Testimonials 2017-2018-2019

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Camilla Falotico O'Keefe, Denver CAJim Bruno - BuffaloKathyrin Molfino Logan NJGlen & Staci Gulino - LouisianaJanis Gnoffo ( Chicago) Recent comment authors
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Camilla Falotico O'Keefe, Denver CA
Guest
Camilla Falotico O'Keefe, Denver CA


Ciro Grillo showed us around Palermo, including visits to Segesta, Mondelo, Trapani, Erice and Monreale. All of these sights were breathtaking. One of our days of touring, Ciro took us to a restaurant and bakery that were off the beaten path. The couscous lunch and cannoli were by far the best I have ever had!

But the highlight of our trip was meeting our Italian family, for the first time in Palazzolo Acreide. Ciro coordinated all activities and accommodations with family members, which we never would have been able to do (since we don’t speak Italian). All the while he was able to interpret for us (and them), bridging the language barrier, which was essential to having a successful family gathering. Ciro was also well versed in the history of Palazzolo Acreide which made our visit even more special.

Thank you, Ciro Grillo for making our trip to Sicily one my family will not forget. We will be back!

Jim Bruno - Buffalo
Guest
Jim Bruno - Buffalo

Ciro is the absolute best. Our trip to Sicily was like visiting a new place with an old friend. While we only had two days together he took us to the most wonderful places, shared amazing food and told us more about Sicily’s culture and history than you could ever learn without someone like him.

The highlight of our trip was a visit to Valledolmo where we met so many welcoming local people including some with the same surname as my mother. We could have never done that without Ciro’s guidance.

If you really want to EXPERIENCE Sicily, you must do so with Ciro.

Kathyrin Molfino Logan NJ
Guest
Kathyrin Molfino Logan NJ

Ciro was an excellent guide. He listened to what interested us and made adjustments to our liking. I believe his motto should be “I aim to please”. He is very well versed on all of Sicily; therefore, he exposed us to the authentic and real feel of the different towns and people’s cultures. He was a breathe of fresh air and always worked around us. Both my husband and I felt like we had two vacations in one! Worth every penny! Extremely enjoyable and may I add a trip of a lifetime!

Ross & Mary Sciara
Guest
Ross & Mary Sciara


We recently spent a week in Sicily under the tour guidance of Ciro Grillo. It was a wonderful week! We told Ciro where we wanted to go and he took care of the rest!
His ability to speak English as well as Italian made everything so much easier. He was very knowledgeable about the history of each place we went and conveyed that information to us. He usually had an assistant with him that made going to even the busiest places free of stress. I highly recommend Ciro to assist you on your trip to Sicily!

Glen & Staci Gulino - Louisiana
Guest
Glen & Staci Gulino - Louisiana

We have just returned from a most wonderful trip to Sicily with family and friends, and are grateful to Ciro Grillo and his team for making this trip that was so important to us a reality.

Before our arrival, Ciro communicated with my husband’s cousin in Vallelunga and set up our visit with them – we had a simply lovely day there, and made memories we will always treasure. Additionally, he connected me with a most wonderful geneologist there, Giovanni Montanti, who assisted me in furthering my research in the ancestral villages.

Ciro worked with me prior to our arrival to carefully craft an itinerary that reflected our needs and desires. We covered much of the island in a matter of 12 days, and did so comfortably with expert drivers and in a very comfortable van that accommodated most of our group.

At my request, Ciro arranged for a recording session in a special church in his own village of Ventimiglia (also the home of our driver for the last part of our trip, Rosario:). After that, we visited the village, and were introduced to a wonderful family there who operate a restaurant where we dined on a delicious several-course meal of foods and dishes specific to Ventimiglia – and were treated to some beautiful opera selections by the young son-in-law of the family. Afterwards we were invited into the kitchen with the family to watch their process for making bread for the restaurant. How special!

We were grateful to have Massimo and Gianni with us during the first week of the trip as our guides and interpreters. They were exceedingly kind and took care of our every need each day, and even cooked for us on a couple of nights (even after very long travel days), showing us how to make Sicilian pizza, bread and other recipes. They also surprised me with a birthday present on the morning of our trip to visit with the lafamiglia in Vallelunga, which was incredibly sweet! We were traveling with our 21 month old granddaughter, who they said is the “beauty of the family” – I think they may have fallen a bit in love with her as we all have!

So much more that could be said….but will wrap up by saying that we could not be more grateful to Ciro and his team for taking care every detail of our trip!

The Gulino’s

Nick Pitillo
Guest
Nick Pitillo

We had a tremendous experience with Ciro and his team! From handling our airport transfers, to bringing us to our ancesteral home of Valledolmo and having a guide/ interpreter that was amazing!! Cristina and Mario took amazing care of us and Ciro was always avaialble for any questions, etc. I would HIGHLY recommend using their services, as I certainly will upon my return. Grazie Mille!!

Joan Maxson and Friends!
Guest
Joan Maxson and Friends!

In this ancient land, with its rich multicultural legacy, and where Roman Catholicism coexists with vibrant echoes of the jealous, whimsical and sometimes vengeful Greek and Roman mythological Gods, some still believe the Fates intervene with human affairs for their own amusement.

So many fortuitous events drew six unrelated women to Sicily Routes, and its founder and our guide, Ciro Grillo, for the tour of a lifetime, through wildflower covered hills and sparkling seaside ports, through 6th century BC ruins, castles, gorgeous churches and museums, ricotta cheese farms and salt pans, sampling the freshest local seafood delicacies and its lemons, oranges, olives and almonds (also Caponata, Arancini, pasta, cannoli, gelato, pizza…), the finest (sulfate-free) wines, in the most charming, off-the-beaten-path restaurants in all of Sicily… mamma mia!

We believe the Fates were in very good moods when they brought us together. Now, friends for a lifetime.

Along with Margaret Sylvester and Rosario Pagano, our amiable and excellent driver, our group meshed well. Ciro speaks perfect English and is so knowledgeable about his native land, so accommodating, patient and flexible. We never felt rushed when we wanted to linger and play in an ancient Greek amphitheater, or dance with joy in the streets of Trapani after a sumptuous lunch prepared by a world-class chef.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you, Ciro, for this unforgettable experience, for your professionalism, knowledge, experience and for the love and respect you have for what you do and for your guests. And, may the Gods smile as kindly on all your future adventurers as they did on us.

Gina Presko
Guest
Gina Presko

Had a wonderful time in Sicily. It was a dream come true.

Alan
Guest
Alan

I’d like to thank you Ciro for organizing a truly unforgettable Sicily experience for me and my family. When friends back home asked how the trip was the first word that came to mind was “unbelievable”.

We were able to visit a wide variety of places – from the city of Palermo, to beach towns to ancient sites and the birthplace of my grandfather. With Enrico as our guide, we also learned a lot about the history along the way . He truly went above and beyond in guiding us to the places that made the trip special and stress free for us.

Grazie Mille!

Grace Rocco and Margaret Sicily tour
Guest
Grace Rocco and Margaret Sicily tour

I enjoyed the trip that I took to Sicily recently. Ciro was a very knowledgeable and helpful guide. He went above and beyond to make sure that we had everything we needed. I took the trip because I really wanted to see where the Italian detective series, Montalbano was filmed. Ciro took us to the beach house in the story and also the police station where The series is filmed. He even pointed out the house in Ragusa where Luca Zingaretti lives. I was the only Montalbano fan in our group, but everyone loved the beach and Ragusa. We liked our accommodations and the restaurants that we ate in. The winery where Ciro took us was really interesting, too, as were the salt flats and the Greek temples we saw.
We really enjoyed having Rosario Pagano as our driver and Margaret Sylvester as our host.
I never thought that I would like Sicily as much as I did and I know that it was do to the kindness and knowledge of Ciro, Rosario and Margaret that we all enjoyed being there so much.

Janis Gnoffo ( Chicago)
Guest
Janis Gnoffo ( Chicago)

This is our (my husband and I) third adventure to Sicily, guided by Ciro and his team. It warms my heart to walk the paths that our paternal grandparents traveled before enduring the long, hard sail to America. We thank Ciro for helping us locate their homes and the Churches they attended. Our most recent trip April 2019, brought us to the filming sites of Detective Montabano. We have been fans for nearly a decade and what fun it was to visit the places that were so familiar to us in the series. Ciro arranged for the two of the most experienced driver, Giovanni and sweet guide Max to take us to fictitious Vigata. They extended their knowledge to many more interesting places. I can’t wait till they come to the U.S., so we can show them around Chicago. We had several other drivers and guides traveling on to Mt Etna and more. One of the best things is, in using Sicilian Routes-just sit back and relax and enjoy the ride, the landscapes, the wonderful smells and the sunny Sicilians.
Looking forward to our next journey. My Nanna is smiling. Thank you Ciro and your warm and friendly Team. Ciao ciao.

Cathy e Rick - Maine
Guest
Cathy e Rick - Maine

Thank you Ciro Grillo for truly making our stay in Sicily perfetto! Seeing the towns where my ancestors are from, having access to information we other wise would not have obtained, and facilitating both meeting and communicating with my distant, never-before-met relatives in San Cataldo was much more than I expected. Ciro spent the whole day with me, my husband and my Sicilian family in San Cataldo and really made the day extra special. This was after a perfect day seeing the sights of Caccamo, another town of my ancestors. Gracie mille Ciro!!

Donna Pothier
Guest
Donna Pothier

Beautiful Tour with Marco and Ciro. Cannot wait to go back!! Marsala, Naro, Agrigento, Syracusa, Taormina… Restaraunts and amazing food. …. next time beaches, museums, Erna and Islands!!

Francesca Gervasi - NJ
Guest
Francesca Gervasi - NJ

I had a wonderful time while on my trip to Sicily. My guide Francesca was friendly, knowledgeable and so helpful and supportive during my entire time with her. I recommend any one planning a trip to Sicily use this wonderful organization.

Annette Campo - Redondo Beach (CA)
Guest
Annette Campo - Redondo Beach (CA)

I was fortunate to find Ciro and Sicily Routes via a recommendation on a Sicilian genealogy page on Facebook. When I found out Ciro knew the area where my grandparents emigrated from (Caccamo and Ventimiglia di Sicilia), I really wanted him to be our guide for the heritage portion of our trip to Sicily. His lovely assistant Cristina was our guide for the day, and we got to visit my grandparents’ hometowns, including a tour of Castello di Caccamo. We also enjoyed the festival of the Madonna of the Rosary in Ventimiglia di Sicilia. As a special treat, we got to meet the mayor and had dinner with the locals, including Crisitina’s family who were very welcoming. I felt very welcome and I can’t wait to return!

Victoria De Maio
Guest
Victoria De Maio

Ciro and I collaborated for over a year to create a customized immersive group tour of Sicily. In that time we became partners and friends and when it came to “delivering”, everything was absolutely as promised (and more!) Throughout our tour (October 2018), Ciro and his local guides/contacts were outstanding professionals contributing to the success of the tour. As a trusted preferred travel partner in Sicily, I wouldn’t hesitate to refer clients to Ciro and Sicily Routes!

Chip George - Chicago
Guest
Chip George - Chicago

Ciro
Thank you for being a fantastic guide and showing us a great time on our recent visit to Sicily.
Special thanks for help with closing the language barrier with me and my cousin on a special visit in Sciacca. Also, what a special treat with the visit to the Weigner Vineyard.
Your suggestion and arrangements here far exceeded any expectations.
Arrivederci

Antoinette Scardia
Guest
Antoinette Scardia

My children and I visited Sicily in September and Ciro Grillo was our tour guide and Rosario our driver. I can say that we had the most wonderful experience due to the professionalism and knowledge of our guide. The hotels were unbelievable and the suggestions for touring and dining were outstanding. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Ciro. If you want to see Sicily he is definitely the go to guy!! Excellent!!

Barbara and Frank Badome - NYC
Guest
Barbara and Frank Badome - NYC

Ciao Ciro,
I wanted to tell you what a wonderful experience we had with you and your team. The bed and breakfast Villa Cannoli you recommended exceeded our expectations we felt very much at home and loved breakfast on the terrace every morning.. We were a little hesitant at first but Pietro and Salvatore were wonderful.
Our day with Rosario and Andrea was great we enjoyed Erice and your suggestion to go to Segesta was great Frank loved the ruins our trip to Trapani and the salt ponds was interesting. The weather was a little cold but Rosario had jackets in his car that we used. He really came prepared. That special cannoli…what can I say. The best I have every had! We let them choose a place for lunch in Trapani and it was delicious!
Our day with Andrea to Sciara to visit the family was great he was good at doing the translations for us. He managed to find the church’s in Termini Immerse and Trabia without any trouble. We asked him to pick a place for lunch and we went to a restaurant at the bottom of the castle in Caccamo. It was so delicious. He is very personable and so much fun to talk to. He is going to be very successful in the tourist industry.
Our day with you to Cimmina was so meaningful to cousin Sal and Amy. The visit to the Museum was so interesting that we came home and purchased the movie “The Leopard” and are looking forward to seeing it. We all enjoyed the visit to Cefalu. Lunch near the water was great. The visit to your home town Ventimiglia was over the top. It is something Frank will never forget he loved the feast, the band and the singers and dancers. I will never forget the taste of those chestnuts! Thank you for showing us your family home so full of antiques! It was beautiful. Frank enjoyed talking with your cousin. The day went so fast. Cousin Amy and Sal were so impressed they kept thanking me for arranging it. I told them it was all you. They send you a big thank you!
Our last day with Christina was great. She found the church in Palermo with no problem. Amy and Frank got to see the church of their great great great grandparents. She took us for street food that Amy wanted to taste and we had a nice lunch very near the church. We felt a little bad for her she was trying so hard to accommodate Amy and Sal.but Sal was having a bad day due to his Altzeimers disease and did not want to walk. We told Christina to take him back to the hotel. I know she felt bad she had other places planned for us to see. We went back to the church and this time found it open so I was able to take pictures for Frank’s family genealogy book. She found the Jeweler and Frank was able to get his trinacria. He was so happy it was just what he wanted.
We had such a great time and look forward to visiting again some day.

Frank and Lynn Arnone - Brooklyn
Guest
Frank and Lynn Arnone - Brooklyn

Ciao Ciro,
Just a few words of thanks for your service in helping Lynn and I enjoy Sicily to its fullest.. We will have so many memories of the island, it’s people and of course the
Cannoli..We plan to return and most certainly contact you again. Pass our warmest regards to Enrico and again our thanks. Regards

Leah Ducato Rudolph
Guest
Leah Ducato Rudolph

I’m so very glad Allison Scola (Experience Sicily) put me in touch with Ciro as a guide and interpreter our first day in Sicily. It really helped us acclimate to the culture, people, and driving necessary for us to get around and make the most of the experience. We appreciated his advice and talents so very much and would highly recommend him! I’m only sorry we weren’t able to meet again before we left or get a group photo – make sure you do! Leah Ducato Rudolph

Nancy Abbinanti
Guest
Nancy Abbinanti

My husband and I visited Ventimiglia Di Sicilia with friends mid August. It is a small mountain village outside Palermo where my husband’s family originated from. Working along with Ciro Grillo and Giovanni Montanti we were able to learn about the Abinanti family in the village and locations where they lived and died. Ciro individualized our tour of the village to highlight family history and although it was a Saturday he arranged for us to visit the local museaum and have a delicious lunch at a restaurant that opened only for us. We even got to view a local wedding procession to the village church. I would definately recommend both individuals if researching ancestors in Sicily or paying a visit to the area.

Diana and Nancy NYC
Guest
Diana and Nancy NYC

My friend and I felt comfortable from the moment Ciro picked us up at the airport till the morning we were dropped off 11 days later to return to the USA. Ciro was extremely knowledgeable about Sicily and we were able to see so much more because we had him. We had the trip of a lifetime and will always remember the good time because of him.
Review:
To experience the best of Sicily, one needs a guide and a driver. We had the best in Ciro. For 10 days, we ate well, learned about Sicily, saw amazing sites, felt safe and assured, with an itinerary that was well planned and memorable. Thank you Ciro.

Ellen Torchinsky NYC
Guest
Ellen Torchinsky NYC

Ciao, Gracie Mille for a wonderful experience in Sicily. Without you we wouldn’t be able to see quarter of what we experienced with your knowledge and guidance! You were always there and yet invisible so we felt very much at ease. Thank you for letting us see Sicily thru your eyes and expertise, you were there to show and explain and let us know explore on our own. You let us enjoy incredible sights, local cuisine, and markets. Thank you for the best cannoli, yum!!! I don’t what else to say, it was the best experience ever. If you ever decide to venture outside of Sicily, please let me know, I have friends who needs someone like you in Amalfi coast. All our best to you and thank you once again from our family, ciao

Matt and Whitney Marshall AR
Guest
Matt and Whitney Marshall AR

I didn’t think Sicily could get any better, but today was absolutely amazing! Great food, wine, and scenery. The best was a medieval town called Erice that had the most spectacular views. Thanks to our guide Ciro Grillo and to Margie Raimondo for connecting us. Everyone should visit Sicily!

Janine, John and Maureen M. ( NY)
Guest
Janine, John and Maureen M. ( NY)

When we finally made the decision to go to Sicily on a tour organized here in New York, we had to figure out how to take a side trip to the town where our family was from. Thru our genealogist Giovanni Montani, we were put in touch with Ciro Grillo of sicilyroutes.com. We were met by Ciro at our hotel in Palermo and he drove us to the town of Resuttano, located in the center of the island. Thru research completed by Giovanni, Ciro was able to show us the two streets where our family lived, and later drove us up to the local cemetery for a quick walk around. Ciro is very knowledgeable, a great conversationalist, a safe driver and he made us feel right at home on our day tour. On the way back to Palermo, he took us to an amazing restaurant, Trattoria Don Giggio in Bagheria. The food was delicious and the setting was amazing. Before heading back to our hotel, Ciro suggested we take a look at the seaside town of Mondello. We are very glad we took this little side trip. What a beautiful seaside setting. If it hadn’t been ready to rain, we would have stayed longer and we know its a place we will return to. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been connected to Ciro and have him as our driver/guide for our family trip to Resuttano. We would recommend him highly, and look forward to seeing Sicily again, with his assistance.

Lisa Modica
Guest
Lisa Modica

Ciao, Ciro!
We missed you, but Enrique (spelling??) did a great job and we had a wonderful day! Alcamo was terrific as was every other stop we made. Trapani and the salt museum was absolutely fantastic! We never knew that salt could be so fascinating! Ned kept repeating for an hour or so after the tour, “I never knew salt could be so interesting!!”. We loved the girl who did that tour (the granddaughter of one of the original owners if I’m saying that correctly).

She was terrific! Very informative, as were you! Erice was amazing, the drive up a bit scary, but we made it! Unfortunately, we were fogged out about 5 minutes after leaving the car, so the view was not possible for pictures of the coast, but we snapped a few on the way up. The medieval feel of the city was just incredible. The cannoli in Dattilo was the best cannoli I have ever eaten in my life and the staff there was lovely. Please tell Mario thank you again for treating us to the cannolis. That was not necessary, and we we truly appreciate his generosity. This entire trip was made so very special by you and Mario and Enrique (spelling?). It was really the trip of a lifetime for me. I appreciate all you 3 did to make it so special. Ned is the best to have made this possible for me. I will be posting some pics once we get home and I have a chance to get unpacked. If my mom sends you too many messages, please let me know….she means well and loves Il Volo very much, some times she doesn’t realize she may send too many messages.
Oh…and how could I have forgotten to mention Segesta? Another amazing area of Sicily! I could tour ruins all day long and never get bored. I will be telling everyone I know that they must put Sicily on their list of places to visit and that they must use you and Mario to get around! I am so glad to have come here and so glad to have seen all that we did and have learned so much about where my family is from. I will never forget this trip and cannot say thanks enough!

Patricia Sherk TX
Guest
Patricia Sherk TX

Ciro is a wonderful driver and guide. He knows and loves Sicily, which is quite beautiful. Our hotels and the food were excellent.
You definitely want Ciro doing the driving in Palermo!!! And Ciro knows the absolute best place in Palermo for gelato!!! I warmly recommend Ciro for your vacation in Sicily. He is very accommodating to your needs.
Many thanks

Ira and Andrea J–New York
Guest
Ira and Andrea J–New York

Ciro and his team gave us a marvelous 10 day trip to Sicily in the Fall of 2017. He planned and executed it brilliantly; everything–hotels, food, sightseeing– went off beautifully. We look forward to returning with him.

Karen Bordelon
Guest
Karen Bordelon

Ciro
Everything went very well. Guides were great! Thanks!

Gina Masino
Guest
Gina Masino

Ciro
Just wanted to tell you that Marco did an excellent job.
If I come back to Sicily or know anyone in need of a guide, I will recommend you.Thank you

Mike + Erica
Guest
Mike + Erica

Erica and I are used to planning things on our own when we go somewhere new, but a family member recommended Ciro to us and told us he would show us things we’d never be able to find on our own. Even though we only had 5 days in Sicily, Ciro brought us to so many wonderful and beautiful places! We had the best cannolo in Sicily at a small shop in a small town, we saw Taormina from the even higher mountain town of Castelmola, and most amazingly, we were able to get in touch with, and meet, relatives of mine in Sciacca! Ciro really loves Sicily and knows so much the history of the island and things to see and do, and it’s very apparent when traveling with him. It was so worth it to tour with him, and we really hope to be able to do it again someday.


Grazie mille Ciro! All our best

Andrea Parinisi Tippet PA
Guest
Andrea Parinisi Tippet PA

Special thanks to Ciro Grillo and Rosario for a fabulous tour of Sicily. Also to Michaelangelo D’Michelangelo D’Ambrisi for putting this trip together for us. Everything could not have been more perfect.

Jay Morreale NY
Guest
Jay Morreale NY

Ciao Ciro,
Grazie mille per i tour in Sicilia. Our family had a wonderful time, it could not have been better. We enjoyed seeing the ancestral towns as well as Trapani, Segesta, Mondello, Monreale, Cefalu’ and the rest.

My personal favorite was wandering through the Mercato il Capo in Palermo camera in hand. It was great meeting Giovanni for lunch in Trapani. And the food at Cantina Siciliana was fantastic. In fact, all the food we had was great.

Stephanie & London Frazer Violet (LA)
Guest
Stephanie & London Frazer Violet (LA)

If you are looking for the most authentic experience of Sicily I would highly recommend Sicily Routes by Ciro Grillo. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have gotten a chance to see Sicily for what it truly is. He is very knowledgeable when it comes to touring all the beautiful towns from coast to coast.

You can’t ask for a better tour guide he is great with communication and translating for you especially if you are going to meet with friends and family like we did! So to say the least Thank You Ciro for everything we truly appreciate! Until we meet again Ciao!

Ellen Merrit North Bend, Washington
Guest
Ellen Merrit North Bend, Washington

Ciro was a wonderful guide that took us to villages my husband’s family have lived in for centuries.

The car for the 6 of us was comfortable and his driving was wonderful. He called a woman in Licata who knew the town and she found the priest to lunlock the church where relatives were baptized and married.

Then Ciro helped us when I spoke to men in the Cerda town square inquiring about people in photos I had brought along that were taken by my husband’s aunt in 1977 and discovered one woman was still alive. Ciro then took us to her house and translated for over an hour so we now know two more LaMonica’s and Angelina was able to put names to most of the people in the unlabeled photographs. We had a wonderful day with Ciro.

We wouldn’t have those memories without him.

Jim Russo LIVONIA (MI)
Guest
Jim Russo LIVONIA (MI)

Ciao, mio amico, Ciro,

Thank you so very much for the countless acts of kindness you showed to me and Beth while we were in Sicily. Please let me know if you would like me to add anything to the testimonial below, or if there is something that you would like me to change.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to be put in touch with Ciro Grillo, a truly exceptional tour guide. While in Sicily, Ciro took the stress out of seeing the sites we wanted to see by driving us to various locations and expertly sharing details about the history of each location. Ciro’s services were absolutely indispensable when he drove us to meet our family in Sicily and acted as our interpreter since he is fluent in English and Italian.

Ciro will customize your travel based on what you request to see. Whether it is going to any location in Sicily, bringing you to the place that serves the best street food, or giving you a recommendation on a hotel or restaurant, Ciro will amaze you! I give Ciro the absolute highest recommendation since he is a wonderful tour guide, who becomes a very dear friend!

—Whether in Sicily, or in the United States, Beth and I look forward to seeing you again!

Ciao!