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Palermo, and other places, Sicily

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OK, this could be a dumb question. We will be flying into Palermo, Sicily, for a short (8 day) stay. We plan to rent a car, however plan spend maybe 2 days in and around Palermo before doing so. We want to visit Monreale, we are also keen walkers - is walking to Monreale from Palermo feasible? It's only about 8km. Foot trails?

Other 'not to miss' places we have been told are Noto, Ragusa and Syracuse - all seem quite close, any hints or advice for visiting these places?

Any suggestions for some good hiking for a day or so?

And for small farming/villages to explore (or do we just drive around and go with the flow?) - and nice little places to stay? We do not have a high end budget.

In another thread I was asking about the Aeolian Islands, but perhaps our 8 day Sicily visit will be too short to go there as well this time - I understand the ferry leaves from Messina, so that's all quite a drive - and to return to Palermo to fly out again. Any thoughts?

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