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

Dates & Prices

2018

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 22 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 • Sicilian pizza demonstration • 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
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • 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 2018
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Sicily

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

Day 2: Palermo and Monreale

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

Day 3: Ancient Segesta and Mountaintop Erice

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

Day 4: Salt Harvesting and Seaside Trapani

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

Day 5: Ancient Agrigento and Country Living

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

Day 6: Roman Mosaics and Syracuse

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

Day 7: Syracuse, Past and Present

This morning we'll learn more about Ortygia and take a closer look at this small fishing island. We'll explore the local market, stroll through centuries in the Cathedral of Syracuse, and marvel at the masterpiece of the Piazza del Duomo. This afternoon we'll enjoy a lively performance of Sicily's traditional puppet theater, where the language is no barrier to entertainment. Then the rest of the day is yours to wander through Syracuse's delightful jumble of Greek, Roman, medieval, and Baroque layers — or settle on a quiet park bench with a harbor view. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Mount Etna, Wine, and Taormina

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

Day 9: Seductive Taormina

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

Day 10: Colorful Catania

We're off to Catania, nestled at the foot of Mount Etna, where this morning we'll tour the Museum of the WWII 1943 Landings in Sicily (Museo dello Sbarco). We'll learn how, nearly a year before D-Day, Allied troops found themselves fighting against — and at the same time liberating — their Italian adversaries. After a brief neighborhood orientation, you are free to wander through Catania's famous fish market, admire the Baroque architecture of the grand Piazza del Duomo, or enjoy people-watching in one of the city's many cafés. We'll gather together tonight to say arrivederci, share travel memories, enjoy the freshest Sicilian food, and toast to new friends. Salute! Sleep in Catania. (1 night). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

Pat

Moraga, CA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicely was amazing! It's a place with a complex and rich history which Alfio enthusiastically shared. The balance of activities, tours, meals, hikes and free time was perfect. I can't believe we did so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed seeing the mosaics at Villa del Casale. While the duomos had gorgeous paintings and sculptures to tell the religious stories, the mosaics were a more secular representation of their lives. That they are so beautifully preserved is incredible!"

Don

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and it exceeded my expectations in every way. The tour was exceptionally well planned and every minute of our time was well utilized for learning and experiencing the culture, people and places. Our guide became part of "our family" and we his. We didn't just hear about Sicily, we became Sicilian. Our hotels, transportation, food, special events, and tour information blended into a unique and very memorable experience of history, people and place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the amazingly well preserved Greek temples and theaters and experiencing why these stunningly beautiful sites in Sicily became the land of the Gods."

Ghalib

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily blew me away. The landscape, the history, the food, the people - amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Piazza Duomo in Siracusa at night for the first time. I fell in love."

April

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply amazing! After four Rick Steves Tours, I can say without a doubt the guide can make or break the experience. Alfio absolutely delivered an incredible experience. Each day was filled with great food, helpful and educational information, fun activities and something new and incredible about Sicily. I feel like we got to know the people and culture of Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every single day was a wow moment. The meals, the views, the activities....this was the most packed tour of the four that I have taken, and was hands down my favorite!"

Mary Ann

Springfield, VA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really loved the pace of this trip. The itinerary was perfect--and the well thought out pace gave us plenty of time to enjoy beautiful Sicily. And, Alfio was an amazing tour guide. I loved his humor and his knowledge of the country. I felt at home with him, which is not easy when you meet someone for the first time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight of the trip for me was the visit to the World War II museum in Catania. Alfio's lecture as we went through the museum was extraordinary. I am a retired high school history teacher and I only wish my students could have had the experience of that tour. I also enjoyed seeing the Salt pans in Trapani and visiting Mozia. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful experience with nature."

Stanley

Savannah, GA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With a tour leader like Alfeo , ever enthusiastic, ever knowing-a true leader in all ways- it would be difficult to imagine having a better experience than our Sicilian adventure. The choices of locations, restaurants, guides, hotels, and organization of the tour was the best in my experience. Nothing was left to chance, even the fantastic weather. Alfeo filled all the gaps of knowledge relative to Sicilian history and his hyperbole relative to our meals, and food in general, was without equal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maria's cooking lesson, Tapania, Agrighento, Syracuse, and Taormina were all wonderful. My 'wow' moments occurred each day, but Agrighento was extra special. The sights related to century old temples and surrounding ruins were awe inspiring and worth the expense of the trip by themselves."

Jim

Moraga, CA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting historical sites in Sicily I have never seen before. Good way to relate to the culture of this region of the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the mountaintop town of Erice."

Robert

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was apprehensive heading into this tour. This was our 3rd with Rick Steves. Our 1st tour through the Adriatic was amazing. The 2nd through Eastern France, well not so much. Let me just say that this tour exceeded all expectations. Alfio was amazing. His knowledge, attention to detail and passion for history was remarkable. His ability to educate while at the same time entertain us made it an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed Taormina. The hotel, view, food and overall experience resonated with me. The sunsets behind Mt. Etna were unforgettable. I hope we can return someday soon!"

Ed

Newport, PA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall tour experience was much, much better than I anticipated. The food-the food!-was an important part of the experience, not something I expected. Getting to the venue, however, and finding accommodations previous to the beginning of the tour were difficult. Other tours I have taken offered these perks as an optional part of the tour and were very helpful. Some gewgaws I ordered as part of the $100 thing were incomplete, the travel clock; or didn't work, the compass thingy. Oops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek theatres."

Kathleen

Savannah, GA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first moment, Alfio made our sojourn in Sicily both delicious and delightful. Despite our travails in getting to Palermo, airline delays and cancellations, meeting our Rick Steve's gang made everything so much better. This was the perfect marriage of culture, culinary delight and comedy. Alfio combined local guides with local market excursions to give us a real feel for living in this colorful locale. On the bus, Alfio had maps and talks to prepare us for our next adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Origento...the cathedral...to walk where people had been consecrating this place for thousands and thousands of years. And as we are leaving a young bride mounts the steps. A street performer's music wafted on the air and the crowd parted to let her cross the square followed by her parents.Priceless moment"

Robert

Springfield, VA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Sicily trip was all we expected and more. Sicily provides a real cornucopia of pleasures for travelers: varied geography, amazing history, a fascinating mix of cultures and people, and top notch food. With our outstanding guide Alfio expertly guiding us through what can sometimes be a very complicated place, we were able to enjoy everything at a pace that allowed for planned activities as well as exploring on our own. Our group meshed very well and we enjoyed many good times together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples, the Roman villa, Mt. Etna, meeting contessas and Maria all were highlights. That said, my special "wow" moment was gazing out at the serene Great Harbor of Siracusa one night at sunset and imagining it was 413 BC and the Athenian fleet was anchored in the harbor. Then my thoughts jumped to July 1943 when the Siracusans awoke one morning to see British forces occupying that same harbor. J.J. Norwich calls Sicily "an island at the crossroads of history"-how true!"

Jane

Moraga, CA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Sicilian tour was magical, just as I imagined it would be. We have traveled all over Italy and Sicily was as thrilling as the other locals. Loved meeting so many locals and visiting ancient civilizations. Most of our hotels were beautiful and locations convenient. Food was like no other i have had. Fish, pasta, and the best gelato in the middle of nowhere, like shave ice on Kauai. Romantic Mt Etna following us here and there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One cannot have just one WOW moment in Sicily. Moments were strung like a necklace from Palermo to Taormina. My first WOW was the golden mosaic Christ in the hilltop town of Monreale followed by our excellent bus driver Giuseppe driving us up a steep curving road to Erice . Maria G hosted my favorite lunch ever. Pottery and museum in Agrigento. Crunching in volcanic gravel near the top of Mt Etna. Drinking wine at Viagrande on the slope.Watching sunset on plaza in Taormina all WOW!"

Tina

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well paced with a nice mix of sites and activities, nice balance of alone and group time Interesting, like minded travelers despite significant age gap weather was fab! Alfio was a confident and great guide Hotels were divine! Plenty of educational info-nice mix of cultural, language, history, etiquette etc Bus comfy, driver adorable Appreciated sticking with schedule but allowing for modifications as appropriate

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Square and cathedral in Siracusa! The history in that one building gave me chills and wedding between Italian and Swedish woman (St Lucia!) from US happening that day added to it all! Seemed like Sicily all wrapped up in a bow with gelato stand nearby. Later that night classical guitarist played on steps and stray cats strolled by...had also read about this cathedral in Jackie's Sicily book b4 we came (and we got to meet her too-another surprise)"

Jonathan

Carlisle, PA

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we couldn't have been more pleased. True Gate One and Caravan spoiled us by carrying our luggage, and you tour seemed more expensive, but with all the extras and tips all three were nearly the same.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The perfect weather. 11 days without rain."

William

Bonita Springs, FL

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Entered this trip without expectations and must say that between the beauty, history and wonderful weather of Sicily I was overwhelmed with this tour! Alfeo our guide was friendly,extremely knowledgeable and quite the Sicilian charmer who performed magic with his preparation and selection of guides and sites to see. He converted my wife and I to Rick Steeves fans! Thank you Alfeo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list."

Karen

Bonita Springs, FL

Tour: 10/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is fabulous!!! So much to see and learn. Our Guide, Alfio, was so informative, well-prepared & funny. His stories and insight into Sicilian life were eye opening. Somehow he always managed to have our group at a site first, so we weren't behind bus loads of other tourists trying to see the same sight. This was very helpful, and definitely made the experiences better. We were able to see things undisturbed and at a leisurely pace. Alfio is the best. We all loved him in the group

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Do I have to choose? The VIEWS for everywhere were stellar. For me, my WoW moment was a simple thing. My grandparents on my mother's side were both Sicilian. One day we had lunch at a farmhouse that was in the area near where my grandfather grew up. On the table of snacks was a Sicilian spinach pie my grandmother used to make, and it tasted exactly the same. WOW. I had been looking to make this but did not have a recipe. Alfio told me what it was called. I found a recipe! WOW"

Joseph

Woodbury, NY

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily, the island is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. With its mountains, history, coastlines, food and wonderful people it stands alone clearly as the gem of the Mediterranean. This was all brought to life by our fabulous guide Virginia who was extremely knowledgeable, personable and funny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There could be so many.....probably seeing Mt Etna from the Continental Hotel terrace certainly rates as one of those moments...also that beautiful coastline with crystal blue water..."

Sharon

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone here in Canada. I doubt if it will be my last. It was fun, informative, well organized and reasonable in cost.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say that there were many WOW moments but I loved seeing the delicious spread of foods at the farmhouse luncheon and also at Erice(home of the pastry queen!)"

Dale

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very satisfied with the overall program-good balance of culture, history, cuisine, architecture etc Also pleased with having unstructured time and the amount of time we had to take in whatever it was we were visiitng.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say there were so many........"

Laura

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love, love, loved this tour! Sicily is a challenging place to visit[INVALID]kind of the Wild West of Italy. The history is complex, and the culture is unique. Our guide, Virginia, made it interesting and accessible. Her connections with real people who shared their stories with us, made it all come alive. Meeting these individuals was what really made this tour meaningful to me: the Count and Countess, Maria Grammatico, Salvino Benanti from the Benanti winery, and the couscous man in Trapani. Amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral at Monreale was absolutely amazing. I have been in so many churches and cathedrals that they all start to look alike, but this one was truly unique. Virginia gave us a solid background in the history, and I had done some reading about it, but it knocked my socks off. It gave me a deep sense of the cultural mix that makes up the history of Sicily. It is a treasure. A close second would be the tour of the Benanti Winery on the slopes of Mt. Etna."

Stephen

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia is incredible: as a guide and as a human being. All the best of this tour truly involved her identity as a European and a resident of Seattle w/ advanced education. Palermo and Monreale were alive with her knowledge of Roger II and William II and their liberal inclusive policies.The relationship between Erice and the salt flats and seaport of Trapani was made clear.In sum: the locales were well-chosen and enjoyable, but Virginia provided the context and meaning. She was delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thoroughly enjoyed going "behind the scenes", or at least behind the privacy walls, in our visit to Palazzo Federico in Palermo. The Contessa's story is the stuff of romantic fiction; and her tour around the palazzo was filled with irony and history. Irony because the two of them must take in tourists to pay the bills, history because of the centuries-old title and the lands now lost. But the "wow" moments occurred the we met the Count in his"man cave" and we talked racing cars and engines."

Judith

Woodbury, NY

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our wonderful guide Virginia helped make our group a happy & friendly "family". We chose Rick's because it included ALL the locations we wanted to see & they were all great! The tour was very well organized & included many interesting extras like puppets, couscous, winery & pastries. We had a really great time!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but I think my favorite was the view from atop the ancient greek theater in Taormina. Seeing the full, crystal clear vista of the town, the theater, the coastline, the sea and the smoking Mt Etna all at once was a breathtaking and unforgettable experience!"

Linda

Benicia, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent tour guide. The accommodations were great and the group of fellow tour members were very compatible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tour and luncheon."

Steven

Long Lake, MN

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Sicily was THE BEST because of our guide, Virginia, and the excellent group of 24 we traveled with! This was our 3rd RS Tour. I love having the time planned out for me and love the daily free time. Reconnecting with old friends and making new is so refreshing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea Brrrrrrr"

Ching

Monroe Township, NJ

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our first trip with Rick Steves. It's quite different from our trips with other companies and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. Some of the hotels we stayed in were really nice, but a couple were small and spartan, and very noisy too, as we had rooms facing the street. No wonder we needed ear plugs! The tour was well organized and we had a group of very friendly and fun tour mates. Our guide Virginia was professional , friendly and experienced, and she kept us on our toes!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our 'wow' moments were the visits to the local markets. We especially enjoyed the first market at Catania, where we saw fish stall owners yelling on top of their voices trying to sell their products. We actually sat next to the stalls, in a restaurant, for a sea food lunch, and the grilled tuna was the best we've had in ages!"

Judith

Naples, FL

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole trip was amazing. We expierenced so much of Sicily and learned so much of the culture. Our guide was the best. He was knowledgeable, kind, interesting, and caring! Going off the beaten path and being immersed with people and places and food was the best expierence. Kudos to Tommaso!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is hard to pinpoint one! Mount Etna was one of my highlights."

Patty

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my already high expectations. Sicily deserves to be on everyone's list of "must see" destinations. Trifecta of Phoenician, Greek, Roman ruins. The food. The wine. The people. What is not to love?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How to pick.... Visiting the contessa and the palazzo in Palermo? The view from the Roman theater in Taormina? No, it would have to be lunch and cooking class with Maria - who can resist "nun's boobies"?"

Kathy

Shelburne Falls, MA

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never been on a tour before and my experience was way beyond my expectations. Our tour guide was excellent, the local guides were incredibly knowledgeable, the group was made up of great people, the food was heaven, and the historic sites were truly thrilling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three favorite "wow" moments. Being at the Lampadusa family home in Palermo (I'm a big fan of "The Leopard"). Our wonderful outdoor market lunch was sooo much fun, not to mention delicious! And also suddenly seeing the Greek Temple as we walked down the hill in Segesta."

Cheryl

Aurora, ON

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments but ultimately for me it was the very unique food experiences that we had in Sicily. On our own , we could never have found such wonderful authentic eating experiences like: Maria's baking cookies, pizza demonstrations, lunch at the Contessa's farm, the Benanti winery at Mt Etna,market lunch in Syracuse. These were truly Rick Steves moments!"

Bernadette

Waltham, MA

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just when I thought I'd had the best day, the following day would be just as delightful. This was the case for the whole tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed going to the two aristocratic ladies homes; one in Palermo and the other in the countryside in Lentini.These were experiences I wouldn't have been able to manage if I was traveling on my own. Lunch in the open-air market was great fun also."

Robert

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In a word: wonderful. Tomaso was such an excellent guide. He knew people and landed us experiences that we could not have had otherwise. But most important, he was always spot on and there to be helpful, informative, and kind. But that is what we have come to expect from Rick Steves tour guides. The places we visited were all fantastic. And, of course, it was Italy so the food was fantastic. The accommodations were excellent as well. We give the Best of Sicily our highest recommendation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am torn, between lunch with Maria at her cooking school and the temples at Agrigento. I guess I give the ancient Greeks the edge."

William

Naples, FL

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time, I loved the places we visited, all the food and wine as well as the guide Tommaso were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the historic sites we visited."

Christine

Saint Petersburg, FL

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour with Rick Steve's, and I was very impressed. It was very well organized; we never had to wait in line for anything, not even to check in at the hotels! We had lots of varied activities, such as the pastry and pizza lessons, the winery visit, the tour of the Contessa's house in Palermo and the vulcanologist lecture, that I think I could never have coordinated if I had tried to organize a trip like this for myself alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked it all."

Rosemary

Morristown, NJ

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was simply wonderful! It was the first full vacation tour I have taken and I was so pleased. Tommaso Pante is an amazing guide. He was knowledgeable, helpful, accommodating and entertaining. He made the trip! I loved that we got to see so much of this beautiful country and learn so much of it's rich history. The food and wine were amazing! Everyone on the tour was great and of like mind -interested in exploring, learning and enjoying! I am sold now! Can't wait to book my next!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think there was just one - so to name a few. The beauty and views everywhere you look! From Erice, Taormina, Mt. Etna. I loved the small church built into a cave on the mountain top looking over Taormina. The caretaker let us out to view the cross there that you can see for miles. The Valley of the Temples and I loved the town of Ortygia!"

Elaine

Irvington, NY

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have asked for a better tour experience. Loved the guide, our local guides, the variety of experiences, our fellow travelers, the food and the balance of group time and free time was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't think I had one "wow" moment. Each experience was unique (food, wine, cooking school, Mt. Etna, Greek and Roman ruins....) and the balance was perfect."

Neila

Fairfield, CT

Tour: 10/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great! It had a good mix of tourist attractions and local culture. I knew it was an active tour but some of the days were too long and had a little too much walking for me. It would be nicer if there was more time at the end of the day to relax once we get to the hotel rather than do the orientation walking tour. By that time I was already tired. My fellow travelers on the tour were all great! I enjoyed sharing our tour experiences with many of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The baking lesson and lunch at Maria Grammatico's school in Erice. It was so much fun for all of us and the food and wine was delicious! Love those almond cookies and her cannoli!"

Joan

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized tour to Europe and it was outstanding. Such a small group (26) made the logistics manageable and we were able to get to know everyone so well. Communication was clear and audible. Sure we saw all the important sites that everyone else sees but it was the unique side experiences, the personal interaction with the people and their businesses, that absolutely "made" the trip as amazing as it was. Food was amazing and accommodations excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My mom (an Italian from Tuscany) met my dad (officer in the American army) as he marched north thru Italy after Operation Husky in Sicily. So I found the WWII museum experience in Catania extraordinarily interesting and very moving. Also, I LOVED our time with Maria Grammatico learning how to make marvelous Sicilian desserts and having a wonderful lunch. It was perfect!"

Paul

West Chester, PA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah is one of the most prepared, knowledgeable, conscientious and hardworking people I have ever met in my 64 years. Her passion for her work is obvious. Coordinating the guides, shepparding the participants and having everything run smoothly was principally because of her efforts even though we had a great group on the Sicily tour. I usually travel independently and am happy to do so. However, on this trip I saw about 3 times as much because of the organized tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Puppet show. The puppet museum in Palermo should also be included in your best of Sicily tours. Mt, Etna and Taomino were also hightlights."

Ken

Woodland, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful combination of beautiful seaside towns and layers upon layers of ancient history and civilizations. Loved wandering the narrow 2,000 year old cobblestone streets lined with sidewalk cafes. Awesome food and excellent inexpensive wine! Sicily is a wonderful place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina[INVALID]- the view from high above on the cliffs looking down on the blue Mediterranean sea below."

Judith

Fayetteville, NC

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second tour with Sarah! We were delighted to have her again. She is a natural guide with a sincere passion for Italy. This tour was just as good as our previous two tours in Italy, but Sicily had the added feeling of being in a place that a lot of Americans don't go to or know about. The hotels seemed even nicer than usual in Sicily and I particularly liked the beautiful terraces in Palermo and Taormina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first and favorite wow moment was walking out on the Hotel Ambasciotri terrace and seeing Palermo and the mountains surrounding the city. It wowed me every time, day and night!"

Julia

Woodland, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour leader, Sarah, was outstanding. Knowledgeable, efficient and very well informed about Sicilian culture and history. We enjoyed getting to know her and look forward to her Sicily "book." Accommodations -- well located and very nice. Great breakfasts! Tour lunches and dinners were fun and tasty. Especially the wine tasting and vineyard lunch at Benanti. Local guides: All were easy to understand and knowledgeable. Transportation: Very smooth. Loved the bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but the first evening to be able to look out over the Palermo skyline was especially thrilling. The Roman villa featuring the mosaics was also a big wow. So was the Norman church in Palermo and the Valley of Temples. The salt flat Phoenician ruins and museum was a big surprise. Too many wows. We had no idea Sicily was so rich in history with so many points of interest. All the towns we stayed in were interesting, especially Ortygia."

Earl

Fayetteville, NC

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

2nd tour with Sarah was even better than the first.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Torsmina"

Sandra

Manasquan, NJ

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with Rick Steves Tours and it certainly will not be my last. My overall tour experience was 100% plus perfect. Sarah was very professional and friendly and made us feel like family not just a group of tourist. She enabled us to arrive early at popular sights to avoid the later crowds. A plus for sure. She included special "treats" into the tour that provide her personal touch (visit with the Contessa in Palermo and our granita treat in Catania)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up on our first morning in Palermo welcomed by the beautiful view provided outside on the terrace of the Hotel Ambasciatori. It was picture perfect. Everything just got better from that moment on. The "wows" just kept coming."

Judith

West Allis, WI

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah is an excellent guide and very enthusiastic about Sicily. We also had a great group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our fish dinner which I loved, and I hate fish! Greek temples, mother Etna, and roman mosaics."

George

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent from beginning to end. Sarah is an incredibly intelligent, engaging, and kind tour guide who bent over backwards to make sure we each had a meaningful and memorable experience. She not only provided excellent content and background but also helped provide a great social, political, and cultural context for what we were seeing. I cannot commend her enough. The accommodations were excellent... for the most part. Only Palermo and Siracusa fell a little short of expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was the opportunity to meet and talk with Maria Grammatica and see her kitchen. It was great to hear her personal story and to see the way she has brought something very positive and powerful from a difficult background. The facility was beautiful and the food she served was some of the best we had on the whole trip."

Dennis

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Karin did a great job. But, having been to Italy about 7 times before, the content of the tour didn't add very much for us. We were traveling with friends, so we had a good time nonetheless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two items stood out: baking cookies on the hill in Erice and lunch at the winery on the slopes of Mt Etna."

Blythe

Forest Knolls, CA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having been independent travelers all our lives, we weren't sure what it would be like joining a tour group. While traveling with a group is an entirely different experience and I wouldn't want to compare it with independent travel, we were absolutely delighted with the experience. We loved the pace and the thoughtful efficiency of travel as well as some independent time, focus on the essence of Sicily, the comfort and location of accommodations, all of the guides, and FOOD! We'd do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truly, it was all WOW. I am known, only occasionally, to dissolve into tears at the most surprising things that touch me. In Sicily, it was walking into a very plain church facade to the most ornate baroque interior where you could feel the depth of history and passion of faith. In Sicily, it was also the fantastic meals and the care with which they are prepared and served: Who dissolves into tears over pizza? I did."

Karen

Dayton, OH

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour with Karin in Sicily was outstanding. I did not do very much research about Sicily before I went as I wanted each day to be like a gift that would unfold before me. So many times during the tour, I would turn to my husband and say, "These special touches are what makes this a Rick Steves' Tour". While, I have taken other tours, nothing so far can top a Rick Steves' Tour. Tour guide, size of group, food, hotels, and all your special touches are truly one of the best I have experienced

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the reconstructed atlas in the archaeological museum located in the Valley of the Temples. The sheer magnitude of the atlas was impressive."

Dave

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

FYI: This is the first guided tour trip we have taken - we have always traveled on our own. Sicily was revealed as one of the best kept secrets in the world. Such an important part of Europe's culture and history. Our tour guide, Karin, gave us a comprehensive overview of Sicily complemented with her broad knowledge of the history of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples in Agrigento"

Richard

Dayton, OH

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily was much more than I expected and was a surprise in terms of its long history of 14 foreign incursions. The architecture influences of major conqistadors was an aspectt I had never known before. Our Guide was a consummate professional and provided many experiences, history, good humor, genuine friendliness and overwhelming competence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The construction of temples, churches, mosques(?), and massive defensive emplacements could only suggest the advanced knowledge and capability in engineering and science."

Gregg

Marblehead, MA

Tour: 09/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time! Every place that we visited was spectacular. We enjoyed sharing our experiences with a friendly and interesting group of fellow travelers. The special events including the tour of the Palazzo Federico by the countessa with the special bonus of the concert, lunch with the Baroness at her farm, the lunch and cooking lesson with Maria and the Roman Villa of Casale show why Rick Steve's tours are the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments it is impossible to pick just one. Our favorites were the Roman Villa of Casale and the meeting and tour of the Palazzo Federico with the Contessa."

Alice

Somerville, MA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Seeing Sicily was great fun, and different enough from the Best of Italy tour that it didn't seem like a repeat of anything. It was interesting to see the Greek, Arabic, and Norman layers of history. The food was delicious, and we had a cheerful and social group of people. Lots of opportunities to see extra archeological museums or sites, visit extra churches, or pursue personal interests outside of the scheduled activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Clambering around a minor crater on Mt Etna, and seeing the Roman mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale. Outside of the arranged tour activities, I also liked going to Mass at Saint Agatha's Cathedral in Catania, sketching at the archaeological museum in Palermo, seeing the ancient Greek theater at Syracuse, beach combing at Trapani, and getting fresh squeeze pomegranate juice and a beef spleen sandwich."

Tom

Homewood, IL

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything we expected and more. We took the Heart of Italy tour and this was even better. There was more fabulous food and the views were unbelievable. There were also more surprises like the oratorio in Palermo and the Church underground in Syracuse. Sicily is Italy, but not exactly so it is familiar but different. Virginia was a great tour guide. She learned everyone's personality very quickly and helped form bonds right away. An overall great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hidden Oratorio in Palermo and the beautiful mountaintop views."

Victoria

Norwich, NY

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have traveled extensively in Europe, usually on our own, using Rick's guide books. We have always loved our trips and have felt he was always dead on with his recommendations. Having said that I have to admit this was by far the best tour we have ever taken. The tour was well organized and packed with wonderful surprises! We are thinking of taking a Rick Steves Tour of Greece in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are far too many "wow" moments to mention. The Greek Temples? Roman ruins? Architecture? Mt Etna? I loved interacting with the locals like when we had lunch at the agritourism villa with a gracious hostess. The trip to the vineyard was wonderful too! Our visit with the Count and Countess of Frederico Palazza was amazing! Being a "foodie" I loved all of the wonderful food that was part of the tour. I can tell you that there was more than one moment when I wished I could just freeze time!!"

Thomas

Norwich, NY

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have always used Rick's guide books to travel in Europe. For this journey we decided to book a tour.We were so pleased to have made this choice.From day one until the tour finished ,we often commented on how wonderful this trip was. The travel arrangements , the guides and especially the food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many to choose from but if I had select one it would probably be Taromina."

David

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific! Virginia was an outstanding guide -so much fun to be around and so well organized. Fellow travelers were good fun too, group meals were wonderful, and every day was filled with great experiences. Highlights included the visit to the mikvah, the Villa Romana, the Valley of the Temples, swimming at Ortygia, the wonderful feast at the farmhouse, the Cathedral at Monreale, and so much more. Alisandro was a masterful driver and a lot of fun and the bus was so comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Villa Romana, the Valley of the Temples, swimming in the ocean at Ortygia, the Cathedral at Monreale, the heavenly lunch at the farm, the visit to Erice and the cooking lesson with the pastry chef, then eating her heavenly pastries, visiting the salt pans in Trapani (and learning about the Carthaginians), going up the side of Mt Etna. There were "wow" moments every day!!"

Agatha

Highland Lakes, NJ

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the reasons Rick Steves' tour deserves praise is that we never sat on the bus for more than 2 hours and it was usually less than an 1 ½ . The rides from city to city were always broken up with a stop at a historical site along the way or, if no sites were in route, a wonderful lunch break at a farm or vineyard was arranged. Bus rides were a time to learn about Sicily, go through photos, read, rest, or just gaze out the window. Time flowed from one enjoyable experience to the next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hum, favorite? The Oratorio in Palermo where Virginia related the story of the stolen Caravaggio; the bomb shelter and place for the Jewish bathing ritual under the Roman Catholic Church; the audaciously opulent church in Palermo which, until recently, was only used by 24 nun; and Virginia showing us the small symbol on the door of a local business and explaining its anti-mafia meaning, were all "wow" moments for me, but I don't think I have a favorite."

James

Bloomfield, NJ

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I believe the tour exposed us to the major sites and cities of Sicily and while doing so it gave us a very good understanding of the significant history of the country. The tour was excellent, well thought out, and organized to make best use of the 11 days. I found the tour's use of "on your own" time to be just right. The tour guide (Virginia) was the best and the people in the tour group added to the enjoyment of the tour. I couldn't imagine a more enjoyable tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was so enjoyable that it's not possible to identify a single "Wow" moment. There was a "wow" moment almost every day. My favorites included the Monreale Cathedral, the Phoenician island of Mozia, the Valley of the Temples, the Villa Romana del Casale, Mount Etna, and the Museum of the 1943 Landings."

Charles

Tumwater, WA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed being with a great group of fellow travelers, having a fantastic tour guide, and visiting one of the beautiful places in europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Segesta was like a dream. The setting for the temple was breathtaking. The roman mosaics in Villa Romana Casale were exciting to share with all of those who ever visited this ancient sight. The winery near Taormina was very interesting and the lunch there was the best."

Wendy

Hampton, NH

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Prior to going on the trip, I did not realize the wealth of Sicily's history. The many groups and cultures that left their mark were reflected in places that we visited, including the Greek ruins at Segesta and Agrigento, the Phoenician settlement at Mozia, and the beautiful mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale. But it was not just a tour of historical sites. We truly enjoyed the beauty of the region, as well as the opportunity to see what life was like in both cities and hillside towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be hard to identify a single moment. Favorites included the Greek ruins at the Valley of the Temples and the spectacular mosaics in the Roman villa. Mt. Etna was amazing, as were the beautiful, sweeping views from Taormina. Also, our Sicilian pastry lesson with Maria Grammatico was unique and fun."

Robert

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Enriching experiences. Excellent food. Nina is a superb rep for Rick Steves tours, a gem [INVALID] she was the sparkle for our experience. Kept the group on track. No participant visible hitches. Resolved participant caused issues quickly and professionally.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overall excellent experience."

Sally

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous trip. Great Guide. We learned so much. It was like taking a graduate course in ancient and modern history. Amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to think of one! First of all there was the sea! Then visiting the island of Murcia and seeing the road laid by the Phoenicians around 800 b.c. Also, seeing and learning about the many ancient Jewish quarters around Sicily"

Mele

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic guide in Nina - learned more about Sicily (current and history) than I'd ever learn on my own. She's fun, intelligent, and a joy. [ hope didn't overdo it - but I'd go on another tour with her any time]. All locations were well balanced and fun. Ate my way around Sicily and loved it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick only one."

Jon

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was outstanding! This is the first full tour we have done, we did a My Way last year, and the amount of information was amazing. We saw and did things that we would not have seen or done if we were not with a tour group. You have packed a lot into a short time. We got to see a number of different towns and sights and get a good feel for Sicily One recommendation is that you add a day or have a morning where there is no activity so folks can sleep in. Everyone was pretty tired.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about the history of Sicily and all the different civilizations/cultures that have shaped the island. It was amazing to see how each culture influenced the next. For me, the Casale Roman Villa was a truly amazing sight. The mosaics were so vivid and alive it was almost as if they had been laid recently. We got there early enough to avoid the crowd but still had plenty of time to enjoy the Villa."

Peter

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very informative tour of Sicily, an island full of history and where the food is excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite spot on the island was Taormina located on the coast with mountains very close by."

Karen

Greensburg, PA

Tour: 09/19/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Of the four Rick Steves tours we have taken, this was my least favorite. Maybe because the tour was shorter, I felt we had very little free time. We did see and experience some very unique things that we could have never done on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Participating in the various cooking demonstrations."

Karen

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I had hoped for - great history, great sites, fantastic food, and top notch guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the Agrigento site. Our local guide was fantastic and so was the weather - perfect for imagining life 2500 years ago."

Gail

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Didn't expect Sicily to pull at my heartstrings as it did, fell in love with it and think of it every day. Our experience on that island is a happy memory. Our leader Mari was part of making it special, she told us Sicilian stories, was patient, kind, and supportive. thank you Mari:) Can still hear her saying "Si Si Si" A procession of Sicilians honoring St. Rosalia was a touching moment.Wish we had more time in Erice, would've loved to see Cefalu, & Ragusa, but so happy with all we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh, where to begin? Loved view from rooftop Palermo hotel, loved every minute of the contessas home in Palermo! Trapani & esp. Erice so lovely. Ortygia was a beautiful experience, so fun exploring that city, our favorite. The lunch at the countess' home in the country, she was so lovely. The wine tasting site! Taormina, the views!! So happy when we got to the Madonna Della Rocca church and it was open. I was alone in there for awhile, what a moving memory for my heart. I will never forgot it."

Jack

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would recommend this tour to friends. Its strengths were acquiring a much better understanding of Sicily's culture and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman Villa Mosaic was my favorite wow moment."

Jan

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good. Palermo perhaps isn't the best place to start or stay in at all: it is very crowded, very noisy and very dirty [trash all over the streets]. Probably would be tough to avoid it altogether but maybe only one night and then head elsewhere [Segesta, Monreale, etc.]

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Valley of the Temples"

Dana

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. Sicily is such an interesting place to visit, and the tour itinerary and our tour guide ensured that in our 10 days we saw the best of it and had the best experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Palermo is a city that at first seems daunting, but by the time we left I was so happy that we got acquainted with this vibrant, interesting and historic place."

William

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is a fascinating place and this tour provided a wonderful introduction to its people, culture, food, and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Valley of the Gods."

Diane

Leroy, NY

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was a good travel experience nice to include wine in the meals provided

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing Taromina from the deck of the hotel Seeing the temple at Segestra"

Salvatore

Lincoln, CA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great balance of learning about Sicilian culture, history, and lifestyle while having fun. Sicily is a hidden treasure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento was a wow!"

Myron

Norfolk, CT

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was really terrific. We were particularly interested in the ancient history of Sicily, and we certainly got more than we hoped for in that dimension. But we also really enjoyed the other aspects of our tour. Our guides were uniformly excellent and responsive, and our tour director was most professional and extremely pleasant. We only wish we had had more time at a few places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow moments" were the Valley of the Temples, the Villa Romana del Casale, and the Greek theatre in Syracuse."

Robert

Le Roy, NY

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of Sicily! The tour guide, Mari, was great, very knowledgeable, and made the tour very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably wandering around in the delightful city of Taormina. It was a simply beautiful small city with lots of things to see. The background of Mt. Etna was simply stunning."

Stephen

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From our arrival in Palermo to our departure from Catania this tour was so much more than I expected. Our group and tour leader were fantastic. All the sites and local tours made Sicily come alive. Our local guides made each visit a gem with their local knowledge and engaging manner. The country is gorgeous and the people charming. The history and ancient sites really made this a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. The sweeping views from Erice and Taromina, the island of Mozia etc. The "Valley of the Temples" in Agrigento was my biggest WOW. Our local guide was fantastic and he brought the site alive."

Wayne

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very informative and we saw things we would not have seen on our own. My only problem with the tour was beyond your control and that was the heat. Our guide was outstanding. She set the ground rules upfront so we new what to expect. Virginia is extremely knowledgeable about the sites we saw and Italy in general.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my wow moment was the incredible number of ancient sites in Sicily and the number of cultures they covered. It was also a bit surprising that Italy was a 3rd world country until after WWII."

Paul

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Generally good pace, varied range of experiences, all but last hotel were fine. (Last was too remotely located to be of use, resulting in a half-day lost.) Breakfasts and certain tour-arranged meals were very good, 2 "seafood feasts" were a disappointment. Farmhouse and winery tour were exceptional dining/drinking experiences. Tour director was pleasant in manner and kept things well organized, but would have welcomed more commentary re areas transited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Farmhouse and winery visits, salt flats visit. (Never seen anything like that.)"

Thomas

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

all was good. virginia is definitely a keeper. did a very good job. the group was compatible and the tour was as billed. I thought the tour was well planned out, although it is really 10 days. accommodation-4 star in sickly-food and wine very good, almond cookies delicious! I would go back to sicily again.antonio playing the sax was great touch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the pasta dinner at the olive farm was right up there."

Michele

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm sorry this is so late. After back to back tours to Rome and Sicily, things were hectic at home. Nevertheless, I want to say how much I loved Sicily, the tour, and traveling with our wonderful guide, Virginia!! I've wanted to go to Sicily for most of my adult life (my maternal grandparents came from a small town in Sicily). I loved Palermo in all its contrasts, the grittiness, the wonderful market, the lovely piazzas. I loved Sicily's stark and also verdant beauty, the food,people, ruins.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first "wow" moment was flying from Rome over Sicily: the beautifully stark, mountains and then green. Another "wow" moment was the drive up to Erice, and Erice, itself, beautiful, ethereal viiews. A less tangible, but deeply moving and fascinating wow, were the layers and layers of culture and history evident everywhere. The ruins, the gorgeous Byzantine, Baroque, Arabic churches,architecture, influences on food, language. The utter richness and tragedy of the history. Loved Ortega. Taormi"

Kay

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded my expectations. I've traveled a lot in Europe in the last 20 years--mostly through doing home exchanges--but purposely avoided going on a tour. I always imagined that tours might seem slick and canned and superficial. What a relief it was to discover that the R.S. Sicily Tour avoiding those pitfalls. I attribute most of that to the excellence of the Tour Guide, Virginia, but also to the methodology behind the planning of the R.S. itinerary--a good mix-and-match of experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the pastry rolling demonstration in Maria's kitchen near Erice. This was an experience I couldn't have arranged on my own. The fact that the kitchen demonstration was participatory was an excellent idea and then to have it topped off by a delicious buffet lunch featuring local specialties was a great experience. Placing this stop early on in the tour seemed like a well thought-out idea since it was a good introduction of what was to come in the following days. Also loved Villa Romana."

Pam

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing sites & group experience. Never on a group tour before. A very warm & fun group to travel with. A very educational experience. Our bus driver was wonderful; got us safely through the maze of traffic & we loved his "break-out) saxophone concert!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting such nice people; our guide, Virginia, was absolutely amazing. Especially enjoyed Mt Etna & the Valley of Temples."

Alida

Chappaqua, NY

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on other tours before but I think this was the best tour ever! From the beautiful scenery to the incredible meals- it was a difficult to find anything that did not knock your socks off. The group was agreeable and easygoing- (no grumps) and the pace was just about right. I was apprehensive that the physical level might be a bit tiring but I had no difficulty. You need to be prepared to walk several blocks with your suitcases. It's fine because you need to burn off the calories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting the Countess in her Villa in Palermo had got to be one of my favorite moments ever! The huge doors opened and there she stood on the balcony saying "Welcome! Please come up!"

David

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time tour participant I didn't really know what to expect. I enjoyed just about everything we did both as a group and individually. Memories that stand out are meal times and other moments of interaction with tour members. The real highlight of the tour was our leader, Virginia. She had me looking forward to her bus-time lectures on all things Italian. Loved her insights and understanding of post WW1 Italian culture and politics...and the repartee was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Roman Villa's mosaics and walking through the villa itself."

Patricia

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a sequence of sublime experiences, with the best possible group of companions, all impeccably coordinated by our charming leader, Virginia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going for our orientation walk in Ortigia and ending up in Piazza Duomo in the evening; it just felt magical. We let ourselves get lost walking around the island and ended up at an outdoor jazz concert being played in the courtyard of the Castillo, then walked the perimeter of the island to get back to the lovely hotel"

Elizabeth

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well-organized, well-paced. An interesting and varied itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Palazzo Conte Federico in Palermo"

Joyce

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my sixth RS Tour and met all expectations. I thought we could have used another day or two on the tour - maybe lingered one or two places longer, etc. I understand that the majority may not agree with me and that's OK.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either the church in Monreale, or just the view from the hotel terrace in Toaromina."

Gordon

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent, professional run, nice travel companions, saw a lot more than we ever would have on our own, accommodation well located

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guide at the Valley of Temples -- superior!"

David

Orlando, FL

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience with the perfect guide, a terrific group of fellow travelers, quaint hotels, the perfect mix and variety of sights, and did I forget the food and wine! We really appreciate the level of physical activity that enabled us to eat and drink to our hearts content and not gain a pound. Sicily is a special and unique place. Just prior we spent a week in Tuscany and the contrast was amazing. The mix of cultures that created the Sicily of today is evident everywhere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When David, our guide, took out his guitar on the hotel rooftop terrace and serenaded us with Italian songs."

Robert

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely well organized, and thoroughly delved into Sicily's culture and history. Tour guide kept things upbeat and positive, as did the driver. Accommodations and breakfasts were consistently very good. Staying in city center, plus free time, allowed for a real sense of life in each place. Food was excellent; a tour foodies would definitely enjoy. Also unexpectedly rewarding extras, like the visit to cooking school and the pizza cooking class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral at Monreale. The extensive mosaic artwork blew me away -- helped, not incidentally, by the superb descriptions by the local guide."

Wendy

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

David, our guide, was extremely patient and generous with his time. A well informed, educated man that gave us a terrific history of the Sicily. He was very adept at offering us humorous and valuable information about the culture, people and "gestures" of this unique and amazing country. We were lucky to have him serenade us on a few occasions which was a special and fun addition to this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredibly preserved mosacs of the Romana de Casele Mosaics."

John

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My sicilian trip was excellent. we learned about Roman, Greek and Sicilian history and culture. The sights we visited were an amazing insight to the past. The people of sicily were very friendly and welcoming. the food was excellent (desserts too!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the site at Segesta and the mountain top town at Erice. The cannoli making stop was excellent, best cannoli in the world-my thought.!!!"

Carol

Warminster, PA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time we had done a Rick Steve's tour. It exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning how to bake with Maria Grammatico."

Judith

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had to leave the tour during the second day due to husband's fall. Until then, it was great! David was outstanding! Will try to take the same tour in the fall of 2018.

Donald

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fell during the second day of the tour, but until then it was excellent. David was outstanding in every way.

Jim

Braintree, MA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was a wonderful tour. Didn't know Sicily was so beautiful. This was our fourth RS and we loved it. As usual, the group was fantastic.We had a lot of fun and wine and pizza .Overall a great trip .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the view from the courtyard of the Hotel Continental Taormina over the valley below and Mt Etna. Could have stayed there forever."

William

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily has seen many invaders that have brought their architecture and culture to the island over 2500years and the tour was very successful in presenting those cultures. Beside the grand tour of Norman Byzantine Arab fusion cathedrals and Greek temples were some more intimate experiences with the count and contessa, making pastry in Erice a wedding in Siracusa. The food was excellent and tour group congenial. David did a wonderful job serenading the anniversary couples and running commentary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Byzantine mosaics in the cathedral in Monreale, or the view of the coast from Erice, siitting in the square in Siracusa at a cafe watching the wedding party emerge or maybe the view from the Greek theater in Taormina from Etna to straits of Messina and Calabria. Hard to pick"

Constance

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour. Our guide, David, was welcoming and put us at ease. We bonded easily with the group who among them had a lot more experience with travel than we.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral at Monreale."

Paul

North Saanich, BC

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An excellent tour that is well paced, interesting and fun for the retired 55+ crowd.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely my biggest wow was the lunch we had at Maria's on our way to Erice. Spectacular."

Enrique

Jersey City, NJ

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know if I fell in love with Sicily because of the tour or if I fell in love with the tour because of Sicily! For the last two years, my husband and I traveled most of the north of italy on our own so I didn't know what to expect, this was our first tour ever. The results? We are more than happy with the entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "wow" moments during the tour but personally the visit to Palazzo Conte Federico and Maria Grammatico's school of culinary arts were two moments that I will always remember. I speak some italian and I was able to talk to Count Federico and Maria Grammatico for 10 minutes all by myself. I feel very, very fortunate of meeting these two incredible personalities!"

Janice

Murrieta, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful and above expectations! So many different experiences, exceptionally good food, learning about the long history of the island and its importance to earlier civilizations, seeing the Greek and Roman ruins, the scenic beauty(especially Taormina), Mt Etna and hearing the talk from the volacanologist - all highlights. The pastry demonstration by Maria in Erice and the lunch there, I especially enjoyed. Also the wine tasting and lunch at the winery the day we went to Taormina - outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My best memory is going to be all the wonderful and delicious food!"

Michael

Murrieta, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the Greek temples at Segesta to the remarkable salt harvests to the Valley of the temples and on to the fabulous Roman Mosaics--not to mention the mind-blowing Mt. Etna's gurgling lava--Sicily is a traveler's wonder world! And it couldn't have been done more perfectly than one of Rick Steves' tours with its marvelous guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna's performances at 11,000 feet, accompanied by our wonderful guide Nina Bernardo and her enthusiastic and well schooled vulcanologist who waxed eloquent on all things volcanic!"

Mary Jane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a mind blowing tour. I feel as if this tour did all the things that travel should -- introduced me to a new culture, taught me history, showed me wonderful human accomplishments like the Monreale Cathedral, but also had so many touching human moments. For example, after the marionette show, the little girl who was clearly delighted to be part of her family's puppet show stood in the lobby. My daughter said Grazie Mille. The little girl just beamed and proudly said Prego!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments: the view of Palermo and the surrounding hills from the roof terrace of our first hotel, the Roman mozaics, the buffet at Maria Grammatico's, the huge stone figures at the Temple of Zeus, and really the sobering visit to the WWII museum. This whole tour is a Wow moment."

Denis

Miranda, NSW

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We came to this tour having already spent three weeks in the UK (visiting our daughter) and Milan and the Italian Lakes, having organised our own accommodation and travel - using Rick's travel guides of course! It was great to then have Nina to make everything so smooth and trouble free on our way around Sicily. The other tour members were a very likeable group who shared many common interests and a wealth of travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many of the churches and cathedrals were spectacular while the Greek and Roman ruins illustrated the amazing history of the island. For Denis the "wow" moment was standing in the ancient theater in Taormina with Mt Etna in the background. Mary's "wow" moment was standing on Mt Etna watching the steam issuing from the mouth. Another one was the tour of the Frederico's Palace with the Contessa."

Jann

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again an outstanding trip. We enjoyed meeting the people in our group. The cultural moments of meeting the Countess and Baronessa along with Maria gives the trip a personal touch with people who are there. The volcanologist brought Mt. Etna into perspective with the people who live near and what is happening in science. Our accommodations were outstanding and Alessandro was the best bus driver. The food of Sicily went beyond my tastebuds expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to chose just one. The experience in the bomb shelter at the World War II museum in Catania brought that time period to life. Actually feeling and hearing in the experience was very sensual setting the time period."

Toni

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 09/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have enjoyed Rick Steves' television programs and presentations at CA travel shows for years and ascribe to his philosophy of travel. When friends who had gone on 4 previous Rick Steves' tours asked us to join them, we were a little hesitant, as we have traveled a lot independently. We were pleased with the amount of time to explore on our own while taking advantage of the in-depth information provided by Nina and our local guides. We enjoyed getting to know our fellow tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We didn't really have much knowledge about Sicily prior to our tour, and therefore were blown away by the incredible diversity of the cultures, history, and scenery. We loved the description that Sicily was like a lasagna with many layers of history literally built upon one another."

Dan

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved everything about Sicily and Mari really enhanced everything about the experience. Being from there she had a special perspective to offer r later to history and culture. The things we were able to do that immersed us in the culture made it so much more than sightseeing, but just touring and seeing everything was wonderful as well. We had a truly great group of people on our tour and it was just a lot of fun every step of the way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially loved the vineyard at Mt. Etna since I love wine and getting to taste grapes off of he vine was special. The meal we had there was excellent, too. Having said that, all of the interactive experiences were amazing--the baking, the pizza class and thes estates were all so interesting. And we loved the puppet show!"

Patricia

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were apprehensive about a tour group as we had always traveled on our own previously. I can not say enough good things about Mari. Our tour of Sicily was made so much better because of her. Having grown up in Sicily, she was able to really help us all relate to the Sicilian people and culture. We were also impressed with of the tour guides we had for the special places we went. I have now highly recommended Rick Steves tours to everyone we have talked to about our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to limit myself to one favorite "wow" moment, there were so many! I think mine would have to be walking the square in Ortigia at night when all the people were out with babies in strollers, young children playing, lots of musicians performing, the energy and happiness was contagious!"

Patricia

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Sicily tour exceeded our expectations! The tour included several unique experiences in addition to the usual sight seeing. Some of the unique stops included the visit with the Contessa in Palermo, the lunch and pasty making in Erice and the outstanding meal at the farm. Of course the sights at every stop were awesome, all of the guides were incredibly informative, the food was plentiful and we really enjoyed the generous amount of free time to explore on our own. Great job to Mari!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Valley of the Temples was amazing to see. The "Giants" were reconstructed both in the museum and on the grounds which gave you a real feel for how huge these temples were. It was nice that our hotel terrace overlooked the temples which were lit up at night."

Daniel

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Mari, was patient and extremely knowledgeable about this enchanting island. Most of our group knew very little Italian and very little history of Sicily. Mari taught us some of the language and customs as well as a great deal of history. The hotels were located within walking distance of everything we wanted to see and the free time to explore on our own was priceless. The meals and wine were out of this world. I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a happy hour after we returned from the Valley of the Temples on the terrace at La Luna hotel where we spoke about our "compari". We had dinner and then went back to the terrace with a portion of our group and had wine while looking out over the valley at the temples, which were illuminated at night. We enjoyed pleasant conversation and humor under the biggest full moon I had ever seen in my life. The view and laughs were the best."

Cindy

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such a great time! It was our first tour we had ever scheduled and my husband and I are still reliving moments of our trip. Our tour group members were fun to be with .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed every day of our trip. My favorite day was our tour of Roma de Casale. The mosaics were truly amazing! I also very much enjoyed the wwII memorial in Catania and the salt flats. Our group meals were so very good like homemade."

Clement

Jamestown, RI

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a wonderful time. A bit too much Greek/Roman temples and Churches. A full fledge lecture at the beginning of the tour would have helped.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Making pizza"

William

Danville, CA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and it exceeded our expectations. We've traveled to Northern Italy, Spain and Portugal on our own, and we can see the many advantages the Rick Steves system offers - especially with hotels and transportation, and in the very interesting itinerary. Sicily is such a warm and welcoming place - the people, the food, the history are all wonderful. Our guide, Mari, was excellent - she added so much every day to our experience. Thank you Mari, for everything!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, many fantastic moments and experiences. It seemed like we said "Wow" every day. One moment that stands out was meeting Maria Grammatico in her pastry shop in Erice, hearing her compelling life story, and getting to see how she makes the best almond pastries I have ever tasted. And the lunch that was served to our group there was fabulous. What a character Maria is - I'll never forget her."

Sharon

Annapolis, MD

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and well executed and very interesting. I thought the hotels overall were good (except for the Hotel Continental which had the smallest bathroom I have ever seen in my life--there was no place to put anything -- maybe 3 feet by 4 feet). The food was excellent and the guides good. My one criticism of the guides was they lacked a knowledge of history. When we visited Agrigento, the guide said he didn't know about the naval attack on that town by the Athens Navy sent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one "Wow" moment [INVALID] there were many, including the Normal Arab Cathedral in Palermo and the Roman Villa[INVALID] where I thought the time was too short to really see all the mosaics."

Judith

Boulder, CO

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved seeing all the amazing art and architecture dating from the 8th century B.C. to the Baroque period. I also loved seeing all the cultural influences in the art and architecture and food! The food and wine was amazing, especially the fresh ricotta! What a beautiful place!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved going to the culinary school for the lesson in making almond cookies and eating a FABULOUS lunch prepared by the school! I learned alot and bought her wonderful cookbook and jam! We ate and drank like royalty! I tasted the almond Marsala wine for the first time and fell in love with this dessert wine!"

Francis

Boulder, CO

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first bus tour and I found the pace a bit fast. Previously I did two city tours, Paris and Barcelona/Madrid and those felt more spacious. I could have used more time at the wow sites (see below) and could have spent less time at Erice and the Phoenician Island. I definitely could have skipped the WWII museum in Catania. There were a few sites in Palermo we never got see such as the Palatine Chap

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moments were: 1. The mosaics in the cathedral at Monreale 2. The hilltop theatre at Segesta 3. Roman Mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale. 4. Valley of the Temple at Agrigento I felt our visit to all of these were rushed and I would have appreciated more time at all of them. This was especially true at Segesta and Romana del Casale when we were essentially on our own. I didn't get to see everything I wanted before we had to be back on the bus."

Young

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized and planned. We have been covering many areas in depth by visiting both tourist site and local sites. Visiting markets and meeting with real local people were special for tour. I want to go for another Rick Steve's your next year if time permits. Having s ome free time was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting church with ancient histology to see art works."

Carla

Key West, FL

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved every minute of our tour. Our tour guide Mari was excellent and informative. Growing up in Sicily she had a treasure trove of knowledge. We had the best mix of people on our tour which made the tour even more special. We would not hesitate to go on another Rick Steve's tour as they and the tour guide go above and beyond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day in Sicily presented a wow moment. Having never been we were constantly amazed by the history and beauty . The personal homes that were opened to our group made this a very special tour and one we will always remember."

Jeffrey

Key West, FL

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Phenomenal tour guide extremely knowledgeable, fun and very organized. The behind the scenes look at siciliy made it a great tour. By behind the scenes, I mean the tour of the Count's historic home and the farm visit which I do not think we would have been able to do if we had not been on the Rick Steve's tour.

Raymond

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a lot of fun. As usual, a nice balance of free time with tour time. Really enjoyed the rich experiences which ranged from Greek through Renaissance art. Great food too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tie: Roman Mosaics house and Valley of the Temples"

John

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I, my wife, and two twenty-ish sons of ours were on this tour and enjoyed it thoroughly. There's a lot to see in Sicily; we could easily have stayed longer. The food was superb, as was our guide. The only downer was the heat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monreale. Yes, Palermo is chaotic and dirty but that 12th century church was something I didn't think was possible for those times in that place. Agrigento and the Cathedral in Syracuse come in second."

Joanna

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomasi is an excellent guide for Sicily. He was excellent at sharing information and stories about Sicilian families. Anyone would be so lucky to have him as a guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Temples in Agricentre. Church in the hill town above Palermo. Loved the mosaic place and we found it very helpful for to also to lead us through as that allowed us to get information about it and he could get us through there so in. An hour we felt like we saw it. Without his tour, we would. It have understood what we were seeing or how to walk through in the short time we were there"

Robert

London, ON

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just Loved the whole experience from start to finish. The guide was very knowledgeable about history. I was blown away with the scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first nights dinner and wow what a cuisine. We went for the exotic scenery and cuisine, history and culture and was not disappointed."

Kathryn

London, ON

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can see why Tommaso at our first group meeting asked who had previously been on a Rick Steve's Tour, and on how many tours, as this tour was amazing in all ways imaginable. When we were deciding on a tour this year, the description looked so interesting, and all the comments from previous travellers enticed me even more to join the tour. Plus most of the dates were booked. I can see why! Simply beautiful! I should say that we've always watched Rick Steve's travel programs on T.V. Inspiring!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say what my favourite WOW moment was because everything was a WOW, but in a different way. The sights, the ruins, the meals. Hardly able to understand how these ruins, still standing were built so long ago and have survived the test of time. I particularly loved walking around the dormant craters at Mama Etna, and seeing the extent of the lava formations. A personal WOW moment for me, or a soul moment, was playing the piano at our winery dinner, arranged by Tommaso! WOW!"

Arlene

Berkeley Heights, NJ

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous! It ran so smoothly, from the first group meeting to the final group dinner. We had a great group of people. Everyone was friendly and fun loving. It was like travelling with one big family. The tour hit the island's highlights and included additional fun activities such as making almond cookies and participating in making pizza. For the most part, there was a good balance between group touring/activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say because everything was wonderful The cathedral at Monreale and the mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale were beautiful. The ruins at the Valley of the Temples were incredible and the sight of smoke puffing out of Mt. Etna was amazing!"

Neil

Pittston, ME

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

my 1st tour. Great group of fellow travelers. Tommaso was helpful, informative and entertaining. Very good balance of structure with "free" time. The food and wine were perfect!. Hotels were great--showers a little small--(I am 6'5 and 230 lbs). Good mix of the historical and cultural. I will definitely book another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the centrality, importance and uniqueness of Sicily to Mediterranean history and culture."

Sandra

Gardiner, ME

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is an amazing tour destination. Wow, the history! the food! the stunning vistas! We had a great trip with a wonderful group & and tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Around every corner another amazing surprise - from Ancient Greek ruins to sites that even predated those. To gain understanding & appreciation for the amazing melting pot that created Sicily & is still Sicily today. To being welcomed into homes of Contessas Frederico (Palermo) & [INVALID][INVALID][INVALID] (near Catania). Erice! Cable car ride down from Erice and again from Taormina to the beach! The food! The great tour group & guide!"

Eileen

Sydney, NSW

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed every minute of this tour, expertly organised by the Rick Steves team and led by a simply wonderful guide Tommaso. I had to change my flight details home and he was Oh so helpful. The places we visited were fantastic - a great choice. We met contessas, had wonderful food and explored the history and natural beauty of Sicily. Particularly loved Erice and Trapani (the surprise of Mozia) and of course Taormina. Would like a little more time in Erice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cannot pick one but the Trapani salt flats, the boat to the great surprise of the Phoenician remains at Mozia, the mosaics of , what I thought , is a dirty town of Palermo and the gorgeous setting of Taormina not to mention the Greek temples of Segesta and Agrigento. And I forgot - how couldI forget the Roman floor mosaics and the contessa's lunchon her farm. All memorable."

Ellen

Van Nuys, CA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many things on the tour that I had seen before, like Greek temples and Roman mosaic floors, but the ones on this tour were more extreme, for example, bigger, more complete, or in a more beautiful setting."

Laraine

Chevy Chase, MD

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous, far exceeding our expectations. Our guide, Virginia, could not have been more enthusiastic, energetic, generous, and kind; the apprentice guide, Giorgio, was also wonderful and gave us fascinating mini-lectures on Sicilian history, language, food. The hotels were all lovely, with elevators, air-conditioning, and private bathrooms. My husband and I learned so much about the past 3000 years of multi-cultural, multi-lingual Sicilian history. Food, art: all great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I most enjoyed learning about the layers of civilizations, so my first wow moment was the stunning Arab-Norman Palatine Chapel in Palermo, followed closely by the Monreale church. Another wow were the beautifully preserved Roman mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale. Then the temples of Agrigento illuminated at night seen from our hotel's gorgeous garden. Then walking the rim of the crater on Mt. Etna. And so much great food! Favorite: the lavish feast at the farm. Best pasta of my life!"

RoseMary

Roseville, CA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was wonderful :-)The hotels where nice and the people where helpful when you ask for assistance and spoke English, that's a plus.The towns were so scenic and I can't forget the food, it was delicious.Except maybe the bleen sandwich, not so good.On our lunch stops at Erice, Syracuse and Catania the food and wine tasting was superb.Especially the food at Maria's, the working farm house and at the winery. All in all, was very happy with our tour and would recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a couple: The views from some of the hotels that we stayed in and the puppet show. I never have seen a puppet show and this one was just wonderful, I was definitely in ah."

Jacqueline

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very surprised that the tour was SO enjoyable. My first tour ever! I usually 'go it alone' and I like it that way. BUT, Sicily is different. Transportation issues and the language barrier were two reasons why I chose this tour. The events were varied during the 11 day trip. The FOOD was fantastic! But food in Italy is fantastic wherever you visit. It was NICE NOT having to plan every detail of my trip as well. :) It was a trade off and I good one for Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding in the very comfortable air-conditioned bus through the Sicilian countryside, viewing the miles and miles of olive trees and vineyards. And THEN, what should appear but a Greek Doric temple on the hillside. Unreal experience."

Michael

Simpsonville, SC

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was led by Virginia who was an amazing. Awesome energy, knowledge and she made every moment special. We would have never seen the amazing things we saw in Sicily without the tour. And Virginia made it totally cool!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Contessa's home in Palermo was spectacular and unexpected."

Sharon

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a terrific. Our group was a diverse bunch of travelers, some who had been on numerous Rick Steves Tours, others (like me) first-timers. Everyone was respectful, friendly, and cheerful. You couldn't ask for a better mix. Virginia (tour guide) and Giorgio (in training) were smart and fun, even inventing a quiz show on the bus during a traffic jam going into Catania. Who knew Sicily was such a great place? Food, History, Language, Visually exciting. Loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View of Palermo from the hotel rooftop terrace, Palermo city itself - where there is a surprise around every corner, Syracuse and the Pupi show, ancient Greek marble statue recovered at archeological site on Muzia Island, the Sicilian people."

Valerie

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time facilitated by the excellent advanced organization and communications from your office. In country we were so lucky to meet our tour guide extraordinaire, Virginia as well as Giorgio. Everything from the orientation, Rick Steve's philosophy, planned excursions, accommodations, pre-arranged cultural experiences and Virginia's many fun "surprises" exceeded my expectations. We look forward to more adventures with you!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While not normally difficult for me to answer such a question I am struggling to narrow it down to 1 moment. It was all so interesting; well done. Virginia had me at "Hello" by her articulation of Rick Steve's philosophy & her explanation of what our travels as "temporary guests" vs "tourists" would be like. As a former Peace Corps volunteer I felt comfortable & confident immediately. Having said that it was Virginia's "surprise" stop at the Oratory of San Lorenzo ( Palermo) that was my "Wow."

Mary

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. It was outstanding. There was a good balance between tour time and free time. So many unusual things - cookie baking demo, puppet show, visiting the markets! Fabulous trip and not my last Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but my favorite "wow" moment was the Villa Romana Del Casale. It was outstanding! I would have liked to have spent more time there."

Mary

Eagan, MN

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have watched Rick Steves PBS travel episodes for decades, & have used his guide books religiously in planning our own many trips to Europe. This was our first RS tour and it did not disappoint. Well-planned, well-organized, and well-managed. The excellent guide(s) set the perfect tone from the outset, - always informative, pleasant, creative, enthusiastic - with delightful doses of humor. They were good listeners, very caring, and always responded to traveler concerns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved all of Sicily, but perhaps: Taormina where the view from our hotel was topped by the fabulous views from the Greek theater and then the fun taxi ride to Castelmola; the Roman villa; the warmth of the people; the fabulous food at special stops, such as with Maria Grammatico (a highlight), the picnic on Mozia, the "farm" lunch with Signora Giovanna (fabuloso)!, the estate wine tasting near Mount Etna, & pizza party (72 hours of dough raising)! Enjoyed the puppet show & meeting the artists."

Judith

Cambridge, MA

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

i "piggy backed" this tour after doing the 3 cities tour and simple loved the rural feel of Sicily. I cannot wait to go back to this place. I was pretty beat from the Venice Florence Rome trip but just totally relaxed once out of Palermo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments: the contessa's place in Palermo, the stunning terrain, the seaside towns we stayed in, the complex history of this little island...everything was wow for me"

Cheryl

Green Cove Springs, FL

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first organized tour my husband and I have ever taken. We have been traveling together for over 45 years, all corners of the world. I have to say I loved having all details covered, from hotels, transportation, Tourist sites and lots of meals. Our guide was wonderful, had a true love of his country, but could still poke fun of some of the silly things Sicilians might do. Loved the vineyard trip, seeing the homes of a couple contessas, tasting new foods, pizza demonstrations, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vineyard at Mt Etna, seeing the old restored buildings and tasting the wines."

Christopher

Green Cove Springs, FL

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was our first organized tour of any kind, was suggested by my sister, a Rick Steves patron, and was enjoyable for us as wel. Previous practice was to set up our own itineraries, to include some or all of the associated bookings. Some or all were also occasionally done on the fly, but as online booking matured, we were doing more structured booking prior to our departures. Travel included Europe, Asia Minor, South America, Mexico, Canada and Southeast Asia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna in Sicily. Also great archaeology/history/geology experiences. The Rick Steves Sicily tour was an adjunct to a greater southern Italy/Sicily experience."

Michael

West Chester, OH

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All in all, an amazing warp-speed trip through centuries of history in just 11 days with the added features of delicious foods, engaging travel companions, and a terrific guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics of Monreale. So magnificently done and incredibly well-preserved. A staggering sight."

Bonnie

Springfield, OH

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was amazing. Alfio was a competent and very passionate tour guide. I enjoyed the variety of the places we visited. The ruins and churches were fascinating, but I most enjoyed meeting the real people of Sicily in their homes. I loved the abundance of Sicilian food and wine, the hotels, and the group of wonderful fellow travelers. Thank you for the beautiful experience. I will see you again soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taormina was "over the top" charming! The views took my breath away. It was nice to have an afternoon free to explore what the city had to offer. Climbing the 500 steps to the beautiful little church was worth the view. I also loved the pizza demonstration in the evening. It was the best pizza I have ever tasted."

Eric

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best European tour I have ever had.Allfaio was a great tour director and the specialty guides in Palermo (Jacqueline),Motzia,Agrigento,Siracusa and Taormina were uniformly excellent.All the lunches and dinners were suberb especially the lunches at Motzia and with Maria Grammatica at Erice.the ancient ruins and interiors of the Norman churches were better the portrayed in the guidebooks.Mt Etna even had a mini eruption for us the day we left Catania for home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The interior of Monreale Cathedral. and the view from te top of Taormina."

Nancy

New York, NY

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although I normally wouldn't have considered a tour,as I have travelled extensively independently over the years,the challenging terrain/lack of accessibility of Sicily, made this tour a great choice. I was not disappointed. Our guide was fantastic-very knowledgeable, passionate about his country and its history and culture, amusing and friendly. He went out of his way to make sure interests of the participants in our group were covered-i.e.WWII museum,Jewish sites etc.-tour hit the highlights!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was particularly enchanted by Taormina-the breathtaking setting,the rich and layered history,the enchanting shops, the outdoor life, and the lush flowers. After our forays to see the ancient monuments and architecture all over the island, Taormina had a "vacation feeling" as well as charming streets and Roman amphitheater. The boat trip we embarked on independently with several couples from the group was enormous fun and showed the real "dolce vita" as did the drinks and meals afterwards!"

John

Greenbrae, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Sicily. Felt the group was too large (admittedly the size affects the price)and the tour guide did not fully connect with her minions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No real "wow" moment since I was reading the History of Sicily as we moved around. The tour seemed to focus on tourist spots and rarely engaged with the local Sicilians."

Christopher

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the mix of cities, towns and excursions covered in the tour was excellent and well-organized. However, the tour seemed overbooked (27 members), given the itinerary and the allotted resources, which seemed to affect the tour at times, including room assignments, some of which were quite disappointing. Food was very good to outstanding. Tour bus driver, Alessandro, was extraordinary. Local tour guides were very good to excellent, but main tour guide Mari seemed uninterested and aloof.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is no way to nail down just one "wow" moment on an island like Sicily. Here's a few: The cultural intensity and variety of remarkable sights in Palermo. The astounding views from Erice. The superb lunch and amazing desserts with Signora Maria Grammatico near Erice. The amazing archeological sites at Segesta, Agrigento, and Villa Romana Del Casale. Hiking up to Santuario Madonna della Rocca for a commanding view of Taormina and the east coast of Sicily."

Neil

Lavallette, NJ

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time. We were amazed as we learned the history of Sicily and visiting the many ruins, churches, historic sites, etc. The locations of the hotels in town made it very easy for us to walk to sites, shop, and discover great restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View from hotel restaurant in Palermo. The view was fantastic; really let you know you were not in Kansas!"

Melville

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

For my wife and I, this was our fifth Rick Steves tour and, as usual, it met all our expectations. The itinerary was well chosen, well paced and well organized. The personal touches like home visits were especially appreciated. We had been led to believe that the Sicily tour would be very strenuous, but we found it to be about normal for Rick Steves. We did the South Italy tour right before this one, back-to-back, and that worked out very well. Good job!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the cathedral at Monreal. I had never heard of it, and it's interior is truly amazing. The local guide was wonderful and took time to explain in detail the stories depicted in the magnificent mosaics."

Raymond

Westminster, CO

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable and memorable time. Nice fellow tourists. Excellent guide and local guides. Traveled with daughter's boyfriend (now fiancée) and his parents and brother and girlfriend along with 4 of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Daughter and boyfriend go engaged while in Palermo! Knew it was coming but caught us all by surprise."

Nancy

Novato, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found Sicily very interesting with an amazing history and wonderful cultures. I felt that the tour was a little to large, but it seemed to work out ok. There was a family of nine people and at first everyone who was not part of the large group would feel left out. After the first few days the group came together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It i s hard to say which part was a wow! Sicily is so beautiful and our day guides made everyplace they took us to seem wow!"

Janet

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour -- well planned & paced, tasty Italian food with vine-ripened tomatoes and water buffalo mozzarela cheese, gelato, breakfasts with fresh fruit. Loved Palermo and Monreale's beautiful cathedral, Ancient Segesta, Agrigento temples, Villa Romana del Casale. First night of tour came down with hacking cough, spread through tour bus, including guide. In spite of the cough, I enjoyed the tour. I loved Sicily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the Cathedral of Monreale, with the guide sharing the Biblical stories told in beautiful glowing mosaics and the supporting Arab mosaic designs in the floors & columns. Walking around and in the upright temples at Agrigento -- amazing that it still stands -- if only the stones could speak."

Laura

Williamstown, MA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very interesting itinerary, and I found much to enjoy. It was a good group dynamic, even though there was a large group of people traveling together. While some of these people were definitely not open to engaging with other tour members, one couple made a real effort not to be "clannish." That was appreciated. Many people on the tour got sick, one person so seriously that she should have seen a doctor immediately. Even the tour guide got sick - I was one of the few that didn't!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Etna, Taormina, Greek/Roman ruins."

Steve

Williamstown, MA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour: Itinerary, activities, transportation was overall very well planned and implemented. Our guide was knowledgable and mostly articulate, but there were gaps in the narrative presented to the group, leaving us occasionally ill-informed about where and why we we going and experiencing the scheduled places and activities. I would characterize our guide as being a bit disconnected and indifferent; at other times, she was fully engaged. So, there was a feeling of inconsistency of leadership.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly, there were three: Taormina, the puppet show in Siracusa, and Mt. Etna"

Janet

Westminster, CO

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the tour. Although it was described as one of the more strenuous tours you have, I was not prepared for as many steps and 'hikes' there were really involved. I tried to do as much as possible. We thoroughly enjoyed Mari as she was extremely knowledgable and every guide that we had, especially Boris at Mt. Edna, was very, very, very good. I really enjoyed each and every one of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really enjoyed Etna, Taormina, Pizza Dinner, Vineyard lunch. I really can't pick just one WOW moment."

Jim

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the entire tour of Sicily. There always was activities to do to keep the tour fun. I enjoyed all the different places we visited. The Group was friendly, respectful, and fun to be with. I enjoyed everyone. Our guide, Virginia, was a lot of fun, knowledgeable and always accessible. Also, to mention our driver Masimo, he was terrific. A great driver that handled all the scary looking winding roads. He put everyone at ease as a result of his driving expertise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As far as "Wow" moments are concerned, there was quite a few. I enjoyed everything we did. The ride up to Erice was a real "Wow" moment. The reward was such amazing views and a lesson in preparing pastry at the top. Very enjoyable. Taormina was fantastic. The scenic beauty was breathtaking. All the different activities we did mixed in the free time was great."

Marie

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

All was great! Wonderful tour guide, great tour group, good food, lovely scenery. Couldn't ask for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Virginia, our tour guide. From the minute she introduced herself to the final good bye. Such enthusiasm and good information. She bent over backwards to accommodate the needs of all of us. Perfect!!"

Carolyn

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful itinerary, love the two night stays spread out. Enjoyed the history, sites, local guides, local maps and suggestions. Terrific group of people but too large a group per Rick Steve's standards. Excellent bus and driver, the whisper system is great, food and wine very good. Appreciate the all inclusive expense and freedom of opting in or out of activities/ events. Have a list of trips to do next year with Rick Steves! Thank you for this wonderful Sicily experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, the volcanologist actually being available to accompany us to Mount Etna. Loved when Virginia would several times during the tour "I have a surprise for you."w."

Darlene

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent - tour gave good overview of Sicliy with well selected cities. I would suggest omitting Whitaker museum in Palermo & instead have tour of opera house. I enjoyed winery tour. While lunch at working farm was excellent, it took too much time to get there & time would be better spent in Siracusa, my favorite city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at Maria Grammatica's - food was outstanding & pastry lesson was fun - beautiful view. Hearing her story about overcoming adversity & becoming a successful businesswoman was touching. The Mt. Etna tour was outstanding."

Dean

Kent, OH

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well run and professionally executed. I felt like we experienced things taking the tour that we otherwise would not have done. This was our first tour and we were very happy with the itinerary and the pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Depende."

Stacey

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best tours we've taken. Great itinerary, well organized, enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide, wonderful people in our group and ideal balance between group and individual time. Looking forward to doing another!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The valley of the Temples"

Robin

Canoga Park, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on our 8th RS tour...I have no complaints - hotels were great, food was delish, and the most important part was we had a fantastic guide. Virginia is made our trip the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the WOW moment for me was the lunches we had at the Farm, Winery, and Pastry Demonstration."

Kay

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very good tour. Our guide Virginia was fantastic, the group was a very good group, and the cities both large and small were a good mix of big city life down to country farm life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch at the cooking school near Erice was the BEST meal of the whole trip! Everything on the buffet table was outstanding. Maybe I was just hungry that day, but I sure ate a lot during that meal (picture a Thanksgiving meal where you eat everything and then go back for seconds). And then after lunch we s saw a demonstration of how they made their almond cookies, and some of us got to actually form some of those cookies, and then we got to eat this cookies! And then we got to take a few."

Phyllis

Ventura, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour - Sicily is such an interesting and diverse place. So much history that I could only take in part of it. The group we traveled with were all really nice people and we enjoyed each others company. Overall it was a fantastic trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Where to start - there were so many of them. Erice and lunch on the mountaintop and riding the gondola down was amazing. The Valley of the Temples. Wandering through the marketplaces in Palermo and Ortygia. Lunch at the working farm, Mt. Etna and then the winery. And of course the beautiful resort of Taromina and our special pizza dinner. Obviously, I loved everything about the tour!"

Sarah

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent balance of art, history, culture, food... I was actively engaged in all group activities, felt like the red carpet was rolled out for our group at every hotel, restaurant, museum, attraction, etc. The transitions between each activity were effortless. Our guide had everything ready and under control. If there were any glitches in our tour, I did not know about them. It was truly an exciting way to experience Italy for the first time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the winding road in our tour bus to the Pasticcieria Grammatico Maria in Erice. The views were breathtaking, our driver did an excellent job traversing the narrow, winding road and the meal that was prepared for us was exquisite."

Todd

Sherwood, OR

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great way to experience the history, food, and culture of Sicily. Before going, I was not sure what to expect compared to other Rick Steve's tours and was pleasantly surprised with how much there was to see and do. This tour was action packed and needed all 11 days to complete the tour around the island. Before the tour I also was concerned about mafia and other stereotypes and found the island to be completely safe and the people very friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving from Agrigento to Lentini, I was wowed by the beauty of the Sicilian countryside and all the varied agriculture (olives, citrus, wheat, grapes, even prickly pear). Even the red poppies (I'm used to orange) added to the beauty of the landscape. Also, the church at Monreal was amazing with its mosaics and cross cultural influences. Unlike any church I have ever seen. The valley of the temples was another wow moment as well as Mt Etna. Too many to count!"

Ernest

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but this was another great tour. Mari, being a native Sicilian, knew all the ins and outs and enjoyed teaching us the Sicilian way to say things when it differed from the Italian way. She was always organized, helpful, and informative. The route and stops were great, especially our group's one-off detour to the Aeolian island of Lipari (thank you G7)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, on the official tour, that would be the day on Lipari with the tour of the island and the wonderful lunch, which is almost a little sad since only our group went there (again, thank you G7 for closing off Taormina). Unofficially, since it isn't actually part of the tour, it would be the Palatine Chapel in the Palazzo Real in Palermo. The level of craftsmanship and the detail just stopped me in my tracks. Truly dazzling and in a league of its own."

Roselind

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect time of the year to tour Sicily-not too hot and not too crowded. I have come to expect a dedicated group of travelers on my prior (5) Rick Steves Tours, but this one was even better than usual.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every sunset seemed to be a wow moment. The light on the old buildings and over the mountains and sea was spectacular. I was also particularly struck by the current and historical diversity of Sicily and its people's ability to maintain tradition while accepting and incorporating other cultures."

Claire

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the Sicily tour immensely.For one, we don't think we could have duplicated the experiences on our own (not one but two Countesses, two great cooking lessons, seamless transportation, and good use of time on the bus to learn from the tour leader). Two, we had a great group! Due to the traveling between towns, there was limited time on our own, but it was still adequate to explore individual interests. I highly recommend traveling to Sicily with Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We saw amazing mosaics and Phoenician, Greek, and Roman ruins - all truly WOW!"

Rose Mary

Arlington, VA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did not know much about Sicily before the trip. I was blown-away with the history and culture. Our tour was packed with many opportunities to learn (and to savor the tastes of the region!). We would never have experienced the quality or quantity of Sicily without being on this tour. The local guides were most helpful and knowledgeable. Mari, our tour guide, was most thoughtful and helpful. She grew up in Palermo and taught us the local ways. She was very kind and accessible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food and wine!! I know the history and culture are right behind this, but we really enjoyed such great meals and developed friendships with most all on the tour!"

Cecily

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am a lomg time traveler but first time with Rick Steves. I loved the precise planning in all areas of the trip. Everyone was so knowledgeable, especially our guide, Virginia. I was the "oldie" in my group but never felt like one. I know you don't control it but our weather was PERFECT!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I truly can't pick out any one moment - it was all "wow" for me."

Eric

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the trip. Tour leader was excellent was just the right mix of being informative, entertaining, and upbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments. The meal on a countess's farm with great. Also enjoyed the mosaics in Sicily."

Susan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is the first tour I've been on in 50 year (when I was 16) -- so I have little context for comparing this to other tours, but it seemed "very good" to me - maybe even outstanding. In any event I would not hesitate to recommend the RS Sicily Tour to anyone - and we will definitely be looking to taking another RS tour in the future.

Linda

Newport, PA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

These evaluations are too tedious so here are comments for both myself and husband Skip. 1. Enjoyed the trip and would recommend to others 2. Two suggestions: a. need another 30 minutes at the site with the Roman amplitheater/doric temple....many, probably most did not get to see the doric temple. Just not enough time. Guide should advise that time is short and folks should use the bus back down in order to be able to see the Roman Ampitheater and the temple. b. continued below

Favorite "WOW" moment

"b. Erice was a very interesting hilltop town and needed more time. We ran to the few sights we got to see. To get more time, Skip the tour groups cookie rolling....tedious after the first one or two. The lunch and the cookie making by staff was fine."

Elizabeth

White Hall, MD

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's Tour and our first visit to Sicily. All of the accommodations were excellent. Our tour leader Virginia was outstanding (enthusiastic, energetic, knowledgeable, friendly, always helpful at problem solving). Compared to other trips we've taken, excellent value for the price. Included meals were fine. Group size was perfect; we got to know several of our travel companions quite well. For a first view of Sicily, this trip was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to just pick one. Visiting the Contessa in Palermo (connecting with someone who lives there). Having a great bufette lunch followed by pastry cooking lessons with Maria (where we're we? I am writing this on the fly). Being in Tauromina just before the G7 and getting to see all the preparations with various security parading all around. Walking on Mt Etna and learning about it's current activity during the lecture."

Roberta

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful tour experience with a friendly group and a fantastic tour guide. Good hotels? Check. Good weather? Check. Unique and various types of ruins? Check. Food? Great when we were eating with the tour guide. Not so good when we ate alone. Bad choices on our part. We were expecting a lot of sea food, however, the sea food was usually mixed in with the pasta, or rolled and stuffed, etc. Don't worry--I didn't go hungry. I managed to gain two pounds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was going to breakfast on the very first day. The view was spectacular--church steeples, bell towers, hills in the background."

Sherry

Mississauga, ON

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an absolutely wonderful time on our trip with our tour companions. We made new friendships, laughed, ate delicious food and saw amazing sites. The group seemed to meld the very first night and we felt like old friends. Past travel stories were shared and a lot of advice was gathered for future trips. This group seriously loved to travel so we fit right in. Virginia was the best guide I have ever encountered and she made every day fun and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We saw so many amazing sites that it is hard to identify just one. But if I had to it would be the visit to the Roman villa of Casale. I love mosaics and have seen a lot of sites with beautiful mosaics throughout Italy. The ones in Casale were the best preserved with brilliant colours and different themes in each room. Just thinking of how long it must have taken to complete the villa is mindblowing!"

Steven

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great guide, good people to tour with and interesting sights to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a tie between the Cappella Palatina in Palermo and the Villa Romana del Casale."

Phil

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great time with knowledgeable and fun guides. The Sicily tour is (as advertised) a bit different than other Italy tours with a heavy emphasis on archeology and the ancient history of this island. However, we never got far from the fabulous food and wine of the region.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ancient temples was awe inspiring, but I also have to give a "wow" to the lunches provided by Maria and the Baroness."

Elizabeth

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the right amount of activity and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral at Montreal near Palermo. Just a stunning place."

Vanessa

Newport Beach, CA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Virginia was the best. She was always so helpful and knowledgeable. Loved all of the hotels and sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moment was the beautiful winery and luncheon we attended. Also the ancient temples."

Steven

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through Agrigento's Valley of the Temples. Appropriate that the hot, dry Sirocco winds kicked up that day clouding the sky."

Laura

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never done a guided tour before, I was impressed by this one. Every single site (and sight) on the tour, from the ancient temples, the churches, the sea views, Etna!, to the overall landscape and situation of the island, struck a chord for every one of my senses. The tour itself was flawless! Everything was well planned and very well organized by our guide, Alfio. I also finally learned a lot about how to travel through Europe more efficiently, from my fellow travelers ;)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 360? views from Taormina! Everywhere I turned there was beauty. Ortigia was special, but Taormina wins for the WOW factor."

Betsy

East Amherst, NY

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience! Our tour guide, Alfio, was well informed and very congenial. The food was delicious; the places we visited were interesting. We were pretty much on the move all the time; a very active trip. Our hotel rooms were clean and comfortable. I liked the size of our group (28 counting Alfio). It seemed to work better than a larger group would have. I especially enjoyed our lunch at Maria's place and the picnic we ate outside on Mozia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the ceiling in the church at Erice."

Lisa

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was our first tour and we really enjoyed it. My least favorite part was touring the "castles." My ancestors are from the peasant class and I am from the middle class, so seeing how the opulent live has never been a favorite of mine. I really appreciate how this tour taught me about traveling "light." When I returned home and opened my closet I thought, "I have too much stuff."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful scenery and vistas, especially in Taormina, Agrigento, and Siracusa. The visit with Maria Grammatico was also special."

James

East Amherst, NY

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on Rick Steve's Tour and didn't know what to expect. Getting inside the cities we visited provided a different perspective than you'd get going on your own. The home tour of the Contessa, the farm and vineyard visits were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The valley of the temples."

Rianne

Berkeley, CA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always the self [INVALID]ed group of fellow travelers was genial,punctual,curious,courteous and brimmed with good will for all having a wonderful time. I liked the variety of experiences;Countessa tour in Palermo,cooking demos,traditional puppet show,city tours,historical society tour and dinner in Catania,boat ride to Mozia,first dinner on terrace Palermo, hiking through temples,Roman estate mosaics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view when reaching the roof top terrace of the hotel in Palermo. Segesta temple and setting."

Jack

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a tour of Sicily, starting in Palermo, then moving around the coastline to Trapani, Agrigento, Syracuse, Taormina, and Catania. The tour itself encompassed gourmet meals, and informative historical excursions. Alfio was our primary Tour Guide -- he was well informed on each location, had coordinated and timed each excursion with local guides to perfection, and offered us many opportunities which we would never have had if we had just vacationed on our own. Absolutely outstanding trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to have one favorite wow moment [INVALID] Includes the winery at the foot of Mount Etna, the Temple Walk at Agrigento, the view from Taormina, and the Cathedral at Monreale. All were significant Wow moments."

Michael

Clarkston, WA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the Sicily tour. The group was compatible, our guide-Alfio was a fun, interested and interesting walking encyclopedia who managed every detail effortlessly. The hotels were just what you described--small, European and convenient to the attractive historic districts in each city. There was enough free time to explore things on our own. Really well done. We will recommend to anyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the Greco-Roman theater in Taormina, looking out over the ancient structure to the view beyond which included Mt. Etna, Taormina, the blue Mediterranean bay of Naxos. It was a mind bender!"

Carolyn

Halesite, NY

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Tour of Sicily Tour. Action packed, beautiful scenery, wonderful guide (Alfio).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Taormina!"

Alice

Moscow, ID

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Tour of Sicily was our first extended group tour. We were impressed by the overall trip organization and smoothness of transitions. The variety of experiences[INVALID]from ruins to exquisite meals in unique venues to museums, city and rural experiences enhanced our overall sense of Sicily. Our guide, Virginia, set the tone with a wonderful warmth and genuine interest in our wellbeing. Her sense of humor, charm and "surprises" added much energy to each day. Our group was also very genial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved watching the Sicilian landscape from the tour bus and appreciating Sicily's rich agtriculure and beauty. Perhaps a single WOW might ment was the almost magical appearance of Isola Bella near Taormina."

Theodore

Maynard, MA

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Virginia did a fanastic job. I think that she had made a personal connection with each tour member in the first 24 hours. She was always prepared and delightfully in charge. I loved her talks about Italy and Sicily history, geography and politics. Very impressed that she could speak at length without notes! Our tour group was made up of seasoned travelers would had worked, lived, and travelled in many countries. Everyone was up for each experience and were very inclusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As the bus rounded a corner to see a sweeping view of the town and coast of Taormina the were audible oohs and ahs throughout the bus."

Steven

Danville, CA

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was well organized, plenty of expert guides at specific sites and the tour covered some very interesting territory. Virginia, our Rick Steves guide was fantastic and I am sure made the trip even better than it should have been. Very fun experience for my first tour with Rick Steves

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arigenta and the valley of the temples was amazing. Guide there was also one of the best we had."

Karen

Danville, CA

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations! The tour members shared similar passion for travel got along very well and were fun to hang out with. Our guide was truly charming. We got to see the highlights of Sicily, experience the culture, eat great food and experience things we would not have done on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to name just one "wow" moment. The mosaics at Monreale, the Valley of the Temples, the amphitheater at Taormina all compete. But I am going to say the farmhouse lunch was my "wow" moment. It was a lovely break from being a tourist, I felt I was visiting someone at their home, and the food was amazing."

Geoffrey

Sidney, BC

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

1st Rick Steves tour and 2nd organised tour. Better than 1st due to organisation and better guide. Good mix of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The welcome dinner in Palermo was well organised and a much higher standard than expected. This set the standard for the rest of the tour. Did not pay extra for the wine and also a well chosen set menu took away difficulties and complications of ordering and paying part sums. My wife's vegetarian preferences were dealt with at all set meals."

Joanne

Reno, NV

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is not your expected RS Tour experience. We had king beds and a very nice hotel at each stop. The walking length is less, but the stairs and terrain are more strenuous, may be why this is labeled "most strenuous". Unexpected vistas, unexpected food experiences, unexpected pampering. Maybe it was the guide, but this has been our best experience of the four RS Tours we have taken! Later starts in a.m. and earlier days with what I would call minimal bus travel for maximum culture experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything we did, we kept saying "We didn't expect THIS!". Views of the sea, food, lodging, history, architecture, friendly people, ruins, church interiors. I am glad Sicily is not swamped by tourists, and can really understand why Europeans travel there to relax. We spent time in Paris prior to our tour, and when a Parisian found we were going there, they said we would love it, and we did!"

Susan

Sidney, BC

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very professionally managed and organized. Excellent guide (Virginia) who did a great job of keeping everyone in a happy mood and solving any issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The valley of the temples and the lovely hotel overlooking it."

George

Reno, NV

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As I kept telling the First-Time Rick Steves couples, this is not the typical RS Tour Experience. Yes,it has a great tour guide, great local guides, lots of history and an immersion into the countries culture. HOWEVER, this is labeled as the MOST Strenuous of all RS Tours. What it fails to mention that it is most strenuous in eating and drinking in the culture - LOL The walking was minimal as were the bus rides, the only strenuous part was in climbing all of the steps and stairs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cookie making demonstration, the visit to the Countess and her home, the pizza making, along with the sea, architecture, people, ruins, churches. And then there was the GREAT Food and Wine!"

Stephen

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To me it all starts with the guide and Virginia was excellent. Very informative, enthusiastic and always kept a fun atmosphere. The sights chosen were the right mix of historical. cultural and great places for eating. Hotels were the usual Rick Steves's type which suits me fine. The bus driver was also perfect as all of my three other RS trips have been as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were the WWII museum in Catania, the Monreale Cathedral and the Villa Romana Del Casale with amazing mosaics and the Street Markets. Too many to just mention one!"

David

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was excellent and kept the tour punctual and fun. The tranportion was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guides energy level"

Kang Tim Dylan

North Point,

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall experience is good. However there is room for improvement. For example there is a pretty long free time after the temple valley but the hotel was located in the middle of nowhere. So we could only stay in the hotel. Only 2 members who aware of an interesting sight seeing area nearby so so had booked a taxi to go by themselves. It would be very helpful if tour members could be advices of all the nearby interesting sight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Reach the town on top of the hill behind our hotel in Taomina."

Lynda

Aptos, CA

Tour: 10/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was probably one of my best trips ever! Virginia was outstanding as a guide and it was an easy group to be with. We had so many wonderful experiences. Sicily was such a surprise at how important it was historically and there was one view after another that was amazing. I can't say enough good things about this trip! The food, the wine, the scenery , the day guides were all extraordinary and would strongly recommend this tour to anyone who loves all of the above!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was a trip with so many WOW moments. From Palermo and Monreale at the Mandamento Palazzo Reale to the end were experiences. The food was incomparable throughout plus various cooking demonstrations, wine making and even the right way to make pizza crust. Plus all the experiences to assimilate into the culture of the various cities. The ruins were an experience as were the various museums. Needless to say, the trip was great!"

Denise

Naperville, IL

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beyond expectations is accurate. I have been to Italy a dozen times but not to Sicily. I had no idea the amount of history that is there. I believe the tour afforded me great opportunities and behind the scenes experiences that I would not have had on my own. It was the right place for a tour of this kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ruins at Agrigento and the cloister at Monreale."

David

Naperville, IL

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am not a tour person. We have always travelled independently and decided to give this tour a go. I am so glad we did this . It made getting around the whole island of Sicily easy and unforgettable. Our guide, Alfio di Mauro was outstanding. He was informative and entertaining on the bus travel.He was patient, kind and understanding to all our needs. I saw and learned so much more than I would have on my own. The hotels were excellent and the food wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was really impressed with so many of the sites. I am an artist and was visually stunned by all the wonderful mosaics, ancient art and architecture. I would add that the food and wine of Sicily were a special treat for me."

Irene

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sicily is a very interesting area, I wish we'd had more time there.

Carlos

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have wanted to take a Rick Steves trip for some time. We were impressed with all aspects. You all are pros! Our only concern is the group size...28 people is too many, in our opinion. When we've been in large tour groups, they are generally broken down into 2 or 3 groups of 10-15 during the days travels. Our birding trips generally have 8-14 people with 2 guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say...... 4 things: 1. The "temple turned into a church" in Ortygia. The Boss did an incredible job of explaining this history, and none of us would have had any idea. Absolutely fascinating!!! 2. The "Valley of the Temples" in Agrigento. 3. The walk down the hill @ Segesta. 4. The mosaics at the Villa. Sorry...can't narrow it down any more..."

Joy

Byron Center, MI

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall wonderful tour. Alfio was excellent! Good hotels, great food! Interesting excursions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alfio surprised us with a gondola ride down to Trapani. The beauty of the Taormina coastline with MT Etna in the distance!"

Linda

Wellesley, MA

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip. My husband and I have only been one one other tour with Globus and although we enjoyed their tour ...in-comparison it was very commercialized where we felt the Rick Steves tour was personalized for our enjoyment and educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"everyday on the tour I was more wowed than the last. There was no one moment."

Mary Jane

Pine Springs, MN

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a excellent tour. Alfio was a amazing tour guide. He is knowledgeable and organized and a very nice person. The bus driver Guatano was a excellent driver. All the hotels we stayed in were lovely and all the food and wine delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The churches and some of the scenery of the country side and the views of the Mediterranean Sea."

Peter

Wellesley, MA

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An absolute fabulous tour. Everything was first class, from the tour guides, to the food, the hotels and the scenery. It was also a very educational tour with lots of history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"AS my wife put it, every day was better than the last. Taormina was an exceptional place to visit. With the town located on the hills, the view of Mt. Etna in the background and finally the many fantastic restaurants."

Sylvia

Waco, TX

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed it all -- the scenery, the history and ancient places, and the wonderful food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was like a food tour, as well as a regular tour. The food is always good on Rick Steves' tours, but the food on the Sicily tour was exceptional and just kept on coming. Taormina was a wow moment, and I think it is about the most scenic place we've been. We also really enjoyed the Roman villa's beautiful, ancient floors."

Joe

Houston, TX

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide, Alfio, was fantastic! Just the right blend of knowledge, leadership and humor. This is what we have come to expect from ETBD. But I don't take it for granted. Loved the itinerary, with history of Sicily covered well. And the fresh food to die for!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one, but seeing Mt. Aetna from Taoramina was the best!"

Peggy

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our guide (Alfio), local guides (especially Tommaso and Eva), driver (Gaetano[INVALID]please hire him), unbelievable food[INVALID]every meal and snack was an amazing treat; wonderful walking tours and orientation walks, interesting ruins/cathedrals/museums/mosaics; loved the farm/winery/cooking school/countess/puppets, Mt. Etna stop and chat with the German volcano expert; nice tour group. I've been all over the world with every sort of tour, and this was by far the best group tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"More like "wow" moments: sunrise on the water with a full moon over Mt. Etna; lemon linguini at Maria Grammatico's Sicilian cooking school; the unbelievable deli tray from the salumeria at the end of the market in Ortygia; Alfio's hilarious and interesting "talks" during drive time on the bus; gelato/cannoli/granitas; beautiful scenery; you name it."

Mary Lois

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned, well paced, and we had a wonderful tour guide and super local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Do you mean my daily "wow" moment? Tour of the market in Palermo and Monreale -- Il Duomo Trapani and the salt harvest Villa Romana del Casale Mt. Etna and Boris, the volcanologist"

Lana

North Richland Hills, TX

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I am so happy that I gave RSE a try. Logistically, Sicily would have been hard to tour without a rental car and we most certainly would not have been able to use our time as efficiently trying to do this itinerary independently. With 28 in the group, we never had an issue waiting for participants like one might experience with larger groups and the smaller number allowed one to move around and interact with different participants while on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Villa Romana del Casale and the midday feast that followed at the agritourism farm. I have seen Pompei and its mosaics, but never expected to see such exquisitely preserved Roman mosaics as those here."

Peggy

South River, NJ

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the trip! Very interesting places that we visited. The group is fantastic , very caring and fun to be with. Tour guide is excellent, highly efficient and organized, yet very considerate. Loved the food, hotels were also above my expectation, roomy, clean and situated in convenient locations. The one in Taormina was great with roof top terrace for great view

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow #1 - rooftop scenery of 1st hotel. Wow #2-hiked up to volcano Mountain Etna ! Strong wind, breathtaking scenery and freezing temperature! Wow #3 - salt pan ! Haven't seen salt making before, it was such an eye opening . All other WOW ... Mosaics City, Agrigento valley of Temple, Taormina Greek Theater ..... and many many more . Sicily is just SO beautiful !"

Anna Maria

Greystanes, NSW

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the entire experience. There is no way we could have achieved all we did on our own in the 11 day period. A great way to experience Sicily's flavors and diversity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving off the highway into Segesta and seeing the ancient Greek Doric Temple on the hill side - couldn't wait to get closer."

Michael

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A marvelous education from beginning to end! Not only were we seduced by the wonderful food and wine throughout Sicily, but the education on the on the thousands of years of history of the island was eye-opening[INVALID]what a wonderful example the Norman kings provided for cooperative endeavor during the Kingdom of Sicily[INVALID]something I completely missed in history class. The Sicilians were consistently kind and helpful, and presented a warm and hospitable time for us. Susanna was a delight to work w

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, from Monreale Duomo, to salt harvesting, to the Roman hunting lodge, Greek temples, Ortigia and Taormina, and of course the slopes of Etna and the wine. The food and wine were a constant delight most especially at Maria's school at Erice -- all of the food was special and the almond cookies were beyond belief. There were so many "wows" it it difficult to choose only one, but if forced, I would have to say the pizza education in Taormina, which opened my mind to a number of cre"

Robert

Euless, TX

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Susanna was great! The right combination of a strong leader and compassionate enough to deal with issues that arose. She is an extremely knowledgeable individual who is willing to share that knowledge with her travel companions. The mix of structured time and personal time was "just right" for my taste. Susanna helped to facilitate our personal needs such and laundry. I thought that the [INVALID]ion of hotels was great. I thought that they all served our purposes well. Group size was perfect

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! That is hard to say. There are so many. I think I would have to say the lunch at Maria Grammatico's place was the highlight. Followed by many others."

Kathy

Brush Prairie, WA

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a transfer when our Turkey tour was cancelled so we didn't know what to expect. We also had just come off of the Best of the Adriatic tour. Upon arrival in Palermo, we thought," what have we done!?" Especially coming from Slovenia and Croatia, where it was so clean and lovely. Palermo was a shock! ( a negative Wow ,you could say) needless to say we hung in there and it definitely did get better. But I think we're done with Italy, at least for awhile...?We were

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single Wow moment. But we loved Taormina. Dramatic setting. Also, our hotel in Agrigento was a definite Wow!"

David

Cape Neddick, ME

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour ever and my wife and I were very happy with Rick Steves. Hotels were generally good and food was great. Comfortable bus ...likes having some room to move around to other seats.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral at Monreale, Erice, and the Borogue church in Palermo were impressive. Also liked winery experience."

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I was really impressed with the organization and the guides that were provided as part of the tour. A plus for organization. My way of traveling is in general to say longer in places but of course I know that we could not have see as much in such a short time if we had stayed longer in place. It is for me to return on my own to several of the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to document one WOW moment. While I had read some history of Sicily there were WOW moments seeing the architecture, and cities, the salt collection, the manifestation of that history on the landscape."

Boihanh

Decatur, GA

Tour: 10/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a very well thought out and well [INVALID]d tour. The organizer has placed a lot of thoughts in the selection of the hotels and events. The locations of the hotels are very good. Many provide beautiful views of the environments. The rooms are clean, comfortable and reasonable in size. Some of the included lunches were taking place at locations with breathtaking views. Our guide Susanna is just fabulous. She is efficient, warm and friendly. Also, the pace of the tour was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The golden mosaics of the Moreale cathedral, the fabulous display of the food for our relaxing 3-hour lunch near Erice, the Roman mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale, and the cliff-hanging old town Taormina. I explored the Cappella Palatino by myself. The golden mosaics there appears to be better restored/preserved than that of the Moreale cathedral."

Robert

Irvine, CA

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heather was welcomed addition to the tour. Her friendliness and her effort to interact with all travelers was outstanding. We had a great group that coalesced as a result of Heather and David. Must say, our Driver, Antonio was outstanding. He had a few road challenges which he performed perfectly. Of course, David was great....more later. You have designed a great itinerary; each city and especially the stops at the farm, winery, and the cooking demo and lunch with Maria Grammatico.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't describe one Wow..... 1. David and Antonio doing an impromptu performance ant the Agri-tourismo. 2.Eva, guide, doing the tour in Siracusa. 3. Maria Grammatico. 4.Wlinery and farmhouse luncheons. 5. Valley of the Temples with our guide in Agrigenta."

Victoria

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it all. Travel group was terrific -all friendly and no grumpy members. Good balance between planned group activities and free time. David, our guide is fabulous and so fun and informative. A real gem!!!! Food was great and hotels were comfortable and well located. Only suggestion is to not use room #17 at our hotel in Syracuse as there was no shower curtain or slider door -so the bathroom floor became very, very wet and a safety hazard for slipping/falling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All was wow. Maybe Taormina was especially wow."

Carol

Clemmons, NC

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary, the cultural experiences, the good travel companions, and the excellent tour guide and local experts. I usually "do it yourself" travel; but I would never have been able to plan some of the experiences such as the visit to Pallazzo Federico, lunch with Maria Grammatico, winery visit, lunch at the farm on the way to Taormina, the volcanologist talk, and the excellent local guides in Palermo, Agrigento, Mozia, and Taormina. David is the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch with Maria Grammatico. I read her story before the trip and it was wonderful to meet her and see the success that came from her strength and determination. She was a lovely person."

Mary Beth

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was a great guide. Accommodations were very nice.Would recommend this tour to anyone.

Matthew

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm glad I chose Rick Steves tour of Sicily. The included meals were great. All the hotels were nice and in good locations near the city center. I got along with all the other members on this tour, even though I was the youngest person in this group. I would pick Rick Steves again for a different tour of Europe and recommend his tours others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was in Taormina. I enjoyed the scenery from there, not to mention my hotel room had a sea view. Also, there were lots of shops on the main strip."

Gene

Leawood, KS

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

If a person likes to visit Italy, they should love Sicily. It has more history and the same great food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The small town city squares at night are magical."

Jeannie

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, but the Cathedral in of Monreale and the Villa of Casale were right at the top."

Janis

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. It was well organized and a lot of fun. David was an excellent guide who went over and above what was expected to ensure we all had a memorable experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments; it's hard to identify one. When we stayed at the country hotel in Agrigento which overlooked the Valley of the Temples, we had a memorable experience. Our group met outside in the garden before dinner and each introduced the traveler we were spotting throughout the trip. The reception was fun but seeing the Valley of the Temples illuminated from the garden of our hotel was amazing. I also loved our visit to Maria Grammatico in Erice. The demonstration was intere"

Armand

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. It was a great mix of history, culture, food and social events. I liked the fact that we had some free time and could explore on our own, eat on our own or alone if we wanted that. The group of 26 were all friendly and helpful and that made for a "feel good" experience. I liked to fact that the hotels were all different, some great some very old, but I didn't mind that. I wouldn't have been happy with all americanized hotels. The older places felt good.

Camille

Millcreek, WA

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I loved it. It was very well organized, the hotels were in excellent locations, comfortable, yet a good value. Each day there were plenty of activities, but we also got some free time to do our own thing and go exploring, which was nice. The variety of activities was perfect - visited historic places(churches, ruins, etc.), enjoyed food-related activities (cooking demo, winery), and explored and learned about new towns. Lots of walking, loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the Greco-Roman amphitheater at Taormina, looking out over the Ionian Sea while standing in an ancient structure that still hosts events. That was a big wow, but there are so many others that it's difficult to choose just one."

Gary

High Springs, FL

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour covered a multitude of sites and experiences, many of which I would not have found or been inclined to explore on my own. Yet every time we visited a local home or winery or family run business, the experience was rich and rewarding. The tour was efficient in that we were transported to sites, tickets provided to us, and we concentrated on seeing what we were there to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several: Erice from Maria the baker, to the view from the ramparts. The Greek temples at Agrigento. The Roman palace at Piazza Armerina. Luncheon with the countess. Mount Etna and the winery."

Jane

Cedar Park, TX

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

History might have stayed with me longer if I learned it in high school like I learned it on this trip. The in-person experience and the sites chosen cemented a new historical perspective in my memory. Perhaps liberally interspersing the educational experience with the culinary treats made the knowledge sink in better. And for sure, just eating a cookie is very different from trying to roll the dough to make that same cookie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The geology: hearing Boris Behncke's talk and then walking on Etna awoke a new interest in me about all volcanoes and The side tour to Castelmola - we actually walked up and down 157 flights of stairs, according to my fitbit, in our free time one afternoon."

Debbie

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you narrow down the wow moments .... From the Greek Ruins to the sights, sounds & market of Siracusa ... with Mt Etna, winery and WWII Allied Landing Museum all mixed in between - every day was a wow moment! I think Villa Romana Del Casale surfaces as a favorite - the mosaics were simply amazing! Also a favorite was the Sicilian cultural picture painted for us - the home grown independence sewn by the seeds of being, in a sense, the forgotten stepchild."

Cynthia

Burien, WA

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I felt that the first part of the tour could have been left off. Seems like everywhere we went our guides were telling us to "use our imaginations" as there wasn't much left to see. Several of us noted that it felt like "filler". From day 4 on things picked up dramatically and we felt as though we were experiencing wonderful and exotic things. Perhaps Sicily is a shorter tour or added onto the Southern Italy tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Villa Romana del Casale - mosaics were just jaw-dropping in both their scope and beauty."

Frank

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall plan was great. Mari was a fantastic person who loved Sicily & it showed. She kept us all moving and having a good time. the local guides added the detail to the specific sites and that was also nice to get other points of view. Lodging was fine & it was great to be in the local neighborhoods so we could find the local restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Taormina was amazing. the hillside town with stairs, streets & shops all on large retaining walls was over the top. we had a great visit and the food was great."

Neil

Cedar Park, TX

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great. The company of fellow travelers made it even better. Our guide, Mari, did an excellent job of keeping us informed, repeating the plan several times so everyone could hear (at times our group was a bit exuberant, distracted and loud). I think that the amount of free and structured time was just about right. (See mote on Mozia below).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ride up the mountain to Erice and the views from the castle were awesome. Our driver was awesome, too, BTW. Guytano. I cannot believe some of the places he put that bus! Taormina-Castlemola was awesome once we figured out how to get up there. I really liked the WWII museum in Catania. It was also a high point for me. I really liked the volcanologist lecture. He was a great presenter. Very engaging and interesting! Great photos, videos and graphics."

Christine

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well-organized. Mari knew her stuff on Sicily. She kept the group going - but, also knew when to back off a bit and let there be "quiet" time. Most of our group knew each other in some way or other and Mari did a nice job dealing with that, while everyone did seem to get along really well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Ruins in Sicily. I didn't know there was so much - The Greek Theatre in Taormina, the Temple at Segesta and the Valle of the Temples at Agrigento. Blown away by the Mosaics at Villa Romana Del Casale."

Kathryn

Durango, CO

Tour: 09/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. We learned so much about the history, culture, people, geography, traditions, and language of Sicily! Our guide was so informative, and kept every day and every event perfectly on time. The arranged meals we rate at over 100%! Though sometimes we did not know for sure what we were eating, it was all exceptionally delicious! We enjoyed the various and diverse activities and experiences to which we were exposed. The amount of "free time" was perfect...not too much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "WOW moments, it is difficult to pick just one. The Roman mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale were spectacular. We loved the setting of Taormina and Castelmola, with the "mountain" feel and the views of the coastline; though the towns themselves were lovely, they were not necessarily our favorite. We especially enjoyed meetings with both of the countesses, especially at the farm of Casa Bianca."

Charles

Napa, CA

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall experience very satisfactory. Sicily's awesome history was eye-opening.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monreale - the blending of Byzantinum, Arabic, Jewish and Gothic heritages."

Glenda

Napa, CA

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour included places and events for everyone's expectations, but particularly those who love history. Our main tour guide, Virginia, was very knowledgeable as well as a warm, vivacious person. All guides along the way provided outstanding fact-filled talks. The bus was clean and comfortable. As a first-time Rick Steves traveler I was pleasantly shocked to learn there is no tipping.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I almost did not go to the talk by the volcanism thinking it would be boring. As it turned out, this was a highlight of my trip. His enthusiasm, the video of Mount Etna eruptions taken by him and all the information about volcanoes could not have been improved upon."

Louis

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

See notes on my wife's comments -- written together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was the group dinners. Loved the variety of settings, the delicious food and the welcoming hosts. A wow highlight for sure."

Alan

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a pilot in the US Navy, I was stationed in Sicily forty-five years ago. I was looking forward to seeing what the places I knew looked like now as well as seeing the parts of the island close up that I had just flown over before. The tour exceeded my expectations. Since this was my eighth Rick Steves tour, it took a lot to exceed my expectations but you succeeded. I learned more about this corner of the world in eleven days than I had ever learned before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It wasn't a specific moment but instead a growing realization that I was walking around and seeing an area that has been conquered, colonized, and/or occupied by almost every great civilization that has existed for the last three thousand years. Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, etc, etc have all left their mark on Sicily."

Phyllis

Golden, CO

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Virginia was an excellent guide and brought significant insights about Italy and Sicily to us. The group was very compatible and everything was enjoyable to be with, thoughtful about others in the group, and grumpless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The richness of the mosaics in Palermo and Monreale was astounding."

Linda

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour took us on a comprehensive look at Sicily so that we feel we know what the island is all about now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The room we had in Taormina gave us a view over the red tile rooftops toward the sea and Mt. Etna. It was beautiful."

Susan

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded our expectations. Loved Virginia as our tour guide and the ways she helped us to bond and thrive as a group [INVALID] "Bene", giving our room numbers in Italian and our driver's room number in English, special treats "a SURPRISE for you", excellent story telling and ability to put each place we visited in the context of the time and history. Were pleased and appreciative of the accommodations [INVALID] very little "room envy" in our group. We felt welcomed wherever we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale. Amazingly beautiful and insightful that human nature has really not changed. Loved the humor and expressions of some of the mosaic characters. Delightful!"

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Virginia was outstanding in every aspect.....organized, informative, patient, and fun to be with. She represents your organization well. Some of the city tours were a little long and gave a little more information and detail than I needed to know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The rugged country side"

Anne

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Sicily Tour was amazing! Our tour guide Virginia, was knowageable, helpful,and fun. At each location The local guides were also a wonderful resource and made the time a great learning experience. Lodging Accommodations were good and we especially like the roof top locations for meals! Can't wait for another Opportunity for a Rick Steves Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two favorite stops on the tour were the Salt Harvesting at Trapani and the Ancient Greek Ruins of Agrigento. Coming over the hill to see the temple in the distance was a "wow" moment!"

Weather

Sicily/ Palermo

Palermo Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

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

Trip Resources

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

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. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

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

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most flights to Sicily require at least one connection, typically through Rome, Milan, London, Amsterdam, or Naples.

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

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

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

Sightseeing on Your Own

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

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Palermo that we do not do as a group: Cappella Palatina, Teatro Massimo (closed Mondays), Marionette Museum, Museo Archeologico Regionale A. Salinas, Palazzo Abatellis, Capuchin Crypt, Palazzo Mirto, Galleria D'Arte Moderna (GAM). You may also consider spending time in the seaside town of Cefalú, an easy 1-hour train ride from Palermo, or a 2-hour train ride from the airport.

Packing

This tour has several opportunities for swimming, so if you are traveling in the warmer months, you'll want to pack a swimsuit and a lightweight microfiber towel. If travelling in the cooler months, we advise that you bring a warm coat and you may also want to consider a hat, scarf, and gloves. Please check the weather forecast before your trip and plan accordingly so you are prepared for the varying weather.

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

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.