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Sicily .. 4 weeks … seeking ACCOMMODATIONS re 4 bases .,

Sicily .. 4 weeks … seeking ACCOMMODATIONS re 4 bases .,

Old Jul 22nd, 2021, 12:55 PM
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Sicily .. 4 weeks … seeking ACCOMMODATIONS re 4 bases .,

I really enjoyed reading so many of the posts on this forum re; Sicily, however still seeking suggestions on narrowing down base locations to 4. This is my fourth trip to Italy. However ,I'm not sure why I do this to myself every trip, but in a research whole and struggling to finalize the itinerary for a 4 week trip with a car rental for first 2-3 weeks as plan to wind down in Taormina and Aeolian Island areas before departing Catania.

I’ve had to rearrange itinary since my partner had a change of plans last minute. My airline ticket is purchased arriving 8/25/21 Palermo. I prefer bases in coastal towns..love to swim. Enjoy UNESCO sites especially architecture,mosaics, food/wine experiences,digesting all the culture/ cultural experiences, meandering around side alleyways exploring/photography, meeting new people and people watching with a gelato or apritivo.



Appreciate any feedback from others re; preferences /experiences what you may have enjoy, I hope that someone will read this and say, aha.. this is a town for You.



Rough Plan:

Arriving Palermo airport 25/9/21 (ticket purchased)

Palermo 4 nights: Aug 25-29 day trips (no car)to monreal, cefalu and day city tour/site seeing around Palermo .

Pick up car Palermo airport Sunday Aug 29

Trapani Area (6 nocs) (can extend my time here, need help here.. open to suggestions for alternate base) since would like to explore by car beaches of Scopello, Capi San Vito,Zingaro reserve. Also would like to visit Eurice by cable car. “Salt Pans windmills” direction of Marsala. Also possible a day excursion to Favignano island.
Agriegento area 1 noc interest in this area is visit valley of temples am and scala di turchi pm then sleep in Agrigento central area.

I would also like to see Mosaics re; Piazza Armerine on travel day/way to saracusa.

Ortyga Island/Syragusa ( base) 6 nocs with day trips to Noto, Ragusa,Modica, Sicilia or different base if better choice.



Taormina (6 nocs ) stuck here too ? Base Taormina or Mazzarro understand there’s a cable car that goes up to Taormina. Parking is the issue.

Wishlist would like to day trip to mt. Etna,castelmola, savoca,Forzad Agro and possibly a sailboat excursion around mazzarro bay, I-sola Bella and grotto.

Lipari aeolian island if time permits ?4 nocs

Catania 1 noc sept 20

Depart Catania airport sept 21



I am traveling solo, and will have a car however would prefer not to since I will be alone,no one to share driving. It seems that it would be so challenging to go to places I’d like without one and miss out on a lot since trains n bus schedules are not reliable. I’d like to drop the car off after visiting sites outside Taormina. However if it’s recommended I could do before at Catania airport. Then if time permits I’d be willing to take the bus transport from Catania airport to Milazzo port to catch ferry to Lipari (? Nocs)



Again My departure is from Catania airport on tues 21/9/21



Any support/direction with this plan would be greatly appreciated. Also any good restaurant/food experiences as well as accommodations ie; prefer bnb’s/hotels are good too ...love a good breakfast included to start the day



Again I am so very grateful for this site and all the feedback.



Best Regards,



JoAnn The Traveling Nurse (Boston/USA)

PS:Hope “Bob the Navigator” reads this n doing well after all you were my inspiration that got me thru my first 5 week Italy by train journey .








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Old Jul 22nd, 2021, 01:30 PM
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Trapani- one of our favorite historic sites in Sicily is Segesta. Do not miss it! Near Erice.
Agrigento- you want to stay near the temples and avoid the city up the hill. We are used to cities, homelessness, etc but that town made us so uncomfortable that we returned to our hotel near the Temples. We did not feel safe.
We liked our hotel- Colleverde Park Hotel. Excellent service, good restaurant on site. We spent two nights there.Near Valley of the Temples.
We spent a week on Ortigia Island/ Siracusa. It was our favorite place in Sicily. We dropped off our rental car in Siracusa when we arrived and used a transfer service to Taormina. Sicily Life was excellent.
We spent two nights in Taormina which was more than enough. Yes it is beautiful and has stunning views. But it was so touristy. It was different from the rest of Sicily. We won’t return there. We did not go over to Mt. Etna to the wineries which would need a day. We could see Mr.Etna when the clouds lifted and from our flight out of Catania too.
We liked our hotel in Taormina, away from crowds with great views. Hotel Villa Schuler. Close to main drag and dining options but in peaceful garden setting.
I recommend that you use the days taken from Taormina to stay in Piazza Armerina or use them to stay in a Baroque town. We drove from Piazza Armerina to Noto where we stayed.Then we drove to Ortigia Is and dropped off the car.
Our last night in Taormina before flying to London LHR, we ate at a top, well recommended restaurant . I got severe food poisoning which showed up in London. We stayed two extra days at an LHR hotel, MD visited me, shots, RX, horrible. And we already disliked Taormina before it happened. And the MD asked me if I had eaten mussels a certain number of hours before. Yes I had. We loved Sicily in spite of Taormina!

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Jul 22nd, 2021 at 01:33 PM.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2021, 03:48 PM
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Happy Traveler,
thankyou sooo much … Especially since I’ll be traveling solo.. appreciate tips for lodging and making good choices…I had planned on staying 4nighs in Taormina area .. maybe down on bay would be better now that I think about it more. Just do tours out to my wishlist sites n get rid of rental car after I. Is it baroque towns or maybe sooner. I don’t mind taking a bus as long as it gets me back n forth the same day
Be well n ThankYou JoAnn
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Old Jul 22nd, 2021, 04:57 PM
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JoAnn,
We took the gondola down to the beach area along with several locals who were commuting that way. It was OK down there but the sweeping views of the sea and coast are from above, in Taormina.We had a kind of a meh reaction to it. I would recommend that you stay up in Taormina rather than down at the beach. The hotel we stayed in is owned by Germans/German immigrants as many of them settled in the area years ago. It is very safe and has beautiful views. They have a large garden area too. They serve a nice breakfast cooked to order for you. I highly recommend it. We paid extra to have a sea view room which we felt was worth it. Perhaps post COVID there will be fewer cruise ships with their hordes of passengers taking over the streets. No one knows.
We really loved Sicily. In Ortigia just off the Piazza Duomo there is a cannoli take out window which became a daily habit for us. The daily food market, fish market( fresh swordfish was 6Euro a kilo) are wonderful. Buy a paper cone filled with deep fried calamari to eat as you explore the market. Restaurants we liked on Ortigia, Regina Lucia, upscale, Piazza Duomo, worth every penny. More casual, Locanda del Collegio, pasta, seafood including swordfish, pizza.
And Bob the Navigator helped me plan Sicily years ago too even though we only got there a few years ago.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Jul 22nd, 2021 at 04:59 PM.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 04:53 AM
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You will need the Italian equivalent of the French pass Sanitaire for your visit. You need to look into how you go about getting that.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 11:21 AM
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Happy trvlr
thanks for all the info.. I actually booked place u recommended to stay to see valley temples… working in Taormina .. read a lovely article about tiwn above Casamacola looks Devine .. did u get up there ? Supposedly it’s just a short walk up hill.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 11:23 AM
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Hetismij2 appreciate the heads up re; vaccine proof certificate/pass.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 11:39 AM
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Villa Casale requires a fair amount of time, but also Caltgirone for its ceramics (both the stairs and to shop), so I would suggest an overnight stay either in Piazza Armerina or in Caltagirone.


And for a stop in western Sicily, Erice would be a good choice:


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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 11:55 AM
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We decided not to go up to Castelmola when we saw how steep the road up there was.

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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 02:22 PM
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<<Happy trvlr
thanks for all the info.. I actually booked place u recommended to stay to see valley temples… working in Taormina .. read a lovely article about tiwn above Casamacola looks Devine .. did u get up there ? Supposedly it’s just a short walk up hill.>>

We stayed in Castelmola, and though the hotel had great views and a lovely pool I would not recommend it as it's a long way down into Taormina and the road is tortuous. WE just abandoned out car in the hotel car park from the time we arrived to the time we left. However there are several companies based in/near Taormina that organise trips up onto Etna, to vineyards, and other places of interest which might be of interest to you if you decide to stay longer in Taormina than 2 nights. And there are buses up to the top of Castelmola where there are several restaurants, shops and cafes. If there are fewer tourists in Taormina than there were when we were there about 5 years ago it would be a lovely place to stay for a few days.

We also spent a few nights in Ortigia [again, you don't need a car there], and could easily have spent longer there. As well as being a very enticing place there is plenty to see and do, from the market [already mentioned] to the castle, the Duomo, the galleries, and the archeological site and museum in Siracusa. The very modern cathedral there is also worth a visit. We then went to Ragusa and loved it - if you have ever watched the opening credits of the Montalbano series on TV, you will have a flavour of it. A magnificent baroque concoction, perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside with terrific restaurants, cafes etc. And the most amazing thing to me is that there is another more modern town built above it. We stayed in a B&B which had rooms dotted around the centre of the old town and a central hub with breakfast room, garden, and pool. Our room was almost cave-like and consequently very cool. Noto, Modica, and Scicli are also Baroque towns and well worth exploring. Piazza Armerina OTOH is medieval and therefore very different. We stayed there 2 nights so that we could get to the Villa Casale as early as possible to avoid the heat [and not have to leave our luggage etc in the car in the car park] but also see the Greek site and museum that is on the same ticket and also have enough time to explore Caltagirone at leisure. i would have thought that with 4 weeks you should be able to squeeze in a few nights in this lovely area.
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 07:46 PM
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Two good places to eat:
In Palermo, Sapori del Mare is a small, family-owned seafood restaurant on Via Re Federico, a short walk outside the core of the historic center. They prepare fresh, reasonably priced local seafood specialties, focusing on seasonal dishes.
In Siracusa (Ortigia), Sicilia in Tavola is a small place with excellent seafood and seafood based pastas. It's located on the busy, heavily touristed Via Cavour. A worthwhile stop.
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 02:33 AM
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Ann thanks goid to know won’t be drivin up there for sure .
Also MMM .. thanjs for the restaurant tips .. I’m a foodie 🤗for sure
Also for the individual that gave me tips on places to visit close to piazza Armerine … pottery town with gorgeous 147 steps “stair master”. I’m curious if that place is to far to visit from Catania?
Thanks everyone have a lovely Sunday!
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 02:34 AM
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Michael ThankYou !
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 05:35 AM
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<<Also for the individual that gave me tips on places to visit close to piazza Armerine … pottery town with gorgeous 147 steps “stair master”. I’m curious if that place is to far to visit from Catania? >>

That wasn't my description, TheTravellingRN, but the poster was referring to Caltagirone which is sort of on the way to/from Piazza Armerina if you are coming from Ragusa, Noto or Modica and about an hour's drive SE of Catania.
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