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Ancient Sicily SCS

Visiting: Italy , Sicily
Trip Duration 15 Days

Reviews for Ancient Sicily

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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We have the following different versions of the Ancient Sicily trip available at present.

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Ancient Sicily reviews verified by reevooReevoo

13 reviews

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Ancient SicilyScores 8.7 out of 10 based on 13 reviews
(8 out of 10)


The guest lecturer, Antonio, was excellent throughout. He was always informative and interesting and cheerful.
Our Explore leader, Mandy, was just amazing, she always had a welcoming smile and was interested to know how people in the group were getting on. Her organisation could not have been bettered and she always attempted to give her group a head start to enter the sites as early as possible before the crowds arrived. This made the whole trip a more pleasant experience.
Confirmed traveller: 01 October 2016
Published on: 19 October 2016
(10 out of 10)


Mon 19th September Noto to Ragusa
It's difficult to see how this order of visits can be changed but it would be far more interesting to spend the longer amount of time in Noto rather than Ragusa, which is no where near as attractive or interesting as Noto.

Tuesday 20th September Piazza Armerina
After the visit to Villa Romana then Morgantina we were brought back to Piazza Armerina. The hotel was so close I would have preferred the option of going back to the hotel for a break rather than being left in the town, which is not particularly interesting, for the rest of the day.

Mon 26th September Palermo Cappella Palatina and Monreale cathedral
There is a real problem with the visits to these two sites as we experienced them, one directly after the other. Both buildings are exceptionally fine in their architecture and mosaics; each is a gem. However, they are too similar to be seen within such a short time scale. The differing sizes of the buildings make the mosaics in particular work well for each individual building but they do not bear comparison, comparison which is inevitable when viewing one then the other in rapid succession. Seeing them that way does neither any favours and detracts from both.

A far better arrangement would be for the whole Royal Palace to make up one morning's visit, and a visit to Monreale cathedral another. A guide is unnecessary for the cathedral in Palermo itself which is of little interest beyond the exterior which tour members can see for themselves. It was absurd to tag such a dull building on to the end of visiting the Capella Palatina and Monreale. Two mornings with a guide may cost more but it would be worth paying for.

The guide for these visits, Virginia, was most unsatisfactory. Primarily she talked far too much and in too much detail. I soon gave up and simply looked. In addition she was astonishingly rude to three members of the group. Mandy said this was unlike Virginia but that was our experience.

The mosaics at the Villa Romana was the most memorable visit (among many) and I appreciated Mandy's efforts to get us to the site as early as possible to avoid the crowds - which we did successfully.

The Italian guide, Antonio, was excellent. Clear information, enough but not too much; a sense of humour; accessible but not intrusive. His lectures complemented the tour perfectly.

Mandy was also first class at her job; efficient, discreet, full of information; aware, so far as one could tell, of each individual in the group. The tour ran smoothly and seamlessly thanks to her.

Practical points:

Getting round Palermo
I would have appreciated some information on paper about using the buses, taxis and subway in Palermo where many sites are beyond walking distance. Not everyone is an experienced traveller.

The sRe your Tips web page:
It would be useful to have the information in advance that boots and a light padded jacket can be hired for 3 euros each for the trip up Mount Etna.
You do NOT need a torch or 2ltr water bottle for this trip.
ame applies to Taormino where there is a variety of transport to different places in the vicinity.
Confirmed traveller: 01 October 2016
Published on: 19 October 2016
(7 out of 10)


The itinerary was fairly hectic but we visited all the significant sites of interest. The accompanying archaeologist brought the history of the island to life and provided much local information - a decided plus.
Confirmed traveller: 01 October 2016
Published on: 10 October 2016
(9 out of 10)


The tour leader was excellent. She was well organised and provided lot of information.
The highlights were Syracusa, Villa Romana and the churches in Palmermo.

Overall the accommodation was good, although the location of the hotels in Masarla and Piazza Armerina were poor.

The pre tour administration was extremely poor and confusing. Also the questionnaire to comment on that did not work.
Confirmed traveller: 03 September 2016
Published on: 14 October 2016
(8 out of 10)


Adelaide Australia
an extensive trip around Sicily highlighted by numerous historically interesting temples, theatres, mosaics, churches, (in particular the Royal chapel in Palermo), Greek/Roman amphitheatres, fascinating towns and cities. enjoyable food and wine - good mix of fellow Explore travellers and good tour leader and team
Confirmed traveller: 25 June 2016
Published on: 01 July 2016
(9 out of 10)


The highlights for me were the island of Mozia, the mosaics in the Palatine chapel and the puppet show. The meals we shared and the friendship and support of the group were excellent. Coco was a caring, interesting and very efficient leader. Nothing was too much trouble.

My tip would be to pack something warm to wear for the Etna trip. As only breakfast is included it is helpful to have enough cash to pay for meals i.e. not a card.
Confirmed traveller: 24 October 2015
Published on: 05 December 2015
(9 out of 10)


Highlights - Syracuse, segesta, selunite, valley of the temples, trip to top of Etna, Norman churches of Palermo and Monreale. Roman mosaics of Piazza Armenia.

Tips - warm clothes for Etna. Do research to occupy the free time - eg Palermo.
Confirmed traveller: 24 October 2015
Published on: 26 November 2015
(8 out of 10)


Expert guide. with detailed knowledge of the subject.

The Palermo Puppet show!

Take time out to absorb and appreciate what you have seen; it is a very action packed tour with very little time for reflection or photography.
Confirmed traveller: 24 October 2015
Published on: 31 October 2015
(9 out of 10)


5 star tour leader,driver and lecturer- took all the drudgery of the long drive around the island and made it lots of fun .
Confirmed traveller: 19 September 2015
Published on: 27 September 2015
(10 out of 10)


This trip was outstanding because of the depth and breadth of knowledge of our expert guide. Every second day he presented a one-hour lecture related to the sights we would see the following day. From baroque architecture to volcanology to Greek temples to history of the Mafia, we were always well briefed!
Confirmed traveller: 16 May 2015
Published on: 07 October 2015