We traveled to Sicily and stayed in Taormina and Palermo. The trip went very well. The two guides that we had were outstanding. We had expressed an interest in opera, and our travel agency arranged for us to see Madama Butterfly in Palermo. The hotel in Taormina was charming and lovely. We had suggested the a hotel in Palermo, and that was excellent. Our driver was competent. Guides and drivers were always prompt.
It was all wonderful, so it is hard to say what was the most memorable. We appreciated all the free time and not being programmed for dinner. Monreale was suggested for a free day activity, and it was truly special. We have seen Madama Butterfly many times, including several at the Met, but the production in Palermo was the best we've seen. The private tours of Erice and Segesta with our guide were outstanding. Unfortunately, the inclement weather in Siracusa made the walking tour impossible, but our guide substituted the Archaelogical Museum, which is so interesting that it should probably be included in future tours.
I would suggest a more comfortable car for six people. Our driver's car held six, besides the driver, but it was a bit cramped.
We would have appreciated advice before going to Mt. Etna about how cold it would be there. Most tour groups that we saw there were warmly dressed, but we were unprepared, and it was too cold to do much walking around.
It would have been helpful to have a guide at the Valley of the Temples. It was spectacular, but we could have gotten more from the experience. Also, our time there was quite compressed. True, we had to be at the opera in Palermo by 5:30. In that case, our day should have started early.
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