massimo, was wonderful, too! A great group of fellow travelers to share adventures! Loved visiting the Contessas in Palermo and at the farm! The puppet show in Ortygia! Pastry lesson with Maria Grammatico!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible Greek and Roman ruins and museums! The excellent food that represented multicultural civilizations! Mt. Etna continually spewing ash and lava and our visit to the 7,500 ft. level! Also enjoyed meeting Sicilians at every opportunity!"

Gretchen

Alliance, OH

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour, loved seeing so much history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was wow and new to me. The cities built on hills, the remains of the Greek and Romans. Favorite city was Taormina."

James

Alamo, CA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

LOved it but far too busy to do it justest at this time.

Dennis

San Carlos, CA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Sicily was great fun and enlightening. To see evidence of all the different cultures that passed through Sicily was very interesting. This helped me to have a better understanding of European history. The Greek temples we saw so close was amazing. The food was delicious wherever we went. The comradery among the tour members enhanced the overall experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cathedral of Monreale was a big highlight. The skill and artistry to design and implement the mosaics was breath taking."

George

Dalton, MA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always with Rick Steves tours, this tour provided a good mix of group and non-group activities. The hotels and provided meals were excellent. The only rocky spot was that the Sirscusa hotel was not up to the task of providing breakfast for the tour members. They had extremely limited sitting space.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were many wows in this tour: bakery class in Erice, lunch on Mozia Island, the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale and the terrace view at the Hotel Continental in Taormina."

Wendy

North Bend, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first your and I enjoyed it very much. Virginia, our guide, was detailed, and stuck to the schedule. There was a lot to see in Sicily. Palermo was a big city with lots to see, but perhaps one less day there may have been better, as I really liked touring the other areas better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was seeing the Mosaics outside of Syracuse."

Susan

North Bend, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded all expectations. Virginia was a wonderful tour guide with vast knowledge of Sicily and Italy. Our group was a great mix of people. However some of the accommodations could have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina at night."

Anita

Ellensburg, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a very interesting. I think I had expected Sicily to be more unique. I found it very much like Italy in general but that isn't a bad thing. The guide and the tour group were both very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't feel like I had a "wow" moment but I did enjoy meeting Maria and participating in the cookie making."

Chipp

Boise, ID

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Rick Steves tour. It was very well organized and enjoyable. Receiving detailed information regarding the tour, prior to departure is always appreciated. The pace of the tour was good. Spending two nights at all the stops except one made the time spent on the bus reasonable. Enzo, the bus driver was great! At no time did I feel unsafe or lost. Given some of the places we went, that is no small achievement. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the visit to the Salt Farms outside of Trapani was outstanding. I enjoyed the guide very much."

Jane

Parker, TX

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Traveled with a wonderful group, mostly made up of experienced Rick Steves travels. Prompt and courteous Virginia was great. Knowledgeable and fun. Not sure what our next trip will be but will expect another interesting adventure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amazing valley of the temples And also staying where you could see them lit up at night, very cool"

William

Ellensburg, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good group that was fun to be with. Our guide did a very good job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Etna blow its top"

Claudia

Portsmouth, VA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was like Disney World on steroids. Every day was a marvel-Greek Land, Roman Land, Carthaginian Land, Salt Land, Volcano Land, Island Land, Cliff Land. Our group was congenial and led by the amazing David. Rick Steves has the best guides in the business, and David is a stellar example of a leader who relishes la dolce vita. He embraces all the good things-travel, music, food, and witty company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The open air lunch on Mozia island was so delicious and tranquil after a pleasant boat ride through the Salt Flats and a tour of the ruins. Taormina is in a class by itself in the world. David playing the guitar on a rooftop in Trapani was ethereal."

Michael

Morton, IL

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great weather, nice cities, interesting sites. This is a intimate low key tour with smaller cities. The guide, David is a very good tour guide. He was engaged, patient, informative and organized. The hotels were above average.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the hands on baking experience. It was a lot of fun."

Celeste

Indianola, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful tour, my first RS. Filled with amazing places and sights. Enjoyed our fellow travelers and our guide David was fantastico!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to pick a WOW moment, every new site was unique and special in it's own way. The temple at Segesta was amazing, perched alone on it's hill.The Piazza Duomo in Ortigia, and of course,Taormino.....you know why people through the ages have been drawn to this place, starting with the Greeks."

Edward

Mclean, VA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well put together. I had been listening to Rick's podcasts which were done before he created the tour and I could see how the inspiration for this tour came together. The days were well planned and there was something special every day despite all the bus time. The combination of great hotels, great food, super guide and the mix of activities were good. Keep it up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunches on Moxia and Erice were memorable for the beauty of the place, the sense of privacy away from the crowds and the excellence of 'home cooking' were really great. The roof top experiences on the hotels were nice as well - the views in Palermo, Agrigento, Ortesia were memorable."

Jean

Junction City, OR

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide (David) was wonderful, the weather was great, the food tasty, and the tour members fun and active. Our hotels were clean and spacious with good internet coverage. The tour activities were varied and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really liked the architecture and food. Sadly my wow moment was a big disappointment in seeing all the garbage along the highways, in the ditches, in parking lots, and on the streets. After traveling to Turkey, India, and Morocco recently we had hoped Sicily would be much more concerned and progressive about plastic and rubbish strewn everywhere. Sicily is a beautiful area, and it is a shame they ignore plastic and rubbish (sometimes large bags piled along the roads)."

James

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best trip yet with RS's! Besides all the wonderful sites, food and history David was an outstanding guide. His knowledge and humor made every day new and exciting. Sicily is a magnificent island...we were blown away more than once!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina was one of many Wow moments, but was the icing on the cake. Erice was a close second."

Ray

Plano, TX

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As in past experiences with RS Tours, this tour of Sicily was a great experience. The Tour guide, David was outstanding. The tours guides on previous RS tours were also very very good, but David took it to a new level. The cities of Palermo and Catania were pretty gritty and at times I felt that they both needed a big power wash. Hopefully, theose cities improve there appearances as Sicily sees the growing importance of tourism.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the roof top garden at our hotel in Taormina and overlooking the beautiful Sicily coast and being able to see Calabria."

Cyndy

Plano, TX

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third RS's tour, and once again it proved to be all that was promised. We were exposed to a perfect mix of history, art, culture, free time and visits with locals. Sicily 's history is like the layers of an onion. Our incredible guide, David, was so knowledgeable and passionate in peeling back each of these layers, allowing us to experience ALL of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was in the Pietro Griffo Archeological Museum where the Telamon (Stone Giant) was displayed. The size of this one giant was mind boggling! It helped me envision the scale of theTemple of Olympian Zeus and the magnitude of the Greeks contribution to this island."

David

Junction City, OR

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Even greater food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food was REALLY good!"

Katherine

Murrysville, PA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth RS tour and they were all excellent. We were lucky (again) to have an outstanding guide in David. He is engaging, knowledgeable, passionate about Sicily, and an absolute joy! The itinerary was packed and perhaps a little more free time to explore would have been nice. The hotels were all fine and some had amazing rooftop terraces where we could enjoy breakfast (Palermo) or an evening cocktail (Taormina, Ortygia). We were blessed with great weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch and pastry demonstration with Maria Grammatico (who I had met 20 years ago when she wasn't "famous"); Palermo was a pleasant surprise - although many Americans find its grittiness objectionable, I absolutely loved the city (we had spent an additional four days there before the tour started)."

Penny

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time! I was not sure what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised with our visit and tour! Sicily is beautiful and David is an excellent guide..his knowledge of history and the country were outstanding. I cannot say enough good things about our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the entire trip..everything was great. I have not yet printed photos to pinpoint one "wow" moment as there were many."

Karen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I set out with the intention of leaping out of my comfort zone and this tour allowed me to do that. I felt safe walking at night, dining out alone, and exploring a trail on my own or following my nose down a town street. I also appreciated the time I had for writing and reflection and found myself often in the middle of the night alone up on one of the many lovely hotel roof terraces. The tour filled also my desire to visit ancient ruins.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked that the tour seemed to me to have an over riding arc, one that began with the Phoenician/Carthaginian sites on Mozia, our visit to the Elymia site of Segesta, the trip to the Greek Valley of the Temples, the Roman villa, and the mix of cultures on Ortigia. I was able to witness the many influences of all the peoples that have at one time or another inhabited Sicily. It was moving to end with a visit to the World War II museum. My wow moment: the Teatro Antico in Taormina."

Jill

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time on this tour, enjoyed David and the atmosphere he created. really enjoyed all the sites with only a few suggestions

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Sicily was a WOW. I wanted to go to see the Byzantine mosaics in Palermo, the Greek temples, the Greek and Roman theaters and the Roman mosaics - so all WOWS. My surprise WOW was when I told Dave at the end of day 3 - a day we'd started in Palermo, been to Segesta, had lunch and made cookies in Erice, arrived in Trapini and gone to roof for drinks as David played the guitar - that I had had more fun in that 1 day than entire Venice/Florence/Rome tour in 2010."

Robert

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding. We really enjoyed all of the history, culture and ambiance of Sicily. David, our tour guide, couldn't have been better. His knowledge and passion for his country made this one of the best trips we have taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick but probably the beauty of Taurmina"

Linette

Solana Beach, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible trip. The history, the scenery, the local food and wine--everything was great. Sicily exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a personal moment--visiting Erice and Trapani because that's where my grandparents immigrated from."

Cynthia

Guelph, ON

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved it! The first time we have done a tour type vacation. I found myself completely relaxed not having to worry about what to do, where to go and how to get there. We will do this kind of vacation again.lots

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of wow moments between the beautiful mosaics and Greek and Roman ruins."

Jock

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Plenty of wonderful highlights, enjoyable guide, super companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Mt. Etna erupt endangering our flight home, but then watching it settle down with good cheer from our wonderful hotel terrace in Catania."

Deborah

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we have traveled with Rick Steves' guidebooks for 20+ years, this was our first tour with any company. I did not know what to expect and had concerns about group congeniality, etc. my concerns were out to rest as our travel pals were great! The trip exceeded my expectations. We saw and did so many things that we would never have experienced had we traveled on our own. Our guide, Jamie, was outstanding. We learned so much from him! Our bus driver, Gaetano, was also excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. For me, it was the Casabianca Lentini farm. My personal reason for the Sicily tour was, after the tour concluded, to visit the town my grandparents' were born in. The baroness that owns the farm was a lovely woman and she pointed out the town to me on a nearby hill and told me it had a lovely town square, etc. My family was from Carlentini and the farm is in the sister city of Lentini."

Todd

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first tour, although we have been using the guide books for years to travel on our own. We found ourselves to be comfortable with the group, most of whom have done a number of RS tours. Jamie was outstanding. I consider myself sharp on most of the subject areas and he knows his material. Bus driver was also outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a number - the baroness visit in Palermo, the farm outside of Catania. The WW2 museum on the Sicily campaign was very well done. One that was not included in the tour was the crypt in Palermo. We did this on our own the day before the tour. Think about pushing it more as an option for folks free time. It is so unique that it warrants more attention."

Tobias

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was excelant. The provided so much informaion

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed every thing. I had many WOW moments"

Stephen

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time exploring Sicily on this Rick Steves tour. I signed up for this tour because I was intrigued by the history and culture of Sicily, and what I learned from both the local guides and from Jamie, and what I saw and experienced, did not disappoint. The food and wine was great, too. Kudos to Jamie for his insight into all of the above. All of the sights and places we saw were well worth the time, and this was a well-planned tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many that qualify. Swimming in the Ionian Sea in Taormina was one. Also, the Contessa's tour of her palace in Palermo was another. Such a charismatic and personable lady, with a interesting story to tell! Waking up to see snow on Mount Aetna is another wow moment. Also, entering the cathedral at Monreale."

Steven

Hendersonville, NC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

overall i was pleased with the tour. i thought a couple of things could have been done better. this was our third tour and the most tiring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the temples, ruins etc. through out sicily. the best for me was our trip to cefalu....the beach was wonderful."

Adele

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Felt very confident in the trip planning with all the good information that came from Rick Steve's organization. Meeting everyone was great and Nina set a great tone of welcome and fun. The sites were well chosen, and the local guides added a great deal to our understanding of the history of Sicily. The buses were clean and well cared for, and our driver Alessandro was a big plus. The food and information at our special events added so much to our enjoyment of the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museum on the WWII landing was especially well done. Rarely do museums cover so many aspects of their theatre of the war."

Rhonda

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Was very interesting trip.

Susan

Fallbrook, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Sicily trip with Guide Nina was Wonderful! I am mystified how every town was prettier, every meal tastier and every sunset more dazzling than imagined before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three moments of discovery: Mozia Island echos with ancient civilization, the Puppet Theatre was captivatingly alive and Mount Etna is a gorgeous volcano, active with black and white plumes."

Kathleen

Urbana, IL

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour experience was great. I enjoyed the food and the wine. The last half of the tour the star was Mt. Etna, providing us day-time plumes and night-time sparks. The tour was well paced and the indoctrination into Italian life was superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The volcanologist talk, viewing Mt. Etna, the traditional Italian meal on a Sunday afternoon. The salt fields in Trapani, the WWII museum in Catania, the hillside towns of Taormina"

Jan

Hansville, WA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good and interesting. My mother was born in Palermo and I was so excited to finally see this beautiful island! I would change somethings about this tour, such as adding more time in some places and less in others. More time in Taormina because we arrived in the late afternoon and didn't have enough time to get down to the beach and back by dinner. It was by far the most beautiful place and should be given 3 nights instead of 2.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Mt. Etna spew plumes of black smoke out of her craters while enjoying breakfast from out hotel rooftop! I also loved the Salt Harvesting in Trapani."

Michael

Hansville, WA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was very good and I like almost all the aspects of it. people were great, the history was magnificent, and the Mediterranean was mesmerizing especially Taormina. Food so, so. The wine was really good at the winery( i bought 3 cases). I bought 3 cases in France also. Guess you could say I like good wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the whole trip centered around history so I would have to say seeing the ruins, especially the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento."

Ronald

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Guide(s)! Great itinerary Many extras.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything.....The extras ....not listed on the itinerary were great. It was more than just a narrated tour of the countryside."

Linda

Arcata, CA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, informative,fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maria Grammatico? Agrigento? Taormina? So many."

Richard

Palm Desert, CA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our (my wife & me) first guided tour of any kind. What a great stroke of luck to get Alfredo as our guide. Always upbeat & unflappable, his breadth & depth of knowledge impressed us all. His anecdotes, Italian hand signals, useful Italian phrases (Buddy Check! Va Bene! Andiamo! Si! Si! Si! Si!), & the explanation of the transformation of Sicily after the Mafia were illuminating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to name only one. The visit to Erice & Maria's cooking school--what fun. She's a character! The Contessa's villa was great. Touring the Valley of the Temples also impressed us & the local guide was great. His joke about Hadrian's wall & that Scots not paying for it was priceless. Lunchs at BENANTI VITCOLTORI & Erice were special. Finally, the volcanologist's lecture about "Mama.""

Peg

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 5TH trip to la Sicilia, birthplace of my grandparents. A repeat tour, this time with my cousin, I was pleased by a few itinerary and hotel/B&B upgrades. As before, a sense of awe, pride, delight in her history and the people who defined this beautiful island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Please!So much to say, so little space. Here, this food-writer's muse rules. A joy to meet Maria Grammatico, author of Bitter Almonds! What fun alongside her, to "massage" almond dough into Brutta ma Buona cookies. While book signing, she graciously shared (I in broken-Italian) our connection with cookbook author Maria Taylor Semetti. Sadly, in Erice, we followed the wrong street, so no time to see/buy from Maria's array of sweet creations, a personal loss to me. Add more Erice time?"

Gloria

Palm Desert, CA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we have used Rick Steves' books to guide all of our European travels for over 30 years, this was our first ever experience traveling with a tour group. Even after listening to friends rave about the tours they've taken with you and in particular about the Sicily tour, the experience was so much richer than I could have imagined. And everything ran incredibly smoothly. No glitches that I can remember, once the airline delivered our lost luggage, that is.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mount Etna spewing fire into the night sky above Taormina. But, in fairness, since that isn't an event you can "book," it would be the time spent with Maria Grammatico. A true gem! She won my heart as soon as I saw her smiling face. What character!"

Maudine

Glendale, AZ

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great and varied experiences, charming and well prepared guide, luckily perfect traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architectural ruins and museum were amazing."

Denis

Stittsville, ON

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good guiding, good company, good food, spectacular visits - what more could we want!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many - the Contessa's palazzo, the hilltop village of Erice, the cathedral in Syracuse built in a former Greek temple ......"

Beverly

Stittsville, ON

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very enjoyable, interesting and informative. Tour members were pleasant, friendly and easy to get on with. We bonded well! The sites and experiences chosen for visits were all interesting and in some cases outstanding. We learned so much history! The pace of the trip was good,with time for relaxation or individual exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that there was a "wow" moment,but the visit to Palazzo Conte Federico and the welcome by the Countess is an outstanding memory,as is the visit to Maria Grammattico's cooking class and the wonderful lunch served there."

Marilyn

Palmyra, VA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As Rick correctly notes, Sicily is "Italy in the extreme." So many adventures and 3000 years of history, all jam packed into 11 days on this small, vibrant island. Stacy and your local guides bought it all to life. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's never possible to pick one (so stop asking!!), but visiting Mt. Etna with Boris and seeing the amazing Roman mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale were two wonderful moments."

Steven

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Lots of great sites to visit and informative, interesting local guides. Wish I had waited a bit later in the year as it was still HOT SUMMer in Sicily in mid September. Loved the pastry making in Erice and the wonderful lunch that followed. Lots of fun making and then eating pizza in Taormina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Villa Roma del Casale"

Larry

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great time learning and experiencing Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two moments which were equally wow worthy. They were the valley of the temples and the roman villa."

David

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being our 7th Rick Steve's tour, we knew what to expect. As usual, the tour members were very pleasant fellow travelers, and we had a great time. Sicily was an interesting country to visit - a bit different from the Italian peninsula! The food had some interesting twists; I particularly enjoyed the Arancini's (Sicilian rice balls). They are very different from traditional Italian food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting up for breakfast the first day in Palermo. Breakfast was on the rooftop terrace of the hotel. After climbing the stairs to get there, I immediately went back to my room to get my camera to snap some pictures. The view, particularly in the morning light, was outstanding! It was a great way to start the trip, and a positive precursor to what was to come."

Edward

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

loved the history and especially the emphasis on the layers and blending of cultures

Favorite "WOW" moment

"mosaics - ceilings, walls, floors"

Stephen

Harrison Twp, MI

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was great and took care of every detail. The local guides were easy to understand and very informative. Overall the tour was very well organized. People on the tour all got along with no problems ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The special meals at the contessa and baroness."

Marilyn

Springfield, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful tour and learned so much about Sicily. This was my second Rick Steve's Tour and feel blessed that I had a great tour guide, bus driver and group of people. No grumps!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from our first hotel in Palermo is a favourite "wow" . So many fabulous experiences."

Debra

Springfield, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The leadership was thoughtful and capable and encouraged us to look deeper than the surface to see the culture and history. The tour participants were friendly and open.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the puppet museum and theater in Palermo. It was a joy to experience the long history and variety of puppets and marionettes also from around the world."

Virginia

Arlington, TX

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the best guides in each city we visited in Sicily and enjoyed the culture while learning about the country's history. There was plenty of free time to roam and rest and take in the beautiful island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The baking lesson with a pastry chef was so much fun and everyone really got involved."

Michele

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I think the tour guide is what really makes the Rick Steves tour invaluable. This was the third Rick Steves tour we've taken and I know I'll be thinking of Stacy long after the immediate memories of the tour fade. I continue to think of the tour guides from the previous two trips!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the baking lesson and meal at Maria Grammatico's."

Susan

Camp Hill, PA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily tour, our fifth Rick Steves, was wonderful. Loved the various cultural influences in the architecture and food. Our tour guide, Stacy, was so knowledgeable about the history, the art, the politics, and the culture, and she was just fun to be with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but loved visiting Mt. Etna with Boris the Volcanologist and visiting beautiful Taormina! Also enjoyed the variety and food and wines! The cultural experiences with the Contessa in Palermo and the Baroness in Argigento were also highlights worth mentioning!"

Nancy

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Historically, we have been taking Viking cruises which are very nice but not vary active. We much prefer the active nature of Rick Steves tours and we liked being in different hotels every few days. We calculated we walked about 5 miles per day (on average) and I did not gain any weight on this trip! (which is kind of nice compared to excess eating/drinking on cruises).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stacy was able to add several events to our itinerary that were surprises to us! Touring the jewish baths (forget he town) we a special find. By the way, this was our first Rick Steves tour and we are now "Rick Steves converts" and look forward to taking many more RS tours."

Jane

Rancho Mirage, CA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful introduction to Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Agrigento"

Michelle

Marietta, OH

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent tour. Well organized and executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in all of the churches were just breath-taking. I really enjoyed the cathedral at Monreale. I did the Norman Palazzo on my own and it was well worth the visit. Segesta was beautiful. The pastry making class in Erice was a lot of fun with good-natured ribbing from our host. I enjoyed participating in the hands-on. The provided meal was wonderful. The Trapani salt works were very interesting. Agrigento was very interesting. Loved the "Bikini Girls" at Villa Romana. Loved the farm meal."

Scott

Gresham, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed it. Particularly the fact that Sicily feels off the tourist trail and seemed to offer more genuine cultural experiences than the rest of Europe. Just what I was looking for. More experiences such as food, views, and history rather than rushing and waiting in long lines seeing "MUST INSTAGRAM" sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW feeling was that I found a new place to come back to and examine in more detail. My biggest surprise was the combination of high cliffs dropping off to the Mediterranean. Parts of Sicily seem like a relatively undiscovered Amalfi Coast. It even has its own island with a "Blue Grotto". I'm surprised it isn't marketed as the "undiscovered Amalfi Coast". E.g., Erice and Taormina."

Suzanne

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was impressed with the itinerary of the Sicily tour. I usually plan my own trips but I would have missed some wonderful venues. Most people go see cathedrals, markets and ruins, but the tour of the contessa's home, a cooking lesson with 8o year old Maria, the salt flats and boat trip to Motia, lunch at the baroness's farm and the excellent guides who put it all in perspective, was far better than I could have done. The experience of the Rick Steves group made it better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna!!"

John

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Never knew much about Sicily before my trip .Very educational with insightful hands on visits . Our guides were very professional and experts in their fields , sharing knowledge with us .I believe we saw an awful lot in 11 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps a really hot day walking through the Valley of Temples .Our one night stay was across the valley with a few of our last Temple visit."

Mayumi

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall a great introduction to Sicily. Our tour guide Virginia was helpful, knowledgeable, and entertaining. Her unfailingly charming disposition was a highlight. The local guides were very good; Michele was outstanding. The mix of tour activities and free time was about right; I didn't feel like we were being "herded" nor ignored.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many good experiences that it's hard to pick out a single moment. The farmhouse lunch on the way from Piazza Armerina to Siracusa was excellent; the nearly full moon rising over the Trapani Cathedral was gorgeous."

Laurie

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour and we liked it very much. Our guide Virginia was top notch and did a great job guiding and also giving suggestions for adventures on our own time. Once again, we had a fun group of fellow travelers which always makes the tour just that much better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much enjoyed Trapani, Siracusa, and Taormina. Mama Etna showed off a bit for us while we were there too."

Peter

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed every day. Virginia was well organized and the day guides were informative and interesting. The tour was well paced and we believe the switch of the wine tour/farewell dinner w/final day in Catania worked well. We enjoyed the help provided by the tour to gain entry to sites but also the free times as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is tough because we enjoyed each day so much. Maybe the "wow"moment as a group was touring the Etna vineyard- it was stunningly beautiful. And the "wow"moment in free time was the almost full moon rising over the cathedral in Trapani as we looked back from our walk along the seawall out to the point."

Gina

Carterville, IL

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour. It was a great deal different from the Heart of Italy Tour, but in a good way. It learned so much about Sicily from our guides and again met amazing people who were in our tour group. Whether it be the scenic vistas, the captivating history and amazing architecture, the gracious and fun-loving people, or the great food, we were always happy to have made the choice to go to Europe again and to utilize the great support the RS Tours provide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Ortigia at night and the views from Taormina!"

Donna

Chatham, NJ

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was amazing! We learned a lot of history involving Carthage and Ancient Greece. Virginia was a fabulous tour guide. She was knowledgeable, helpful, and always pleasant. We would love to take another tour with her. We enjoyed the centrally located hotels which made it easy to walk to sites and restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We both enjoyed the Valley of the Temples. It is amazing to see such well preserved Greek temples in Sicily."

Feliks

Daly City, CA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent organization, excellent guide, very good local guides, very good hotel selections.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard question to answer. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Lesley

Melbourne, VIC

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour gave me exactly what I wanted to learn and experience and more. It meant I could access places without having to do it myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite wow moment was the winery visit as I had read an article in an Italian magazine about this winery and had tried to buy their wine in Melbourne with no success so was delighted we ended at the very same winery. Loved 3 of the wines and the food matching. Also the talk and tour. Fabulous. Feel very privileged."

Harrold

Carterville, IL

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience during this tour. This was our second Rick Steve's tour and since we had such a great time during our first trip, we decided to take a second and it did not disappoint. Our guide, Virginia, did a great job keeping everyone engaged, making things go very smoothly, and giving us much history and information about Sicily. The hotels were very comfortable and provided excellent breakfast buffets, their locations were convenient, and were clean with helpful staff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. The views from Erice and Mt. Etna were great. There were many wonderful views while traveling up to Erice and Mt. Etna on the bus as well. Our lunch and pastry lesson in Erice was very nice. The Valley of the Temples was quite impressive once one thinks about their age and how well preserved they are."

James

Clarence Center, NY

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was what I wanted or gave me time to see things not on the itinerary. Overall excellent guides and I felt we "experienced" Sicily. The "name game" makes me ill. This becomes a public humiliation or anxiety raising event that causes me to reconsider your tours. Sarah's modification helped some. Buddy system is excellent. Shared treats & exposure to local customs great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many: Mt Etna erupting. Temples at Agrigento, mosaics at Monreale and Villa Romana, theater at Siracusa (on our free time). Tour of Countess Federico's palazzo with group and (at Sara's recommendation and w her assistance) a private tour of Prince Moncada's palazzo."

Edward

Haddonfield, NJ

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great and what I would have expected from a Rick Steves Tour. In other words, the "hype" was justly deserved. Hotels were comfortable and well located, bus and driver were professional, tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable. While some of the daily tours were not 100% to my liking, I realize that there are 25+ other people on the tour as well. Overall a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Mt Etna. A combination of history and natural phenomenon."

Cathy

Newport, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the Sicily tour to be fascinating because of the complicated history of the island. To have layer upon layer of civilizations and religions still visible and to be able to enjoy the resulting culinary treats as well is amazing. Sarah and Alfredo were knowledgeable and framed each day and each experience well, always sprinkled with humor. Alessandro, our intrepid bus driver, did a great job. Our wonderful tour mates made this an exceptional trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A few "wows"....the temples at Agrigento, the pastry class at the legendary Maria's in Erice, and everything about Ortygia!"

Lynne

Haddonfield, NJ

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. Overall, I felt that the tour experience was what I expected any more.The atmosphere maintained throughout the tour by our guides was relaxed, on time , informative and fun. The guides were able to put all of the details and facts of whatever we were seeing /experiencing into a very coherent and under stable context by giving just enough information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sarah and Alfreso singing at the theater in Segesta."

John

Newport, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour, our fifth with Rick Steves, was everything that I expected it to be. Sarah and Alfredo did a great job, providing an abundance of information and historical content to each day. After previous trips to other parts of Italy, I found Sicily much more complex from a historical standpoint. The hotels were varied and interesting, some with amazing views from rooftop patios where we enjoyed our (daily) spritz with wonderful new friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First and foremost, the Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Catania, the museum dedicated to the Allied landings in Sicily in 1943. It was thought provoking and well done. Also wowed by the temples in Agrigento and our "last supper" with our group of fellow travelers."

Maria

Miami Beach, FL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great time in Sicily. Met very interesting Sicilians. Tour guide Sarah was extraordinary and her knowledge and love for Sicily brought positive energy to the activities and experiences of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina' s beauty and Siracusa ambience."

Karen

Clarence Center, NY

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

By the time the tour was over, I felt I really had a sense of what Sicily was all about- the food, culture, customs, and sights. There are a lot of "little things" that went into the tour to make it more meaningful, including but not limited to, encouraging us to use the language, developing a sense of camaraderie (through the dreaded name game and the buddy system), the variety of eating experiences, the information shared on the bus, and the little treats that gave a sense of local customs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Natural wonder wow: Seeing Mt. Etna erupt Ancient wonder wow: The Temples at Agrigento and mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale Current wow: The visit to the Palazzo Federico to glimpse the life of the Countess"

Gloria

Anaheim, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. I didn't think I would like the tour thing, as I've traveled Europe with friends or family in the past. This trip I was traveling alone, so decided to try out the Rick Steve's Tour, as I've used your guild books every place I've gone. The tour was so comprehensive. I know I saw places (like the palace) and learned so much more than I would have traveling on my own. For not "being a tour person" I know I'll be back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I come up with just one WOW moment. There were so many. I suppose the tour of the Palace was that moment. The contesa was so welcoming, and the palace was so beautiful."

Kathy

Holland, MI

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great experience in Sicily, learning so much about the history, culture, and daily life of Sicily. Our fellow travelers were a wonderful group of individuals and our guide and her assistant did an excellent job. The local guides were knowledgeable and we appreciate the opportunities to see life from the inside out, through the farm lunch, meeting and having a tour of her palace by a countess etc. Mt. Etna even gave a little show.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Views of Mt. Etna as she belched and from the rooftop terrace restaurant in Palermo were breathtaking. We loved the farm visit, the Valley of the Temples, the palace / contessa visit... seeing Mt. Etna, the World War II museum."

Shannon

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had pretty high expectations and they were met and then some. All of the people, experiences, restaurants, hotels, and sights were at least good and most were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I honestly can't think of a favorite; there were so many. And really there isn't a single "moment" but I was very much wowed by the trip to Etna, the fact that it was spewing ash, and the lecture by Boris the vulcanologist. I love history a lot, but adding some science was really great! Add this to the fact that we could see Etna from our hotel terrace (and even our room balcony), gave it even more "wow.""

Stephen

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience. We had the advantage to be led by Sarah, smart, knowledgeable, accessible, and passionate about Italy and especially Sicily. This tour ensures that we will use Rick Steve's tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many for me to pick one event. The special, unexpected moments: the tour of a palatial home in Palermo, a luncheon in a rustic farm house, and especially walking the streets of cities, towns, and villages on Sicily."

Robert

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized, well paced.It covered a good cross section experience of Sicily and left us wanting more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of great moments on the tour, however my "WOW" has to be Tommaso. From beginning to the end we were enthusiastically and entertained and educated by Tommaso. His love of (firstly) his Mama, (secondly) Sicily and of travel in general shone through. His humour and caring attitude was infectious. We were truly in great hands. Grazie mille"

Roberto

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour. We've been to Europe a couple of times and used Rick's guide book. This took our travel to an entire new level! Every day started early so we could enjoy the places to the max. The tour had a great balance between guided activities and free time. Tommaso and the local guides were extremely knowledgeable and added lots of details we'd never see by ourselves. The places were amazing, the group was super fun, the hotels were great... We had a BLAST!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one. Taormina is stunning, but I think I'd have to pick Syracuse. That's where we could see all the layers of History that formed Sicily, together."

Christine

Alamo, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour and it was great. Tomasso was the perfect choice for making Sicily come alive for us. We loved the accommodations in each town...bravo!! The extra specials, including but not limited to 1) lunch with Maria in Eriche, 2)lunch with the contessa outside Agrigento, 3)the "professor" leading us through the valley of the temples in Agrigento, and 4) The wine tasting at Benanti Vineyards, were sensational. Let folks know, Sicily is a must for a great travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Benanti wine tasting and the pasta at the contessa's!!"

Carolyn

Lacey, WA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First trip to Sicily & it was fascinating! I chose this tour after traveling to Turkey last year to experience the Sicilian version of cultural assimilation.I found the people very friendly & gracious.The tour was a wonderful mix of bigger cities & smaller towns/villages. It was in the latter w/information from Tommaso & local guides that I had the best sense of historical & cultural influences.Tommasso is a marvelous guide, very knowledgeable & fun.Loved his stories..Mama Mia!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Palazzo Federico tour by the gracious contessa and working farm visit w/lunch by the other gracious contessa. Island of Mozia, Erice, Ortygia, Taormina & all the wonderful meals Tommasso set up for us!!!!"

Elizabeth

Rocky River, OH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the mix of history and local flavor, the food was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Maria Grammatico pastry school and meeting her once again. I met her years ago when she visited California. Erice, and Castelmola were my two favorite villages high up in the hills. But, my WOW moment was when I went to the village my grandmother came from, it was magical!"

Linda

Spencer, MA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I feel that all that was described in the RS catalogue was what I saw and I was not disappointed. Lovely traveling companions (minus one), knowledgeable tour guide and "experts" along the way to give more in-depth information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monreale (Palermo) took my breath away. The layers and layers of religious groups worshiping there over centuries and still evidence remains in beautiful condition. Hard to fathom, really."

Carmen

Fayette, ME

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experiences on the trip made the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the bakery school, and the view from our Palermo hotel."

Joseph

Highland Park, IL

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a comprehensive, exiting and informative experience. Sicily is Italy without the hordes of ever increasing tourists. There are cathedrals, rolloing countrysides, piazzas, archeological treasures, beaches all rolled into millenia of history. The chief guide and her knoweledgable helpers provided insights and sights not available to the casaul tourist. Also there were visits to the countess's and boroness's establishments giving a perspective of how Sisicly had changed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breathtaking mountain vistas and coastlines rival the worl's most wondrous. Not suprisingly the Taormina panorama stood out. The Rick Steves guide added a historical dimension which would otherwise be missed by the beach goers and shoppers."

Connie

Burlington, NJ

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went to Sicily a few days ahead of the tour with family members so that I could connect with relatives. We did and it was fabulous. Seeing the rest of Sicily afterwards made me realize just how far my roots go and the culture of the Sicilian people is something I will treasure in my heart forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that I am not sure I could pick just one. I think seeing Mt Etna erupt was definitely a wow moment, as was the feast at Maria Grammatico's house."

Jeanne

Moscow, ID

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS trip and I wasn't sure what to expect. I brought along my son's fiancé (half the age of most of us) and she wasn't sure what to expect either. We were both a little surprised at the amount of cultural / historical / regional information and insights our wonderful and cheerful guide, Stacy, was sharing with us on bus stretches between stops, but after she assured us we weren't going to be tested at the end, we were much relieved. As "newbies" we didn't know that part of the R

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This might seem a little somber, but I think my most memorable experience was visiting the Allied Landings in Sicily Museum, near Catania. It was just so well done, and I found the exhibition's photos, writings, models and other displays, bi-lingual explanations, and especially the simulation experiences gripping. It was particularly poignant for me because my uncle was killed in that war. I am not a historian, but this museum added thought-provoking context and "true stories" (of WWII, and war"

Walter

Sonoma, CA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour. It was fast moving and i enjoyed every moment. Siscily is a beautiful country and the people were warm and friendly.I would recommend this tour to all my friends and neighbors who ask about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting the Contessa in Palermo was one. All the cities we stayed in were fantastic. loved all the history i learned about the country. the world war 2 museum in Catiana was an eye opener."

Rolinda

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well paced and fun. A European heat wave was happening during our entire tour; Karen was really good about providing ample stops, keeping us in the shade and making sure we had water and gelato! The points of interest were well executed and the bus rides were always welcome (air conditioning, combined with excellent driving by Gaetano). The tour included a number of interesting and memorable stops!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery stop on the slopes of Mt Etna was a standout for me. We have been huge wine fans (living near the Napa/Sonoma/Anderson and Alexander valleys in Calif) for decades! A lot of wine tasting and tours through the years. This winery was special, with microclimates within the few hundred acres before us. The wines were exceptional, with an excellent lunch!"

George

Libertyville, IL

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent Tour guide Very well planned and organized Hit the main highlights of Sicily

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments. But Mount Etna was the best, followed by the visit to the castle in Palermo with the countess."

Mitzie

Highland Village, TX

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful. We completely enjoyed getting to see where my husband's family immigrated from and getting to meet so many people. Sicily was wonderful and the tour provided us with a taste of so many different areas. Our fellow tour members were outstanding and getting to know all of them made things even better. Thank you for organizing such a phenomenal experience for our family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Mount Etna smoke from the rooftop of our hotel in Taormina or sitting on the lawn of our Agrigento hotel laughing with all our tour members in view of the Greek temples."

Myrna

Yountville, CA

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was a wonderful destination and the tour itinerary was amazing. The tour took us to many special cities and sights. Rick Steves did a great job of mixing significant points of interest with cultural/fun experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but those that stand out were: Valley of the Temples, Mt. Aetna, the wine tasting at Benanti and the banquet/cookie making demonstration at Maria Grammatico's."

Jim

Yountville, CA

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great sights, great food and wine, great tour guide! Highlights included Valley of the Temples, all Greek; mosaics at Villa Romana del Casele; and the boat trip to Mozia Island. Many of the group meals were memorable, especially the lunch at agrituristica Casabianca, and the light appetizers and wine at the Mt Etna winery Benanti. There were nice people taking the tour with us as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples was gorgeous and impactful. I've seen so many Roman sites that I now take them for granted. But to see Greek ruins was truly amazing."

Sandra

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Karin was so very lovely, knowledgeable and patient with all of us. She encouraged us to step outside our comfort zones, helped us foster relationships with each other all the while sharing her love and enthusiasm for Sicily and the Italian culture. My husband and I agree this may have been our most favourite tour with you yet. The views from our hotels, the countess in Palermo, Mount Etna, Benanti Winery and Baroness Giovanna's agriturismo will be memories of a lifetime!

Donita

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 06/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was the. Perfect balance of organized activities and free time. The places we visited were quaint and, with a few needed exceptions, not touristy. My fellow traveleras were delightful, and I learned a lot from them. As a single woman I felt comfortable and safe. I will go on a Rick Steve's tour at least a once a year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Palermo from the rooftop of our first hotel. The city view was beautiful. I was early to breakfast and had time to take it all in with coffee in hand."

Narendra

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent Tour guides were very informative Other tour members were excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Agrigento Taormina"

Alka

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Agriegento Taormina"

Gabrielle

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thomaso was excellent, very informative. He gets a 10/10. My only recommendation is that he provides more quiet time on the bus. He loves to chat and share info which is great but perhaps on the bus it turns to opt-in using the radios so that those who want quiet time to themselves or enjoy a conversation with others can do so.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lemon linguine and all the meals actually. They were excellent."

Jennifer

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was not only my first time doing a Rick Steve's tour it was also my first time to Europe. Everyday was new and exciting. The locals were very friendly, as were the members of our group. The sites were breathtaking and the food was outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was swimming in Taormina in the incredibly clear Ionian Sea. It was absolutely breathe-taking."

Joy

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a perfect experience..I had my daughter with me and her first experience in Europe..She was so impressed with how organized and friendly the tour was for her....it was my 5th tour and once again perfect......The guides are so helpful and knowledgeable about every aspect of the tour..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the view from the roof top of our Palermo Hotel!!!! the tour of Mt.Etna and the special guide explaining the actions of Mt.Etna"

Laurel

Saint Petersburg, FL

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were astounded by how much Sicily has to offer! We met wonderful people, both locals and our fellow travelers. Every hotel was comfortable, each with different architecture, different views and helpful, friendly people. We sampled marvelous cuisines. We learned so much. The bus trips took us to so many different landscapes. And our wonderful guide, Tommaso, filled us with stories of the people, culture, agriculture, industry and his personal life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My heart skipped in awe when I walked into Monreale Cathedral and saw the exquisite mosaics framed by such culturally enhanced architecture. My first view of Segesta also took my breath away. It was incredible to experience something built over 2,500 years ago and see it still so complete."

Katherine

Dunwoody, GA

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding Sicily tour with Virginia! A fabulous mix of food, history, art, and unique Rick Steve's experiences. Excellent local docents. loved the farm house lunch with local lady-Virginia gave us some amazing foodie experiences that we could not have had on our own. Salt flat catered lunch , Mt. Etna winery lunch & Maria's cooking school lunch were memorable too!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow experience was eating dinner and looking out over the Valley of Temples illuminated by up-lighting."

Monica

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour a lot. I did feel somewhat over-programmed. The accommodations were better than my previous tour (the rooms were generally bigger and often had air conditioning), the meals were good but not great. Our guide Virginia was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one-big highlight."

Jane

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was meaningful for us as my husband's ancestors immigrated to the United States from Sicily. However, our guide and the experiences provided by our Rick Steves tour, more than just the sites we visited, made the trip even more meaningful. Most of all through a Rick Steves blog I learned of Michele Gallo (our tour guide in Agrigento for the Valley of the Temples ) who prearranged before our Sicily trip a guide to take us to the hilltop towns of my husband's ancestry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing before the Greek ruins of Segesta after visiting Palermo and the cathedral at Monreale, my "aha" moment was truly realizing that Sicily was once the crossroads of the world. The activities of this tour also helped me appreciate this beautiful island: the picnic on Mozia; the lunch in Erice and making almond cookies, watching a "pupi" show in Ortega, the valley of the Temples and Mt. Etna just to name a few ."

Jerry

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the historical and cultural experience! Enlighting!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: 1) Opportunity to visit Mt Aetna 2) World War II Museum, especially the simulated bomb shelter 3) Tour of personal home by the Countess, including a surprise choir rehearsal 4) Breath-taking views of beautiful Taormina 5) And, my favorite was the Ancient Greek Theater in Taormina area. Loved the history!!"

John

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves Tour, and it was a good as I had hoped. The tour was well planned and executed. There was time to explore on our own, as well as extremely well-planned activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing up to the upper crater at Mount Etna."

Linda

Boulder, CO

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was outstanding in all respects!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the visits to the two contessa's homes and to the vineyard were unique and something I certainly I couldn't have duplicated had I been traveling on my own."

Ann

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Alfio was very knowledgeable, organized, kind and funny. We had a good group that was interested and enthusiastic. We saw a variety of antiquities and current life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went to a Greek tragedy that the group lead organized and was extra to the tour. I was amazed that we were sitting in a Greek theatre that could have heard the same play so many years ago."

Stephanie

Boulder, CO

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As in our past 2 tours, the quality of our main tour guide and local guides were personable, organized, and very knowledgeable. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Montreal's and Villa Romana's mosaics"

Phyllis

Arlington, MA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We went to Best of Eastern Europe last year and had a wonderful experience. We really didn't think another trip could match that, but this did. Everything about Best In Sicily was exceptional: our tour guide, Alfio, the places we visited, the accommodations, the food, all the history we were exposed too. Moving and memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments. To name a few: amazing lunch in the beautiful old farm near Syracuse, the valley of the Temples, the Phoenician ruins on Mozia, the Roman mosaics, seeing a live Greek play in an ancient Greek amphitheater, Alfio's moving tour of the World War II museum and Mount Etna."

James

Arlington, MA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EVERYTHING was wonderful. Our guide Alfio was fantastic. I learned so much from him. This is my second tour with Rick Steve's and plan to do more. The food was excellent. We loved all of the meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek ruins and all of the archaeological aspects of the tour."

When To Go & Weather

Sicily's mild climate makes it a good place to visit nearly year-round. However, the months of March, April, May, June, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with few crowds and pleasant weather. September is the busiest. Visiting between November and February, offers the benefits of missing out on the sweat, stress, and crowds of the tourist season, along with cool and crisp 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 (PMO) and out of Catania (CTA) — choose "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.