May 30, 2024

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How to book a free night in Sicily through a travel agent

How to book a free night in Sicily through a travel agent


If you are considering a trip to Italy — and you have deep reserves of endurance — Sicily’s tourism place of work will pay for a chunk of your keep to include things like the dreamy Mediterranean island in your plans.

Below its See Sicily software, Take a look at Sicily delivers a totally free night’s stay, a complimentary excursion and a lower price on an airfare or ferry ticket. Soon after the tourism place of work unveiled the journey advertising two a long time back, it is back for 2023.

Andiamo, proper? Not so speedy.

The offer is riddled with puzzling aspects and caveats, such as two blackout months in the summer. I spent times trying to prepare a examination scheduling prior to producing any development.

Stop by Sicily made the offer to boost tourism, which withered for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. When compared to 2019 figures, tourism in Italy fell by 61 per cent in 2020 and 58 {0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} in 2021, in accordance to the U.N. Planet Travel Corporation. In 2019, about 65 million individuals visited 1 of the world’s prime tourist locations.

The deal, which is outlined on Go to Sicily’s web-site, appears to be simple adequate. E-book two evenings at any of the dozens of participating accommodations and acquire a third night time free. You can also double the benefits with two no cost nights on a six-night time keep.

Furthermore, you get to pick out a “tourist provider,” these kinds of as a guided walking tour or a diving trip. As a additional incentive, the tourism place of work will toss in a voucher that statements to include 50 percent of your air or ferry bills.

But really don’t get started packing your Dolce & Gabbana caftan however. You’re about to commence trading e-mails with travel brokers working on Italian time.

The fantastic print for See Sicily gives

The marketing runs by Sept. 30, but July and August, two of Sicily’s most preferred months, are blacked out. Some of the lodgings, which vary from motels and apartment rentals to mattress-and-breakfasts and campsites, are shut through the gradual season covering areas of wintertime and spring.

Just one of the most notable — and burdensome — specifications is that you should book by way of a travel company in Sicily.

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The math for the travel discounted also does not incorporate up. According to the internet site, the rebate is capped at $109 for domestic or continental flights and $217 for worldwide airfare. That won’t include 50 {0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} of most transatlantic tickets, which can price tag about $900 in the offseason and $1,600 or much more in the summer season.

“Overall, it’s almost certainly not really worth all the effort and hard work,” mentioned Steve Perillo, president and owner of Perillo Excursions, a New Jersey-based tour operator that specializes in Italy, “and it has to be booked directly with Sicilian vacation brokers or resorts, and who is aware what trade rate they’ll cost your credit score card.”

Of course, any vacation offer, especially 1 for Sicily, which is regarded for its ancient ruins, silky beaches, caponata and Marsala wine, is worth some effort and hard work. Or at the very least an try.

“To some folks this would be an eye-catching advertising,” reported Ann Castagna Morin, an Italian American journey adviser dependent in Massachusetts, “[like] impartial travelers who are at ease discovering on their very own.”

What takes place when you try to book

The tourism office provides a very long checklist of vacation companies affiliated with the deal some even have “See Sicily” in their e mail handle. The corporations are organized by metropolis, these kinds of as Palermo, Enna and Trapani. When I unleashed my first dozen inquiries, I gained 1 response.

The agency reiterated the deal facts, including the confounding little bit about the price cut, and requested me about my vacation style (active, calm, foodie), preferred class of lodging (depending on the number of meals) and option of outings: an “exciting” trek up Mount Etna or a town going for walks tour?

I straight away replied, but I in no way listened to back from the organization that signed off as the “Take it little by little Workforce.” (The tourism business office sporadically emailed me back again but quite a few of my concerns stay unanswered, such as further more clarification of the journey voucher.)

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I submitted a further round of inquiries the subsequent evening, so Sicily would welcome the new working day with messages from me.

I eagerly opened an electronic mail from Ulisse Tour Operator in Palermo. Anna Maria Ulisse suggested me to analysis flights and share my results with her, so that she could book it. But she hardly ever replied to my stick to-up questions.

The subsequent night time, informed of the desperation creeping into my text, I experimented with again, hitting up a new batch of agents.

I scored the most success this time all over. One particular agent replied, confirming my e mail handle. Dimensione Sicilia in Catania sent me tantalizing films of the island and of a self-push tour, in addition a few itinerary strategies.

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“You could devote the 3 nights in Palermo, the funds town, incredibly [rich] in art and monuments and have a totally free check out of Palermo or devote the 3 nights in Catania, the second most critical metropolis and get an tour on Mount Etna, the maximum lively volcano in Europe or stop by the beautiful Taormina,” Daisy, an personnel, suggested.

With Shell Travel Agency, the fog started to elevate, and I could really see a getaway in Sicily forming on the horizon. An agent named Alessandra described that though her agency did not offer the travel voucher, she could prepare my lodging and outing.

She proposed Taormina, the seaside town in the vicinity of Mount Etna that seems in Period 2 of “The White Lotus,” and a couple of excursions, this kind of as a go to to Alcantara Gorges or a city strolling tour. She just wanted my dates, and then we could finalize the journey.

Just after the times-prolonged pursuit, I had last but not least hooked a cost-free night time in Sicily.