Best spots in Sicily?

Jan 5th, 2011, 09:35 AM
  #1  
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Best spots in Sicily?

My boyfriend and I are planning to visit Sicily for five or six days in late April. So far we know we'd like to visit the Aeolian Islands. Can anyone recommend ...

a) Other neat places or activities in Italy that might complement the island hopping experience?

b) How many days/nights we should designate to the Aeolian islands?

c) Cool places to stay on the Aeolian islands and/or in the other places you recommend?

Thank you so much for any help!!
Jesse_DavieKessler is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 01:48 PM
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We stayed on Lipari years ago and loved it. It was small and pretty and we just enjoyed wandering around. We stayed at Diana Brown's B&B which was budget priced and well equipped. Diana met us at the ferry on her bicycle and walked back to the rooms with us.

In Sicily we also stayed in Taormina which some people hate and others love. We really liked it. We did a steep walk one day up to Castelrotto which is the very top of the mountain with magnificent views over land and sea. We also stayed in Ortigia in Siracusa but didn't like it that much. The whole trip was done on public transport but if you are doing that, I'd recommend some research before you go as it wasn't always easy to figure out (we don't speak Italian).

Have a great time. Oh, just thought of something else. When catching the ferry out to Lipari and back we soon realised that any timetables were 'suggestions' Very Italian.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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Oops, I misspoke: I'd like to know about neat places or activities in *Sicily* (and not in Italy as a whole) that might complement the Aeolian island hopping experience.

Kay, thank you for these wonderful suggestions! This is very helpful -- I will check out Diana Brown's B&B.

Looking forward to other suggestions!
Jesse_DavieKessler is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 03:43 PM
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I beleive Kay means Castelmola above Taormina---not to be missed.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Jan 5th, 2011, 03:49 PM
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Gosh Bob, thank you (oops)! I must have been thinking of another trip. It is indeed Castelmola, we had such a wonderful day though it was all uphill!

Kay
KayF is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 05:13 PM
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In addition to the suggestions above, we absolutely loved Palermo and Monreale - a very short bus trip from Palermo. Monreale is a beautiful cathedral with Moorish, Christian and Norman influence, not to be missed. Palermo is a colorful and lively city with lots to see and do.
mamcalice is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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Jesse, Syracusa is interesting also. Love the cathedral which was built around the ruins of a Greek temple. I have read that the Greek ruins in Sicily are more plentiful and arresting than those in Greece. In any case, you will love Sicily, if for nothing else - the blood oranges and pizza!
latedaytraveler is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 09:00 PM
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Oh, I'd wanted to go to the Aeolian Islands! But our time in Sicily was spent only in the east. (In researching our vacation, I browsed a book in Borders on slow travel / agriturismo that had me fall in love with those islands! Wish I could remember the details...)

We were in Sicily at the end of April this past year: Taormina, Siracusa, and a day combining Caltagirone and Piazza Aremina. I definitely fall in the pro-Taormina camp. We stayed at the Hotel Schuler, basic but with a balcony in our room and a lovely breakfast out on a terrace. While I enjoyed the sites in Siracusa, IME overall it didn't give the same laid-back feeling I had in Taormina (they're very different towns!). I wish we could have reached Agrigento but we didn't have time.

I didn't particularly know what to expect before arriving in Sicily, and just fell in love with the place. Late April was a perfect time of year to be there: everything was so lush and green, trees practically bending over with the the weight of oranges, lemons, yellow figs... And I think I had arugula (called "rocket") at every meal! Mmm!!!
ggreen is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 02:35 AM
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That's almost exactly when we went, though more than a decade ago! Back in 1999, late April was still very much the start of the season of Lipari, although this year as it coincides with Easter things will - presumably - be somewhat busier?

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/aeolians

We stayed the week - hopping over to most of the other islands by ferry or hydrofoil as daytrips - but on another September visit greatly enjoyed nearby Cefalu...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/cefalu

Difficult choices though - with sufficient time there are wonderful places all over the island...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/sicilygen

Peter
A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 06:06 PM
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Bookmarking.

Also, is late-March too early to visit Sicily?
Leely2 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2011, 02:00 PM
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To Leely2 - we were there much later in the year so not sure what the weather is like in March. You can check historical weather averages for your dates on www.wunderground.com look at the Trip Planner under Travel & Activities (not the Road Trip Planner).

Kay
KayF is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for your thoughtful comments, everyone! The remarks and the pictures are very much appreciated. I can't wait.
Jesse_DavieKessler is offline  

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