We love Italy and have been curious about Sicily for some time. Before finding the Rick Steves’ Best of Sicily Tour, we had never taken a group tour like this before. Being somewhat skeptical, we were soon convinced by the reviews of previous tour participants to go with Rick Steves. The promises of guided time with plenty of free time along with the potential of unforgettable life experiences all proved true, providing us with an ideal and memorable experience. (https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/italy/sicily)
Any preconceived notions about Sicily have been completely dispensed with. We found Sicily to be welcoming, intriguing, comfortable and not yet 'over-discovered', making it even more special. We came away with a new found understanding and admiration for it's people, who have endured and overcome much. From ridding themselves of the Mafia to welcoming displaced and desperate refugees to their lands, the people of Sicily are diverse, yet strongly united in the love they have for their land and culture.
Sicily is fascinating, exotic and ancient, yet modern. An enticing enigma, a confluence of the many cultures who have occupied this island over the centuries, so much more than being only Italian. It isn't. In our view, Sicily is a country and an experience unto itself. We loved our time there, leaving us wanting more. We have to know and love Sicily. It's in our blood, literally, with several of our ancestors having emigrated to America in centuries past. We shall return.
Our thanks go to the Rick Steves organization and specifically our tour guide, Sarah Murdoch, our always cheerful and skilled driver Tony, as well as the best group of tour friends we could have hoped for. (https://adventureswithsarah.net)
What follows is an overview of our experience, told mostly through images, for we believe that a picture can represent a "thousand" words or more with a little guidance and some imagination. We hope you enjoy this presentation and feel inspired to perhaps indulge your own curiosity about Sicily someday. You won't be disappointed. Amonini!
First up is Palermo. A city that's a blend of ancient cultures, Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman, and others with influences that continue to this day within its art, architecture, food, and people.