Southern Italy in the fall still has the same red sauce. The island of Sicily doesn't change. The mountains are still green, the people still smiling, and the times just as relaxing. Sicily off-season is as nice as anywhere else in the world, and it's always Sicily.
For travel packages to Sicily, check out Perillo Tours (tel. 800/431-1515; www.perillotours.com) for a 14-day tour of the South of Italy and Sicily that starts at $3,199 including all accommodations, sightseeing and airfare. The round-trip airfare is from New York, Boston, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago. The trip also includes daily American breakfast and some dinner feasts as well as all sightseeing tours including a Vatican visit, all transportation on a deluxe tour bus and the use of a professional tour guide. Hotel taxes are also included but airport departure fees and security taxes are not. The trip covers Palermo, Agrigento, Sorrento, and Rome. Departures are on Wednesday with a Tuesday return. Dates include November 5, 9, 16, and 30, 2005 as well as other dates in December and the early part of 2006.
Homeric Tours (tel. 800/223-5570; www.homerictours.com) offers a trip called "Sicily on Your Own" that starts at $1,639 for a ten-day/8-night package that includes airfare out of the New York area. The unguided tour allows you much independence and exploration as well as three nights in Palermo, two nights in Agrigento, and three nights in Taormina. An eight-day rental car is also included in your self-exploration tour. Accommodations are at "first-class" hotels for the duration of your trip and all inside-Italy airport transfers are included. Security fees and departure taxes are not included. Daily breakfast is also included. The prices for November departures start at $1,859 for double occupancy.
For a combination trip that includes Malta, Gozo and Sicily, Academic Tours (tel. 800/875-9171; www.academictours.com), offers a land-only trip starting at $645 for a moderate-priced hotel with less amenities. The trip departs November 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2005 as well as December 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2005 and numerous dates throughout 2006. This trip starts in Malta and includes European air transfers, seven nights lodging, daily breakfast and dinner, transportation by an air-conditioned bus, sightseeing excursions, and pre-departure reading materials to keep you up-to-date with the history and intricacies of the region. Malta is a haven for European jet setters. Small in size, it has an independence streak and vigor all its own. Combined with Sicily, this trip leaves you understanding the lower Mediterranean.
Pilgrim Tours (tel. 800/322-0788; www.pilgrimtours.com) also has several tours of Sicily including a land-only winter package that departs from November 2005 till March 2006. The trip includes seven nights and circles from Palermo and back stopping at such towns and cities as Segesta, Erice, Trapani, Siracusa and Catania. Departure dates include November 12 and 26, and December 3, 2005 for $794. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included daily as are local guides and taxes. Airfare and airport transfers are not included. An entrance fee of $70 will be applied to the tour package for sightseeing excursions.