Going “Home”: Our Trip to Sicily, Part II

October 9, 2015

My father and I make our way to western Sicily.


After visiting some of the iconic sites featured in “The Godfather,” my dad’s favorite movie, we began our journey to western Sicily. (Click here to read about the first half of our trip.) Filippo, our friend and guide, met us at our hotel, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo—but not until we’d finished sampling the impressive breakfast buffet of local cheeses, breads and hand-squeezed juices and sipping our perfect cappuccinos.


Our first stop was the city of Piazza Armerina, home of Villa Romana del Casale, one of the most important traces of Roman civilization in Sicily. We were both impressed with the ruins’ size and magnificence—40 rooms boasting spectacular polychrome mosaics.


Romana del Casale


After lunch at Ristorante Al Fogher, a family-owned restaurant with a wonderful selection and service that made us feel truly at home. (My “Italian” father felt especially comfortable.), we arrived at the Rocco Forte Verdura Golf & Spa Resort. (We stayed at one of his London hotels at the beginning of our trip.)


The resort is spread along the Mediterranean coastline and boasts three golf courses, an incredible infinity pool, a world-class spa and a plethora of dining and entertainment choices. The service was as impressive as the surroundings. We found the hotel staff so gracious and hospitable that my dad commented that he felt like we’d lived there our entire lives.

w angelo and filipo


Some of our industry friends happened to be staying on the property, and they invited my father and me to join them for a dinner hosted by the hotel. Again, my dad was the life of the party, and we enjoyed good food, good drinks and, most importantly, good company.


Verdura spa, Daniele Trombaco, angelo


A must in Sicily is a visit to Agrigento, known for its amazing Valley of the Temples, an architectural park with eight awe-inspiring Greek temples, as well as other antiquities. I am fascinated by ancient ruins, especially this combination of influences. How exciting to find Greek architecture in Italy! It was amazing and thought-provoking to see and touch the work of hands from 510 BCE. And that the ruins are set against the remarkable backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea made the experience even more incredible.





We ended the day with dinner in Sciacca, a nearby village where many of the hotel employees reside, including our friend Angelo. He took us to one of his favorite neighborhood spots. My dad cites this meal as one of the highlights of the trip. The restaurant was charming, and again, we felt truly at home – my non-Italian father living like the locals he so closely identifies with. The next day, we made our way to Palermo to catch our flight home, tired but happy.


final dinner in sciacca


To help me recount our travels, I spoke to my dad about his impressions of our journey. He described our trip as “magical,” a word neither of us throw around lightly. He found “the people of Sicily to be warm and gracious, the region to be beautiful and the food to be fresh from the sea.”


“‘The Godfather’ really is my favorite movie of all time,” he says. “I grew up in Manhattan, and most of my friends were Italian. I really identify with the culture. My friends would tease me: ‘Maybe you’ll get to visit your homeland someday and see your roots.’ That’s what it felt like. It was really special, especially since we went together, as father and son. It was the trip of a lifetime, and just a joy to meet so many of my son’s industry friends and colleagues. We all joked that my name is now officially ‘Roberto.’”


Flight home


Looking to plan an unforgettable travel experience? Contact The Accomplished Traveler today at 212.586.2020.




From Our Blog

Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® congratulates Blaine Horton of The Accomplished Traveler in New York, NY as the winner of this year’s sought-after Rising Star Award at the 30th annual… read more

When we think about Paris’s luxury accommodation choices, we often conjure images of the city’s grand hotels, the famous and expansive palaces that feel quintessentially Parisian. For a more boutique… read more

Our recent trip to Turkey’s famous city showed us just how seamlessly diverse cultures and religions can blend.   Istanbul will always be a unique and vibrant city where the… read more

New year, new travel goals!   From wineries in New Zealand to beaches in Uruguay, here are some of our hot travel destinations to explore in 2016! If these spots… read more

Our CEO, Jason Miller recalls his journey to Poland to find the villages where his grandparents, both Holocaust survivors, were born.   Last year, I visited the villages where my… read more

We traipsed the German and Austrian Alps and toasted “prost!” to an unforgettable Oktoberfest celebration.   After ascending the steep streets of Berchtesgaden, Germany, we arrived at Hotel Kempinski, nestled… read more

My father and I make our way to western Sicily.   After visiting some of the iconic sites featured in “The Godfather,” my dad’s favorite movie, we began our journey… read more

When your dad is an Italian aficionado and a fanatic for “The Godfather” movies, nothing says “happy birthday” like a trip to Sicily.   As a special present to celebrate… read more

The perks of having a son in the travel industry? Extraordinary birthday trips. Jason Miller, founder & CEO of The Accomplished Traveler, tells us about the adventures he planned for… read more

Our trip to Florence and Rome reminds us that, in many ways, the world is small.   In Florence we stayed at the Lungarno Hotel, in its iconic location overlooking… read more

The second half of our exquisite tour of Spain   Day four of our journey (click here to read about the beginning of our trip), we took a guided tour… read more

Seven days in Spain and we still left wanting more   If we had to pick just one theme to sum up our most recent sojourn in Spain, it would… read more

    We arrived at the newly reopened Hôtel Plaza Athénée (part of the Dorchester Collection), and were greeted by our friend Sebastian. The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is situated on the… read more

On our latest foray to London, we were welcomed back home to one of our favorites, the Dorchester, a quintessential British Hotel. Between the floral accents in the fabrics, and… read more

  It is incredible to think that twenty-five years ago today, the Berlin Wall came down. The Berlin Wall was a barrier that divided the city of Berlin from 1961… read more

Back to Top //