Sicily questions

Feb 1st, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Sicily questions

We have five days following a cruise and have decided to spend it in Sicily. Plan is to fly into Catania and out of Palermo (most likely) or vice versa dividing time between Taormina and Palermo. Here are my questions:

1--Can we get a limo/driver from Catania to Taormina and at roughly what price?
2--If we drive from Taormina to Palermo, should we just give up the car when we get there or stay in Mondello by the sea and keep the car to drive to the airport to fly back to FCO?
3--3 days in Taormina and 2 in Palermo or vice versa?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I've been reading trip reports non-stop. That's how I got this far. Thinking villa Schuler in Taormina and not sure for Palermo depending on whether we stay in town or at Mondello.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Just so you are aware: Villa Schuler has a three-day minimum for stays in season. At least they did last spring. You can easily get a taxi from Catania to Taormina; I believe we paid 70 Euro for the trip from Taormina to the Catania airport. Not sure of limo information although I am sure that your hotel in Taormina could arrange this if you contact them. I would get rid of the car even if you stay in Mondello it is not likely that you will want to drive into central Palermo. There is a very efficient bus from Palermo central to the airport. If you need more info on Palermo I will try to help as we spent three days there last May during our Sicily trip.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:34 AM
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How lucky you are to be spending 5 days in Sicily. We were there for 10 days in September and loved it. I can give you only general information on your questions.

1-- We took a cab from Taormina to the Catania airport and the cost, as I recall, was 80 Euro.
2--I would stay in Palermo rather than Mondello and, if you do, you won't need the car. We loved Palermo - there is lots to see and do. You must visit Monreale.
3-- We spent 3 days in Palermo and 3 in Taormina. There isn't a lot to do in Taormina but it is a gorgeous place and you can't go wrong either way. There is more to do in Palermo so if you want to see and do a lot, I suggest 3 days in Palermo and 2 in Taormina.

We stayed at the Principe de Villafranca in Palermo and I highly recommend it. We stayed at the Villa Schuler in Taormina and the view from the terrace overlooking the bay and Mt. Etna is exquisite. We had the same wonderful view from our rooms. We liked the hotel very much.
You will love Sicily!
mamc is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:42 AM
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Thanks so much for your replies. this is very helpful. I'll check on the 3 day minimum stay at Villa Schuller. if it's required, we'll do 3 in Taormina and 2 in Palermo, and if not, the reverse. Whew. That's settled.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:15 PM
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When I called Villa Schuler, they said they have a 4-night minimum during "in season."
evelyntrav is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Oops. I did not "call" V. Schuler, but did email them.
evelyntrav is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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We contacted Villa Schuler about a 2 day stay Oct. arriving 20 and departing 22 and were told yes, that would be fine. We then decided to reverse our path and stay in Toarmina at the beginning rather than the end of our time in Sicily, arriving Oct. 17 and departing 19th and were told that during that time we would have to book for a 3 day stay. So their season must change on the 20th of October. Just our luck.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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If you have time visit Cefalu, a lovely resort town on the northern coast 69 km. west of Palermo. You may pass it on your trip between Taormina and Palermo if you take the coast highway rather than drive inland.
pngmartino is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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I stayed in Mondello and regretted it. If your only reason for renting a car is to get from Taormina to Palermo, I would consider flying. Although driving outside of the cities of Sicily is not a problem, once you get used to how fast everyone drives and passes on blind curves, driving in Palermo -- even just the vicinity of Palermo, is really very trying.

I found Taormina as pretty as advertised but a very touristy and uninteresting town, save for the Roman theater. People who stayed in the town right above it (whose name escapes me) seem to have a more magical time, because they are not in the throngs.

If I had three days in Taormina, I would take one for a tour of Etna or anyplace else.

But the truth is, if I had five days in Sicily, I would spend 3 in Palermo and 2 in Siracusa/Ortygia or near Stromboli on one of the Aeolian islands.

I heartily second the recommendation to go to Monreale. It is a world art treasure not to be missed.
nessundorma is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Sicily-what a fabulous country with wonderful people and food! I would like to add that I too would spend a day or two in Siracusa and Ortigia as it is truly a magical city (Ortigia).Just an FYI on Ortigia-in ancient times the city of Ortigia rivaled Athens as the second biggest city.(Archimedes,Plato and the rest of the classical gang were there and after a visit you will see why they loved it.)Its a shame that you cannot go south to Siracusa from the Catania airport(bus or train-cab is about 40-50 euros) for a few days and then take the train up to Taormina to spend a couple days before continuing on to Palermo. The eastern side of Sicily is very interesting in terms of Mt. Etna and all of the history down in the southeast.Villa Schuler is NOT inexpensive. They have their 3 or 4 day minimum besides prices of 175 euros a day which seems extremely high?There are so many interesting places to see and experience in Sicily. Have a wonderful time and save some Nero D'Avola wine for me..............
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 02:42 AM
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Another vote for Siracusa and Palermo, both of which are fascinating and full of things to see.

Taormina is nice, but it's basically a resort town with only one thing to recommend it: the Greek theatre and the superb view from it. Siracusa's Greek theatre is just as well or even better preserved; it just doesn't have the view.

You can easily go to Siracusa by bus from Catania Aeroporto. It takes about 1.5 hours direct, no stops.

And it's just as easy to get from Siracusa to Palermo by bus, about 3 hours 15 minutes direct, no stops.

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Eloise is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 02:45 AM
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Sorry, on the Interbus site, look for "Aeroporto Catania", not the other way around.

And if you insist on going to Taormina, there's a bus from Aeroporto Catania to Taormina that takes 1 hour 15 minutes.
Eloise is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 02:48 AM
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Sorry, it's still a little too early in the morning...

The buses from Aeroporto Catania to Siracusa and from Siracusa to Palermo are comfortable and air-conditioned. The bus to Taormina is run by another company, but I assume it's just as comfortable.
Eloise is offline  
Mar 16th, 2006, 03:15 AM
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I disagree with those who found Taormina uninteresting. I've been three times, including for part of my honeymoon. I've also been to Siracusa twice. But I guess it depends what you want to do - if you want to be very active & tour lots of historic sights then yes, Siracusa has more. But if you are happy just to relax & enjoy a pretty town with glorious views & nice food, then Taormina is perfect.

Second the recommendation to stay in Palermo, though - we spent a week there & it wasn't enough (we never even went to Monreale !).
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
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