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Trip Report A short report of our vacation in Sicily and Malta

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We just return from our vacation in Sicily and Malta. Below there are some details , one of you will find them helpful.

1. Palermo 6 nights
In the first we took the hop on - hop off bus for the first view of the city. Then we walked and visited the city. We loved Mirto Palace, Massimo Theatre, Piazza Marina and the Garibaldi park with old , huge trees, Palazzo dei Normanni, Piazza Pretoria, Martorana church, teatro Garibaldi, the Cathedral
From Palermo we made day trips to Erice, to Cefalu and to Monreale .
We enjoyed Cefalu views, Monreale cathedral. We were not so impressed by Erice, found it too cold, too much stone!

2. Taormina 4 nights
Taormina is lovely and the views are superb. Visited the Greek Theatre, Isola Bella (by cable car.
Day trip to Castelmola, for even more beautiful views of all Taormina and the sea.
We took a day trip (organized trip) to Agrigento and Piazza Armerina. Loved the mosaics at Piazza Armerina, they are incredible nice and large. It was a good idea to take a trip, as the guide was very good and gave us interesting explanations regarding temples in Agrigento.

3. Ortigia 4 nights
Loved the Cathedral , Archeological Museum, some churches in Siracusa.
Done a day trip to Noto - a splendid baroque town. Visited there the Nicolaci Palace.
We planned to visit Modica, but the travel time from Siracusa to there and back was too long and the buses were not so frequent, so unfortunately we could not do this trip.

4. After this, from Catania we arrived (by plane) to La Valletta (Malta) . Stayed there 4 nights
Took the hop on/off bus (north island route) and made a long stop at Mdina. This is an old city with walls and old, nice buildings.
We received a free cruise (90 min.) so in the next day we could admire the beaches , buildings and monuments of Malta from the sea.
One day took a day tour to Gozo. It was a good idea, as they take you to many places, like Xlendi with its antique washing place, Blue Window, Victoria (Rabat) with its wonderful cathedral.

We stayed in B&B that somebody recommended in another forum and all were very clean, in good location, and the owners were very kind and nice persons. In Palermo – at Butera28. This is an old palace, belonging to adopted son of Giuseppe Lampedusa (the author of “the Leopard”). The owner still lives in the palace, and this part of the house is really a palace. The owner took us for a short visit in the palace and it was amazing. In the apartment we rent we had every thing that should be in a house, even washing machine and all detergents.

In Taormina we stayed at Joan’s heritage, on main shopping street (Corso Umberto) and 2 minutes from central bus station. Nice decoration, very good location, good breakfast.

In Siracusa – Ortigia we stayed at La Corte degli angeli. This old building and all the rooms are like a jewelry. Full with statues, pictures, flowers, silver dishes. Located 1 minute from Cathedral and from Piazza Archimede.

We had not a car. The transportation between towns was by public transport (bus). I had (from internet) the timetable so I knew exactly when we have to be at central station. The buses are clean, in time , take you to the center of each city. Very easy and cheap to use them. As our accommodations were also not far from station, we even did not need a taxi!

We loved Sicily and Malta - the landscape, the palaces, the churches, the archeological places. It was a nice surprise for us, as we expected to find more poverty or to feel not so safe. Even in Palermo - big city, we felt very safe all the time .
The food was very good, in special the fishes and sea food. We loved Sicilian wine, and enjoyed almond wine, ice cream and the chocolate of Modica.
The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too humid. Sunny days, pleasant nights.
We bought (to take home) some good Sicilian cheese, almond wine and from Malta - sterling silver filigree jewelry .

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