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Can Anyone Recommend a Driver in Catania, Sicily?

Can Anyone Recommend a Driver in Catania, Sicily?

Old Jun 22nd, 2021, 04:31 PM
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Can Anyone Recommend a Driver in Catania, Sicily?

During one of my days in Catania in late August, I would like to do a day trip visiting Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armenia and Caltagirone. Public transportation obviously wonít work for an itinerary like this. Can anyone recommend a safe, reasonably priced and friendly driver? I speak reasonable Italian, so non-English speaking is not an issue.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2021, 05:37 PM
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We used Sicily Life to transfer us from Ortigia to Taormina and then from Taormina to Catania airport. They are very reliable
and will take you pretty much anywhere in Sicily.
sicilylife.com
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Old Jun 23rd, 2021, 04:47 PM
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This info is dated, but Stefan drove us in Umbria. He said he goes "anywhere". Good luck! Please let everyone know how it goes.

Stefan, Driver: Autonoleggio Stefano Mogini - Perugia
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Old Jun 24th, 2021, 05:30 PM
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Thank you both. Those are very helpful and I will investigate both.

Any additional suggestions are also appreciated.
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Old Jun 24th, 2021, 06:17 PM
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This rec is from my 2010 trip report, in line with Happy Trvlr’s:
“I’d priced the cost of limousine services from the Catania airport to Taormina, and the four bids I received were all over the map. The least expensive was Sicily Life at €75 so they got the nod. Our driver was waiting for us outside baggage claim and off we went!”
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Old Jun 25th, 2021, 04:02 AM
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We had a rental car for Sicily until we got to Ortigia to spend a week. Sicily Life was a great find for us at the end of our trip.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 06:52 AM
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Just to post an update. Iíve been in communication with Sebastiano from Sicily Life who has bid 290 euros to have one of his team members drive me for the day from Catania to Villa Romana del Casale, Caltagirone and then back to Catania. It doesnít sound like that includes a driver tip, so Iíd probably be in for 320 euro or pushing US$400 for the day which feels pretty steep.

I will next reach out to Stefan and see what I hear.

Thx again and I will keep you updated.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 08:06 AM
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The TripAdvisor Sicily forum is an excellent resource—a number of knowledgeable local posters, in particular Vagabonda.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 10:47 AM
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Yes, Vagabonda on the Sicily Forum of TA is so helpful.
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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 09:36 AM
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<<Just to post an update. I’ve been in communication with Sebastiano from Sicily Life who has bid 290 euros to have one of his team members drive me for the day from Catania to Villa Romana del Casale, Caltagirone and then back to Catania. It doesn’t sound like that includes a driver tip, so I’d probably be in for 320 euro or pushing US$400 for the day which feels pretty steep. >>

I agree that's pretty expensive. Have you thought of hiring a car just for the day? it would be a lot cheaper I think. You might also want to think about visiting Piazza Armerina itself which because it wasn't destroyed by the earthquake that destroyed Ragusa etc is medieval and very interesting for an evening. Another point is that the site of the Villa Casale is very exposed and in August you would want to be there as early in the morning as possible. We were there in September and stayed overnight in Piazza Armerina just so we could get an early start. Nevertheless it was pretty hot by the time we left at about noon.


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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
<<Just to post an update. Iíve been in communication with Sebastiano from Sicily Life who has bid 290 euros to have one of his team members drive me for the day from Catania to Villa Romana del Casale, Caltagirone and then back to Catania. It doesnít sound like that includes a driver tip, so Iíd probably be in for 320 euro or pushing US$400 for the day which feels pretty steep. >>

I agree that's pretty expensive. Have you thought of hiring a car just for the day? it would be a lot cheaper I think. You might also want to think about visiting Piazza Armerina itself which because it wasn't destroyed by the earthquake that destroyed Ragusa etc is medieval and very interesting for an evening. Another point is that the site of the Villa Casale is very exposed and in August you would want to be there as early in the morning as possible. We were there in September and stayed overnight in Piazza Armerina just so we could get an early start. Nevertheless it was pretty hot by the time we left at about noon.
Thanks annhig. I have thought about it and wouldnít totally rule it out but as a solo traveller, Iím rarely a fan of renting a car in a foreign (for me) country. One must be both driver and navigator and so donít get to enjoy the journey. And then Iím always worried about the car breaking down and being stuck in the middle of nowhere by myself. Which actually happened to me 3 years back in La Rioja, Spain. I was fortunately able to get the car to what looked like an auto shop but the gentleman spoke no English and I speak about 5 words of Spanish. Eventually we got whatever red warning light it was to go out and I was never more happy than to return that car the next day.
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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bon_voyage View Post
The TripAdvisor Sicily forum is an excellent resourceóa number of knowledgeable local posters, in particular Vagabonda.
Thank you and also to HappyTravlr. I will check that out for sure!
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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 10:27 PM
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How many hours do you want to spend at the sights? I have a driver I use for transfers based in Acireale I need to contact on another matter. I can ask him for a quote in this too if you want.
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Old Jul 7th, 2021, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rialtogrl View Post
How many hours do you want to spend at the sights? I have a driver I use for transfers based in Acireale I need to contact on another matter. I can ask him for a quote in this too if you want.
Hi rialtogrl and thank you very much! Iíd appreciate you asking him for a quote.

Iím thinking I would need perhaps 3 hours at each site + the drive back and forth to Catania? So perhaps around 8 hours total? Have you been to either Villa Romana or Caltagirone? Does 3 hours at each feel about right to you?
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Old Jul 7th, 2021, 07:46 AM
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<<Thanks annhig. I have thought about it and wouldn’t totally rule it out but as a solo traveller, I’m rarely a fan of renting a car in a foreign (for me) country. One must be both driver and navigator and so don’t get to enjoy the journey. And then I’m always worried about the car breaking down and being stuck in the middle of nowhere by myself. Which actually happened to me 3 years back in La Rioja, Spain. I was fortunately able to get the car to what looked like an auto shop but the gentleman spoke no English and I speak about 5 words of Spanish. Eventually we got whatever red warning light it was to go out and I was never more happy than to return that car the next day.>>

ok, I get you. Taxi it is. As there were two of us driving was easier - i won't say easy but that area wasn't too difficult. I can't speak for Catania as we didn't stay there, we just picked up our car from the airport as we arrived and left it as we departed.

As for the time required we hired a local guide at the entrance to Villa casale and I think it took about an hour to an hour and a half [worth every penny] and then we had a look round by ourselves so the max we were there was 3 hours. We also visited Caltagirone on our way to Piazza Armerina and i suppose that we were there for about 3 hours including lunch but we could have spent longer as I suspect that there was quite a lot we missed. So for a round trip [and remembering that you will need to eat at some point] I'd have said at least 9 hours.
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Old Jul 7th, 2021, 10:39 AM
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I checked for you, the cost is basically the same as the other guy, 300 euros. You do not really have to tip though (in either case.) I think it’s a fair price for 8 hours. He has nice vehicles and he is super cool. And it’s high season.

You would have a great experience… i found an old thread where I recommended Benny, contact info is there, and some feedback too. Hiring a driver near Sant' Alfio (Catania)?






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Old Jul 11th, 2021, 05:39 PM
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UPDATE: I ended up booking a driver from Sicily Life for the day fro 290 euro. Tip is not included so all in will probably be 320 euro. More than I was hoping to spend but I have the driver at my disposal the entire day. This should allow me to leave Catania by around 7:30 to arrive at the Villa Romana del Casale shortly before the 9:00 opening. (My reservation made for the 9:00 slot). I’ll plan to spend 2-3 hours there and from there, have him take me down to Caltagirone for lunch, seeing La Scala and then perusing the town and popping into a few ceramic shops. Sebastiano has told me the rate is good for up to 9 hours, so this should be put me back in Catania by about 4:30 pm.

Thank you to everyone who made recommendations. Thank you also to rialtogrl for confirming that my Sicily Life price is consistent with that of her driver.

Non posso aspettare per Italia 2021!!
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Old Jul 12th, 2021, 09:38 AM
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That sounds pretty good, MinnBeef - the best you were going to get, anyway, and well done on the timing for the Villa - definitely the earlier the better IMO.

One thing we missed in Caltagirone which I regret not seeing is the Presepi Museum - many of the ceramic shops sell figures for Presepi and have their own exhibits which are lovely, but the museum appears to take this to the next level. Unfortunately due to poor homework I only heard about it afterwards.

https://www.ipresepidicaltagirone.it
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Old Jul 12th, 2021, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
That sounds pretty good, MinnBeef - the best you were going to get, anyway, and well done on the timing for the Villa - definitely the earlier the better IMO.

One thing we missed in Caltagirone which I regret not seeing is the Presepi Museum - many of the ceramic shops sell figures for Presepi and have their own exhibits which are lovely, but the museum appears to take this to the next level. Unfortunately due to poor homework I only heard about it afterwards.

https://www.ipresepidicaltagirone.it
Thank you annhig. I will take a look at that link.
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