Sicily / Calabria Itinerary Help

Dec 30th, 2017, 04:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Sicily / Calabria Itinerary Help

Hello! We are flying in and out of Rome and are looking to spend time in southern Italy / Sicily for 10 days and would love to get a general sense of what the best itinerary / logistics would be to make the most of our time.

Based on initial research we were thinking of one or two nights in Tropea and the remainder in Sicily (hoping to get to Catania, Siracusa, Palermo, Cefalu, etc). Main thing we’re looking to lock down is the following;

-Best route/itinerary to take. Does it make the most sense to move from Rome down south? Or does it make sense to fly from Rome into Palermo and work our way east/North? Seems like it’s about 6 hours or so from Rome to Tropea by train? Thinking of perhaps a night in Naples but trying to maximize time in Sicily. Any recommendations on how to make the most of our time would be super helpful.

-Recommendations for cities within that 10 day window. Not 100% set on the cities we chose but looking to see the must-dos in Calabria & Sicily. Obviously this is subjective but very open to opinions! Looking for a mix of sight-seeing as well as more laid-back and perhaps a few beaches.

-Any idea of which cities/sights are more of a day trip vs a few night stay (ie is Agrigento something we can do a day tour of or is it worth spending overnight)?

-Is renting a car a must for Sicily? Would love to have the freedom of a car, but would prefer avoiding the headache if bus/train are reliable in Sicily from city to city.

Thank you so much for your help!
pastabish is offline  
Dec 30th, 2017, 07:56 AM
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Sicily, you may include Palermo, Cefalu, Segesta and Erice, Selunite, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Siracusa and Taormina and other places.. You can do overnights or see places as day trips or as stops enroute. Some fear leaving luggage in a locked parked car and spend a night. Others park their car with luggage and visit the site. Agrigento and Piazza Armerina are two of those. It is entirely personal. Airports are in Catania(CTA) and Palermo(PMO). It is easier to have a car in parts of Sicily but not necessary as there is public transportarion, buses and trains. I do not like schlepping luggage on and off trains and prefer to drive.You do not want a car in Palermo, Siracusa or Taormina.
Palermo has many historic and religious sites with Monreale being the most notable. There are incredible Greek and Roman antiquities all over Sicily to explore. Get a good guide book such as DK Eyewitness for Sicily to help you choose your destinations.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Dec 30th, 2017, 08:32 AM
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On a very short trip, and only allocating about 6 days to Sicily, you need to focus on just one part of the island. You will need to be VERY selective about your sightseeing goals. You don't have time to visit Catania, Palermo, Agrigento, Cefalu and Siracusa, plus day trips. You definitely don't want a car in Catania or Palermo.

I would highly recommend focusing on either Calabria OR Sicily. If you fly straight to/from Sicily from Rome you will still need to pick a side of the island, or just do very brief daytrips to some of the highlights. Even 10 full days will require some tough choices.

There have been many excellent and detailed trip reports here from Fodorites who have visited Sicily on various trip lengths. If you do some reading and take advantage of this information, it will really help you get a feel for what might be interesting to you and what you can hope to accomplish in your available days.

Happy planning! Once you have a better idea of what you want to see, we can help with more specific questions.
Dayle is online now  
Dec 30th, 2017, 12:01 PM
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What Dayle said.

What time of year are well talking about?
annhig is offline  
Dec 30th, 2017, 12:15 PM
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Are you sure you can see and do everything you want in these wonderful destinations in the time you have? Sicily, for example, really takes 2 or 3 weeks, just for the highlights. Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

Definitley do NOT fly into AND out of Rome – fly into one city and out of another, whichever meets your needs best. Look for “open jaw” or “multi-city” flights (not one-way tickets).

Renting a car for Sicily is NOT mandatory. If you plan on using public transportation, be sure to include sufficient time to make it possible.

I agree that there are some excellent trip reports about Sicily here on Fodor's. I would also suggest that you look at some of the planning threads to get an idea of what people considered and did NOT visit.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Dec 30th, 2017, 01:47 PM
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And a Happy New year to pastabish, Happytvlr, kja, and ann!
Dayle is online now  
Dec 30th, 2017, 03:14 PM
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And to you, Dayle and to everyone here.
annhig is offline  
Dec 30th, 2017, 03:41 PM
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What annhig said! I hope all are safe and find much to celebrate in the new year.
kja is offline  
Dec 30th, 2017, 07:00 PM
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Happy 2018 to all my Fodor's
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Dec 31st, 2017, 04:32 AM
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Fly into Rome and out of Sicily, or Lamezia Terme, if you go to Tropea.

Or skip Calabria entirely and fly home from Catania or Palermo, probably via Rome. Crazy to drive back to Rome to go home.

Happy New Year!!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 31st, 2017, 06:22 AM
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I think that their flights into and out of Rome are already booked, eck. Something we've all done at least once.

pastabish- for future reference it is usually no more expensive to book an "open jaw" [aka multi-city"] flight than a round trip one, so you fly into one place and out of another. [That is not the same as 2 single flights which will be much more expensive]. If you can't do that, it's usually most efficient and avoids last minute rushes if you put your time in your airport city at the end - so in this case, so long as timing allows, leave Rome as soon as you arrive there for southern Italy or Sicily, do the rest of your trip, and end up in Rome so that you are in the right place to go home.
annhig is offline  
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