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Pls critique "final" Naples/Sicily itinerary for May - and a few questions

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Thank you to everyone who was so helpful in responding to my planning thread a few months ago:
I have read all your trip reports (as well as those on TA) and gotten lots of advice, read reviews and guidebooks, etc.
So, now ready for the final critique -- plus a few questions -- for our 4 nights in Naples and 12 nights in Sicily. Please keep in mind we are active city folks in our 60's, my husband likes archaeological sites, we both like to wander cities and outdoor markets and soak up the atmosphere. We like walking and the outdoors and great food. We live near the beach, so that's not a priority. We don't have to visit every church or check the sightseeing boxes, but do want to come away with a Sicilian experience! We have traveled extensively in other parts of Italy.

May 19 -- We fly LAX to Naples thru Munich
4 nights Naples at Hotel Piazza Bellini - will see the city sights, visit Pompeii and Herculaneum - haven't decided yet if we will get a guide for the archaeological sites.

fly to Palermo in evening of 4th day
3 nights at Palazzo Pantaleo - great reviews, good location
Plan to see the outdoor markets and city on Saturday and enjoy whatever is open on Sunday. While everyone says Monreale is a "don't miss," we'll have to see if we have time. We plan to see the Capella Palatina.

Pick up rental car either in Palermo or at airport (thanks to everyone who weighed in on that decision) and head for Pensione Tranchino in Scopello for 1 night.
While we don't like "one nighters" at hotels, we did want to see Erice and seemed like staying in this area made sense before going further south. So, the plan is to drive to Scopello, drop our bags, and spend the afternoon at Erice, returning to the Pensione for the raved-about dinner.

Next morning visit Zingaro reserve (time and weather permitting), then pick up our luggage and head for Selinunte stopping at Segesta on the way. While we are aware of the dangers of leaving luggage in the trunk, others have told me that Segesta parking is guarded and doesn't seem problematic.

Arrive Villa Sogno in Selinunte for 3 nights. This is where we want at least a few hours of relaxation! We plan to see the ruins at Selinunte and will decide on other excursions since we will have 2.5 days there. We may spend a day going to Mazara del Vallo, Cave di Cusa and Mozia. May visit Gianfranco Becchina's Orchard or another olive oil place near Castelvetrano. Open to other ideas, but we hope to spend some time in the garden by the pool as well.

Leave Selinunte for Piazza Armerina. Depending how we feel may stop at Agrigento, but may skip it since we are seeing so many other ruins. I have read everyone's advice not to skip it, but we are excited to visit Villa Romana del Casale instead.
This is a night we are not decided about and I could use some help. Original plan was to drive to Piazza Armerina and drop luggage at Villa Clementine or La Casa Sulla Collina D'oro -- both very well reviewed -- and see the mosaics in the late afternoon after the tour buses depart. Then the next morning go to Catalgirone on way to Siracusa.

But i have another idea: Stay instead at Vecchia Masseria, which is an agriturismo halfway in between Catalgirone and Piazza Armerina. Depending if we feel safe leaving luggage in car while we visit Villa Romana, we could do that first and then stay at Vecchia Masseria and be halfway to Catalgirone for a morning visit. OR, if we happened to finish at the villa earlier than expected, visit Catalgirone very late afternoon before dinner.

So, that night in the Piazza Armerina/Catalgirone area is still open. Thoughts?

Drive to Siracusa/Ortigia, probably stopping at Catalgirone. We could either take the LONG and scenic route or take the highway route. I have rec'd advice from TA, but would be interested to hear from those on this forum as well:
Can't decide if worth it to drive through Iblei Mountains to get to Ortigia.
Doesn't seem to make sense to stop in Noto on the way to Ortigia.
Anyone done these drives?

4 nights L'approdo Della Serene/Ortigia
This gives us 3 full days to see the archaeological sites and ruins in Siracusa, wander Ortigia and its sites including the ancient mikveh and take at least one excursion. We could visit Noto by car or bus, probably for a quick gelato stop. Have decided that one of the baroque towns should do it for us -- although wish we had more time to actually stay in a place like Modica or Ragusa....but we don't. Pantalica as a day trip intrigues me and there are some good reviews of seeing the burial tombs and it might be a nice excursion - maybe combined with something else?

Would like to turn the car in at Siracusa to avoid driving to Catania airport. Perhaps our last day do the cooking class with the owner of our B and B. It would be a market visit in the morning and then cook at 5:30 p.m. and eat 7:30 p.m. In between we could see anything we had missed in Ortigia/Siracusa.

If we have already returned the rental car, take private transfer or taxi (70 euro) and depart Catania 12:30 p.m. to LAX through Munich.

I promise to write a detailed trip report when we return. That's my way of thanking everyone for helping me plan the trip.

Look forward to your comments.

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