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10 days in eastern Sicily - itinerary help needed

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Sicily has been at the top of my wish list for some time [driven mainly though not entirely by those wonderful opening scenes on Montalbano] so when DH asked if I'd like to go there to celebrate my "big birthday" in September, you can imagine my answer.

We can get direct flights from Bristol to Catania, and have 10 nights to play with [Friday to Monday] so we have decided to restrict ourselves to the east of the island [possibly adding in Agrigento] and to end up in Taormina to have a bit of a splurge at the end of the trip. This means of course that we will miss Palermo and Monreale but with only 10 days, I feel that that's probably too much chasing about to be comfortable.

Where I need some help is in the rest of the trip apart from Taormina
- whether to venture as far as Agrigento, and if so, how to plan the rest of the trip, so as not to end up with too many one nighters.

Option A:

Day 1 - [Friday] arrive Catania airport at about 10.30 am. [yes, the flight leaves at stupid o'clock but we do get the rest of the day]. pick up hire car and drive to Catania, [or get bus/taxi and pick up car later?] stay 1 night. [this gives us the rest of Friday, and as much of Saturday as we want before we leave]

Day 2 - Sat'day] [pick up car] drive to Syracuse, stay Ortygia, 2 nights

Day 3 - Ortygia

Day 4 - Drive to Modica via Noto

Day 5 - Modica

Day 6 - Drive to Agrigento

Day 7 - Agrigento

Day 8 - Drive to Taormina via Enna

Day 9. 10, Taormina

Day 11 - fly home [flight is about 10 am so we would need to be at the airport by 8.30, leaving Taormina at 7. 30]

questions -

1. would it be worse picking up the car at the airport and driving to Catania, or to get a cab/bus to Catania and pick up the car on the following day [Saturday]?

2. are we selling Catania short by only staying one night?

3. ditto Syracuse/Ortygia by only staying 2 nights [I've limited the stay here because of perceived problems of driving into and out of Syracuse and therefore its not being a good base for touring - is this a real problem?]

4. Will 3 days be enough to exploring Noto, Modica, and Ragusa?

Thanks in advance to all for their help, and to pthomas, bobthenavigator, thursdaysd and lowcountryislander for your highly informative TRs [and everyone else whose TR's I've read but forgotten their names - apologies if that's you].

Option B coming up below:

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