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“Sicily Discovered” 5 of 5 stars
Review of HandySicily

HandySicily
Contrada Testa dell'Acqua, 96017 Noto, Sicily, Italy
+39 0931 184 0776
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: HandySicily is a Tour Operator, with many years' experience, set up in order to make the tourists discoverthe most beautiful and hidden angles of Sicily. Tour of Sicily and minitour for individuals and groups (themed itineraries and tailor-made) Excursions Guided tours Mercedes car / minibus hire with a driver
Punta Gorda, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Sicily Discovered”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

After 16 months of planning, our group of 6 travelers arrived in Catania, on April 3, 2013, as Mt. Etna was spewing ash----a most unique welcome! Paolo's right hand man, Luca, was at the airport to meet us, as promised. He drove us to Taormina and our Panoramic Hotel, built into the cliff overlooking Isola Bella and the sea. This was a wonderful way to start our tour of Sicily! The view could not have been more beautiful and the facilities were perfect for our needs. The bountiful breakfast buffet was the best of our 3 week stay in Italy! From there we toured Taormina, Noto, Siracusa, Ortigia and were driven, carefully, up Mt. Etna by Luca, as the ash covered road was slippery. This is an area full of Baroque Architecture, as the towns were rebuilt after the devastating earthquakes of 1693.

Our location changed to Agriturismo Leone for the following 3 nights. Corredo, Laura and little Salvatore were wonderful hosts and fed us much too much of their home grown produce and meats. From the farm, we toured Modica, Ragusa and a wild, mountainous region with an archeologist, who showed us remains of structures dating as far back as 1,400 BC. We enjoyed meeting " Vanessa D. and her mom from Sydney" at the farm. (See "The Perfect Way to Travel".)

Paolo took over as driver/guide for our journey to Palazzola Armerina and its amazing mosaics and to Agrigento's Valley of the Temples. After driving through the countryside of colorful wildflowers, fruit trees, olive groves and green pastures, we arrived at the mountain top, medieval town of Erice with its fortress and expansive views. This was different than the Baroque style structures of southeast Sicily. Driving farther along the northern coast, we reached Palermo with its hectic traffic and gold-tiled Norman churches. We stayed in a downtown neighborhood at Palazzo Riolo-B&B 10 Serpotta where we had spacious, one bedroom condos, an elevator and tasty breakfasts.

Paolo hired excellent city guides for our group, all with good English language skills and considerate of our needs. He was always accommodating, protective and full of information. His love of Sicily was abundant and it rubbed off on all of us. We highly recommend his tour to all those who want to experience the REAL SICILY !
Punta Gorda, FL Travelers

Visited April 2013
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94 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The perfect way to travel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

I travelled with my elderly mother for 14 days around Sicily with Paolo Mortellaro as our guide and driver. It was the perfect way for us to discover the delights of this fascinating island without the hassle of finding accomodation or working out how to get from one place to the other. Paolo has a great pride about Sicily and takes pleasure in introducing people to the not so usual - like a Good Friday procession in lofty Erice and an Easter parade in traditional Albanian dress in Piana del Albanesi. He was also a dab hand at fossicking for wild asparagus in the grounds of Greek temples! Sicily was a revellation in its history, its landscape and its food - I could not recommend this tour more highly.
Vanessa, Sydney.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
“Handy, Yes; Fabulous, Absolutely!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

This is a Superb Tour filled with culture, local color, architecture, food, archeology and history! My companion and I did the 10 day tour with Paolo from Mt Etna to Siricusa/Ortigia, Ragusa, Noto, Agrigento, Tripani and Palermo. WOW! We could not have accomplished so many sights as "backpackers," dependent on public transport, and I have long since given up driving myself in foreign realms. This guy knows his stuff and he is genuinely one of the most affable guides I have hired. In Sicily, excepting Etna, there is possibly no one highlight - the food, of course, is another matter entirely and is in a category all of its own; however, doing Sicily with Paolo at one's side is a truly marvelous experience, a vertible "moveable feast" of sights, information and dialogue, as well as for the palate. Paolo will provide the cliente with a standard tour that is outstanding, but also he will tailor what he can offer to the client's requirements and interests. Each day is a full day, sometimes even beyond nightfall, if the location warrents and one's stamina allows. Paolo has even scouted out the best places to dine; follow his advice and then make him a dinner companion in Agrigento and Tripani. During the first half of his guided tour he has arranged that his clientes stay at an Agriturismo - Azienda Agrituristica - in Noto Povince ( see related review ) in order to facilitate easy access to the many sights in southeast Sicily. This affords one the luxury of having a "fixed" residence for 4 to 5 nights, all important to my companion and I when engaged in "marathon" touring. The other accommodations - all included in the tour package - were, at minimum, 4 star. As well as his own guiding service, Paolo has enlisted a cadre of fellow guides and drivers: At our service, Guide Antonio in Palermo ( excellent, very knowledgable gentleman ) and Marco, adept driver ( BNW ) in chauffeured livery, from Palermo to Taormina. Paolo Mortellaro provides a service that raises the concept of "road trip" to genuine heights, and not simply those of Etna, Erice and Monte Pellegrino, Palermo. Thank you, Paolo!

Visited March 2013
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Westport, Ct.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a 14 day visit to Sicily , escorted by Paolo Mortellaro. As previous clients reported, we enjoyed every day at a variety of sites, Roman temples, Greek mosaics, and appreciated Paolo's responsiveness to our particular interests. In retrospect, we cannot think of a single significant locale missed and enjoyed the beautiful Sicilian landscape while Paolo drove us from one area to another. He planned the timing of our tours so that we avoided bus loads of tourists and was helpful in directing us to places to eat. When we expressed an interest in attending the opera in Palermo, Paolo stood in line for an hour to obtain our tickets and waited patiently throughout our visit while my husband took an unlimited number of photographs. We were delighted with Paolo's service and recommend him to anyone with a wish to visit Sicily.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A wonderful family experience in Sicily”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

My family of seven has just returned after ten fabulous days touring Sicily with Paolo Mortellaro.We thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience and would highly recommend "Handy Sicily" if you are planning a private tour with friends or family.Paolo skillfully organised each day which was full of new and exciting experiences.At the end of each day we would say "can it get any better than this?".Stunning temples,archeological sites,picturesque towns,fabulous cafes and restaurants,fresh food markets,catacombes,fortresses and cathedrals.The hospitality we experienced through Laura and Corrado at the "Agriturismo Leone" over 5 days was exceptional and we have strong memories of feasting each day on the best quality local Sicilian produce topped off with farmfresh cannoli and limoncello before bed.We very much hope to return some day. Michael and Sandy Dunn Sydney Australia

Visited January 2013
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