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Eastern Sicily -- please help with planning!

Eastern Sicily -- please help with planning!

Dec 24th, 2012, 09:37 AM
  #21  
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sassfrass..Would love to go to Agrigento one day. I think it seems to be a little over 2 hours drive, though, according to google maps. i'm guessing it's worth it?

ian -- thanks. does the shuttle run at specific times, or do you just let them know you want to go and they take you?

leely --- thanks for the validation.
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Dec 24th, 2012, 10:17 AM
  #22  
 
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Yes, absolutely worth it - one of the most impressive archeological sites I've seen, including Pompeii & Ephesus. I spent about five hours there and didn't see everything. It is a bit of a drive, but an easy, pretty one, which is what we did.
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Dec 24th, 2012, 11:56 AM
  #23  
Ian
 
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Dina

IIRC the shuttle runs more or less on demand. I agree that Agrigento is tremendous but it is a long drive from Modica on 2-lane roads with several town to go through. There & back plus 2-3 hours on site would eat up a day. You would be better off visiting Ragusa, Caltigirone, Piazza Armerina etc & saving the west for a future trip.

Ian
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Dec 24th, 2012, 12:52 PM
  #24  
 
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Please do yourself a favor and actually stay in Ortigia so you can wander the streets and enjoy the magic of this city.My daughter spent a semester abroad in Ortigia and it is fabulous. I would highly recommend the Hotel Roma which is just around the corner from the Duomo on Via Roma. Cafe Minerva and the restaurant Yaz(?) across the street from the hotel is wonderful.
. Ortigia is an ancient city located on an attached island and is only a mile by a mile and a half.There are over 4000 ships sunk in its harbor from centuries past. The town has been unfortunately discovered in the past decade as the Marriott hotel chain has decided to buy up the land where once was the local market but this piece do Sicily is so special! It is a wonderful city to wander around,enjoy a glass of wine,shop,see a puppet show or just sit on the Lungomare and watch the sea. You will love it!
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Dec 24th, 2012, 01:11 PM
  #25  
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dutyfree -- we are definitely staying in ortigia! and looking forward to it. i will look into the hotel roma.

ian -- that's what i was thinking -- maybe save agrigento for another trip... it will be a hard call.
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Dec 24th, 2012, 01:36 PM
  #26  
 
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Ian is right. Agrigento did take a whole day, and we missed lots of other things (Noto, Ragusa and Ortigia) because of that. I have such a big interest in Greek architecture, it was kind of on my bucket list, and DH indulges me. Now we have to go back and see the things you are going to see. Sicily is beautiful - and great food.
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Dec 24th, 2012, 10:49 PM
  #27  
 
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lol, Sassafrass - I'm the exact opposite. it's the beautiful towns of eastern Sicily that so interest me; I can take or leave the greek stuff.
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Dec 25th, 2012, 07:43 AM
  #28  
Ian
 
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Sassafrass

Speaking of ruins & the west . . . Segesta (albeit technically not Greek) is incredible. The view from the amphitheater & the remains of the city is simply stunning. But it was the ruins of Selinunte that gave me the best 'feel' of its ancient inhabitants. Yes, you have to go back.

Ian
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Dec 25th, 2012, 07:03 PM
  #29  
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Ok, we are now considering PLAN B.

my DH mentioned that maybe we should do taormina, syracusa (and visit noto from there), and then choose the aeolian islands as our third base, instead of one of the val di noto towns.

We've spent a lot of time in umbria and tuscany, have visited hill towns in puglia and beautiful lecce, so he thinks that staying on one of the islands for a couple of nights might be fun and different.

So I need to do a little more research (maybe start a new thread?) about splitting up our week with 2-3 nights each in Taormina, one of the aeolian islands, and syracusa (ortigia).

we will be arriving in sicily from athens, and then heading to rome. if we do PLAN B, not sure if Catania is still a good in/out airport, or what order we should plan to visit the towns....

suggestions, please?

thanks for your patience and all your amazing help!!
dina
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Jan 1st, 2013, 09:36 AM
  #30  
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So with a slight twist, we've readjusted and (i think) finalized our itinerary

2 nights Taormina (Villa Ducale)
2 nights Panarea (Hotel Cincotta)
3 nights Siracusa (Palazzo del Sale)

I have some questions as to how best to enjoy our time in siracusa:

1. We are looking forward to just walking and enjoying the island and seeing the archaeological sites, but not sure how much time to allot to the ancient sites. Any tips?

2. we would like to take a late afternoon drive one day -- maybe to Ilba Ragusa and Noto. Would like to be in Noto at dusk and possibly for dinner, since the drive back to Siracusa from there is pretty short.

3. Is Piazza Armeria too far for a day trip?

4. Are there any good wineries to visit?

5. We also love to take a dip in the sea -- any suggestions for a beach (don't need sand!) with chairs/umbrellas where we could relax for a few hours?

Thanks!!
Dina
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Jan 1st, 2013, 09:45 AM
  #31  
 
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Dina - so far as I can do, it looks a very good itinerary.

i'll be interested to read about how it goes.
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Jan 1st, 2013, 11:34 AM
  #32  
Ian
 
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Dina

The large site in Siracusa is 10 minutes away by car/taxi from Ortygia. Allow a couple of hours. Fill in the rest of the day chilling in Ortygia.

Piazza Armerina is a 2 hour drive one way. I would leave early, visit Armerina & swing down to Ragusa for lunch, drive through Modica & get back before dark. I am not a fan of driving strange roads in a strange country after dark.

You can go to the stony beach in Taormina & rent. Just take the cable car down.

Ian
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Jan 1st, 2013, 03:01 PM
  #33  
kja
 
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> not sure how much time to allot to the ancient sites.

Maybe 1/2 hour for the theater in Taormina; a few hours for the sites in Siracusa plus at least an hour for its archeological museum.

> Would like to be in Noto at dusk

That's a wonderful time to visit Noto! Try to get there early enough to see it in daylight, too.

> any suggestions for a beach

There's a beach below Taormina.
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Jan 2nd, 2013, 05:50 AM
  #34  
 
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if you want a swim, you can't do better than the beach below Commissario Montalbano's apartment:

http://www.lacasadimontalbano.com/

watch out for any floating dead bodies or horses on the beach, though!
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Jan 2nd, 2013, 06:41 AM
  #35  
 
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Dina

Have you posted previously about the ferries around Southern Italy?

Ann

I am sure Caterella will help out this bodies on the beach.
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Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:54 AM
  #36  
 
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During your stay in Taormina don't miss to visit the Alcantara Gorges Geological and Botanic Park, here's the link http://www.terralcantara.it/en. It is an incredible wildlife scenery drawn by a river passing through a "lava" wall (volcanic material). Here you can just stroll with Etna on the background or even try some river trekking. Really a great experience. You can reach it by car or ask to your hotel and they will indicated you an organized tour for it.
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Jan 2nd, 2013, 08:17 AM
  #37  
 
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Vinard,

i don't care if you are advertising, the Alcantara Gorge looks great.
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Jan 2nd, 2013, 08:20 AM
  #38  
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Thanks again for all the great info...

Vinard -- i've read about the gorge and it's beauty. just not sure we can fit in the time with only one full day in taormina.

Ann - no haven't posted about ferry info in southern sicily.... is there something i should know? we are planning to ferry to aeolians from milazzo, or maybe messina.
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Jan 2nd, 2013, 08:31 AM
  #39  
 
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Ann - no haven't posted about ferry info in southern sicily.... is there something i should know? we are planning to ferry to aeolians from milazzo, or maybe messina.>>

Dina, that wasn't me, that was dickie!
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Jan 2nd, 2013, 08:52 AM
  #40  
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sorry, ann (and dickie!)
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