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TRIP REPORT - Sicily

Old Nov 6th, 2002, 02:49 PM
  #1  
Maria
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TRIP REPORT - Sicily

This is my first trip report so don't be mean. Everyone on this board helped me out, so I thought I might be able to give something back.

Trip Report - Sicily


AIRLINE
We flew Continental to Rome from Newark and then switched flights to Lufthansa to take us to Palermo.

The flight was great. I would recommend Continental. When we went to Sicily 2 years ago, we flew Alitalia and did not like it as much. The food was actually even decent on Continental. The plane was a 767. It was a new version, and we had individual TV's at our seats with video games and a selection of TV channels. It was a great pass time - especially for the kids. Lufthansa was also pretty good.

HOTELS

Since we stayed at my parents home most of the time, we only stayed at two other locations.

TAORMINA - 2 Nights.

We stayed at the San Domenico Palace. I was very hesitant about staying here, and probably spent 2 months researching it. FODOR's was a big help. I had read the it was an old hotel, so I was afraid that it would be very dreary. We loved it. The location was great because you are right at the beginning of the main shopping street. The hotel was very elegant. The room was beautiful! It was 25 foot ceilings. The beds were very, very comfortable. My 2 children were with us so instead of getting 2 rooms, they put two extra beds in the room, and it was not at all crowded. The view from the private terrace will linger in my mind forever. The bathroom was very elegant. The food was great. The gardens were so beautiful that you could just stay there and relax and read a book. I could have spent my whole time just hanging out at the hotel and not go anywhere else. I could go on and on.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 02:51 PM
  #2  
Maria
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CEFALU - 2 Nights

We stayed at Hotel Kalura. We did not have too much choice here. We went there to go to a wedding. Instead of driving back to my father's town, we decided to spend a couple of nights here. Usually when we go to Cefalu, we go for the day. It was a pleasant change to stay overnight. The hotel itself was pretty nice. The lobby was nice. The room was just OK. Then again, it was 1/3 of the price of the San Domenico - a hard act to follow! The rooms were like your typical beach hotel. They also added 2 extra beds. The reason I would probably stay in this hotel again is because the view from the upper courtyard down to the beach area was so spectacular. The water was so crystal clear and warm. The is a patio area to sit with your beach chairs, and the water comes right to the edge. People were cliff diving right into the water. It was all so remarkable. The food at the hotel was also very good. Especially the risotto!!! I wish I could have some right now!

In between our trips to Taormina and Cefalu, we stayed in a little, little town called Alia. You feel like you went back in time 100 years. They do have a hotel called Villa Daphna. We have eaten dinner there before, and it was very good. The town itself is all mountains. It is very beautiful.

Staying there is just such a different way of life. At first, when I get there, I actually have a major anxiety attack because it is so different there the USA. I just want to go home, and I always say I'm going to catch the next flight home the next day. As the days go by, I appreciate all the beauty the town has to offer. I get woken up in the morning the cows mooing and the roosters crowing. It takes a little getting used to, but then you don't even realize it. I stand on the balcony and watch the sunset behind the mountains - what a sight!

My children see a different way of life also. They go in the garden and pick almonds off the trees and learn how to roast them. They pick tomatoes from the yard. Also growing are artichokes, fava beans, figs and much more! They help my parents make pizza in the brick oven pizza outside and the people from the town come over, and we have a big party. People bring their little guitars and accordion and fiddles, and we just sit outside all night an dance and appreciate the music. The stars are so bright - you feel your closer to God.

The experience of staying in a little town is experiencing the real Italy and not the touristy Italy. Both are great!

I felt sorry for these people when I first got there. But, now I know better. They are happy. They have food on their table. They enjoy life. They are out every night ‘till have midnight walking outside and talking. Everyone in the entire town knows each other. Everyone watches over each other. It's a whole different way of life. When I leave, I know they don't know life any other way. It's hard for us to go back once we have experienced life here.


 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #3  
Lucy
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I'm loving reading your observations Maria - thank you!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 02:55 PM
  #4  
gac
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Congratulations for such a successful trip. I'm delighted you enjoyed the trip. P.S.: The plane from Rome to Palermo is operated by Air One, an independent Italian airline which code-shares with Lufthansa. It is NOT a Lufthansa plane.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 05:04 PM
  #5  
Joe
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Maria: I have enjoyed reading your trip report on Sicily and would encourage you to share more of your experience there We have been all over Northern Italy and have really looked forward to going to Sicily. Your report has increased our anticipation for that trip. Thank you very much.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 11:03 AM
  #6  
Maria
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I forgot to add something to my trip report.

All the people we encountered in Sicily loved Americans. When we were at the wedding, they made me and my family stand up, and they played our national anthem for us. Then they all clapped for us. My mother was crying and my kids were embarrassed - but it was a beautiful experience. It also was an all seafood wedding, and they made specials dishes for the "Americans" because they knew we wouldn't eat most of it. It was also about 8 courses (I don't know how anyone could eat that much in one sitting!) At the end of the reception, they thanked the "Americans" for coming to the wedding. They made us feel so special - almost like we were celebrities - just because we were from America.

The other thing that amazes me is that they have this beautiful scenery surrounding them all the time - along with some pretty great weather. Sometimes I think, God really must love Italians to give them this gift of nature!

WEATHER
By the way, we did go to Sicily in August and were always told to stay away from Taormina this month. They weather could not have been more perfect. It was in the low 80's and sunny everyday. Actually, the entire time we were in Sicily, we had perfect weather. Some days were just in the high 70's - which I know is not always the case. When we were there 2 years ago, it was 108 degrees for about 4 days!

That's all for now!

The beauty
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 11:05 AM
  #7  
Maria
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sorry I read back and so some typo's!
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 11:18 AM
  #8  
Graziella
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Hi Maria, I loved your report.
I was deeply touched for your sincerity.
In a few words you are reminding us of what is important in life.
I also have had the chance to live, if not for many days, in a small town in Italy, with simple, honorable people. I also cherrish these moments.
In a small town near Rome called Soriano, we were staying with friends and almost everynight we used to to the cafe in town, to have coffe and gelato and talk. Our hosts knew everybody and soon our table became a huge table. All kind of people, the florist, an artist,.the butcher, Etc..... whenever we were introduced as Americans they went out of their way to welcome us.
Maria, again your trip report was one of the best. I loved it.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #9  
mimi taylor
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A very nice report. Thank you for sharing and welcome back.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 10:38 AM
  #10  
JOhn
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Topping
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 12:33 PM
  #11  
Maria
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Another thing I forgot to mention:

If you plan on staying at the San Domenico Palace in Taormina, stay in the Deluxe Rooms. They are worth the extra money, are in a better location - and have a better view. I think the rooms numbers were 130 - 134. I assume the floors above were also the same kind of rooms - 230 - 234 and 330 - 334. This section of the hotel was nicer than the other section.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 07:17 AM
  #12  
topping
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top
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 09:32 AM
  #13  
Terry
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Many have stayed at The San Domenico. Has any body stayed at The Timeo. Which is better?
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 11:07 AM
  #14  
Terry
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Need some more help. Where is the best place to stay in Agrigento? Thanks. Terry
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 02:28 PM
  #15  
gac
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The best views by far of the Temple of Concorde are from the Hotel Villa Athena. See visitor's comments in the hotels sections of this site.
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 05:40 PM
  #16  
Maria
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Terry,

Many people on this board have commented favorably on the Grand Timeo. Although, if having a pool is a big deal to you, the Grand Timeo does not have one. I only saw the hotel on the outside, and it seemed beautiful. I do prefer the location of the San Domenico though.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 02:09 AM
  #17  
cool
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i want to go to sicily now! i've seen a fair chunk of Italy, but never sicily, i will certainly go now. of course staying with family is always the best.
 
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 06:03 AM
  #18  
topping
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