Sicily Will Give You a Free Night's Stay and Half-Price Plane Ticket (If You Can Navigate the Red Tape)
If you've been dreaming of an Italian vacation, this could be your chance.
If you're craving an Italian vacation after seeing what seemed like everybody you follow on social media there over the summer or perhaps after watching season two of The White Lotus, but it's not really in your budget, you may be in luck. This could be the year you finally get a taste of la dolce vita thanks to See Sicily, a new program from the Italian island's tourism office, that offers visitors a free night's stay at hotel, a complimentary excursion, and discounted airfare.
There are caveats, of course, but with a little patience and research, you could venture abroad in the next few months without breaking the bank. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about See Sicily and if this could be a good fit for you.
READ THIS NEXT: If You Work From Home, You Can Now Live in Spain as a "Digital Nomad."
Why should Sicily be on your bucket list?
Not only does Sicily have gorgeous Mediterranean scenery (think white sand beaches with crystal blue waters!) and mouthwatering food (think fresh fish and fresh pasta!), Gary Ardnt, the host of the podcast 'Everything Everywhere Daily' by Glassbox Media says that "the islands have a deep history that few people are aware of."
Sicily was inhabited by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Italians, so you'll find historical sites from a plethora of cultures and time periods, including the Valley of Temples, which houses one the largest Greek temples. You'll also find natural wonders like Mount Etna, home to one of Europe's oldest and tallest active volcanoes.
Thanks to season two of HBO Max's popular series, The White Lotus, which took place in Sicily, tourism and travel to the island has increased immensely. While the hotel where they filmed the show, The San Domenico Palace Four Seasons, is booked indefinitely, there are plenty of much more affordable places to stay—especially if you can pull off the See Sicily offer.
For more travel advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
You'll get a free night at a hotel and more.
The See Sicily program may be the best way to visit Sicily on a budget. According to an outline on Visit Sicily, the deal is pretty straightforward: All you have to do is book a vacation in Sicily for at least three nights, and for every three nights you stay, you'll get an additional night for free.
You'll really get the bang for your buck, though, with the discounted airfare offer. See Sicily is giving guests 50 percent off of the cost of the ticket for national and international flights.
"It's easily worth it," Larry Snider, VP of operations of Casago Sedona Vacation Rentals tells Best Life. In addition to the airfare discount and added nights, you can also get one tourist service whether that's an excursion, a guided tour, or a diving experience. "The program pays for a lot and you might not have been able to go on the trip otherwise," he says.
There is some red tape, however.
While this opportunity is enticing, you have to be able to read between the lines. To get your free free night you can book directly on the Visit Sicily website, but this isn't a trip you can just plan on your own.
"Make sure to follow the rules; you have to use an authorized travel agent," Ardnt says. "Don't just book a trip without first reading the requirements."
See Sicily has a list of affiliated travel agencies as well as a customer service line with options in both English and Italian, but don't hand over your credit card just yet. Since these agencies are likely working on commission, it's crucial that you research fees and international exchange rates before you're ready to book.
Also, don't be shocked if you're going back and forth for a while over email to finalize your trip details. There are multiple agencies to pick from and finding which one works best for your dream vacation will only help the overall experience.
READ THIS NEXT: 6 European Destinations You Should Visit in Your 60s.
There are certain months you can't go.
If you're looking to travel over the summer, this may not be the best bet for you. The program is only running until the end of September but two of the island's most popular travel times, July and August, are blacked out, so you can't use the offer then.
"The last thing you want to do is book a trip and then find out you booked for dates that the offer isn't available," Ardnt says. Certain hotels, tours, and other activities aren't always available either, so you'll want to make sure you're getting what you signed up for.