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Anyone done past Best of Sicily Tour during Easter? How does Itinerary differ?

Hello to any Best of Sicily folks who traveled during the Easter holiday season.
I was curious how different the Itinerary is for the tour during the days around the special holiday. Is Easter spent in a city or village or argoturismo and relaxed? Are the other archeological sites and famous towns still "open" around the holiday?

I know it will be amazing no matter what but was just curious so I can prepare better - and if needed - add time to visit any major spots before/after if it cant make the normal tour itinerary.

Thanks much in advance! This will be my 5th RS Tour so super excited to try one during a special holiday with locals!
-Tom

Posted by
27406 posts

I would definitely add more time before and after the tour even if there were no holidays involved. The tour lasts only nine full days; even allowing for the the substantial extra efficiency offered by a professionally-run tour, that's much less time than most of us who've been to Sicily would recommend. The two most obvious places getting short shrift are the southeast corner of the island and Palermo. I'd want more time in Siracusa or nearby to allow visits to Baroque towns like Ragusa, Noto, Modica and Scicli. And there are many interesting sights in and around Palermo. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by
8627 posts

Tom, looks like you might as well call the tour office and ask.

Posted by
33 posts

Well I emailed the Tour dept and they were not much help - odd since they normally know more. Perhaps thats no longer their role.
They simply told me the Guides will tell us at the beginning of the tour! Makes pre-planning a bit challenging. The guides have all the leeway and I know will make great choices for the tour regardless.

I just want to know if entire towns/museums/archeological sites are closed during Easter and wont be on the tour at all - just incase its important enough for me to go before or after our tour. I know we have to move around the Island in one direction vs back and forth, Seems easy enough to ask a Guide... I asked if they could FWD to the 1-2 senior guides just for historical reference. (I realize any thing anywhere can be closed from strikes or construction etc... but this was just basic Easter question!)

Anyone recall who their Guide was in last 2-3 yrs? Otherwise I have to go into the Radio archives and see who the guides were there and ask on FB/IG outside of RS Tours (which seems silly). My Italy guide book is old and the new one is not out yet so may have to wing it! :)

Posted by
27406 posts

RS has a new guidebook dedicated to Sicily. The first edition came out in April 2019.

Posted by
1526 posts

Have you tried going to the museum or sites' website to check for holiday closings?

Posted by
2508 posts

You can check the daily itinerary and your dates to find out where you will be on Easter. It's also possible that covid with still cause some issues next year.

Posted by
548 posts

You will love Sicily. I just want to say that with Covid, I don't think that anyone knows ahead of time at this point what will be open or not open next April. In a "normal" year, opening and closing vary so much, sometimes on the whim of a place. During Covid, I think that the tour department's comment of "your guide will tell you" is the only true answer. I'd say, plan on adding days before and after the tour, if you are able to take more time, and then just go with the flow. And I always have in my mind that I can come back another time if there is something I missed. I will, hopefully, be in Sicily next April on and after Palm Sunday and am hoping for a procession or special service of some sort. I think it'll just be a last minute decision on what I'll do. Happy travels!

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks everyone for the comments - the feedback all makes good sense. And yes - having just been fortunate to have gotten back from a short 2 weeks in France (Pyrenees) and Barcelona - everything needs to be taken with a lot of flexible patience in mind. I will check out any key sites for normal holiday schedule (archaeology and architecture history is the big draw for me and of course the people-markets-food etc). I know all will be amazing no matter what itinerary is ahead or on the fly! The engineer in me likes info - the artist says never mind - just go with the flow and open heart and mind and enjoy! As Barbara suggests - will probably be back as this is an intro tour for Sicily for me! Im sure I could spend a month in Etna Wine region alone!

Posted by
3 posts

We did the Best of Sicily in April 2019. Our tour started on the afternoon of Easter Sunday. We arrived in Palermo 1-2 days before, having come from elsewhere in Italy, so we didn't have a time change adjustment to make. I don't feel that being there over Easter changed anything at all about our tour itinerary or experience. Walking around Palermo on Easter was beautiful, bells tolling and people strolling around - we just walked around enjoying the day until our tour started. It was our first Rick Steve's tour, and we had a great time. We stayed an extra three days, rented a car in Catania, and explored the Ragusa area before we flew back home.

Posted by
2252 posts

I agree with all tmcapotosto says in the above reply. I was also on a RS Sicily tour in late March which started in Palermo on Palm Sunday; Good Friday we were in Ragusa and for Easter Sunday we were in Scicli. It was an amazing tour (second time, same tour, slightly different itineraries) and I was so happy to be on this wonderful island at this special time of year. Everything was open while we were there, there were special celebrations in each town we visited and we had a truly amazing time. Scicli was not on our itinerary but was listed as “guides favorite place”. We were only there for the day. We couldn’t have chosen a better time for a visit than the week of Easter celebrations.