Car in Siracusa and Ragusa

Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:01 AM
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Car in Siracusa and Ragusa

Hello Fodorites. We are flying into Catania in May and headed to Siracusa for four nights and then Ragusa for three nights before heading back to Catania for one night. We are leaning toward no car in Siracusa (we are actually staying in Ortigia) and doing a day trip by public transport to Noto and then either picking up the car in Siracusa at the end of our stay there and having it with us in Ragusa to explore a bit more of that area. Wondering if it makes sense to just rent when we get to Ragusa and either return it in Ragusa or drive it back to Catania. We would want to drop it in or near the city center of Catania not the airport. If we could do it all without renting we would but I think we might need to or we'll miss out.. We want to just get public transport or a taxi from Catania centro to the airport and not hassle with the car return early morning of our flight home. Not a fan of that stress. Any opinions on this very welcome. Thank you.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:34 AM
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Our drive, back in 2010, from Ortygia to Modica, not far from Ragusa, was easy as I recall, and the countryside was attractive, It was SICILY for our special trip,
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:42 AM
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I'd prefer to use public transport rather than use a car, certainly, Ortigia is an easy walk and buses go to the Temples area from there.

Noto main street is very special but you will need to dump the car outside of the old area to enjoy it and so if you can use the buses on your timetable do. You'll find rome2rio is a good place to plan but double click through to see the original data behind their interpretation. They make mistakes on special days which may include every day from Thursday through to Monday inclusive.

If the hire company tries to hoist a fat, long or big car any size above that of a Fiat 550 (I'd avoid it) the old town roads are designed for donkey carts and giant Volvos get stuck.

There are some parts of Catania I might not want to go to, just saying.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 09:00 AM
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If I'm reading correctly, you are choosing between renting (a) when you leave Siracusa, using it for Ragusa +, and returning in Catania or (b) once in Ragusa, but still returning in Catania. If the times (bus schedules and rental office opening hours) work, I don't see much difference, except that you might have more options in Siracusa.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 01:52 AM
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Thank you. I guess I am also trying to decide if I really need a car more than perhaps one day to explore the surrounding area around Ragusa. In which case I would think I could rent and return in Ragusa. The down side would be relying on public transport or paying for taxi to Catania and other locations.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 08:23 AM
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My fallback suggestion for Sicilian dilemmas is to check in with Vagabonda on the TripAdvisor Sicily forum. She will have all current, relevant facts at her fingertips.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 06:19 PM
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Sounds like a personal choice about how to spend one's time and money, so I'm not sure how Vagabonda (or any other expert) would help.

Does your itinerary include the Villa Romana del Casale? If not, consider getting the car so you can see that.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 02:00 AM
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Thank you. I will definitely get the car for at least one if the days in Ragusa.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 06:54 AM
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Mikster, are you deeply interested in Baroque architecture so that visiting all the Baroque towns is important? Just asking because you may find that two full days in Ortigia/Siracusa is not enough! Plus a lot of Ortigia is Baroque.

Anyway, I went to Ortigia after the Baroque town of my choice which was Scicli. I had picked up my car in Trapani and dropped it right in Ortigia. Booked through Autoeurope as always. These two locations did not have rental offices for their regular supplier, Europcar, so they set me up with Hertz. Just letting you know there are many options!

Buon viaggio. You will love Sicily!
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:33 AM
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Thank you so much Dayle....we are actually in Ortigia for four nights with travel most of the first day but then we do have three full days...thank you for the info...i really appreciate it. Do you or anyone else have any recommendations for a hotel in Catania? I've posted separately about that but no replies. I don't want to be at the airport I want to be in the town center.

Thanks so much...I can't wait to go!
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 07:32 PM
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Sorry, I haven't been to Catania. I trust you're consulting booking.com?
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:00 PM
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Sorry, cant help with Catania. I skipped it because I spent four nights, three full days in Palermo. That was enough big city for me because I had other priorities for my trip.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 11:28 AM
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All good...found what sounds like a very nice option at Asmundo di Gisira in Catania. Thanks so much to everyone.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 11:42 AM
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Villa Romana del Casale is definitely worth a detour:

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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 08:43 PM
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I am also thinking about visiting eastern Sicily during May this year. Does anyone know, more or less, the price of a private car and driver for one day, from--perhaps--Ragusa??

We plan, so far, to begin in Catania and then travel on to Ragusa with visits to nearby towns, then continue onward westward along the southern coast. Just wondering how pricey it would be to hire a driver for a few days rather than have a car for the entire stay of about two weeks or so.....

I have been to the island a few times before, including to Siracusa and Palermo and Agrigento...hence the first and third might not be included this time.....
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 11:04 AM
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Hi Eks, I know people do it, but it would be WAY more expensive than just renting a car. There are a couple companies, but the only one I know of is New LIfe Services. Christian is the owner. I used them for a private transfer from Taormina to Milazzo. That was 90E in 2013 for little over an hour trip. Excellent service. Sorry I can't help more. Are you thinking this May? I would recommend staying at La Foresteria Planeta Estate in Menfi, near Selinute, but they are probably booked by now as they have become extremely popular in the years since I was there. I think it would be your kind of place!
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 01:09 PM
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Thanks, Dayle! I worry that I am late in booking all the places I marked. Just got back from Merida so now can concentrate on Sicily. Also bought a book about FVG that is drawing me there as well but in general I think I like the south and the Adriatic coast the most, although I could happily spend my last breaths almost anywhere in that magical country!
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy View Post
Thanks, Dayle! I worry that I am late in booking all the places I marked. Just got back from Merida so now can concentrate on Sicily. Also bought a book about FVG that is drawing me there as well but in general I think I like the south and the Adriatic coast the most, although I could happily spend my last breaths almost anywhere in that magical country!

We drove from Villa Romana Casale to stay in Noto and next dropped off car in Siracusa. Ekscrunchy, we spent a week on Ortigia and used Sicily Life for transfers to Taormina and Catania airport. Very pleased with that company.This was Oct 2018.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Jan 17th, 2020 at 10:22 PM.
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 02:34 AM
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Dayle—I just googled New Life Services and couldn’t find it. By any chance did you mean New Travel Services for transfers?
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 03:14 AM
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Digbydog,
HappyTrvlr used a place called Sicily Life for transfers, not New Life! I have visions of pregnant women giving birth in cars! 🤣

This looks like the company that was mentioned!
https://www.sicilylife.com/sicily-transfers

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