We enjoyed visiting the incredibly well-preserved mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale. However, it would have been better to have a local guide to explain more about the site. We did have a guide at The Valley of the Temples, who was very knowledgeable. Both are very worthwhile places to see. Be prepared for a long bus ride from Taormina, through lovely countryside. The roads were good.The only negative was that our tour (though advertised as an English speaking tour) was also in Italian and German, so everything was explained in 3 languages.
This was a fantastic tour. It was long but the Valley of the Temples was very interesting and informative to see. After the Valley of the Temples, we stopped for a local lunch(at own expense) at a great restaurant. This provided the opportunity for every participant to order what they wanted and the food was fantastic! After lunch, we stopped at the Villa on the return. The floor mosaics were amazing. You must see them to believe it! I highly recommend this tour!
So a long, tedious journey with guide speaking English, German and Italian. By the time we'd registered the English was starting, we fell asleep and missed any info. Only reasonable way for us to get there though.
Got to see 3 of the temples -which were magnificent (and we've seen a few) - with a local guide who did her best to sound enthusiastic having clearly done the same old spiel time after time and day after day. But we spent most of the time queuing for entrance tickets! With quite a few coach loads of people going through security then trying to get tickets and not losing group members in baking sun, things got a bit tetchy! Couldn't a group ticket have been sorted?
Best photo was of how many people can shelter from scorching sun under an ancient olive tree ha ha.
Visit for lunch was good, we had plenty of time.
Then on to the Roman Villa. At this point it absolutely chucked it down. Longish walk to villa from coach in rain. Not actually long but we got very wet so felt long. Nearly didn't bother as we'd lost the will and just wanted coffee but glad we did. It was sensational. We've never seen so many magnificent mosaics, ( and we've seen a few) room after room!! Try to leave time for excellent coffee and hot chocolate in little cafe/booth near shops near coach park.
Tedious journey back but glad we went.
Long drive but well worth it. Valley of Temples were amazing and guide very informative. The mosaics in Villa Romana were breathtaking and far superior to any others I have seen. Both venues are must-sees when in Sicily. The tour was well organised, punctual and the guides very helpful. The only downside was the lunch which was really poor quality and value. Although this was optional there seemed to be no other choice. It would have been helpful if we had been given a menu and prices in advance or been given other options for lunch.
A long day but a very efficient way to see these two sites. Our guide was Alfredo, a lovely man with a sense of humor and full of information about what we visited. We had a local guide at Agrigento, also very knowledgeable. The lunch stop was not rushed and gave everyone a much needed respite from the extremely hot weather. The driver Angelo was terrific, especially coming to and from Taormina around the hairpin bends. All in all a very satisfying day.
We felt this trip was well worth the time and money. We boarded the coach at Taormina at 6.30am and then collected other people from various hotels. The journey was long but there was a stop for coffee and toilets on the way. The guide Santos was very informative and good at organising. The local guide who took us round the main temples was excellent, explaining the history of each temple.
We then stopped for lunch at a pre-arranged restaurant, where the food was good and the service quick.
The journey to the Villa Romana del Casale was a two hour drive away. This is because new roads are being built which currently disrupt the traffic but when completed should make the journey much quicker. We arrived at the villa around 4pm and by this time feeling quite weary at the thought of seeing another historical site, but what a surprise. The mosiacs are fantastic and so well preserved, giving an insight into how wealthy romans lived. There was no guide for this part of the tour but it was easy to find your way around.
Although this is a very long trip, both historical sights were well worth seeing and we would definately recommend this excursion.
It was a WASTE of a vacation day, I regret having that tour. it was a 45 guide Santos driver Caetano.
We were told to be at the bus station at 6:30, the bus arrived after 7:00, no explanations or appologies given. a woman was told that she could no drink coffee in the bus, not warnings before.
We picked up people in a lot of hotels and left Taormina until 8:00 am. We waited for a family for 15 minutes. We had bathroom stops for 47 people, and waited for the people who were not on time in the bathroom stops, and walks.
in the Valley of the temples, it was 1.5 hours, they had the tickets ready for us and we had a guide in English, Italian and German, but because we were late, we did not have time to visit the museum. it was hard to walk away from the group because the explanation of each temple was in a different order for each language.
We went to a 'captive' audience restaurant that adverstised pizza in the name of the restaurant but there was no pizza in the menu, everything was overpriced for the quality and it is hard to have bad quality food in Sicily.
in the Villa Romana we did not have a guide, after we arrived we had to make a line, 45 people to get tickets. we had 1 hour and 20 minutes including ticket purchase to see Villa Romana.
We got back to our hotel at 8:00 pm after delivering people in many hotels.
I recommend a smaller group tour. Santos gave longer explanations in Italian than in English or German. the Italian people loved him. the people who had us waiting for 15 minutes applauded at him for his patience. we had a 13.5 hours day and only 3 hours were watching sites. we had almost as much time seeing sights as delivering people, Get a tour where everybody is picked up in the same place, make the best use of your vacation time. and you can select your own restaurant or take your food.
Places visited were amazing. Villa Romana was a delight to see. The best example of roman mosaics ever seen. Guide was professional and local guide very knowledgably Temples Only. Really needed local guide at Villa Romana and more time as only had an hour there. Be prepared for a long trip. Day lasted 14 hours and we were travelling by coach for approximately 9 hours. But well worth it. We enjoyed our day.