Our tour guide, Stacy, was so knowledgeable about the history, the art, the politics, and the culture, and she was just fun to be with! Sicily was just fantastic. Food so, so. Tour was amazing! Transport was excellent as was the driver Guisseppi. We were well prepared on what to expect each day, and every day was an adventure of wonderful history, the culture and history of the Sicilians, and all the beautiful sights. The presentation of the volcanologist prior to visiting the volcano made the trip up Etna a very worthwhile experience.". She is knowledgeable, organized, thoughtful, and helpful. History, cuisine, scenery, exciting and amusing entertainment, cooking classes, the finesse of transportation, hotels and free time all appreciated.". Mount Aetna was certainly very memorable.". Sicily’s top medieval treasure is the 900-year-old Cathedral of Monreale. Agrigentos Valley of the Temples- we're so glad to have seen and experienced these sights. "Impossible! Another favorite was thetour of the castle in Palermo with the countess. A catered picnic?". The roof top experiences on the hotels were nice as well - the views in Palermo, Agrigento, Ortesia were memorable.". Bus: 3 hours. Rick Steves' most exotic tour in Italy will immerse you in the distinctive culture, cuisine, and history of Sicily. Tragedy personalized in this museum when we learned that the archaeologist responsible for the excavation of another reconstructed ship, a Roman ship, perished in the Ethiopian 737 Max tragedy. Etna, the traditional Italian meal on a Sunday afternoon. We will have a week there September 2021. The tour exceeded my expectations. I think the tour guide is what really makes the Rick Steves tour invaluable. Appreciated the general congeniality of the tour members! @ $250 per night if possible for a 4/5 star hotel. SO GOOD! Jamie was a terrific, knowledgeable guide (and after dinner debater). * Visiting the hill towns, Erice and Taormina, was inspiring.". So I pulled my rain coat tight and went out to the small crater not far from the cafe. I especially enjoyed the cooking demos and meeting the locals such as baking cookies with Maria and making couscous and busiate pasta with another chef. "Many such moments: Monreal cathedral, the Countess in Palermo, Maria's cookies come to mind. And each time I see a church on the schedule I think it might be an "ABC" another bloody church, it isn't. "Too many...Temples, Enrice, Taormora, Syracuse, the markets, just being in parts of the towns and able to wander. I loved: Sicily's mild climate makes it a good place to visit nearly year-round. The group meals and wine were fantastic. Etna, and sampling fresh local foods and wines. "There were many that qualify. We were fortunate to have nearly perfect weather as well. This was my 8th Rick Steves Tour over a 20 year period. also a delight and such wonderful abundant food.". They guides were incredible! FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. Would never have that incredible experience if not on the Rick Steves Tour. The sites and experiences chosen for visits were all interesting and in some cases outstanding. I was stunned by the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. ▲▲ Cefalù Fishing-turned-beach-bum village, an hour from Palermo, with a charming old town center, a Norman cathedral, fine seafood options, and an inviting, sandy beach. I have never seen such well preserved mosaics. The personalized nature of the tour was not expected and very much enjoyed. Bad timing on my part, I guess. The Museum of WW2 was a lot better than expected. I have been on four Rick Steves tours, all of which were great. It was so incredibly beautiful with it's mosaics. We had plenty of "free" time to create our own side excursions and explore places not on the main tour. Rick has a new guidebook out that covers Sicily. In 500 BC, Agrigento, on the south coast of Sicily, was the third city in the Greek world. The archaeological sites were an education and really had my partner and I imagining what it must have been like across the ages. The itinerary was packed and perhaps a little more free time to explore would have been nice. The mix of touring with Jamie and/or local guides, special experiences, group dinners, riding in the bus, and free time was just about as perfect as it could be. My husband would rather not drive so he can enjoy the travel time. Lonely Planet Southern Italy (Travel Guide) (English Edition) DK Eyewitness Sicily (Travel Guide) The Land of Manfred, Prince of Tarentum and King of Sicily. His love for his home balanced with a deep and expert knowledge of its history provided us with wonderful learning experiences at every level, every day. Also the group was very nice. Mostly, my wife and I agreed that we might have traveled the same roads on our own, the experiences presented to us would not have been nearly as rich or engaging. Being late in the season, we virtually had many sights to ourselves and that was great. Site experts at the archeological were fantastic and felt the guides were speaking just to me. I usually plan my own trips but I would have missed some wonderful venues. Our hotels were clean and spacious with good internet coverage. What I really enjoyed about the tour was the size of the group. But if I could go back today it would be to the Villa Romana del Casale. "There were many smaller "wow" moments. "MonReale was amazing. You guys amaze me. This is my first Rick Steve Trip and I am really impressed with the agenda, the logistical arrangement, and the personal touch on birthday celebrations. Spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Sicily! travel with and very social. Our guide, Jamie, was outstanding. "Impossible to say just one "wow" moment, just too many of them.". Guide was fabulous - very informative and witty. However some of the accommodations could have been better. Not like any experience I've had on a RS tour. We enjoyed our guide, Jamie, very much. Our guide, Virginia, did a great job leading us as well as explaining a variety of aspects of life in Sicily. Wonderful hotels, great food, and all the local guides were excellent. Not only was she extremely knowledgeable about our destinations, but she was so down to earth, so warm and friendly. The trip was very good and I like almost all the aspects of it. Palermo/Monreale and Siracusa were my very favorites. And everything ran incredibly smoothly. Taormina was also amazing, nestled high above its surroundings, with a town rich in history and easy for exploration. If there were any problems, I was unaware of them. I had a great time exploring Sicily on this Rick Steves tour. Good to have options to do or relax. His passion really shows. These were all experiences that traveling on my own I'd never know how to access. There was a great balance of structured activities and independent touring time. Sicily has so much to offer, and the tour as organized gave us a very good sampling of the island's history, culture, food and natural beauty. He also had a big smile every day. The pastry making class in Erice was a lot of fun with good-natured ribbing from our host. Etna continually spewing ash and lava and our visit to the 7,500 ft. level! really enjoyed all the sites with only a few suggestions, "All of Sicily was a WOW. Good group that was fun to be with. Etna, but let me explain. I continue to think of the tour guides from the previous two trips! She won my heart as soon as I saw her smiling face. The side trip to Castelmola a few fellow travelers and I took was a wow. She was very informative and organized. While book signing, she graciously shared (I in broken-Italian) our connection with cookbook author Maria Taylor Semetti. March through June and October are ideal, with few crowds, lots of festivals, and mild weather. We were blessed with wonderful weather for the entire trip so that was great. Then we'll begin our Sicilian adventure together by joining a contessa for a personal tour of her family's home, the Palazzo Federico. ▲▲▲ Siracusa Former home to Sicily's greatest ancient Greek settlement, now a modern centered on the historic island of Ortigia, boasting shabby-chic lanes, a grand Baroque piazza, and a lazy seafront promenade. Bella Sicily! Our driver, Massimo, was wonderful, too! More experiences such as food, views, and history rather than rushing and waiting in long lines seeing "MUST INSTAGRAM" sights. "Each day provided a new "wow" experience whether it was visiting the Monreale Cathedral, cooking class in Erice, the salt pans of Trapani, the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento, Roman Mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, activity of Mt Etna volano, and the Greek theater of hill town of Taormina. Sicily was amazing! "For me, the whole trip centered around history so I would have to say seeing the ruins, especially the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.". From somewhat gritty Palermo which we highly enjoyed for three days prior (and side trip to Cefalu), to toney Taormino, to ancient sites near Agrigento, with a cooking class thrown in, and much much more, and a great guide who herself was outstanding, cannot say enough. There were no "high maintenance" individuals as I usually encounter on other trips. The tour was well paced and the indoctrination into Italian life was superb. Knowledgeable and fun. There was a great balance between group activities and personal free exploration times. The bookings of hotels, local guides and restaurants went very smoothly. My favorite place was Taurmina, the views, the town. It's a breeze to reach Catania's airport by taxi or shuttle bus. The mix of cultures over the centuries provide a very unique travel experience, - be it food, art, lifestyle, nature, or architecture. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. Maybe my real "wow" was how this tour over delivered every single day.". You could hear everything the guide said and he brought valuable historical interest to every venture. Palermo was a big city with lots to see, but perhaps one less day there may have been better, as I really liked touring the other areas better. "Our stay at Trapani on the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, along with a side visit to the ancient island of Mozia and a salt farm, was informative and gorgeous. Jump to bottom. I think our farewell dinner in Catania at an Israeli-Sicilian restaurant where we all enjoyed one another's company, relaxed and happy was very memorable.". We could see much of the city of Palermo! I could have spent hours just marveling at this beautiful site.". It was very much a dialogue rather than a lecture. The cooking lesson was fabulous. However, one evening in Taormina sticks out in my mind. The passagita in Taormina". She was a very gracious hostess.". Rick Steves Classroom Europe® is a free online video library for teachers, students, and parents. "We really enjoyed the Etna winery lunch. "Very hard question to answer. Author(s): Rick Steves & Sarah Murdoch with Alfio Di Mauro: Dimensions: 8" x 4 ½" x ¾" Weight: 15 oz: Pages: 492: Publication date: Then it's on to Syracuse. Our tour guide Alfio was the best and so was the bus driver Antonio. We know there is a lot to see in Sicily. ! We had a FANTASTIC guide (Stephanie) and wonderful local guides at each location. The tour contained a mix of fascinating history, culture, and spectacular natural scenery. 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. through out sicily. The pace of the trip was good,with time for relaxation or individual exploration. Leonardo da Vinci in Milan: "The Last Supper" Milan, Italy 1:27. The mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale and Monreale, the Valley of the Temples, cooking with Maria, the lunch at the Contessa's farm, Ortigia, Taormina and its ancient theater. Maria 's cooking school and the delicious meal and great demonstration of her pastry skills and the farm of the Baroness. As Goethe said, "To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything. This was our eighth Rick Steves' tour so we pretty much knew what to expect. This was our 5th Rick Steves tour and, as always, coordinated to perfection. After we check into our hotel, we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk. So I think a few more days added on to the tour would be a good idea. Recent times have seen an increasingly cultural-historical emphasis in publications of this kind, and that's what Sarah Murdoch, one of the co-authors, brings to this one. Very knowledgeable and friendly! But from the first glimpse of the mountains from the plane, I knew this was going to be a special trip. This was my first RST and I joined a friend who had been on several. "One wow! "There were so many wow moments it is really impossible to name just one. I really enjoyed the Sicily Tour from start to finish!! "Learning about salt production, volcanoes, and baking with Maria.". I've told everybody about the rules", including "no whining,be on time, find your buddy, and be able to carry your bags" as making the tour efficient, effective and targeting the right kind of people: curious, flexible, open, interesting, friendly. The island itself is full of wonderful historic sites, beautiful seaside cities and charming hilltop villages, marvelous restaurants and lively and engaging citizens. "We both enjoyed the Valley of the Temples. The history, the food, the people, the sites - wow! "No one special moment, rather the whole trip was thoroughly enjoyable.". Karin, our guide was a gem. BOS was an excellent tour. Sicily's beauty is breath taking. By the end I was a total Sicily "foodie". Our tour was put together very well , our Bus I didn't mind the walking involved but the moving so frequently. "Stacy was able to add several events to our itinerary that were surprises to us! Our first Rick Steves Tour, it will likely not be our last. Rick Steves' Europe. The number of sights and experiences we experienced in 10 days made for a great value. "So many wow moments! made this one of the best trips we have taken. Our tour companions were all congenial and fun to spend time with. No glitches that I can remember, once the airline delivered our lost luggage, that is. The only rocky spot was that the Sirscusa hotel was not up to the task of providing breakfast for the tour members. Very informative and fun. Tucson. Etna sputtered a tiny plume of gray, straight ahead the cerulean blue ocean sparkled, lovely red and pink tropical flowers peeked around every corner, and the storybook, white stone town of Taormina climbed from below up the hilltop. Sicily came alive through its history, culture, food and people. We'll explore the local market, stroll through centuries in the Cathedral of Syracuse, and marvel at the masterpiece of the Piazza del Duomo. The best tour ever, "There were several but visiting the home of the Countess in Palermo and touring her home and her delightful commentary. This being our 7th Rick Steve's tour, we knew what to expect.

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