We are back from a fabulous holiday with Amber Road in Sicily. This was our first tour experience and I am certain that you have prevented us from going on any other any tour unless it is with Amber Road.
Mariaelena is a special gem-you should make sure she is your exclusive tour leader. We will not only miss her buongiornos and technical stops but the wonderful experience she brought to the tour-everyday filled with information, laughter and good times. The sightseeing was spectacular, the local guides entertaining, the hotels charming, the food outstanding, the wine always flowing and the company wonderful. Our driver Alessandro was not only expert but added to our fun. My constant teasing that “la prossima volta devo guidare l’autobus” was rewarded the final day when he presented me with a cap worn making me an honorary driver. First class all the way-a wonderful holiday-already planning our next one.

We had such a wonderful time in Sicily. The beauty and diversity of the island is incredible, its history, rich and vibrant. On this island, a little larger than the state of Vermont, we visited Norman mosaics, Greek theatres, Roman ruins, Arab mosques and gardens, Byzantine churches and more. We traipsed along the higher peaks of Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. That was exciting!!
We travelled with 14 others plus our guide Mario whose commentary and jokes and fun attitude to life enhanced the trip even more. It was a fun group and an unforgettable experience! Go to this u-tube link then put the volume up and enjoy a little over 9 minutes with us in Sicily! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdHGU1K3aXE

Given the colorful and varied history of Sicily, the sheer size of the island, its natural beauty and combination of better-than Greece and baroque architecture, it has to be difficult to develop an 12 day itinerary and still leave time for sleeping. But from the travelers’ perspective you put together an exceptional itinerary. All the hotels were very well located and fine overall quality. The group meals gave us an easy opportunity to experience the great variety and quality of Sicily cuisine. And the wines–my goodness they flowed and they were wonderful selections. Bette and I especially enjoyed meeting the two of you, Jonathan and Sonya. It is plain to see that you are the reason all these other factors have come together, it is you who have given structure to the whole venture, who have put in place the elements that work so well, and of course you picked Mariaelena. If we were forced to summarize our Amber Sicily tour in a few short words, it is that our experience seemed like we were your personal guests on an intimate trip through a beautiful, historic, and interesting part of our world. Thank you.

It was a pleasure meeting both of you in Sicily. We had a wonderful trip. We chose Amber Road Tours on Mariaelena’s recommendation because she said that the trips were well planned and well done, and she was right. Your itinerary was very thoughtfully planned. The hotels were lovely and the restaurants choices and meals were also excellent. Mariaelena, of course, was a charming guide. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she adds so much to the background, culture and history of the trip. We have many friends who look to us for advice when they are planning a trip to Italy and we will not hesitate to recommend Amber Roads. We hope to travel with you again ourselves.
I am sure that people are quick to complain when things go a bit wrong. I thought it was worth writing to let you know that we thought that everything went right.

Arthur Frommer of Frommer Travel Guides and his daughter Pauline have a syndicated radio travel show that is heard all over the USA. When we first heard about your tour we called and asked Arthur Frommer if he knew of your company. He replied yes, that it was an excellent tour company. We then booked your tour and it was excellent! My wife Carol called the Frommer’s Travel Show again today. The link below should get you to her comments. They start around the 28 minute 10 second mark.http://www.wor710.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=5865315 Again thanks to both of you for a very special trip to Sicily!

We just returned to California from our amazing trip to Sicily. We can’t thank you enough for providing Mariaelena as our guide. She is so extraordinary in every way. She got to know each of us and always was extremely thoughtful, kind and knowledgeable. Each part of the trip, from Monreale to Mt. Etna had many delights and surprises. Our day guides at each site were also terrific. In particular two were really excellent. They were Giusi in Palermo and Diana in Syracuse. They both along with Mariaelena had depth of knowledge but also added an engaging sense of humor. We would recommend this trip to anyone, but especially when there is such a talented wonderful person as Mariaelena leading the group.

It is with great pleasure that we would like to add our compliments to Amber Road Tours, and especially to Mariaelena and Vincenzo, to those posted by our co-travellers. We, like others before us, were a bit hesitant about our first group tour. Our reservations were totally unfounded. As a tour host Mariaelena was superb…bright, cheerful, extremely knowledgeable about Italy in general and Sicily in particular, and Vincenzo is a natural, making everyone feel welcome to his own island. The local guides exuded love and passion for their subjects, and really brought the past to life for us.
The camaraderie that developed between everyone on the trip was in no small way due to the easy going nature of our hosts, and the relaxed nature of our itinerary. The pace was just right, enough organised events to give us a thorough overview of Sicily, its people and culture, and enough free time to do our own exploration, or just relax over food and wine. Our problem now is whether to do the Tuscany/Umbria tour next time, or go back to Sicily to expand on what we learnt this trip….maybe both!!

The tour was exactly as advertised except for two things or rather people. You didn’t tell us about our wonderful tour leader Mariaelena and our driver Vincenzo. Mariaelena had the group in the palm of her hand from the first meeting in Palermo until we left in Taormina. Nothing was too much trouble. Any questions or problems were dealt with quickly and with gracefully. Going on a bus tour with 17 strangers can be daunting but our group was most compatible.  There can be no doubt that Mariaelena’s skills helped the group to bond quickly. We have already provided your contact details to our travel agent so that others can benefit from Amber Road. We wish you well for the future and look forward to doing another tour with you.

Dear Friends at Amber Road Tours, Our recent trip to Sicily was fantastic! Our tour guide Mariaelena was the essence of good cheer, good sense, leadership and genuine kindness. The incredible wonders of Sicily were also opened to us by the local, talented guides. We had been to Italy many times, but had never taken a tour this way. Those who had taken similar tours, in our group, said this was as “picture perfect” as we thought. I can see another Amber tour in our future.

We found the Sicily trip hugely enjoyable and informative. Mariaelena was superb, kind, helpful and very knowledgeable. And Vincenzo was an excellent driver. The customers were good as well!. No criticisms of a memorable trip!

Everything was just wonderful, including the weather (which mostly co-operated). Your tour director was exceptional. Calm (in the face of exceptional events), helpful (above & beyond) charming & funny. She & Vincenzo (the driver) made the tour the success it was. Thanks again for a great trip.

A hearty thank you to Amber Road Tours, tour manager Mariaelena, and coach driver Vincenzo, for a fascinating and unforgettable experience exploring Sicily during our October tour of the island. Since we usually travel on our own, we were a little reluctant to sign on with a tour group. However, any initial reservations we had about our decision to tour were completely dispelled by the thoroughness of the tour and the professionalism, care, and good natures of Mariaelena and Vincenzo. The tour group size of 18 was perfect; the accommodations top-notch and well-located; the food abundant and delicious; and the special events such as the wine-tastings and product tastings were lovely treats. Thanks to Mariaelena’s passion for and extensive knowledge of Sicily, we have returned home with a greater understanding and appreciation of the different regions of Sicily, its history, its many cultures and traditions. And thanks to her passion for people, we had a really great time! Grazie mille!

My trip to Sicily was fantastic, due in no small part to our hard-working and very nice guide, Mariaelena, who always went the extra mile for us.  The pace was just right, mixing visits to interesting places with knowledgeable and enthusiastic local guides with time to shop or just relax.  There’s nothing like sitting by the pool in Taormina with a view of the sea and Mt. Etna in the background, while enjoying a bowl of pasta.  Things were very well organized. Everyone in our group had a great time.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for a wonderful trip. It was terrific in every way. We liked the pacing; and it was so well organized and smoothly run. The hotels, the food, the guides, all made for a trip beyond our expectations. The best feature, however, was Mariaelena. She was friendly, hard working and had endless energy and enthusiasm. Thank you!

Over the weekend we received an email from Gambino Vineyards. It sure brought back so many great memories of our Sicily trip. The Gambino vineyards and winery on the slopes of Mt. Etna were beautiful. The tasting of their wines along with the local cheeses, meats and bread was a great way to end the day’s travel. Fortunately, we had the foresight to buy a couple bottles of their wine. Our balcony in Taormina was the perfect place to enjoy them.
As with our first Amber Road tour, the experiences were outstanding. The hustle of Palermo was exciting . . . the more time we spent out and about on the streets, the better it all became. The hotel was a welcome quiet retreat in the heart of the city. Mariaelena’s stories of the hotel’s history made it even more enjoyable.
Our memories are too many to recount here. The historical sites we visited were so impressive. The food was outstanding, both for our scheduled meals as well as the tour manager suggestions for “on our own” evenings. The hotels and inns were always more than just places to overnight. In addition to Palermo and Taormina, the hotels in Ragusa and Siracusa were really well done and in great locations.
Like our first trip with you, the folks we travelled with were all congenial and made the experiences even more enjoyable. We think some of that might be attributable to our driver, Giuseppe and tour manager, Mariaelena. Their enthusiasm and friendliness were contagious and highlights of the trip. We would love to visit again as we learned that Tuscany/Umbria and Sicily offer two very distinct and different experiences . . . both outstanding.

We had such a wonderful time on your Sicily trip this past May.  Mariaelena is a wonderful asset to your company and she made our tour outstanding with her kindness , knowledge and warmth.  Hope to travel again next year with you.

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Sicily this May. It was everything I expected, and more. The accommodations were superb on the whole tour (in Taormina it was hard to get yourself to leave the hotel and its grounds). The places we visited were well planned and interesting in every way. The local guides added much to the places visited. I especially enjoyed Luigi, the local guide at the Valley of the Temples – an Agrigento native and resident, who speaks wonderful English with a slight brogue. How great is that! Mariaelena is a great tour manager, leader, storyteller and a friend to all. Thanks for the great tour and your help with pre-tour reservations.

Thanks again, Jonathan, Sonya and Amber Roads for our wonderful trip through Sicily. Jerry and I loved our trip to Southern Italy last year with Luca and were just as happy this year touring Sicily with Mariaelena. She could not do enough for us and kept us laughing with her wonderful sense of humor. Since we came in a few days early Jonathan recommended Cefalù and what a great choice that was. We’re looking forward to the North Italy tour next year.

The tour was excellent. Well planned and flawlessly executed. The hotels were very good. The meals that you provided were wonderful. Mariaelena and Giuseppe were outstanding. She is a gem. The tour participants were very nice – a friendly and intelligent group. It did not hurt that the weather was perfect. I will do my best to spread the word.

We were on your Sicily Tour in April. Although we have done 3 tours with Odysseys-Unlimited and 2 with Archeological Tours (both US companies) and had very positive experiences, the Amber Roads Tour was the best experience we have had with a tour company. A superb tour manager, Mariaelena Ciacci, who is also a charming, wonderful person, made the tour very special. The group was small and congenial, the itinerary was varied and well planned, the accommodations very comfortable and the cultural heritage and architectural sites of Sicily were marvelous. We will enthusiastically recommend your company to friends and encourage them to see Sicily—it was a wonderful experience.

We had such a good time on the trip to Sicily. The trip was well-paced, the hotels most agreeable, the sights splendid and you were generous with wine and water at our included meals. Kudos to Amber Road Tours! Your website is appealing and drew many of us. The nicest surprise was getting a truly wonderful guide: here’s to Mariaelena!

I am writing to congratulate you on the wonderful Sicily tour which my husband and I have just enjoyed. This is in no small part due to the fantastic Mariaelena! Her warm and caring nature, her amazing knowledge and her love of her country are inspirational. Giuseppe, our bus driver, a consummate professional (and probably the safest driver in Italy) occasionally treated us to glimpses of his talent both as an opera singer and a comedian! The 11 day tour was well paced, with the right balance between guided tours, travel and free time. I would recommend this tour to anyone considering a trip to Sicily. Thank you, Jonathan, for your extra advice concerning other parts of our Italian holiday.

The trip was superb, stupendous!!!

Experiencing Sicily with Amber Road Tours was very satisfying. Everything that was promised was delivered. We received excellent accommodations and meals, great winery visits and of course experienced Archeological Wonders. Our specialist guides knew their subjects extremely well. Mariaelena [our tour manager] was professional in every way that matters. Through her efforts Janice and I feel that we have achieved some insight into the Sicilian culture and people far beyond the popular stereotypes we are exposed to in America. We were quite fortunate in having Ms. Ciacci as our tour guide, friend and mentor for twelve days. We will not hesitate to recommend Amber Roads to our friends and associates.

Our Sicily tour with Mariaelena and Giuseppe was a great introduction to Sicily with lots of interesting local information and detail. We could not have wished for a more knowledgeable guide and one so simpatica. Thank you ancora.

Barbara and I wanted to let you know what a fabulous time we had in Sicily. Mariaelena was a fantastic host/tour manager and the various guides we had throughout the tour were excellent. We were all seasoned travelers, having done our share of travelling with various tour companies and I believe that Amber Road Tours belongs in the top three (as good or better than TAUCK). We chose this tour to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and we were not disappointed. The small size of this tour (14 good wine drinkers) made it manageable for all of us as and gave everyone an opportunity to get to know each other. The sights that we visited were well chosen, the restaurants were excellent, and the hotels were terrific. I forgot to mention one very important person, our bus driver. What a pleasant, patient and helpful person. Hopefully, we will be able to do another Amber in the near future. …..and thank you for letting us taste the many bottles of wine we consumed at the many restaurants.