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Trip Report Sicily - self driving v's professional driver?

Though my husband has driven in Rome/Florence; Amalfi Coast, Paris, Avignon, Marseilles, Strasbourg and has sped along German autobahns many times with the best of them, he decided on our recent trip to Sicily that it would be too stressful to navigate the narrow roads (lanes?) of Sicily's charming hill towns on our own It would sap his energy and spoil our opportunity ( I navigate) to lap up the beauty of each town. So after putting out a plea to friends who are familiar with Sicily we received a strong recommendation for a driver.

It is with great reluctance that I share this special person with you. I am afraid he may become so popular that when we one day return to Sicily he will not have time to care for us!

One knows you are in good hands right away when Enrico, "Excursions Sicily" http://www.excursionssicily.com/ picks you up at the airport at the start of your Sicilian visit. It is clear he loves to drive. Not fast but within Sicilian laws which we so appreciated. And one knows you are good hands as he drives the twists and turns of the narrow streets and lanes of the small towns of Taormina, Ortigia, Noto, Giardini Naxos etc or up via the hill towns to access Mt Etna or to visit the Gamberino winery for lunch. He was able to make lunch reservations ahead for us. (But did not eat with us "It is your personal time" he said, for which we agreed

My husband was somewhat restricted in his walking due to a painful foot problem. Enrico took that into account in his planning. He was always considerate of our needs.

His suggestions for our daily tours were wonderful. Thanks to him we felt fortunate to be given an intimate peek into Sicily and Sicilian life.

He was always prompt, polite, thoughtful and upbeat. A true gentleman. It was an honour to get acquainted with him over our 5 day period in Sicily.

His pricing was fair for the length of time we were with him each day. Another impressive approach to his business.

We cannot recommend him highly enough. Though, as said at the outset, we will be pleased for him and sorry for us that he will become so popular along with his wonderful fleet of vehicles (appropriate for each kind of trip we took with him) that we might lose out when we return to complete our exploration of Sicily.

We based ourselves in Ortigia where Enrico picked us up every day. One afternoon the two of us hired an Ape with a driver to buzz up the lanes of the town, its mirrors almost touching the walls of the alleys we zipped down as we took in teh astounding Baroque architecture and tried to locate the restaurants we were interested in dining at. HIlarious.

We also loved Noto. Dined at Manna even for lunch. The best food we had anywhere in our Europe trip. Contemporary and freshest of ingredients.

Taormina is as pretty as its promo say it is. Lot of hilly walking. We dined at a small restaurant at the top of the hill outside Taormina's walls, thanks to Enrico. Way at the top!

Hope this helps someone to enjoy Sicily as much as we did. And that you will see it in a relaxed fashion and not have a heart attack caused by the constant twisting and turning of the narrow hill town roads!

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