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-   -   Need help with Sicily! (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/need-help-with-sicily-1703626/)

cathy52 Dec 3rd, 2021 06:33 AM

Need help with Sicily!
 
Hello everyone. I am working on a Sicily trip for late April and early May. We are spending about 2 weeks on either the eastern or western part of the island. Choosing to do one coast rather than the whole island because we prefer a slower pace. That being said, I would like to find a lovely agriturismo or B & B where we could land for several days. We have done this in Tuscany several times and really enjoyed it. I am having trouble deciding on the best location in Sicily as this is our first stay. We will have a car but would like something close enough to a town for eating and such. Looking for something with great views. I would love to hear your recommendations.

Any other tips for Sicily would also be appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Michael Dec 3rd, 2021 08:50 AM

The island is not that big. I would not limit the visit geographically, as the entire island can be done without one night stays.








For the whole album:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjraASDB
-
We had planned for a longer trip, which might have eliminated some of our one night stays, but that was the year of the Icelandic eruption which created havoc with trans-Atlantic flights. Then we had a medical situation which shortened some of our local visits. Click on my name and my trip reports to find my report.

TDudette Dec 3rd, 2021 11:32 AM

Agree with Michael (and such gorgeous pix, Michael!). With 2 weeks, you can have 3 bases.

We bussed, trained and taxied and a car would have been good at times. I copied my 2002 scrapbook (check my name then scroll to the second page of reports if link doesn't work):
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...acles-1678671/

Have a great time and report all about it.

cathy52 Dec 3rd, 2021 12:17 PM

Thanks, reading your trip reports now.

whitehall Dec 3rd, 2021 04:08 PM


Originally Posted by TDudette (Post 17311008)
Agree with Michael (and such gorgeous pix, Michael!). With 2 weeks, you can have 3 bases.

We bussed, trained and taxied and a car would have been good at times. I copied my 2002 scrapbook (check my name then scroll to the second page of reports if link doesn't work):
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...acles-1678671/

Have a great time and report all about it.

TDudette Just had an opportunity to look at your scrapbook report of Sicily from 2002. We enjoyed it very much.Thank you for posting that. Our first trip to Italy was two years before that. The lira was still the currency, prices were very low, and there were a lot fewer tourists. We have been to Sicily a couple times since then and plan to return for the entire month of May next year. Since we have been to many of the better known sites, we are planning this time to see some places that might be off the radar, maybe some of the islands. It's fun to plan.

In 2008, we stayed in Taormina and watched nightly lava flows from a snow covered Mt. Etna. And we fondly recall the hike up to Castelmola. We loved it. It was in November with few tourists. And, now cruise ships and over-tourism have made Taormina a place everyone warns people to stay away from.I have often dreamed of sitting in the Taormina amphitheater and watching one of the many international music artists who regularly perform there.

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...794e0f2559.jpg
Taormina 2008

HappyTrvlr Dec 4th, 2021 10:06 AM

You canít compare Sicily to Tuscany as far as how to travel there. The island is a triangle. Three bases are a good idea.

MinnBeef Dec 5th, 2021 01:02 PM

I had 12 nights in Sicily this past late August/early September and it was about right., 3 nights Siracusa, 3 nights Catania, 2 nights Taormina and 4 nights Palermo, allowing me to fit in 1/2 day or full day trips to Noto, Villa Romana del Casale, Caltagirone and Monreale. I also could have easily fit in a full day trip to Agrigento from Palermo but decided the day before I needed to sleep in vs. seeing temples.

Here are a few of my favorite photos.


https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...5d1064cf1.jpeg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...7fa48d29e.jpeg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...3035d1c38.jpeg
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...1cdb27520.jpeg
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...897862e17.jpeg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...06d44ac78.jpeg

TDudette Dec 6th, 2021 03:26 AM

Gorgeous shots, minnbeef.

HappyTrvlr Dec 6th, 2021 04:27 AM

For help with Sicily questions, check out local poster Vagabonda on TripAdvisorís Sicily Forum. She is so helpful with planning travel to Sicily.
Sorry you didnít have time for Agrigento MinnBeef. It is an amazing site, our favorite in Sicily.

cathy52 Dec 6th, 2021 05:27 AM

Thanks for the input. I am happy to know that 3-4 bases will work in a 2 week time. I'm not a fan of moving every day or two. That being said, if you have any accommodations that you particularly liked I would love to hear about them. I don't require anything fancy or over the top. Prefer good location with views and clean.

Michael Dec 6th, 2021 08:12 AM

We liked the Hotel Joli in Palermo, and they were very accommodating in providing a ground floor room when we returned and my wife's leg was in a cast.


No garage and you would not want to drive in Palermo anyway. It's an option if traveling by car only if you intend to return the car at the end of your trip, or pick it up at the beginning on your way out of town.

KarenWoo Dec 6th, 2021 09:43 AM

Minnbeef, your photos are beautiful!

cathy52 Dec 7th, 2021 05:08 AM

Thanks Michael. We will have a car but not in Palermo. Will be picking it up there to continue on to the next location. Will probably spend the last week on the eastern side of the island. Where would be the best stop between the two cities?

MinnBeef Dec 7th, 2021 05:50 AM

Grazie mille tutti!!!

geetika Dec 7th, 2021 06:57 AM

Stunning pictures MinnBeef and Michael! Weíre looking at about a fortnight in Sicily next May, we wonít have a car and there are some good suggestions here weíll probably adopt. Thanks guys 😊

Michael Dec 7th, 2021 07:50 AM


Originally Posted by cathy52 (Post 17311972)
Thanks Michael. We will have a car but not in Palermo. Will be picking it up there to continue on to the next location. Will probably spend the last week on the eastern side of the island. Where would be the best stop between the two cities?

OUr first night out of Palermo we stayed in Erice on the western side. If you are not going there, Piazza Armerino (agritusrismo Gigliott)i or Agrigento might make sense. But don't trust my memory. My trip report is more reliable.

Lexma90 Dec 7th, 2021 05:47 PM

We visited Sicily for almost two weeks in 2018 and had a wonderful time. Here are some comments and suggestions.
From our U.S. home, it was difficult to find a flight to Palermo that worked for us (we prefer direct flights from our home city, which there are not a lot of to anywhere in Europe). We ended up flying to London first for a day, to meet with friends who live there, then flew straight into Palermo. On the return, we left out of Catania for Rome where we spent a couple of days before heading home. That way we didn't have lengthy layovers anywhere as we departed from Catania.

My general thoughts were that I loved Sicily. The intersection of history and cultures of the island have created a unique culture and people. While the island is poor, and it is also very beautiful. The people were very welcoming and kind.

We like (ok, I love) mosaics (we planned our trips to see all that we could, particularly in Palermo), ancient history and food. We're not so much into Baroque or shopping, so it was easy to decide not to visit some places. We tend to like staying in towns, where we can walk to dinner and not have to worry about drinking and driving afterward (though as you'll see below, we did stay at one). The island isn't huge, but we didn't want to spend huge amounts of time driving, and constructed an itinerary where we had, at the most, a couple of hours of driving in a day.

In Palermo, we stayed at Massimo Plaza Hotel, we very much liked the location and the room, three nights there.

Upon leaving, we took a cab to the airport and picked up our rental car from the airport. I will say we found the navigation throughout our trip to be easy. The road quality was interesting. I never realized until then how important it is to have the roads camber; when it rained, because the highways were not cambered, there was sitting water everywhere.

We drove to Segesta (with our luggage in the back of the car, not quite recommended but we had no problem), and had a picnic lunch there. Then drove on to our vineyard accommodations at La Foresteria. We dropped off our bags, then had time to visit Sellinunte. The location worked well for us, the service was very good, the room and its little patio were delightful. And dinner there was very good too.

Then on to Agrigento, where we spent the night at Villa Lumia. Again, very good location. The owners were very sweet, and we loved all of the cats.

Next stop, two nights in Piazza Armerina, at La Casa Sulla Collina D’oro Hotel. Again, we liked the hotel, it was easy to find and get into and out of. We didn't like the town so much. Here, we did a splurge all-day tour with Passage to Sicily. I wanted, in particular, to visit the Morgantina archaeological park and the archaeological museum in Aidone, in addition to the more well-known Villa Casale. All of them were wonderful and probably in my top-ten most special man-made things I've seen. Morgantina is not for everyone (my husband would have skipped it, but the tour was a birthday gift to me), but I was wowed. The museum houses a special statue that was illegally taken and then returned to Sicily, the Venus of Morgantina. Also probably not for everyone, and there were few other people in the museum (but I loved it).

Then on to historic Siracusa for three nights; we stayed in Ortigia, at I Santi Coronati, which has secure parking and was lovely (and a great location). We kept our rental car here because we thought we might make a day trip, which we did, to Noto. That was a pleasant and easy trip. After that, we dropped off our rental car. I didn't want to have to drive in Taormina, and that worked for us.

From Siracusa we took the train to Taormina for two nights, where we stayed at Hotel Taodamus, another winning choice. Our special event at this location was a half-day tour with wonderful Davide (mountetnatours.com) to Mount Etna. The weather was not totally clear, but we went up quite high and hiked amongst the volcanic rock. David was very good at checking the weather to determine the best location for us to visit that day.

We took a pre-arranged cab from Taormina to Catania for the flight to Rome. There was an accident on the road that caused some consternation for us and our driver for a bit; as he pointed out, there's really only one road between the two cities. But we made it in time, and finished our trip with a little time in Rome.

cathy52 Dec 9th, 2021 07:22 AM

Thanks so much Lexma90 for all the details. I am checking them all now. Sounds like your style of travel is similar to mine.

Lexma90 Dec 10th, 2021 05:08 AM

Let me know if you have any questions, I also have notes on where (and what) we ate. Of course we loved the food, too!


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