Sicily question

Jan 18th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 418
Thanks all!
A couple of replies:
-Scrib11--I think Siracusa to Taormina should be about 3 and half hours but do not know for certain or what route i will take
-no driving--just trains and/or bus
-I LOVE google translate!!!
-Looks like 4 nights in Siracusa and 3 in Palermo and yes, TDudette, will get to Monreale from there
-Tarquin, will check it out as well as somoe others mentioned--am leaning towards Garibaldi right now but that means nothing!

Also, TDudette, I have been so very fortunate to have this experience and it is well worth envying! I have been taking great advantage of it, doing tons of day trips as well as a few longer ones---have posted them all and will continue as I complete this chapter the beginning of March.

Any other Sicily thoughts continue to be welcome too......
kathrynj is offline  
Jan 19th, 2011, 04:09 AM
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Read your post and it was really helpful. Vagabonda over at Trip Advisor suggested Palazzo del Sele in Ortigia which I have booked and I am liking a nice rate at the Garibaldi in Palermo.

Hard to give up staying in Taormina or Agrigento but I think this will work out better and make for an enjoyable trip with fewer hassles (at least I hope so!) Will note your restaurants as well as some others that have been suggested.
kathrynj is offline  
Jan 19th, 2011, 05:56 AM
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kathrynj: I'll look at your posts (no doubt have read them if they are about Italy). DH and I ended up hiring a cab while we were in Palermo. He took us to the old market and said that it is losing its importance as people are going more to the supermercatos. "It is for the tourists and older people anymore", he said.

If you plan to take bus trips, give yourself some extra time for ticket buying. There were 3 different bus companies when we were there in 2002. One bought tickets from the driver with one, and at a separate ticket booth at another. A third had an office for the bus routes and a second office selling tickets! Speaking Italian will be helpful but not impossible. We took busses to Agrigento and Siracusa.

In Palermo, the Cattedrale is lovely but Cappella Palatino is exquisite. The "Four Corners" was being redone so we didn't get to stroll through. Did get into the church with the lapiz lasuli altar-tiny place. In Monreale, we had lunch at Taverna del Pavone Trattoria with "our" cab driver. It was very good. Can't wait to hear how you liked Sicily! Off to checkout your other posts...
TDudette is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Interesting what you say about the market in Palermo. Many people I know here in Bologna say that if I like it now, I would have loved it 20 years ago when the markets were flourishing. Even when I have have gone to Rialto in Venice, a market I have adored, I noticed a difference and many more tourist booths outside. I wonder how the wonderful indoor market in Modena is doing (I thought it was great when I was there in December) given the competition with larger supermercatos and the corner markets that are everywhere and are open SUundays.

Thanks for your other suggestions. I would love to find a real day tour that goes from Siracusa to Taormina for the day rather than just taking the bus myself but may have to do that. Hopefully it will not be too confusing!
kathrynj is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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Have been looking for the card of our wonderful taxi guy in Palermo. So far, no luck. His name was Stefano. If you happen to have a cabbie by that name, please say hey from the Rhodys!

We were also "adopted" by Giuseppe of Siracusa Taxi (339.6500859). This is funny but we couldn't find our hotel and ended up flagging down said taxi. Giuseppe took us to his favorite resto (Osteria da Mariano-very good). He offered to drop us off and pick us up again and we could pay him later! Of course that scared us so we said we would rather pay him right away and maybe walk back! Do you suppose the meter would keep running?!

The next day we were at the amphitheater just asking driver about rates of his horse-drawn carriage, when up drives Giuseppe again! "I'll take you any place you want to go!"

Long story short, he did have rates for tours of the area (can't remember about Taormina but expect it would have been very expensive) but we were on a mission so couldn't take him up on it.

Looking forward to your TR!
TDudette is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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Palermo has more than one market. Vucciria is chiefly for tourists, but Capo is still frequented by locals.
Zerlina is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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Did anyone who travelled to Sicily go to the island of Lipari? If so, is it worth the trip?
touringlady is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 12:53 AM
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Thanks Zerlina--will be sure to check it out!
kathrynj is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 04:39 AM
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We very much enjoyed each of the markets we visited in Palermo, and enjoyed a good seafood lunch at Shanghai (Italian not Chinese) in the Vucciria. At the time we were there, there didn't seem to be any other tourists.

We haven't been to Lipari but did spend part of our honeymoon on Panarea which was idyllic. I think you wouldn't find enough to do, though.

But I didn't think you can fit in the Aeolian islands as well, can you ?!
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 05:43 AM
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Nope, can't fit it in---I am sticking to the plan (at least now) for 4 nights in Siracusa and 3 nights in Palermo.

Day trip to Taormina from Siracusa (killin me not to stay but....)and time for Monreale from Palermo---likely some other places but will time for the Aeolian Islands perhaps.
kathrynj is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 06:00 AM
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Caroline, I was going to recommend the Shanghai too. Such a contrast between the spotless kitchen and good food and the offputting stairs up. We watched cats and kittens on the adjoining roofs while we ate. Food in Sicily is wonderful.
tarquin is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 04:06 AM
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Ah, I now see that was touringlady who asked about Lipari, sorry for the confusion.

It is, isn't it, Tarquin ? I meant to say that at another market we enjoyed our first and so far only experience of spleen in a bun (with lemon better than with cheese)

And one of the most exciting meals I've ever had was somewhere outside Palermo by the sea (found it in the Michelin guide & got there & back by taxi). All seafood, no menu, for 2 of us there arrived something like 12 separate plates of antipasti, 3 primi, 2 secondi, fruit salad, wine, water - €13 pp !!!
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 06:23 AM
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Argh! Speen in a bun?

Can't wait to read your report, kathrynj.
TDudette is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 07:09 AM
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Hmmm !
We too had lunch at the Shangai[ note spelling]---what an expererience.
bobthenavigator is offline  

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