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What our clients enjoyed most about their destination

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We love to hear what our clients most appreciated about Sicily, Puglia, the Ionian Islands and the Sporades Islands. Below you can read hundreds of comments about our clients' favourite things and recommendations.

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Sicily
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What our clients enjoyed most about Sicily

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In 2009 readers of Condé Nast Traveller voted Sicily as their favourite destination and in 2012, their favourite island, citing its history, culture, hospitality, cuisine and wine... We find that our clients have much the same opinion! So don't take our word for it, see what they have to say and start planning your holiday to one of the top destinations in the world!

Find out more about Sicily from our on-line guide to Sicily >>


"We most enjoyed the villa with its views and location. Loved the fishing village and walking along the sea every morning and particularly enjoyed the fact that the village was not touristy and so authentic." Ms Ilene Trabolsi (stayed at Crossing the Rock, September - October 2016)

"The villa was breathtaking! My family enjoyed the uniqueness of the property and it's location to town. I enjoyed the friendly people, the wonderful fresh food, and the beautiful scenery." P.K (stayed at Il Gabbiano, September - October 2016)

"The villa was simply gorgeous, and the preparations that the owner had made for our arrival were most welcome. We love the cuisine, ambience, and depth of culture that can be experienced in Sicily." S.P (stayed at L'Olivastro, August - September 2016)

"Very friendly. Fantastic beaches and lots to discover." J.F (stayed at Baglio dei Carrubi, September 2016)

"Casa al Faro was absolutely stunning. It was a real oasis in the desert! The architecture of the villa, the gardens, the pool and the view was superb!" Ms Corrinne Hearn (stayed at Casa al Faro, August-September 2016)

"How mountainous it is and how lush and verdant it is. The Scenery is spectacular and very diverse." S.D (stayed at Casa Nuvola, August-September 2016)

"Driving from Cefalu to Castelbuono and up into the mountainous national parks is a beautiful way of seeing another side of Sicily and is a stark contrast to the more cosmopolitan coast. It worth doing so for the food alone." Anon (stayed at Il Gabbiano, August-September 2016)

"The villa far exceeded expectations; the setting was authentic; very little English was spoken by the restaurants which actually made it more fun; the whistles of the produce sellers each morning; the colourfulness of the people living and working all around us was a joy." P.D (stayed at Crossing the Rock, August 2016)

"We loved Sicily & felt very safe there. The people are wonderful & the Island is full of surprises. If you are a history buff or just like good food & wine you must visit. There is so much more of the Island to see that we all hope to be back soon." Paula Condon (stayed at Casa di Pietra, July 2016)

"The location was spectacular, the views were magnificent, the cooks, cleaning ladies, grounds keepers and help were so lovely and they made our trip, the Trip of a lifetime.. Without them our tip would have never been the same." Darian Boyle (stayed at Crossing The Rock, April-May 2016)

"Sicily was absolutely wonderful. Every meal we ate was better than the last. We were actually surprised by how much we liked Scicli, and it was nice to have the beach right nearby." Madeline Gressel (stayed at Le Corti di Cannamara, July 2016)

"We had a wonderful fortnight, which allowed us both to relax and revive. The tranquillity and privacy of the villa were the key ingredients in achieving this, not least the beauty of its rural setting, the wonderfully spacious swimming pool facilities and the comfortable veranda looking towards Calatafimi." A.M (stayed at Egesta, July 2016)

"The weather was stunning, the towns we visited were beautiful and there was lots of interest nearby. We found everyone very welcoming and friendly and everywhere was good value." Anon (stayed at Masseria d'Estia, July 2016)

"We loved the villa, it was just perfect! It was even better than described, everything we needed was provided and more! We loved that Cefalu was easily walk-able from the villa yet we were removed from the tourist center." Mr D.R (stayed at Il Gabbiano, April 2016)

"We most enjoyed relaxing in our villa with wonderful views and the peace and quiet it offered being so far away from other people. The countryside and small old towns were all beautiful, particularly Cefalu and Taormina." Mr James Tisato (stayed at Poggio Pigio, July 2016)

"All of it! It's a wonderful place, crammed with fascinating history, beautiful landscapes, stunning buildings, and delicious food and wine. Monreale is top of the list - one of the most stunningly beautiful buildings I've ever visited. Noto was also beautiful - the entire town was gorgeous - perfect for just strolling around." Mrs G.Y (stayed at Rosina, July 2016)

"Lovely villa, amazing setting. I would recommend it to anyone. The caretaker did a great job of showing us around, and the fresh fruit, ham, cheese etc waiting for us when we arrived was delicious!" Dr Elizabeth Fistein (stayed at La Riva, July 2016)

"The food, the views, and overall slower pace. The taste of Sicilian tomatoes!" Mrs J.C (stayed at Brezza di Mare, April 2016)

"View, beaches and food were all excellent." Mrs Julie Baker (stayed at La Pergola, July 2016)

"Everything! The food, the people, the property, the views." Anon (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, July 2016)

"Our stay at Posidonia was fabulous - our guests were astounded by the beauty of the islands and the villa provided a gorgeous backdrop for an unforgettable experience!" Mr Stellario D'Urso (stayed at Posidonia, July 2016)

"Around Noto, relatively unspoilt and not too touristy. Loved Ortygia. Peace and quiet. Fantastic fresh produce - good value good." Mrs D.B (stayed at Casa Vera, July 2016)

"Sicily was a fantastic place from start to finish with some many different things to see and do that I would recommend to everybody as an amazing holiday destination." Mr Johnathon Honey (stayed at Estiva and Casa dei Gabbiani, July 2016)

"We had the most incredible stay at Villa Saracena. The Villa, which is conveniently located to so much, is spectacular and could not be situated in a more beautiful spot. The views of Mt Etna were breath-taking." Anon (stayed at Villa Saracena, June 2016)

"Loved the dramatic scenery and moving between the hustle and bustle of the towns and beach resorts and the tranquillity and pools of both the properties that we rented." Mrs Helen Williams (stayed at La Pergola and Il Palmento dei Castagni, July 2016)

"The views were incredible and it felt like a home away from home for us and our young children (7, 5 & 2.5). Noto, Syracusa, Taormina and Cefalu were beautiful places and we'd highly recommend all of them." Mr Kieron Barton (stayed at La Pergola, July 2016)

"The villa was fantastic. All ratings as 'Excellent'. I would highly recommend the villa and The Thinking Traveller to others." Mr David Katz (stayed at Zeffiro, July 2016)

"The house was very beautiful and location unbeatable. Nestled in an olive grove overlooking the sea. Heaven. my family and I loved it. It's a wonderfully special home. My compliments to the owners, they have built and maintained a jewel. We felt very welcomed and comfortable." Mr Leonard Lombardi (stayed at Villa Principe di Lumia, June-July 2016)

"Superb villa in a tranquil setting - comfortable inside; spoilt for choice in terms of outdoor space, the pool and the direct access to the beach. The meals prepared for us by Stefania were outstanding." Mr Sam McAuliffe (stayed at Buzza Alta, July 2016)

"We loved the area we were in - so rural and quiet - it was blissful" Ms Gus Grima (stayed at Le Chicas, June 2016)

"There are no adequate superlatives to praise the villa and its staff. They were both simply amazing." Mrs Catherine Curry-Williams (stayed at Crossing Together, June 2016)

"The villa and surroundings views - fabulous!" Mr Russell Williams (stayed at Demetra, June 2016)

"The villa was beautiful, Charlotte was very helpful and it was great to have a point person that was easily accessible. The villa owner was very helpful as was the villa staff." Mrs Megan Toma (stayed at Ortensia, June-July 2016)

"We especially enjoyed the food and the experience at the villa with the private beach." Mrs Jennifer Kell (stayed at Marea, June-July 2016)

"The scenery, views and history are fantastic. Lots of wildlife. We were lucky enough to see a couple of Bonelli's Eagles. There's a lot to explore. The size of the island means that you can't do it all - we will be returning to explore the NE and parts of the SE in the future, and to climb Etna." Ms Charlotte Fay (stayed at Ballata, June-July 2016)

"The villa, the staff, the experience - everything was fantastic. I loved every minute. You exceeded my expectations on every level." Mrs Betty Del Bianco (stayed at Crossing Together, June 2016)

"Giara was the best self-catering accommodation we have ever stayed. Very stylish, very well equipped and spotlessly clean. Angel's eye for detail was spot on and her willingness to help in any way she could was very much appreciated." Ms Carolyn Godfrey (stayed at Giara, June 2016)

"The view of Etna was amazing as was the constant view of the ocean." Mrs Jill Reid (stayed at Villa Saracena, June 2016)

"This is a magnificent property. I am already reccommending it to others." Mrs Lizette Zlogar (stayed at Crossing Together, May-June 2016)

"We most enjoyed the villa, and the amazing food particularly the fresh fruit and veg, and the fish." Mrs Victoria Kensington (stayed at Masseria d'Estia, May-June 2016)

"Really enjoyed the villa - perfect for our group." Ms Maureen Welch (stayed at Casa Nuvola, May 2016)

"A wonderful apartment with stunning views and well equipped, felt very much at home." Mr John Stainton (stayed at Brezza di Mare, May 2016)

"It was brilliant, and we didn't want to come home. We did a fair amount of travelling in the week, but Priscilla was such an amazing place to be we wished we had more time just to stay there." Mr Stephen Bell (stayed at Pricilla, May-June 2016)

"Our trip to Sicily was amazing & part of that incredible experience was our stay @ Principato. The views of the hills & valleys were spectacular & being in the Madonie Mts. allowed us to visit many of the surrounding hill towns. The house was perfect for our reunion of old friends. Our group of 10 included seven opinionated architects- who were all impressed with the villa." Mr Timothy Hartung (stayed at Principato, May-June 2016)

"As with everyone who has visited Sicily we were enchanted - an island rich in history and culture and blessed with lovely weather, food and wine." Mrs Caron Loud (stayed at L'Olivastro, May-June 2016)

"We enjoyed the villa, its decor and location and everything about it."Mrs Julie Sibraa (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, May 2016)

"Just having the space to be with family - all together in the same house. We love the villa concept."Mrs Valerie Milazzo (stayed at Oliva, May 2016)

"We had a wonderful stay at Gioi. The villa, pool, and surroundings were fabulous. Lucky was very helpful and the cook service was great. The climate was perfect at the end of May. The lemon groves surrounding the villa were full of fruit and looked beautiful. The baroque architecture of the nearby towns was fabulous."Mrs Pauline English (stayed at Gioi, May 2016)

"Loved the variety and beauty, the seas, the mountains, the medieval cities, the ancient ruins, the vineyards and rolling farm lands. The people were delightful and always helpful, the food very good and inexpensive for us.  Lovely villas, each having their particular charms. We could explore the surrounding areas and come back to a lovely setting. It was a very good vacation. We were enchanted with Sicily's beauty and diversity. A very good vacation" Mrs Jacki Brownstein (stayed at Camelia and Al Profondo Blu, May 2016)

"So beautiful! The seafood, the wine, the rolling hills, the clear blue water... it was heaven. We had a wonderful time at Cinnamon and would highly recommend the villa. From the moment we arrived and were greeted by the owners and bowls teaming with fresh fruit, cheese and produce we felt like we were in paradise. The villa is close enough to restaurants and shopping, but feels like a million miles away. Walking on our "private" beach every morning was the perfect way to start the day and, Barbara, our contact in Sicily was extremely helpful and nice." Ms Elyse Chambers (stayed at Cinnamon, May 2016)

"It exceeded all of our expectations. Although all of the pictures of the villa were beautiful, the property in person was almost overwhelming." Mrs Eileen Stitz (stayed at Crossing the Rock, May 2016)

"Loved our location. Loved the markets, shopping , beaches outside of the city. and had a few nice meals" Mrs Penny Lang (stayed at Ortigia, May 2016)

"Hard to imagine a better equipped or more delightful rental property. Too many good things to single out one or two showstoppers but we were delightfully surprised by the quality of the food and generosity and warmth of the locals." Mr Jon Cohen (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, May 2016)

"The Villa is simply outstanding, we did not expect to see such a place in Europe. It is very modern in a style that we really like. We would recommend the Villa for 2 to 4 People." Mr Stefan Eder (stayed at Gli Ulivi and at San Marco, May 2016)

"Meeting Benedetto and Dorota as we arrived was so special and it felt like we were "coming home"- This trip to Sicily was a dream come true for me and my family to share together as we celebrated my maternal ancestry roots.. Estiva exceeded all my dreams..." Mrs Mary Cooney (stayed at Estiva, May 2016)

"Fantastic retreat, completely quiet and restful. Highly recommend Cinnamon for a couple or family of three, or two smaller children, wishing to get away for a week or two weeks. The beach is spectacular and a five minute walk, the home, cosy and comfortable, with a lot of outdoor space. A sheep farm near for fresh sheep or goat milk, Ricotta, and more! Beautiful." Mr Alex Sokol (stayed at Cinnamon, May 2016)

"We loved the atmosphere in Ortigia and being able to wander out of the apartment through narrow streets into the beautiful main square. Wandering round the perimeter of Ortigia by the sea in the evening was delightful and the morning food market with fabulous lunch at Fratelli Burgio was great. The archeological park in Siracusa was atmospheric and fascinating. Other highlights were the day visiting Etna and a swim in the lovely bay at Vendicari. Also fantastic sunny weather." Mrs Alison Montague-Jones (stayed at Archimede, April 2016)

"We had such a wonderful holiday, what a beautiful location." Mrs Kay Smith (stayed at Il Gabbiano, April 2016)

"Everything was perfect! Jon and the staff went above and beyond for anything we needed or requested. The food was exceptional. The rooms so comfortable and beautifully furnished. The grounds were exquisite. We are so thankful for every person who made our stay so memorable! It was the most beautiful and wonderful vacation we've ever had! Our family has not stopped talking about how perfect every detail was. The staff and villa were incredible!" Ms Jessisca Ruggles (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, March 2016)

"Sicily was much bigger than I thought it would be. The information that the local rep gave us was most helpful and we visited quite a few gems. The food in Sicily is amazing especially the seafood." Mr Tom McVeigh  (stayed at Casa di Pietra, April 2016)

"Beautiful scenery. We loved the mountain topped mediaeval towns and exploring Cefalu. The beach at Cefalu was clean and sandy and we had a lovely walk up La Roca . The ice cream was great!! At this time of year apart from Easter Sunday it was not too busy and away from the coast the roads were not busy." Ms Jane Myers (stayed at Casa Nuvola, April 2016)

"Wonderful views, clear blue sea, unspoilt villages and very friendly locals. Easy driving on good roads. Ortygia - extraordinary Baroque cathedral incorporating columns of original Greek Temple of Athena. Scale and simplicity of Doric columns is truly impressive. Noto - Trattoria Al Crocifisso da Baglieri - excellent-worthy of a Michelin star. Particularly enjoyed sitting on our terrace admiring the view of Mount Etna, having long lunches, swimming in the sea and then getting into the hot jacuzzi." Mrs Mel Houldsworth (stayed at Azzurra, April 2016)

"We love coming to Sicily. Everything during our stay at Funcia has been great: location, quality of the villa, private beach, fantastic views. And what a great welcome by the owners." Mrs Milana Tolins (stayed at Funcia, October  2015)

"The house was the star. Fabulous, relaxing away-from-it-all setting. So we didn't make as many forays out as we would otherwise have done because it was too tempting to stay and enjoy the house and grounds." Ms Denise Bates (stayed at Acquamarina, October 2015)

"The owner, Benedetto and his manager couldn't have been more accommodating or helpful. The property was stylish, luxurious and immaculately kept. The view from the villa was breathtaking, like something from a Bond film. No photos could do it justice. Also, the driving distances were much shorter than expected. Syracuse and Noto are unmissable and much closer to the villa than expected. I Rizzari restaurant in Brucoli was by far the best restaurant we visited in the area - in fact, it's so good that there's little point venturing further afield to eat out. Mauro Vini in Augusta is the only shop a serious wine lover needs." Mr Mark Jefferson (stayed at Estiva, October-November 2015)

"As always Olmo does not disappoint. We love it there, and we love the owners & staff!" Miss Erica Anchisi (stayed at Don Arcangelo all'Olmo, October 2015)

"We had a fabulous vacation and the villa was so warm and spacious with fabulous views. So much nicer than staying in a hotel!" Dr Daniel Esposito (stayed at La Pergola, September 2015)

"Loved Cefalu - beautiful setting, lovely sandy beach, many fine restaurants and shops. We spent most of the time exploring and enjoying the town since we were only there for one week. We did venture to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento - well worth it despite the long journey." Ms Denise Wilson (stayed at Brezza di Mare, October 2015)

"We had a great holiday! It was a large family trip and Casa Alma provided us the opportunity to go on a variety of day trips. We all had enough room and space to do our own thing. The pool was beautiful. It was a great trip." Mrs Cole Atlin (stayed at Casa Alma, October 2015)

"The beautiful view from the beautiful villa! Cefalu has an excellent beach and the best ice cream we had all holiday outside the Duomo. Highly recommended!" Mrs Victoria Simpson (stayed at Conca d'Oro, October 2015)

"The villa was spectacular--an architectural jewel overlooking the Ionian and Mt. Etna. Beautiful gardens full of indigenous plants and flowers and orchards overflowing with olives, citrus fruits. How could it be better? Small baroque towns were lovely." Ms Gemma Zecchini (stayed at Camelia, October 2015)

"Everything! Beautiful area. The history and architecture was amazing. The beaches were beautiful, even this time of year. Any of the temples are must-sees. We really enjoyed a wine tour in Marsala. Erice was a highlight." Ms Tara Scichilone (stayed at Le Chicas, October 2015)

"The natural beauty- I was not expecting how picturesque and stunning the landscapes and views would be in person. Calamosche beach at Vendicari- a bit of a hike but beautiful the whole way and worth it for the gorgeous sandy beach at the end. Tischi Toschi was a great restaurant in Taormina- delicious authentic cuisine at reasonable prices and very friendly personal service." Ms Erin Langdon (stayed at Archimede, October 2015)

"Loved it! My entire group loved it! The people were so friendly. Loved the villa and the area. Syracusa was amazing! Loved the archaeological tour! Allessandra Cilio, our guide was amazing!!! Daniela was also amazing!" Miss Kathleen Sopp (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, September-October 2015)

"The villa was in an idyllic location. Much time was spent sitting on the veranda looking at the sea. The local produce, especially the fish was of an incredibly high standard. Everything lived up to our high expectations. The holiday was wonderful. The food, the weather, the people....All was excellent." Mrs Jayne Clayton (stayed at Cinnamon, September 2015)

"We love Sicily. This was our third visit there. We love Segesta and Monreale and Palermo (we made repeat visits). The Greek and Roman ruins and the agricultural activity are very interesting to us." Mr William Brown (stayed at Egesta, September-October 2015)

"INDESCRIBABLE The owners go the extra mile to make sure everything is the BEST it can be The food OUT OF THIS WORLD the most delicious ever The staff are kind and helpful The welcome we received with champagne and aperitifs such a delight." Mrs Mary Miller (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, September-October 2015)

"Loved it. The small touches an the care taken by the owner shine through. The very generous and thoughtful welcome pack make a huge impact and difference." Mr David Webster (stayed at Cinnamon, September 2015)

"It was the most well equipped villa I have stayed in. Lucky (the caretaker) was also very helpful when we needed any help." Mr Robert Dunlop (stayed at Gioi, October 2015)

"We loved it! Brezza di Mare and Cefalu were both beautiful and totally exceeded our expectations. It was the perfect week of rest and relaxation which is why we booked the trip." Mrs Claire Butcher (stayed at Brezza di Mare, October 2015)

"The property is just stunning. As well as being in the most beautiful surroundings, the interior is first class. We were bowled over by the welcome we received from Massimo. We could not have asked for a more perfect place to stay." Mr Tony Mellor (stayed at La Pergola, October 2015)

"How green the Island is! and what a beautiful country. The house was fantastic and so was the food and wine. it is not often that things are better than expected but this was the case with our first visit to Sicily."  Mr Peter Eriksson (stayed at Villa Principe di Lumia, September-October 2015)

"The gardens at our villa were incredible. We enjoyed having different seating areas, all of which were beautiful, including the ones by the pool and under the arbor."  Ms Susan Villani (stayed at Casale Castelluzzo, September 2015)

"In a word, outstanding! While at first the location seemed in the middle of nowhere we soon realised it was perfectly located to visit Modica, Ragusa, Scicli and the beach. The property was stunning and immaculate. But most of all the hospitality and generosity of Marika was fantastic, from the excellent 'welcome pack' of food and staples to the wonderful (and huge) in villa cook which kept us fed for another 2 days! I cannot express enough how much we loved our week at Casa di Pietra and we would love to return (although your villas in Puglia are enticing!)"  Mrs Sarah Downie (stayed at Casa di Pietra, September 2015)

"We spent a wonderfull time in the area,we enjoyed the large garden,the astonishing seaviews,we also visited La Madonia,the little villages are more than intresting."  Dr Anneliese Friedl-Herzog (stayed at Nettuno, September 2015)

"Lovely hilltop villages? Good food and wine. Lecce, Locorotondo, Ostuni, Monopoli and Natera. The villa was outstanding." Ms Kathy Loscalzo (stayed at Trullo Gaura, September 2015)

"Modica (Aqua et Farina pizza restaurant), Palermo, Noto, Ragusa. Gorgeous. Wishes we could have stayed longer." Dr Fiona Reilly (stayed at La Limonaia, September 2015)

"We would best describe our stay at Masseria Costanza as two weeks in paradise. Everything about this villa is exceptional. The property, grounds and surrounding area are truly exceptional. The staff is attentive, friendly and hard-working. They go out of their way to make you feel at home and well-cared for. The beaches were impeccable and breath-takingly picturesque. The location of the villa the top of a hill overlooking a nature reserve guarantees a level of privacy that is difficult to match. All in all, this will be a hard trip to beat in future." Mr Richard Frey (stayed at Masseria Costanza, September 2015)

"We enjoyed the villa the most, although the surrounding areas were all very interesting and the sea and beaches were excellent too. Modica, Ragusa and Scicli were close by and all worth visiting. It was truly an excellent holiday. we thought the "Couples offer" was an excellent idea and gave us the opportunity to stay in a property that we would normally have had to share with friends/family." Mr James Sherry (stayed at Casa di Pietra, September 2015)

"The villa was magical. Absolutely loved it. Maria and Mimo delightful. We were very, very pleased." Mr Graham Townsley (stayed at Masseria Moscala, September 2015)

"The beautiful cities of Noto,Ragusa Ibla and Syracusa(Ortigia) Lovely beach at Calamosche Interesting fishing port at Marzamemi with lots of great restaurants in the piazza and overlooking the sea our favourite Spizzulu just off Piazza Regina Margharita family run great home cooked food try to get a table on the terrace overlooking the sea Also enjoyed wine tasting and bought some delicious red dessert wine at the family run Paterno winery signed to the left from the main road back to Noto not long after the Marzememi junction. We love Sicily and its amazing history." Dr Judith Johnson (stayed at Gioi, September 2015)

"Everything was great. Restaurant Maremonti, which is close by was excellent..good food charming space." Mr Frank Prest (stayed at Il Cappero, September 2015)

"Villa was just lovely. The views to die for. It is beautifully furnished and the kitchen is well equipped. It is spotlessly clean and well taken care of. We liked Capo d'Orlando and San Gregorio-very good seaside restaurants and beaches for lunches and a swim. We had a wonderful time." Mrs Mary Jane Dutton (stayed at Gli Ulivi, September 2015)

"The combination of a fascinating history, interesting archaeological sights, lovely beaches & a great climate. We all loved the ambience La Favorita, the swimming pool & the owners great contribution in ensuring we had a wonderful stress free holiday." Mrs Patricia Allen (stayed at La Favorita, August 2015)

"Weather, food and peace and quiet out of season. Towns: sciacca old town, sciacca port, Restaurants: da vittorio, cantine da Gregorio, Porto San paulo." Mr Neil Lloyd (stayed at San Marco, September 2015)

"This was our second time in Sicily. We love the food and the atmosphere. We recommend visiting Taormina with wonderful shops and restaurants on the Corso Umberto and Capo D'Orlando was a wonderful town with great beaches." Mr Ernest Willis (stayed at Infinito, September 2015)

"Tindari Taormina Syracuse Noto Scicli. We loved Sicily the climate the food the wine the people the architecture particularly in the south east and the beaches." Mr Michael Stevens (stayed at Gli Ulivi, August-September 2015)

"1 - Visit to Etna's summit 2 - Pistachio granita at Bam Bar in Taormina 3 - Swimming in the Med at San Marco beach. We didn't realise that Sicily was so mountainous!" Mrs Babette Standen (stayed at Pietra Nera, August 2015)

"The medieval town of Erice and the beach at Castellemmane. The scenery was superb." Mr Steve Howard (stayed at La Fenice, September 2015)

"The views of Etna and the views from our villa to the Aeolian Islands. We could even see Stromboli!!" Mrs Karen Simpson (stayed at Infinito, September 2015)

"The baroque towns, the beach, the restaurants Staying around the villa and being in the garden. Ragusa, Scicli, Noto The beach nearest the house was great." Mrs Jessica Fletcher (stayed at Villa Farli, September 2015)

"Mount Etna, beach at Cefalu with the backdrop of the medieval village Villa Roma del Casale which I had read and researched was lovely. The ceramics of Caltagirone and the restaurant A'Decanter in this town. The villa above the water was lovely. We hired a car and loved the views and changes in agriculture from none to lush areas." Ms Cathryn Beesey (stayed at Brezza di Mare, September 2015)

"Wonderful climate, beautiful surroundings, Italian food and wine, the fact that only seasonal food is available. Well we left saying that we will seriously consider a return visit next year - but for a fortnight! A quiet villa with spectacular panaromic views but a few minutes from good beach and added bonus of the beach bars - we started most evenings down there with a prosecco." Mrs Juliet Glass (stayed at San Marco, September 2015)

"Da Vittorio, Planeta beach club, La Pineta. the beach at the bottom of the garden is absolutely wonderful and could rival almost any in the world." Mr Barry Cook (stayed at Casa Agave, September 2015)

"We loved the sites and sights. The whole island was a joy and we thought that changing sides of the island mid way was a good way to see more of the island."Mrs Martha Bernstein (stayed at Zeffiro and Infinito, August-September 2015)

"The villa, wine, and food was the top things. The winery visits set up by TTT were a highlight too. Noto was fabulous. There was a little fishing town that the driver took us to (Marza-something) was incredible." Mr Keith Spiller (stayed at Le Casa dei Gabbiani, September 2015)

"We know and love Sicily. This was our first visit to the South East and it exceeded our expectations. Wild and unspoilt amazing architecture." Mrs Kay Summerfield (stayed at Le Corti di Cannamara, September 2015)

"We enjoyed our stay at Camilla in August 2015. The villa is very comfortable and clean. It is tastfully designed to make you feel like at home! Giulia, the host wellcomed us on the first day and gave us detailed instructions about the villa and places around. Location is great, very close to Taormina and Etna. I highly recomend this villa for family vacation or just romantic stay! Visiting Etna was the most exiting experience!" Miss Nataliya Bershova (stayed at Camelia, August 2015)

"The villa was lovely. The area was very quiet which was just what we wanted." Ms Vivienne Ezzat (stayed at Ballata, August 2015)

"The regular known places and Siracusa. It was a wonderful day and not too far." Mrs Stephanie Ackerstein (stayed at Don Arcangelo all'Olmo, August 2015)

"Valley of the temples, Marzamemi Sicily, town of Noto."Mr Chris Gibbin (stayed at I Lentischi and Casa Alma, August 2015)

"We loved the villa. It was so comfortable, and felt as though we had stepped into the home of an elegant and cultured family. We enjoyed everything! The food was delicious. The historical sites so interesting and on the whole well presented, the people friendly - and no English tourists. Sciacca was simple but authentic, Cefalu has an amazing cathedral, Palermo is busy but great fun." Mrs Vanessa Macmahon (stayed at Villa Principe di Lumia, August 2015)

"Friendliness of the people, high standard of the food at reasonable prices and liveliness. Cefalu, Agrigento, coastal road for cycle rides." Mr Aidan Quinn (stayed at Oriente, August 2015)

"Vittorio's restaurant. Fish market in Trapani." Mrs Karen Murray (stayed at Acquamarina, August-September 2015)

"Everything. Beautiful comfortable villa, fabulous local towns (Noto) with wonderful restaurants, beaches with or without lidos, Enrico's boat trip was the perfect style for the dedicated Thinking Traveller devotee. Excellent support from Charlotte Smith for all queries. First class." Ms Frances Holliday (stayed at Clementina, August-September 2015)

"The remoteness and tranquility of the villa. Erice was pretty and our lunch at Caffe Maria there was excellent." Miss Dawn Henderson (stayed at Ballata, August-September 2015)

"The diversity of the various villages was impressive. Great food and local products. Very impressed with the local wines, particularly the whites." Mr Alfonso Delgado (stayed at Trullo Rosmarino, August-September 2015)

"The quality of the restaurants in Brucoli, the friendliness of the Sicilians locally, the food and the wine." Mr Simon Allen (stayed at Azzurra, August-September 2015)

"Soaking up the local street culture and watching hte world go by. We loved this property and all it had to offer. The quality of accommodation, location, and attention to detail enabled a wonderful two weeks of relaxation." Mrs Sarah Benamer (stayed at Il Gabbiano, August-September 2015)

"The warmth of the people and the beauty of the island, whether by the sea or inland. The town of Noto and the nearby beach at San Lorenzo. My family absolutely loved this villa.... the view, the setting and the quality of the home. All staff were wonderful." Mrs Deborah Van Nest (stayed at Gli Ulivi, August 2015)

"Well, we love Sicily and have been there many times. For me the Greek temples are the most outstanding sites. However, the Normanic cathedrals as well as the baroque south eas is (almost) equally exciting. you always find things why you have to come back..." Dr Cara Schwarz-Schilling (stayed at L'Eclisse, August 2015)

"Selenunte, Sciacca, da Vitoria, planeta beach." Miss Tejshree Dave (stayed at Casa Alma, August 2015)

"Le Naumanchie in Taormina. Really welcoming to us with children, and the food was fantastic." Dr Angela Tweedie (stayed at La Riva, August 2015)

"We loved the morning market in Ortigya and had fun shopping and cooking at the villa. Also Il Borgio was amazing. We had lunch there one day and also purchased lots of tomato sauce and other food there. We hope to explore Ragusa and Noto on a future trip. Thank you for an unforgettable vacation." Mrs Akemi Kawano (stayed at Villa San Tommaso, August 2015)

"Noto was stunning - really great pizzeria recommendation for dinner from Charlotte!" Mrs Louise Knight (stayed at Casa al Faro, August 2015)

"The topography, particularly the Madonie mountains, the hill-top villages and the variety of settlements. Atelier Museo beach-side restaurant in Castel di Tusa was excellent." Mr Gavin Hewitt (stayed at Poggio Pigio, August 2015)

"We loved the villa. It was beautiful, nicely finished and had a lively pool." Mrs Kathleen Galbraith (stayed at Oliva, August 2015)

"Everything! The history, the people, the food... Agrigento, Siracusa and Noto were spectacular. Restaurants on the water in Marzimemi." Ms Andrea Schreiber (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, August 2015)

"All the towns were fantastic - especially Ortiga." Mrs Lisa Dunckley (stayed at L'Eclisse, August 2015)

"Recommend the restaurant in Piazza Duomo in Syracuse - Fox and Grapes." Mrs Lynne Walkington (stayed at Priscilla, August 2015)

"Monreale, the beaches, Bye Bye Blues, the food, the scenery! The villa was perfect for us, with ages ranging from 1 to 52, it was the perfect base." Mr Peter Spivack (stayed at Minerva, August 2015)

"Taormina, Siracusa, Etna (helicopter tour)" Mr Vladimir Kramarenko (stayed at Estiva, July-August 2015)

"The highly distinctive decor and architecture was one of the things that attracted us in the first place, and we weren't disappointed. It's a quality property with a great deal of character. Morgantina is an exceptional historical site, in some ways better than Pompeii. The agriturismo restaurant in Bannata was fantastic: extremely fresh flavours and imaginative cuisine in an unusual setting with ultra-friendly service; and Al Fogher very good too if you have the budget. We spent our last 36 hours in central Catania, which was significantly more charming and we'd been led to expect." Mr Paul Marston (stayed at Villa Armerina, August 2015)

"Sampiery beach is fantastic, close, not too long a walk and clean as well as big." Ms Julia Farrell (stayed at Baglio dei Carrubi, August 2015)

"Sicily was great - we loved the landscape, culture and variety. We found people friendly." Mr Mark Danton (stayed at Respiro, August 2015)

"Taormina ; Etnaland great for kids ; amphitheatre in Taormina." Mr Edward Grant (stayed at La Pergola, August 2015)

"Once again, a fantastic villa, and amazing experience. We return after 2 weeks feeling like we had one month holiday, which is pretty rare to achieve. The villa strikes the right balance between simplicity and modernity. It embraces its connection to nature and yet everything is there to ensure you are still connected to reality and modern life if you need to be" Miss CV (stayed at Egesta, August 2015)

"Petralia Soprana and Sotana, Gangi, Monreale. We most enjoyed the seaside, but we also loved the multitude of unspoiled historic villages. We were surprised by how mountainous it was and loved the views and feeling of space this gave." Mrs Jennifer Jones (stayed at Principato, August 2015)

"Avola beach, Mount Etna, Siracusa's archaeological area, including catacombs and amphitheatres. There is a great variety of activities and sites to visit. We were able to do all of the things we had planned, including walking on Etna, visiting ancient sites and baroque towns, spending time on beautiful sandy beaches, eating out in authentic Sicilian restaurants, close to the villa." Mrs Cathy Spencer (stayed at Ortigia, August 2015)

"Modica was breathtaking. The steep steps, the ancient feel and the beautiful restaurants and bars and pasticcerias. The beaches at Pozallo and Sampieri were beautiful. La Grotta in Scicli and the forgotten taste restaurant in Modica was lovely. All the pizza restaurants in Modica were wonderful." Mrs Nina Hammond (stayed at Casa di Pietra, July-August 2015)

"We enjoyed Castelbuono very much; the horse riding which was recommended in the information was very good value, and pleasant, friendly owner (Alex on the way to Castelbuono). The local "agriturismo" restaurants were wonderful, Manna di Zabbro and the Margherita family run restaurant were amazing." Dr Gillian Atkinson (stayed at Cecilia, July-August 2015)

"Modica is one of the most incredible towns I've ever visited. The villa was excellent. All the facilities and rooms were well laid out and beautifully designed. The grounds and view were stunning as well. The cook/maid - Antonella was first rate - She was both helpful, discreet and engaging without ever being imposing." Mr Joel Black (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, August 2015)

"Noto is definitely worth a visit. Gorgeous architecture, beautiful views from town, great restaurants. Really nice feel to it. San Tommaso was everything we expected. A delightful villa with no comfort overlooked. Asitha, the housekeeper, was incredibly helpful." Mr Neil Cresswell (stayed at Villa San Tommaso, August 2015)

"We have been to Sicily many times. Rather than staying in a hotel, renting through you gave us flexibility and space. Ortigia is an absolute gem. Ragusa, Modica and Noto are in easy traveling distance and are well worth a visit. The beach at Isola Delle Correnti is one of the most attractive beaches in the area. We had some great meals at the Le Vin de L'assassin Bistrot - they have a lovely old dog as well. Gut Neo Bistrot is close to the house and have some fab seafoood. Also delicious food at Taverna Sveva. Would also highly recommend walking/hiking the area around Pantalica - gorgeous views and great historic interest." Mrs Trond Jensen (stayed at Ortigia, July-August 2015)

"Eclectic and diverse. Very different areas. Lovely people. Lovely food" Ms Marianne Elliott (stayed at Gli Ulivi, August 2015) 

"Etna and Ballaro and oratorio Santa Citta. Loved Ballaro market in Palermo; loved visiting Etna; loved pistachio gelato in brioche." Dr Jane Lim (stayed at L'Eclisse, August 2015) 

"An amazing villa, well laid out and perfect for a large group. The scenery was amazing. The food obviously was great, but overall just a beautiful place. The Cefalu Cathedral, Mount Etna, Tiberio Gorge, Pollina. Overall an amazing trip, made better by the quality of the villa and its location." Mrs Hana Marzban (stayed at Casa Nuvola, August 2015) 

"The wonderful views, the villages and the food! Cefalù and its restaurant Captain's. Capo D'Orlando Carusi." Mrs Karine Trak (stayed at Gli Ulivi, July-August 2015) 

"The tour of Mount Etna was very enjoyable; the beaches close to the villa were unspoilt and relaxing. The restaurants we visited that were recommended in the information pack and by Barbara were very good." Mrs Hilary Birt (stayed at Oliva, August 2015)

"Loved our villa, loved the food and wine. I was surprised at all the wine selections and how reasonably priced they were. Loved the winery we visited." Mrs Alicia Piazza (stayed at Oliva, July 2015)

"Valley of the Temples is a must visit. The best restaurant in the area that we visited was Badalamenti Cucina e Bottega." Mrs Victoria Miller (stayed at Lillì, August 2015)

"Lunch at trattoria la Scala grande, was awesome, just let the waiter do all the ordering. Seafood lover heaven. Must go up to Mt Etna, have a almond granita and brioche at the Blanca Bar in Aci Castello, we had trouble finding one as fantastic at the one they served there. Visit Syracuse and Taormina. But mostly enjoy the villa." Mrs Paula Lagos (stayed at La Limonaia, August 2015)

"Saint Stephano and Colessano for ceramics.The beach/lido at Lascarri (where we'd been before) Kentia restaurant in Cefalù. Fabrizio,the cook at the villa was superb." Mrs Cecilia Bishop (stayed at Casa Romito, July-August 2015)

"The villa was so beautiful. So much space and the interior and exterior so beautifully furnished. I was not surprised to hear the owner was an interior designer. We had such a wonderful time in the villa and at the beach." Mrs Nadine Abell (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, July-August 2015) 

"We loved the ruins in Siracusa and found Ortigia to be beautiful. We would thoroughly recommend a boat trip around the harbour" Mr David Wallace (stayed at Casa al Faro, August 2015) 

"Visiting the hilltop towns. Experiencing the local restaurants and local culture. The addition of Barbara as our reference was extremely valuable." Ms Kathryn Lake (stayed at Le Sorbe, July-August 2015) 

"We really enjoyed visiting Scili, Modica and Ragusa. We enjoyed the differences between the very old and the modern. Loved the flowers and the landscapes. In Scili we ate in excellent restaurants recommended by the hotel owner. We ate in a restaurant in Brucoli that was very good recommended by yourselves. I must say we had your cooks on the 3 nights Rosella and Therasa - They were excellent congratulations to them." Mrs Carole Proudfoot (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, August 2015) 

"Ortigia and Ragusa. We loved the country, the people and the food." Mrs Mo Lancaster (stayed at Villa Farli, August 2015) 

"Generally scenery and people and food...always delightful! Obviously Cefalù." Mr James Noble (stayed at Casa Nuvola, July-August 2015) 

"Selinunte, Agrigento, Palazzo Adriana where Cinema Paradiso was filmed and some caves in a hill top which the Greeks excavated and lived in were a real find, derelict down a tiny agricultural track and the scenery was so romantic and we picked fresh figs. You couldn't see another villa which was amazing." Mrs Lucilla Lunn (stayed at Cinnamon, August 2015) 

"This is a small property but perfect for a short stay for 1 couple + one or two kids. Noto and Ortigia are a must and interesting to visit both by night and by day." Mr Raphael Ortega (stayed at Marea, August 2015) 

"Absolutely excellent. The property is outstanding and the owner was wonderful! She was so caring and professional. The best!" Ms Jodi Markoff (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, August 2015) 

"Capo D'Orlando the town down hill from villa was lovely. Good beaches, food and Delicious Cafe rated best Granitas in Sicily. Local San Gregorio beach was delightful. Iso Bello beach near Taormina was beautiful. Would recommend a trip to Mt. Etna - we drove to the cable car and then guided 4x4 bus trip at top. Taormina and Cefalù were nice." Mr Andrew Linklater (stayed at Gli Ulivi, August 2015) 

"We had a wonderful time, place was amazing (top marks for design and decor), cuisine was excellent, staff very accommodating, helpful and pleasant to have around!" Mrs Clarissa Gasan (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, August 2015) 

"We were happy to relax and enjoy Cefalù, the restaurants recommended were excellent. Cefalù was a delightful town, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay." Mrs Judith Mitchell (stayed at Brezza di Mare, July 2015) 

"House matches the expectations and sea access beautiful. Enjoyed the private access to the sea very much." Mrs Sophie Chemello (stayed at La Fenice, July-August 2015)

"We enjoyed the total seclusion, relaxation and fantastic views in every direction. We loved Poggio Pigio - it is a slice of Sicilian paradise!" Ms Anna Laney (stayed at Poggio Pigio, July 2015)

"Our vacation was lovely, we had 5 incredible vacations with The Thinking Traveller. We are very fond of Noto and its surroundings, being in these beautiful houses makes it all amazing." Mrs Simona Stevens (stayed at I Lentischi, July-August 2015)

"The villa was great...Loved Sicily, love Taormina and Syracusa." Ms Michele Weil (stayed at Casa alla Scala, July 2015)

"All in all - it was wonderful. Was even better than expected." Mrs Plaxy Locatelli (stayed at Al Profondo Blu and Zeffiro, July-August 2015)

"Excellent accommodation that met all our expectations." Mr Earl Williams (stayed at Oriente, July 2015)

"Sicily was even more beautiful than what we expected. People were really welcoming and weather was lovely and warm. It was such a cute detail when we arrived that Livia told us that the olive oil in the kitchen had been compressed from their own olives. Neighbour's sheep had bells and some people might not like their noise, we found it quite relaxing and didn't mind but we come from rural area so we are used to all sort of noises of animals. The house had a kind of very unusual atmosphere in int. It was very relaxing and we felt at home straight away. We certainly had such a good experience this time that we will definitely check your website first!" Mrs Outi Seppa (stayed at Casale Castelluzzo, July 2015)

"We're addicted to Sicily but what really struck me this time was the landscape and seascape." Mrs Camilla Mira (stayed at Cinnamon, June 2015)

"La Limonaia is undoubtedly a beautiful villa with fine outdoor areas. Sicily offers widely varying landscapes and microclimates, largely because of the influence of Etna in the North East and the North coast mountain ranges. Luxuriantly fertile in parts, flat and almost arid in others. I find something new by way of landscape each time I visit." Mr Richard Ogden (stayed at La Limonaia, July 2015)

"Villa is lovely, well laid our with great shady areas all around (which we needed!) and in a very relaxing setting - pool is absolutely perfect and could be used for a proper swim rather than just a cool off which is one of the reasons we chose Casa Chiara (i.e. bigger pool). First visited in 2013 (Casa Nuvola in Cefalu) and were keen to come back as loved the atmosphere, people, landscapes, food...you name it! This time around was wonderful as the oasis of peace that was Casa Chiara in Favignana was top and tailed with the more frenetic pace of hotel stays in Palermo, Trapani and Taormina. We'll definitely visit again as we'd love to explore the other coast (particularly areas like Menfi) and also the interior." Mrs Lucy von Weber (stayed at Casa Chiara, July-August 2015)

"Our highlight was Etna and the snorkelling was fantastic. Fortunately we were able to visit the food Festival at Trapani - Stragusto. It was well worth the drive from Poggio Pigio. The caretaker and his family were incredible and truly lovely people." Dr Peter Moncur (stayed at Poggio Pigio, July-August 2015)

"The fantastic food. All local restaurants and cafes were great. The housekeeper Antonella was fantastic and extremely caring and helpful. We loved having breakfast made for us!" Dr Fiona Clunie (stayed at Camelia, July-August 2015)

"We thought Sicily was lovely. It was everything I thought it would be. Syracuse was lovely and we enjoyed a day there. Would recommend Forra Bonu ristorante in Brucoli for pizza. We had a great time." Mr Simon Waller (stayed at Azzurra, July-August 2015)

"The weather, unspoilt by tourists, the food and wine. Wide variety of things to do, good for all ages. Amazing villa, amazing location and fantastic staff. Couldn't do enough to make our stay such a pleasure. We used Rosamaria the cook and would highly recommend her food. We enjoyed spending time in the beautiful villa with amazing views over the sea. There was 14 of us aged from 6 months to 80 years and the villa suited all our needs. No part of the holiday we didn't enjoy." Mrs Sue Powell (stayed at Crossing Together, July 2015)

"We loved the trip. We loved our stay at Ballata, and didn't have any real problems. We had a wonderful holiday. The most surprising thing for us was the friendliness of the Sicilian people. In previous trips to mainland Italy, we found the people sometimes rude, but we had only good experiences in our two-week trip in Sicily. During our stay at Ballata, we did a couple of day-trips and really enjoyed the beach at San Vito Lo Capo. We also thought the hill-top town of Erice was beautiful, and would definitely recommend that day-trip. We loved the restaurant 'Il Frutto della Passione'. We only visited it on the last night, which was a shame, as we may have gone back! We really appreciated the attention to detail and the friendly, helpful staff." Mr Michael Brown (stayed at Ballata, July 2015)

"The amazing variety of things to see and do." Ms Alex Howarth (stayed at Cinnamon and Il Palmento dei Castagni, July 2015)

"Just everything...thank you. Everything but especially the guided tour of Etna with Roberto. Stromboli volcano. My family...the heat. Absolutely great." Mr David Lloyd (stayed at Infinito, July 2015)

"The villa was fantastic - an oasis of luxury. Food was fabulous. The people were very friendly and welcoming. Went on the public cable car and bus up Etna - wonderful." Dr Iain Michie (stayed at Gioi, July 2015)

"Villa was perfect. Fantastic position, very well kitted out and comfortable." Mr Philip Hope (stayed at Panorea, July 2015)

"Asitha was excellent, a lovely man. So was the cook Beatrice. The villa was stunning and the spec was amazing throughout. My son loved the table football table! Nice touches like the board games." Mr Peter Wake (stayed at Villa San Tommaso, July 2015)

"Everything was absolutely brilliant, so much so that we have booked again for next year! WE LOVED IT. I would like to take this opportunity to say that all our dealings with The Thinking Traveller have been brilliant, everyone takes the extra time & effort to understand that these holidays are special moments for our family and, as such, having a great team behind you looking after the detail makes all the difference. The people make Sicily what it is - amazing. Can't wait to do it again next year!" Mr James Deans (stayed at Pietra Nera, July 2015)

"The whole experience was absolutely excellent. Il Gabbiano was like an aerial dream. The architecture is a delight and everything that we could possibly need was ready there when we moved in. It was our home for a week, and it was a real home. We dined out some nights, in some nights, used the terraces and of course the beaches. We got exceptionally fit with all the swimming - we couldn't stop - even greeting the fishing boats out in the shipping lanes as they came home with their catches. Everything also was very generous. TV/Sky worked fab and the sitting of the corner windows to the sunset is that extra little twilight delight that makes the property entrancing. It's obviously very much loved by its owners, respected by its guests and maintained to an excellent standard by your on-ground crew. Thank you indeed. We come to Sicily a couple of times a year. We enjoyed focussing on Cefalu nut the island as a whole is a traveller's delight. The people are lovely, the food phenomenal and touristically there's something for everyone." Dr Jane Stackpool (stayed at Il Gabbiano, July 2015)

"The owners were very kind and helpful. What I enjoyed the most was the authenticity of the atmosphere." Mr Rob Abendroth (stayed at Lillì, July 2015)

"Great grounds and views, lots of different places to eat and have a drink. Fantastic pool. We liked that the pool was deep, 2.4 meters. The pool and the garden is what makes this villa a great visit. We liked the weather :-) The pasta and pizza. We were surprised that there were so few out of Italy tourists in San Vito. Would recommend the cabin up to Erice. The best restaurant for us was Gna Sara in San Vito Lo Capo. We also liked taking a hike in the national park Dello Zingaro. Great service." Mr Johan Jersby (stayed at Casale Castelluzzo, July 2015)

"It was our third visit. We love it!! We really liked Le Chat Noir restaurant in Cefalu, We enjoyed the boat trip with Sergio a lot. All of it was amazing. The villa itself was spectacular. The private beach made it very special. Rosaria the cook really livened things up! She is great fun and a fantastic cook." Mrs Joanne D'Andrea (stayed at Il Gabbiano, June 2015)

"It was absolutely beautiful and we were really grateful to stay there." Ms Kate Lawrence (stayed at Buzza Alta, June 2015)

"We loved it all. Thank you. We will definitely recommend your company. We loved the character, location and luxury of this very well presented villa. Barbara, Laura & Rosario did everything within their power to ensure that our stay was everything that we imagined...and more. We loved the history, culture and scenery. We recommend Cefalu for its location on the sea with the beautiful Madonie mountains also within an easy drive. Cefalu has many varied restaurants with superb views and ambiance." Mrs Lynda Vernon (stayed at Rosina, June-July 2015)

"We enjoyed everything and everything was a huge positive surprise. Ortigia was the perfect little world of its own, and we particularly enjoyed the fact that it was not in any way a touristy trap. The food and wine was amazing and the atmosphere very friendly. Actually it was a big surprise that everything was so fresh, clean and safe. Our evenings on the roof-terrace were amazing! Fantastic view! Ortigia was the very best place ever." Mrs Tone S Ovrebo Johannessen (stayed at Ortigia, July 2015)

"It was truly relaxing. The local food was amazing. All recommendations were great! In this modern life it is always difficult to relax and this was a real treat - we are returning home rested and happy!" Mrs. Jane Mudge (stayed at Corte del Sole, July 2015)

"The wonderful views and to be so near and accessible to the beach. We only went into the local town as our villa was too nice to leave." Mrs Deborah Harris (stayed at Azzurra, July 2015)

"The general layout of the villa's outside areas with shaded communal seating was a huge bonus for our large group meaning that there was always someone sitting down to chat with in the shade whilst others were off swimming etc. It made it a very sociable holiday. Large outside dining area perfectly located too, near to bbqs etc. The staff were truly amazing and absolutely made the holiday - they couldn't have been more friendly or helpful. We all really enjoyed the holiday." Lady Heather Robinson (stayed at Le Corti di Cannamara, July 2015)

"Absolutely wonderful. Unbeatable views, fabulous pool, beautiful grounds. Quaint villages, magnificent, friendly people, beautiful vistas, beaches, wonderful restaurants. Loved Sciacca, definitely deserves a wider exposure. A perfect tiny city with fabulous shops, restaurants, services and above all, people. Also enjoyed Marinella di Selinunte. Really hard to find anything less than fabulous." Dr Miles Dinner (stayed at Villa Principe di Lumia, July 2015)

"The villa was fantastic! Beautiful location, friendly staff & owner and absolutely amazing food - I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful, chilled holiday. Simone, who worked at the house was also amazing and really lovely. The extra cot & high chair were really useful. We loved Sicily, it was really beautiful and such a laid back place - really unique! We all had a fantastic time and would definitely visit again!" Miss Cleopatra Graves-Johnston (stayed at Casa di Pietra, July 2015)

"Lovely Sicily, good space in the villa and its swimming pool. Food, wine, country views. Size of the island." Mr Peter Kysel (stayed at Lillì, June-July 2015)

"The whole experience was fantastic and everything was enjoyable. It exceeded our expectations. It was lovely to meet the owners and we found Giuseppe, the caretaker, very helpful. The landscape was beautiful. We didn't explore the coast very much and would have spent more time in the sea if we hadn't had our own swimming pool. The centre of Castelvetrano is lovely. For windsurfing lessons for teenagers, we would recommend Karti Bubbo, Puzziteddu Reef close to Punta Granitola. The beach there is recommended too for small children as the water is very shallow. Good for snorkelling too." Mr Carl Callaghan (stayed at Altea, July 2015)

"Excellent restaurants throughout the area, the villa was outstanding, our trips to multiple destinations. Tagliaborsa, the little town we were in was a very comfortable, hospitable place to live for the week. Siracusa, Taormina were our favourites. Hotel Timeo restaurants were amazing. The food and the views from the beach to up top were outstanding." Mr Daniel Mudd (stayed at Camelia, June-July 2015)

"The villa itself was exceptional - the photos and description really don't do it justice. The settings and grounds were beyond excellent - I would rate these a 6 if I had the option." Mr David Pagliaro (stayed at Villa San Tommaso, July 2015)

"We did love the villa all around - it was great and our house manager, Tina, was extraordinarily friendly and helpful. Holiday was just great. Looking forward to return to Sicily as soon as we can pull it off. It was nice meeting the home's owner as we were departing...in fact, we were hoping to get his contact information to talk more about design and he offered to send us a copy of the London Telegraph issue that will be highlighting his home! This was my first visit to Sicily. Loved it. Loved the Aqua Residence Lido - great for kids and well maintained. Eating lunch on the piazza in Ortygia was lovely (and the adjacent gelato shop had a flavour called Note di Sicilia blending pistachio and almond that was amazing), Taormina was worth a visit for the views from the terrace of the Hotel Metropole where we had drinks and lunch were amazing. The family at Piano Grillo were welcoming and their olive oil, Grillo wine, and black pig salami was all delicious. All went pretty smoothly." Mr Joshua Mogal (stayed at I Lentischi, July 2015)

"The villa itself was of a very high quality and tastefully furnished. Lucia was an excellent hostess and very helpful. Antonella was a very thorough housekeeper and was discreet. We very much enjoyed the food and wine." Mr Tim Steadman (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, July 2015)

"The food, hospitality of the staff, and the beauty of the property (including the pool) were all amazing! We loved Erice, Sciacca and Selinunte." Mr William McGlone (stayed at La Favorita, June-July 2015)

"Mount Etna. The food was fantastic. The owner of the villa was so lovely. Please pass on our gratitude for all her help and the dinner she kindly prepared for us on our arrival." Dr Neena Jha (stayed at Casa di Pietra, July 2015)

"When in Modica/Pozzalo it is a must to eat fresh fish sold in two fish places in Pozzalo - our favourite one is in the first roundabout before the lungomare starts. The grill was working every day! Coming back again next year." Mrs Katherine Grigorian (stayed at Casa Nuvola and Casa di Pietra, June-July 2015)

"The owner of our house was very helpful, always walked the extra mile for us. She made our holiday expectations come true. We would love to come back to the house again. We really liked Modica, but all areas around the house was well worth a visit. We only stayed at the beach where we lived, well suited for children. We did not visit that many restaurants but Tonno Rosso was a favourite for us." Mr Magnus Andersson (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, May-June 2015)

"Having Antonella around as a daily housekeeper and assistance during the morning hours turned out as a nice and very appreciated experience. Lucia was also fantastic as an owner, providing much advice and help, also on ordering food for take away and other practicalities. She was kind enough to check in with us a couple of times during the week. We found the house to be of outstanding quality in terms of what we have seen in the portfolio so far. Everything is thought through and very well laid out." Mrs Vanessa Knudstorp (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, June-July 2015)

"Everything was lovely. The Ortigia area was wonderful and contained everything we needed. We especially liked the morning markets." Ms Michele Brooks (stayed at Ortigia, July 2015)

"The nature and the weather! Beautiful beaches, sun every day with temperatures around 30C, not too hot thanks to the breeze from the sea. Very tasty seafood (great thanks to our cooks), and good local wine. The size, amenities and location was perfect for a family like ours. Only minus: should have stayed a week longer!" Mr Ola Haugsrud (stayed at Cinnamon, July 2015)

"The villa was terrific, an absolutely beautiful setting. We had an amazing time. The beaches were beautiful and there was so much to see and do. Siracusa is a wonderful city - the market is terrific and it is a very fun place for a day trip." Ms. Shana Kelley (stayed at L'Olivastro, June-July 2015)

"Sicily was lovely and people friendly and helpful and the weather was beautiful. It was one of our best holidays. Your service was wonderful and we would like it anywhere we would travel again with you." Miss Louise Cubbage (stayed at Serralunga, July 2015)

"Crossing Together provided the perfect setting and amenities for our family of 12 (7 adults and 5 children). The villa is well-appointed and the grounds are beautiful. All of the bedrooms and baths were comfortable and nicely furnished. The owners have attended to every detail. It is difficult to imagine a finer villa in all of Sicily. The staff adds an element of luxury and convenience. The daily service by Cettina was an added bonus and made our stay delightful. The caretakers, Giuseppe and Maria, were charming, friendly and caring. The town was delightful and the villa position presented a setting for beautiful evening gatherings. In my opinion, the reviews which I had read understated the beauty and charm of this villa. It was extraordinary. Adults and children enjoyed the entire experience. I have visited Sicily before, but the villa experience creates a special setting which provides an enjoyable base of operation and family togetherness in a beautiful country. Siracusa is wonderful. The Mt. Etna Tour was great." Mr Joseph Lonardo (stayed at Crossing Together, June-July 2015)

"Kind people, fresh food, sometimes the sensation of getting back in time." Mr Andrei Lopata (stayed at Zeffiro, June 2015)

"This was one of the nicest villas we have rented to date. It was in excellent condition. We were surprised by how much there was to see in Sicily. It was beautiful as well as diverse, with so many options to explore. Erice, San Vito lo Capo, and Selinunte were great visits. Downtown Trapani was also pleasant and lively in the evening." Mr Howard Bujtor (stayed at CaSale, June 2015)

"We were very impressed with the property. We were delighted to have a maid, she kept the villa beautifully clean. We loved the variety of historical sites, the food & countryside. Villa Romana Castale, absolutely wonderful. We also enjoyed our visits to Etna and Agrigento. We enjoyed the facilities at the villa, the spacious rooms, the pool & barbecue." Mr William Neill (stayed at Villa Armerina, June 2015)

"The area was lovely, the beaches great, the staff and local people all charming and very friendly and the local produce was delicious. The housekeeper Vittoria was a delightful and extremely warm and helpful person who was a pleasure to have around and really made big contribution to the success of the villa. We were travelling with very small children so were very villa and beach based - the beaches are lovely." Mrs Liz Wilson (stayed at Villa Blanca, June 2015)

"We enjoyed everything. It was the best vacation we have ever had. It will be hard to top this trip in the future. The parts of Sicily we visited were lovely but the villa was the icing on the cake. Our entire family loved everything about it. Taormina was lovely, as was our Mt Etna tour, our boat ride to Isola Bella, and our trip to Caparena Beach." Mr Jacob Kacsik (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, June 2015)

"The holiday as a whole was first-rate. We liked Oliva very much. It was an excellent choice for our group: five adults, one teenager, and three children aged 10, 4 and1. We especially enjoyed the spaciousness of the property and the indoor-outdoor living. Rosa and her daughter were wonderful and Rosa is a great cook. We most enjoyed the beauty of the island (which we explored extensively). I most enjoyed visiting the Greek sites, but that is because I have a special interest in Greek antiquity. The only thing that surprised us was the climate, which was glorious. We expected it to be much hotter. We loved all the major Greek historical sites. Among towns, we would recommend Erice most highly. We visited a number of beaches and would recommend all those in nature reserves. We went to many of the restaurants you recommended. Perhaps our favourite day was the one spent exploring Mt Etna. Given our experience, we would follow you anywhere!" Mr M Richard Zinman (stayed at Oliva, June 2015)

"Wonderful. Beautiful country with beaches, mountains, rocky coves, ancient towns, etc. Friendly, helpful people. Lovely food. Very good value for money for most items. Scopello area surprisingly green and unspoilt. Really excellent and relaxing holiday. Top class destination and service." Mrs Denise Phelan (stayed at La Fenice, June-July 2015)

"We had a great time and all said it was the best house we ever rented. Everyone in our party had travelled extensively in Italy before and most said it was the best of Italy... we had high expectations which were surpassed, not an easy thing for this group. We loved the mix of beach, sun, history, culture, food, wine, etc.We loved La Pineta for beach and food and would highly recommend." Mrs Jennifer Argenti (stayed at Balu', June 2015)

"We enjoyed the sunshine and the relaxing atmosphere at the villa. We enjoyed going into Noto for coffee and food. I found eating out cheaper than we thought it would be. We enjoyed the fresh food on sale on street corners! Noto is great, Hotel Sofia in Noto was lovely. Tina our caretaker was great and spoke very good English, we had a small problem with hot water which was dealt with very quickly. The boys appreciated the wifi and sky sport which was great and the kitchen was very well-equipped wich was great. The pool was fantastic and we spent a lot of time in that area. All in all we loved the villa and would recommend it to others!" Ms Sandy Delap (stayed at I Lentischi, June-July 2015)

"Probably the best property we have ever rented -spotlessly clean and everything worked (a rarity in our experience!). A real opportunity to sample the local culture and produce. You did say that the local driving style was somewhat idiosyncratic and it certainly was - it took a little getting used to but after a while one soon learns to drive like a Sicilian! We enjoyed the northern coast of Sicily and liked Capo d'Orlando. A trip into the Nebrodi Mountains is a must." Dr Peter Rees (stayed at Pizzo Castellaro, June 2015)

"We all thought the holiday was excellent. The views were stunning - the property spacious and well-equipped. The weather - the restaurants and swimming in the sea. We were pleasantly surprised that food and eating out was so cheap." Dr Annie Linley-Adams (stayed at Oriente, June-July 2015)

"Clementina itself was incredibly beautiful, beyond my already high expectations. I was surprised by how untouristy it was, at least in June. Although things were set up for tourists, we weren't bombarded by vendors. And we didn't feel surrounded by tourists. Licia and her husband were lovely: intelligent, helpful, cheerful. The house was spotless when we arrived and spotless after the midweek clean/sheet change. Altogether, this is an incredibly professional team that really delivers on its promises. Il Baglietto, right outside the entrance to the Vendicari Nature Reserve, was sublime. Highly recommend. Villa Romana del Tollaro. And, of course, Noto and the sights in Syracuse. Callamosche beach. Agrigento is a long drive, but worth it and possible for a day-trip. We loved it all. The house, the landscape, the layers of history. Not a single thing was wrong." Professors Jonathan and Gabriel Lear (stayed at Clementina, June-July 2015)

"Perfect relaxation. The view from the villa was even better than I imagined. We spent hours just watching Etna and the sea." Mr Pekka Kuusela (stayed at Villa Saracena, June-July 2015)

"It's a really lovely property that allows for a large group to have individual privacy. The pool is beyond words. We had a chef on two different nights and liked it a lot." Mrs Sarah Teaford Colby (stayed at La Limonaia, June 2015)

"The food, history, the sites, the weather, the swimming. The big surprise was the statue 'The youth' of Mozia. For us the whole point is that everywhere has something special and interesting. Planeta wines are very good but there are many excellent local wines everywhere that should be tried. The location, views and peacefulness are excellent. We have spent 5 weeks there now and will doubtless return. The owner and his wife are extremely friendly and helpful. The pool area is beautiful and the abundance of fruits in the grounds overwhelming." Dr Michael Cole (stayed at Egesta, June 2015)

"The weather was exceptional. The history of the place. The friendly people. Was surprised how touristy Siracusa was - while also acknowledging that it was still not really 'busy' - so was totally fine for us. Was surprised at how great the Planeta wine was given I don't normally love the Italian wines I have ordered at restaurants - really enjoyed visiting their winery! Ortigia is one of my new favourite places on earth. What a great town and so glad we spent a night before the villa and another after the villa. Lots of good accommodation options. Amazing market. And absolutely phenomenal little rocky beaches that are great for sunbathing and lounging in the water with a cold drink on an inflatable floatie (our last day in Sicily and one of the best things we did!). The villa San Tommaso was a wonderful recommendation. My wife and I both agree that our week at the villa was one of the best in our lives. We did not know what to expect of Sicily and now we absolutely love it and can't wait to go back. I spent a lot of time looking at the other Thinking Traveller villas and am eager to try another as soon as possible! The villa deserves its exquisite status. The home is absolutely stunning and the most amazing property we have ever stayed at. We felt so comfortable both inside and out. The furniture was incredibly comfortable (I need to find out where to buy the chairs that were all over the house - wow!) and the kitchen perfect for making beautiful home-made meals with fresh produce every evening. I thought we may miss wander around in a town each evening and go out for dinner, but I'm lucky to be married to a great chef and she made us phenomenal meals which we paired with great wine and sat outside each evening watching the sun go down and stars come up. It was like being in a dream. I miss it already! One of the best weeks of my life. My favourite thing was just being at the villa and enjoying the view, the pool, the beauty of the home, great wine and food." Mr Nathan Flaman (stayed at Villa San Tommaso, June 2015)

"We loved Panarea. Totally relaxing and so friendly. We had a great day visiting Stromboli and had a lovely lunch at Punta Lena. I thought Tecla and Franco were excellent. We wanted to do some of our own cooking and we weren't made to feel that we were mucking up her kitchen. She noticed it was my husband's birthday from our passport and she baked a cake for breakfast that morning." Mrs Dinah Docherty (stayed at Aphrodite, June 2015)

"Sun, warmth, scenery, historical sites and cities, food and wine. Val di Noto, Syracuse, Villa Romana del Casale - we also liked Catania and Acireale, which are not so touristy. The villa was beautiful, the setting lovely. Our landlady was very friendly and helpful and the dinner she prepared us was wonderful and really delicious! House was also very clean and all the grounds well kept. We had a wonderful stay! We felt everything was very well organised and trustworthy and you really made everything possible to make sure we have all the necessary information and we will enjoy our holiday." Ms Päivi Salonen (stayed at Azzurra, June 2015)

"Time to unwind in a beautiful place. Very relaxing holiday." Mrs Latika Davis (stayed at Acquamarina, June 2015)

"The Villa! We loved Taormina as well. Taormina to go visit & restaurant to have a drink on the balcony with amazing view at the Grand Hotel Timeo. Mondello, Agrigento, Isola di Ortigia - restaurant Fratelli Burgio. We enjoyed the villa and the owner and everyone working there! The food was amazing and everyone had a wonderful experience! The owner, staff and everyone at the villa were WONDERFUL! The villa itself was breathtakingly beautiful, but everyone working there exceeded our expectations beyond words. The food was delicious! One meal was better than the next." Dr Gary Mauro (stayed at Don Arcangelo all'Olmo, June 2015)

"The beaches, the food and the scenery. Agua beach, Siracusa. Everything was to a 5-star level. Loved it, was very sad to have to leave." Mr Henry Lawson (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, June 2015)

"Everything was just great. No disappointments. It's made me want to visit more!!! The food, the luxury of the villa. We used your guide and visited what we could on the day." Mrs Lula Redpath (stayed at CaSale, June 2015)

"Taormina, Mount Etna, Villa Romana del Casale, Isola Bella, Agrigento. The views, the food, the variety of experiences. Once again, a superb vacation with unmatched service in a spectacular location." Dr Susan Zarbin (stayed at Respiro, June 2015)

"I was very surprised with Sicily. I don't know what I expected but the towns, the food, the people, the cooking class and, of course, the lovely Antonella who worked in the villa were delightful. I can hardly wait to go back to Sicily and do more exploring. I love Modica, Noto, Ragusa Ibla and Marzamemi. I think I loved all of the towns. I loved being able to walk into Pozzallo to do shopping etc. It is always great to be able to walk and not have to rely on a vehicle all of the time. The owner of the villa, Lucia, met us when we arrived. She was lovely. She explained everything and showed us the villa and how everything worked. She kept in contact with us and I cannot say enough about Lucia and her absolutely perfect villa. I was sad I didn't book an additional week or maybe two! I wish I could think of one negative thing... but I cannot. My sister and brother in law and my friends from Los Angeles would concur. They told me over and over again that I made an amazing selection. I told them the truth and had to admit I had some help from Ruth. I love Italy and I would use your company anywhere in Italy. I enjoy your services so much you could probably entice me to an entirely different country. I am seriously thinking of returning to Sicily and if I do O would not use any other company. My trip to Puglia last year and this year's trip to Sicily have been wonderful. These have been difficult years without my husband at my side. He was a great planner and with your assistance I have planned two very nice holidays. Thank you again for everything." Ms Carolyn Gray (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, June 2015)

"Amazing food and wine, countryside. Sciacca was lovely, the slow-food restaurant was fantastic, beach outside and the restaurant Da Vittorio, the thermal baths." Ms Flo Deptford (stayed at Al Profondo Blu, June 2015)

"The summer sun in June! and being able to relax and unwind in a wonderful setting and have the holiday I had dreamt of. With a young toddler I found this villa was perfect for my family and I can highly recommend it. We spent most days in the pool although the lovely sandy beach of Mondello was only a few minutes drive away. I would recommend the sandy beach at Mondello, a trip into Palermo and one of our highlights was to the cathedral at Monreale. I enjoyed it all!" Mrs Ruth Power (stayed at Lillì, June 2015)

"Beautiful architecture, amazing food, great wine. Went to Noto, Syracuse and Taormina, all of which are beautiful. Syracuse has great markets for fresh food in the morning. Couldn't see the opera at the Greek theatre in Taormina whilst we were there but will definitely try next time!" Miss Kate Raymen (stayed at L'Eclisse, June 2015)

"First sunrise behind Etna on our first morning was magical and the constant changes of the view from Etna were a delight. The villa had the most well-stocked kitchen that we had ever had and there were even some bottles of drink on a tray which we were told we could help ourselves to. Mariano picked us some lovely apricots from the orchard. He was very discreet." Mrs Deborah White (stayed at Casa de Arena, June 2015)

"The villa was lovely and clean and a wonderful spot. It was very beautiful flying across the island and lovely and green." Mr Nick Sharp (stayed at Buzza Alta, June 2015)

"Having an al fresco breakfast on the square in front of Il Duomo. Good value meals in local restaurants every evening. We didn't move from Cefalu - it's a lovely town. It exceeded our expectations and we are already thinking about returning next year. Good value for the size and quality of the property." Mrs Julie Mawby (stayed at La Corte, June 2015)

"Ragusa, Noto, and really you can spend days exploring Syracusa. Near the villa there is a great beach-club type spot - Varco Venti3. Beach volleyball, beach tennis, lounge chairs, cocktails. We left the kids with the grandparents and walked there for aperitifs a couple of nights. Also advising guests to bring snorkel masks and water shoes to enjoy the sea right of the villa. We really loved Sicily and are already planning another visit. Most surprising was how large Sicily really is." Ms Nicolle Diver (stayed at Al Plemmirio, June 2015)

"We liked the isolated house and the beach we almost had to ourselves. All Sicilians we met were extremely friendly. We also liked our "neighbours" on the piece of land along the fence where you can walk down to the beach: a herd of donkeys. The outside veranda was just perfect! The landlady left such a large food basket that we could barely eat it, even taking into account that we eat vegan - lots of fruits and vegetables." Frau Angelika Braun (stayed at Cinnamon, June 2015)

"Ortigia and Noto. Very interesting and impressive buildings and towns. The views from the villa were stunning, the pool was excellent and the cleaner, Simona, was very efficient and pleasant." Mr Peter Dennell (stayed at Al Plemmirio, June 2015)

"Fantastic location, lots of space, great views, lovely pool and excellent sea-bathing for keen adults. Overall, a very lovely place in an unspoilt area which we would consider returning to." Mr Matthew Symonds (stayed at Le Sorbe, June 2015)

"Couldn't fault it, all very good. Lovely relaxing, little haven of peace at the villa. Anywhere else, it was a pleasure dealing with such an efficient, customer-focused company." Mrs Fiona Barkhouse (stayed at Poggio Pigio, June 2015)

"Syracuse, Marsala, Catania, Segesta. How charming and friendly people were. Wonderful choices of places to sit outside and admire the stunning views - I counted 8! Swallows over the pool at sundown was delightful." Ms Victoria Brandon (stayed at Ballata, June 2015)

"The beauty of the baroque towns we went to surprised us, the quality and freshness of food when we ate out, and the variety of the scenery. Noto was a delightful place to stroll around after dinner. Syracuse, Ragusa Ibla and Noto were our favourites; Ristorante Dammuse in Noto was so good we went back there. Saw a few beaches at the Vendicari and a few closer to Noto but none compared to sitting by the villa pool and enjoying the views. Loved the villa, the location the views, the space, the comfort and the immaculate presentation. The staff were friendly but discreet and if we'd been there with a larger group or for longer it would have been fun to have a meal cooked for us in the villa. Having the mid-week laundry change was great and the additional groceries the staff provided was useful. The kitchen was a delight and made eating in after a hard day exploring an easy option with the added bonus of lovely views." Ms Clare Risby (stayed at Clementina, June 2015)

"We couldn't fault the villa. It was great to arrive at the property to find that it was really well stocked with food and drink. For us, the fact that it was so close to the sea and had such amazing views was wonderful. This was our third trip to Sicily and we love it. Beautiful beaches, excellent food and wonderful history." Mrs Louise Joyce (stayed at Oriente, June 2015)

"The number of towns and places to see. The weather. The villa swimming pools were a great bonus. The quality of wine and fresh produce. Particularly enjoyed the attention and help from Turi and Alicia at Clementina. Country road driving very pleasant." Mr Roger Ford (stayed at Ballata and Clementina, May-June 2015)

"So much more than we anticipated, wouldn't really have asked for more. The overall experience was great but thankfully the food and wine stood out!! It was much cheaper than I expected! Castellmare del Golfo was fun, Segesta was enough to keep the children entertained and interested and the Island trip was memorable!!" Mrs Emily Evans (stayed at Corte del Sole, May 2015)

"Housekeepers were great. Fantastic hamper and win delivery on arrival. Quality and volume of food and wine. Very friendly people. Amazing architecture in Taormina and Syracuse. Enjoyed the whole experience!" Mrs Jean Golledge (stayed at Casa al Faro, June 2015)

"Loved the beaches and some of the towns (Siracusa, Scicli and Modica). People were always nice all over. Surprisingly uncrowded everywhere (middle of June explains most of that, but still we were surprised). Siracusa was great... taking a boat and swimming near the caves was great for kids too. Marina di Ragusa was the nicest Lido we went to, with a great restaurant. The villa itself was nice. The owner was helpful and the cleaning lady was super and did a great job." Mr Aron Shein (stayed at Casa di Pietra, June 2015)

"The beautiful coastal towns! Patricia was fabulous - nothing was too much. Her easy-going nature was appreciated and valued! Taormina my favourite town! I was surprised by a birthday celebration - Music was great - catered to our group. The birthday cake was the most beautiful cake I have ever seen!!!" Mrs Patricia Holloway (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, June 2015)

"The landscape is beautiful. We had great views of the sea and Mount Etna from our villa. I did not realise it was so rural. We really enjoyed Syracuse. We ate at a small restaurant that was very good. We had a wonderful dinner at Timeo, the view is spectacular and the food excellent. Charlotte recommended two restaurants in Santa Maria la Scala which were delicious and fun. Our vacation was fantastic. Maria and Paolo were wonderful, they exceeded our expectations. Their care of the villa, the delicious food and their attention to our needs made our vacation perfect. They are a wonderful couple and great asset to Badia. We had a wonderful vacation. Maria and Paolo made it the perfect vacation for me, the Mom." Mrs Margaret Toce (stayed at Badia, June 2015)

"Great weather, found everyone extremely friendly and helpful. Fantastic food. Sheer variety of experiences available, something for everyone. The steak at Becco e Bacco in Monreale - amazing quality and value." Dr Anne Hemming (stayed at Casa Agave, June 2015)

"The warmth of the people and beautiful settings. The winery at Santa Anastasia in Castelbuono." Mrs Eloise Bellard (stayed at Il Ciliegio, June 2015)

"The villa, pool, location near Noto all superb!" Mrs Frances Arthy (stayed at Gioi, June 2015)

"We were surprised by how beautiful the interior of Sicily is. We really enjoyed the drive over from Catania to Il Canneto. It now vies with Corsica as our favourite island in the Med. As Montallegro is not exactly on the tourist route, we loved meeting the people in local shops, and playing with our limited Italian. The two 18-hole courses at Verdura are gorgeous. Ditto the people there. We had a wonderful evening at what you describe as the best restaurant in Montallegro. Again, not just because of the food but also because of the chef and his wife. We'd never have found it without the recommendation. But best of all were the views from the villa - it was hard to make the effort to go out!" Mrs Dorothy Garland (stayed at Il Canneto, June 2015)

"Exceeded our expectations and we are a very highly travelled group. Everything about this villa exceeded expectations! The villa was stunning and enormous, beautifully furnished and the bedrooms were all beautifully furnished and pretty comparable. The grounds were beautiful, the setting rural and serene and the vistas were spectacular. We cannot say enough about the staff headed by the lovely Laura - seamless service always with a smile. We opted for the daily breakfast which was expansive and delicious - definitely worth it. We were a group of 12 - six couples. The villa is so large and has so many sitting areas and terraces that you never felt crowded Wonderful!! We opted for a fairly remote location in the Vendicari Reserve in order to experience the Sicily of old away from the larger cities. We were not disappointed. We drove to Noto, Ragusa, Modica and Siracusa on day trips from the villa. All the historical centers were beautiful and charming - especially loved Ragusa. Agrigento is a must, the Roman mosaics at the villa are spectacular (best anywhere) and Caltigirone is a must-see city with many wonderful ceramics." Ms Peggy Ricciardi (stayed at Masseria Costanza, June 2015)

"Our favourite place was Syracuse/Ortigia - we aim to return!" Mrs Jacqueline Pomfret (stayed at La Favorita, June 2015)

"This was a homecoming visit for our family; previous generations hail from Palermo. The villa exceeded our expectations and Sicily itself was a treat. The food is the best in all of Italy, the beaches are lovely and the people friendly. I would use your services anywhere that you offered them. The villa was great, the service was great. Thank you for all your assistance. You played a key role in making this a most memorable family vacation." Ms Lana Cordes (stayed at Gli Ulivi, June 2015)

"The driver arranged for transfer both ways was great. The villa greeter was very nice and responded promptly. The welcome pack was terrific after a 24 hour trip, we were exhausted. The cottage was quaint and fantastic, we loved it, the various levels, the patio, the views etc. The lidos were fantastic as was the sea! Great fun, food was great, people friendly." Mrs Debra Connell (stayed at La Corte, May-June 2015)

"Please note the email I sent in which I praised all aspects of our experience and the staff. Exceeded all expectations of the 12 of us. Thank you to all! The beauty of the island! We would love to return some day. Our time was much too short. Noto, Ortygia, Marzamemi, Vendicari... the seaside restaurant in Brucoli and the best... our personal cooks! The villa beautifully accommodated the 12 of us, a very pleasant surprise. Because our time was short we did not travel far and had more time to enjoy the villa's amenities. Salvatore, our sometime driver and Daniela, our daily support were wonderful. Thank you again to all." Ms Mary Anne O'Hara (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, May-June 2015)

"Great food, friendly locals." Ms Kate Lewis (stayed at La Riva, May-June 2015)

"The entire experience with your company was fabulous! The villa was magnificent. The chef and houseman were friendly, helpful and fun. We all wanted to cry when we left, it felt like home! None of us were prepared for the beauty of the countryside. The food was beyond anything we could compare to. All over a great experience. Not enough words to compliment you all! Perfect." Mrs Susan Emptage (stayed at Aphrodite, April-May 2015)

"It was wonderful. The cook was excellent and the home is well-appointed. The flowers were amazing. Salina is beautiful and Palermo is fascinating." Ms Elizabeth Faiella (stayed at Aphrodite, May-June 2015)

"The villa is perfect, even with a small child." Mr Clemens Von Bechtolsheim (stayed at I Lentischi, June 2015)

"Our trips out to Noto, Siracusa and in particular Taormina were wonderful. Amazing architecture, restaurants and vistas. Generally fantastic. In particular the owner was both welcoming and generous." Mr Simon Wright (stayed at Estiva, June 2015)

"We enjoyed touching on the cultural and historical background of the island, and understanding more about its present day issues of this beautiful island. We loved relaxing at Pietra Nera amidst such fantastic scenery, in such a brilliantly comfortable and well-equipped house, with its spacious and beautifully maintained grounds." Mr Jonathan Evans (stayed at Pietra Nera, June 2015)

"The location and views are just stunning. Didn't venture out apart from going to the shops. No need to with that view :)" Mr James Price (stayed at Villa Saracena, June 2015)

"The views are outstanding and very private. Housekeeper, although did not speak English, was very courteous and had made us a wonderful pasta dish. A real relaxing adventure. We loved the people, who were genuinely pleasant and helpful when asked and approached us to help when they saw us perhaps in need. Cefalu was really nice and we ate at Da Nino on the sea front. Nice beach at Capo d'Orlando. In our previous week above Taormina, we loved the visit in Castelmola, beautiful hilltop town, outstanding views. Local markets at Acquedolci and Villafranca were interesting and fun, browsing with the locals. The quality of such beautiful very private site, with a pool and great veranda outlook, would be difficult to beat. Also from our villa we had spectacular views of eagles flying in the area. Had several barbecues with orate (fish), sword fish, sardines - yummy!" Mr Andrew Ingram (stayed at Pizzo Castellaro, May 2015)

"The staff at the villa were exceptional in the care they took to ensure that we enjoyed our holiday experience. Davide and Maria took care of us very well also. Could you please thank them for me and send our very best wishes. I enjoyed the villa and grounds most and being with my family. Sicily seems quite different from the rest of Italy and I may explore more with another visit. I would recommend a visit to Scopello which has beautiful views. We also enjoyed a visit to Mozia, San Pantaleo Island. It has a fascinating history and the archaeological museum and the ruins are well worth a visit. Selinunte is another archaeological site well worth a visit, as is Marsala. My daughter (who stayed on in Sicily after the family left) would recommend the Egadi Islands and Erice. It was an ideal setting for a family celebration holiday. All of our children and grandchildren have said how much they enjoyed it. The children enjoyed the pool particularly and the adults all had a wonderful time." Ms Jan Fiore (stayed at La Favorita, May 2015)

"Totally amazing and 100% success. We had a really good family holiday with 2 small children." Prof Robert Pounder (stayed at La Limonaia, May 2015)

"Second time there, a lovely place. Our third time with The Thinking Traveller, twice in Sicily and once in Puglia. Always excellent service, good response to queries, problems. Houses are what they are promised to be. Maybe we'll do Greece next!" Mr Brian Toller (stayed at Il Cappero, May 2015)

"The beautiful landscape, clear waters, beautiful islands and the food." Mr Sigurdur Ragnarsson (stayed at Lillì, May-June 2015)

"Perfect." Dr Anthony Sethi (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, May 2015)

"The location of La Fenice is quite spectacular. We thoroughly enjoyed the terraces, particularly the upper terrace as it was warmer there! The Sicilian people are very friendly. I am Italian myself, from Emilia Romagna, and I noticed a difference! Scopello is a hidden gem. Scala dei Turchi is a must-see, so unique! San Vito Lo Capo is breath-taking... Caltabelotta was beautiful and unexpected!" Mrs Sonia Trogi-Menard (stayed at La Fenice, May 2015)

"Loved it. The views were to die for. [Sicily] was beautiful. Cefalu and surrounding area was gorgeous. We loved it. Went with friends who loved your service and we have since recommended you to a number of other friends. Also be good to promote the cycling in Sicily. Our husbands hired bikes for the week and both were totally in love with all the cycling - the roads and the views." Ms Vidhu Sood Nicholls (stayed at La Mora, May 2015)

"Marzamemi - an absolutely beautiful little town. We especially loved a restaurant called Cortile Arabo - amazing setting overlooking the sea." Ms Anna Johnstone (stayed at Gioi, May 2015)

"The weather, the food and the countryside. The villa, gardens and pool were very well kept and relaxing." Mr Ben David (stayed at Casa di Pietra, May-June 2015)

"It is the first time I rented a villa, the service of your travel agency was fantastic, and also Charlotte and the staff in the villa. It is a beautiful island, besides Syracusa, we loved Noto and Taormina." Ms Sybille Sasse (stayed at Villa Saracena, May-June 2015)

"Beautiful countryside, friendly people. Roman ruins at Agrigento." Mr. Joe Redden (stayed at Il Canneto, May-June 2015)

"The food was very good and we found the people very friendly and helpful. The cost of meals pleasantly surprised us. It was possible to eat and drink well and have a very reasonable bill. Cefalu had a very relaxed feel to it and felt safe at all times. Cefalu is interesting historically, and a very enjoyable place to stay. Enjoyed Cefalu as a destination and the facilities in the apartment. The fact that we were immediately in the main street from the front door and in the sea from the balcony was a joy." Ms Teresa Head (stayed at Brezza di Mare, May-June 2015)

"Sicily is very beautiful and the people very friendly. Casa delle Sirene was the most fabulous villa to stay in. Lucia was absolutely a wonderful hostess - I can't praise her enough. She even provided hot meals for dinner when we arrived, had champagne on ice and had set the table. After a long drive to get there, we really appreciated it. The villa was beautifully furnished, spotless and so comfortable we didn't want to leave. We all loved Patata! The cook was amazing - the food she prepared was delicious and so much food! The accommodation, Lucia and the cook were outstanding." Mrs Kim Walker (stayed at Brezza di Mare, Casa delle Sirene and La Riva, May-June 2015)

"The villa was wonderful and so was the staff! We loved Rocca delle Tre Contrade! The beautiful villa, wonderful food and spending a great week with close friends. Syracusa is interesting and beautiful...in particular Ortigia. We enjoyed in particular the beauty and atmosphere of the villa: interiors, surroundings, the loving and caring staff and outstanding food!" Ms Sari Baldauf (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, May-June 2015)

"We loved the market in Ortygia, and went several times, as we love to cook. We also did the hour boat ride and visit to the caves, which was amazing. Our biggest trip was to Agrigento, which was worth the time. We also really loved spending the morning in Caltagirone and bought some lovely ceramics to take home. More about the villa that we loved! The views, the views, the views. From everywhere! The pool area is just lovely. We loved and used the new outdoor kitchen quite a bit, both the pizza oven and the grill area. The kitchen was very well-equipped, with just about every gadget we needed. The bedrooms were comfy and well appointed. The sauna was a very nice bonus. The veranda was always shady and was a very comfy place to sit morning, noon and night. My husband loved the hammock. Overall, our family had a wonderful time that we will remember for years to come and I will absolutely recommend both the villa and Think Sicily to anyone and everyone. This company is fantastic. I would absolutely book with you again, as we plan to return to Sicily and see the rest of the island that we missed!" Mrs Mariann McDonagh (stayed at Priscilla, May 2015)

"We enjoyed the beaches, the food and the friendly people the most. The old town in Modica is beautiful, the hotel Torre Marabino is wonderful and has a wonderful restaurant very reasonably priced. Casa delle Sirene is a beautiful villa set in wonderful gardens that sweep all the way round the house (the villa is in the middle of the plot). It is fenced and gated and completely safe and secure for children. There is the friendliest most charming cat 'Patata' who lives in the garden there, she is a domestic cat and very affectionate, she is so good with children we joked that it was like having a nanny on holiday with us - our 3 year old spent lots of fun times in the garden with her." Mrs Alice Fowler (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, May 2015)

"Stromboli was unforgettable - to watch from the terrace, and to visit. The sublime view from the terrace which I have imprinted in my memory. It was breath-taking. The food was divine - granite, coffee, pasta of course, fish... Giovanni's pizzeria. We loved the boat trip to the outlying rocks with Marco. The presence of Tecla and Franco made this holiday something really very special... They are a delight, hospitable, unobtrusive, friendly, knowledgeable, efficient, flexible. And Tecla's cooking! I miss it so much." Mrs Tessa Allingham (stayed at Aphrodite, May 2015)

"Everything was incredible. We cannot believe how wonderful it was to have such a beautiful place to use as a home-base and also to relax at on the days we weren't sightseeing. Overall the staff was extremely helpful and professional. Of course the language barrier was a bit tricky but we managed! We LOVED having the cook and waiter service - was one of the highlights of the entire trip! Our great-grandmother was from Augusta so we loved being able to see the country she came from. I think it surprised us how different Sicily is from the rest of Italy, and how similar the landscape and agriculture was to our hoe state of California! We saw some of the most gorgeous cathedrals we have EVER seen (Monreale & Erice) and this was our first time staying as a group in a villa vs hotels and we LOVED it. Monreale/Erice were incredible. So happy we made the long drive to go there! Il Duomo in Ragusa was one of the very best meals of our lives! Honestly, I would book a trip ANYWHERE in the world with your expertise with no hesitation. If you had a villa in a place we were looking to go to, it would be a no-brainer. We were blown away by our experience from start to end. Without question, this was our favourite family vacation to-date!" Ms Sarah Larsen (stayed at Crossing The Rock, May 2015)

"Excellent people. Wonderful historic monuments, astonishing views in the villa and surroundings." Mrs Lina McAllister (stayed at Masseria Costanza, May 2015)

"One lovely thing - to be greeted by the family who owned the villa for a personal show round was delightful. The beauty and glorious antiquity of the place. Etna top experience of the lot. Etna was absolutely unbelievable - being at the top with ice, snow, sun and hot gravel to warm your hands was unforgettable." Mrs Wendy Berliner (stayed at Adagio, May 2015)

"The beautiful terrace overlooking the sea with total privacy. The friendliness of the people; the freshness of the food; the murmur of Sicilian voices. Certainly the town of Noto which has an excellent restaurant Il Crocifisso off the tourist track. Ortigia of course where we stayed. A glass of Prosecco in front of the Duomo in Ortigia. Our memories did not do the place justice, it was even better than we remembered." Mr Richard Furlong Brown (stayed at Archimede, May 2015)

"It's lovely. Everything clearly 5*. I'd also add the welcome food and drink went above and beyond: I asked for beer so Sergio had bought a lovely Sicilian beer instead of say Heineken. And there was bread, ham, tomatoes, melon etc, as opposed to the usual generic stuff. All very thoughtful. We will come back to Sicily and we will use Think Sicily." Mr Chris Cowan (stayed at Brezza di Mare, May 2015)

"Lovely weather - lovely setting in a lovely villa. Ortigia, Noto. Restaurant Al Catello in Brucoli. Also Caipello or something like that in the fishing village. All the staff along with your local representatives were charming and helpful at all times. A great time was had by all." Mr Edward Rossdale (stayed at Al Plemmirio, May 2015)

"We loved it! We especially loved the grounds at Acquamarina, sooo lovely! We simply loved Segesta and Selinunte. And we went all the way to see Villa Romana Casale mosaics. Very worthwhile... also Erice is very nice." Mrs Marianne Granpre Moliere (stayed at Acquamarina, May 2015)

"The ambience of the island, particularly the area we were staying in, was great - very relaxing and enjoyable. We didn't do much (too busy enjoying the villa, pool and beach!) but enjoyed our morning at Selinunte and had a great lunch at Pierrot in Marinella di Selinunte afterwards. We enjoyed our day at La Foresteria, too. The lunch was delicious, and the staff lovely." Ms Jo Brittain (stayed at Casa Agave, May 2015)

"The holiday was excellent, we rarely left the villa as it was so beautiful and we were made so welcome. The food and service was outstanding." Mrs Lucy Shaughnessy (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, May 2015)

"The food, wine, boat trip around the island. Shopping was great and reasonable. Morning market was beyond wonderful. The villa was exactly as portrayed. Lovely appointments, fully stocked, breathtaking views, convenient to everything." Ms Dilys Farney (stayed at Ortigia, May 2015)

"There is always so much to see and do - every area is different. The climate is perfect and the food excellent. The people are extremely friendly and quite rightly proud of the island, which makes it just a little extra special. I love recommending it as a holiday destination because most people haven't been. Scicli was lovely - we even saw Montalbano being filmed! Syracuse was must see, and the chocolate from Modica was fabulous. The villa was spectacular, perfect for the family and stunning in the Spring. The flowers and garden were lovely, and Andrea and his family couldn't do enough for us. We loved it, and can't wait for Corfu. We always recommend the company - we have had some really great holidays!" Mr Cyrus Kapadia (stayed at Le Corti di Cannamara, May 2015)

"The villa. And the view from the villa was excellent." Mr George Winstone (stayed at CaSale, May 2015)

"It was our first time in Sicily and I have to say we so enjoyed our villa that we hardly left it! We loved Ragusa Ibla - a really beautiful place. Villa Gabbiani was an absolutely stunning villa. The grounds were beautiful and everything so well maintained. Lucia, the owner, was so helpful, and Antonella, the housekeeper, was just amazing! We had to pinch ourselves, we just loved the space, the outdoor kitchen and the villa. Just brilliant. We will definitely be using The Thinking Traveller again - we had the best time!x" Mr and Mrs Simon and Sophie Hill (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, May 2015)

"We had a great time and your company was the most thorough of any rental agency that I have dealt with." Ms Anne Pappas (stayed at Casa Nuvola, May 2015)

"Friendly people who love their island; fantastic food and spectacular scenery. I doubt whether the location and grounds of the villa could be surpassed." Mrs Jill Pittaway (stayed at Il Gabbiano, May 2015)

"We loved the beautiful sunsets viewed from the pool each night. The setting in the vineyards, olive trees and wheat fields made our stay restful and enjoyable. We loved the area immediately around the villa. The local shops were interesting and we enjoyed the agriturismo restaurants just behind the villa. We loved the Salt Museum and the visit to the salt pans The local markets and restaurants in Trapani were wonderful. Having rented 2 villas in Sicily this May, we were extremely happy with every aspect of our travels. We definitely will be back!" Mrs Tanya Gitto (stayed at Corte del Sole, May 2015)

"All 6 ladies loved the whole experience. The villa was exceptional and the house-keeper/cook was a real jewel. She made our stay especially fun with wonderful Sicilian food. Would love to return to Balu'. We loved the food and wine. The wine excellent and a wonderful time of the year to be in Sicily. We enjoyed it all. It ended too soon!" Mrs Tanya Gitto (stayed at Balu', May 2015)

"The holiday was a wonderful family holiday - we all had an amazing time. The villa was absolutely fantastic - we were thrilled with it. The maid was excellent and the cook superb. Lucia made us feel very welcome when we arrived and she went the extra mile for us on my Mum's birthday. We loved Modica and the drive out to the Roman temple. We would definitely use The Thinking Traveller again and would absolutely recommend you to friends." Mr Mario Thomas (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, May 2015)

"The gorgeous house, the views, and that fabulously landscaped garden." Dr Martha Eger (stayed at Pizzo Castellaro, May 2015)

"The villa experience - it was quality, brilliant, relaxing, memorable - all good words. The villa experience was a dream. We had a wonderful time with easy access to S/E Sicily. We ate in and out and the kitchen facilities were superb. All in all an excellent vacation." Mr John Gordon (stayed at Azzurra, May 2015)

"The villa was of a truly beautiful standard, and was very comfortable indeed. The pool, Jacuzzi, gym, sauna and hammam really made it exceptional. The property was cleaned to a very high standard, and was really more like staying in a hotel than a holiday villa, with the regular cleans, clean linen and towels every other day. Brucoli is a little gem, and has everything that one could need for fresh produce (fish direct from the fisherman is a real treat!), excellent bakery, fresh fruit and veg from back of the veg van. Syracuse, Modica and Scicli are all worth a visit." Mr Marcus Brown (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, May 2015)

"Kindness of people, excellent food, varied landscape. Very relaxing holiday, in a small paradise." Mr Edgar van Tuyll (stayed at Don Arcangelo all'Olmo, May 2015)

"The landscape is truly breathtaking." Mr James Clark (stayed at Poggio Pigio, May 2015)

"The food and the views. Santa Tecla was beautiful. Taormina was lovely and we loved the journey on the cable cars." Mr Gary Lumb (stayed at La Timpa, May 2015)

"We really enjoyed the lack of many visitors, the views were fantastic and the countryside was marvellous. We loved Scopello and found the restaurants very good and, compared to Ireland, great value. Swimming in the old tuna factory was a great experience." Mr John Gageby (stayed at Cala Bianca, May 2015)

"The villa. Da Vittoio restaurant in Porto Palo was fantastic. Selinunte was great." Mr Hugh Morland (stayed at Acquamarina, May 2015)

"The beach. Donna Carmela was a great surprise. Villa Romana Del Casale, Etna Tour, La Foresteria Planeta Estate. I enjoyed La Capinera Restaurant which is very close to La Pergola." Mrs Monica Belfort (stayed at La Pergola, May 2015)

"The scenery especially on the Northern coast in the Madonie Mountains area is spectacular. Noto, Siracusa and Taormina are truly beautiful towns and cities. The greek theatre in Taormina is spectacular as are the views from the Grand Hotel Timeo where we ate lunch. The Madonie and Nebrodi mountains are incredibly beautiful and the towns perched on hilltops are very picturesque. The villa is lovely and the owner and staff were great.The accommodations were wonderful and the support from The Thinking Traveller is the best we have ever experienced." Mr Edward Lindsay (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, May 2015)

"Most enjoyed the varied landscape and its history. Weather was great. Surprised by lack of sophistication - which was good! Roman villa, Palermo, Locando don Serafina restaurant in Ragusa - fabulous! Mountains and drives and villages behind the villa in the national park were great. We thought the house was really well appointed." Mr Richard Knight (stayed at Il Gabbiano, May 2015)

"The beauty of it all, the people being so friendly and helpful. We used your books and found them extremely useful, our favourite restaurants all came from these books. We loved this villa for its simplicity and ease of use, it had everything needed and the outside furniture round the pool was great. We ate in more evenings than we thought we would because it was lovely and light with beautiful sunsets." Mrs Karen Riley (stayed at Corte del Sole, May 2015)

"It is a beautiful island. This is without a doubt a most beautiful property. It is so well appointed, the grounds attended to daily even before we all awoke. Daniella the private concierge is excellent, as are the girls who come in each day. We could not recommend the "chef package" highly enough, as the girls came in for three nights during our stay and the quality of food was superb. We had an absolutely wonderful week as a family from Australia. Congratulations to the owner of the property." Mrs Marion Patrick (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, May 2015)

"The food, the wild flowers, Etna, the easy pace." Ms Fiona Grobien (stayed at Respiro, May 2015)

"No real surprises, but above our expectations. We loved the culture, food, friendliness of people." Mr Bob Reichenfeld (stayed at Casa al Faro, May 2015)

"The lack of hordes of tourists and the wonderful surprise of the beautiful drive to Villa Romana - almost alpine landscape. We did not travel much - the villa was too wonderfully restful but Villa Romana was amazing and I would go again. We only had two meals out, but they were delicious and everyone so kind and welcoming. The best holiday we have ever had." Mrs Sally Browne (stayed at Azzura, April-May 2015)

"Wonderful scenery. The fish restaurant at Porto Palo was very good. We really enjoyed the holiday." Mr Alan Brooks (stayed at Acquamarina, April-May 2015)

"We just truly appreciated the apartment set on the harbour where you can get a pretty good taste of everyday life in a small non-touristy village. The other side with the terraces gave us great privacy and peace, the sea was wonderful. The authenticity of the house was fabulous!" Ms Anna Torfs (stayed at Casa alla Scala, April 2015)

"The food was very good. Ragusa was outstanding. The Greek temples at Agrigento are definitely worth seeing." Mr Lewis Culliver (stayed at La Riva, April 2015)

"Beautiful and varied landscapes, sunshine, amazing food, gelato and wine, lovely people, historic sights. We absolutely loved the property and especially the kitchen and terrace. Thank you so much!" Ms Angela Oglesby (stayed at Brezza di Mare, April 2015)

"It was our fourth visit but the beauty and diversity still continue to amaze me. Loved Cefalu. The anniversary gifts you provided were an unexpected surprise Our holiday was amazing, can't wait to go back." Mr Jeffrey Ganssle (stayed at Il Gabbiano, April 2015)

"Great oranges! Sicily was perfect for road cycling. Great history and quite understated. I would recommend the in-villa meal." Ms Sandy Guy (stayed at I Lentischi, April 2015)

"The baroque towns we visited in the South East were spectacular. Loved being in non-touristy areas. Scicli (no tourists, very authentic and lively place). Seeing a play in a Greek theatre in Siracuse is also something unique. Casa delle Sirene was a perfect setting for us - being literally on a private deserted beach couldn't be better... and a short drive from the most beautiful, spectacular baroque towns. Liked the fact that the region is not busy and crowded. We just didn't want to leave and want to come back ASAP!" Ms Johanna Reder (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, April 2015)

"The views, the people and the food." Mrs Margreet van der Zee (stayed at Acquamarina, April 2015)

"The privacy of villa and deserted beach." Dr Astrid Bonfield (stayed at Cinnamon, April 2015)

"The Villa was amazing, a week we will never forget. Everyone so friendly and helpful. I actually cried when we left. Sicily was pretty, food excellent no matter where we stopped. We all enjoyed the beauty and peacefulness of the villa. We had so many laughs, and enjoyed cooking in the kitchen with my cousins. Our grandparents are from Sicily so it was a really special trip. We pretty much enjoyed everything. I just can't tell you enough how wonderful planning this trip and spending the week there was." Mrs Maryanne Young (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, April 2015)

"The friendliness of the people. Ortigia and Benanti Vineyard." Mrs Deborah Paton (stayed at Ortigia, April 2015)

"The villa was lovely - very comfortable. The owners were lovely - very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our holiday in Sicily immensely and hope to visit again soon. We loved the fact that we were the only tourists. Cefalu is a wonderful little town. The beaches were great and our last night in Palermo was interesting. We found Sicily more old fashioned than expected - which we loved!" Mrs Sarah Kinnoch (stayed at Casa Nuvola, April 2015)

"A beautiful country and everyone we came into contact with was very friendly even though non of us speak Italian. The views from the property were breathtaking and it was so peaceful. The ever changing mood and presence of Etna was an unexpected delight - even in the snow!" Mrs Christine Wordsworth (stayed at Pietra Nera, April 2015)

"The scale and the history was beyond expectations." Mr Nicholas Dale (stayed at Ortigia, March-April 2015)

"Congratulations on everything!!!" Mrs Marina Munoz (stayed at Azzura, April 2015)

"Acquamarina - the light, the colours, the atmosphere, the mood, the sounds - an unforgettable place that enchants our hearts with emotion." Dr Heinz Müller (stayed at Acquamarina, March-April 2015)

"'This is the best place in the world' said our 4-year old daughter when we arrived - it's like a magic combination of being on a boat with no sound but the waves, and being in the centre of the old town. We had a wonderful time, including a truly vast meal from our wonderful friendly cook on Tuesday. It was honestly wonderful and we hope to come back one day. Sicily was magically green at this time of year - we hit orange groves almost as soon as we left the airport! The oranges themselves were staggeringly sweet and juicy - orange and fennel salad with lashings of good olive oil as made by our cook is my new favourite. Although I have some Italian, it was a surprise and relief how many locals speak good English - it was very easy to manage what we needed locally. I could sit in the Piazza del Duomo in Cefalu all day - lovely views in every direction. It was a really wonderful holiday!" Mrs Helen Hardy (stayed at Brezza di Mare, March-April 2015)

"[Sicily] is just beautiful. We liked the simpler atmosphere and the delightful people. The sea food. Nowhere in the world have I had this fresh and tremendous sea food anywhere! The staff [of the villa] was just excellent. The views of the town and sea are just spectacular. We enjoyed very much having Chettina cleaning and Rosamaria and Santo preparing some meals. Santo was a real joy as waiter, very elegant, resourceful and accommodating and extremely funny." Dr Maribel Rodriguez-Torres (stayed at Crossing Together, March 2015)

"The location of the villa was truly beautiful. People were friendly and the topography was beautiful. We were travelling with a group of teens and they all had a great time too." Mr Frederick Wickham (stayed at Casa Nuvola, March-April 2015)

"The owner and housekeeper couldn't be more helpful and professional in their attempts to ensure we had a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Sicily grew on us! We felt the immediate area of our villa was very unspoilt and, as such, a little difficult at first to navigate around but, as we settled into the way of life there, we enjoyed it more and more. We particularly liked Scicli and the surrounding area. We could recommend the horse riding at Parco dei Cavalieri near Ispica. Even though they couldn't speak English, they helped to make our daughter's two rides memorable on the beach and through woods and hillsides." Lady Gill White (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, March-April 2015)

"Everything was perfect. The staff is phenomenal!!! Cannot wait to return some day!!! Excellent, Phenomenal and everyone had a fabulous time." Ms Dina Smith (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, March 2015)

"The Thinking Traveller is the best holiday company that we have ever used, you really looked after us from the moment I contacted you until the time we left, you really gave us an extra day by allowing us to stay until our late flight home." Mr Bruce Rankin (stayed at Ballata, March 2015)

"We were very happy with our week in the villa. It is a very relaxing and comfortable property and we would like to book it again. The gardens are truly beautiful and the pool is very well maintained. It is a wonderful environment for a family holiday. The villa and it's beautiful setting is exceptional, and we thoroughly enjoyed the grounds, views of Mount Etna and the gorgeous sunsets from the deck. Our experience was enhanced by Dorata and her outstanding personality and cooking. Her wonderful cooking made our holiday perfect. I think we enjoyed the beautiful views most and of course the wonderful food. Sicily has a bit of everything...history, views and great food. We particularly had a wonderful day at the Benati Winery. We were taken on the tour by the son and later in the day had the opportunity to meet and visit with the father, who gave us a tour of their family chapel. We have been on many wine tours, but this was one of the best. The whole day was unrushed and the cooking lesson was fun, informative and everything was delicious. We also enjoyed our day with Allessandro in Siracusa. Our lunch with her, also, was very memorable. We toured Taormina on our own and enjoyed this beautiful setting and city. Our holiday was truly memorable! I already have recommended Thinking Sicily to many friends." Mr and Mrs Rob and Cindy Hardin (stayed at Azzura, December 2014)

"The staff/owners at the villa really made the stay so enjoyable. They cooked some amazing meals for us and made us feel at home. They took such good care of us. Our family enjoyed the food and the warmth of the people. Sicily still feels like an undiscovered gem. Time seems to have stopped in Sicily and we're just glad we go to experience it before it gets overrun with tourists. We were a little worried about driving in Sicily but it turned out to be like driving in any big city. We didn't have any problems. We were surprised by how much produce is grown in Sicily. I think we assumed because a lot of the land is arid and dry that produce wouldn't flourish but we saw so many farms while driving through the country side. We visited Modica and did a cooking class with Katie Amore. She was amazing in her knowledge of culinary arts and food history. She answered all our cooking questions (which there were many since there was 13 of us). We also had a lovely birthday dinner at Il Consiglio di Sicilia in Donnalucata. The owners Roberta and Antonio were the best host and hostess. The food was delicious and you can tell they take pride in their food. Roberta was ready to answer any and all questions. We did a Mt. Etna tour with Etna Moving (a tour we booked on our own) and had the best time! We also did a wine tour of Planeta in Noto. The staff there was very knowledgeable and laid out the best lunch for us. We loved everything about our trip to Sicily!" Mr Mark Cira (stayed at Le Corti di Cannamara, September-October 2014)

"The experience at the villa was outstanding. Everything from the view to the condition of the villa surpassed our expectations. We highly recommend the Oriente. Everything was beautiful. We could not pick one experience above another. We were surprised by the topography. Cefalu, Taormina, Cinisi, Agrigento, Sienna, - you can spend a year and not see everything of interest. Did not have a bad meal. Food is spectacular! We loved every minute of every day!!!" Mr Thomas Insana (stayed at Oriente, October 2014)

"We spent ten wonderful days in Casa dei Gabbiani with our two little boys and our nanny. The setting is exceptional: The property is located directly by the sea and the local beach - which is perfectly sandy- is just a few-minute-walk from the villa. It felt like we had our own private beach! We loved Casa dei Gabbiani and its gardens. This is a villa where indoors and outdoors merge together: the garden is really part of the house, so is the outdoor pool and the sea. The use of glass roofs and shaded patios makes this house airy, light and creates intermediate spaces between the house and its gardens. The villa is well designed and executed, the owners thought about even the smallest details. The best materials were used throughout: lots of natural stone in the garden, wood and concrete floors in the house. There is a heated indoor Jacuzzi in the basement which we particularly enjoyed in the evenings. It's a very relaxing place, beautifully designed and detailed! There is a fantastic outdoor kitchen with a barbecue which beautifully works together with the indoor kitchen, both are very well equipped. The outdoor pool area is beautiful and tranquil, the olive garden is delightful. There is a large sandpit in the rear garden which our older son loved playing in. The owners even thought about providing little plastic toys for the sandpit! Very thoughtful! We were also well taken care of: On our arrival the Villa's owner, Donna Lucia, gave us a very warm welcome, and she was very kind and helpful all along. (Thank you!) Antonella, the maid, came every morning to clean the house. She brought and served delicious breakfast, and also did all our shopping! Since Antonella knows the best local bakeries, butchers and fishmongers we had the most amazing ingredients to eat and to cook with. We loved Casa dei Gabbiani and we highly recommend it to likeminded quality-conscious travellers!" Mrs Annamaria Tonwe (stayed at Casa dei Gabbiani, September-October 2014)

"Excellent service and very happy with the holiday we had and the help given by your team. I would recommend The Thinking Traveller in the future." Ms Leah McNiece (stayed at Profondo Blu, October 2014)

"The people, the food, the beautiful towns, the sea! I guess I was surprised that I could swim in the sea -even though it was mid October (when Piero took us out on his boat which was wonderful... and again just from the villa's . own private beach) The water felt warmish and fantastic!" Ms Fran Gallo (stayed at Villa Saracena, September-October 2014)

"The entire staff was excellent. Rosamaria was outstanding. Her meals were exceptional. Santo made our dinners so entertaining. His lack of the English language along with our lack of the Italian language created many evenings of laughter. Alfio created wonderful breakfasts every morning and even worked for us on his day off! Cettina did a great job and Guisseppe was very helpful. We loved everything!!! Our biggest thanks and appreciation to Thinking Traveller and to the entire staff at Crossing the Rock." Mr Jacob Kacsik (stayed at Crossing The Rock, October 2014)

"Sicily is paradise. The people are warm and friendly. The scenery is spectacular. Each town is unique and offers so much. The food is outstanding, from fine dining to little hole in the wall cafe's. The supermarket's in Castellammare and Scopello have everything you need and if you want to have a meal in the villa, they offer the finest, freshest foods. Our holiday was an amazing experience. I would recommend Think Sicily to anyone and everyone." Mrs Jill Miller (stayed at Cala Bianca, October 2014)

"As a company you are the best I have ever experienced." Mrs Meryl Harrison (stayed at Corte del Sole, August 2014)

"I just wanted to thank you for helping us organize our trip to Sicily. It was a great success and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely! The experience was once in a lifetime and Think Sicily really helped us make it happen." Ms Cira (stayed at Le Corti di Cannamara, September 2014)

"Loved it - will be back!" Ms Jo Taylor (stayed at Gioi, October 2014)

"We really enjoyed our experience at Brezza di Mare. The location took our breath away, it was amazing to look down from our balcony and see crystal clear water directly below. The location was also fabulous for walking to the beach and finding wonderful little restaurants to dine in. Cole was there to meet us and direct us to our villa, which went really smoothly, and apart from this we did not require any help from staff. We felt the value for our money was very good. We loved our holiday, it was the perfect choice for us - a great balance of fun interesting experiences and relaxation." Mrs Mary-Jean Butler (stayed at Brezza di Mare, October 2014)

"This villa was fabulous. We did less touring than we planned because we were so comfortable and happy to stay 'home', enjoying the lovely villa and the view. In St Alfio we enjoyed interfacing with the villa owner, Gaetano. Alfia and her brother prepared a great night of fabulous pizzas!" Ms Cherry Capik (stayed at Infinito, September-October 2014)

"I have Sicilian parents and have visited Sicily several times. So, my roots are there and nothing surprised me. Having said that, I loved the peace of Pietra Nera. Away from traffic noise and sirens! A truly restful holiday. The serenity was surreal and the double view amazing." Mrs Liliana Vinciullo (stayed at Pietra Nera, September-October 2014)

"This villa is a rare find. It is impeccable from top to bottom. The site is spectacular, the beaches are private and wonderful, the villa itself is equipped to make you feel at home and spoiled at the same time. From the linens to the table service to the patio furniture--this villa is beautifully equipped. I will never forget my stay here. Cefalu is a spectacular spot. The water is fabulous. The people are delightful. I am going on a limb here but I rate it higher than Taormina for sheer beauty and ease. Il Gabbiano is a stand-out experience. This was an utterly unique experience that will linger in my memory for a long time." Mr Richard Frey (stayed at Il Gabbiano, September 2014)

"We loved Il Cappero. The architecture and great room were fantastic, was well appointed. Pool was great. Luigi kept coming, bearing lemons, pomegranates, olive oil, tomato sauce and making us feel welcome. The food in the welcome basket was a nice touch. Thank you, thank you." Rachel Ben-Shmuel (stayed at Il Cappero, September 2014)

"This is the second year we booked the villa- that speaks for itself. We really love the amenities, the view is priceless, the closeness to the cable car is excellent. My friends also went swimming every day, and we loved the il barcaiolo restaurant just a few steps down from the villa. Tour buses are also available within walking distance." Ms Elfie Stamm (stayed at La Pergola, September 2014)

"The description of location and views was not an exaggeration. A really well designed building for outside living with very wide vista exploited well. Beautiful !!!!!" Dr Malcolm Roberts (stayed at Pizzo Castellaro, September 2014)

"It was an unforgettable experience. We all enjoyed it. The staff are attentive but not intrusive and catering for the special needs of the children beautifully. I'd rate it as one of the best holiday experiences I've ever had. It was so lovely to stay in such a beautiful Villa. The staff and food were excellent." Mr Andrew Grech (stayed at Don Arcangelo all'Olmo, September 2014)

"AMAZING!!!!" Ms Martha Lam (stayed at Il Palmento dei Castagni, September 2014)

"Stick to the knitting! You are an extraordinary professional company that really understands that it is in business because it has customers, and you really do try to understand what they want, what motivates them, and what will keep them coming back. You evidently know the places you operate in, and that can't be scaled easily." Mr Mark Helme (stayed at Villa Armerina, September 2014)

"We just loved the villa. It was very clean; kitchen was well stocked; the views were amazing; the sunset awesome; everything about it was perfect. We were surprised by the sheer ruggedness of the mountains. We did not expect the terrain to be so mountainous. Sicily was magical . . . Everything surprised us; it was so better than expected. We would not hesitate using your services again. Our trip to Sicily is still magical - can't get the feeling out of us. Thanks again for all the service you provided for us. If there were a "10," I would rate it that. We particularly enjoyed the villa itself, the shear surrounding, the Sicilian cuisine - we enjoyed everything." Mr John Redmond (stayed at Casa Nuvola, September 2014)

"We were new both to ‘Think Sicily’ as an organisation and to the Island as a destination, and from the very first contact the customer friendly approach of your team delivered to us one of our best ever holidays: We absolutely fell under the spell of Villa Cecilia: a cubist rendering of the Roman Villa by Italian architect Bertorelli, it is a very unique setting surrounded by the beautiful Nature Reserve of the Parc de la Madonie, looking out to the Aeolian Islands on the Northern Coast. Its deceptively simple layout made it for us the perfect holiday house (with three active, adventurous boys aged 8 to 13!), perfect for the geography and the climate. It was great to enjoy so easily the characterful beauty of the coastline between Cefalu and Capo de Orlando from the walk-around terrace of the house, sometimes following the shade around the house as the sun changed position. We thrived on a daily diet of Spectacular sunsets, wonderful Mediterranean landscape, vegetation and fauna, to surround our evening conversations after another delicious meal... Looking up and inland the charming nearby eagle’s nest town of Pollina (10 min by car) offered many memorable visions, being a perfect setting for fantasy plays by the boys, and delightful food at the restaurant overlooking the Roman open–air theatre. Last but not least, we felt truly ‘invisible’. Enjoying the fray of beach activities along the coast and able to retire to the solace and cool relaxation of the house at will, time had truly suspended its flight.. I hope I was able to convey how truly happy , refreshed, regenerated and charmed we all were from our holiday in this particular villa. The children all loved it, the friend who joined us with her son loved it. We look forward to visiting other parts of Sicily, but will definitely look to return to Villa Cecilia in the not too distant future" Mathilde Drescher-Taylor (stayed at Cecilia, September 2014)

"We enjoyed every minute of our holidays" Mrs Ewa Szymanski (stayed at La Pergola, September 2014)

"We are well travelled, but given this positive experience, we will definitely be looking at Puglia and would consider using you anywhere in the Med, if you had the same level of product and service." Mr Nigel Halkes (stayed at Al Plemmirio, September 2014)

"I have had the good fortune to travel to some of the world’s best hotels in my time so far. This was our first time dropping the hotel option and booking a villa, I must be honest and say that I really am not easily pleased. The entire trip from start to finish was fantastic. The service and general experience of using Think Sicily was awe inspiring. Until we stumbled across your website we had spent weeks trawling through villa websites, only to find that each one we liked had been taken already. It was a bit of a ploy just to get us in contact with the estate agents in Italy. The websites were difficult to use, the pictures often were not great and there was no service plus the costs of good villas were vast in comparison to your villas. When Sarah found your website, I refused to believe that any of your fantastic late deals were available and even bet her that it was a con. To be able to book these villa’s directly on your very customer friendly and brilliantly designed website was refreshing. This was only the start, to receive the villa/area bespoke book with full instructions and entertainment suggestions was a very nice touch. As was having the mobile number of a local person on call for any of our needs. The list goes on really and I find it hard to put into words how impressed we are with your company. Please get more locations under your belt. As for the villa. It was equally brilliant. We wanted seclusion, beautiful views, something rustic/old fashioned and a bit of luxury – that is exactly what we got. The villa itself is at the top of a private road, the only thing that you can hear is the cows and goat bells as they walk around in the surrounding fields. The views of the mountains were brilliant – the local villages (two) all had lovely people and absolutely no one spoke a word of English which made it feel that bit more special. The local butchers without doubt had the best meat we have ever eaten and the owners of the villa that met us upon arrival were equally charming." Richard Nehme (stayed at Principato, September 2014)

"We have just returned from our wonderful stay in Zeffiro. It exceeded our expectations by a wide margin. The welcome pack was more of a complete introduction to the wonders of the very best of Sicilian fare and kept us going for most of the week. The location is just too good to be true, right on the beach, wonderful views of the bay and of Selinunte. We loved going to bed with the sound of the waves lulling us to sleep. The villa is so well equipped and laid out with it's lovely terraces and gardens. Thank you for arranging the chair for Sylvia - it was just right for her. She managed very well on the holiday and even got in the sea a couple of times, made easier by the doors downstairs opening directly onto the beach. Please thank the owners for their generosity. We will be using you again - plans already formulating!!" Jo Dennis (stayed at Zeffiro, September 2014)

"Experiencing new adventures with our friends has added to our repertoire of great trips and memories to share." Mrs Diane Arrell (stayed at Casa Nuvola, September 2014)

"It was a great place, your villas are possibly the best that I've seen anywhere and we all agreed that it was probably the best villa holiday that we've had." Mrs Delyth Turner-Harriss (stayed at Le Chicas, August-September 2014)

"Sun, food, seafood, diving off the rocks, ice cream, peace on Archimedes roof terrace. Cooking with unusual ingredients. Coffee. Peace and the ability to relax." Dr Elizabeth Stokes (stayed at Archimede, September 2014)

"It is a beautiful villa in a lovely location in a beautiful area of Sicily. Rosa and her daughter were charming and looked after us superbly including cooking 3 amazing dinners. This is a beautiful area with great food restaurants beaches and wine! We did not hear an English voice the entire 2 weeks." Ms Amanda Aspinall (stayed at Oliva, September 2014)

"The property was perfect for us, the pool and outdoor areas were our favorite part. This was a perfect family holiday, relaxing, great weather and of course food. We had sunny days every day with the exception of one afternoon storm. Amazingly (even though it was summer) Etna was covered in snow! We really didn't like leaving... If only we booked two weeks,,,," Mrs Di Ritter (stayed at La Limonaia, September 2014)

"It is hard to say..everything was wonderful. The people are very friendly. The landscape amazing, not to mention the food and wine. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Sicily. The villa, staff and driver were all wonderful. We will consider another trip to Sicily, and we look forward to working with Think Sicily again! We will refer your services to our friends. We did not want to return to the USA! We had a wonderful time and would recommend you services to our friends." Mr Robert B Orler (stayed at Villa Principe di Lumia, September 2014)

"Loved, loved, loved the food market in Ortegia and particularly enjoyed the lovely deli where Charlotte suggested we had lunch on our last day. We loved it all!" Ms Daryl Stevenson (stayed at Al Plemmirio, September 2014)

"I loved my holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it." Mr Lindsay Johnson (stayed at Le Sorbe, August-September 2014)

"As you know, we are back from Sicily almost a week now, and we cannot believe how much we loved Sicily and our Villa Pietra Nera. I have written to Poppy, and was remiss not to send you a line earlier as well!! We all fell in love with Sicily, and in particular, Pietra Nera was so perfect!!!! We cannot believe the incredible 360 degree views from the house…..and we woke up every morning very happy to be exactly where we were. The house was perfect……a little rustic, super chic, very country Italian. And we loved Dina so much! She was so wonderful to us….always smiling and cheerful…..and was such a hard worker. She never stopped. She even went to the store to pick some things up for us one morning…..as we were out of milk and eggs and something like that. What a doll she is. Please tell her we love her very much!!!! We had the most amazing days…..and relaxed at night at the Villa. It was definitely a bit hard to find, up that winding road…..but we loved that isolation…..and we knew that the local villages were only 10 minutes away…..and that we could get on to the Autostrada within 15 minutes! We went to Mt. Etna, Gambino Winery, Syracusa, Ortigia, Taormina, and of course some local villages near the Villa. We also spent an entire day on the sea in a wonderful boat, which I booked separately through the Internet. We had the most INCREDIBLE day at sea, spent all day swimming and relaxing…..and the boat was awesome as was the Captain. I had booked this excursion through Portum, Ltd……and if you are interested in adding another vendor to your boat excursion list, I highly recommend Portum. They gave me a slightly better price than you offered, and the boat, captain, and service was amazing. The best day of the trip!!!!! The boat was hot! (As was the young Captain….hahahaha…..). You were most wonderful in my pre planning preparation……and you were one of the reasons this trip was such a success for us!!! My friends thought I was a genius for planning such a wonderful trip in a wonderful place…..but it was really you and Poppy who were the smart ones! Poppy really steered us into the right Villa….and you helped us prepare for the best week ever!!!!! No request was too big or too small for you and you filled all of my requests with a smile! Charlotte even hand delivered the Yoga Mats to us on our arrival day. That’s what I call service!!!!!! Thanks so much, again, Barbara…..and I hope to work with you and Poppy again. Hopefully next year……fingers crossed. I love the Thinking Traveller…..and I will tell all of my friends about your wonderful agency." Carol Richman (stayed at Pietra Nera, September 2014)

"What an amazing villa- and location. The size- I thought it was a small island. The history and the variety of historical places to visit. The food....simply fantastic." Mr David Miller (stayed at Lilli, May 2014)

"Perfect in every way possible. So many special touches, the owners delightful. We went as an extra special holiday and it certainly was. Friendliness of the locals, especially in the area we stayed. Everything was wonderful, thank you everyone." Miss Susan Watt (stayed at Giara, August-September 2014)

"Really friendly locals, who were very tolerant and helpful despite our lack of Italian. Really good cheap and authentic meals. Ice cream, granitas, arancini, tomatoes, figs (fresh from the villa's own tree...........wonderful!! we liked the villa so much so did not venture too far afield..........but we preferred small and local. Good local food shops, pizzeria etc and lovely pace of life. We loved by contrast Castelbuono. Beautiful and peaceful. Mount Etna on a tour was stunning. Great experience. In particular we enjoyed the feeling that we were independent visitors rather than part of the tourist hordes. The layout of the website really helped us choose a villa that fitted in with that ideal." Mr Michael Lambert (stayed at Buzza Alta, August-September 2014)

"The photographs on your website cannot do justice to the most magnificent setting and the 360 degree views. The setting, location, and views of the Villa exceeded my expectations!!!!! What we enjoyed most was the Villa itself.....the views, views, and more views. It was so special to have this beautiful Villa as our home for the week. We also enjoyed our excursions to the most wonderful places, and the ease at which we were able to travel to our various destinations was actually a pleasant surprise.We all enjoyed this Holiday so much that I am already thinking of what/where we want to go next year. This was the most wonderful holiday we've had.....and that includes a Honeymoon 20 years ago on the Amalfi Coast!! We loved this so much!!!!!" Ms Carol Richman (stayed at Pietra Nera, August-September 2014)

"Infinito and Enzo and Simone cooking delicious meals for us." Mrs Fran Morris (stayed at Infinito, August 2014)

"The kindness of the local people and the wonderful food and wine. Had a great holiday overall and planning next one." Mrs Jane Staveley (stayed at Casale Castelluzzo, June 2014)

"We enjoyed everything honestly. the scenery was amazing and the scale of mount Etna was breathtaking." Mr Gaby Charbachy (stayed at Badia, August 2014)

"The most wonderful experience was that we enjoyed our trip with the Thinking Traveller from beginning to end, nothing in particular :)" Mag Marie Harmer (stayed at Archimede, August 2014)

"The villa! The food! The pool!" Mrs Lucinda Leathes (stayed at Lilli, August 2014)

"We had a fantastic time, weather beautiful and scenery lovely. Loved the villa, especially the view!" Mrs Karen Casson (stayed at Pizzo Castellaro, August 2014)

"A charming romantic island. Depending on where you are staying visits are really worthwhile. We loved Casa di Pietra - offered us exactly what we were looking for and most of all loved Marika and her family who treated us like family. I hope that you will pass on to her our thanks for making our stay so special. Marika was our guide and sent us to fabulous beaches and the surrounding towns of Ragusa Ibla, Modica and Scicli - all beautiful." Mrs Emma Green (stayed at Casa di Pietra, August 2014)

"Well having an erupting volcano was pretty surprising and was mesmerising! The people were kind and eager to be helpful. Villa Badia is a treasure trove of history and very special. Excellent value for money - we have paid a lot more for a lot less before! Thank you so much." Miss Rowena Miller (stayed at Badia, August 2014)

"The people, scenery, weather, food. Everything. The owners being on site on arrival was wonderful and greeted us to a home prepared meal and wine. Again another added touch. The rustic feel, beautiful gardens and antiques made us feel like we were staying in a home rather than a rental property." Mr Mark Nightingale (stayed at Casale Castelluzzo, August 2014)

"It was a lovely villa and pool and close to the beautiful city of Scicli which was brilliant to visit at night and eat there . Also close to the beach at Sampieri. Scicli was an astonishingly beautiful city, rich in history, architecture and culture. Everybody was extremely friendly and helpful particularly as we can't speak any Italian- but have joined an Italian class on returning home! We were surprised by how much we wanted to return. We enjoyed everything and cannot think of any improvements! I can't think of anywhere! We really liked not having to stay in a hotel and all that that entails. We will definitely be booking with you again next year as we trust your judgement regarding the villa and area implicitly !" Mr Gary Marshall (stayed at Le Corti di Cannamara, August 2014)

"We loved the baskets of fresh figs which the gardener delivered to us during the week. Driving along the coast line. Erice is a beautiful town, great for wandering around and getting lost. The beautiful landscape; being so close to the sea. The sun, food and wine." Mrs Karen Foley (stayed at Casale Castelluzzo, August 2014)

"We were extremely satisfied with the villa and especially the caretaker service. The main villa is very big and we felt that we all had our own space. Having two independent apartments within the villa was advantageous as each family had their own privacy while being able to enjoy each other's company eg at mealtimes. It was a real treat to have our washing done and returned so efficiently." Mrs Barbara Doherty Hrabovska (stayed at La Rosa dei Venti, July-August 2014)

"The whole staff couldn't have been better. The food was fabulous and the service was great too. the fresh out of the oven cake in the morning for breakfast!!" Mr Joseph Volpe (stayed at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, July 2014)

"The villa was beautiful and surrounded by lovely countryside. Luigi was lovely and left some fantastic food for us the first night. It was very gratefully received as was the beer and wine! Thank you Luigi for the fresh tomatoes and figs and for buying floats for the children. It was much appreciated." Mrs Kate McLean (stayed at Il Cappero, July-August 2014)

"The rich cultural diversity of the Island together with the helpfulness of the locals. My son especially enjoyed discovering cannoli." Mrs Anna Lozinska-Brown (stayed at Profondo Blu, July-August 2014)

"This was the best villa we have rented. We loved it. We didn't use a cook this time, and the maid was great. The owner is absolutely wonderful, he was extremely helpful and friendly. After all these years in Sicily nothing surprises us anymore, for the good! We mostly value the house, the beach, and the closest town to the house. This might have been our best holiday in Sicily. The house was the most important part, and Noto is like home now. I think you should add Palazzolo Acreide in the visiting tours, and the restaurant Da Andrea there is wonderful." Mrs Simona Stevens (stayed at Cubo al Mare, July-August 2014)

"We had the most fabulous fortnight at Casa Carcicera. Lucia was a fabulous caretaker and was extremely welcoming. She and her sister cooked two delicious meals for us and could not have been more helpful answering all our questions regarding the surrounding area. We will definitely return! We thoroughly enjoyed our villa and the fantastic pool. The beaches on the south coast were beautiful and the lidos provided good food and facilities. We were surprised what good value the supermarkets were." Mrs Louise Kitchen (stayed at Casa Carcicera, August 2014)

"Very friendly people, great weather, fantastic location, very diversified countryside. would have loved to have stayed longer." Mr Richard Fernandes (stayed at Gli Ulivi, August 2014)

"Excellent food, fabulous ice creams and very hospitable and friendly people wherever we went." Mr Richard Pettifor (stayed at Cecilia, August 2014)

"This villa was outstanding. The rooms were bright and flowed so well. We loved all the different outside areas. The outside was as much a part of the villa as inside. Staphania was really great. We had decided to have a food shop waiting for us and she cooked our first two meals. The food she bought was fresh and great quality and the meals were wonderful, as good as any restaurant. We loved every minute. During our stay we had the beach at the bottom of the garden to ourselves every day." Mrs Yvonne Bennett (stayed at Buzza Alta, August 2014)

"Our villa was faultless and even better than expected - despite all the amazing reviews we had read it still surpassed expectations. The pool and garden at the villa! It was so hot and having that oasis of calm was just heavenly. It was absolutely brilliant - we can't wait for our next villa holiday." Mrs Annabel Davidson (stayed at Villa San Tommaso, August 2014)

"This Villa was exceptional, the stay was unbelievable. So private, even though a couple of homes around which we enjoyed having in the background. Lovely little town, very safe. We loved the history, food, wine, shopping. Most of all enjoyed their relaxed way of life." Mr Andrew Tramonte (stayed at Ballata, July 2014)

"The owner Benedetto was very generous, helpful and charming. We immediately felt at home in his beautiful place and enjoyed every inch of it! Every morning we were stunned by the beautiful view of the sea and Etna (should really be mentioned on the site)! We were absolutely fascinated to see so many different historical and cultural sites concentrated on this island. The people, the food and very versatile nature are one of a kind! We're coming again!!! We hope that says it all!" Frau Sasha Foster (stayed at Estiva, July 2014)

"Sicily was a real pleasant surprise. The nature, friendly people, excellent wine and food and not expensive at all." Mr Anselm Van den Auwelant (stayed at Acquamarina, July-August 2014)

"The cooks (Giovanni and Rosa) were remarkable. We had such a wonderful, friendly and enjoyable time while they looked after us. I would recommend them highly. Although their English was non-existent and my Italian stretches to about 10 words we had a great time. They recommended places for us to visit and cooked marvelous food. They cleaned up afterwards and left the place spotless. It made a real difference to our holiday. When we were left both my family and Rosa & Giovanni were sad to say goodbye - always a good sign." Mr Sean Davies (stayed at Adagio, July-August 2014)

"Wonderful place, company and food." Mr Alex Lejeune (stayed at Baia dei Turchi, July-August 2014)

"The outstanding monuments, art, architecture and the wonderful food." Ms Joanne Simpson (stayed at Cinnamon, July-August 2014)

"Owner very welcoming, welcome pack above and beyond anything we'd ever had before in other villa companies. We had a small issue with drainage in the summer house in Egesta, which was dealt with in a quick, friendly manner, pool was exceptional, as were views and grounds, with fruit trees laden with fruit. great place to escape from the hassles of modern day life. The friendliness of the people, the scorching sun and delicious (and reasonably priced) food. In particular our daughters adored the real Italian ice cream and my goodness the seafood was wonderful!" Mrs Sam Cope (stayed at Egesta, July 2014)

"Wonderful experience at the villa. The owners were SO amazing, kind and helpful. All in all, we had a great time and really fell in love with the area! The fruit, bread, cheese, etc. waiting for is on arrival was just wonderful! The Think Sicily staff were great and villa owners are wonderful folks!" Mrs Allison Brant (stayed at La Pergola, July 2014)

"The natural beauty of the countryside & coastline is breathtaking & the architecture in the towns & cities is amazing, making Sicily one of the most picturesque places ever to visit. The Sicilian people were warm, friendly & welcoming & nothing was ever too much trouble. The food, wines & lemoncello added to the experience to make this our best holiday so far.Sicily was a dream holiday destination which I would recommend to anyone wanting a holiday with that something extra special, regardless of it being a for a family or break for two Our villa stay was the middle part of our Sicilian holiday & the best with its beautiful surroundings, house & pool. We are already discussing our return visit to a different part of the island, but there was still so much to see & do on the east coast that we ran out of time. Overall we had a fantastic Sicilian experience." Miss Treena McWilliams (stayed at Villa Armerina, July 2014)

"This has to be one of the most attractive and well set up rental properties I have ever hired." Ms Amanda Wedgwood (stayed at Ortigia, July 2014)

"The staff and grounds of carcicera are fantastic. Great people and great property. We love sicily and we adore Think Sicily." Ms Rebecca Messina (stayed at Casa Carcicera, July 2014)

"It was really fantastic. The attention to detail inside the house was above our expectations - and the bedrooms were significantly more comfortable than in many villas I have been to. The maid Maria was fantastic and I would encourage people to get her more and the cook - Beatrice was really wonderful - above our expectations and good value. Simon and Martin were incredibly helpful and extremely discreet. How wonderful it was! I think it is good that you stick to what you really know." Mrs Helen James (stayed at L'Eclisse, July 2014)

"We loved it! the views, location were fantastic. We enjoyed the beach, the food and especially the people!" Mrs Roxane Angotta (stayed at Oriente, July 2014)

"We loved it and will probably be going back there. Early morning sunshine overlooking the sea. Closeness to shops and bars. The freshness and quality of the food and the friendliness of the people." Mr Richard Furlongbrown (stayed at Archimede, July 2014)

"The villa was of a high standard, very clean and well appointed. The owner was friendly and helpful but not obtrusive. We had a great time! relaxed and good value. " Mrs Jane Van Aken (stayed at Casa di Pietra, July 2014)

"Absolutely wonderful villa that suited our needs - wonderful location - and with proximity to nearby towns and restaurants - could not be better." Ms Robyn Norton (stayed at I Lentischi, July 2014)

"Perfect holiday location. Fascinating island with something for everyone. We were a party with ages ranging from 4 to 68 and we all had a fantastic time. we did a little bit of adventuring but were equally happy enjoying the villa and its surroundings." Mrs Caroline Scott-Gall (stayed at Azzura, July 2014)

"Fascinating and wished we had been there longer. Hopefully next time." Ms Patricia Salas (stayed at La Corte, July 2014)

"With so many people to look after it was lovely to have a fully staffed villa and the cook Daniella and Davide could not have been helpful and accommodating. we did especially love La Favorita, with its at times quirky but beguiling elegance, a true oasis in an otherwise perhaps not as breathtakingly beautiful part of Sicily as some others." Mrs Geraldine Thomas (stayed at La Favorita, July 2014)

"We loved the villa - a perfect lay out for our extended family of different ages. Marika and her husband were very friendly and helpful and Marika is an excellent cook! We loved our time in the villa - the environment was beautiful and the outside kitchen and big table was a great focal point where we could all meet for breakfast, lunch etc. Lovely pool and plenty of comfortable sun loungers. Also plenty of attractive shady spots. The rooms were really cool - all the teenagers loved having there own space and ensuite showers, many outside. Beautiful." Mrs Sara Nevrkla (stayed at Casa di Pietra, July 2014)

"Thank you - this was a superb holiday and we'd do it again. Altea, (less isolated than anticipated = good) Food, Da Vittorio, beach at Da Vittorio, epic landscapes, variety in landscape." Mrs Julia Slocombe (stayed at Altea, July 2014)

"I took 9 people to Badia that hadn't been there before and they all loved it and want to go back next year. The only times that we left the villa were to go shopping. Otherwise, everyone was perfectly happy to stay at home enjoying the place." Mrs Sally Pyke (stayed at Badia, July 2014)

"Loved the villa, views are amazing. Everything! food, wine, lovely historical buildings. Cefalu was a delight. Sea is crystal clear, people were great, nice that we had to make an effort with the language as not too touristy." Mrs Sally Pyke (stayed at Casa Nuvola, July 2014)

"The goats. The cheese. The breeze." Catherine Villiger (stayed at Egesta, July 2014)

"We expected good food, warm weather, plentiful historical ruins and a beautiful ocean. We did not realize just how physically beautiful Sicily is. Further, although not cheap to get to from the US, it is much less expensive then many parts of Europe once you are there. Finally, even though we were there in the middle of July, it never seemed crowded to us. Sicily greatly exceeded our expectations." Peter Charvat (stayed at Le Sorbe, July 2014)

"Everything! food,wine,lovely historical buildings. Cefalu was a delight. Sea is crystal clear,people were great,nice that we had to make an effort with the language as not too touristy." Sally Pyke (stayed at Casa Nuvola, July 2014)

"Ideal combination of amazing sea/beaches, sublime food, extensive history/culture (Noto, Ortigia, Ragusa, Modica...) and fantastic weather. The perfect destination." Emilioano Ragnini (stayed at Clementina, July 2014)

"Etna erupting! The wine tour was so much better than any wine tasting we have done previously, and the wine was a very high standard." Stacey Curran (stayed at Pietra Nera, June-July 2014)

"(i) The scenery; (ii) The scenery." Francis Charig (stayed at Casa de Arena, June-July 2014)

"The beautiful scenery and the prices of food are very reasonable. Quality of produce and meat was great." Charles Best (stayed at Egesta, June 2014)

"We visited last year, so we know the area pretty well now. We were again surprised by the warmth and friendliness of everyone we met: in several restaurants people actually remembered us from last year." John Vater (stayed at Casa delle Sirene, June-July 2014)

"We found Cefalu a wonderful town with lovely streets to wander around, super restaurants to lunch in and a great beach with the choice of sun beds or places to just put your towel down and enjoy. The hill towns such as Castell Buono are wonderful to walk around and just sit in the evening in the square and get the feel of local life." Jennifer Wells (stayed at Pizzo Castellaro, June-July 2014)

"The villa was lovely especially having our own pool and beach! The weather was perfect, so hot!" Hannah Russell (stayed at Buzza Alta, June-July 2014)

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