what people are saying:
Douglas led our group through Scotland in the summer of 2018. Having lived the Edinburgh experience himself for years he truly did this multifaceted metropolis justice, leaving us with a vivid impression of the Scottish Enlightenment; in this he was assisted by a charismatic local guide. We then whirled around more or less the periphery of the country counter-clockwise. Highlights: A sobering tour of the site of the Battle of Culloden, where the hinge of Scottish history turned in the 1745 Jacobite uprising; remarkable neolithic monuments on Orkney; pleasant visits to impressive and congenial residences of the Scottish nobility (e.g., Cawdor Castle and Dunrobin Castle, the pile of the Earl of Sutherland); lots of fairy-lore throughout the trip, but particularly on Skye; a scenic coach-ride across Mull with enchanting local narration; beautiful rugged nature on a ferry-ride to stunning Staffa (with its Puffins) and Iona, whose monastery served as the last preserve of ancient learning at the darkest point in the dark ages; time on our own in Glasgow, an appealing city striding confidently into the future. Throughout Douglas's friendly, knowledgable and capable influence was always evident; the trip ran smoothly but always felt fresh and never mass-produced. These will be memories for a lifetime.
Veronique and Anthony Whalen (email@example.com)
Lucia Davies . . . offered great suggestions for a personalised . . . trip around the island. . . . Responses from Lucia were prompt and professional.
Lucia’s husband, Stephen Davies, was our driver & host. . . . We not only enjoyed Stephen’s sense of humour as our host, but also his depth of knowledge of Sicily. . . . Our tour included official local English speaking guides, with specialised knowledge, in 4 of the places we visited. They were all excellent. (The guide in Palermo could only be described as exceptional!)
All the hotels booked for us were of a good 3-4 star standard, as we requested. There were 7 meals included in our tour and it is hard to pick a favourite among them, as all were wonderful examples of local cuisine. When meals were not included, we benefited from Stephen’s recommendations for local gems.
Lucia & Stephen delivered everything as promised on our itinerary and more (and in English!). They exceeded our expectations and . . . Sicily Tour gave us excellent value thanks to both of them, a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
Jen Tolley (firstname.lastname@example.org), toured with us in May, 2017.
Wanted you both to know (and feel free to pass this on) how much we enjoyed our day in Sicily. Giusy (and Lucca, the driver) was wonderful. So easy to listen to, so knowledgeable, so helpful. I just can't thank you enough for putting this together for us. Mike was in tears, he was so pleased by the day--finding and meeting the last remaining LaScala in Cerda and finding out where the rest of the family went to. It was just a perfect day.
Sam (Doreen) Clifton (reachable through Sicily Tour)
& the Hokansons of Colorado said,
Our guide, Douglas, and Francine [writer Francine Brevetti] accompanied Alicia and I to the beautiful mountain town of Partinico, Sicily. A Barra from America had not visited a Barra in Sicily in 100 years, except for Alicia's grandfather. We were really well received by Giuseppa, Vincenzo and Matilda Barra in Partinico. An initial feeling of disbelief was quickly replaced by a feeling of mutual love and genuine joy. Numerous photos and stories were shared. We learned quickly that the Barras were a prominent and well-respected family in these parts. Also, in the past, the Barras had taken a leadership role in standing strong against Fascism and the Mafia. What a special, special visit we had - Alicia was thrilled!!! I was too!
If you wish to tour Sicily in top style with a small group and become immersed in the history, please look no further than www.sicily-tour.comYou will not find a finer tour. We rate Douglas, Lucia, Stephen and Sicily-tour A+++++. Call me for more info: Bob, at 303-437-8856. Also, you may contact Lucia Davies email@example.com
two who were on the Sicily Highlights Tour of July 2016:
The truth is that Sicily Tour gave us an experience of a lifetime, and I would highly recommend it to anyone or repeat it myself if given the opportunity. Thought to details such as our comfort were very well considered, and the places chosen for us to visit were impressive and wonderful. . . . You provided for us a treasure of information delivered in an honest, learned and fascinating style. Your love of the culture and areas of interest, from ruins to cobblestone streets, was evident always and you inspired in us a love for all things Sicilian as well.
I can't thank you enough and will remember Sicily as one of the highlights of my life.
Ann Lo Presti
If you are looking to hear a glorious history lesson of Sicily, midst beautiful scenery, told by a professional storyteller, look no further than sicily-tour.com. The service was friendly, hotel and restaurant choices were perfect, and the tour venues were meaningful and well chosen. The entire experience was unforgettable!
Mille grazie, Barbara D'Agostino
I was just thinking (as I have many times) about my trip to Sicily last November . I have many fond memories, including that you and Stephen took such excellent care of me! . . . I can’t think of a better way to visit Sicily for the first time (or any time, for that matter) than with you. . . . Still the best mussels I ever ate in Agrigento. Surprisingly delicious grappa in Marsala. The amazing house they are still uncovering in Piazza Armerina. The beautiful green countryside. The Greek ruins every place we saw them. Oh yes, and sharing jazz and Cajun music in the car! It was all very special.
Many many thanks again for this wonderful trip and my apologies for having taken so long to send you a note….
We have traveled the world over the past 25 years, mostly with small-group tour companies (6 to 18 travelers). We had a most excellent eleven-day Sicily small group cultural tour experience in April, 2015.
Sicily Tour provided us a "special adventure" with the presence of Lucia and Stephen Davies, who together with Dr. Douglas Kenning, are the proprietors of this small Sicily-based and specialized company. Living in Siracusa, Sicily, they are well liked, respected and connected in this city and throughout the island.
Both Lucia and Stephen personally accompanied us throughout our tour. With them, we were truly welcomed wherever we went. They both have a great sense of humor, knowledge of history, and a willingness to share their assessment of the current economic and current political landscape. We had excellent experiences with all their personally-picked guides, wineries, restaurants, and boutique 4-star hotels. The best meals and food (including making our own pasta with a chef!) cannot be discounted (all but a couple meals are included in the tour cost).
We had a spacious bus for local travel with the same experienced, safe and courteous driver throughout the tour. When the tour was finished, we felt as if we are leaving Lucia and Stephen as dear friends. This was our first time in Sicily and I can’t imagine any other tour would have been as wonderful!
Jim and Marcia Merrins, Fredonia, New York
My husband and I travelled to Sicily using the tour company 'Sicily Tour' http://www.sicily-tour.com/32.html. The only thing I can say is "don't hesitate, just book it". We travelled with Douglas who was the most informative man I have ever met. Both my husband and I wished we had recorded him as he is so knowledgeable and you just want to hear him speak and tell you all the stories.
This tour is a great mix of history, food and wine. . . . We chose this tour because of the archeological focus ie you get to see all the great sights. Some tours don't take you to all the places Douglas takes you. . . . They stay in 3 star places and country properties, which is what we wanted. We liked the group size as we didn't want a huge tour bus.
I highly recommend Sicily Tours - they are great and Lucia was always so helpful. It felt like family was taking you around Sicily, not some corporate business. We loved it and had a wonderful experience.
TripAdvisor entry by "RebelStevens", Melbourne, Australia
from Joe Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org), on behalf of "The Fabulous Fourteen",
Stephen and Lucia demonstrated a genuine love not only for Sicily but also for their clients. Their knowledge of and passion for all things Sicily made for a heartfelt and educational experience. It was like having a long lost relative inviting you into their home and sharing everything that was dear to them with you. A simply wonderful experience.
It’s easy to say that there were no negatives about the tour. I was very pleased with each of the hotels and restaurants that they chose. The archeological sites were also a delight. I can’t imagine trying to arrange such a comprehensive visit on my own. I was also very impressed with their breadth of knowledge on any subject that we asked about.
I felt no anxiety that anything would go wrong as long as Stephen and Lucia were our hosts.
Dear Lucia and Stephen,
We wanted to write a short note to thank you for our wonderful Sicily tour. If we were to use one word to describe you and your service, it would be "passion”. This passion came through when you explained both the good and bad traits of Sicily. Because of you, we now better understand and appreciate the complex nature of Sicily: its history, culture, and people. You and Cheri designed the perfect itinerary with the right number of highlights and with the perfect pace. Now only was it was well-planned, it was also well-executed as shown by the lack of logistical issues.
What fun we had with Stephen and the other guides. The antiquities were a thrill, but Sicily is not just ancient temples and churches. Sicily Tour showed us also charming towns and the natural beauty of the interior.
Sharon and Ed Silberfarb, New York, email@example.com
Dear Amex Platinum Concierge,
My husband and I have just returned from a trip to Sicily and I wanted to thank you for putting me in contact with Sicily Tour (www.sicily-tour.com). Stephen Davies, who is one of the owners of Sicily Tour . . . provided us with 3 days of the best sightseeing we have ever experienced. It was so great that we asked him to take us and another family on a tour of Syracuse. We had a great time and even the kids loved it. . . .
Stephen knows all about the history, culture, shopping, great places to eat, EVERYTHING! He also helped my husband find relatives in Marsala and documentation of his grandfather's birth at the town hall. We would never have been able to see or experience so much with out his guidance and positive attitude. We loved it.. . . . We highly recommend Sicily Tour and would definitely use them again. I would also recommend that anyone who is going to Sicily should have Sicily Tour drive them around instead of renting a car. They will enjoy the experience so much more.
During the New York Open Center’s Esoteric Quest for 2013, Douglas Kenning and his colleagues created a brilliant and genuinely unforgettable journey around Sicily for our group. I can only offer my great appreciation to him for the beautiful locations selected, the quality of the accommodations and meals chosen, and the deeply informed commentary he gave us at each of the sites we visited. From the Greek temples of antiquity to the medieval cathedrals, even to the history of the Mafia, Douglas' knowledge was truly exceptional and his comments always timely. All the participants on the tour spoke glowingly of the rich and detailed picture of both historic and contemporary Sicily with which we emerged. So I must give my highest recommendation to Sicily Tour for their impeccable knowledge and planning. It's hard to imagine a more informative and beautiful week than the one we spent with Douglas circumnavigating Pesephone's Island.
Creative Director & co-founder, New York Open Center
During September 2014, my wife and I had the distinct pleasure of touring Sicily with Sicily Tour. This not for profit enterprise went well beyond our expectations. Our 10-day circumnavigation of Sicily was led by the very understated Douglas Kenning. How lucky were we. . . . Douglas took us through ancient Greek temples, Roman theatres, and thousand-year-old churches. He interspersed these walks with tales of the Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Spanish conquests that make Sicily the wonderful blend of cultures that it is today. From the must-see tourist traps to off-the-beaten-track vineyards, Sicily Tour managed to wine and dine us above our expectations. Hotel choices were exceptional, mostly finishing in a town, perfect for evening strolls and a gelato. We took in artisan cheese and wine producers and indulged in many “long-table” lunches. Douglas wound fact and mythology through-out the trip with a passion. . . . Everything is taken care of well in advance by Lucia. Believe it or not, the whole Island seems to knows her by name. Our small group tour is one we will fondly remember. Thank you Lucia, Stephen and above all Douglas
Robert & Maria Zol,
Sydney, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
My husband and I recently took the small group tour of Sicily Tour. We were totally pleased with everything, hotels, travel arrangements, itinerary, and especially how efficient Sicily Tour is for such a small company. Accommodations were great and our tour covered all the highlights of Sicily in great detail. We also loved the special stops that Sicily Tour provided, like the lunch at the farm! We also must mention the strongest asset of this tour company, our host Douglas Kenning. Douglas managed to give really detailed historical information to those who want that and really concise and sometimes quite comical detail for those who didn’t get an A in history. Everyone was pleased. We would highly recommend this company to you.
Barbara & Joel, New York City
email@example.com (USA 914-912-3097)
Dear Lucia and Douglas,
Sicily Tour provided my wife and me with what could be plausibly considered the “vacation of a lifetime”. For our journey we had a special focus which was the classical antiquity of Sicily. Lucia patiently customized our itinerary until we were fully satisfied with it. She was always prompt to respond to our queries and last minute changes. It was important to us to be able to swim in the sea as often as possible and Lucia found us wonderful hotels near the beach. All our hotels were superb. The rooms were very comfortable and clean and had beautiful views; the breakfasts were of great quality and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
Our host Douglas exemplified the ideal of professionalism; he revealed the island to us and shared his love of it while occupying two roles: deeply knowledgeable docent and charming travel companion. We became good friends. Evanescent impressions flit about in recollection: Ortygia in moonlight; the beach at night in Agrigento; the brilliant animal hunt mosaic in Villa Armerina; the enchanting island of Motya; the glittering Palatine Chapel in Palermo; the unpretentious and fascinating excavations at Tyndari. We are certain that we would not have achieved such unalloyed perfection without you both.
We highly recommend Sicily Tour as an eminently trustworthy organization and an excellent value. Thank you.
Tony and Veronique Whalen
We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Stephen gave us an interesting perspective on the realities of Sicily today and the expert local tour guides were among the best we have ever had.
Sicily was a real joy to visit. People were friendly and helpful, all the accommodations were first class and the food and wine was simply wonderful.
The cooking lesson was just like being in my Nonni's kitchen in the mid 50's and the visit to the Dairy was not to be missed. Our experience at Taormina experiencing Etna's eruption was indescribable. The Greek/Roman amphitheater has to be the best placed outdoor venue in the world. I could go on and on.
Hi Lucia and Douglas,
I just wanted to thank you for an amazing trip that far exceeded our expectations. Everything about our trip was wonderful- from all the contacts by email that I had with you, Lucia, to the accommodations, to the food, the friendliness of the people, the history, and especially our fun and knowledgable host and now our friend Douglas.
John and I have heard from all the cousins who are still raving over what they are calling the best trip of their lives. . . .
Michele Boccalatte, Middletown, CT
If you are considering Sicily for a private tour, Sicily Tour-- www.sicily-tour.com, is highly recommended by this recent traveler. The contact is Lucia Davies.
An online inquiry was sent to Sicily Tour requesting a 6 or 7 day private tour (for two) with a guide, driver and car to include: the mosaics of Monreale and Cefalu, the Greek sites at Segesta, Agrigento and Siracusa, some time in Palermo, plus whatever else would be recommended by Sicily Tour along the lines of history, architecture, archaeology and local culture. . . .
Ms. Davies responded quickly with an appealing itinerary, attractively priced including references which had also been requested. Upon receipt, requested itinerary changes were quickly revised and repriced by Lucia who offered thoughtful suggestions throughout the process. . . . Each B & B turned out to be a wonderful choice -- family run, gracious, ideally located and with local character - each charming and highly satisfactory.
Sicily exceeded the highest expectations. The itinerary was an exciting mix of the originally requested sites and, thanks to Sicily Tour and the extraordinary host, Douglas Kenning, additional ones that revealed Sicily in all its wonderful complexity - a 7 day unforgettable treat of history, art, food, culture, landscape, flora, views, wine, etc. etc. Douglas, likely the most knowledgeable local expert this traveler has experienced, brought vast knowledge to each of the places visited. In addition to his engaging capacity to bring so much history and mythology to life, his personality as host and his unwavering concerns for his two travelers needs and wishes made traveling with Douglas a joy from beginning to end. . . .
This traveller cannot recommend Sicily Tour highly enough.
New York City
Genealogical Visits have their own special feeling...
Wanted you both to know (and feel free to pass this on) how much we enjoyed our day in Sicily. Giusy (and Lucca, the driver) was wonderful. So easy to listen to, so knowledgeable, so helpful. I just can't thank you enough for putting this together for us. Mike was in tears, he was so pleased by the day--finding and meeting the last remaining LaScala in Cerda and finding out where the rest of the family went to. It was just a perfect day. (Though I will probably not eat another artichoke for a VERY long time ;-)*
Sam Clifton [Sam didn't want his email published but he is reachable through us: firstname.lastname@example.org]
*[N.B: Cerda claims to be the world capital of artichokes, and artichokes are in everything, even gelato]
Lucia made our trip to Sicily memorable. She planned a great tour of Ortigia and Siracusa and included a Sicilian luncheon which was delicious. The purpose of our trip was to visit our Sicilian ancestors in Melilli and Canicattini Bagni and Floridia. We had no expectations other than we wanted to see the area they grew up in. Lucia researched and took us to where our families lived and we even met distant relatives. In Melilli she was able to get us into the Basilica of St. Sebastian (the replica in Middletown, CT) which hosts the very famous yearly festival. On that day the church assistants kindly opened the vault for us and we were able to see the patron St. Sebastian, which doesn't happen very often. It was a truly emotional experience. With every tour, Lucia would always include a delicious meal.
Lucia is knowledgeable, friendly and an exceptional tour guide. I would highly recommend her!
Thank you, Lucia, for a truly exceptional experience.
Poppy Aresco Hepp and Family