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Sicilian Experience - Day Tours

Cefalu, Italy
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About Sicilian Experience - Day Tours
Sicily is a vibrant island surrounded by clear seas, blessed with magnificent mountain scenery, ancient monuments and traditional villages where the way of life has changed little over the centuries. It is an island with its own unique character, still relatively untouched by tourism. Sicilian Experience provides simple, comfortable and clean holiday accommodation in Sicily, enabling you to experience authentic Sicilian life... living for a while amongst its warm and friendly people. All our rental apartments in Sicily are locally owned historic buildings, located in Sicily's breathtaking countryside and delightful Sicily villages. There is a wide range of choice from self catering apartments to Sicily bed and breakfast accommodation, from rentals close to gorgeous Sicily beaches to apartments near historical centres. We have apartments close to the popular destinations of Palermo, Cefalu and Messina as well as those off the beaten track in Sicily's Madonie Park. Sicilian Experience was founded by Carmelina Ricciardello, a native of Sicily who is passionate about the land, its culture and its people. Her aim is to promote the island to visitors who wish to experience Sicilian life in a way that is underpinned by sustainable tourism, whilst supporting the local economy of the island she loves.
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Sicilian Experience - Day Tours
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Annie K wrote a review Jan 2020
3 contributions
We started planning our Dec 2019 - Jan 2020 trip to Sicily in the summer. Right away we found Carmelina to be so helpful in her advising and very prompt in her email responses. We ended up signing up for a half day cooking class in Sant'Ambrogio (right outside of Cefalu) at Osteria Bacchus with the owner, Mimmo. The half day ended up being a 7-hour experience that began with espresso, panetonne and chatting, moved to the kitchen for cooking, then onto to Mimmo's wine cellar to taste the wine he produces, and then to a leisurely meal featuring the dishes we learned how to make (including egg pasta, ragu, caponata, and panelle). We learned so much and had so much fun hearing Mimmo's stories and gleaning from his vast knowledge of Sicilian cooking and history. We love taking cooking classes in other countries and what made this one stand out was Mimmo himself and the relaxes atmosphere and congeniality he created. We left feeling like friends.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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cazlindam wrote a review Nov 2019
Syracuse NY22 contributions14 helpful votes
This was my second trip to Sicily organized by Sicilian Experience. I can not say enough positive things about Carmelina and her knowledge of Sicily. She arranged my travel and accommodation (on short notice) in a way that was tailored to my interests, while also suggesting some things that I never would have known about ( Casa della Musica in Randazzo). While I was there she was on top of everything as well. This was an unforgettable experience for me, and without her expertise I would not have had such an incredible trip. I highly recommend that you work with Carmelina if you are thinking of traveling to Sicily.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Bill1047 wrote a review Nov 2019
Santa Fe, New Mexico40 contributions61 helpful votes
My wife and I recently completed the Madonie Mountains to the Coast self-guided trek. We could not have beed more pleased. The GPS guidance and detailed maps were explicit and left us with a great sense of security everyday on the trail. The trails were typically secluded. as we saw only 6 people during the entire trek, and that was only on one day. The lodging was different every night, from a 5 star former monastery now a winery and hotel, to charming bed and breakfasts situated in spectacular hill towns.The dinner in Castlebuono was memorable, eating at a charming restaurant that specialized in local mushrooms picked from the forest we just walked through. The first two nights at a charming 18th century villa outside of Gangi not only had charming rooms, but the best Sicilian food on our entire visit to this exceptional island. Carmello, from Villa Raino, was a real star. Not only did he transport our luggage in a timely manner throughout the trek, when he found out that no restaurants would be open in one of the villages we were staying, he drove there, picked us up, returned to Villa Raino for dinner and took us back that evening. Everything about this trip was superb. I would highly recommend any of Carmelina's trips to those who love history, gourmet food and wine, love of the outdoors and engaging people. We can't wait to return!!
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Date of experience: September 2019
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OZ08CA wrote a review Oct 2019
Berkeley CA46 contributions8 helpful votes
Carmelina's organization was amazing and we could not be happier with our hike through this part of Sicily. We are fairly experienced hikers but this hike was more demanding than we had originally anticipated--more on the "moderate" rather than "easy" level. But this was probably because we did not know what to expect and the level of exertion and time spent on hikes actually ended up being perfect for us. All we had to do was get up in the morning, have an amazing breakfast, and follow the walking directions. The description of each segment was fairly accurate in terms of duration as well as what to expect along the way. On several segments it was necessary to have both the GPS app on our phone as well as the written descriptions provided and we still ended up getting slightly lost in some areas. It was all part of the experience though and we enjoyed it all. The breathtaking landscape, villages, people, food, all were absolutely terrific. We learned a lot about Sicilian history and a fading way of life and were happy to contribute to tourism in an underappreciated and uncrowded area. A special shout out to Carmello for transporting our bags each day promptly and helping us with various organizational aspects; Aldo for amazing food and service at Villa Raino; Domenico the falconeer; Giovanna in Sant'Ambrogio for her assistance with our apartment there; as well as all the wonderful warm and friendly folks we met along the way.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Dorolew wrote a review Oct 2019
Auckland, New Zealand12 contributions12 helpful votes
We had a great 10 day holiday walking well described trails off the beaten track, staying in excellent accommodation and eating wonderful country food. Sicilian Experience arrange everything and it works seamlessly leaving you free to enjoy the walking, the landscapes and the local people. Highlights were walking through woodlands while locals gathered porcini mushrooms, staying in an old palazzo where bedrooms were the size of a small apartment, climbing up Etna, and having contact with a number of local young people who Carmelina employs. We found everyone welcoming and generous. It was an unwelcome shock to hit tourism at Taormina at the end of the tour. The walking wasn't particularly strenuous but we did need proper hiking shoes and day packs and walking poles. The personal attention to detail made dealing with Sicilian Experience different to other adventure tours I have done in Europe with big companies. Carmelina was in touch on the phone and available at a moment's notice. I highly recommend Carmelina and her company.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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