We had THE most wonderful day with Mario Astone in Sicily.
Before leaving the states, we corresponded via e-mail...he was always very prompt with his responses and easy to deal with.
Mario met our family of five as soon as we disembarked from the ship, and escorted us a short walk to a clean, roomy van. We liked him immediately and so did our kids...he engaged them and included them in the conversations.
We chose the Taormina/Godfather Tour and it did not disappoint. Sicily is a gorgeous island, and having a knowledgeable, confident tour guide like Mario who obviously loves his home makes a big impact. First we went straight to Savoca to see Bar Vitelli...where Michael Corleone first met Appollonia's father.
Mario offered a little snack and refreshing drinks from his before taking us to Taormina, where he gave us some time alone to wander the town...and arranged to meet us a few hours later. Taormina, although crowded, is beautiful...take a walk off the main road and explore some of the side streets and gorgeous views. After meeting back up with Mario, we drove up the windy roads to Castelmola, which seemed surreal. There was lava dust on the streets from a recent eruption of Mt. Etna, the volcano which was always looming in the distance wherever we traveled that day.
On the way back, Mario indulged our wish to visit a beach. He took us to Isola Bella, a gorgeous stone beach with beautiful blue-green water.
Finally, to fulfill another request, Mario took us to an excellent patisserie, so I could sample a Sicilian cannoli (or two).
Mario will show you Sicily through the eyes of an honest, genuine person. He is conscientious and eager to make your visit memorable, as he did for us.
Thank you Mario! (by the way, we hear his brother is equally stellar!)
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