“Without Sicily, Italy leaves no image in the soul. Sicily is the key to everything.” Goethe wrote in 1787 in his Italian Journey.
If you want a scoop of the Sicilian's absolute way of life, personal guide Don Saro can professionally host you like the highly recommended tour guide that he is. Having grown up in Palermo himself, a peculiar but alluring city, and have lived and worked abroad as an expat in the UK for 12 years as a TV Director for the BBC, Don Saro can specifically amuse you with the genuine traditions of Sicily. The island as a whole is considered to be one of the few places in Europe left unspoilt, with Palermo not being an exception. This is a brilliant destination for boutique travel, as you will be encouraged to engage with the locals, savour Sicilian cuisine and enjoy the markets and shops.
Transportation in Sicily can be a tremendous problem, therefore hiring a car or a driver is a necessity. Personal Guide Sicily can provide services ranging from transfers, walking tours, leisure cruises, horse back riding, Fiat 500 tours and many more experiences catered for your holidays. At a price that you will spend figuring things out for yourself around the island, you can hire Don Saro to do the detailed tasks as he is quick on the whereabouts and provides the best routes around the island.
We had an amazing full day customised tour with Don Saro that included; a walking tour of Palermo, a visit to the mountain village of Monreale and a surreal evening into the 17th century Sanctuary of Saint Rosalia on Monte Pellegrino. Our personal guide Don Saro met us at the front of our hotel building in Palermo where we stayed our 3 nights. We had a lively conversation and were quickly captured by Don's pleasant ways of introducing us to his city. As an Italian of Sicilian descent, Don can easily trace the differences between the islanders and the main land Italians.
We toured the historic centre of Palermo and fell in love with the lovely squares of Piazza Pretoria, Quattro Canti and Piazza Bellini. In Piazza Pretoria, also known as the square of Shame, is situated next to the city's municipal building in which we were able to capture views of the fountain of Pretoria from the third floor's governmental building. During our walking tour, we have learned of the exotic mixture of Moorish, Norman and Spanish Baroque styles that give Palermo its extraordinary, unique character.
We delved into the city's artistic heritage, understanding the architectural phenomenons and developments that have taken place before and after the second world war. In many buildings you can still see the scars left on some of the façades from the bombings.
Don Saro took us to see some of the finest hotels in the city of Palermo. Picking Don's brain about the best boutique hotels to stay in was totally priceless. Even with some research and word of mouth we haven't heard of some of these homely gems. His guidance will eventually help us for when we come back to Sicily.
After lunch we visited the dramatically situated town of Monreale on the outskirts of Palermo. This town is home to the famous Duomo. Built in the twelfth century, it is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Italy. The dazzling interior of multiple colours of marbles, paintings and mosaics took us back in time. It was also a must visit for the best views of nearby Palermo city and surrounding landscape.
When the sun set, we were taken to another mountain and had a dazzling journey up to the cave shrine of Rosalia on Monte Pellegrino. While the iron front gate and rocky interior makes the Sanctuary seem intimidating at first, the church is actually very beautiful. Again, from the Sanctuary we had stunning views of the city of Palermo and the surroundings.
Don Saro will show you Palermo city as it was, as it is now, and as it is becoming. The city is a gem in disguise to be understood and appreciated from the historical point of view to present time. Don will make you feel like a true Palermitano; interacting with locals, eating alongside residents and learning what it is like to be an Italian of Sicilian descent.
Personal Guide Sicily provides the comfort and hosting that you need whilst travelling to a new destination. Before you even reach the island you can be given a service orientated around which hotels you will like to stay in, the best hop on / hop off cities to visit for a day trip and the easiest routes to take for your next destination. A complete reference for anyone visiting the island, you will be received as a friend having access usually reserved for locals.
Personal Guide Sicily | Organised tours in Sicily; if you want individuality and authenticity for your next Sicilian experience contact them for a customised tour | Personal guide based in Palermo, (Sicily) Italy | If you want to make a reservation, have any questions or want to share something e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Palermo, 90011 (Sicily), Italy | www.personalguidesicily.com