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advice for Sicily/Naples/Amalfi Coast/Rome

advice for Sicily/Naples/Amalfi Coast/Rome

Old Jan 24th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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advice for Sicily/Naples/Amalfi Coast/Rome

Hi all,

I am helping some friends with their travel plans this summer. They are taking his Mom and Dad, and, his sister and her boyfriend to Italy. First, Sicily, because his Dad's father is from there (he's long since dead - his dad is late 60s himself) and they want to see where he came from.

They have not completely decided the rest of their itinerary, but they only have 12 days in Italy total so I told them not to stretch themselves too thin. They initially thought of Rome/Florence/Venice but now they may just concentrate on a smaller bit of Italy - from Naples up to Rome.

1. Would anyone have hotels to recommend along this route? Messina (northeastern Sicily) is where his grand-dad is from. They have not targeted places along the Amalfi Coast yet, so any general recos would be good and I will pass them on. I also suggested they try to get to Capri if they had time.

2. They are also interested in good guides for a few of these places - most notably Sicily and Rome. I gave them Giancarlo's info so I believe they may be set, if he is available, but, I know of no one in Sicily (they may stay in/near Messina for as far as I know - they are only going to be there 2-3 days)

3. They also asked if there are any tour operators who might do custom made tours for them - I did tell them if they can at least find someone who can arrange hotels and transportation they have the tedious stuff knocked - then they just need to find a decent guide or do a lot of reading (I do reco guides though - you simply get so much more out of the experience).

4. If not a custom made tour, are there any tour operators which still allow some freedom? I am discouraging them from going on an all-inclusive tour b/c it may not always be the things they really wanted to do... for instance they want to take a boat from Sicily to Naples - I would think they can arrange all this themselves.

as this is their first trip, they may need some hand holding to help make it special. I'm helping them as much as I can but any other suggestions you may have would be fabulous.

thanks!
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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Italian Connection, a tour comopnay, also does custom itineraries and trip planning.

I think three weeks would be reasonable for a vacation in Sicily, or maybe one week focusing on just a few prts of Sicily. Two days is much too little.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 02:31 AM
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Thanks - I think the only reason they are going to Sicily for this trip is to take their Dad, to visit his Dad's home town. Otherwise I don't even think they'd go. I'm sure their itinerary will change around a lot before they settle on what to do.

I'll pass on Italian Connections to them.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 02:38 AM
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Have they been to Sicily before? Sicily is SO amazing, I can't imagine staying 2-3 days then leaving. There is so much to see & do there, 12 days would zip by. Since they are of Sicilian heritage they should really consider it, that's just my opinion
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 03:21 AM
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I agree, they should spend more time in Sicily - it is fantastic. I don't know if it's of much use to you (assuming you are in the US) but I've used an British company called Italian Expressions (www.italianexpressions.co.uk) several times - they have a brochure but will also customise a holiday to suit, and I've always found them very good. On our last trip to Sicily we flew into Catania & picked up a car, then spent 3 nights in Taormina (we'd been before but love it), 2 in Siracusa, 1 outside Ragusa, 2 outside Agrigento, then dropped off the hire car in Palermo & spent a week there before flying out from Palermo. They could have quite a nice itinerary arranged, to include Messina, over 12 days.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 03:47 AM
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<< I think the only reason they are going to Sicily for this trip....>

They should probably wait and leave Sicily for another trip if at this point they have no idea of the tremendous historical importance, cultural richness, scenic, culinary, geographic, architectural, folkloric attractions of this largest region of Italy and are at this point considering skipping it all just to squeeze in a two day visit. It would be a shame to go all the way to Sicily just to check it off as done after two days.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 03:56 AM
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Agree that you can easily spend 12 days only in Sicily. If you would like more info on Sicily, please feel free to type in "Betty's Consolidated Sicily Trip Report" in the search box and you can read my report on a two-week trip to Sicily that I took in May 2004.

I think you can manage Rome and the Amalfi Coast in 12 days. Or go to Sicily this time for the 12 days and save Rome and the Amalfi Coast for the next trip.

Have a great time,
Betty
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 04:14 AM
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I don't think my two friends will "check it off as done".

I do think they really want to take his 67 year old father to his Dad's hometown. nothing more, nothing less.

I'm sure they will make it back there, on their own, and at a more reasonable pace. I just want their very first trip to be a good one, so they will not be able to wait until their next trip.

If I can help them limit it to Sicily, Naples, and Rome - I'll be satisfied. The problem is they are not the only ones making decisions so they have to make all 6 of them happy.

I myself have frequently gone to places with only a few days time to spare - knowing full well that I'll be back. I've yet to visit a place thinking it will be my last/only visit. I hope they are the same.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 04:18 AM
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Hi fly,

>If I can help them limit it to Sicily, Naples, and Rome ....<

Much better than the original plan.

3 days Sicily, 3 days Naples, 6 days Rome?


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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 04:54 AM
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We are currently planning a trip to Sicily and just getting there is a bit of a deal. It would be a shame to go to all of that effort and not see something of Sicily. Messina certainly isn't on the short list and limiting themselves to Messina wouldn't give them a good sense of Sicily. If they limit their trip to Sicily and Rome, they could spend 6 days in Sicily and 6 in Rome with perhaps a day trip to Pompeii.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 05:33 AM
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They could stay in Taormina which may wet their appetite for Sicily more. I only drove through Messina, but it didn't look like it would necessarily make someone want to spend more time in Sicily. If they had a rental car, Messina is a short and fairly easy drive. They could do 3 days in Taormina and maybe 3 in the Ragusa area, or maybe 3 on the island of Lipari.
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