Help with Southern Italy Itinerary

Dec 9th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Help with Southern Italy Itinerary

I need some help putting together an itinerary for Southern Italy for myself and my boyfriend. I've been to Italy twice and seen Rome, Florence, Venice and Tuscany, etc., but my boyfriend has never been to Europe. I'd like to put together a trip of Southern Italy, starting from Rome (because everyone needs to see Rome!). We're planning on approximately 8-9 day trip, and we would like to travel by train/ferry. Is it too ambitious to try to include Sicily? He would really like to go there, and I was hoping to see Capri. Any suggestions on what to see, where to spend the most time? I was thinking about doing the overnight ferry to Sicily, figuring that would help with travel times. Any help would be appreciated!
bkrgrl1112 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 10:22 AM
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there are also overnight trains to Sicilian towns from Rome and even Milan and other northern towns.

I would consider doing mainly Sicily - very small and a lot of varied stuff to see:

Great old-world towns like Palermo (with Montreale), Catania and Syracuse. Not far out of Palermo is Segeesta (sp?) - a heck of a great Greek temple in the wilds - and Agrigento has an extraordinary grouping of old temples overlooking the sea. And Mount Etna - a thrilling cableway and jeep ride or strengent hike takes you to the summit.

Taormina is a world-famous resort with its own Roman ruins.

If on the way down you want to stop in the Naples area to do Capri then you also have the dramatically gorgeous Amalfi Coast to consider as well as Pompeii - Sorrento is a perfect base for the area.

I would settle on one area or the other as each has tons to do

Sorrento has Capri and Ischia (another island gem), Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius - again can climb to the top after a mini-bus takes you most of the way up and Naples itself - one of the most old-world looking cities in Europe IMO

Spend a few days in Rome for boyfriend who has never been there and then rest of time in either Amalfi or Sicily IMO
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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Rome is for sure the best place to introduce one to the Italic peninsula.

With only 8 days Sicily seems a little too far, especially if your flights are in and out of Rome.

Of course Fodorites like us love the open jaw itinerary i.e. - fly into one city like Rome and out of another like Siracusa. Even with this 8 days does not leave a lot of time.

I'd focus the trip on Rome and possibly Naples. Two great areas with endless sites and treasures. And you'll get to Naples.

Motorino is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 01:34 PM
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Hi, bkrgrl1112 -

I loved Sicily, but think that trying to combine it with Room would be frustrating. Rome itself deserves at least 4 days IMO, which would leave you very little time to travel to Sicily. Moreover, Sicily itself easily deserves at least 2 weeks! But it depends on what you want to see and do. . . .

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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With 8 days in Italy you want 2 destinations---Rome and the Amalfi coast are ideal.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 10:17 AM
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Based on some of the recommendations I've received, I'm thinking it may be wiser to focus solely on Sicily. So, new plan is to fly into Catania and home from Palermo. I'm still playing with the itinerary, but thinking something like:
1 - arrive in Catania, overnight
2, 3 - Taormina (day trip to Etna)
4, 5 - Syracuse
6 - Agrigento (stop by Cefalu en route to Palermo)
7, 8 - Palermo (day trip to Tripani and Erice)
9 - depart from Palermo
Any feedback on the itinerary? Also, can we use bus/train transportation or should we rent a car? It seems to be a bit cheaper to rent a car, but a little nervous about the driving.
bkrgrl1112 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 10:22 AM
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I took trains to all those places without any problem.

I did Syracuse as a day trip from Taormina and that was about enough time.

I stayed in Palermo but in retrospect i would have stayed in Cefalu - a really delightful seaside smaller town and really close to palermo.

Investigate a Sicily railpass that at least used to be sold locally and was dirt cheap.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Thanks for the info! Was unsure how many nights were needed in some places, so maybe I should shorten my time in Syracuse and Palermo, and extend in Taormina and Cefalu. Thanks for the tip about the train - I tried to investigate on the web, but didn't find too much info about trains within Sicily (at least, in English).
bkrgrl1112 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,529 German rail web site that has schedules for all of Europe is the best and easiest i've seen to use for schedules. But there are regular rail links between most places if not all you mention. And buses may run more direct routes on some links than trains which may go round about ways due to terrain
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Hi, again -

I spent 2 very full days in Siracusa and enjoyed every minute. I also loved Palermo and spent 2.5 days there (counting a half day in Monreale, which should NOT be missed!) How long to spend in each of these places really depends on what you want to see and do. You might consider leaving Catania for Taormina as soon as you arrive to make a bit more time for other places.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  

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