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"My "wow" moments were the mosaics and the temples.

Both of those were incredible sights." Fantastic Tour of an island with a truly rich, diverse blend of history, cultures, cuisine, ancient/classical architecture, and beautiful geography/landscapes.

"When Alfio was able to rearrange our schedule to see Ancient Segesta after being rained out the day before. I felt at home with him, which is not easy when you meet someone for the first time.The group we had was a good mix of people that were relaxed and easy to get along with, everyone seemed to share an interest in the food and wine in particular. Especially the food that Alfio's friend the Contessa made for us at her farm. In an eleven day tour this makes for a very busy schedule.We also were a good go with the flow group when schedules had to be rearranged. Probably the mosaics that have recently been found. We arrived in Palermo two days before the start of the tour and wish we had done three and added an additional day in Catania at the end.Rick Steves' most exotic tour in Italy will immerse you in the distinctive culture, cuisine, and history of Sicily. We'll end our evening getting to know one another at a "Welcome to Sicily" dinner together. We'll tour the cathedral's interior of glittering, golden mosaics as well as the story-telling columns of the cloister.On your eye-opening loop around the island, your Rick Steves guide will introduce you to the hearty welcome and home cooking of a Sicilian family farm, the steamy power of Mount Etna, Italy's brightest pottery and boldest wines, Europe's most amazing ancient Greek ruins, and slow sunsets from picture-perfect seaside villages. After lunch, we'll return to the city, where you'll be free to explore more of this exciting, energetic city, and discover a tucked-away trattoria for dinner on your own. Walking: strenuous This morning we'll head toward the island's western coast, stopping at the ancient Greek site of Segesta to meander through its magnificent Doric temple and hilltop theater.Also, very special to be able to see the Capella Palatina, which I understand we were able to see only because we were here in low season. Etna just after a snow fall, with all the Sicilian families enjoying the snow and hot chocolate at the lodge. "The highlight of the trip for me was the visit to the World War II museum in Catania.Pretty much everything thing was "WOW" moments from ancient ruins & societies, the WWll museum in Catania to the wonderful Sicilian food. Followed by a fantastic lecture from vulcanologist Boris about his work on the volcano. Alfio's lecture as we went through the museum was extraordinary.Then we'll continue to the enchanting medieval mountaintop town of Erice.Believed by Romans to be the home of Venus, Erice eventually evolved into a center for Christian convents and home to heavenly pastries (which we'll learn about and taste). Today we'll drive down to the Trapani "salt pans" — a coastal wetland and nature reserve where sea salt has been harvested for nearly 3,000 years.After we check into our hotel, we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk. This afternoon you are free to luxuriate in this cliff-hanging, Old World resort town.This evening, join in the local to feel the pulse of Sicilian culture, then find the ideal people-watching spot to enjoy your gelato and dinner on your own. Wander through its elegant gardens, posh cafés, and shops, ride a cable car down to the beach, or explore the nearby mountain-top village of Castelmola.

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