Seeking Sicily Itinerary Input

Old Sep 25th, 2004, 08:41 PM
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Seeking Sicily Itinerary Input

Yes, it is finally happening! I am making my first trip to Italy in May 2005.

My primary focus is to visit the area from which some of my ancestors emigrated: Villarosa, Enna province, Sicily. However, wise friends have convinced me that I would regret skipping Rome entirely. So here is my tentative itinerary:

19 May -- Leave for Rome from Portland, Oregon, via Cincinnati, Ohio.
20 May -- Arrive in Rome, spend 3-4 days exploring the city using Trastevere as a base.
23 May -- Arrive in Palermo, Sicily. Pick up rental car and drive to Villarosa. Accommodations and home base at San Giovannello, an agriturismo site situated on a farm that harvests wheat, olives, almond trees, and vines.
24-28 May -- This is the family history part of the trip for me. I will be venturing to nearby villages in search of information and links to the Seminatore family line. I also anticipate day trips to areas such as: Piazza Armerina, Cefalu, Catania, and Agrigento.
29 May-2 June -- Exploring the western coastline of Sicily. From there, I will be exploring Trapani, Erice, Scopello, Palermo, and hiking in the Zingaro Natural Reserve.
3 June -- Early morning flight from Palermo to Rome. Return to Portland, Oregon, from Rome via Cincinnati.

I am a fan of slow travel, and do not plan on having a rigid itinerary. I prefer having a general outline of possibilities and then choosing what fits my mood or the circumstances of the day. I am looking for recommendations for a second base along the western coastline, perhaps near Trapani. Any input?
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 03:41 AM
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Don't skip Palermo! It seems like you mention it as a daytrip, but it's much more than that. It's a fascinating city where you could also spend at least 3 days. The Vucciria Market, the mosaics at Monreale, Convento dei Cappuccini, Museo Archaeologico... there's so much to see!


My Sicily trip report is here:

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34412340

Taormina is beautiful, maybe see that in place of Catania?

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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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I too am planning a 2 week trip to Sicily for next May. There are many good replys to my post at slowtalk.com that may prove helpful.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 07:27 AM
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My suggestion would be to skip Rome on this trip in order to allow more time to see western Sicily at a slower pace or to see parts of eastern Sicily, in addition to western Sicily. Your days seeing the sites in western Sicily will be fast, rushed travel according to the current plan. I also think that you may not be able to take the longer day trips you are hoping to take once you're in your little town in the interior.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 09:52 PM
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Thank you for your quick responses. Now you have me questioning my decision to spend time in Rome! And I agree that more time should probably be allotted to Palermo.

If you had to select a locale for a second base, would you choose somewhere near Trapani or closer to Palermo? I know that even with two weeks, I simply can't see more of the island on this trip.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 02:48 AM
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Skip Rome on this trip, spend the 3 days in Palermo. You can always go back and have a mainland Italy vacation, I would make this an all-Sicily one. I spent 10 days and barely made a dent in all it offers.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 04:34 PM
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Hi Bob,
I was not able to find your post on slow talk. Please help me.Your comments and posts in the past have always been informative. We are leaving for Sicily on Sunday.
GG
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 04:39 PM
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Hi Bob,
Never mind I found it.
GG
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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I also agree with Taormina the greek theater with Mt Etna in the background is one of my favorite memories. Also here is Giardini Naxos on the beach below Taormina for 400 bc greek ruins. Catania is a large city with heavy traffic. It really takes time getting from one place to another. Are you going to Catania to visit relatives or sightseeing? Catania doesn't have as many older sights as other european cities as Mt Etna has destroyed parts of city twice. The norman castle/fortress and roman amphitheater the oldest site. I lived near Catania for 2 years. It was a lovely place to live. I would suggest Syracuse (has two amphitheaters one Greek and one roman in parco archeologico and has island of Ortigia) or Taormina over Catania if you are going for sightseeing. Have fun.
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