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Is Sicily more beautiful in spring or fall--anyone been both seasons?

Is Sicily more beautiful in spring or fall--anyone been both seasons?

Sep 21st, 2015, 07:01 AM
  #1  
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Is Sicily more beautiful in spring or fall--anyone been both seasons?

Last minute indecisiveness on a trip of several weeks this October--no plane tickets yet but lots of FF availability. I'd originally thought about Puglia (primarily to include a week-long cycling trip). Then, I really started reading about Sicily and became excited about that as a destination for a trip of several weeks. So, we decided on Sicily rather than Puglia and southern Italy.

BUT, my major hesitation is that I keep reading how beautiful Sicily is in the spring with all of the wildflowers. And, I just read an old comment here from someone who'd been to Sicily in the end of September saying that it was dry and not particularly attractive. Now I am wondering if we should just go forward with Puglia next month and save Sicily for a spring trip since we would be doing lots of outdoor activities like hiking and driving around in the countryside. We live in one of those super cold, crummy climates, so I am sure even early March in Sicily would be lovely weather for us.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
julies is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 07:30 AM
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I was Sicily in the first part of April one year and did enjoy the wildflowers. However, it also rained for part of my stay and there were exceptionally strong winds around Taormina that made touring unpleasant and a freak snow storm for a day in Palermo! Last time I visited in January, a Sicilian woman told me that Feb/March is the rainy season, so if you do decide to go to Sicily in spring, you might want to cheat it in favor of mid-April/early May. Eastertime (don't know when that is next year) might bring higher prices in a few places, but if you are interested in pageantry and parades and special sweet treats, might be interesting to be in some small towns noted for their festivities (likewise in March, if you go then, you might be interested in St Joseph's day.

For me the upside of traveling to Sicily in October would be that it is the peak harvest season and the abundance of great food. As for scenery, my word of caution is that you have to take people's reactions with the reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that most people traveling in Sicily see very, very little of the countryside period.

I have only been in Puglia in May and did not enjoy the region and have little idea what goes on there in October. If you bicycle, it might be great if October is not rainy in Puglia, but be prepared for the fact that Puglia has a fairly strict beach season when it comes to the beach towns winding down and going dormant. It if is sunny the views will still be there, and it might be that the water is warm enough for swimming. However, we found that our off-season tour of Puglia meant encountering lots of small beach towns that were basically shuttered and a feeling of abandonment. Larger towns and cities are subject to that, and keep humming along, but if you were planning a beachy-resort stay, might be something to consider.
sandralist is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 07:33 AM
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Typo alert! I meant to write in my last sentence that larger towns and cities are NOT subject to seasonal close-downs, so if you go to Puglia off-season, you might want to include plenty of those in the mix.
sandralist is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 07:39 AM
  #4  
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sandralist--

Very helpful information and a lot for me to think about. What is it you didn't like about Puglia? I'll be honest in that one of the reasons I've even homed in on Puglia is that we'd like to do some cycling, and most of the rest of Italy is much hillier. Hence, Puglia.

We are not beach people, and that is the last thing we'd want to spend our time on. Seaside and harbor people for walking about though--yes.

thanks for taking the time to reply.
julies is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 07:47 AM
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The fact that I didn't enjoy my trip to Puglia should not affect your decision to go there, especially if you want to bicycle. I would not have gone had I not been expecting to have a good time, and I am always surprised when I arrive someplace in the world I have a negative reaction to, and it is not always clear to me what is tipping the balance. The list of popular travel destinations that I haven't liked is what some would consider fairly long and shocking. It's possible I may go back to Puglia some day and ferret more things to enjoy there (I did enjoy some of it).

There is a poster here named bilboburger who is an avid cyclist and who likes Puglia so much he even got married there -- so you might put up a separate post asking about cycling in Puglia in October to find out whether that's a good time to be doing that and where to go.
sandralist is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 07:56 AM
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Puglia and Sicily have pretty much the same climate which is dominated by the Mediterranean sea.

In March, it can still be pretty chilly, April should be more spring-like and in May, it starts to get really hot with the sun burning intensely. Mount Etna will be snow-capped even in March and April - be aware it is a ski area in winter.

September will still be hot, October warm but milder. And the sun is less intensive. Also, October is a second vegetation period when many flowers start to bloom for a second time.

The swimming season starts in May and continues until early November when the rainy season begins.
traveller1959 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 08:38 AM
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I think you have tipped me back to Sicily now that you tell me about the second vegetation season when things start to bloom again. And, I have discovered a short four day cycling trip in Sicily that sounds both intriguing and very reasonable priced.

Thanks much.

By the way the list of places we didn't like that were highly touted would probably also surprise some people--Carcassone comes to mind immediately.
julies is offline  
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