Two weeks in Sicily, maybe Amalfi

Old May 16th, 2016, 02:22 PM
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Two weeks in Sicily, maybe Amalfi

We are spending three weeks in Venice, 4th April to 25th April, returning to Venice 9th May, departing Venice 23rd May 2017, so we have a 15 day window in the middle, including travel from, and back to, Venice. We have visited Rome several times, but have never travelled south of Rome. Thinking several days on the Amalfi coast and Sicily for the remainder of the time.

We are sixty year old travellers, more inclined to two star than five star travel, and I know just about nothing about Sicily. Our main interests would be antiquities, maybe Pompeii, the Amalfi coast, although two weeks in Sicily would be a possibility.

Open to suggestions as to where to go, how to get there, how to get around. And apologies for being so vague, as we are in the very early planning stages (except for Venice, which is locked in).
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Old May 16th, 2016, 03:04 PM
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I can only speak to your time on the Amalfi Coast, as I have yet to make it to Sicily (it is the next destination, once I have a 2-week block of time).

I would consider renting an apartment for your time on the AC. I rent one in Positano in June for a week and will never go back to staying in a hotel there.

From Positano, you could visit Capri, Amalfi/Ravello and Salerno/Vietri via ferry. Early May things will be getting busier but not nearly as packed as during the season.

You could train from Venice to Naples, prearrange to have a driver pick you up and take you to Pompeii, where he will wait with your luggage while you tour, then drive you to your lodging in Positano (or elsewhere).

But, then again, 2 weeks in Sicily would be nice and you can fit in the AC on your next trip when you may not have as much free time.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 04:20 PM
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How about Naples and you could visit Pompei from there? Naples is a wonderfully fascinating city. After spending time there the first time a couple years ago we went back last year and loved it just as much.
I would spend a the rest of the time in Sicily. There is much to see and do. The springtime flowers are just gorgeous. There are several planning threads for Sicily and TRs that could give you some ideas of where you might like to go.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 04:21 PM
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Hi Peter,

I have enjoyed many of your TRs over the years. I know you love Venice and it seems you get to travel ti Italy every year for long visits. Lucky you!

Because of this, i think you do have several options. Since 2 of your days will be spent traveling a long distance, shall we say you effectively have 13 days? I believe you also like slow travel so you could easily spend all your time in the Naples and Amalfi Coast area. There is plenty to do there for 13 days! Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Amalfi Coast towns, islands Capri and Ischia, even a day trip to Paestum.

You could also spend the entire time seeing a lot of Sicily , but not quite all of the highlights. You would most likely want to ise a combination of public transportation and car for Sicily, depending on your choices for destinations.

Since you are able to visit often, splitting your time could also work, but you would loose a day traveling between Amalfi and Sicily. It wouldnt be that difficult to return to Sicily to see what you missed the first time.

I planned my trip for years and the more I read about Sicily, the more interested I became, and the longer my trip became! If you are really interested in history and antiquities, Sicily is for you.

There are many of us who have done detailed trip reports on Sicily, so start reading. Many others have done the Amalfi Coast including me. Whatever you choose, you will have a wonderful time.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 05:06 PM
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Sicily is large and has a lot to see and do. Since you have so much time in Italy I would allow more than 2 weeks to Sicily and the a week on the AC on top of it.

This would still leave you with a lot of time in Venice (unless you have to be there specific dates for some reason).

If it were me I would fly to and fro Sicily (from Naples and back to Venice).
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Old May 16th, 2016, 05:35 PM
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Two weeks is really the minimum for Sicily, three would be better. There are a number of Sicily TRs on the site, including Dayle's and mine.
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Old May 17th, 2016, 12:03 AM
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Thanks to all for your advice, and it looks like it will be two weeks in Sicily, flying from Venice. We can't change the dates for Venice, but that's something to consider in future. It does look like a long haul by train right down to the toe of Italy.

I think I have a lot of reading to do ....
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Old May 17th, 2016, 03:18 AM
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Enjoy Peter! Come back with your questions. Those who loved Sicily will be happy to help.
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Old May 17th, 2016, 04:01 AM
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2 weeks in Sicily is ... Thin.
However it will be nice. I'd suggest you concentrate on some areas, you cnanot see it all.
In 3 weeks we 'did'
Syracuse (one day, didn't find much to see)
Catania (0 day, and it was too much)
Agrigento (superb, 2 days, not enough)
Palermo (2-3 days, more is ok)
Marsala (we had to stop soemwhere)
Villa Cesale (and we spent a night somewhere in neighbourhood) - one of our highlights
Monreale (one day)
Cefalu (one day)
Taormina (4-5 days ? - cool)
Etna (taken from Taormina time ?)one of our highlights
Day trip on the water (on Taormina time)
One week on Lipari with visit of some islands (one that stinks but is good for rhumatism ?).
No time for Trapani, the north, the center.
We loved it.
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Old May 17th, 2016, 04:09 AM
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Unlike whathello I found Ortygia, NOT Siracusa proper, delightful. And hated Taormina, aside from the views. YMMV.
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Old May 17th, 2016, 05:27 AM
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On both trips I found Taormina to be overun with tourists. Beautiful views and the Teatro Antico di Taormina, the ancient Greco-­Roman theater were the highlights there for me.

Villa Romana Casale has some of the best mosaics I have seen and its not to be missed. Monreale also has lovely mosaics. It can be visited by an easy bus ride from Palermo. Both times we have seen it we have driven on the way to Palermo and had no difficulty parking.

Given you mention antiquities I imagine you will enjoy what Siracusa has to offer with its archeological site. Ortygia Island is a charming place to stay and delightful to stroll around and it has the oldest Greek Temple on the island.

Other outstanding ruins include Selinunte, Segesta & as mentioned above Agrigento.

The Baroque towns are also worth a visit. We only saw Noto and found it to be charming and the architecture esp in the evening was lovely.
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Old Jun 10th, 2016, 11:53 PM
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Chiming here a bit late, but agreeing that 2 weeks in Sicily is really a bare minimum. Should I offer more detailed comments now, or would it be better to wait until you post something more definitive?
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Old Jun 11th, 2016, 12:14 AM
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Hi Peter,

<<We are spending three weeks in Venice, 4th April to 25th April, returning to Venice 9th May, departing Venice 23rd May 2017,>>

you poor things!

Seriously I just found this and thought that I'd chip in, albeit that we haven't got to Sicily yet, as our 10 day trip is scheduled for September, when we are concentrating on the east of the island, flying into and out of Catania.

With 2 weeks you could definitely see more of the island than we are, probably by flying into Catania and out of Palermo or vice versa but you could easily spend all 14 days in the east if you include the Aeolian islands, which we won't have time to see, and Agrigento which I have now left out. [I know!] And I'm sure that you could do just the same in the west of the island too.

As others have mentioned there are some great TRs here [Dayle's and Thursdaysd's gave me lots of great ideas] but as someone chided me, it's worth reading the planning threads too to see how the trips developed and what ideas were jettisoned along the way.

As for Naples and the AC, I would see it as an alternative to Sicily, not an add-on - my ideal would be to fly into Naples and spend a few days there, then to go to Ischia to see in particular La Mortella [William Walton's garden] then a week or so in Ravello or Positano. Given that i know you like to spend time getting to know a place, as you have with Venice, I suspect that if you try to see Sicily and Naples/the AC, you would feel short-changed trying to do both.
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