KATHY AND JOHN GILMER (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2017 What a wonderful trip we had with Rosaria and Marco September 23 – October 4! It was one of our best tours ever! We enjoyed Sicily with its history, stunning landscapes and seascapes, friendly people and delicious food. But most of all we enjoyed Rosaria and the little extras that made the trip unforgettable. Madeira sipping at the Valley of the Temples in the moonlight, tasting candy, cookies, and other little unscheduled treats along the way, taking group pictures everywhere we went, dancing on the cruise in Ortega, bypassing crowds at the Opera, all added to the wonderful itinerary. Aldo made it easy to book and helped us feel comfortable about our choice. We will recommend Secret Italia Tours to anyone
MRS BARBARA STALICK (USA), Sicily, OCTOBER 2017 Dear Aldo, I just returned for our Tour of Sicily and wanted to let you know how much I loved everything about the tour. It was well planned and organized. Everything was excellent!! Rosaria is a gem!! So delightful. She is personable, caring, fun and her love of Sicily is evident. She is an outstanding tour guide!! We loved her. Marco is an excellent driver. At no time did we feel unsafe. Everything about the tour was fantastic. I thank you for all your hard work in organizing such a great tour. The food everywhere was delicioso. Everywhere we went was fascinating. I will highly recommend Secret Italia Tours to everyone. Thanks again for everything. My wonderful memories of Sicily will stay with me always.
MR AND MRS HUXLEY (USA), Sicily, SEPT/OCT 2017 Our tour of Sicily was the first group tour we have ever taken and it exceeded our expectations. Aldo has done an exceptional job of selecting locations, hotels and the daily itinerary. He was always responsive to our inquiries and accommodating for special requests eg. additional nights, a room upgrade in 1 location. From the start, our exceptional guide Rosaria made everything happen, always with a positive attitude and her Sicilian joy for leading us as a group. Because of Rosaria and our lovely bus driver Marco, the group’s camaraderie and enjoyment multiplied. Thank you Rosaria for arranging special surprises along the way. There were so many memorable Sicilian food experiences to rave about: the home hosted meal with a very congenial family and prepared with local organic ingredients, the wine tasting and lunch at a beautiful winery at the foot of Mt. Etna, the lunch prepared and served fresh in the heart of the Siracusa market. All the local tour guides were very well chosen and well versed on their subjects, including Gino’s fascinating history of the Mafia. Overall the tour provided a very memorable experience of the people and places in Sicily. We highly the Sicily tour with Secret Italia!
MR AND MRS WHITE (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 We were brand new to the ‘group tour’ experience. Each new day had us thinking about how selecting the Secret Italia tour was so much the right choice for this trip. We had a terrific time. The itinerary, the mix and balance each day, the choices of sites, and the pacing showed that our tour was designed with care, not merely assembled. That we were getting a sense of Sicily, not just checking off sites to see. Rosaria was a wonder for her energy, enthusiasm, and unwavering helpfulness. And for transforming a mix of cautious strangers into a group of traveling friends.
ROSEMARY VILLANI (CANADA), Sardinia & Corsica, SEPTEMBER 2017 Just completed the amazing Sardinia and Corsica tour with Secret Italia. Many many thanks to Aldo for this wonderful experience and his endless energy and cheerfulness to make this trip go off without any problems. The sites, accommodations, restaurants, size of the group and pace was top notch – way surpassed my expectation. He made sure all of the details were to your satisfaction. Thanks also to Ricardo for guiding us and Stefano for driving us around Sardinia. And to Sandy for drving us to our destinations in Sardinia.I highly recommend this tour with Secret Italia. It’s well worth it.
MR AND MRS PASSIONE (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2017 We want to thank Secret Italia for their organization, coordination and production of a GREAT TOUR. The 12 Days Sicily Small Group tour exceeded our expectations. The hotels were all very good. The excursions, food, wine and motor coach were all first class. The itinerary was full but worth every minute. Aldo was easy to contact, very responsive to our questions and concerns and a pleasure to work with. Our guide Rosaria was fantastic. Her professionalism, attention to detail, enthusiastic personality and knowledge made the tour amazing. Marco, our driver, was exceptional. He navigated the challenging Sicilian roads with ease. Thank you for a very memorable vacation
JACKIE MELVILLE (CANADA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2017 I am am writing to thank you for an amazing tour of Sicily. At the end of each day we thought it couldn’t get any better, and then the next day it did. Rosaria was so helpful, so knowledgeable and so lively. She was always in such good spirits. The hotels were lovely and the food tremendous.Thanks to your careful planning we experienced a variety of Sicilian foods and enjoyed a range of activities that were sometimes educational – and sometimes just plain fun. This is truly a trip to remember.
SUSAN KANE (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2017 I just completed the Sicily tour and wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience it was. You have a real treasure in Rosaria. Her knowledge and enthusiasm were contagious. The whole group bonded and were unified in our admiration for Rosaria. The hotels were very nice, especially the final villa in Taormina. I could go on and on about the food, but that too was terrific. Many thanks to Secret Italia!
JOANNE CRAW (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2017 Dear Aldo, Please know that my recent tour of Sicily with Rosaria was wonderful!!!She was such a lovely person to deal with and took very good care of us all. She was quite knowledgeable about the country and all the beautiful sights we saw.I am telling all my friends here in the US about your tour company and would hope I can return to Italy myself one day soon and I would gladly use your tour company! Being of Italian decent ( Naples) I enjoyed all the food and wines of Sicily and was amazed how beautiful it was. Please send my regards to her and thank you for all your work planning and setting up this tour. The hotels were perfect and the service was outstanding. Best wishes for continued success with Secret Tours. Gratefully, Joanne Theresa Barlettano Craw LUCILLE AMATO (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2017 I just wanted to take this time to thank you for the most fantastic tour ever. I have never been on a group tour I generally travel independently but I have to say you’re secret italia was by far one of the best experience I have had. We all fell in love with Rosaria She was forth coming and genuinely concerned for each and everyone of us. Each and everyone of us had a fabulous time we hated for it to end and Sicily is truly a land of contrast as you say. And I thank you for all your assistance and your prompt reply’s to my crazy emails. Grazie
Giardini Naxos…a perfect ending to a perfect holiday odyssey. Thank you for your attention to detail. You certainly have high standards and high expectations of yourself and for those you choose to work for you. We so appreciated the very knowledgeable and interesting guides, the friendly, patient, and skilled drivers, the charming and lovely hotels and their locations along with the very helpful people running them, and the colorful and welcoming restaurants you selected for us. We enjoyed the opportunity to explore other restaurants on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed the cooking lesson and time with Graziella as well as the Susanna and Rita family visit.All in all it was a splendid and full 12 days. Sicily is beautiful and has so much to see and enjoy. For me, I love its melting pot history…a coat of many colors.
We had such a fantastic time. I have been all over Italy and can honestly say that of all the places, regions, provinces I have visited, Sicily tops it for the nicest, friendliest and most welcoming people.
Thank you from my heart for your diligence and hard work. Hope to use your incredible services in the future. Thank you Aldo.
MR AND MRS GUARINO (USA), Sicily, APRIL/MAY 2017
Aldo, what a fabulous time we had on our recent Sicily trip! Sicily is beautiful, everything went perfectly and Daniella was delightful. The group was friendly, the accommodations nice, the food great and the wine abundant. I must say that this was as near a perfect trip as you could expect. I will always look back on it with joy while looking forward to our next opportunity to travel with you
MR AND MRS WEAVER (USA), Sicily, MARCH 2017
Aldo, ciao, What a tour! Everything was perfect – the weather, the activities, the food, the gelato, the people, the scenery, the hotels (especially the one in Taormina.) As for our guide, Daniela – momma mia! She was everything you hope for in a guide – excellent English, great knowledge of and love for Sicily and a beautifully charming person. Well I have to stoppa now, my wife has my espresso ready. Arrivederci, Harold.
MR AND MRS SLOOP (USA), Sicily, MARCH 2017
Aldo, just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the Sicily trip and what a truly outstanding job Daniela did as our guide. I have been fortunate in my life to have traveled extensively throughout the world, and this was one of the best trips I have ever taken. Am sure the group size had a lot to do with this, and of course, Daniela who could not have been more gracious and accommodating.Will definitely recommend your services to others.
NANCY COATTA (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2016
Just wanted to let you know that we had a GREAT TIME…Everything was well coordinated, food was great, tour guides were exceptional and very knowledgeable…Rosaria was the BEST…Loved it and would recommend it to other friends and tell them to ask for Rosaria and Marco
VIRGINIA LONG (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2016
Dear Aldo,Thank you for making my first experience in Sicily so delightful and memorable. Your attention details from the cities, places, hotels, restaurants, etc. that we visited or stayed and the local guides were all perfect. Especially our tour director,Rosaria. Her fun and caring personality and knowledge of the area along with her enthusiasm and passion make it an enjoyable enriching experience for all of us. All the travelers were wonderful and we’ve formed some new friendships.Ti ringrazio di nuovo per in viaggio ben progettato ed indimenticabile.
MARY AND ERNIE HARDER (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2016
We will be departing Sicily in the morning after a most enjoyable travel experience lead by Rosaria. Our group was a very congenial group, in good part a tribute to Rosaria’s gifted leadership that helped meld diverse personalities with her open, good humoured, caring personality. She is a gem who demonstrated obvious passion for her work as tour director.
We thought the tour itinerary was well designed and felt very safe and comfortable in the new mini bus, skillfully driven by Marco. Accommodation was superior, meals superb, with obvious care given to timing of venue visits . As seniors, no doubt all in our group appreciated Rosaria’s sensitivities for timely rest stops.
We would mention that with one of our group struggling with mobility issues, it strikes us that this added considerably to Rosaria’s workload we thought, although Rosaria gave no indication of the added stress it must have created for her. We would unreservedly recommend this trip experience.
BETTY AND WALT BRAINERD (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2016
Walt and I just want to tell you what a wonderful experience we had on our tour of Sicily. What a beautiful island. We had the most enthusiastic wonderful group of people who enjoyed every minute of the tour. What can we say about Rosaria. She is the best. She is fun, smart, and has the most wonderful personality for a tour guide. We would like to compliment you on a superbly run operation from the transfers to the selection of hotels, restaurants and sights. We hope to go on another tour in the future. Thank you for offering these small group tours. Grazie Mille. Betty and Walt Brainerd
SUE TOELLER (USA), Sicily and Malta, SEPTEMBER 2016
Aldo’s itinerary is personally attuned to the traveler that wants to experience history, local sites and local culinary experiences. The small group travel is so special and personal, making it possible to go to unique and memorable sites. From prime centrally located hotels, to out of the way local experiences we traveled in history with local guides at many sites, that loved their history and country with passion and knowledge that brought us into the very life of the country. Special thanks to Our Sicilian guide, Rosarita who was attentive and extremely helpful. She constantly was on top of everything and a joy to travel with. Our Sicilian driver, Marco was a great sport and got us into and out of places skilfully and effortlessly. Lastly, our Malta guide, Simone was very helpful in bringing together the history of Malta. I am sold on the concept of small group tours. I highly recommend these tours because they give a thorough experience of the countries that a two city stop will never give. It is an immersion into a country with a locals experience. It is a journey that will leave memories for a lifetime. Regards to all your efforts and an experience that was beyond my expectations Aldo
ANN LOHRAND (USA), Sicily and Malta, SEPTEMBER 2016
We just returned from a 12 day tour of Sicily and an 8 day stay in Malta. Both tours were led by great guides, Rosaria and Simone. The hotels we stayed in were all located centrally so that you could explore on your own after a day of touring. The small size of the group allowed us to go to cozy and quaint restaurants frequented by locals. The meal with a local family was really that hosted by the son and cooked by the mother and daughter. The street food was fantastic. Everything ran as promised. The small buses were new and comfortable. We would highly recommend this tour company, and will probably book another tour soon
BARBARA MCNAMARA (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2016
Aldo, As we leave Catania for Rome and the flight back to the US tomorrow, just wanted to take a moment to let you know what a wonderful time we had in Sicily. Our Guide Daniela could not have been any better; friendly, knowledgeable, and obviously well organized. She was particularly attuned to individual needs. The local guides used were also very good. We take away very fond memories of Sicily, its history, charm and its beauty thanks to Secret Italia and to Daniela
PAULA NICOLETTI (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2016
We want to tell you how much we enjoyed the Sicily tour. Rosario was a fabulous guide. She went out of her way to make sure we were all well taken care of and that our needs were met.The food was always plentiful and delicious. All of the local guides were all very nice and knowledgeable.The hotels were in great locations . We especially enjoyed the Hotel Royal Maniace in Siracusa and the Centrale Palace in Palermo. They were so convenient to walk from to see the people and sights of these cities.The home-hosted lunch was especially enjoyable. Besides the food being delicious the family were really nice and it was so much fun to get to sit and talk with them.We loved all the tours. Marco was a very good driver and the bus was comfortable.You may want to consider a day at the beach in your future tours.We will have a new appreciation when we re-watch the Godfather movies !
LINDA TAGLIAMONTE (USA), Sicily, SEPTEMBER 2016
Ciao! I wanted to tell you what a wonderful time we had in Sicily! The hotels were in great locations and friendly. The food was delicious. We enjoyed all the local tour guides- so knowledgeable! Rosario was wonderful!!!! She made the trip so special for us. We love her! You are lucky to have such an adaptable woman who can get along with all personalities.
Thank you again
LINDA GRADO (USA), Amalfi Coast, SEPTEMBER 2016
Just a note to tell you what a wonderful time we had! Our trip was perfect in every way, from the excellent tour guides and drivers, great hotels and beautiful locations, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Several friends have asked about our tour and we’ve gladly referred them to your website and told them what a great job you do!
We look forward to planning another trip with you in the future, but until then, thank you so much for making the Amalfi Coast such a memorable experience!
LYDIA AND MARTIN KAPLAN (USA), Sicily APRIL/MAY 2016
We signed up with Aldo Valerio, owner of Secret Italia Tours. Our guide was Rosaria. It was a fantastic tour in every way. My husband and I arrived a few days early in Palermo, staying in the Centrale Palace Hotel, which was arranged by Aldo. Upon arriving, we received a call from him making sure we’d been met by one of his people and all had gone well. The hotel is an 18th century Palazzo, located in the heart of Palermo. On our own, we visited The Sicilian Puppet Theatre on Pietro Novelli Street across from the Cathedral, which we highly recommend. Although we knew a visit to the market was on the tour, we decided to go and check it out on our own at our own pace, as I was having problems walking. A few days later, we met up with the two couples who made up our tour, one from Australia and one from Arizona, along with Rosaria. After touring Palermo and outlying areas, among the places we visited were Monreale, Corleone, Agrigento, Siracusa, Modica, Ragusa, Catania, Taormina, Castelmola, Mt. Etna, and a few other wonderful places. All hotels were excellent and the lunches and dinners that were included were delicious and enjoyable. The few times that we were on our own for eating, we were told of places that we might enjoy and/or we found a few on our own. Our driver, Salvatore was friendly and a very safe driver. Rosaria was wonderful in working with me because of my walking problem. We couldn’t have asked for a better trip and savored every moment every day. It’s clear that Aldo has put a lot of thought and care in putting together this trip. We have travelled all over the world and have done many tours. This ranks very high on our list. We highly recommend it and believe that you won’t be disappointed.
DAVID AND HILARY BIRTWHISTLE (AUSTRALIA), Portugal MAY 2016
My wife Hilary and I participated in the Secret Portugal tour conducted in May 2016. I was unable to give you my feedback about the tour when I first received your request but I am now back home and my comments about the tour are below. I have to say that we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The carefully-designed itinerary covered many of the most of historical and interesting parts of the very beautiful county. The small buses were comfortable and facilitated access to areas such as the tightly-winding roads through the terraces of the Douro where the views were remarkable. Meals provided in the wineries were excellent: we shall always remember the superb dinning and wine tasting at Dona Maria and the scenic lunch at Quinta do Crasto. All of the hotels were very good but we particularly liked the Vintage House, with a lovely room overlooking the river, and the Palacio Das Cardosas right in the centre of Porto. We found travelling with a small, friendly group added to the holiday experience and our guide Carla gave us good insights into the history and the customs and way of life of Portugal. We found Carla outstanding as our tour leader, she was always pleasant, nothing was too much trouble and she constantly ensured that we were doing things that we enjoyed. I really appreciated her depth of knowledge and sense of humour. Her patient explanations and stories about the country considerably added to our enjoyment of the tour.
The tour bus was a new, comfortable Mercedes Benz, and Marco, the driver, carefully maneuvered the bus through narrow lanes and passages. We were impressed by his driving skills and were also pleased that he interacted with us as well.
We now know Sicily a great deal better due to Secret Italia’s arrangements. The hotels were most agreeable, with not a single problem in any of them. We also appreciated the fact that of the 12 days on tour, we only had one instance of a single night’s hotel stay; the rest were of multiple days. That allowed us to get our bearings and really learn to appreciate the cities and towns where we stayed. It was also very convenient that many of our meals were included, meaning that we were on our own for lunch or dinner only a few times during the tour.
I have nothing but good things to say about Secret Italia, except its secret is out: it’s a great company which provided a great value to all of us.
DEBBIE DIETER (USA), Portugal & Madeira MAY 2016
I am back home and slowly adjusting to the time change. It was such a memorable trip. Portugal was beautiful and the people were so friendly and welcoming. Such beautiful country and our experience was so varied that I felt we got a great “feel” for all of Portugal . Carla was an excellent guide. She was knowledgeable, fun, and had great positive energy. She is such a positive addition to the Secret team. She added so much to the experience. This hotels were all excellent. I liked the variety and locations of all of them. The idea of a small, unusual hotel well located to the heart of the town was very appealing to me. The staff and the food at each were excellent. Our meals at the wineries were unforgettable. Not only were they delicious and located in beautiful settings, we had a chance to talk with the locals. I really liked the fact that the group was small. It made for great comradery and we could experience more and different things than a larger group can.
The trip to Madeira was the frosting on the cake. It is such a beautiful, enchanting place. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it was so relaxing. The hotel was exceptional. It was beautiful and so quiet and peaceful. The staff could not have been better. I met Sara who was your contact and she was very welcoming. The restaurant there was very high quality and we enjoyed all our meals there including 3 dinners. Joao was an excellent choice as a local guide. He is a skilled driver and we rode in comfort in his Mercedes. He is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his beautiful island . He was punctual and flexible in adding things to our tours. We actually took an additional tour with him on one of our free days. Being with him allowed us to experience more than with a larger group. I would not hesitate to recommend him.
Trust the Locals is an excellent way to describe your trips. We were able to have a quality and unforgettable experience. Great job to all your Secret team and a huge thanks to you.
I could not summarize the trip in one experience in one sentence. You may use any part of this email in your communications.
I am looking forward to seeing the Southern Spain itinerary and the new Italian Lakes Country extension.
Hope all is well and a big hug and thanks to you.
ROBYN & ROSS KEIRLE (AUSTRALIA), Sicily/Portugal MAY 2016
In the morning our travel to Portugal unfortunately comes to an end.
We want to thank you for providing such an intimate, professional, well planned & varied experience. The tour led by wonderful Carla was just so very much more than we expected & behind the scenes Aldo, we always knew you were a text or email away. The wonderful lingering winery lunches as we wove our way to the Douro Valley were truly memorable. We had a great group & Carla’s knowledge & care was immeasurable. We also thank you for getting us in to wonderful atmospheric hotels always in the centre of everything.
Any friend, family or acquaintance wishing to come to Portugal from Australia will be strongly urged to make contact with you.
Once again thank you Aldo for your care in making your tour company so professional & excellent.
Ross & Robyn.
WALLY & DONNA ADLAM (AUSTRALIA) Malta- MAY 2016
To Aldo and Anna: Thank you for a wonderful experience on our tour of Malta.We cannot speak highly enough of the whole trip. A special mention to Audrey, our unique tour guide who was absolutely fantastic in every respect. We have had a wonderful tour which will stay with us forever. Thank you again!!! Ciao Wally and Donna
BEV GREGORY (AUSTRALIA) Sicily- APRIL/MAY 2016
We have just completed an 11 days tour of Sicily with Secret Italia Tours starting in wonderful Palermo and concluding in Taormina with many wonderful sights and experiences in between. Everything ran like clockwork-just like the itinerary. All guides were informative and interesting and were always waiting for us at the appointed time. Our drivers were fabulous,included meals wonderful as well as the one with a Sicilian family. We were also allowed plenty of free time as requested.
We cannot recommend Aldo and his team highly enough for their wonderful and impeccable organisation and regular contact throughout the tour. Thanks Aldo- we will go home to Australia and spread the word.
DICK AND CHRIS THOMAS (USA) Sicily- SEPTEMBER 2015
We have always been very independent travelers and have shied away from group tours. The Secret Italia tour was small enough that we all had very personal care and attention and we were never left waiting for the last member of a huge group to return to the bus or felt like part of a herd of cattle being led through the street. The choice of hotels was terrific. Very high quality and superb locations. Restaurant and menu choices were great as well. The selection of tour guide was exceptional. Do not let Rosaria get away! She is a terrific asset for your tours to Sicily. We have a local friend who is a native of Italy. He has worked in the travel business for many years and specialized in escorting local college and art museum groups on yearly trips to Italy. He helped us plan several of our previous visits, but unfortunately for us, he has retired. On our return from our tour I sent him some details and a copy of the long itinerary from the Secret Italia website. In his response to me he included a comment with “EXCELLENT ITINERARY” in all caps. As we look back on the tour we realize that we got to see and do many things that we would never have discovered on our own. We suggested to our friend that he recommend Secret Italia to others when he gets inquiries about trips to Italy. Chris has printed out the details for the Portugal tours, so you may well be hearing from us about next season.We wish that we could have traveled on to Malta with the group, but we had commitments back home that we needed to return to.
We would like to thank Rosaria again for making our trip to Sicily so special. We enjoyed every minute of the trip and her knowledge, charm, and concern for each member of the tour group played a major part in making that happen. We are still speaking with our hands, know when the big earthquake occurred, and we will never be quite the same when we hear “Volare”.
GERALD & GERALDINE MCCORMACK (AUSTRALIA) Sicily- SEPTEMBER 2015
Firstly Rosaria and Vittorio were the best possible combination. They knew the detail and added their personal experiences to each location and during the journey to the next one.Your choice of families and connections in the region of your home town of Gaggi and Taormina gave us a special insight to that area.
Geraldine and I agreed with the multiple nights in the same hotel, it gave us a chance to do simple administration and get to know the location better. Also the general starting time of 9:00 am is sensible too.We also agree that the dinners and lunches that you arranged and that Rosaria implemented were a good mix of the specialties of the wine and food of the regions- and caponata is interesting, but now that we know it, we will not need to look for it in Sydney. Though I am sure the Sicilian community in Sydney would have it if we need it!
The mix of time in the bus and on the ground was right for us because we saw the key elements of the Island but we will be forever amazed at the intertwining of history, nationalities, impact of locations ( such as Corleone, Erice, Agrigento, Syracuse) and culture.
In our opinion the best lunch was certainly the one after the Salt Pans on top of the hill at Erice and even though the fog and rain hindered the view over the coast, and it was cooler than we expected, it was very enjoyable.
The best dinners were at the hotel in Agrigento and then at the in the Seafood Syracuse restaurant.
I was very interested in the Corleone time and was looking forward to the talk by Gino
Felicetti. I had read Peter Robb’s book, “Midnight in Sicily” and had it with me. Gino said it was the best preparation for a visit to Sicilian and the Mafia. One of the unexpected highlights of the tour was the night of Italian Opera at Taormina. Rosaria brought it to our attention and when all but one of us said we would like to go, she was able to book seats in the 3rd and 4th rows. It was an informal and relaxed performance that we all appreciated, thanks again to Rosaria.Thanks so much for making the tour to Sicily an amazing experience!
Gerald and Geraldine McCormack,
JOHN & ADRIENNE FORTH (AUSTRALIA) Sicily- SEPTEMBER 2015
My wife and myself participated in the Secret Italia 2015 Sicily Tour. From initial approach to Aldo through to the end of the tour everything was organised so smoothly and effortlessly that it was joy to participate. No matter the hour Aldo seems to be able to respond to emails. Claudia, his tour leader was a delight to travel with. Only by participating can you appreciate how much thought has been given to every aspect, from hotels, food, sightseeing and logistics. As a consequence there was nothing to do but sit back relax and enjoy. We can only thank Aldo for what he was able to provide.
NATALIE & COLIN LOGAN (AUSTRALIA) Sicily- SEPTEMBER 2015
ROSEMARY DAWBARN (UK) Sicily- JULY 2015
Just to tell you how much we enjoyed our recent trip to Sicily. Our travelling companions were like-minded people and we all got on very well together. Our guide, Rosaria, was superb – always brimming over with enthusiasm for her country (especially her home town, Catania), the welfare of her clients and the fact that we were all having a great time even though it was really, really hot.
The hotels were excellent (one was rather quirky), were well situated in the various towns we stayed in and breakfasts were delicious and plentiful. I think you must have put a lot of time and energy into finding them and also all the different restaurants we went to and the various places we visited during our time in Sicily. It was much appreciated.
Rosaria mentioned that you are thinking of going on holidays to Sardinia and Corsica? If this is the case, I think we would definitely be interested.
Thanks for a really well-planned holiday.
MARIE BARNAU LOUGHNAN ( NEW ZEALAND) MALTA- JULY 2015
From the time was met at Malta airport until the time was taken back for my return flight, everything went according to the itinerary. I was most impressed with the organization of Secret Malta Tours. Audrey was the best guide, knowing the historical side of Malta, which was my reason for wanting to visit the island. I wanted to further my knowledge of its history, so I was well served.
There were many highlights, it is hard to pin point just one or two. I must mention, though the experience of eating the local food and drinking the delicious Maltese wine, with the local people.
I have many memories of Malta and its people. I will not forget my tour of this magic island. Also, Aldo, I must say thanks you for the photograph of the three of us wining and dining so well. I am not a good photographer, so that is a reminder of the great time I had in Malta.
Marie Barnao Loughnan
BARRY & PAT SHANKEL (CANADA) Sicily- JULY 2015
Dear Aldo ,
LISA ORLANDO (NEW YORK, USA) Sicily- JULY 2015
Traveling with SECRET ITALIA is like paying a visit with a Italian cousin who takes as much care to see that you are comfortable, well-fed, having fun, and learning the local history which is far better than from a book. I can’t imagine a better team than Aldo Valerio the tour designer and Rosaria the tour manager. I worked briefly on the tourism industry enough to know that these folks do everything right, and with supreme quality. Our 12 day tour of Magical Sicily was hands down an A+!!
What is extraordinary about SECRET ITALIA tours is that attention to detail is done to the level of perfection: the selection of cities and sights to visit, places to dine, exotic treats to sample, even a stop at vineyard in the foothills of Etna for a taste the best wine I may ever have. I don’t know how they are able to keep the cost reasonable and the quality so high. It was obvious wherever we traveled that all the innkeepers and restaurateurs are great fans of the company and they go the extra mile for Aldo Valerio’s travelers. An astoundingly amazing trip and plan to go on another in the future!!!
MARK DAWBARN (UK ) SICILY- JULY 2015
We had a wonderful trip.
Hotels were comfortable and full of character. Places we visited were full of interest and the local guides all showed good knowledge and made things interesting for us. Food and drink were always of a high standard. Rosaria worked very hard and made sure all the arrangements went smoothly. Her personality did much to make the trip more enjoyable.
In a single word: PERFETTO!
We hope you will keep us in touch with future tours.
RONNIE AND RHONDA COFFEY (AUSTRALIA) SICILY- MAY 2015
We had a wonderful time with our small group 12 day tour of Sicily, with Secret Italia Tours.
Everything went very smoothly right from the start. Our accommodation throughout Sicily was excellent and some of their locations were superb, e.g. the Baglio della Luna in Agrigento, the centrally located Boutique Hotel La Giudecca in Siracusa, and the Hotel Villa Paradiso in Taormina. The heritage listed sites we visited were very impressive as were the archaeological ruins and palaces. My favourite site was the Villa Romana Del Casale where the mosaics were amazing and so well preserved, and our visit to Corleone and the tour we had there was a wonderful experience. All of the chosen restaurants were excellent and the food superb. The local guides for each place we visited were very knowledgeable and our visits to the street markets and local tastings were very enjoyable.
We travelled with a wonderful group of people who were a lot of fun and to complete the wonderful experience, we had Rosaria as our guide. Rosaria did an excellent job. She was at all times pleasant, informative and competent. Rosaria has an enthusiasm for Sicily that made our trip all the more enjoyable and it was a pleasure to travel with her.
Rhondda & John Coffey
RON AND JULIE FIEN (AUSTRALIA) SICILY- MAY 2015
Nothing could be further from Reality!!!
We had a super time. I have been on many tours including Tauck, Smithsonian, OAT, Colette, River cruises……but this one tops them all. The boutique Hotels were wonderful. The group dinners were top notch…NO “rubber chicken” banquets. The best restaurants in town-each one better than the next with all the great local wine you could drink! The local guides were charming and entertaining.Our fellow travellers were all independently comfortable with their own holiday & it was a pleasure to share the tour with them. However, the real gem was Rosaria. She has great enthusiasm for Sicily & enough patience to handle everyone’s needs.Originally, I was disappointed that you were not being our guide. But Rosaria was a terrific guide for us.Can’t say enough great things about the tour, the guide and Secret Italia Tours
GAYE EVANS (AUSTRALIA) SICILY & MALTA- MAY 2015
Sicily, 7 women, a mini van and a driver … Does it get any better!!!!!!!!
Well yes it does!!!
Prior to the tour, all questions were answered promptly and friendly and I knew exactly what to expect. The online reviews were all right.
Firstly an easy transfer before and after tour…Secret Italia fits in with your schedule not the other way around.
Each day of the tour brought new sights and treasures and there is something for everyone. Being a small group we were able to see more of the “real Sicily”, learn a little of the language and get into the sites a lot easier. I was amazed at the different history and influences that make Sicily what it is. Every region was different. There was a balance of free and programmed time for those who like to wander. Of course you always want more. A favourite for me was being invited into a families home for a lunch and the temples. Mt Etna rumbling and seeing the lava at night is something I will remember along with Ragusa (just too many to list you will have to go).
One of our fellow travellers was Rosaria our tour leader … She is a true treasure of Sicily…..she has a vibrant and loving nature and was very organised and flexible and handled all arrangements and questions easily. Although be careful when she says 5 more minutes (it became a joke of our tour) The local guides were also knowledgable and a big thank you to our drivers as well, especially Andre and his “taste” in music.
Of course the food was to die for and it may be best to bring expandable clothing, a lot of meals were included and they were delicious and there were a few treats along the way. Thank you Aldo for the special seafood lunch xx T he accommodation was different in each place but was of a high standard and comfy. I’m sure each traveller had their favourite and not so favourite.
Finally my lovely independent travellers made this trip wonderful, there were many laughs each day as we travelled through this unique region and got to know each other. I travelled solo and was embraced as part of the group from the start.
Note there is a lot of walking but it is doable and there are many hills and steps but that is Europe. There were always breaks and a few times options where you could wait if you could just not do another hill!! All is done at a comfortable pace but it does get quite hot on some
days, so a hat, water and comfy shoes is a must.
A big thank you to Aldo and the team for allowing me to fall in love with Sicily it will be in my heart forever and a place I will definitely return to. Secret Italia tours was the right choice for me.
Gaye from Australia
JEANNE JUDD (AUSTRALIA) SICILY & MALTA – MAY 2015
GINNY & LINDA (USA) SICILY & MALTA- MAY 2015
Ron and Marie Sherk (Canada) Sicily April 2015
Helen and Ron Moon, (Australia) Sicily & Malta April 2015
We had such a wonderful time in Sicily. It is such a beautiful island. After a couple of cool windy days the weather changed and we had perfect warm sunshine for the rest of the trip. Our fellow travelers were great company and our crazy guide Rosaria, was delightful. Everything ran smoothly, hotels were excellent and our only complaint was we were fed far too well!!!
We would certainly recommend Secret Sicily to others.
We’re now at the end of our Secret Malta tour – another great week on lovely islands. Our hotel is excellent and it is very relaxing staying in one place. Audrey has shared her amazing knowledge of Malta and looked after us well. Thank you for a wonderful holiday!!!
Peter and Gail Smith , Los Angeles (USA), Sicily October 2014
The trip to Malta was just sensational..how can we forget the warmth, bubbly personality of your guide Charmaine..a first class service and so much knowledge..the tour was an amazing cultural experience that we will cherish forever.We will never forget the beautiful island of Gozo and all the cultural experiences you have put together for this amazing once in a lifetime
Thanks so much Aldo and Charmaine…we will consider the Sicily tour in 2015
Peter and Roseanne Pizzurro, Sydney (AUSTRALIA), Malta & Gozo July 2014
It was the first Sicily trip for my husband and me and I must say we had one of the most enjoyable and informative of group tours. It was a special riunion trip with five other of our family members from Australian and Singapore and we all enjoyed the tour very much. We were most impressed with Rosaria who was not only full of knowledge and passion for the place, but was very attentive to every bit of the tour and caring towards the different people (and personalities). Rosaria was entertaining and made the tour fun and worked well with the driver, Saro who as a team, cared for the people. Sicily was a lovely experience, the hotels were first class and the included meals our of this world. We would definetely recommend Secret and for sure travelling with you in Malta in 2015.A fantastic experience, thank you !
Linda and Robert Smith, LA (USA), Sicily June 2014
we recently travelled with you in Sicily and the tour was just amazing! The hotels, the tour itinerary, the scenery, the tour manager, the guides, the food all con tributed to make our Sicily experience a memorable one.
We will certainly travel with you on another holiday, maybe South Italy or Malta.
Pat and Mike Douglas, Seattle (USA) Sicily, June 2014