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Sicilian Heritage Tour:...

Sicilian Heritage Tour: Palermo to Taormina

11 days
Group size1428 travelers
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ
Fully Refundable Booking Period

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Find your family roots under the bright Sicilian sun.

Spectacular landscapes, enduring culture, mouthwatering flavors—experience the best of Sicily on this one-of-a-kind trip, created in collaboration with Ancestry®. You’ll journey from Palermo to Syracuse and Taormina, uncovering pieces of your genealogy along the way. As you gain new perspective on the place your ancestors came from, the country just might start to feel like home to you, too.

Your tour package includes

  • AncestryDNA® kit
  • Pre-trip family history review with AncestryProGenealogists®
  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 5 dinners with beer or wine
Read more

Included highlights

  • Special AncestryProGenealogists® sessions
  • Cappella Palatina
  • Monreale Cathedral
  • Agrigento’s Greek ruins
  • Piazza Armerina
Read more
Start planning today

An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

Talk to a Tour Consultant

Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Palermo today.

Palermo3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Palermo
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Italy! Meet your Tour Director, genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists®, and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Palermo & Monreale
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, get an introduction to Sicilian genealogy and the ways you will be tracing your heritage with your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists®.

Then, embark on a guided tour of the bayside city of Palermo and the hilltop town of Monreale.

  • Discover the city’s Baroque architecture as you pass the Quattro Canti piazza in the historic center
  • Step inside the Cappella Palatina to see the stunning mosaics and artwork
  • Head to nearby Monreale and enter Monreale Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site that combines Norman, Arab, and Byzantine architectural styles
Day 4: Free day in Palermo
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Palermo or add an excursion.

Tracing Heritage: The Trapani Region

$65 per person

Enna Region1 night
Day 5: Enna Region via Agrigento
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel south through the Sicilian countryside, stopping in Agrigento for a guided walking tour of the city’s fascinating Greek ruins.
Then, continue on to the Enna region and enjoy an included dinner at an agriturismo, or farm stay.

Syracuse3 nights
Day 6: Syracuse via Piazza Armerina
Included meal: Breakfast

On the way to Syracuse, stop for a guided tour of Piazza Armerina and view the stunning mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Syracuse
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Embark on a guided tour of Syracuse, a city known for its rich Greek history.

  • Enter the ancient Greek theater, the most complete of its kind still in existence
  • Tour the massive Paradise Quarry and gardens, featuring the cave that artist Caravaggio dubbed “The Ear of Dionysius” for its unique acoustics
  • Visit the Roman amphitheater, then cross a bridge to the Island of Ortygia to see the Temple of Apollo and Syracuse Cathedral

Sit down for an included dinner featuring local cuisine.

Day 8: Free day in Syracuse
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Syracuse or add an excursion.

Traditions of Sicily: Villa Lunch & Noto Village

$99 per person

Taormina Region2 nights
Day 9: Transfer to Taormina & sightseeing tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to Taormina, where a local guide introduces you to this scenic town perched high above the sea.

  • Enjoy views of Mount Etna, Taormina Cathedral, and Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament
  • Visit the town’s 2nd-century Greek theater

This evening, venture into the foothills surrounding Mount Etna for a traditional Sicilian dinner and wine tasting at a local vineyard.

Day 10: Free day in the Taormina Region
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Spend a free day in the Taormina region or add an excursion.

Tonight, your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® shares a summary of all you’ve learned about Sicilian heritage. Then, say goodbye to your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes

$79 per person

Flight Home0 nights
Day 11: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the Catania airport for your flight home.

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Overall rating 5.0 out of 5
Based on 2 authentic and unedited traveler reviews
Sort by
    A trip to remember
    08/23/19 by 1st-time traveler Richard

    We just returned from the Ancestral Tour of Sicily-I cannot say enough about what a wonderful tour it was. From the start, GoAhead-you guys were always there to answer questions before we took our trip. Once we got to Sicily--our Tour Guide, Sylvania T. was beyond fantastic! She anticipated our need...

    Read more +
    Ancestry Tour of Sicily
    10/26/18 by 2nd-time traveler Barbara

    The ancestry tour of Sicily was by far one of the best tours I have ever taken. It was well planned, well organized, all hotels and meals were far beyond excellent. All the local tours were fabulous, and the timing of all events was impeccable. The coordination between the Go Ahead Tour Guide and th...

    Read more +
    Go Ahead Tours replied on 11/19/18

    Dear Barbara, We work hard to create smooth and st...

    Read more +
    Show more reviews

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Hotel Mercure Palermo Centro
    Hotel Mercure Palermo Centro

    This modern hotel is located in the Palermo city center. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a bar, and a spacious lobby. Nearby, you'll find Teatro Politeama, T...

    Read more +
    Grand Hotel Villa Politi
    Grand Hotel Villa Politi

    This grand hotel is located near the historic archeological zone. Guests enjoy a restaurant, bar, and spa. Nearby, you’ll find the Greek Theater of Sy...

    Read more +
    Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina
    Excelsior Palace Hotel Taormina

    This historic hotel is located in the city center. Guests enjoy an outdoor swimming pool, sun deck, and restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find Corso Umberto,...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights

    Local weather

    Agrigento, Italy
    Weather averages
    High 64 °FLow 56 °F
    Piazza Armerina, Italy
    Weather averages
    High 59 °FLow 51 °F
    Palermo, Italy
    Weather averages
    High 62 °FLow 57 °F
    Catania, Italy
    Weather averages
    High 63 °FLow 59 °F
    Syracuse, Italy
    Weather averages
    High 64 °FLow 61 °F
    Monreale, Italy
    Weather averages
    High 62 °FLow 59 °F


    Print FAQ
    About your Heritage Tour
    • This tour was created in collaboration with Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics. Ancestry® harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives.
    • As part of your tour package, you’ll receive an AncestryDNA® kit within one month of booking your trip. Please complete the simple test as soon as possible to receive your DNA results.
    • Prior to your tour, we will contact you to schedule your 5-hour pre-trip family history review with AncestryProGenealogists®.
    • A genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® specializing in Italian research will accompany your group and provide unique genealogical and heritage insight throughout the entire trip.
    • Ancestry® offers customized ancestral home visits during and after the main trip for an additional cost. With these, one of the AncestryProGenealogists® staff will accompany you to the exact town or village in Italy where your own specific ancestors lived. If you’re interested in an ancestral home visit, ask about organizing one during your pre-trip family history review.
    Passport & visa requirements
    • In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
    • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
    • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
    • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
    Tour pace
    • You will walk for at least 1.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved roads, with some hills and stairs.
    • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
    • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
    • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
    • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
    Transportation & arrival information
    • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Palermo and depart from Catania. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. 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.
    • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
    • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
    Baggage allowance
    • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
    • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
    • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
    • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
    Clothing & packing tips
    • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, and a light jacket or rainwear.
    • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
    • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
    • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
    • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Italy.
    • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
    • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
    • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
    • The cuisine of Southern Italy is often what diners think of when imagining Italian flavors—pasta with tomato sauces, olives and olive oil, zucchini, veal, and fish are all featured prominently on menus throughout the region.
    • Sicilian cuisine in particular is heavily influenced by Spanish, Greek, and Arab traditions. The Spanish brought New World influences to the region in the form of tomatoes, chocolate, and maize, while the Arab influence can be tasted in recipes that include rice, spinach, saffron, and citrus fruits. Regional specialties include arancini, cannoli, and granita.
    • For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like grappa or limoncello.
    Electricity & air conditioning
    • Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, F, or L plugs with two or three small, round pins.
    • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
    • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
    • Your hotel may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
    • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
    • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
    • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges and purchasing an international data plan.
    Time zones
    • Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
    • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
    • You will use the euro on this tour.
    • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
    • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw 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.
    • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
    • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
    • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
    • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
    • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
    • Tips can only be paid in cash.
    • Your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® will not be expecting a tip.
    Purchasing excursions on tour
    • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
    • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
    • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
    • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

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