Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Sicilian Ancestry Tour

11 days
Spectacular landscapes, enduring culture, mouthwatering flavors—experience the best of Sicily on this one-of-a-kind trip, created with Ancestry. You’ll journey from Palermo to Syracuse and Taormina, uncovering pieces of your genealogy along the way. As you gain new perspective on the place your ancestors came from, the country just might start to feel like home to you, too.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

On this guided tour, you’ll walk for about 1.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved roads, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Overnight flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel to Sicily

Board your overnight flight to Palermo today.

Palermo 4 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Palermo

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Italy! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in, then meet your Tour Director, Ancestry Genealogist, and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Guided tour of Palermo & Monreale

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, get an introduction to Sicilian genealogy and the ways you will be tracing your heritage with your Ancestry Genealogist. Then, embark on a guided tour of bayside Palermo, situated at the foot of Mount Pellegrino.

• Visit the architecturally diverse Palermo Cathedral and see the stunning artwork of the Cappella Palatina 

• Continue on to nearby Monreale, where you’ll pay a visit to one of the town’s magnificent cathedrals

Day 4: Free day in Palermo

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Palermo or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - A Day in the Trapani Region $65pp* Details

Venture to the coastal town of Castellammare del Golfo, known for its deep Sicilian-American ties and Mafia history. Pay a visit to the Ethno-Anthropological Museum, where you’ll delve into the agricultural history of the region. Then, continue on to the charming village of Erice for a walking tour along its beautiful streets and past its historic churches. End your day in the region’s capital of Trapani, where many Sicilian-Americans emigrated from. After enjoying free time to explore the city center, return to Palermo for the evening.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Day 5: Guided tour of Agrigento

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel south through the Sicilian countryside to Agrigento for a guided walking tour of the city’s fascinating Greek ruins.

Syracuse 3 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Syracuse via Piazza Amerina

  Included meals: Breakfast

On the way to Syracuse, stop for a guided tour of Piazza Amerina and view the stunning mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 7: Guided tour of Syracuse

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Embark on a guided tour of Syracuse, a city known for its rich Greek history.

• Enter the ancient Greek theater, the most complete of its kind still in existence

• Tour the massive Paradise Quarry and gardens, featuring the cave that artist Caravaggio dubbed “The Ear of Dionysius” for its unique acoustics

• Visit the Roman amphitheater, then cross a bridge to the Island of Ortygia to see the Temple of Apollo and Syracuse Cathedral

Tonight, taste the recipes of past generations as you learn to craft traditional Sicilian dishes like a local during a cooking lesson. Then, savor the meal with your fellow travelers-turned-chefs.

Day 8: Free day in Syracuse

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Syracuse or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditions of Sicily: Villa Lunch & Noto Village $89pp* Details

Start off the day in Noto, a quaint city at the foot of the Hyblaean Mountains. A local guide gives you the lay of the land, highlighting the UNESCO-recognized cathedral and the city's Baroque-style architecture. Next, travel to a rustic villa, Casa Bianca, owned and run by a Sicilian contessa. With its warm climate, open fields and fertile soil, Sicily is home to some of Italy’s finest foods, and today’s authentic family-style meal showcases many of the region’s delicious and varied flavors.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Taormina Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Guided tour of Taormina

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to Taormina, where a local guide introduces you to this scenic town perched high above the sea.

• Enjoy views of Mount Etna, Taormina Cathedral, and the Palazzo Corvaia, seat of the first Sicilian parliament 

• Visit the town’s 2nd-century Greek theater

This evening, venture into the foothills surrounding Mount Etna for a traditional Sicilian dinner and wine tasting at a local vineyard.

Day 10: Free day in the Taormina Region

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend a full free day in the Taormina region or add an excursion.  

Tonight, your Ancestry Genealogist shares a summary of all you’ve learned about Sicilian heritage. Then, say goodbye to your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes $79pp* Details

Travel from Taormina to the base of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and highest active volcano. Here, a local guide will board your bus and you’ll ascend up to 5,000 feet, stopping at a scenic vantage point to snap photos and learn about the mountain’s long history of eruptions, as well as its native flora and fauna. Continue up to 6,600 feet, where you’ll have free time to walk among the volcanic craters and peruse the mountainside shops before sampling local delicacies at an included three-course lunch. Please note: Comfortable shoes and layered clothing are recommended. Temperatures on the mountain are cool in the summer and can be quite chilly the rest of the year.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport in Catania for your flight home or extend your stay in the Taormina region.

Add Taormina Region Starting from $449 pp

Extend your stay in the Taormina Region and see for yourself why expatriate artists, writers and intellectuals were so inspired during the early 20th century when they came to call it home. Spend your time exploring its tiny villages, old churches, lively bars, fine restaurants and antique shops.

Taormina Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Free day in the Taormina Region

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy another full free day in the Taormina region or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Museo Storico dello Sbarco & Historic Catania $55pp* Details

Explore Sicily’s World War II history on a visit to the Museo Storico dello Sbarco, an interactive museum featuring striking photographs and a life-size model of a war-era bunker. Then, stroll past the Baroque architecture of Catania’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll see the bustling shops and cafes of Via Etnea and Via dei Crociferi, the grand Teatro Massimo Bellini and the historic Palazzo Biscari. End your tour at the beautiful Piazza del Duomo, home of the famous elephant statue, where you’ll have free time for lunch.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $65)

Day 12: Free day in the Taormina Region

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend another full free day in the Taormina region or add an excursion.    Later, enjoy a farewell drink with your fellow travelers.

Optional Excursion - Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza d’Agrò $49pp* Details

Delve into the traditional Sicilian villages that served as sets for Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” First, visit Savoca and tour the Church of St. Lucia and the Bar Vitelli. Walk through this medieval village and marvel at its 15th-century buildings and panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea. Continue on to Forza d’Agrò, another “hidden” Sicilian village, where you’ll visit the Church of the Annunciation. Please note: The order of villages visited is subject to change. In the event that the Church of the Annunciation is closed, it may only be viewed from the outside.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $59)

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Palermo, Italy
  • Syracuse, Italy
  • Taormina, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
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About your Ancestry Tour

  • This tour was created in collaboration with Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics. Ancestry harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives.
  • As part of your tour package, you’ll receive an AncestryDNA kit within one month of booking your trip. Please complete the simple test as soon as possible to receive your DNA results.
  • Prior to your tour, we will contact you to schedule your 5-hour pre-trip family history review with AncestryProGenealogists.
  • An Ancestry Genealogist specializing in Italian research will accompany your group and provide unique genealogical and heritage insight throughout the entire trip.
  • Ancestry offers customized ancestral home visits during and after the main trip for an additional cost. With these, one of the AncestryProGenealogists staff will accompany you to the exact town or village in Italy where your own specific ancestors lived. If you’re interested in an ancestral home visit, ask about organizing one during your pre-trip family history review. 

Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved roads, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Palermo and depart from Catania. A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with  Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, and a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Italy.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • The cuisine of Southern Italy is often what diners think of when imagining Italian flavors—pasta with tomato sauces, olive oil, zucchini, veal, and fish are all featured prominently throughout the region. 
  • Sicilian cuisine in particular is heavily influenced by Spanish, Greek, and Arab traditions. The Spanish brought New World influences to the region in the form of tomatoes, chocolate, and maize, while the Arab influence can be tasted in recipes that include rice, spinach, saffron, and citrus fruits. Regional specialties include arancini, cannoli, and granita.

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, F, or L plugs with two or three small, round pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotel may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot  be guaranteed.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges and purchasing an international data plan. 

Time zones

  • Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.

Currency

  • You will use the euro on this tour.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
  • Your Ancestry Genealogist will not be expecting a tip.

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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