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  • The salts-pans area in Nubia, Trapani
    The salt pan area in Nubia, Trapani
  • Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
    Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
  • A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
    The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
  • A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area
    Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area

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Palermo unusual shore excursions & daily trips


Shore excursions:
You will meet your local guide directly at the port, holding a sign with your name.
Pick-up and drop-off at port.

Daily trips:
You will meet your local guide at your hotel.
Pick-up and drop-off at the hotel.

 

 NO MAFIA: A TALE OF HOPE & FUTURE, full-day

Mafia’s involvement in the economic, political, and social life of the island is longstanding and deeply entrenched.

But the anti-mafia movement is alive and kicking in the island and since the 90s, when Sicilian judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino where dramatically assassinated with their escorts, the anti-mafia movement has radically increased among the population. Shopkeepers and small entrepreneurs have formed associations to oppose extortion and anti-mafia campaigners make efforts to spread the concept of working together and adopting the rule of law.
This excursions is our contribute to let travellers better understand Sicily and its people. It’s  a tale of hope and future to help travelers dejecting prejudice and increase their awareness towards all efforts local people every day face to eradicate this plague.
Our first stop along this tale is a winery. A unique winery born after the association named Libera managed to get the Italian parliament to permit its members to legally acquire properties that had been seized from the Mafia government and convert them into legitimate enterprises.
Most of these new legal enterprises are located in the heart of the Mafia reign in the island, the area around San Giuseppe Jato and Corleone where mafia lands are now devoted to modern agriculture by local cooperatives under the label of Libera Terra (Free land).
The Centopassi winery is the wine-growing and wine-producing soul of these cooperatives . Passion, commitment and expertise are values shared by the young people managing the organic vineyards from which high quality wines are produces. The brand Centopassi is ideally taken from the homonymous film I cento passi (One hundred steps, 2000) dedicated to Peppino Impastato the son of a Mafioso assassinated by the mafia in 1978 owing to his political fight and public exposure against mafia culture and activity.
We will then lead towards the Corleone, the famous and infamous mafia headquarter, hometown of Totò Reina, the boss of all bosses, arrested in 1993, charged by a host of murders including those of magistrates Falcone and Borsellino. Despite its history, Corleone is a controversial town.
Best known for Francis Ford Coppola’s classic Godfather trilogy, none of the scenes were filmed in Corleone.
You will meet no Mafiosi, although many mafia members still live in town. You will see no black dressed women, no stereotype of the typical Sicilian man. You will meet a bunch of young locals who are trying to reclaim Corleone for themselves and  free the town from its reputation. They will tell you the local history of organized crime and mostly the efforts of those who have fought it. You will learn Corleone was and still is a revolutionary town.  You will leave the town with a new vision  and eventually be able to share a tale of hope and future.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


THE CORLEONE EXPERIENCE, full-day

Francis Ford Coppola’s classic Godfather trilogy gave Corleone a worldwide fame, but none of the scenes were actually filmed in Corleone.

Sadly known for being the famous and infamous mafia headquarter, hometown of Totò Reina, the boss of all bosses, arrested in 1993, charged by a host of murders including those of magistrates Falcone and Borsellino,  Corleone is a controversial town.
You will meet no Mafiosi, although many mafia members still live in town. You will see no black dressed women, no stereotype of the typical Sicilian man.
You will meet a bunch of young locals who are trying to reclaim Corleone for themselves and  free the town from its reputation.
Gianluca  be your host during the cooking class at his famous restaurant in town that he manages with his family. Volcanic, forthright, and fun he will catapult you into Corleone everyday life, with absolutely no reservation. His true Sicilian verve made him a star at the famous Italian TV morning show “La prova del cuoco” where he gained a well-deserved second place among chefs coming from cooks representing all Italian regions. So, be ready to face your Corleonese cooking challenge, from typical antipasti to second dishes. And to wash your meal with a Corleonese quality wine.
Fabio, Francesca, Calogero are some of the young locals who have decided to turn their love and passion for Corleone into a professional challenge (and not to emigrate in search of a job and a new life): they will offer us a detailed account of the events that have characterized the history and the anti-mafia movement in Corleone, the secrets, the rituals, the hiding places, the murders, and the great men who have fought for justice.
You will leave Corleone with a new vision and eventually, be able to share a tale of hope and future.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


DISCOVERING CASTELBUONO & WINE TASTING AT PRESTIGIOUS LOCAL WINERY, full-day

 A fetching itinerary out of the mass route, along the Madonie park one of the principal mountain groups in Sicily and member of the UNESCO Global Network of National Geoparks. Our destination is the village of Castelbuono, the most important in the Madonie area, featuring a lovely setting amid ancient manna ash and chestnut forests. Once the town of the Ventimiglias, a powerful noble family who ruled it between the 14th and16th century and built the enormous Castle that gives the town its name and presents Arab-Norman and Swabian features: the cube shape recalls Arabic architecture; the square towers, although incorporated into those of the façade, reflect Norman architectural style, as also the battlements; and the round tower recalls aspects of Swabian architecture typical of the Hohenstaufen rule of southern Italy .

The structure is on three floors, the first floor for the servants, with the essential services, the second for the nobility, with the sumptuous Cappella Palatina, and the third for the court and for guests.
The Cappella Palatina (“Palace Chapel”) was decorated in 1683 by the brothers Giuseppe and Giacomo Serpotta, with a great profusion of precious marble, stuccowork, putti, and friezes that commemorate the most resplendent moments in the history of the Ventimiglia family.  Here is kept the holy relic of the skull of Saint Anne, in an urn that acts as the pedestal to the sculpted bust of Castelbuono’s patron saint.
A gorgeous 12th century abbey located 9 km from Castelbuono in the south direction of Cefalù will welcome you for a wine tasting and lunch.  Set among 300 hectares of vineyards, this abbey is now a prestigious award winning winery and a charming relais.

Book this excursion OR ask for a customized proposal info@isolabella.it


How to book & pay

RESERVATION & PAYMENT

Step 1:
Contact us by email info@isolabella.it to verify availability for the required excursion.
Please, specify: date, number of participants, at least one name of participants, special needs if any.
In case of shore excursion it is important to inform us about the arrival port and  the arrival and departure time of the cruise. This to verify if the excursion does suit your availability in terms of timing. If not, we will submit you a modified version of the itinerary you selected OR a different excursion.

Step 2:
Once the availability is verified, we will send you the confirmation of services together with a pro-forma invoice and way  of payment.
A deposit of 30% per person is required at the time of reservation to secure all services.
Final payment of the tour is due 60 days prior to departure.
You can by either by bank transfer, credit card (VISA and Mastercard only) or PayPal. Please, inform us which one you prefer.

Step 3:
When the final payment is received we will send the voucher and a travel news with final itinerary & program, name and contact info of guide, emergency numbers, etc…

CANCELLATION POLICY

Days Prior to Departure                     Cancellation Fees (per person)
60 or more days                                   30% of the Tour cost
59 – 45 days                                         50% of the Tour cost
44 – 15 days                                         70% of the Tour cost
14 – 7 days                                           90% of the Tour cost
7 – 0 days                                             100% of the Tour cost

Remark: owing to the continuous rise in cost for fuel and local taxes, all rates must be reconfirmed.

 

10 important things to know before booking

1. Our shore excursions are private and customized using a professional driver and a professional local guide. They will escort you all around according to the program.

2. Our staff is professional, experienced, competent, helpful, nice and provided with all license required by the Italian laws.

3. Our guides are fully licensed and allowed to enter the monuments and archaeological sites, as required by Italian Rules. We believe a local guide is very important for the success of the excursion: he/she will introduce you correctly to the site, tells you the history as well as anecdotes, deliver you the right feeling and unforgettable images of the trip.

4. In case you do not require a local guide, we will be happy to reduce the cost accordingly.

5. Our vehicles are deluxe ones:
2 to 3 people: Mercedes E, Audi 6, Mercedes Viano, all Air Conditioned or similar vehicles
4 to 8 people: Minivan Mercedes Sprinter maximum 8 seats, Air Conditioned or similar vehicles.

6. In case of shore excursions, upon arrival the port, you will find the guide holding a sign with your name.

7. Length: a Half Day excursion means maximum 5 hours from h 8:00AM to h 1:00PM. A Full Day excursion means maximum 8 hours from h 8:00AM to h 4:00PM

8. Admission fees are usually not included in our rates. Usually, admission fees are around Euros 8,00 per person payable directly on the spot. If you would like to include it in the excursion, we will be happy to add the cost accordingly and buy for you.
If you are over 65 or under 18 years old and you have EU or Commonwealth Passport, the admission fees are free of charge for you showing your document (or copy of your document) on the spot.

9. Meals are usually not inclusive in the price but, on request, we can suggest and book a good restaurant or a local trattoria for you and your family or friends. When included, meals are mentioned in “rate includes”.

10. We would be very grateful if you might considerer tipping (out of appreciation) based on the efficiency and service you receive. Gratuities in restaurants are never included in the bill. Please, remember that cover charge is not a tip. If paying with credit cards, please pay your tip separately in cash to the waiter and this should be around 10% of the total bill.

Last but not least:
When comparing our rates with our competitors’ ones please, take into consideration not only the price but the quality of the service: for a fair comparison all services (staff & vehicles) must be similar. Be sure about what type of vehicle you are going to have. We reserve no surprise! Luxury services are guaranteed! What is the difference between a “Licensed Tourist Guide” and a “Driver Escort and Driver Guide”. It is import you know:

- Driver Escorts are licensed chauffeurs able to drive you in the main Sicilian highlights providing basic tourist information. They are knowledgeable, they can introduce you to gastronomy, wineries, traditions, Sicilian legends, teaching you some phrases of Sicilian dialect but they are not licensed guide and cannot escort you into monuments or archaeological sites (they can be heavily fined for this).

- Driver Guides are licensed chauffeurs who are also licensed guides according to the Italian and Sicilian Laws about Tourism and tourist services. Please, distrust all who introduce themselves saying that a driver escort is the same of a driver guide because it is not so. We suggest you to ask for their license as official guides. If they do not provide you so, they are out of law.

- Licensed Tourist Guides are the only professionals (provided with a Regional license) permitted to conduct visits and tours in all sites and museums within a city. To become a Licensed Tourist Guide in Sicily candidates must pass an examination given by the local tourist authorities to assess and test their knowledge of the cisty in terms of its history and geography, its art and architecture, its museums and art galleries, churches, its environs and cultural feature. As part of the requirements, candidates must also prove their knowledge of each of the foreign languages they applied for with oral and written tests.

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