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Extra Night in Palermo Included When You Book By August 30th!

About Sun Drenched Sicily

Everyone loves Italy and now we’re offering a unique culinary opportunity to visit off the- beaten-track activities as well as world renowned favorites. Benvenuto!

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Singles Travel International would like you to join us on our 8-Night Tour of Sicily! We will indulge in the infamous “Street Food” of Palermo, a guided walking tour in the historical city of Ortigia, and Team Up with a Local Chef to make fresh pasta and seafood in the seaside city of Taormina! Along our journey between these 3 fabulous Sicilian towns, we have Local Expert Guides to narrate our way through Piazzas, Markets and Historical Sites, including the Cathedral of Palermo and UNESCO’s Archaeological Site, Valley of the Temples. Immerse yourself in surrounding beauty when we visit the hilltop town of Monreale and, of course, a vacation in Italy would not be complete without a Vineyard Tour and Wine-Tasting! The best way to experience Sicilian Culture is through the food and wine with locals, new friends, and STI’s Italian-speaking Concierge to narrate us along the way!

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Looking for more time in Europe? Book our 7-night Singles Sailing Adventure in Croatia, before our tour! 

What else do you get with an STI Vacation?

UNIQUE STI BENEFITS:

  • Custom and Carefully Designed Vacation Elements so You Don’t Have to Plan, Just Show Up!
  • Services of a Professional, English Speaking Tour Leader throughout our Trip
  • Complimentary Roommate Matching Via our State-of-the-Art Member Profile Feature
  • View Member Profiles and Meet Fellow Travelers Online Before You Go.
  • Private and Secure Chat Reserved Exclusively for Members on Your Vacation – Topics Include Optional Tours, What to Pack, Who’s Coming Early etc., to Assist Members in Coordinating Activities in Advance. Create your own Topic and have fun!
  • Exclusively Singles Only Events and the Company of Other Like Minded Members with a Passion for Travel

INCLUSIVE FEATURES OF OUR TOUR:

  • 8 Nights Accommodations: 3 Nights at 4-Star Hotel Piazza Borsa in the Heart of the Historical District of Palermo, 2 Nights at Grand Hotel Alfeo, Centrally Located in Ortigia, and 3 Nights at the, recently restored, Historic Hotel Villa Paradiso in Taormina.
  • 8 Breakfasts (B); 4 Lunches (L), 2 Dinners (D) including Welcome Aperitivo followed by an Exquisite Welcome Dinner in Palermo, and a Farewell Dinner in Taormina. This will provide ample opportunity to join friends, try new cuisine and meet some locals.
  • Private Guided Walking Tour of the UNESCO Archaeological site of the Valley of the Temples, on our way to Ortigia.
  • Wine-Tasting and local Vineyard Tour, including an Estate Luncheon en route to Taormina.
  • Services of a Professional, Bilingual Italian/English Speaking Concierge throughout our Tour
  • Additional Services of EXPERT LOCAL GUIDES
  • All On Tour Transportation via Deluxe Motor Coach or Minibus with Air-Conditioning
  • One Way Transfer from Taormina to Catania Airport (very early morning transfer)
  • Hotel Taxes & Service Charges
  • Visits with Tours in the Following Cities:
      • Palermo(3)
        • STI’s LOCAL EXPERTS guide us through main piazzas and historical squares, where we will see several hidden spots of the city’s center and tour the Cathedral of Palermo.
        • Visit to the hilltop town of Monreale, with a private guided tour of the 12th Century Arab-Norman Cathedral.
      • Ortigia (2)
        • Morning Guided Walking Tour of Cathedral along with the adjacent church, housing the Caravaggio painting, “The Burial of St. Lucy”.
        • Visit to a Local Vineyard for a wine-tasting Luncheon
      • Taormina (3)
        • Visit the morning market, with a local chef, to gather seafood and produce for our second cooking lesson! We will prepare fresh pasta to enjoy for lunch, with local wine!
        • Plenty of leisure time to enjoy the shopping or beaches in this stunning, seaside town.
        • Optional Guided Tour of Mt. Etna along with a wine-tasting luncheon
        • Optional Half Day Boat Tour of the Bays of Taormina (weather permitting).

Inclusive features are subject to revision at the discretion of STI. Ages listed are not meant as a restriction, but are simply used as a guideline. Singles Travel International does not guarantee the number of guests, ages or ratios.

Please be advised that a minimum of 10 is required to confirm the trip. If we do not have 10 members reserved by June 1, 2020, you will receive a full refund.

Itinerary

Sat, Aug 29:  Palermo, Italy: Optional Extra Night in Palermo Looking for more time in Europe? Book our 7-night Singles Sailing Adventure in Croatia, before our tour! 
Sun, Aug 30:  Palermo, Italy: Arrival and Welcome Dinner
Mon, Aug 31:  Palermo, Italy: Foodie Walking City Tour
Tue, Sep 1:  Monreale, Italy: Half-Day Tour of Monreale Cathedral
Wed, Sep 2:  Transfer Palermo to Ortigia w/stop at Valley of the Temples
Thu, Sep 3:  Ortigia, Italy: Private Guided Tour of Ortigia; free afternoon. Group dinner.
Fri, Sep 4:  Transfer Ortigia to Taormina w/stop for Winery Tour and Lunch
Sat, Sep 5:  Taormina, Italy: Cooking Lesson w/ Lunch
Sun, Sep 6:  Taormina, Italy: At leisure, Farewell Dinner
Mon, Sep 7:  Transfer to Catania Airport
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Day 1- Sunday, August 30, 2020 (D)

Welcome to Palermo, Sicily’s vibrant capital city! Once you arrive at Palermo Airport, transfer on your own to our hotel and enjoy the day at leisure. We’ll convene in the evening, with our concierge, Vicki, for an aperitivo in the hotel’s bar to meet our fellow travel companions. After a short meeting, we will enjoy a welcome dinner as a group at a nearby trattoria.

Day 2- Monday, August 31, 2020 (B, L)

After a leisurely morning, we’ll set off to discover Palermo’s heart, through its traditional “street food.” With our local expert guide, we’ll take a walking tour through the main piazzas and mercati (markets). Learn about the history of this amazing city, sample the famous street food and discover the legends behind the dishes. Our lighthearted tour also includes stops at the main historical squares and several hidden spots of the city center, ending with a visit of the splendid Cathedral of Palermo. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening to explore the city and everything it has to offer.

Day 3- Tuesday, September 1, 2020 (B)

Today we’re in for a real treat; with our friend, and local expert guide, we’ll visit the hilltop town of Monreale to have a private guided tour of its impressive 12th-century Arab-Norman cathedral, with one of the largest and most beautiful displays of mosaic artwork in the world. This cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage List monument! After plenty of time to explore the Cathedral, and the surrounding quaint town, we’ll head back to Palermo for a free afternoon and evening to explore this wonderful city on our own. Of course, our tour concierge will be on hand to assist us with dinner plans or anything else we may need.

Day 4- Wednesday, September 2, 2020 (B)

Our adventure continues as we depart Palermo for southeastern Sicily. En route, we’ll stop for a private guided walking tour of the UNESCO archaeological site of the Valley of the Temples, boasting better preserved Greek temples than exist in Greece itself. Set on a gorgeous plateau, filled with olive and almond trees, the Valley of the Temples houses the remains of seven Greek temples. One of these is described as “the most impressive surviving Doric temple in the Greek world after the Parthenon in Athens,” according to UNESCO. We’ll have time for a quick lunch, on our own, before continuing on to our 4-star hotel in the quaint hamlet of Ortigia for a free evening.

Day 5- Thursday, September 3, 2020 (B, D)

Ortigia is a tiny town packed with 2,500 years of history and houses one of the most beautiful piazzas in all of Italy, awash in white limestone. Its Cathedral, built on the site of an ancient Temple of Athena, has been described as “all of Sicily in a single building.” The cathedral was built as a Greek temple before being expanded by the Romans, then converted by the Byzantines into a basilica, made into a mosque by the Arabs, added onto by the Normans and adorned by the Spanish. All of these historical elements remain visible today, 25 centuries later. We’ll have an included private guided tour of the Cathedral, along with the adjacent church housing the Caravaggio painting,”The Burial of St. Lucy.”

The afternoon is ours to enjoy at leisure before we reconvene, in the evening, for a group dinner at a local osteria.

Day 6: Friday, September 4, 2020 (B, L)

After breakfast in our hotel, we depart Ortigia and head north, toward the beautiful seaside town of Taormina, in the shadow of Mt. Etna. Along the way, we’ll stop at a local vineyard that produces local DOC wines for a tour and a sumptuous multi-course wine-tasting luncheon at the estate. Pleasantly full, we will continue on to our hotel in Taormina for a free evening.

Day 7- Saturday, September 5, 2020 (B, L)

After breakfast, we’ll visit the morning market with a local chef and restauranteur. Together, we will choose produce and fresh seafood for our hands-on cooking lesson. Back at the restaurant, we’ll prepare fresh pasta and the rest of our multi-course meal, which we’ll then enjoy with plenty of local wine. The rest of the day and evening will be free to enjoy beautiful Taormina at our leisure.

Day 8- Sunday, September 6, 2020 (B, D)

It’s no secret that Taormina is a jewel, a truly beautiful and magical place that has attracted aristocracy, artists, writers and other turisti for centuries. Founded in the 3rd century BC, by the Greeks, Taormina has since become the inspiration for many novels and paintings. In fact, this setting inspired D.H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterly’s Lover, and Goethe termed Taormina as a “patch of paradise” in his novel Italian Journey. So it seems fitting that our last day in Sicily is left free to enjoy and discover Taormina for ourselves. Want to stroll the narrow, quaint streets of Taormina for hours of shopping? Or visit the ancient Greek theater? Feel like heading down to the Bay of Mazzaro’ for some beach time? Or maybe sit at an outdoor cafe with a glass of Nero d’Avola and watch the world go by? This is our chance!

We will also have some optional (not included) excursions to choose from in Taormina, including a tour of Mt. Etna, with a wine-tasting lunch, or a Half-day boat tour of the Bays of Taormina (weather permitting).

We’ll reconvene in the evening for a grand farewell dinner and have our last cin cin to returning to Italy again soon!

Day 9- Monday, September 7, 2020 (B)

Transfer to Catania Airport. We will provide one transfer but it will leave very early in the morning, as most flights out of Catania Airport depart early.

*Note: Itinerary and activities are subject to change at the discretion of our local operators without compensation. Singles Travel International is not responsible for the consequences of any changes.

Looking for more time in Europe? Book our 7-night Singles Sailing Adventure in Croatia, before our tour! 

FAQs

Once you make your online reservation, an STI reservation specialist will contact you to review and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services. Once that step is complete, you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details.

Congratulations on making a reservation with Singles Travel International for your next vacation!

WHAT NEXT?
Complete your profile and post a message on the chat to say hello to your fellow travelers.

REVIEW the important information on the FAQ tab for this trip .

What’s Next?
Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be available on the YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS button on the left navigation bar on the trip site, 21 days prior to trip start date.

SOCIALIZE
Say hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!

DON’T MISS OUT 
Get the best deals on optional “Add-ons”. Review the Trip Options and make all reservations so you don’t miss out on any limited or time-sensitive offers.

PASSPORT MANDATORY
A passport is required for US citizens and be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.

Non US Citizens are responsible for verifying their own required documentation for this tour.

UPLOAD a COLOR copy of your passport to us within 7 days of your reservation (within 24 hours if reserved after May 1, 2020). Note that a passport is mandatory and must be valid for 6 months form your return date.

Click here to upload to our secure folder.

INSURANCE:
Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and we sent you a quote regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.  If you have any questions, Travel Guard’s professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today if you have not received your Travel Guard quote or CLICK HERE to go directly to Travel Guard and request a policy quote. It only takes a few minutes.

Questions and comments after you have reserved your vacation are addressed promptly when you send a message to us at service@singlestravelintl.com.

Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every trip sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 24 years, we have perfected the singles vacation experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day. From the moment you join our tour, our STI Concierge is waiting to meet you. Our first day begins with an orientation and the camaraderie builds as we go along. The nature of the trip is trying something new, challenging yourself and motivating those around you. The bonds that develop on our tours are by far the strongest and longest lasting.

Absolutely. Our site is so popular that we guarantee to find a roommate for you or the single room is on us! In order to take advantage of our offer, you must be paid in full by May 1, 2020. Book today as we are limited to only a few single reservations, based on a first come, first serve basis.

Roommate matches are based on the same sex, general age range and smoking preference whenever possible, but not guaranteed. STI reserves the right to make any match up until day of departure, including roommate changes once on tour for members who select the Share & Save option.

We highly recommend that our guests contact their roommates in advance. Booked members have access to our private online chat. Meet your roommate as well as the other members on your vacation. Singles Travel International makes every effort to accommodate requests, but does not guarantee the satisfaction or success of a roommate match. It’s the responsibility of the guest to contact his/her roommate and ask the appropriate questions.

Optional pre and post cruise/tour stays are not eligible for the guarantee. Chances are excellent that we’ll find you a match, but if no match found by 30 days prior to departure, member pays the single supplement.

Read more about Roommate Matching on our Frequently Asked Questions found at the Help Center.

The tour begins in Palermo (PMO) on August 30, 2020, and ends in Catania (CTA) on the morning of September 7, 2020. Therefore the tour is 8 nights/9 days. Note: Flights from North America must depart on August 29, 2020 in order to arrive in Palermo on August 30. Your return flight from Catania Airport arrives in North America on the same day, so the actual length of the trip is 9 nights/10 days (first night on airplane).

Looking for more time in Europe? Book our 7-night Singles Sailing Adventure in Croatia, before our tour! 

September is one of the best months for visiting Sicily, when temperatures are warm and the crowds are fewer. While there may be some rain, it is usually not long-lasting. And while the wine is being made and the olives are being harvested, the abandoned vines turn to reds and oranges, giving the vineyards a spectacular range of hues. Another plus is that the sea temperature remains warm, perfect for an afternoon swim.

It is important to remember that the main tourism season stretches from mid-April to the end of September with July and August being peak months. The best time to visit Sicily is in the quieter part of the season, from April to June and from September to October when weather is usually good, prices lower and there are “fewer” tourists.

A deposit is due at time of reservation. Refer to the Price and Options tab for the amount. Final payment is due in our office by May 1, 2020. We’ve made paying your balance online as easy as 1-2-3.  Watch your email inbox for a Paypal invoice from Singles Travel International, then click and pay using your favorite credit card. A Paypal account is not required. If you would prefer to make your payment over the phone, please contact our accounting department at 877-765-6874 option 4, with your preferred credit card details prior to the due date to protect your reservation. Be sure there are sufficient funds in debit card accounts to cover your payments by the final payment due date and that we have current expiration dates. Note that on occasion, charges are processed after the final due date, so there is no need to be concerned if you do not see the charges on that day.

Please be advised that a minimum of 10 is required to move forward with the trip. If we do not have 10 members reserved by June 1, 2020, you will receive a full refund. We recommend holding off on purchasing airline tickets until after June 1, 2020.

Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:

After deposit and at anytime of cancellation, a minimum charge of $200.00 plus credit card charges will apply in addition to other penalties listed below.

May 1 and June 1, 2020 – $600 penalty applies.

After June 2, 2020 – 100% penalty applies.

Please be advised that a minimum of 10 members is required to confirm our tour.  If we do not have 10 members reserved by June 1, 2020, you will receive a full refund. We recommend holding off on purchasing airline tickets until after June 1, 2020.

Note that if you elect to take a roommate and he/she cancels after our cut off date, we will do everything to find a new match. However, if no match is found, the difference in cost for a single cabin/room is the responsibility of the guest who cancels. No refund will be given to the guest who cancels, regardless of cruise or tour company policy as stated above. Singles Travel International is not responsible for costs related to cancellations after our cut off date.

For all air-inclusive packages cancelled after airline tickets have been issued, tickets are non-refundable and often times unusable.

Yes, we offer an Extra Night package in Palermo. Our surveys show that members arriving a day early have a more rewarding experience. 
Click “Price My Trip or Book Now” to reserve your space.

Note that guests must make the reservation with STI in order to participate in group activities in Palermo. Bookings made directly with the hotel do not qualify.

Optional pre and post cruise/tour stays are not eligible for the guarantee. Chances are excellent that we’ll find you a match, but if no match found by 30 days prior to departure, member pays the single supplement.

Contact us if you need additional other arrangements, we’d be happy to assist with your vacation plans. Transportation to and from the hotel is not included in our pre or post tour packages. Note that we do not guarantee roommates for optional pre tour stay, but will make every effort to assist you with finding a match. The chat is the best place to make a connection.

Make sure you are at the Hotel in Palermo by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 30, 2020. Our STI Concierge will be on site waiting to meet and greet all of our members.

Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” will not be allowed to participate without paying an equivalent fee to the rest of the group that made the reservation with STI. Your credit card on file will automatically be charged.

A passport is required for travel to Italy. Be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.

No visas are required fro travel to Italy. Non US citizens are responsible for contacting all countries on our itinerary to secure appropriate documentation in advance.

 

In order to accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. Singles Travel International is a licensed ticketing agency and oftentimes has low negotiated fares.

In order to be ready to begin the tour in Palermo (PMO) on Sunday, August 30, we recommend that you arrive before 2 p.m. If traveling from the US, you will need to depart on August 29. Transportation is not included on arrival.

Schedule your return flight from Catania (CTA) to depart prior to 9 a.m. on Monday, September 7. We offer only one group transfer, and it will be very early in the morning. In the event that you must transfer on your own, the rate is 120 Euros one way.

 

 

Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation. If Singles Travel International issues a promotional economy fare, granting of frequent flyer credit is entirely at the airline’s discretion. If the flights are eligible, to ensure you earn frequent flyer credit from the airline, give your frequent flyer account number when you check in for your flights. In addition, save your boarding passes and the passenger receipt from your airline ticket. You may need to submit these to the airline (not to Singles Travel International) to claim any credit allowed.

You will be responsible for your transfer, from the Palermo Airport (PMO), to our centrally located city hotel. Licensed taxis are readily available outside the airport; the cost will be roughly 30 euros for up to 3 people in a taxi. If you prefer a scheduled pickup, we can arrange a private car for a fee of 65 euros/per person, up to 4 people with light luggage.

One transfer to Catania Airport (CTA) will be provided, on September 7. The transfer will be very early in the morning, due to the times of the majority of flights out of Catania. Please try and schedule an early departure (before 9am). If the included transfer will not work for you, we can schedule a private car, for 120 Euros, or you can transfer on your own.

– Hotel Ai Cavalier – A charming, classic and comfortable 4-star hotel, in Palermo, strategically located in the historical and business heart of the city. It is only a few steps away from Piazza Politeama, which puts you in a great position to move around one of the main shopping streets in Palermo.

– Hotel Antico Roma, – There are very few hotels in Ortigia, and the Antico Hotel Roma 1880 is the most centrally located, actually next door to the cathedral, which is located in the old Doric Temple of Minerva. The hotel, founded in 1880, is framed on one side by the cathedral and on the other by the Archbishop’s Palace and overlooks Piazza Minerva, which is a continuation of the Piazza Duomo that runs alongside the Doric columns of the Temple, and onto Siracusa’s most central road, Via Roma.

-Hotel Villa Paradiso – The historic and recently restored hotel is a short walk from the centre of Taormina, Corso Umberto, the Greek Theatre and the Palazzo dei Congressi. It is close to the Parco Duca di Cesarò and affords a breathtaking view of the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna in Taormina.

 

Our tour does not include airfare, 6 dinners, 4 lunches, transfer in Palermo, optional excursions and extra hotel nights before or after the tour. You are responsible for alcoholic beverages (except when included in STI events), incidentals such as laundry and phone calls, plus gratuities to STI staff ($15 per day) and local guides.

It has been our experience over 24 years that the best possible quality of service is achieved when our Concierge Team is compensated by tips from our delighted members. This is their best incentive to make your vacation an exceptional experience. You will have an opportunity to reward your STI Concierge at the end of your tour. It is customary to tip, but of course, gratuities are at your discretion and are greatly appreciated for a job well done!

Most places in Italy, breakfast is an assortment of sweets (cakes, breads, croissants), cereals, yogurts, juices and coffee; at some locations, we will have a much broader selection for breakfast, including meats, cheeses and eggs. In every location, we select restaurants that offer the very best local cuisine—fresh seafood, pastas, produce, meats and cheeses; we know that food plays a large role in the traveler discovering the heart and soul of an area, and we try to help you discover that for yourself. For most included lunches and dinners, we will have carefully selected fixed-price menus (some of which will include a limited amount of local wine and water). If you wish to have more water or wine than the inclusion, you can order more at your own expense. Some lunches will simply be a pre-set menu of local specialties served to the entire group.

 

Our “Baby Boomer” vacations cater to singles in their 50s and 60s but you will often meet singles ranging anywhere from 45-75. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee ratios or ages.

We recommend that you meet the members of the STI Community online where you may view and interact with members via “Who’s Going” on every trip page. This is the best way to find out exactly who will be on your vacation.

Currently, most airlines will allow you to check two bags, weighing 50 pounds each, for a fee. In addition you may carry-on one bag plus a personal item such as a purse or briefcase. Please check with your air carrier for up-to-the minute regulations and fees for checked baggage. IMPORTANT: Porterage is included for 1 bag only.

Europe is still an elegant place when it comes to attire. Mixing in with the locals is much easier to do when dressed smartly and respectfully. For touring during the day, wear comfortable shoes and layers will be key for a time of year with fluctuating and unpredictable weather. Scarves are always fashionable and are a lightweight way to completely change your look!

 

The tours may last anywhere in length from 1 to 3 hours of intermittent walking and standing. Although these tours aren’t strenuous, a certain amount of stamina and health are required in order to be able to walk slowly and stand for extended periods of time. At any time, you can opt out of an excursion! After all, this is your vacation. Keep in mind that part of the charm of Italy and Europe, in general, is the terrain—towns are literally perched upon the sides of hills—therefore, in most locations, there will be uneven surfaces and hills to ascend and descend.

Packing Tips: Take only what you need; don’t over pack. Save room for souvenirs and purchases. Pack flat and full to avoid wrinkling. Bring wardrobe basics; mix and match 1-3 colors. Don’t pack anything valuable, fragile or perishable. Label your luggage with an outside tag, and place an identification card inside each suitcase. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Our tour is moderately active with a lot of walking.

Essential Items: We highly recommend that you bring the following items.

– A smile and an open minded attitude
– Notepad, reading material and a travel journal to write all about your Sicily experience.
– Bathing suit, we have our own indoor pool!
– Sunglasses, sun block, sun hat or visor
– A good, comfortable pair of broken-in walking shoes
– A pair of shoes for restaurants (loafers, sandals, etc.)
– Ladies will want to bring a nicer warm wrap and gentlemen a nicer jacket, for evening wear.
– Water Resistant Jacket with light lining and/or collapsible umbrella, just in case
– Toiletries: all your daily essentials
– Prescription medications: sufficient supply for the entire trip plus legible written prescription in case of loss. Keep medications in their original, labeled container. Always pack your medications in your carry-on bag!
– Eyeglasses, contacts, contact lens solution. You may want to bring along a written prescription for your eyewear in case of loss.
– Over the counter medications: cold remedy, aspirin/pain reliever, antacid/stomach upset remedy, Band-Aids, money or other anti-bacterial medication.
– Travel alarm clock with illuminated face
– Small, Swiss Army type utility knife. Remember to pack this in your checked luggage!
– Home address book (smart phone with contacts) for sending postcards to all your friends who said they’d go but didn’t! A useful tip is to pre-write or print names and addresses of people to whom you want to send postcards on sheets of self-adhesive labels. It saves time and space in your luggage.
– Photography Equipment: Bring a sufficient supply of film, cards, extra batteries and/or chargers.
– A European adapter and converter for your electrical gadgets.

The currency used in Italy is the Euro.

Exchange Rates: The exchange rate for the Euro fluctuates often. You may find the current exchange rates in the financial sections of newspapers and on the Internet. You may also find a number of websites by typing “foreign exchange rates” in your search engine. Two specific websites are: xe.com and money.cnn.com/markets/currencies.

Currency Exchange: Many locations will accept major credit cards, but for incidentals and small vendors you will need some local currency. ATM machines will dispense local currency for internationally accepted ATM cards and/or credit cards. They are usually conveniently located in large cities, but are limited in smaller towns and rural areas.

You may exchange cash and traveler’s checks for local currencies at hotels, banks and exchange bureaus. Banks offer the best rates, but beware, hours are limited in Italy. They are generally open from 9 a.m.-12 noon and 2-5 p.m.

You may purchase Euros from your local bank in advance or get a small amount on arrival at the airport. There is always an exchange at airports.

We recommend that you bring a combination of $3-500 USD depending on your spending habits for meals and shopping, as well as a debit card for withdrawals and a major credit card, preferably VI or MC.

Credit Cards: Your credit card will be accepted to settle your incidentals bill at all hotels and in major shops and restaurants.

No inoculations are required for travel to Europe. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends updating all routine booster shots for travel almost anywhere. In addition, we suggest that you have a physical check-up before your trip, and discuss the type of trip in which you are participating with your physician.

You and your physician may access much more, very detailed health information for travelers (including tips on staying healthy while traveling) on the CDC website, cdc.gov. Click their “Traveler’s Health” link or call toll-free 24-hours at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and in addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation. If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days.

Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be available on the YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS button on the left navigation bar on the trip site, 21 days prior to trip start date.  We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.

For easy, less expensive communication in Europe, you may be able to use your own phone plan, generally .99-1.99 per minute (check before departure).

Internet access is available almost everywhere, including our hotels, but access is not always free. We recommend that you contact your provider before you depart to add an international roaming, text and data package. Most may be disabled once you return home.

Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.

All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.

On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.

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Meet Your STI Concierge

Vicki

Hi! My name is Vicki, and I am so happy to have joined the STI family as a Concierge! After having a career as a health-and-fitness writer and then having children, I decided to make a career change in order to pursue my love for travel. For 9 years now, I have designed small-group tours all over Europe and have led tours in Italy, Malta and Croatia. From the moment I began leading tours, being able to share wonderful experiences and make people smile through discovering a new location - or perhaps through discovering something about themselves - I felt as if I had found exactly what I was meant to do! I look forward to making your vacation dreams come true.

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What Our Members Are Saying

This trip was the most interesting I have done. It was wonderful to see the animals engaging in their lives without caring about us walking amongst them. It almost seemed as if they were ‘posing’ for photos. The highlight for me was snorkeling with a playful young sea lion, while I was also watching a green sea turtle and tropical fish below. Although a long way to travel from Australia, it was well worth it. Not only were the animals amazing, but everything about the ship life was very good, especially the professionalism, service and attentiveness of the staff, both onboard and during land excursions. You didn’t have to be extremely fit to take advantage of all the land excursions, as there were always two options – one for the less fit and those who wanted more exercise. I highly recommend this trip for anyone interested in the natural world and who wants to be well looked after.

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Toni F.
    Narrabeen, Australia

My first vacation with STI was the 2011 Valentines Cruise – it was the best “adult” vacation I’ve ever had! I had just gotten a divorce and needed to de-stress and have fun. I went on the internet and researched several singles travel companies and STI was the best – not just by the recommendations I read by the members but also the Better Business Bureau rated them as an “A” company. So I took the chance and booked the vacation – that was the best decision ever! I met really great people and had a blast with them! We keep in touch via Email and Facebook and we even got together for another cruise on the 4th of July. In every cruise I make new acquaintances and lasting friendships. I plan to keep traveling with STI as long as I’m single, as a matter of fact I have already booked the New Year’s Eve cruise this year and will be rooming with Sarah one of my cruise buddies. Next year Epic Med Cruise! If you’re looking to meet great people and have an unforgettable time, I highly recommend you book a trip with STI

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Rosa M.
    Miami, FL