Sicily: A Cultural Journey

11 days (12 days in 2015)
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About This Experience

The Sicilian sun shines light on a different side of Italy. In the midst of the Mediterranean, discover an island with personality all its own—full of flavor and teeming with one-of-a-kind art and architecture. From multicultural Palermo to breathtaking Taormina, each stop on this tour of Sicily reveals unexpected treasures.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Palermo, Italy
  • Syracuse, Italy
  • Taormina, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Savor some R&R on your overnight flight to Italy

Fly through the night to Italy aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Palermo3 nights - hotel info

Day2

You’re getting warmer—just one more stop until Sicily

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Touch down in Palermo, Sicily’s capital and chief port. After you clear customs, a Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin exploring Palermo. Later this evening, meet your fellow travelers at your welcome dinner.

Day3

Look up, look down—in Palermo there’s art everywhere you turn

Breakfast

Palermo cathedral, Capella Palatina , Cathedral of Monreale

This morning, you’ll have a guided tour of bayside Palermo, situated at the foot of Mount Pellegrino. Pass the city’s palazzi, and visit the Palermo Cathedral to view the stunning artwork of the Capella Palatina. Make your way through the Four Corners, where four Spanish Baroque palaces stand, and the so-called “Fountain of Shame.” Next, continue to nearby Monreale for a visit to the town’s magnificent Norman cathedral, whose mosaics are comparable to those of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia.

Day4

You’re free to explore (and eat as much gelato as you like)

Optional Excursion - Ancient Ruins: Segesta & Erice

Breakfast

You’ll find plenty of possibilities for your free day in Palermo. Visit the collection of art in the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia, study the eclectic mix of architectural styles in the Duomo, shop the open-air stalls of the Vucciria Market or visit the Marionette Museum. Be sure to leave time for gelato sampling—the Italian style of ice cream was invented right here in Palermo. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to medieval Erice and Segesta.

Optional Excursions

Ancient Ruins: Segesta & Erice $99* pp

Journey to western Sicily to visit the ancient ruins of Segesta. Here, you’ll view a magnificent Doric temple and an ancient Greek theater. Next, visit the well-preserved village of Erice, perched on the summit of Monte San Giuiliano. The relics within Erice are fascinating, from its Phoenician walls to its Norman castles. Your guided tour of the town will take you past the town's churches, and will touch upon the role they played in Erice's history.

Syracuse3 nights - hotel info

Day5

Olive trees, ancient temples, Mediterranean views—this is Agrigento

Breakfast, Dinner

Agrigento Greek ruins

Travel south through the Sicilian countryside to Agrigento. Here, enjoy a guided tour of its fascinating Greek ruins. Then, continue on to Syracuse and arrive in time for an included dinner.

Day6

The show goes on in an ancient theater once home to Greek tragedy

Breakfast

Syracuse Greek Theater

Not long after its founding in 734 B.C., Syracuse rivaled Athens and Rome for political power and cultural importance. Plato considered it a model for the ideal city. On your guided tour, enter the Archaeological Park for a visit to the most complete ancient Greek theater in existence. Note the way that the natural setting is incorporated into the design of the theater, where Aeschylus premiered many of his works. Then, tour the massive Paradise Quarry and gardens, featuring the cave that Caravaggio dubbed “The Ear of Dionysius” for its unique acoustics. Also included is a visit to an ancient Roman amphitheater. Later, cross a bridge to the Island of Ortygia, where your guide leads a walking tour of this beautiful old city of Syracuse. Highlights include the 6th-century Temple of Apollo, the Duomo and the harbor-front fountain.

Day7

So much of Syracuse remains to be discovered, your way

Optional Excursion - Tastes of Sicily: Villa Visit & Lunch

Breakfast

Spend the day as you like in Syracuse. Consider a visit to the Archaeological Museum or the more unusual Papyrus Museum. Alternatively, you might opt for an excursion to a traditional Sicilian manor house, owned and operated by a Sicilian contessa. There, you’ll enjoy appetizers, a gourmet meal, desserts and a tour of the farm’s facilities.

Optional Excursions

Tastes of Sicily: Villa Visit & Lunch $75* pp

With its warm climate, open fields and fertile soil, Sicily is home to some of Italy’s finest foods. Local crops include oranges, lemons, olives, onions, nuts, tomatoes, eggplants and herbs. On your visit to Casa Bianca, an estate owned and run by a Sicilian contessa, you'll taste an authentic homemade Sicilian meal. You’ll discover the region’s delicious and varied flavors during your included family-style lunch.

Taormina Region3 nights - hotel info

Day8

The volcanic Mount Etna steals every scene in coastal Taormina

Optional Excursion - Traditional Sicilian Dinner & Wine Tasting

Breakfast

Greek theater ruins

Journey past the city of Catania and Mount Etna to Taormina, situated on the island’s northernmost point. A local guide introduces you to this scenic town perched high above the sea. Pass the Duomo, the Corso Umberto I and the Palazzo Corvaia, seat of the first Sicilian parliament. Then, visit the town’s 2nd-century Greek theater, whose stunning location overlooking the coast—with Mount Etna providing a natural background—reflects how seriously the ancient Greeks took the importance of drama. Performances are still held here today during the summer. This evening, you’re invited to our optional Traditional Sicilian Dinner & Wine Tasting.

Optional Excursions

Traditional Sicilian Dinner & Wine Tasting $89* pp

Venture into the foothills surrounding Mt. Etna for dinner and a wine tasting at a local vineyard. Like Sicily itself, Sicilian cuisine has been profoundly influenced by the myriad cultures that have made this island their home.

Day9

What to see…palaces or the villages from The Godfather?

Optional Excursion - Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza D'Agro

Breakfast

With a free day in the Taormina region, you might choose to visit the town’s 14th- and 15th-century palaces. Or, you could opt to take our Hidden Sicily excursion to delve into Savoca and Forza d’Agrò, two traditional Sicilian villages that served as sets for Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.

Optional Excursions

Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza D'Agro $49* pp

Delve into the traditional Sicilian villages that served as sets for Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather. First, visit Savoca and tour the Church of St. Lucia and the Bar Vitelli. Walk through this medieval village and marvel at its 15th-century buildings and the city's panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea. Continue on to Forza d'Agrò, another “hidden” Sicilian village, where you'll visit the Church of the Annunciation. Please note: The order of villages visited is subject to change. In the event that the Church of the Annunciation is closed, it may only be viewed from the outside.

Day10

Beaches to cliff walks to mountains, beauty is in Sicily’s nature

Optional Excursion - Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes

Breakfast, Dinner

From magnificent beaches to cliff walks, spend another free day soaking in the Taormina’s region’s natural beauty. Alternatively, join a full-day optional excursion to explore the mountainous landscapes of Mount Etna. Dinner is included this evening.

Optional Excursions

Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes $79* pp

Travel from Taormina to the base of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and highest active volcano. Here, a local guide will board your bus and you’ll ascend up to 5,000 feet, stopping at a scenic vantage point to snap photos and learn about the mountain’s long history of eruptions, as well as its native flora and fauna. Continue up to 6,600 feet, where you’ll have free time to walk among the volcanic craters and peruse the mountainside shops before sampling local delicacies at an included three-course lunch. Please note: Comfortable shoes and layered clothing are recommended. Temperatures on the mountain are cool in the summer and can be quite chilly the rest of the year.

Day11

It’s not goodbye, it’s ciao for now

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

If you’re not continuing on our tour extension to Rome, a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport in Catania for your return flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add Rome City Stay $409*

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and vibrant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome2 nights - hotel info

Day11

Savor la dolce vita in Rome

Breakfast

The Colosseum

Travel to the airport for your flight to Rome. Upon arrival, a Go Ahead representative greets you and oversees hotel check-in. Then, follow in the footsteps of the caesars during an included excursion to Imperial Rome, featuring a guided tour of the Colosseum.

Day12

Follow the footsteps of Caesar (or the beat of your own drum)

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors

Breakfast

Spend a free day in Rome however you choose. Take in all the art and architecture, from relics of Caesar’s reign to treasures of the Renaissance. Or, you could join today’s optional sightseeing tour of Vatican City, featuring visits to the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Opt to end the day at Dinner with Tenors, an evening of food and live opera music.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89* pp

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you'll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world's most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you'll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you'll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo's greatest masterpiece. Finally, you'll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sunday.

Optional Excursions

Dinner with Tenors $79* pp

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera's best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun!

Day13

Back to your home away from Rome

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Board your return flight home.

Print This Page

About This Experience

The Sicilian sun shines light on a different side of Italy. In the midst of the Mediterranean, discover an island with personality all its own—full of flavor and teeming with one-of-a-kind art and architecture. From multicultural Palermo to breathtaking Taormina, each stop on this tour of Sicily reveals unexpected treasures.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Palermo, Italy
  • Agrigento, Italy
  • Syracuse, Italy
  • Taormina, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Savor some R&R on your overnight flight to Italy

Fly through the night to Italy aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Palermo3 nights - hotel info

Day2

You’re getting warmer—just one more stop until Sicily

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Touch down in Palermo, Sicily’s capital and chief port. After you clear customs, a Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin exploring Palermo. Later this evening, meet your fellow travelers at your welcome dinner.

Day3

Look up, look down—in Palermo there’s art everywhere you turn

Breakfast

Palermo cathedral, Capella Palatina , Cathedral of Monreale

This morning, you’ll have a guided tour of bayside Palermo, situated at the foot of Mount Pellegrino. Pass the city’s palazzi, visit the Palermo Cathedral and view the stunning artwork of the Capella Palatina. Make your way through the Four Corners, where four Spanish Baroque palaces stand, and the so-called “Fountain of Shame.” Next, continue to nearby Monreale for a visit to the town’s magnificent Norman cathedral, whose mosaics are comparable to those of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia.

Day4

You’re free to explore (and eat as much gelato as you like)

Optional Excursion - Ancient Ruins: Segesta & Erice

Breakfast

You’ll find plenty of possibilities for your free day in Palermo. Visit the collection of art in the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia, study the eclectic mix of architectural styles in the Duomo, visit the Teatro Massimo, shop the open-air stalls of the Vucciria Market or explore the Marionette Museum. Be sure to leave time for gelato sampling—the Italian style of ice cream was invented right here in Palermo. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to medieval Erice and Segesta.

Optional Excursions

Ancient Ruins: Segesta & Erice $99* pp

Journey to western Sicily to visit the ancient ruins of Segesta. Here, you’ll view a magnificent Doric temple and an ancient Greek theater. Next, visit the well-preserved village of Erice, perched on the summit of Monte San Giuiliano. The relics within Erice are fascinating, from its Phoenician walls to its Norman castles. Your guided tour of the town will take you past the town's churches, and will touch upon the role they played in Erice's history.

Agrigento1 night - hotel info

Day5

Olive trees, ancient temples, Mediterranean views—this is Agrigento

Breakfast, Dinner

Agrigento Greek ruins

Travel south through the Sicilian countryside to Agrigento. Here, enjoy a guided tour of its fascinating Greek ruins, followed by an included dinner this evening.

Syracuse3 nights - hotel info

Day6

Savor the sights of Syracuse's Piazza Amerina

Breakfast, Dinner

Villa Romana del Casale

Transfer to Syracuse. On the way, stop in Piazza Amerina for a guided tour of the stunning mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight’s dinner is included, and served upon arrival in Syracuse.

Day7

The show goes on in an ancient theater once home to Greek tragedy

Breakfast

Syracuse Greek Theater

Not long after its founding in 734 B.C., Syracuse rivaled Athens and Rome for political power and cultural importance. Plato considered it a model for the ideal city. On your guided tour, enter the Archaeological Park for a visit to the most complete ancient Greek theater in existence. Note the way that the natural setting is incorporated into the design of the theater, where Aeschylus premiered many of his works. Then, tour the massive Paradise Quarry and gardens, featuring the cave that Caravaggio dubbed “The Ear of Dionysius” for its unique acoustics. Also included is a visit to an ancient Roman amphitheater. Later, cross a bridge to the Island of Ortygia, where your guide leads a walking tour of this beautiful old city of Syracuse. Highlights include the 6th-century Temple of Apollo, the Duomo and the harbor-front fountain.

Day8

So much of Syracuse remains to be discovered, your way

Optional Excursion - Traditions of Sicily: Villa Lunch & Noto Village

Breakfast

Spend the day as you like in Syracuse. Consider a visit to the Archaeological Museum or the more unusual Papyrus Museum. Alternatively, you might opt for an excursion to a traditional Sicilian villa for lunch, as well as a visit to the village of Noto.

Optional Excursions

Traditions of Sicily: Villa Lunch & Noto Village $89* pp

Start off the day in Noto, a quaint city at the foot of the Hyblaean Mountains. A local guide gives you the lay of the land, highlighting the UNESCO-recognized cathedral and the city's Baroque-style architecture. Next, travel to a rustic villa, Casa Bianca, owned and run by a Sicilian contessa. With its warm climate, open fields and fertile soil, Sicily is home to some of Italy’s finest foods, and today’s authentic family-style meal showcases many of the region’s delicious and varied flavors.

Taormina Region3 nights - hotel info

Day9

The volcanic Mount Etna steals the show in coastal Taormina

Optional Excursion - Traditional Sicilian Dinner & Wine Tasting

Breakfast

Greek theater ruins

Transfer to Taormina where a local guide introduces you to this scenic town perched high above the sea. Pass the Duomo, the Corso Umberto I and the Palazzo Corvaia, seat of the first Sicilian parliament. Then, visit the town’s 2nd-century Greek theater, whose stunning location overlooking the coast—with Mount Etna providing a natural background—reflects how seriously the ancient Greeks regarded drama. Performances are still held here today during the summer. This evening, you’re invited to our optional traditional Sicilian dinner and wine Tasting.

Optional Excursions

Traditional Sicilian Dinner & Wine Tasting $89* pp

Venture into the foothills surrounding Mt. Etna for dinner and a wine tasting at a local vineyard. Like Sicily itself, Sicilian cuisine has been profoundly influenced by the myriad cultures that have made this island their home.

Day10

Beaches to cliff walks to mountains, beauty is in Sicily’s nature

Optional Excursion - Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes

Breakfast

Your day is free for window shopping and cafe hopping along charming Corso Umberto. Alternatively, join a full-day optional excursion to Mount Etna, which at 3329 meters, is the highest active volcano in Europe.

Optional Excursions

Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes $79* pp

Travel from Taormina to the base of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and highest active volcano. Here, a local guide will board your bus and you’ll ascend up to 5,000 feet, stopping at a scenic vantage point to snap photos and learn about the mountain’s long history of eruptions, as well as its native flora and fauna. Continue up to 6,600 feet, where you’ll have free time to walk among the volcanic craters and peruse the mountainside shops before sampling local delicacies at an included three-course lunch. Please note: Comfortable shoes and layered clothing are recommended. Temperatures on the mountain are cool in the summer and can be quite chilly the rest of the year.

Day11

What to see…palaces or the villages from The Godfather?

Optional Excursion - Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza D'Agro

Breakfast, Dinner

From magnificent beaches to cliff walks, spend another free day soaking in the Taormina’s region’s natural beauty. Or, opt to take our Hidden Sicily excursion to Savoca and Forza d’Agrò, two traditional Sicilian villages that served as sets for Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Godfather. This evening bid farewell to your travel companions over an included dinner.

Optional Excursions

Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza D'Agro $49* pp

Delve into the traditional Sicilian villages that served as sets for Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather. First, visit Savoca and tour the Church of St. Lucia and the Bar Vitelli. Walk through this medieval village and marvel at its 15th-century buildings and the city's panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea. Continue on to Forza d'Agrò, another “hidden” Sicilian village, where you'll visit the Church of the Annunciation. Please note: The order of villages visited is subject to change. In the event that the Church of the Annunciation is closed, it may only be viewed from the outside.

Day12

IT’S NOT GOODBYE, IT’S CIAO FOR NOW

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

If you’re not continuing on our tour extension to Rome, a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport in Catania for your return flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add Rome City Stay $409*

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and vibrant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome2 nights - hotel info

Day12

Savor la dolce vita in Rome

Breakfast

The Colosseum

Travel to the airport for your flight to Rome. Upon arrival, a Go Ahead representative greets you and oversees hotel check-in. Then, follow in the footsteps of the caesars during an included excursion to Imperial Rome, featuring a guided tour of the Colosseum.

Day13

Follow the footsteps of Caesar (or the beat of your own drum)

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors

Breakfast

Spend a free day in Rome however you choose. Take in all the art and architecture, from relics of Caesar’s reign to treasures of the Renaissance. Or, you could join today’s optional sightseeing tour of Vatican City, featuring visits to the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Opt to end the day at Dinner with Tenors, an evening of food and live opera music.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89* pp

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you'll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world's most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you'll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you'll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo's greatest masterpiece. Finally, you'll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sunday.

Optional Excursions

Dinner with Tenors $79* pp

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera's best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun!

Day14

Back to your home away from Rome

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Board your return flight home.

Passport & Visa

In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Italian consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Sicily. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in Palermo and depart from Catania (or Rome on the tour extension). When you first arrive in Palermo, a Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. Included transportation is by private motor coach. In your free time, most of Sicily’s locations are best accessed on foot. Local city buses in Palermo and Syracuse can break up periods of walking. Taxis are also useful, particularly in connecting downtown Syracuse (where most hotels are located) to the island of Ortygia (where most shops and restaurants are). In Taormina, local buses connect the beachfront city of Naxos to Taormina proper. You can also ride a funicular up to Taormina’s city center.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Italy, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/ credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

Great trip!!!

I enjoyed the 3 nights stay in Palermo, Siracusa and Taormina. You get a feel of the place. Tamara, our tour director was very professional - she was very knowledgeable and treated us like grown ups - ( we do not have to rotate seats). Everyone in the tour was very pleasant. The whisper was perfect. Good job GoAhead staff!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Stefania was the best tour director! We felt taken care of. She would make sure we did not leave anything behind when dining or on tour, and we appreciated the little "treats" she had for us - cannolis, candy, etc. I would definitely request her when booking another tour, and will also recommend that my friends do, too.

review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director Ever

This was a fabulous trip primarily due to the Tour Director, Stephania. She was organized and smart. She took the time to give the history behind each stop and exursion before arriving. She combined her own personal family experiences with the information about Italian life in general. She made this trip for us! Brava Stephania!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: UT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Bus Driver

I was disappointed before I left. It started when our hotel in Palermo was changed. The hotel itself describes it as "no frills" . Well, that was an understatement. It was located outside the city at the docks. I didn't like the city of Palermo at all. We spent too much time there. The best part of Palermo is that we went on a side tour of our own, Cerfulo. That was the nicest day we had there. All the hotels were located away from the attractions. The last two were very nice Hotels but the view from the rooms we had were really bad. The one in Grand Naxos had a view of the dumpster and every night the kitchen staff would bring out the trash and throw it in the dumpster with a loud crash. The next one outside Taourmina had a view of the massive generator and construction equipment. When I went to the front desk to complain, they told me that the Tour company didn't reserve rooms with views. The hotel was absolutely beautiful and I did enjoy my stay there even though it rained. The bus driver, Salvatore, was the nicest driver I have had on any tour. He was always smiling and helpful to everyone. His driving abilities were tested every day and he made us all feel so safe while on the bus. I didn't care for Sicily and wouldn't recommend going there to anyone. We saw 2 Greek theaters, a quarry, and the nice town of Taourmina. Unfortunately, the day we went to Mt. Etna it was so foggy we didn't really get to see anything which is certainly not the fault of the Tour.

3 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

First Go ahead Tour Experience

I really enjoyed the Go Ahead Tour to Sicily. It was well organized. The entire participating staff from tour director to bus driver to local tour guides were fun, knowledgeable, patient, kind and demonstrated a true passion for what they do. In Palermo staying at the Hotel Mercure Via Mariano Stabile was adequate. I do think all hotels should provide converters. the hair dryer was horrendous in this hotel and for females hairdryers are a must. If your hair looks good you have a good day! LOL. Minor issue. The staff was courteous, helpful and fun especially Antonio the bartender! In Siracusa the Grand Hotel Villa a Politi was a step up as far as accommodations but the food there in our group dinner was extremely poor quality. In fact All the group dinners were extremely disappointing since the food elsewhere was outstanding. I would suggest on the first night as a group a more formal cocktail meet and greet hour so that the group could get to know each other on the first night, with a bit more involvement. Ours was too brief with minimum interaction. We all eventually got to discover individuals but it would be more efficient and allow for better flow for the rest of our time together. . In Taormina we had a stroke of luck. Instead of staying in Naxos our hotel there had a plumbing problem luckily before we arrived so we were moved to the Ariston right in Taormina and it just made staying in Taermina that much more special. I highly recommend that you do this going forward. To be in the center and able to walk everywhere was fantastic. The views of the Ionian Sea were fabulous, the staff was courteous and the rooms again adequate. No complaints as they were clean and provided bed and bath and that's really all you need. Again, converters or upgraded hair dryers and FREE water should be strongly encouraged but that is not part of the "tour".Rob S ) did promise to send to all of us our group picture and share email addresses of our group which we have yet to receive. Perhaps you could encourage him to do so soon so we can keep in tough with the new friends we made. We also need Salvatore's email address our bus driver who wanted a copy of pictures we took with him. He was fantastic...we loved Salvo! Rita, Enzo, Elizabeth and Linda were all fabulous tour guides. On our own we found some great restaurants and shops. the weather was perfect. It was an overall excellent tour, quite well organized, run like a well oiled machine with a great tour guide, very personable, My ancestors hail from Sicily so for me many aspects of being there meant a great deal to me. Thank you Go To for a great experience. BMc

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Outstanding Tour Director

Carmen was absolutely superb ! She went out of her way, evey day, to make sure that we were all comfortable and enjoying our tour. She was knowledgeable, assertive when she needed to be and sensitive to our needs and interests She made special accommodations for a few of us to dine at a very special restaurant in Palermo, have an additional evening excursion to Taormina and even arranged for us to have breakfast in the hotel at 3:45 in the morning on the day of our departure! She was down-to-earth, had a great sense of humor and was so easy to talk to and relate to. She fostered a great sense of camraderie in our group (our group was wonderful) and we all enjoyed spending time together. In one short week, we shared wonderful memories and experiences and learned about everyone's families, previous travel experiences, interests, etc. It was a great pleasure to meet her and spend this tooshort week with her. We will always remember her. It was a wonderful, amazing tour.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Tour Director

Carmen - a First Class Tour Director. Efficient. Enthusiastic. Innovative. Caring. An excellent ambassador for GoAhead Tours and Italy. Very good trip overall. Trip very rich in history and culture. Beautiful scenery at Taormina.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Sicily in brief

Carmen , tour director, was incredible. Food everywhere was the best we have had. Tour pace was leisurely, leave at 9 a.m., back in hotel no later than 4 p.m. Bus rides instead of plane rides like other tours, much better. Local guides were tremendous. History lessons were supurb as was scenery. One of our best trips out of 8 with GoAhead. Vatican art is spectacular. We recommend this tour highly. A more in-depth review will be e-mailed soon.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Tour of Sicily

We recently went on the tour of Sicily which began in Palermo and ended in Taormina. First lets get the bad part out of the way. The flights over and back were horrendous. Previously we have always had non stop flights to Europe but, with this trip we were routed through JFK which was horrible. It would have been much better to have a nonstop to Rome, or even Milan, than to go through JFK. The hotel in Palermo wasn't a good one. We stayed at the President Hotel. It had a view of the docks, not exactly picturesque, and the quality of the rooms was one step down from a Motel 6. This was a last minute hotel change that, we hope, GAT has learned is not one to put their groups up in again. Now the good...the wonderful...the picturesque. The tours we went on, provided and extra, in Palermo were wonderful. The beauty of Monreale, the Palantine Chapel and the Duomo of Palermo were all breathtaking. Our Saturday night Fish Dinner was tons of fun and really let us experience the fun of a night out in town. Our excursion to Segesta and Erice was amazing. The views from the amphitheater in Segesta were breathtaking and having lunch in Erice when a cloud settled over the medieval town was enchanting. As a photographer I had been looking forward to visiting Agrigento and my first Greek ruins. I was not disappointed! It was fascinating to hear all about these temples from our very entertaining local guide as well as enjoy their immense beauty. Then we were onto the Villa Politi and Siracusa. The Villa is amazing. Downtime at the hotel is usually nothing to be excited about but the Villa is so beautiful that lazing on their verandas, having "happy hour" near the Winston Bar or dining in the gorgeous ballroom was something to look forward to and enjoy. Our day on Ortigia Island was also something we will always remember. This incredibly picturesque island town was wonderful to just walk around and enjoy the shops, the restaurants and the beauty that waited down every street and alleyway. A real highlight of our trip. While in Siracusa we also did an extra trip out to a Contessa's Manor House. The word picturesque doesn't do it justice. The vine and bougainvillea covered barns and outbuildings were stunning. Food was prepared in a real stone oven and we were served family style comfort foods including the best meatballs any of us had ever tasted! We were given free roam of the property for the entire time we were there and I have to say, it was amazing. When we arrived in Taormina we visited the hilltop part of town before settling into our beach cliff side hotel later in the day. Roaming and shopping these streets, enjoying the Greco-Roman ruins, lunching at the same place that Tennessee Williams enjoyed so much was a real treat. After checking into our modern and very comfortable hotel overlooking the sea we went for an extra excursion to a wonderful Mt. Etna winery and had an incredible dinner filled with great food, wonderful wines and a family type welcome. The views from this property make the tour worth it but the wine was worthy of quite a few bottles finding their way back home with us! Lastly we took the Mt. Etna tour and the Hidden Sicily tour. The former was up to the volcano and we got to see where the flow met the buildings about 20 years ago, enjoy the presently dormant craters and the unique beauty of Spring at the top. The latter treated us to two wonderful small towns, one known for the footage shot of The Godfather in the 70's and one known for its Almond Wine. Both were a true pleasure to explore for us and, especially for me as a photographer. As always, the comfort of the bus, not worrying about how to get there or how to get back, the skill of the driving, was wonderful. But, once again, we were treated by a very friendly and gentlemanly driver in our Salvatore. Our guide was warm and kind as well as being funny and knowledgeable and many of us were very happy to bring home happy memories and photographs with Stefania. While we may never visit Sicily again...there are so many other places to see first!...we really did enjoy this, our third tour, with Go Ahead.

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/2/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

fine title

Our tour director was fantastic.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/11/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

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