Best of Italy 2019, 15 days Luxury trip to enchanted Sicily and Malta,

September 21, 2019 (Sat)

Palermo, Agrigento, Taormina, Cefalu, Siracuse
La valletta, Malta
View full itinerary, below


Cost: 4499 USD

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To have seen Italy without visiting Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything." If you would like to learn about Greece go to Sicily

Sicily is black and white and a million shades of gray. There's no other place on Earth like Sicily. The island is a unique place full of art, archeology, history, folklore and breathtaking scenery. And, of course, for the great food. and wines Sicily is almost a nation unto itself. Sicily is Europe, Africa and Asia on one island

 BRIEF TRIP DETAILS (complete schedule to follow)

On Saturday 21 September people flying together from Halifax will meet at Palermo Airport with rest of group  flying on their own. The First week will be spent on the NorthWest coast part of the island between Palermo, Trapani Marsala, The second week on the South East coast between Noto and Siracuse.

After arrival from Palermo Airport  via a chartered bus you will be transfered  130 Km away  nerby Marsala and Trapani. Marsala is a city very famous for its local wine  called Marsala. This world known wine was developed by Englishman John Woodhouse when unable to produce in Portugal the fortified Port , discovered  a similar wine in Marsala. The rest is History.

During our stay  nearby Marsala. we will do excursion to Palermo, Selinunte, Cefalu' Erice, Trapani, and world renown UNESCO Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.The numerous structures in Agrigento Valley of the Temples is the most emblematic example of Greek civilization. This  archaeological park is astounding for the extraordinary state of conservation of the structures and the extension of the complex, which includes ten Doric temples, three sanctuaries, two agorà, several necropolises plus a very nice museum

On Friday Sept 27, you will leave Marsala to spend next six days nearby  Syracuse, another Unesco Heritage site.  In 734 BC with the arrival of the Corinthians, Syracuse an ally of Sparta grew and became a powerful city beginning trading on its own. This was not well accepted by  Athens and by theCarthaginians,  The defeat of the Carthaginians allowed Syracuse to dominate trade in the Mediterranean , Its strength was not accepted by Athens that in 415 BC assembled the largest fleet ever put together to put Syracuse under their will. For the overconfidence  shown by Athens  and poor command, the Greek fleet was almost completely destroyed. Due to the city flourishing period  luminaries started to arrive in Syracuse, among them Pindar and Aeschylus, Dyonisius , However by that time a new enemy was in the horizon and not even the ingenious defenses devised by the Syracusa born Archimedes .were enough to avoid the Romans  in 211 BC from conquering Syracuse. During our stay in Syracuse we will be able to visit Taormina, Nearby Mount Etna, plus Noto, Pachino, Ragusa ans Modica, This east part of Sicilyis very famous for its Baroque architcture is also a Unesco site. On Wednesday October 2nd we will transfer by ferry from nearby Syracuse to the island  of Malta.

This small neutral state island with a population of 450K people, a member of the Commonwealth is actively pursuing peace, security and social progress among all nations by adhering to a policy of non-alignment and according to their constitution refuses to participate in any military alliance’ Although a member of the European Community  you  will see how the Maltese manifests their vocation to serve as a bridge: between  Europe and the Arab world. Following the two days visit to Malta on Oct 5 wi will fly from la Valletta International Airport to Rome for the trip back home.


COST INCLUDES: Airport transfers to and from hotels, 14 nights accommodation in luxury four-plus stars residence-relais, welcoming reception at arrival, Daily excursions with private A/C coach with driver , Daily breakfast, 14 gourmet four courses evening dinners including half bottle of wine and mineral water  Wineries visits and tastings in Sicily and Malta. Ferry Passage from Sicily to Malta,  attend local cultural events, availability of cooking classes, shopping trips and much more.

This BEST OF ITALY TRIP is the 21 trip since 1999 hosted by  the Italian Wine Society of Halifax, Canada. With 15-18 participants due to the popularity of our trips spaces are filled fast, if interested please write an email to followed by  refundable deposit check in the amount of $500.00 payable to the Italian Wine Society. c/o R, Meloni 309-3805 Mont Blanc Terrace , Halifax, NS. Canada B3K6S3.


Good Morning  Rodolfo..

Regret the delay in sending a BIG THANK YOU, for the wonderful memories on the Best of Italy tour, but it appears a European Flu/Cold followed us home. Revisiting,

in our minds' eye, the diversity of villages, towns and cities, and most importantly the wonderful wineries, with their Italian, Nectar of the Gods offerings, has helped us through.  Such spectacular scenery, and just as spectacular the cuisine!  Bruno, should, yet again,  be commended for his creative and mouth watering offerings. The Jewel in the Crown of the trip, was the "whole" Antinori experience.

The passion and professionalism of our hosts at the various wineries, the reception at Palazzo Antinori, where we witnessed "the special bond", and history, you and the Maquis share..was so very special.  The grand finale with the exclusive visit to the "birth place" of Tignanello followed by the Antinori Bargino" state of the art" winery, with a  luncheon, "quaffing" Chianti Classico will forever, go, unsurpassed.

Thanks again for the memories...your patience, and herding qualities.  You are a wonderful Ambassador for Italy.                

                                  Best regardsJohn and Donna


John D. Stringer Q.C.
McInnes Cooper

tel +1 (902) 444 8608 | fax +1 (902) 425 6350 

1969 Upper Water Street
Suite 1300
Purdy's Wharf Tower II Halifax, NS, B3J 2V1

asst Carol Carter | +1 (902) 454 8302

Rodolfo, we arrived safely in time in Halifax.WE really enjoyed the trip. This was a very intimate group, and we really enjoyed the companionship.YOU really took care of us. Travel arrangements were precise.Accommodations were good. Wine and food was SUPERIOR. Over all this was a wonderful trip to REMEMBER.


Sebastian and Shanti Malekai

I must echoes everyone's comments. A great trip, good planning, interesting places fantastic fine wine and food and interesting and fun travelling companions! Hope to see you all again!

Ray Roberts


Dear Rod:

When we went our separate ways after the completion of your 2015 Piedmont-Lake Como tour you asked all of us to write a review.  Well I am finally getting around to it!

Both Chris and I had a great time.  It was our first ‘Rod tour’ and even though we had been told your Italian excursions were really good experiences and your program looked full of interesting sights and activities it was not until we actually got into it that we appreciated how much fun we were about to have. 

Right from the first day of touring when we went to the cheese festival in Bra and then the Medieval events and races in Asti we knew we in for a special trip. After that highlights just kept coming: the trip to Mont Blanc, the Turin Egyptian Museum, the sights of Lake Como, the Milan tour of La Scala, St. Moritz, etc., etc.

As well as all of these beautiful and famous places the tours, tastings and talks by the vintners at the wineries were outstanding - not to mention tasting so many memorable wines.  The visit to the Ferrero chocolate factory and the hospitality shown by Ambassador Fulci and his staff made for a special day.  Just looking at the daily program and the pictures brings back a lot of warm memories.  Both of the hotels that we stayed were outstanding and the meals at Cascina Borgofrancone deserve special mention.  The chef and his staff attempted (and succeeded) in outdoing himself every evening.

The test of the quality of a tour like this is if we would take another one.  To that both Chris and I say a resounding ‘Yes’.  Thanks for showing us so much of this part of Northwestern Italy and doing such an outstanding organizing job so that our experience was unique and informative.

Fondest regards,

Kirk and Chris Annand


Hi  Rodolfo,

Just a quick note to let you know that our flight arrived safely in Halifax and on time last night.

Thank you for arranging such a wonderful trip. It was a sincere pleasure to get to spend time with such a fantastic group of people in such beautiful surroundings.

Jeanie Burke

I believe that Rudolpho’s  life philosophy is “LIVE NOW, PROCRASTINATE LATER “ -  “SEIZE THE DAY….” - I hope that some of it rubs off on me - today I “seized” an expresso, “squeezed" in a hike “ and procrastinated  about laundry, mail, groceries, etc- there is always tomorrow !! - THANK YOU ALL for a “glorious” vacation - I hope that we can meet again soon - JUDY Kazimirski

Just to reiterate what Pat, Jeanne and Sharon have already emailed----

Thanks to you, Rodolfo, for such a wonderful northern Italy experience!  The testimonials of former travelers who have gone on your Italy trips, are what peaked my interest in signing up for a holiday with you, and I was not disappointed!!

And meeting a great group of people to travel with, made the trip that much more delightful!

Ciao for now!  Hope to meet up with you all again at some point.


Hi  Rodolfo,

Thank you for arranging such a wonderful trip. It was a sincere pleasure to get to spend time with such a fantastic group of people in such beautiful surroundings.


Jeanie Burke

Since 1999, my husband Fred and I have taken 6 trips to Italy with Rodolfo. We have been from Piedmont to Puglia and many points in between. We have had wonderful food, wine and accommodation.Every trip included places we would never have found by ourselves,even with extensive research. Rod really knows his native country,and seems to have contacts everywhere.The highest recommendation we can give, is that WE KEEP GOING BACK!!!

Ann West, Halifax, Canada





Rodolfo Meloni, Consul of Italy 1959 Upper Water Street, Suite 1700 Halifax, NS    B3J 3N2

Dear Rodolfo

 Just a note to express our appreciation for the spectacular tour you and the Halifax Italian Wine Society hosted in October 2013. The tour of North Eastern Italy, Slovenia and Croatia was truly a five star experience. My wife and I have traveled extensively but rarely have we experienced your attention to detail and your ability to find the best places to visit, stay, eat and drink.The hotels selected were wonderful, we especially enjoyed the relaxed buffet breakfasts at our two hotels with great views of the sea in both cases. The historic sites you chose to augment our visits to wineries and restaurants were thought provoking and well planned. The war memorial at Redipuglia, the market and architecture of the Croatian capital of Ljubijana and the Roman amphitheater in Pula are examples of what the members of our tour group saw in great detail and with plenty of time to really enjoy the experience. Hot chocolate in Ljubijana was orgasmic for the chocolate lovers on this tour Of course, the focus of our tour was wine and food. You found some wonderful wineries and restaurants to amaze us and satisfy us completely. The Winery Ronchi di Monzano was a highlight for drink while the Konobo Mondo restaurant in Motovun, Croatia served the most amazing white truffle dinner. You have the knack of finding the best Rod.

The relaxed pace of your tour was appreciated by many in our group. Time was generously allotted for the events of the day. If time became an issue you were flexible enough to simply change the plan for the day to allow for an easy pace. My wife and I had a wonderful two weeks and learned much about the areas we visited and the wines and foods produced in them. We look forward to your future offerings.


Greig Bishop and Terry Penny





Comments on ITALY TRIP 2013, organized and led by Rodolfo Meloni

I have traveled quite a bit over the years, sometimes on business, sometimes strictly for pleasure.  I have traveled mostly on my own, with my late husband or with individual friends.  I always thought that organized group travel was for ‘wimps’.  That was until I experienced my first trip to Italy as part of one of Rod’s organized tours.  That was a 2 week tour to Tuscany and the Veneto in 20 - -

I thoroughly enjoyed the travel experience, the group nature of the travel, and the extraordinary access to amazing venues that Rod was able to provide.  Since then I have traveled with Rod’s group 3 more times, most recently in October 2013 when the trip was to Trieste, Slovenia and Croatia.  I was again impressed by Rod’s local contacts and the amazing amount of varied activities, visits and tours we were able to pack into the 14 days.  And, when compared to other similar tours offered, the price was very reasonable.

A key element for me in the success of these trips is the amount of individual options that are available in the schedule.  For example, don’t want to do another lunch with the group?  I’m going to do some shopping and meet you back at the bus.   Or, can’t face any more shopping?  I’m going to go to the Marine Museum and get the local bus back to the hotel.  One is expected to be a savvy individual traveler, not just part of a pack of sheep.  And, Rod makes it all possible by having a well-thought-out schedule, tons of local knowledge, and a strong desire that everyone have the best possible experience of his beloved Ita

Ann Trecartin

President, Mainbrace International Limited

(wine, beer and spirits agency in Atlantic Canada since 1988)

Our trip to the Veneto and the Alto Adige was our first trip with Rodolfo and the Amici del vino, and it more than met our expectations.  The accommodations were excellent - the Serego Alighieri estate, where we spent the first 5 days, was really special with its connection to Dante.
The wineries we visited were all very interesting in different ways, and we were taken to all the spectacular sights in the two areas, from the lovely towns of Verona and Soave, to the beautiful Lake Garda and the amazing Dolomites.  Great food and wine all the way - and a wonderful bus driver!  Thank you, Rodolfo, for making all this possible.

Ann and Hugh Cameron

 “TRAVEL WITH RUDOLPHO MELONI AND EXPERIENCE ITALY AS IT IS LIVED BY THE ITALIANS.  Food, culture, wine, local geography is all better when done in the company of a man who knows Italy like his own kitchen. A UNIQUE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WAS OFFERED AND EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS.”


After many years of travelling independently, we decided to join an organized tour of Northern Italy and unknown to us Slovenia and Croatia.  The trip was a fantastic experience  due to the organizational skills and knowledge of Rodolfo who did not leave anything to chance. 

 From the first moment of our arrival in Venice everything felt into place.  Transportation (small and big buses), the  hotels as well as the choices of vineyards, wine houses, restaurants everything was well researched

Thanks Rodolfo for a job well done.  We highlly recommend any future trips organized by you.

 Gabrielle & Alberto Verri