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marybethcl Jan 3rd, 2008 05:22 AM

Sicily for only 4 days--what to do?
I am planning a trip to Italy in September and I want to add on 4 days in Sicily. I know I should stay longer--but that's all the time I have. I would like to spend the time wisely, so I am asking for your help. I have no problem staying in two different hotels, and I can easily fly into Palermo and out of Catania (or vice versa). I'll have a car. Can anyone suggest what to see/do in this short time?? Thanks.

willit Jan 3rd, 2008 07:18 AM

This is very dificult to answer as a) Sicily is a very large island and b) we don't know what interests you.

The normal advice for people staying for around a week is to pick either the East of the Island (Siracusa, Taormina, Noto, Modica etc) or the West (Palermo, Monrealen, Segeste, Trapani, Agrigento, Selinunte etc).

One of my main interests is ancient history, and so I very much enjoyed the Greek sites at Agrigento , Segeste and Selinunte as well as the Roman Mosaics at Piazza armerina and theatre at Taormina.

bobthenavigator Jan 3rd, 2008 10:41 AM

With that short time I would fly into Catania and see Taormina and Siracusa---maybe Noto if you have time.

bobthenavigator Jan 3rd, 2008 10:43 AM

Here is my Sicily gallery that may help you to decide.

marybethcl Jan 8th, 2008 04:20 AM

I know that this is a short time, and I won't be able to see the whole island. I wonder if it would be too much driving if I try to focus on the Taormina area, but also visit Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples. Maybe fly into Palermo, stay one night in this area (but not in the city of Palermo?), then visit Agrigento on the way to Taormina?? And what about Caltagirone--worth a stop along the way?? Thanks for the help!!

isabel Jan 8th, 2008 04:52 AM

I think bob's suggestion is the best.

But if you really want to see Agrigento I do think it would be possible to land in Palermo and drive from there (no time to go into Palermo) to Agrigento (could even stop at Segesta probably for a quick look). See Agrigento and spend the night, then drive to Taormina the second day.

You could stop at Caltagirone. I got some great ceramics there, but it is sold other places as well. If ceramics is high on your list, the prices are definitly higher in Taormina than Caltagirone. Other than for ceramics, it was just an ok town. Then I guess you'd have two whole days in Taormina and fly out of Catania. It would be quick but better than nothing.

If you spend the night in Agrigento I can recommend this B&B, it's not fancy (and a tad challenging to find) but the owner is so wonderful and it's a great value.

My photos of Sicily are at

kja Jan 8th, 2008 10:07 AM

If you want to see Palermo, then why not stay in the city? You won't have very much time to see it, but staying outside the city would make it even harder to see a highlight or two. Unless you tried to stay in Monreale and limited your sight-seeing to the cathedral there (which is truly wonderful).

Heading to Agrigento, you could make brief stops in both Segeste and Selinunte and then spend the night in Agrigento. Then spend the next day visiting the Valley of the Temples. Depending on how much of the site and museum you choose to see, you could probably be ready to leave Agrigento by mid- to late afternoon.

That won't leave long to see Taormina, but that could be your next destination.

I found Caltagirone interesting, but I'm not sure when you would do that. As isabel said, it is a great place to buy ceramics, and I enjoyed seeing La Scala and some of the other ceramic-bedecked buildings. But would you be skipping Palermo or Taormina to see Caltagirone? I'm not sure I'd do that.

Hope that helps!

mamc Jan 8th, 2008 10:57 AM

This is an almost impossible dilemma. We spent 10 days in Sicily and practically cried when we left. We flew into Palermo and out of Catania which worked well. We loved Palermo and Monreale and Taormina. Agrigento was great but we liked other areas better. We had a wonderful one-day stop on our drive between Agrigento and Taormina at Piazza Armerina to see the Imperial Roman Villa with its mosaics.

I think if I had to limit a return trip to 4 days, I would fly into Palermo, spend two days there, including a trip to Monreale (fabulous) and then go to Taormina for two days and leave from Catania. The views from Taormina are spectacular.

I have a feeling that four days will give you enough of a taste of Sicily that you will make time to return for a longer stay.

marybethcl Jan 10th, 2008 06:20 AM

You have all been sooooo helpful! I'm getting down to work now to plan this trip. I just need to discuss the options with my DH and travel buddies. I couldn't have done it without all your suggestions. This site is great!

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