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Surprise Sicily trip for my mom

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Dec 31st, 2011, 07:34 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 74
Surprise Sicily trip for my mom

Hi Everyone,
Recently my father, sister, brother-in-law and I surprised my mom for a big birthday with a family trip to Sicily we will all be going on in July. She has been doing alot of family ancestry research (her mom was born in Messina and her father's family is from Montevago) so she is more than excited to go, especially with all of us!
I am in the beginning stages of researching our trip and was hoping for your suggestions and expertise. Right now, I'm thinking we will fly into Palermo and out of Catania. We definitely want to do it road trip style, so we'll need to rent a car. I was considering staying in Palermo, Agrigento and Taormina (or Messina, where we have family) and doing side trips from these three places. Does this make sense?
Here is a little bit about us...any suggestions about where to stay, where to eat, or what to see would be greatly appreciated!
-we need the car to be automatic and it needs to fit 5 adults and our luggage, any good places to rent a largeish car for cheap? I know automatic is expensive, but it's necessary
-we plan on the trip being 10-12 days...i think it'll be easy to research the main cities we'll be staying in, but what are the best places to take side trips to?
-we'd like the hotels and restaurants to be moderately priced, we will need 3 rooms and want to stay in safe, clean and relatively cheap hotels, nothing fancy necessary
-we are interested in history, culture, taking pictures and wandering, we are not at all into clubs, bars, etc.
-we are into good, traditional food and gelato!!! any suggestions?

I cant begin to tell you how much we truly appreciate your help and ideas. This is going to be a family trip we will really treasure forever!

:0)Joanna
alwayzmile is offline  
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Jan 1st, 2012, 01:55 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,454
With 10-12 days on the ground, you can have a very enjoyable trip to Sicily.

The best advice I can give you is to ask your questions in TripAdvisor's Sicily forum. The very knowledgeable and conscientious DE Vagabonda will work with you on planning your trip in a way no one here is likely to do.
Zerlina is offline  
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Jan 1st, 2012, 06:10 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,546
I totally agree with Zerlina. Vagabonda will help you and will give you very useful information. I followed her advices and booked the B&B that she recommended and we were so happy with this!

I suggest you rent the car when you leave Palermo. You will not want to drive in Palermo!

n Palermo we stayed at a beautiful B&B Butera28. There are there many apartments in an old palace belonging to a relative of the famous writer Lampedusa. The location is very good, the owner Ms. Nicolleta will help you with very good advices. The price is very good, the apartments are equipped with every thing you need in a house.

You can visit from Palermo Monreale by bus (it is very close).
We loved Taoramnina. If you go there, make a half day trip up to Castelmola for best beautiful views .

Think to make a visit to Piazza Armerina, where the mosaics are amazing.
valtor is offline  
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Jan 1st, 2012, 06:30 AM
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Click on my name above to find my trip report from 2005. July will be hot--can you go sooner?
bobthenavigator is offline  
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Jan 1st, 2012, 06:41 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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What a wonderful gift for your mother. In addition to Vagabonda, read some of the trip reports here on Fodors. Sicily is a wonderful place and there is so much to see and do but 10-12 days will give you a great start. You are wise to limit your trip to eastern Sicily for this time.

As noted above, plan to visit Monreale as a day trip from Palermo. It is one of my favorite sights in all of Italy.

Get a good guide book and consider how many days to spend in each location. You will not need a car in Palermo or Taormina so pick it up upon leaving Palermo and drop it off when you arrive in Taormina.

The food in Sicily is amazing - the fish and seafood is the best I've ever had and the pizza (even though I'm far from an expert) is excellent). We loved the blood orange juice for breakfast. Even though we didn't do as much restaurant research as we normally do before our trips, we had super food everywhere.

Do a little research and come back with your questions. Have a good time planning and a wonderful trip.
mamcalice is offline  
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Jan 1st, 2012, 07:31 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 782
For our Sicily trip in June 2010, we rented an automatic Audi station wagon for our family of four through Autoeurope UK which gave us a better rate than renting through Autoeurope US (a tip from Vagabonda). I called the toll-free US number, said that I wanted to pay in pounds, and was tranferred to the UK person. The terms of the rental were not identical but very similar, and we purchased the walk-away insurance for peace of mind. The car was great--new with a built-in navigator that worked very well. You can click on my name for my trip report.
bon_voyage is offline  
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Jan 1st, 2012, 07:33 AM
  #7
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Thank you all so much! Unfortunately, July is our only option. 4 out of 5 of us are teachers! I definitely will post this on tripadvisor as well, thanks for the suggestion!
alwayzmile is offline  
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