Notices

Private driver in sicily???

Old Jul 27th, 2020, 01:27 PM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good info, thank you! I wanted a place near Palermo airport, although I could bypass Palermo and take a few days in the mountains to the east...stay at a B&B highly recommended and THEN go to airport. The good thing is that I have money saved up from trips not taken....

Opinions of staying in the Madonie (sp?) mountains? Solo? Upscale, or at least very comfortable?

If I stayed in Palermo a couple of days...which hotel?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2020, 02:48 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Back in 2010 we stayed at the Grand Hotel Wagner in Palermo, https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...al-trip-850672. Lots of gilt and red are not normally to my taste but the rooms were spacious, the service was good, and I really liked the location between the old and new cities.
bon_voyage is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2020, 02:57 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've only stayed once in Palermo and once in Catania.

Palermo looked run down, though I liked the cathedral.

Catania was also old but you could see some newer restaurants and hotels and lot of the public buildings looked renovated, clean facades.

That's based on more recent stay in Catania than Palermo.
scrb11 is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2020, 11:09 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,763
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Castelbuono in the Madonie is a great town, lots of energy in the evenings, nice shops, great vibe. Alle Querce is a very nice hotel in town, but itís up on a hill so you have to walk a bit to get there and back from the center.
Hotel e Ristorante "Alle Querce" ? Hotel e Ristorante a Castelbuono
For upscale outside of town there is Santa Anastasia. They are also the big winery in the area. Website is here:
Home
Solo I would choose to stay in town. Castelbuono is fun. If you stay in Alle Querce or anywhere else around and do not want to drive at night, here is a service you can use. https://www.cefalutransfer.it
Marco is a lovely guy and lives in Castelbuono. His wife is a guide should you be interested in one.

In Palermo, Della Vittorie is a great boutique hotel, very centrally located. https://www.bbdellevittorie.it/it/
I like the Best Western Ai Cavalieri too but itís not quite as central. It is however really close to a fantastic supermarket Prezzemolo e Vitale (Eataly Sicilian style) and the fab wine bar Enoteca Picone. oh and the best gelato in the universe, Brioscia. Visit all three of those places no matter where you stay...




rialtogrl is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2020, 10:25 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 449
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
ekscrunchy I will follow your travel with great interest!

I had to cancel planned two week trip to Sicily at Easter. I might reschedule for Oct/Nov - I have it planned, but not booking flights until we see what happens re potential second wave.

My plan is to do it entirely by public transportation with the occasional organized day tour for hard to get to places. I would be grateful if you can share what you learn re private taxi

Regards … Ger
OReilly64 is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2020, 01:44 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ger,

Maybe we can meet up if the situation improves for USA citizens. I did hear back, immediately, from Excursions Sicily, the company I mentioned above. It sounds as if a FULL day would be in the area of 400 euro but the owner informed me that I should not worry because most of my days wouldl not require a full time drive for the whole day. When I am in a town, I can walk, or in the extreme, to reach an out of town restaurant at night, I could take a taxi. They answered so promptly that I was impressed.

In Spain (Sevilla) solo, last year, my hotel told me that a driver would be less than a taxi due to the llimits of where taxis can go, etc etc. The driver I hired confirmed that.

I ended up missing my train from Sevilla to Cadiz because I got really sick feeling that morning.....so ended up not up to schlepping my bags (as usual, loaded to bursting with foods, cans, etc) and took a driver recommended by the hotel. It was over 100 euro and I am noto proud of divulging that! I know these sorts of things are out of ordinary on this forum, but I am getting older, with no kids, so I feel as if I can splurge right now although I should not say this online....well, there I said it...I always talk too much!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2020, 01:48 PM
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
About food, this is interesting:


https://www.gamberorosso.it/en/news/english-food-news/regional-cuisine-alphabetical-guide-to-the-foods-of-sicily/

Gives me even more places to check out!

ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2020, 08:56 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 449
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Ekscrunchy:

I currently have two trips in standby for Oct/Nov Ė Sicily and Greece, both for 19 days. No flights as yet Ė waiting to see what happens over the following couple of months.

I let my driving license lapse when I moved to London so need to take some lessons and a test before I get back on the road. I did drive in Sicily several years ago, and it was a nightmare. Three times in remoted areas men tried to get into my car! Donít think Iíd fancy that again.

Anyway, if I decide on Sicily and the COVID situation improves, it would be great to meet somewhere 😊. Here is my current itinerary


Attached Files
File Type: pdf
Doc1.pdf (84.2 KB, 13 views)
OReilly64 is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2020, 11:59 AM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok, here is mine, and I can surely make changes. This begins early October., departing JFK about the 10th.I can post the exact dates later on..

Fly to Catania via Rome: 3 nights Catania (one day to relax after flight)..is this too many? I've been to Etna twice but never to the towns around the volcano. Not so interested in wine tasting.

4 nights Ragusa with day trip to Modica. Sister had stayed in B&B and loved it. I have the name, but there are many in that town. Included would be dinner at Il Duomo.

Drive from Ragusa to Realmonte, with lunch stop at La Madia in Licata. You can see where the money flows from my wwallet..food, food, all the way, but mostly I prefer local spots, not these two fancy places...

Three nights Realmonte...Scala dei Turchi cliffs (who has been there? How difficult is the hike down to the cliffs? October ok?? They remind me of those cliffs in turkey..Pamukkale or some such, where I never had time to visit..worth the trip> The B&B in Realmonte got such grand reports!) salt cathedral; dinner one night in Porto empedocle at Salmorigio. (anyone have opinions on Realmonte...B&B is Casa Balata)

3 nights Castelveltrano environs. B&B Villa Sogno...olive oill mill, relax, maybe visit salt pans between here and Trapani....Opinions??? Maybe visit Selinunte, although have been before. Visit Marina de Selinunte, walk around....my favorite thing is just to walk around and chat and look in windows, shop for food...meet locals, shop for more food to take home.....



Drive to Trapani..2 nights. Notes say "Erico" for lunch. I did this plan so many months ago that I forgot why I chose this, and some other spots.

Drive from Trapani to Scopello with lunch stop at Sirena di Sansica in Bonagia (could also be taxi ride from Trapani)..Eager to try food which sounds different from rest of the island. (closed Tuesdays).

Scopello area????? Where to stay????? Hiking not of interest. Swimming in warm pool..yes, or warm sea..yes but not likely to be warm in October, for me, at least. Stay in area 3 nights (??) This would be last stop, probably, before driving to airport....

Then get taxi to airport at Punta Raisa, unless decide to take day or three in Mondello..then taxi to airport. Have been to Palermo before..do not want to extend trip by so much to include it this time unless someone convinces me otherwise. Is Mondello good for me for three or two nights, as a solo American


Feeling kind of sad because who knows how many more years of trips I have in me..usual anxiety,, I am not that old to be thinking about this but think I do, especially about partner in his 70s, just.

Please comment if you have the time, and Ger, let me know if we would connect in any way..

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jul 30th, 2020 at 12:08 PM.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2020, 06:52 AM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just learned via TA (Vagabonda, who is terrific) that Scala del Turchi cliffs are closed. No time or estimate of re-opening.

So if closed, where to substitue without doing entire itinerary again......stay in Sciaccia? More time in Trapani???

Add Modica or someplace near Vendicari area before or after Ragusa??

As I mentioned, no air tickets have been purchased.

Or just take driver and do all on the fly???? (last minute) ($$$$$$$$)

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Aug 1st, 2020 at 06:55 AM.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2020, 08:35 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,298
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a comment that if you have four nights in Ragusa, you don't need to add nights in Modica, if that's what you're proposing as an alternative to Scala dei Turchi--not sure.

It was years ago, but we stayed in Modica and loved it. Visited Ragusa from there. They are so close, you don't need to stay in both.

I hope you are able to take this trip at some point, sooner rather than later.

I was supposed to be in Basilicata now.

Take care of yourself!
Leely2 is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2020, 09:42 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maybe extend your stay in Ragusa and do day trips to places like Noto or Caltagirone.

I myself haven't visited the Scala dei Turchi, because the parking situation there was uncertain and I was mainly prioritizing Agrigento. The Valle dei Templi more than held up for me on a second visit.

It is about half way between Ragusa and Trapani.

But maybe if you have more days, you have to choose the types of things you want to see, nature vs. architecture in a city like Palermo and nearby Monreale?
scrb11 is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2020, 10:32 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rialtogrl’s description of Castelbuono sounded enticing. I, too, dream of a return to Sicily someday.
Leely, I’m sorry you’re not in Basilicata.
bon_voyage is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2020, 12:17 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
a place you haven't mentioned which we loved [and in which someone here stayed] is Scicli. A bit further south than the other Baroque towns and familiar if you ever watch Montalbano, as Ragusa is as well. From there you can explore the whole of the SE corner of Sicily. Or stay in Noto where I gather that the colour of the stones at dusk is something marvellous to see. You could swim off the beach where Montalbano swims.

The other notable omission from your itinerary in that area is the Villa Casale near Piazza Armerina [if you've not seen it you should go, the mosaics are exceptional] which pairs very well with a visit to Caltagirone famous for its ceramics and shops selling things for Presepi including a Presepi museum I think. The steps up to the Cathedral [about 200 of them] are each faced with ceramic tiles which are lovely.

Leely2 - I'm sorry that you are missing Basilicata. That's too bad. I am missing Venice but in another way.
annhig is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2020, 01:34 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,697
Likes: 0
Received 20 Likes on 3 Posts
scrb11, we encountered those twisting, rural roads in Sicily...in dense fog!
eks, I hope I can offer offer you some help in regard to the area of western Sicily near Castelveltrano.
You have helped us so many times with our trip planning, especially in the Piemonte which we loved.
We wanted to see Selinunte on the way from Palermo to Agrigento and decided to stay in that area for two nights.
We rode along the beach area of Marina de Selinunte and then went to the BnB you are considering.
The area turned us off completely and we found that this western coastal area of Sicily is rather run down in places. Honestly, we felt very uncomfortable here and we have been all over the world and stayed in all levels of accommodation. But we had we some fabulous meals so it was not a total waste of time. We left after one night, having spent the day at the amazing archeological site, Selinunte. For anyone visiting it, I recommend buying a ticket for the golf cart rides as it is very large and spread out.
The owners of that BnB have done a beautiful job of restoring the villa and landscaping the property. The decor in the rooms was a little bizarre though.There is a nice pool too. We are not fans of staying at BnBs and this was not a good fit for us at all. It was more the surrounding area than the BnB itself. Yes the breakfast was nice. The property has a large gate which we felt was a good idea. It has wonderful reviews, the owners have worked very hard to restore the property, but as I said, we are not fans of BnBs. We loved every other place we stayed in Sicily.
The meals: we stumbled into a little seafood place , Ristorante Pizzeria Baffo’s, on the water in Marinella di Selinunte at lunchtime. We both ordered the Fish Coucous which may have been my favorite meal in Sicily. The bubbling soup with fish was served in a small cauldron and poured over the couscous on the plate. Service was excellent. This part of of Sicily is is not far from North Africa and this dish reflects it’s influences.It was located in a row of other restaurants in a rather tacky seafront area. We had a very good grilled fish dinner at Baffo’s sister restaurant, Baffo’s Castle, near the BnB, but according to TripAdvisor it is closed.
I hope you are able to take this trip as planned. October was the perfect time to visit Sicily.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2020, 02:01 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah Seliunte seems pretty barren. But I've stayed overnight twice because my next destination was usually Agrigento and didn't really explore if there was anything in between worth stopping for.

Even without the golf carts, if you're pretty mobile, you can go from the main temple north of the entrance and then head out west for the ruins overlooking the coastline in a couple of hours if you are reasonably fit. It's a lot of walking but unless it's unbearably hot, it's doable.

It's a great setting though, those columns against the blue water of the sea in the distance. Liked it better than Segesta.
scrb11 is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 12:23 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,697
Likes: 0
Received 20 Likes on 3 Posts
Segesta is so beautiful though but ekscrunchy has already been to these sites on an earlier trip.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sb1020
Africa & the Middle East
5
Apr 29th, 2010 11:35 AM
HESSER
Europe
4
Apr 7th, 2008 04:19 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information