This was my second trip with Amber Road, and as so many others have indicated, plans for the next are in progress. Sicily was so interesting historically, geographically, and culturally! I suspect most people have no idea how many times it has been conquered by various invaders. Mariaelena was an amazing guide; her personal attention to each of us excellent, as well as her great sense of humor and knowledge of each area. I love the pace of Amber Road Tours. Sure, you can book a relatively inexpensive trip that may take you all over Italy, but it won’t feel like a vacation or that you really come away with an appreciation for the area you’ve covered. These tours are like a mini-immersion (my first was the Tuscany tour last autumn). Accommodations and meals are superb as well. Coordination of every aspect is excellent.
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Congratulations, again, Amber Road Tours, for showing us so expertly the wonders of Sicily, and our thanks go to Saverio, too, for giving us insight into the Sicilian Lifestyle.
This was our second Amber Road tour and our sixth trip to Italy. We were extremely pleased with the total experience of this Sicily tour. The itinerary allowed us to experience a good mix of places giving us an appreciation of the complexity of both ancient and modern Sicilian culture. The local guides were knowledgeable and communicated effectively. The tour logistics were handled well so that we could concentrate on our daily adventures rather than baggage and transportation. Our tour director Saverio enhanced the experience by continually providing us insights into the culture in a way that only a native Sicilian could. His unique perspectives served as both education and entertainment. His good humor and relaxed demeanor did not detract from his solid efficiency when dealing with logistical issues that arose during the tour. Our driver Alessandro got our comfortable coach through some of the tightest road situations I have ever seen. He did this in a calm professional manner. We are looking forward to future travels with Amber Road Tours.
5 stars to Amber Road tours! This was our second tour with them and it was wonderful. Everyone is so helpful starting with sweet Lisa in the office when you sign up. She is always cheerful and patient and makes the experience enjoyable from the first moment. This is our second Amber Road tour (the first was the Amalfi Coast to Apulia). Both were well thought out and planned with such care and consideration to the last detail! Our tour guide for Sicily, Mariaelena was very caring and informative. She took care of our every need and is a great guide. We look forward to other tours with Amber Road
This was our 4th Amber Road Tour and once again we were extremely pleased. The selection of places we saw gave us a good understanding of the art, food, history and landscape of Sicily All hotels and included meals were well chosen. We enjoyed touring with Mariaelena. She is professional and at the same time very friendly and caring. The guides were all knowledgeable and some were particularly entertaining. The bus driver Francesco was skilled at navigating the smaller roads in a very large bus. Another form of entertainment!
This was our third trip with Amber Road and once again we were very pleased. The folks at Amber Road know how to treat their clients well. Our tour manager, Mariaelena Ciacci is a “national treasure”. Her enthusiasm, knowledge of the country, and care of her group greatly enhanced our enjoyment of the tour. We also had excellent guides who not only informed us but entertained us as well. The hotels were well chosen and allowed us easy access to the towns we were visiting. The tour was an excellent mix of historical, archaeological, cultural activities as well as a more contemporary view of life in Sicily. Once again, we had a superb bus driver.
Sicily, A must see for everyone! Mariaelena Ciacci is an excellent tour leader. The tour pace is very good and her timing and scheduling of tours were outstanding. Hotel selections are in the city central district, which I had doubts, but I quickly changed my mind. The walking to tour sites out weighed any concerns I had. Great Tour!
We were extremely pleased with the whole experience while on the Amber Road Tour in Sicily. It was our first time in Sicily and also in a bus tour. The selection of places to visit within Sicily was ideal and gave us a very comprehensive view of the art, food, history and landscape that this Island has to offer. We were delighted with Mariaelena, our tour coordinator, who has a very friendly, efficient and delicate manner to make us all fully enjoy our trip. We were also very pleased with the central location and quality of our hotels and restaurants chosen. The guides were all very knowledgeable and at the same time entertaining. The driver was very friendly and professional and we were also very happy to have a spacious bus with extra room to spare. We appreciated having at least two nights at each hotel stop and not having early morning starts. Finally, we were very happy to share this Sicily experience with a group of new friends.
Our travels around Sicily with Mariaelena in late April early May 2018 were outstanding in every respect. We were given a deep insight into the history, culture, politics and food of Sicily as well as being introduced to the physical beauty of the island. We were also impressed with the design and pace of the tour. The use of specific expert guides in places such as Segesta, the Valley of the Temples, Ragusa, Syracuse and Taormina meant that we could could tap their knowledge of what we were seeing at a much greater depth than we have experienced on other tours. But what made the tour even more memorable was the leadership and organisation given to us by Mariaelena. Not only was she knowledgeable about everything to do with Sicily, but her insight into people, her warm and approachable personality kept a very diverse group together and gave us a sense of direction throughout the 11 days. Mariaelena made every effort to get to know each of us and her professional approach, her patience and attention made an already wonderful tour that much better.
My third adventure with Amber Road Tours, this trip proved a wonderful way of exploring the treasures of Sicily’s uniquely rich cultural heritage, combining enjoyable meals and relaxing sightseeing with rewarding tours of museums, impressive ruins of ancient civilizations, baroque cities, local folklore, and grand churches accompanied by guides who offered informative and entertaining commentary, making thousands of years of history come dramatically alive for us. The company of our knowledgeable chief guide, the delightful Mariaelena, always cheerful and helpful, ensured that all facets of the trip would go smoothly and pleasantly. I came away with beautiful memories and much gratitude for a perfect vacation on a magical island.
We just returned from a tour of Sicily and wanted to let you know how pleased we were with everything. Our tour “leader” Mariaelena was fantastic. Her upbeat personality made everything just a little better. The sites, hotels, bus driver and the included meals were all first class. The individual tour guides were not only knowledgeable and we would like to know who wrote their material. We laughed throughout the trip. Several meals were included as part of the tour. The restaurants chosen for each were excellent and everyone enjoyed the menus selected. Mariaelena asked each of us at these meals if we were satisfied with what was being served and in the few cases where there was a problem made sure that substitutes were available. She went out of her way to help. We had an anniversary during the trip and she coordinated with the restaurant we were going to eat at to have cake made up for us. She left nothing to chance. Every morning she was there well before the tours started and in the evening did not leave until she was sure that we knew the schedule for the next day. It is hard to imagine that anything more could have been done to improve the trip. We would rate Amber Tours with 5 stars.
This was our second Amber Roads Tour and our first time in Sicily. The country is so beautiful and the history interesting. Our tour guide, Mariaelena went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves. She is so knowledgeable and helpful. Her warm and caring personality made her feel like family and made our trip extra special. The accommodations were always charming and welcoming and the food was delicious and plentiful. We certainly will recommend Amber Roads Tours to everyone.
Sicily was amazing! I loved the history, ruins, delicious food, friendly people, and beautiful countryside. Our tour guide, Saverio, was so much fun. He made us laugh constantly while sharing with us his love and knowledge of his wonderful country. Our driver Angelo, did a fabulous job navigating the narrow, windy roads. Sitting right behind him I appreciated his calm manner and superior driving skills! The local guides were excellent too, imparting their knowledge of the different regions we visited. This was the first group tour I’ve ever done and it met and exceeded my expectations. The size of our group was just right — a great group of people. I was sad to say goodbye to them and to Sicily at the end of the tour! I’m already thinking about which Amber Roads tour I’ll go on next!
My wife and I agree: our Amber Road tour of Sicily exceeded our high expectations! Our personable group leader was topnotch, his management of the trip was flawless, and the itinerary was excellent. Accommodations were very pleasant, and the meals included in the trip package were fantastic! Best packaged tour we’ve ever taken.
We have just finished putting our photos from this excellent tour into on-line albums; and, as we did this it reinforced what an wonderful time we had. The country itself was both beautiful and historically interesting; and we found the food and wines delightful. It is unusualy for us to tour with a group on a fixed itinerary, but Amber Road kept the group small and managable; and, the use of the Whisper headsets reinforced the dialog for us. There were so many activities and surprises (like the puppet show and wine/food tastings and upgraded hotel rooms) that we felt our time and enjoyment were maximized. Of course, a lot depends upon the execution on the ground and the personality of the Tour Manager and Driver– in this aspect, we were fortunate to have Saverio Renda as our “face of Sicily”. Saverio was both outgoing and professional; his sense of humor made everyone smile, and his obvious expertise and rapport with the many local guides helped make this a memorable tour. Thanks to all. Highly recommended.
We just returned from our third Amber Road Tour. The Sicily Tour was excellent. All of the hotels were in the city’s historic centers and were close to numerous cafes, restaurants and shops. The tour ran like clockwork, under our excellent guide Saverio Renda. I cannot say enough about him. He is intelligent, has a good sense of humor and most importantly is compassionate in his outlook toward life. Sicily should be proud of their native son Saverio. Angelo our bus driver is also to be commended. He did a fantastic job. I am amazed at the constant professionalism, level of service and minute attention to every detail that Amber Road Tours provides. In addition to the excellent hotels, all of the included meals and historical sights made this trip to Sicily something special. The best compliment that I can give is that we will be planning our fourth Amber Road Tour for 2018 shortly. Thank you for everything and please thank everyone at Amber Road Tours for another excellent tour and a lifetime of memories of Sicily.
Our wonderful group of 17 first met at a rooftop dinner in Palermo. That magical evening presaged what became a magical experience as we circumnavigated the coastlines of Sicily. The wonderful leader of our happy band was Saverio Renda. We never saw him sweat the small details that he handled with great finesse. Everyone in the group (which included some very worldly travelers) agreed that Amber Road has the best approach to experiencing Sicily – actually stay in the different areas of the country rather than parachute in from a base for a day trip. In doing so, we learned that Palermo, Marsala, Ragusa, Siracusa and Taormina are each unique communities with different histories. The knowledge and personalities of our local guides were outstanding. The shared meals were consistently excellent, and Saverio always had good recommendations for meals on our own. Saverio also enlivened the bus rides between tour stops with historical, cultural and topical observations on Sicilian life. He embodies the hospitality of the island’s inhabitants who were happy to show us their land. Overall, we consider this tour to be an exceptional experience and value. Well done, Saverio, and well done, Amber Road.
We had never heard of Amber Roads but could find no negative comments on travel rating websites, so we booked our trip. We were hardly disappointed and now confirmed fans! This was a great excursion from start to finish. A pleasant young man met us, as promised, at Palermo’s airport. The accommodations in the central historic area were spacious. Our permanent guide, Saverio, was fantastic: always cheery, funny, caring and extremely well-informed about Sicily’s history and culture. We should highlight that Laura, the local Palermo expert, was exceptional, but all the local experts were very good. All of the transportation on the tour was comfortable, baggage transfers were handled seamlessly and quickly. Hotel accommodations were very good, the included breakfasts suitable for a variety of tastes. Extensive was the information about the many archeological/historical sites that we visited. Our group numbered 15 which was perfect… congenial, interesting people. The Sicilians we came in contact with were uniformly friendly, warm and helpful. The meals, whether with the group or on our own were almost always very good to excellent and the group meals varied in cuisine. And the wines!!! Without a doubt, we will use Amber Roads for future travel. Bravo!
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Sicily. It was well organized, we visited very interesting spots, the local guides were terrific, and our leader Saverio Renda was outstanding – patient, knowledgable, unflappable, good-honored and kind. The accommodations were first rate, the food was excellent, and the wine flowed. This was my first tour, and it made such a strong positive impression on me that I will try the Amber Roads tour to Andalusia soon.
The group we traveled with was cohesive, accomplished, energetic, looked out for each other, were very friendly and lots of fun but our tour leader, MariaElena Ciacci, deserves the credit for being a wonderful young woman and largely responsible for making the tour a wonderful experience and outstanding success.
We are seasoned travelers and almost went on our own. It would have been a mistake because this tour did it all. Our tour guide, Saverio, was outstanding. He was so knowledgeable, exuberant, fun and without question focused on this being the best vacation. It was filled with wonderful, incredible sites, good food and very good accommodations. We always were in the center of things. We had plenty of free time, but being in a small group that really enjoyed each other, we spent a lot of time together. Alessandro, our tour driver, was excellent. We always knew he would provide excellent, safe service, getting us to our next stop. Overall excellent trip and we are planning to take another. This is the way to go.
Our time in Sicily was sensational! Can’t unfortunately come up with words that even begin to do the pure unadulterated magic of the trip justice… The fact that the island is an enchanted and utterly enchanting place – idyllic, in fact.! – was reinforced at every turn. Thanks to a carefully planned itinerary, with the meticulous attention paid to even the tiniest of details, our eleven days were brimful of life enhancing and enriching experiences. It was undoubtedly as case of “we came, we saw – and we were conquered”! By Sicily and all things Sicilian! Even though I’ve been home for a week, my head and my heart are still high in the Sicilian skies (not clouds, because there weren’t any of those, either literally or figuratively speaking). Over and above their impeccable professionalism, both Mariaelena (leader) and Marco (driver) added all kinds of delightful and uniquely personal dimensions to the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and touches of Sicily. A winning combination if ever there was one, and a team in which Amber Road should take great pride and pleasure.
What a fantastic trip. This was our first tour and we chose it because we were bringing our 13 year old granddaughter with us. We have traveled abroad many times but have never done it with a tour. We couldn’t have been more satisfied. We spoke many times with Lisa in South Carolina and she was extremely helpful. Then when we met Mariaelena, our tour manager and Marco our driver we knew we had made a great choice. They were both so personable, friendly and fun to be around. We had a very small group, only six of us and we all had a great time together. Our rides in the mini bus were never boring. When Mariaelena wasn’t giving us information about the countryside or trivia facts about Italian movies and books, Marco was singing along with the opera CD’s. The city tour guides provided were excellent and what a variety of activities. We attended an excellent puppet show in Siracusa and although it was in Italian we still got the gist of it and met the performers afterwards. Our trip to the vineyards was excellent and the wine tasting was much more then we expected with excellent antipasto to accompany the wine. All the places we ate were chosen with a local flare to them and the food was all wonderful. Our trip to the salt production site was so informative and we even visited the villa of a baron. The archaeological sites were amazing and even though we had days when the temperatures zoomed above one hundred degrees we knew at the end of the day we could retire to AC in our four star hotel. Anyone who wants a great experience should try Amber Road Tours and if you are lucky you will get Mariaelena. Hoping that someday she will do a tour in France and we can go. Thanks again, Carol,Paul and Sarah
While we have traveled extensively this is the first time we were part of a tour and it was so great to be taken care from the minute we arrived at the Palermo airport until we departed from Taormina. Transportation, hotels, restaurants, guides all ran smoothly under the expert management of Mariaelena. I think she must have also played a part in providing the great weather, she’s that good. The size of the tour and the personalites added to the enjoyment. The daily excursions were interesting and informative, and if for some reason you didn’t want to join the group, Mariaelena made sure you had a place to sit and relax. We are already thinking about another tour, perhaps Northern Italy. We highly recommend Amber Road Tours
The tour ran like clockwork and was well-balanced between travel, organised activity and free time. Our tour guide Maria-Elena, was exceptional, a true angel of the universe – sensitive to all needs, caring, quick to smile and laugh and a veritable font of knowledge. Would thoroughly recommend this tour.