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Planned Itinerary 16 nights Naples/Sicily -- comments welcomed

Planned Itinerary 16 nights Naples/Sicily -- comments welcomed

Sep 27th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,509
Only had one day in that area, but we liked Noto the most.
As for Greek temples, I have seen all 3 major sites and Selinunte gets my vote---I am glad you have time there.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 27th, 2012, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,562
Make sure to visit Villa Romana del Casale either before or
after the tour bus invasion and the heat. Oh the heat under
that clear glass covering with the stumbling crowds swarming!

And you miss Montreale at your peril, lol, absolutely the
finest mosaics I've seen including Istanbul and Ravenna.
immimi is offline  
Sep 27th, 2012, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 59
Probably lots of disagreements about individual reactions and comparisons to other sites. To me Selinute is a foto op, but not much more. Ravenna more beautiful than Monreale. Modica more interesting than Noto (another foto op).

Probably all would agree (I hope!) that all the sights are "worth" seeing -- but then there is the reality of time, distance and you and your husband. If you know from past experience that the multiplicity of destinations other people rave about begin to blur to you for awhile, go with the logistically easier trip, with selected gems taliored very closely to your unique personal interests.
pporter is offline  
Sep 27th, 2012, 12:55 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,496
I wouldn't overworry Sicily. It's so unusual, you can put together almost any combination of targets and feel wowed. (And the food is delicious).

I am in complete agreement here.

In terms of Palermo, our flight was seriously delayed, and what would have been two days in the city turned into 1.25 days. I am a motivated sightseer, but I surprised even myself by how much I was able to see and eat in Palermo (and Monreale) in that time.

We did go in the offseason, however, so had mild weather and no crowds. June might be a slightly different story.
Leely2 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2012, 02:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 437
You guys are so helpful! the only problem -- i want to share this with my husband and I'm afraid he'll add Paestum!
We will get to Italy again (we love Rome), but we may not ever get back to Sicily. Our 4 nights in Naples (if we make our connection in Munich) actually will be more than 3 days because we probably aren't flying to Palermo until the 5 pm evening flight to give us mazimum time in Naples.
I really appreciate the input about the "faves" among baroque towns and maybe someone else will chime in who has done them as a day trip by rental car from Siracusa. Or, we still may consider two nights in Piazza Armerina and visit Modica/Ragusa instead of Noto. OR, we do want to keep some decisions 'on the fly' once we have our basic itinerary set.
We hope latter half of May and very early June (May 20 to June 5) will be before heat sets in, but still with the advantage of long days.
I do want some wandering time to see how olive oil is made at an agriturismo and maybe even a short cooking class or demo.

Has anyone returned car in Siracusa/Ortigia? We could save $$/hassle if we return our car afer we're done day tripping and get private transfer to Catania for our return flight.

Again, all you Naples and Sicily experts, appreciate so much your time about my itinerary. Stay tuned for more specific questions.
alison is offline  
Sep 27th, 2012, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,235
Yes, you can return a car in Siracusa. And I would urge you to do that - having a car while you are staying in Ortygia would be a pain, and probably an expensive one at that.
kja is offline  
Sep 27th, 2012, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,235
Of course, that depends on the company from which you rent!
kja is offline  
Sep 27th, 2012, 06:09 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,496
I returned the rental car in Ortygia. Easy. I used a driver recommended on the TA Sicily forum for the ride to the Catania airport. Nice guy, professional, not too $$$.

And I do recommend picking your car up at the Palermo airport after you've seen the city. Driving from the airport was a breeze. We stopped at Segesta on the way down to Agrigento.
Leely2 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 59
I think you might find that in June, keeping your car for the entire time in Sicily is an asset. I'm not sure I'd want to be relying on public transportation if the heat spikes. But, if all you are talking about is turning in the car and heading for the airport, sightseeing done, sure -- get the private transfer.

Regarding Paestum, if you plan to revisit Italy, then it can wait, and in many ways it is much easier to visit with a car than from Naples by public transport. For a future trip to Italy with a car, consider pairing Paestum with a trip to Basilicata, in particular to Matera and its surrounding crypts. It is an entirely different side of antiquity that is a thrill to see.

One word of advice re thinking about a trip to Sicily: People go and plan with the attitude that "we're only going there once in our lives." People talk about Sicily as if it were an independent country, not part of Italy -- and they end thinking they've got to cram in everything.

It is really much too large to take that kind of approach, and while I realize -- unlike Puglia -- it is surrounded by water and therefore seems so much more daunting to revisit, it is actually doable, and desirable to think about Sicily as a part of Italy you will want to visit more than once for its variety and fantastic food.

So cherry pick your "must-sees" for this trip and enjoy the Sicilian way of life, and trust those temples, mosaics, castles and cathedrals that have stood for these centuries are still going to be there for a while, and that if you are going back to Italy, you might very well be going back to Sicily.
pporter is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 21,975
I'm beginning to think lots of reactions depend upon which site one sees first!

I saw Monreale before Ravenna and compared everything to Monreale! Also the Palermo Chapels and Duomo. Same with Agrigento--had been to the Acropolis and Pompeii so was less "whelmed" by Agrigento.

alison, do read about the sites and decide what calls out to you! The rest of us can argue until the cows come home.
TDudette is offline  

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