Length of time Italy/sicily

Old Jun 15th, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Length of time Italy/sicily

I am looking for opinions for length of time in each of the following cities---i can go for 16-21 days
What do you think is enough time to see all of the major attractions?
I was thinking Palermo: 5 days/4 nights
Venice 4 days
Florence 4 days-day trip to Pisa
Rome 5 days
Should I shorten or add days to any of the cities or do you think that I will be able to see all of the major things?
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Old Jun 15th, 2006, 09:05 PM
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I love Sicily and I've stayed in Palermo three times, but I still find Palermo an odd addition to the traditional "big three" of Rome, Venice and Florence.

In my opinion, you can see Palermo (and nearby Monreale; you get there with a bus from downtown Palermo) in three full days.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Why 4 big cities--do you not want to see Italy?
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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I,too, would agree that 5 days in Palermo sounds like a lot. Unless you are using Palermo as your base and taking day-trips around to Agrigento, Siracusa, Etna, etc...Maybe you should save Sicily for another trip altogether and devote your time to the mainland cities?
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 12:26 PM
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There are some of us who happen to think that the wealth of art and history in the cities are just as much Italy as the Tuscan countryside or the Lakes.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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I added Palermo b/c that is where my family came from---so although it may not typically fit in to the other 3 main cities---it is a 'main' city for me to visit..........
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Just wanted to add that I would cut out one of the other 3 cities before I would cut out Sicily!.......I will use Palermo as a point to travel from to see Mt. Etna, etc......
bobthenavigator---can you be more specific as to the number of days in each city---your previous answer really didn't help!
i really thought the # of days i listed were enough!! help!
Eloise--any recommendations on where to stay in Palermo??
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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Now, of course, I understand your wish to go to Palermo. And if you do want to see a little more of Sicily, then you will need the five days in Palermo.

I think the way you have divided up your days seems reasonable.

Before you make a final decision, look at a few guidebooks and picture books to see what each city has to offer. E.g., Venice is a unique, magical city with a wide range of art and architecture from the Byzantine to the 18th century; Florence is the center for Renaissance art and architecture; Rome has its classical past and some interesting early Christian churches, but its most important period was the Baroque. Each city has a different atmosphere as well. You may feel more drawn to one than to the other. If so, you can add a day here and subtract a day there.

Bobthenavigator's way of traveling is to alternate cities with countryside, to divide time between artistic wealth and natural beauty. He would, I think, urge you to cut out two cities and to add two stays in the country, perhaps in Tuscany and the Lakes. It's not my way of traveling, and it doesn't seem to be what you have in mind either.

In Palermo, I stay at the Palazzo Amari-Bajardi B&B. It's in Old Palermo, which means that the street it is on looks grungy, but inside it is quite wonderful. The owner is a lovely Sicilian lady who welcomes her guests warmly. You can google for it; there are many listings for it.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Eloise-thanks again for your response..I will have to check out that B & B....this is my first trip to Italy and I already hope to get there again!!! There is so much more that I already know I want to see (Milan, Amalfi Coast, Capri,Cirque Terre, just to name a few more!!) but I know I can't see all of that on my first trip so I narrowed it down to the 4 cities listed above! The country side does seem beautiful but, as I mentioned I can't see it all this trip (although I wish I could!)...Italy is my dream vacation!!!
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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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OK--I will admit that sometimes I overstate my case--I just get tired of the hustle and noise in big cities.

I think the times you have are good. I would be concerned about the sequence and your travel logistics. I think I would start in Venice and end in Rome--flying RT from Rome to Palermo
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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 06:58 PM
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When I read trip reports and listen to other travelers, it seems to me that the most memorable and treasured parts of a visit to Italy have been the times when the visitor wasn't sightseeing, but instead interacting with Italians or simply sitting and enjoying the relaxation and simple beauty of Italian life on an everyday basis.

So while I encourage you to visit the great artistic and historic treasures of Italy, I also encourage you to think first and foremost of immersing yourself in the day-to-day life of today's Romans, Tuscans and what remains of those who live in Venice.

If you have dreamed all your life of seeing Titian's Assunta in Venezia, or the scuoloas, or the Peggy Guggenheim, by all means go. But don't burden yourself with a timetable for each city.

If you are not a museumgoer, skip Firenze in favor of savoring the details of Palermo or Roma or Venezia. Think about what YOU want out of a journey to Italy. If it is the "highlights," any standard guidebook will do. For a journey of discovery, don't be afraid to linger in an unfashionable place.
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