Help planning Sicily Itinerary

Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 10:38 AM
  #41  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm rethinking our hotel choice for Palermo. As much as I love the sound of the roof terrace at the Ambasciatori, I like the sound of being in an area where its customary to take la passeggiata even more. So, does anyone have any hotel recommendations in the areas around Teatro Massimo and Teatro Politeama-Garibaldi, especially in the under-$150/night range.

Also, does anyone have a favorite place in Agrigento that they would highly recommend? My first choice isn't available on the date we need.

kja -- You're right -- when I made my time estimates, it was based on having revised my itinerary, yet again. I'm still tinkering, and trying to reconfigure the trip to get more time in both Palermo and Ortygia. I'll repost when it's final.
baloney is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:02 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,329
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
We stopped at Segesta on the drive down to Agrigento from Palermo. We didn't get an early start (never seem to do that on vacation!) and made it easily in time to check in at our hotel outside Agrigento, and then go to the Valle die Templi that afternoon. So I think you could visit Segesta and Selinunte on a long road-trip day to Agrigento. If you want! That would free up another night, which I personally would add to either Modica or Ortygia.

We went to Villa Romana del Casale as a day trip from Modica. Spent one day just sightseeing in Modica itself, having a long, leisurely lunch at Risotrante la Gazza Ladra, a Michelin-starred restaurant in town.

I loved Palermo. We had two nights there--thought we would have nearly two full days in the city, but some airline delays meant we really only had one full day. Turned out to be a great day. We were able to see several of the key churches, the Norman Palace, the Capella Palatina, Monreale, the new part of town and much more.
Leely2 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:14 AM
  #43  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,329
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Sorry, didn't mean to be so me me me I I I. I wanted to suggest that fewer one nighters will give you greater flexibility if you get to Sicily and decide "Oh today let's not go there; let's do this instead."
Leely2 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 07:54 PM
  #44  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you tried booking.com?
kja is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 08:01 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,754
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Didnt meanto give the impression that I hatedPalermo. I liked many of the sites and I did see a lot! Loved the Marmorata, St John of the Hermits, the Quattro Canti, and all therest I do think I would have enjoyed it more staying in thenew city so I could have walked to dinner in the eves. The hotel's menu was ok but limited and I had really been loving all the food the rest of the trip which was over 3 weeks.

I had expected to love Palermo but it just didn't grab me the way Rome and Naples did.
Dayle is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2014, 11:41 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Siracusa. We loved both and would recommend an equal amount of time in each, which means adding the day to Siracusa. One day for Ortigia (where you should stay) and one day for the archaeology park.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2014, 08:59 AM
  #47  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to everyone here, I've finally settled on an itinerary for 7-day our trip to Sicily. I've built in 2 days in Palermo and Siracusa/Ortigia at each end of the trip, given your suggestions that those cities deserved more time. I've also worked in time for a short visit to Scopello with an overnight at a Pensione there. I've decided to skip Cefalu, since it's in the wrong direction from everything else we're seeing. So, here's what the final itinerary looks like:

April 13/14 Palermo– Arrive Palermo 3-4 pm. overnight for 2 nights (visit Monreale on 14th or morning of 15th)

April 15 – pick up rental car around 4-5 pm. Drive to Lo Zingaro Nature Preserve for short hike/views, then dinner and overnight at Pensione Tranchina near Scopello.

April 16. Drive to Segesta 10 am and visit Segesta (open 9-17:00), then drive to Selinunte (open 9-19:00). On to Agrigento for overnight.

April 17 – Visit Valley of the Temples in morning. Then drive to Villa Romana del Casale to see mosaics in afternoon; then drive to Modica. Overnight in Modica.

April 18 – drive to Siracusa via Noto and spend rest of day and next day in Siracusa/Ortigia– 2 overnights in Siracusa/Ortigia.

April 20 – drive to Catania airport for 2:55 pm flight to Frankfurt, overnight Frankfurt

Many thanks, again, for everyone's help with planning this trip. Happy travels to you all.
baloney is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2014, 09:50 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,325
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well done! Have a wonderful trip!
bon_voyage is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2014, 09:54 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looks like a good itinerary. Have a great time!
adrienne is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2014, 10:51 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,329
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Looks good. April17 looks like a really long day to me.
Leely2 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2014, 11:09 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,624
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Looks good (although you'll want to get up early on the 17th). Have a great trip.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2014, 11:36 AM
  #52  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 08:13 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,754
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Baloney,

Check sunset time for April - I think you will get to Lo Zingaro too late if you pick up a car (I assume at the airport?) in the late afternoon. I have heard the lines can be very long for rentals at the Palermo airport.

Also, you might consider skipping the trip up to Monreale with your limited time. There are two churches right in Palermo with the same type of mosaics that I honestly enjoyed just as much - Capella Palatina and the Marmorata.

When I drove from Menfi (Selinute) to Agrigento it took a bit longer than expected. No traffic really, just a long drive. Mostly fast road, but some slower spots.

Also, driving from Agrigento to Piazza Armerina took a very long time because I followed my GPS's route for half the drive, when I knew better! Stay on the main highway to Gela, THEN turn north on the main road towards Piazza Armerina. MUCH faster.

I took the main highway about 1/2 way, then followed the turn my Tom Tom recommended. I ended up going thru the mountains on some very twisty roads that took a long time - especially since I kept stopping for photos! It was gorgeous and I was glad for the detour because I had the time to spend.

You need to be quick, so stick to the main highways!

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 10:06 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,624
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
NO! Absolutely do NOT skip Monreale. I enjoyed it so much I actually went back for a second look. It is arguably THE top sight in Sicily. Besides the absolutely stunning mosaics, there are also beautifully carved capitals in the cloister to admire. You can easily spend hours there if you have any interest at all in photography.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 10:18 AM
  #55  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wholeheartedly agree with thursdaysd -- do NOT skip Monreale!!! The mosaics, along with the exquisite capitals AND columns in the cloister (not to mention the doors, floors, exterior architectural details, etc.) make it one of the most magnificent buildings in the world, IMO. By all means, see the mosaics in Palermo, too, so you can see for yourselves the ways in which they differ.
kja is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:53 PM
  #56  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are definitely going to see Monreale, no matter what. But I do appreciate Dayle's reminder that we will need to keep our driving times to a minimum, given the brevity of this trip. Would also appreciate advice from those of you who have been to Modica: do you recommend staying in the upper or lower part of town? My son has been doing his own research and is asking why we are skipping Ragusa. I didn't think we would have enough time to fit it in, so opted for Modica and a short visit to Noto instead. Is that the right call? Are there any Ragusa fans out there who think it deserves a visit instead of Noto?
baloney is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:54 PM
  #57  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are definitely going to see Monreale, no matter what. But I do appreciate Dayle's reminder that we will need to keep our driving times to a minimum, given the brevity of this trip. Would also appreciate advice from those of you who have been to Modica: do you recommend staying in the upper or lower part of town? My son has been doing his own research and is asking why we are skipping Ragusa. I didn't think we would have enough time to fit it in, so opted for Modica and a short visit to Noto instead. Is that the right call? Are there any Ragusa fans out there who think it deserves a visit instead of Noto?
baloney is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 04:06 PM
  #58  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,329
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
If you do any sightseeing at all in Modica itself (and Modica has some beautiful churches as well as many charming back alleys, etc.), you will be climbing up and down LOTS of stairs no matter what. We stayed up high on one side and clambered down and up to the other at least a few times a day.
Leely2 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 05:47 PM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,754
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry to shock you with my rec to skip Monreale! I did enjoy it, especially the cloisters with their carved columns. I just thought it was nearly the same as the other two churches, only much bigger.

Getting there - I took the AST bus which at the time left from across the street from the central train station. You need to buy your ticket from the tabacchi next to the stop. It was clean and uncrowded and an express bus. I don't remember it stopping anywhere along the way. Traffic up to Monreale was bumper to bumper and it took quite a while to get there. Returning was faster.

The main street in Monreale as you walk to the duomo was a very nice street. I would have liked to stop for lunch there.
Dayle is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 06:36 PM
  #60  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Are there any Ragusa fans out there who think it deserves a visit instead of Noto?" -- I didn't visit either Ragusa or Modica. I did visit Noto, and I loved it, particularly the unforgettable Palazzo Nicolaci. Nonetheless, I am not sure that I would sacrifice time in Siracusa or Ortygia to make time for Noto. Or perhaps I would sacrifice ONLY enough time to see the exterior of the Palazzo Nicolaci - park in the main lot, walk through town and its main cathedral and churches QUICKLY, without stopping for the interiors, turn onto Via Nicolaci, laugh out loud, retrace your steps QUICKLY....

I'm glad to hear that your commitment to Monreale is unshakable.
kja is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -