The itinerary has changed from 2012 to 2013, summarized as follows:
Amalfi/Sorrento pre-trip is 5 days vs. 7 in 2012 with the Amalfi Coast optional now included, but no lunch. Capri optional is not offered; maybe we can do it on our own??. No home hosted lunch. Conca Park Hotel had good reviews on GCT & Trip Advisor with good location close to Sorrento center.
Sicily main trip is 15 days (w/o air) vs. 13 in 2012: 3 days in Palermo (same Centrale Palace Hotel) vs. 5 in 2012, 2 days in Agrigento (same Dioscuri Hotel) vs. 1 in 2012, 3 days in Siracusa (Roma Hotel-very good Trip Advisor) vs. 0 in 2012, 4 days in Taormina (Mazzaro Sea Palace-very good Trip Advisor) vs. 6 in 2012, and 2 days in Rome (Albani Hotel-very good Trip Advisor) vs. 1 in 2012, before flying back to US or on to Malta post trip.
Sicily optionals in 2013 vs. 2012: no Erice, same Cefalu, new full day Baroque Heritage ($90) from Syracuse, Syracuse now included vs. optional, and new full day Reggio ($100) vs. Messina from Taormina. Reggio is across strait of Messina.
Extra day in Rome includes a city tour before farewell dinner. The 5 day Malta post-trip is same for 2013.
We like the new Amalfi/Sorrento & Sicily 2013 itinerary, but we have not been there yet; so we would much appreciate comments from former expert travelers, before we commit. We are thinking about leaving April 2013 for 27 days (with air). Thank you in advance for your help.