Help with 14 day Sicily Itinerary

Jan 7th, 2004, 08:40 AM
  #1  
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Help with 14 day Sicily Itinerary

I have just recently discovered this message board,and am so grateful to all you incredibly generous people for sharing your knowledge.My husband and I are going to Sicily mid-April,for 14 nights.we are first timers there.We land in Palermo:3-4 nights,with side trip to Cefalu;then pick up a car and use the agriturismo at Sciacca for 3 nights;then Agrigento;Siracusa and Taormina.Wouldappreciate suggestions about how best to aportion days in each.Would also like to go to the agriturismo in Gangivecchio,but don't know how to best integrate it into itinerary. i know I am asking a lot,but would be so grateful for honest feedback.I await your responses.
caroll is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 01:31 AM
  #2  
 
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ttt
Steve_James is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 03:31 AM
  #3  
 
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My family and I have just returned from Sicily (8 nights, 4 in Palermo and 4 in Catania). As roads are good and distances not too big, we preferred to drive and not to pack and unpack every other day.

Driving in Sicily is easy at roads, but indications are not good, panels are small, never indicate distances and are posted just where you have to decide which way to go. Get the best possible map, we got Europcar map and found it was not good enough.
While driving inside cities, be very careful, preference is not respected as a general rule.

Parking the car can be a problem in some tourist attractions, i.e. Agrigento and Cefalú. If possible (difficult) try to plan beforehand where to park. In Taormina, there is a big car park. You can leave the car there and take the bus to the top.

What we liked the most: Taormina (greek theater and the city itself, go to the main piazza after the theater), Segesta temple (for location) and the house of mosaics Villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina( best preserved, beautiful and artistic mosaics I've seen in my whole life). My children loved the cathacombs of Capucchini in Palermo but I'm not sure whether many adults are willing to see dressed skeletons and mummies.

From Palermo we visited: Monreale (visit the tower at the cloister for an excellent view of Palermo), Montepelegrino, Cefalú, Erice, Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento (we allowed for this one full day with the longest journey, 2 hours).
Palermo is a city that could be very beatiful because of the location (i.e Conca), but it's dirty and many old houses are not even painted.

From Catania (cleaner and nicer than Palermo in itself) : Taormina (highway from Catania), Siracusa, Etna, Acireale, Noto (very pretty despite scafolding). We didn't particularly like Ragusa, mainly beacuse it's so far from everything.

We found very useful the Michelin green guide for Italy. In Sicily, you can trust the allocation of stars, comments, and advice on aportion of days and hours. Michelin tends to be more generous with monuments than with lanscapes or pretty villages, but if you visit everything they recommend, you won't miss anything

The saturday morning street market in Catania was excellent (much, much better than the famous Vucciria in Palermo): many modern clothes at bargain prices (from 3 euros). It starts at a square located approx. at the middle of Etna Street (main street).
nica is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 04:33 AM
  #4  
 
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caroll...since you're new to the board, I'll suggest this - if you haven't done so already...

Use the "search" function to bring up past posts; many will have answers to your questions.
TuckH is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 11:58 PM
  #5  
RAR
 
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Got your email and found this pretty easily. First off, the itinerary looks pretty solid. You'll have to choose between a 2nd agriturismo stop and say Siricusa or Taormina, because you won't really have time to do all 3.

Your first week is spent in Palermo and Sciacca, so you have basically a week to spend in Agrigento, Taormina, Siricusa, or Gangi. My thoughts on the three: Agrigento is basically a daytrip to me. The town is modern, and nothing special. The temples are beautiful, but only need an afternoon to fully peruse and soak in. Siricusa I liked a lot, but it's small and so 1-2 days there would suffice well. Taormina is stunningly beautiful, I would unwind there at the end of your trip with 3 days of simple relaxation. Not a ton of things to do there (although you can go up to the castle, or go to Giardini-Naxos, or go to the "Godfather town"), but it's so beautiful and the Isola Bella below it makes for a very nice spot to spend your afternoons and evenings (on the beach).

My favorite spots in Sicily were Segesta, Selinunte, and Ragusa. The first two are old Roman ruins, and in my opinion, more interesting and impressive than Agrigento. Segesta is an easy daytrip from Palermo, and Selinunte can be seen from Sciacca. I would definitely try to incorporate both (and would drop Cefalu, go see the cathedral at Monreale instead! only a 15 min bus ride from Palermo center). Ragusa is good daytrip from Siricusa. If you plan on doing Ragusa then add another day to Siricusa.

I spent 16 days in Sicily: 3 Palermo, 3 Trapani, 2 Mazara del Vallo, 1 Enna, 2 Siricusa, 1 Etna, and 4 Taormina. If I had to do it over again, I don't think I'd change it much at all, except a day less in Trapani.

I have pictures of these places on my picture site: http://www.pbase.com/overthere/sicily

Feel free to email me or post more questions here
RAR is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 12:02 AM
  #6  
RAR
 
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Oh and I'd definitely second that recommendation of using the Search field to enter in the name of these places and bring up all the great older posts.
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Jan 9th, 2004, 07:01 AM
  #7  
GAC
 
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RAR: Segesta and Selinunte are GREEK ruins!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GAC is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 11:00 AM
  #8  
RAR
 
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Oh man, another example of why I shouldn't be posting at 2 am! Sorry! Hahah.
RAR is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 02:46 PM
  #9  
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Thank you for your suggestions,and patience!!!I checked out all the older messages as suggested,and realize you,ve answered similar querries before.Please critique this preliminary itinerary based on your experiences:
Palermo:3-4 nightshould we stay @ Massimo Plaza {thanks to GAC) or has anyone stayed at Hotel Letzia or Ai Cartari?we would like to keep it around 250 euros.We will pick up a car when we leave Palermo,and head for Erice & Segesta enroute to:
Sciacca,3 nights:It looks so well placed for Selinute and Agrigento,but the only place people talk about staying is Verdetecnica.Any other hotel/agriturismo suggestions?We would also like to visit Trapani & Mazara.Can we best do that from Siacca? Any thoughts about pleasant/well-placed hotels for this leg?
Siracusa {Agriturismo Limonetta},3 nights while we visit Ragusa,Piazza Amerina.
Gangivecchio,2 nights {Agriturismo/good kitchen}
Taormina,3 nights,but where,for 250 euros or so????Is hotel Villa Belvedere our best choice??San Domenico quoted an astronomical rate.We cannot do $600 per night.Please help here.Should we dump our car when we arrive in Taormino,and taxi to airport in Catania, as we leave,or is it more sensible to hold on to car and surrender at airport as we depart for Rome??,Lastly,we will be in Rome for 3 nights.Hotel suggestions??
My thanks to all of you.will keep careful notes to share in return,at return.
caroll is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 01:24 AM
  #10  
RAR
 
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Trapani and Mazara I stayed in for different reasons. Trapani because of its proximity to the Egadi Islands, Erice, and Segesta; Mazara because I have some friends that live there. Glad to see you add Ragusa to your list
RAR is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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While I was not a huge fan of Trapani, I would say it is easier to get to from Palermo than from Sciacca. Trapani is located right next to Erice, so if you go to Erice from Palermo, it would make sense to go to Trapani from there. I agree with RAR about the Egadi islands. Favignana was one of the highlights of our trip. I don't know whether it will be swimming weather in April (it depends on what you're accustomed to), but you can rent bicycles or motorinos and tour the island.
Selinunte is probably equally distant (in time, not distance) between Palermo and Sciacca. While we were there this summer, the highway between Sciacca and Selinunte was under construction and there was a long (and not-well signed detour.) If you do go to Selinunte from Sciacca, be sure to stop at Porto Palo along the way for lunch or dinner at Da Vittorio's.
As far as the car and Taormina are concerned, on our trip we had a car on the western portion, but when we came to the east coast (we stayed in Giardini-Naxos), we dropped the car off. It is unnecessary in Taormina, and there is an express bus from Taormina to Catania airport so you can catch your flight.
Have a great trip.
rbrazill is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 08:18 AM
  #12  
 
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a few suggestions; check out the hotel
Centrale Palace in Palermo; it is well located , quiet, luxurious and within your budget. We drove past the Agriturismo Limonetta near Siracusa and
I can't imagine spending three nights there; its out in the middle of nowhere.
Why not stay in Siracusa (Ortygia) and enjoy the city life. Re; Taormina; we stayed at Hotel Monte Tauro, well located and again well within your budget
sammie123 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 10:37 AM
  #13  
RAR
 
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I swam at Favignana in April, but when I got out I literally had problems moving my legs! That water was cooooold. But I figured I didn't come all this way to find a beautiful cove and not swim in it!
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