Testimonials - Mary from Chicago, IL

First I want to say the correspondence with Mario ahead of time was very prompt, and he answered numerous of my emails as questions came up. We were a group of 8, 5 adults and 3 children (ages 13, 16, and 17). We met on cruisecritic before the cruise and agreed to tour together. Our group managed to be one of the first few off the ship, and Mario was already there waiting for us as we walked out at the port. Mario was very friendly. We boarded he mercedes van, which was very comfortable and clean. He has a microphone in the van, so as we drove to Taormina he could talk and everyone could hear. It was very informative, and we were also able to ask him any questions we had. Upon arrival, we were offered fresh Italian pastries, and beverages. We were given 2.5 hrs to walk around Taormina on our own. I do not know why some ppl are expecting a tour here, the website does not say he tours you thru. Nor would I have wanted him to. Its a cute smaller village, with lots of shops, and an ancient greek style theater. We all were able to split up and do what we wanted in town. Mario said we obviously were free to do what we wanted, but he recommended a place for lunch at our next stop, so we all agreed to wait. In other words, time for a gelato! We then drove up to the town of Castelmola, which I loved! There didn't seem to be any other tourist there, so you felt like you were really in Sicily! The place Mario recommended for lunch had a great view, and was delicious. It was very reasonable as well. I think we spent 15 euros for my husband and I total. We walked around the town, and Mario pointed out some things for us. We then drove back to Messina with stops at this old almost abandon building the Galleria which was beautiful inside, a fort, and viewing area of the ship from up on the hillside, and the church in Messina. I felt we really got to see everything. I thought Mario was very professional, and we had a great day with him!