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Sicily itinerary and accommodation suggestions

Sicily itinerary and accommodation suggestions

Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 07:45 AM
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Sicily itinerary and accommodation suggestions

Hello,

I have this itinerary and wondered if anyone has suggestions to tweak and/or accommodation suggestions. I thank you all in advance.
Solo traveler from Canada to Sicily. I will stay approximately 10 days but I can extend it to 12 to 13. I don't want to rush through it.
Any must sees for history, Baroque, medieval - I am open to all
Bilboburger gave me some great links in my other thread for transportation options and I will research those.
If anyone has used a particularly good day trip guide, I would love the recommendation.
I am looking for accommodations (approx 120-150 Euros a night max) close to the historical centers for evening walks and meals
Fly from Canada ? to Palermo - Easy jet to Palermo
3 nights in Palermo -
- day trips ?
2 nights bus or train to Agrigento
- evening guided walk
3 nights Siracusa * by train or bus (stay in Ortiga)
- day trip on own to Ragusa (bus?)
- day trip on own Erice (bus?)

I would like to find:
a couple of days at an easily accessible beach
a day trip to Mt Etna
lots and lots of history which is my primary reason for visiting Sicily
cooking class

Thanks for all the help.





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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 07:54 AM
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In Palermo we stayed at the Hotel Joli which is a short distance from the Teatro Politeama, one of the stops for the airport bus.


If going to Erice, it is a day trip from Palermo, not Siracusa as suggested by your listing. But I would go to Monreale rather than Erice.


Last edited by Michael; Mar 22nd, 2024 at 07:58 AM.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 08:46 AM
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Thanks Michael. Great tips.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 08:52 AM
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Hi, Kelsey -

I agree with Michael about Montreale -- the cathedral and cloisters there are, IMO, magnificent. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the cathedral in Cefalu, which might suit your desire to spend time along a beach.

Perhaps you already know that there are two different types of day trips to Mt. Etna -- one that gives you time at the top and one that focuses on the wineries around the base.

You will be surrounded by history in any of these places. There is a LOT to see in Palermo and in Siracusa, particularly given your interest in history. With only 3 nights, your time for day trips will be limited. (But you'll have time for Monreale.) If you do take a day trip from Siracusa, Noto might be easier than Ragusa, and Noto is charming. You might want to see if you can visit the underground shelter / bunker from WWII in Ortigia.

It's been a long time since I was there, but in Ortigia, I loved my stay at L'Approdo delle Sirene. It still gets good reviews. https://www.apprododellesirene.com/

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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 09:47 AM
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If you are going to spend only three nights in Ortigia, and plan to do a day trip to Mt Etna (note: this will be a very, very long day), I would skip a day trip to Noto or Ragusa. Ortigia is lovely and there's more than enough to see and do for a week, so you will not be bored. The Neapolis Archeological Park in Syracuse is wonderful, especially with a guide. There are also many options for cooking classes in Ortigia, some of which include going to the market (disclaimer: we did our cooking class in Taormina, so cannot give a personal recommendation for Ortigia). We loved Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, and stayed overnight, and found the 1 night sufficient.

In Palermo we stayed at Delle Vittorie Suites and found it to be a great location and very comfortable. In Agrigento, we stayed at Dimore dei Templi and would recommend it as someplace very clean, with a lovely manager and good breakfast. Close to the Valley of Temples, but not really walkable. In Ortigia we stayed in an Air BnB apartment.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kja
Hi, Kelsey -

I agree with Michael about Montreale -- the cathedral and cloisters there are, IMO, magnificent. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the cathedral in Cefalu, which might suit your desire to spend time along a beach.

Perhaps you already know that there are two different types of day trips to Mt. Etna -- one that gives you time at the top and one that focuses on the wineries around the base.

You will be surrounded by history in any of these places. There is a LOT to see in Palermo and in Siracusa, particularly given your interest in history. With only 3 nights, your time for day trips will be limited. (But you'll have time for Monreale.) If you do take a day trip from Siracusa, Noto might be easier than Ragusa, and Noto is charming. You might want to see if you can visit the underground shelter / bunker from WWII in Ortigia.

It's been a long time since I was there, but in Ortigia, I loved my stay at L'Approdo delle Sirene. It still gets good reviews. https://www.apprododellesirene.com/
Kja - How nice to get some recommendations from you. I will take a look. Thanks so much.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kelsey22
Kja - How nice to get some recommendations from you.
Well, IMO, anyone who took the time to comment on what I believe was a 14 year old thread on restaurants deserves a bit of attention!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kja
Well, IMO, anyone who took the time to comment on what I believe was a 14 year old thread on restaurants deserves a bit of attention!
I am so glad I found it! 😀Where have you been travelling lately?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 08:11 PM
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For Agrigento, make sure you stay in the area near the Temples not in the town center up above which is less than desirable.
We stayed in the Colleverde Park Hotel in a room with temple views. Good restaurant, excellent, helpful staff.
Siracusa, you only have three nights. I doubt you want to leave this wonderful town to visit other places. Wonderful meals at Locanda del Collegio and Regina Lucia.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Mar 22nd, 2024 at 08:19 PM.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by kelsey22
I am so glad I found it [a post about restaurants]! 😀Where have you been travelling lately?
Most recently, I went to Cambodia. I delighted in seeing the Khmer temples and ruins, as well as more recent sights. I especially treasured the gentle and generous people of this country -- heartbreaking and simultaneously heartwarming.

To keep you from searching high and low, I actually did post about restaurants in Sicily and other places I visited on that long-ago trip: Southern Italian restaurants
FWIW, Per Bacco in Agrigento and Porta Marina in Ortigia still get positive reviews.

I'm not sure when HappyTrvlr was in Agrigento, but when I was there -- 2007 -- I found roaming the streets of Agrigento's old town, well above the temples, quite intriguing. It certainly wasn't polished, but it felt safe and I welcomed a chance to see a non-touristed medieval district. I'm sure it could have changed. If you have time for and an interest in such a ramble, you might ask your guide or hotel staff what they think of the idea before giving it a try.

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Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
For Agrigento, make sure you stay in the area near the Temples not in the town center up above which is less than desirable.
We stayed in the Colleverde Park Hotel in a room with temple views. Good restaurant, excellent, helpful staff.
Siracusa, you only have three nights. I doubt you want to leave this wonderful town to visit other places. Wonderful meals at Locanda del Collegio and Regina Lucia.
Thank you. That is a good tip. When you say “less than desirable” , could you elaborate?

I am thinking of adding on a day to Siracusa.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 01:38 PM
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We stayed out in the countryside but had dinner in Agrigento proper after touring the temples all day. The only thing "less than desirable" for me was trying to find parking and navigating the narrow streets. This was in 2011.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 04:55 PM
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My favourites were the spectacular Byzantine mosaics in Palermo and Monreale, and the incredible Roman mosaics at the Villa Casale.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 07:56 PM
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kja, when we went up to the town of Agrigento it was over run with homeless. Many were sleeping in the alleyways, lots of beggars. I have worked with the urban poor but the situation in Agrigento was extremely uncomfortable. We have lived in NYC and Chicago but sadly Agrigento made us very uneasy and thus we left.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
kja, when we went up to the town of Agrigento it was over run with homeless. Many were sleeping in the alleyways, lots of beggars. I have worked with the urban poor but the situation in Agrigento was extremely uncomfortable. We have lived in NYC and Chicago but sadly Agrigento made us very uneasy and thus we left.
I can understand your reaction, HappyTrvlr! That was certainly not my experience. It might help the OP to know when you were there.
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Old Mar 24th, 2024, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
kja, when we went up to the town of Agrigento it was over run with homeless. Many were sleeping in the alleyways, lots of beggars. I have worked with the urban poor but the situation in Agrigento was extremely uncomfortable. We have lived in NYC and Chicago but sadly Agrigento made us very uneasy and thus we left.
i am surprised to hear this, we were in Agrigento in April 2022 and greatly enjoyed our walk around the upper town late afternoon/evening. It was just after Easter and lots of (local?) families out enjoying the beautiful weather. Narrow winding streets old buildings, we loved it. Don’t remember seeing beggars and homeless folks, certainly not in any significant numbers.
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Old Mar 24th, 2024, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by kja
Most recently, I went to Cambodia. I delighted in seeing the Khmer temples and ruins, as well as more recent sights. I especially treasured the gentle and generous people of this country -- heartbreaking and simultaneously heartwarming.

To keep you from searching high and low, I actually did post about restaurants in Sicily and other places I visited on that long-ago trip: Southern Italian restaurants
FWIW, Per Bacco in Agrigento and Porta Marina in Ortigia still get positive reviews.

I'm not sure when HappyTrvlr was in Agrigento, but when I was there -- 2007 -- I found roaming the streets of Agrigento's old town, well above the temples, quite intriguing. It certainly wasn't polished, but it felt safe and I welcomed a chance to see a non-touristed medieval district. I'm sure it could have changed. If you have time for and an interest in such a ramble, you might ask your guide or hotel staff what they think of the idea before giving it a try.

How wonderful! I have never been to anywhere in that region. I will check out your post on Sicily and might ask a couple of questions! Revive yet another classic 😀
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Old Mar 24th, 2024, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by geetika
i am surprised to hear this, we were in Agrigento in April 2022 and greatly enjoyed our walk around the upper town late afternoon/evening. It was just after Easter and lots of (local?) families out enjoying the beautiful weather. Narrow winding streets old buildings, we loved it. Don’t remember seeing beggars and homeless folks, certainly not in any significant numbers.
good to know! Thanks for this.
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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 04:32 PM
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Erice is more convenient Palermo than Ortigia for a day trip. Move it to Palermo and add the nearby and beautiful site of Segesta with it‘s ancient temple.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Mar 29th, 2024 at 04:38 PM.
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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 04:35 PM
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Glad to hear the upper city of Agrigento has improved. It was terrible when we visited right before COVID struck.
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