Fascinated by family heritage and intrigued to learn more about your roots? Journey to your ancestors’ homeland and – with the help of our concierges – discover where the origins of your family tree lead you.
With the help of our hotel teams, reconnect with your family as you retrace your ancestors’ footsteps and, in the process, uncover stories about your past.
Ready to join the heritage travel trend?
If you’re curious about faded family photographs, or want to dig deeper about a rumour passed down through the generations, turn detective and trace your heritage. You may not find all the answers but you will go on a true-life adventure.
Heritage travel is on the rise. An interest fueled by affordable DNA tests and popular TV programmes – who can forget Danny Dyer’s royal revelations on the BBC TV show, Who Do You Think You Are?
If you and your kids want to retrace your roots, companies such as My Heritage and 23 and Me offer an easy first step using DNA. From there, you can find out where your great-great-great grandfather came from and then travel to the place he once called home.
Connected to Sicily
If you have already discovered your roots lie on the Italian island of Sicily, before boarding the plane, enlist the help of our Concierges whose local connections are more personal than an internet search. They can help you discover your parents or grandparents’ former home, an ancestor’s grave or a long-lost living relative – and your kids will know what that means: more Christmas presents.
All you need to do is contact Concierge Philip Kamel, who’s worked at Villa Igiea since 1979. Once you’ve provided your name, date of birth and town of origin, Philip will turn detective – tracking down family research specialists and asking them to research historical civil or church archives.
Our Concierge also uses his local knowledge and long-standing connections to meet with elderly locals and namesakes who may be able to provide new leads. He’ll then send a report to you with all the useful information he’s discovered.
A Happy Reunion at Verdura Resort
Emanuele Venezia, our Concierge at Verdura Resort, recalls the heartwarming moment he was party to a successful family reunion. “I fondly remember international guests with Sicilian roots asked for my help as they wanted to meet relatives they’d never met before. They only had a few pieces of information about them.
“I asked at the town hall nearby and discovered the relative’s address. The name of the street had changed over time; however, I visited and spoke to a local elderly woman who helped me trace our guests’ relatives.” The reunion he set up at Verdura Resort was, as you would expect, a touching moment.
How to discover your roots
If you’re at the beginning of your journey, many services help travellers deep dive into their family history. Ancestry DNA’s Heritage Travel service, for example, helps you plan ancestral home visits so you can find the exact plot of land where your family once lived. Genealogists are another great tool in your heritage search and many share their expertise through workshops and tours.
The benefits of heritage travel
Travelling to learn about your family tree can be an emotional experience, one that enables you to forge a deeper connection with your past. An opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture you come from, solve a family mystery, uncover a story of emigration, an adoption or a relative you never knew you had.
Book a room or suite in Villa Igiea or Verdura Resort and ask our concierges to help you discover more about your family tree in Sicily.