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15+ days in Sicily -- first crack at itinerary

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After years of thinking about going to Sicily, we are finally going to bite the bullet. We will leave around Oct. 8-12. I have started by getting a few guidebooks and reading trip reports here. So many thanks to Dayle, images2, Bob, and a few others -- I will go back for the details later, but I am trying to put the pieces of the itinerary in place first.

I like the idea of starting in either Taormina or Siracusa without a car, then getting a car and moving southerly, then around to the west, and ending in Palermo without a car. Here is my first attempt to sort out the days.

3 nights Taormina (arriving from US, we will have to buy a separate ticket to get from Rome to Catania, I think, which means leaving enough time to make connection and take care of unexpected delays, so I think we will be arriving in late afternoon early evening in Catania. My only flight option is AA, that's the only game in my small town in Illinois, so we will go to Rome and then switch, unless there's a better way)
3-4 nights Siracusa
1 night near Piazza Armerina -- agriturismo that everyone likes
2 nights Agrigento -- saw Villa Lumia Agrigento
3 nights Selinunte
3-4 nights Palermo -- someplace like Palazzo Pantaleo

As I've seen that it's helpful to know a bit about our likes and dislikes, here is some info -- late 60s, couple, not shoppers, not beach-goers, not huge foodies, love ruins and historical sites (I am a Romanesque fanatic after years of walking solitary caminos in Spain), smaller towns (we love big cities too, though without cars), active, prefer charm in accommodations over modern.

So here are my initial doubts:

-- not sure we should even go to Taormina, I am torn.
-- Assuming we arrive in Siracusa with a car, I was thinking someplace a bit out of town, like B&B Le Saline, for our base. Then taxi/car to parking garage/bus into town, with day trips out of town being easier.
-- I had originally thought that we would visit the mosaics in Piazza Armerina as we drove from Siracusa to Agrigento, but I do not want to be worried about luggage in the car, and so I"m leaning to doing what Dayle did with leaving luggage at agriturismo and then going back after the visit to pick it up. That may seem extreme to some, I know that the odds are probably low, but I just hate having to even think about it. I've seen enough car break-ins, pickpockets, etc in Spain and Portugal To last a lifetime.
-- Would Mazara del Vallo be a better base than Selinunte?
-- I hadn't planned on any islands, given the time of year, but am open to suggestions.

Many thanks in advance, I hope that some of the Sicily experts are around.

And just a little question -- the format has changed a bit since I was last here, and I'm not confident that this thread is posted in the Italy sub-forum. I don't see an option for selecting a country, but I am not the most technologically sophisticated in the room.

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