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Eastern Sicily Itinerary Help Needed

Old Jul 27th, 2017, 11:16 AM
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Eastern Sicily Itinerary Help Needed

Hi All -

I'm helping my dad plan a 40th anniversary trip for him and my mom at the end of October. He wants to take her Eastern Sicily. My mom was there years ago and my dad has never been. I've searched through the forums and have come up with this very tentative itinerary. You'll see that two days are left blank as I need suggestions as to where would be a final good third stop that would put them in an easy spot to get back to Catania.

I'm also looking for recommendations on a winery or two worth visiting.

Also, does anyone have a recommendation on a good place to stay to visit the baroque towns. I was thinking an agriturismo might be a nice change of pace or was thinking of staying in Modica.

Thanks!!!

Day 1 - night flight to Catania

Day 2 – arrive Catania, get rental car and drive to Ortygia

Day 3 – Ortygia (visit Siracusa)

Day 4 – Ortygia

Day 5– Leave Ortygia and base_____

Day 6 – Explore Baroque Towns (Modica, Noto, Scicli, Ragusa)

Day 7 – Explore Baroque Towns

Day 8 –

Day 9 –

Day 10 – drive back to Catania to return car and fly to NY
northfork280 is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:04 PM
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I think I would stick with the baroque towns for one more night and then switch to an outstanding winery/relais/agriturismo closer to Catania for the finale on Day 9. I don't have an immediate suggestion, but if I come up with one I'll post a link.

For late October, I think I might be look for ease of access when choosing a baroque town for lodgings, because you never know when there could be a big rain. That makes me want to say Noto, provided there's an excellent hotel there and a restaurant that's great for repeated returns. That's the way I'd look at it, but maybe others will say Ragusa or Scicli using the same criteria. I think Modica might be too difficult to navigate.

Have you asked your questions on TripAdvisor's Sicily forum? There are some native Sicilians who post on that forum who have detailed knowledge of seemingly every square foot of Sicily, and are sympathetic to every kind of travel desire. It's worth registering just to ask.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:11 PM
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You could easily add another day in Ortigia which would be very enjoyable (could even go to an agriturismo outside Siracusa before continuing on to the Baroque towns). Depending on their interest, a night in Catania may be suitable and then use that day for a trip to Mount Etna which is pretty spectacular.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:21 PM
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I'd suggest taking one blank day and driving around the southern base of Mt Vesuvius and if adventuresome take the 4-wheel vehicle and or chairlift up Mt Etna to peer into the crater.

I did not go to crater since it was active then but loved the train that circles Etna - lots of nice un-touristed towns and weird lava flows (cold dead ones!)

End up back in Catania - I just walked thru it changing train stations but it seemed a really nice city -I wondered why nobody seems to go there. Preferred it over Palermo in suave looks at least.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:22 PM
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Maybe this place?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...re-nere-hotel/

Might be good for 2 nights instead of just one.

Also regarding baroque towns, take a look at Villa Ambra in Noto -- but I admit my bias that easy parking is always a draw for me, even if it means I need to walk further to get to the heart of town.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:28 PM
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What time is the flight home out of Catania?

It's not that far from Ortigia to Catania so that might be a good place to stay at the end of the trip. the other stops could be Piazza Armerina for a couple of nights to see the Villa Casale [the most Roman wonderful mosaics] then drive to Ragusa or Modica for the middle part of the stay finishing with Ortigia. WE did a 10 night trip to the east of Sicily last September and this is easily achievable.

We stayed in Ragusa for 2 nights but though it was lovely I would not recommend it - the driving in and out was hard work to say the least. Modica Bassa struck me as a good spot for a touring base as it is flat, as is Scicli - someone here stayed there for a few days and liked it a lot.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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156 replies to a general itinerary question -must be near a Fodors' record?
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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I would take the train from Catania to Ortigia and pick up the rental car when leaving Ortigia. Wineries are nice but the temples in Agrigento are spectacular. That's what I would do with the extra time.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 01:13 PM
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Thanks for all of the great advice so far!

He hasn't booked the flights yet. Maybe it makes sense to visit Piazza Armerina and that area first, then travel to the baroque towns, and finish in Ortygia.

Which baroque town do people prefer the most?

I haven't posted this on Trip Advisor yet, but will do.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 01:18 PM
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Baroque?

Maybe this will help?

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1024

Lots of broke towns too!
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 03:58 PM
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Should be a delightful trip!

They will not need a car to get from Catania to Siracusa (it is easy to get there by public transportation from Catania), and parking can be challenging near Ortygia, so I would strongly encourage them to wait until leaving Siracus to pick up there rental car. And, if you will forgive me for stepping onto a soapbox: If there is any chance that they will have jet lag, I would strongly encourage them to take public transportation for your first night or two. Although many people are not aware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to oneself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing one can do will prevent the microsleeps (which many people don’t even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter one’s prior experience! Unfortunately, I know too many people who have died or been seriously injured in accidents to which jet lag was a contributing factor, and I know too many people who will spend the rest of their lives dealing with the knowledge that they were responsible for accidents that resulted in multiple deaths, including those of children, all because they chose to drive with jet lag. The issue has become a bit of cause célèbre for me….

So for those reasons, I would recommend routing to Siracusa FIRST, so they have a few days to recover from jet lag before trying to drive.

Depending on their interests, I agree that adding a day in Ortygia would be worth considering.

The Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto that I visited were Noto, which I adored for the warm gold tones of its stone and the delightful playfulness of its particular (and rather unique) form of the Baroque, and Caltigirone, where I enjoyed, but was not enamored of, the incorporation of ceramics into exterior architecture. I should note, however, that I am not a particular fan of the Baroque….

I would agree that recommending a vist to the outstanding Villa Romana del Casale would be very well worth considering – it is well deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

If you add time for the Villa Romana del Casale (just outside of Piazza Armerina) and another day in Ortygia, they might not have any "extra" time. if the adjustments to the itinerary leave more time, I think Marija's recommendation for Agrigento would be well worth considering. The Valley of the Temples is awesome.

Hope that helps!
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 04:48 PM
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A very strong vote for getting to Villa Romana and then down to Agrigento from me... The Baroque towns are lovely but sometimes feel like a film set arranged for tourists - Agrigento is spectacular!
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 04:21 AM
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They can take a day trip to Noto from Ortigia by bus or train. Or find a n organized day tour that includes more Baroque towns.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 04:53 AM
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I think I need to choose two of the following three: Piazza Armerina, Baroque Towns, Agrigento. Votes??
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 05:21 AM
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I think you will be seriously misled if you put this out to votes -- other than asking your parents to vote. You'll get 4 or 5 responses, some of them strident, without much consideration of who your unknown-to-here parents are and what they really enjoy when they travel.

One consideration is weather, however. How flexible will your parents be about cancelling a destination if there are downpours? (Can happen in that time of year). If they would really like to see the temples in Agrigento (up to them), they might want to change their minds if the forecast is for pouring rain -- but they won't know the likely weather until 2 or so days before heading there.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 06:37 AM
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Agrigento was a real highlight of my Scilian trip.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 07:07 AM
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I can be a bit of an aggressive sightseer, so keep that in mind, but we visited Piazza Armerina (with a quick stop in Caltagirone) as a day trip from Modica. So they needn't necessarily choose between Agrigento, Sicilian Baroque towns and Piazza Armerina.

We stayed at Casa Talia in Modica. Beautiful accommodations but possibly not great for people who have difficulty with stairs and hills.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 03:06 PM
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It really depends on what they want to see, and these are three very different options!

As HappyTrvlr noted, Noto can easily be visited as a half-day trip from Ortygia, by car or bus or train. And that means they don’t necessarily HAVE to choose just two of the three, IF a limited exposure to the Baroque Towns suits their interests. And although it isn’t listed on the UNESCO inspription for the Val de Noto, Ortygia itself has some impressive Baroque architecture – it just isn’t a Baroque town as defined by the inscription.
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