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This was a wonderful tour. The drive to the Godfather sites was beautiful. We took this tour mainly to be able to see some of the beautiful country side. So glad we did because it was amazing. Afterward we visited Taorimina which is basically a long street with lots of shopping and restaurants. We did not have much time there but that suited us just fine because we wanted to see the country side more than we wanted to shop.
I signed up for this tour based on the description as given. We were on a cruise ship so had a small window to visit the area. Our tour was due to start at 8:30 am. Our tour guide Chiara told us we had to wait for a group of 8 people. We were forced to wait OVER one hour for a group who just straggled late with no explanation. This was very unfair to those of us who got there on time and ultimately took away from our time on the tour. I understand some Italian and the tour guide was on the phone with her boss who was clearly telling her to wait for the late group with no consideration for everyone else who arrived on time. Our first stop in Savoca was lovely. Our next stop was advertised as a visit to Forza D'argo and we did not go there. I showed the tour guide the tour description and she just said they did not go there with no further explanation. I wanted to see the monastery and this is one of the reasons I booked this tour. Taormina was lovely and we enjoyed this but most of the people on tour were not happy about the one hour delay and also about not going to Forza D'Argo. No one should wait more than 15 for latecomers. I have alerted Viator about both of these issues and while the tour guide was personable and interesting these other two issues took away for the experience.
Had this tour happened as advertised, it would've been perfect. The description was leave from Messina, visit Savoca for the Godfather experience, then to the charming Taormina for a few hours and the short stop at the Messina historic center. We were promised a private tour for 8 people.. Instead, our group was combined with another group that was on the Taormina and Castelmola tour on a big bus for 18 people. We waited 40 min while 18 people used the toilet in the Vitelli bar, then spent time waiting for people at Castelmola. In the end, we had only a short hour at Taormina which was not nearly enough for that most charming place. I would highly recommend this tour but just make sure you get a small group.
Since tour leader was unable to come near the ship, getting everyone together was delayed. Printed instructions with tickets said to meet in terminal and there was no terminal at the port. Enjoyed Taormina but bus was multi tasking and we were delayed in being picked up by by almost an hour. Therefore, with the long trip between the sites, we had only 20 minutes for the Godfather tour.
Although most tours in the Messina area take you to Taormina, it added an extra layer of interest to see the bar where Michael Corleone met his future bride, and the church where they got married in the Godfather movie. Prior to leaving for Europe my wife and I watched the movie and recognized both of those areas. As with other tours in Italy and Greece, much of the travel on this tour takes place on mountain roads that switch back and forth with the vehicle literally hanging over the edge of a cliff. Looking down into a gorge definitely gets your heart racing. We were told by several people that for the best gelato, you go to Sicily, and we found that to be the case. The only downside of this tour was that our guide did not have the best command of English, so it made much of what she said hard to understand. She also stayed quiet during some of the travel between towns, something which guides on other tours we took didn't do. They were always able to fill in the lulls with interesting tidbits. But we would recommend the tour to others.
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