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I am glad that this tour is offered from Taormina as it was much easier to take a tour than to arrange transportation by train/bus on my own to both Syracuse and Noto. In addition, the tour guides were knowledgeable and offered considerable historical information. Having said that, the tour was deficient in some areas. In particular, the tour bus was completely filled about 50 people so quite a bit of time was taken picking up and then in the evening, dropping off passengers in several locations. Next, the same tour was being offered in three languages so we had to sit through the same explanation three times. Worse yet, sometimes, people chatted during the explanations that were not in their language which made it hard to follow what the guide was saying. It was hot in the archeological park in Syracuse that day, apparently not an unusual event, so waiting around while Santos repeated the same explanations three times was non-ideal. If he had given a hint as to where the next stop was we could have sought out some shade during the second and third explanations, but we were left clueless. Alternatively, two guides should have been provided for such a large group. We were led on a walking tour to Ortygia, but the guide walked very fast, the city was crowded, and it was difficult to follow the group since we didn't know who they were, which led to some anxiety that could have been avoided by the guide walking a bit slower. Then, Santos led us on a walk along the water in Ortygia, which would have been lovely on a cool day, but instead was unpleasant in the blistering heat. Why he didn't lead us along the shaded area across the street is anyone's guess. Many of us just deflected at that point. The free time in Ortygia was pleasant. The hour in Noto was plenty of time to see the fine architecture on the main street.
We booked this trip through Viator and turned up on time. We were first in line and got on the bus and the driver said that this was not the correct bus and turned us away. Well it was. Driver did the check in and did not even check if our name was on his list. Guide arrived much later and made no call out. There was no sign with the tour companies name on it. We missed out on trip because of this process. Not good enough. We will never get to see this part of the world.
Great tour with lots of information and knowledge about history, mythology, culture, etc. from past and present from our tour guide Christi. And Santo joined us for some guided info in the archaeological sites, entertaining and full of knowledge as well. Pleasure! These men, if they had been my teachers, would have been those type of teachers students would have loved to go listen to and be in class with.
This tour is big! and you are put into groups where the tour guide speak about two languges I had english and german. if you a patient kind of person who can stand waiting for translation in the heat then its worth it. Although I think the tour guide shouldve bought the tickets for us as we had to queue for ages and people complaint it was a waste of time! The tour guide could have been kinder to us eventho it was such a big group he couldve let me go to the toilet when i needed but i went anyway. its good tho worth it i went to temple of athena which is where i always wanted to go to. there was a restaurant that served octopus dish called octopus salad although there were no leafs.
A very long but enjoyable day visiting Syracuse Ortigia and Noto, unfortunately not enough time to explore Noto. Tour Guide Christian was most informative and passionate! unfortunately he didn't introduce himself / driver Guiseppe until he had explained the programme to two French tourists on the bus which I thought was not appropriate!there were 2 assistant guides on tour who sat and front of bus and really did nothing! I really don't know the purpose of them been there!!overall a good tour but maybe more time to explore and see Syracuse and guided tour of Noto separately as in my view too much packed into a 1 day tour.
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