what to do in sicily?

Old Oct 11th, 2002, 02:30 PM
  #1  
stephanie
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what to do in sicily?

I am planning a 9 day trip to sicily and want to know what are the must see towns and sights. Which is the best way to get around train, rent car, bus etc.? I plan to go in April, is this a good time to go or will it be too cold. Any suggestions in planning this trip would be greatly. thanks
 
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 05:55 PM
  #2  
confused
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I don't get it. Why are you going to Sicily if you have no idea what to see and do there? Have you bought a guide book? Do you know anything about the history of this place? Do you know, for example, that some of the most amazing and well-preserved ruins of the Greek and Roman Empires are to be found in Sicily? <BR>OK. Now that I have that off my chest, let me recommend that you go and stay at the Villa Ducale in Taormina. it is a gorgeous place, and they will treat you like one of the family .
 
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 06:05 PM
  #3  
Alia
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Now I am confused- why would she take your advice after an intro like that????<BR><BR>I am actually considering Sicily in June and am thinking of doing 2 nights Palermo, 4 nights Lipari, 5 nights Taormina. From either Palermo or Taormina I would take day trips to Agrigento, Siracusa. This is the beginning of my itinerary in my mind.
 
Old Oct 12th, 2002, 05:12 PM
  #4  
Maria
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Alia,<BR><BR>Your plans sound very good. I might also include Cefalu. Five nights in Taormina is a good amount of days. Then, you could see everything at a good pace and not be rushed. <BR><BR>I'm curious, did you pick you name Alia because it is your name or is it after a town in Sicily?
 
Old Oct 14th, 2002, 06:34 PM
  #5  
stephanie
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I am not confused at all! I just want to see everything and don't know how to narrow it down. Thank you if you sent some suggestions. For the man who is confused, next time keep your comments to yourself if you have nothing to add to someones travel plans.
 
Old Oct 15th, 2002, 09:30 PM
  #6  
dodin
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If you are considering visiting all the island I believe that, you need two starting points (home bases) to be able to see most of it : In the east coast (anywhere around Catania or Siracusa). In the west side of the island (either Palermo or Sciacca). You can't take day trips to Agrigento, Eraclea, Monreale, Selinunte and Erice.I suggest you to hire a car, as for the weather, on the south coast temperature is usually on the average of (Day 65°F night 55°F) and very little rain.<BR>http://www.verdetecnica.com
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 06:27 PM
  #7  
beth
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Try to include the Aeolian Islands in your itinerary. Your kids would probably enjoy them. You can take boat tours to the neighboring islands and hike the extinct volcano on the island of Vulcano. Lipari is probably the best island to stay on. The New York Times recently had a wonderful article on the Aeolian Islands: <BR>http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/29/tr...d/ST-AEOL.html
 
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 02:51 AM
  #8  
Ana
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Why can't you take day trips to Agrigento, Eraclea, Monreale, Selinunte and Erice?
 
Old Oct 19th, 2002, 02:22 PM
  #9  
ttt
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To the top
 
Old Oct 28th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #10  
john
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I have to disagree with some posts to this: Taormina is almost too touristy, especially for more than a day or two. The real beauty of Sicily is in the interior, the Madonie mountains around Petralia Soprana and the ancient communities of Enna, etc. I had one of the great nights of my life in Cesaro. The people are extraordinary friendly off the beaten path.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2002, 02:58 PM
  #11  
Maria
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John,<BR><BR>I spend a couple of weeks in central Sicily every other year. I know you think alot of places like Taormina, etc., are too touristy, but if you do not have family in central Sicily, it's kind of hard to know where to go and what to do and where to stay, etc.<BR><BR>I do agree that you do not get to see the real Sicily unless you see some of the small villages, but if you want excitement, you won't get too much of it. If you want relaxation, you will most certainly find it in central Sicily. You will also find much beauty.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2002, 11:34 PM
  #12  
dodin
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To Ana,<BR>Sorry, I meant that you can't take day trips to Agrigento, Eraclea Minoa, Monreale, Selinunte and Erice if you stay somewhere on the east coast (like Catania or Taormina). To visit most of Sicily, you need at least one week on the east coat, one week on the west coast.dodin
 
Old Oct 30th, 2002, 12:10 PM
  #13  
kristin
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My husband &amp; I JUST got back from our honeymoon (11 days in Sicily - got home on Sunday - saw Etna beginning its major eruption before we flew out of Catania). It's an outstanding island. You must go to Lipari!!! It was our favorite spot (although we really enjoyed our time in Catania, Enna, Palermo, Taormina &amp; Giardini/Naxos). If you go to Lipari, make a note to eat at La Cambusa on Via Garibaldi - some of the best fish we've ever eaten! Lipari was the most charming, but all the other cities we visited were worth seeing as well. The markets in Catania are out of this world.<BR><BR>We did stop in Cefalu for a couple hours (wish it could've been longer). It's a gorgeous city and I wish we would've had more time to spend there.<BR><BR>We'd love to go back . . .
 
Old Oct 30th, 2002, 12:15 PM
  #14  
gac
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kristin: I'm delighted you enjoyed Lipari.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2002, 01:13 PM
  #15  
kristin
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Hi GAC:<BR><BR>Hotel Rocce Azzurre in Lipari was perfect. We had a nice room on the water and spent late evenings drinking wine and enjoying pastries while watching the moon sparkle on the water. Absolutely wonderful. We shared the entire hotel with one very nice woman from the UK. Staff was great. Thank you for your recommendations. <BR><BR>We found Catania to be very friendly (and as I posted above, the fish markets were incredible to experience). Saw a lot of historical sites everywhere we went. Monreale was great - amazing mosaics. Saw the Cappuchin Catacombs (very macabre and disturbing) - the Teatro Massimo (in Palermo and then we attended a symphony in the Teatro Massimo in Catania). Enna was interesting (very sleepy city with great views). Stayed in Giardini/Naxos and took the bus to Taormina. Great views, shopping and lovely beaches. Went to the archeological park at Naxos . . . <BR><BR>And, of course, we can't say enough about Lipari (maybe because we were on our honeymoon). So charming and friendly. Splashed around at Spiaggia Bianche, visited the archeological sites near the castle and enjoyed the food! La Cambusa on Via Garibaldi gets our personal endorsement.<BR><BR>I'm sure I'm leaving out many great memories, but we had a beautiful time. And we made it out on Sunday just before Etna's major eruptions. Must go back someday and see the southwest . . . <BR><BR>Thank you, again!
 
Old Nov 1st, 2002, 10:12 PM
  #16  
Sally
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Having just returned from a week long tour of Sicily, I have to say my favorite cities were Siracusa (absolutely fascinating, especially Ortygia), Cefalu (beautiful medievil coastal town), &amp; Taormina (kinda touristy, but great anyways). Must see's are the ruins at the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento &amp; Selinunte. Monreale is also worth a short visit.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 10:10 AM
  #17  
ellen
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5 days in Taormina may be too long unless you really like to shop or want to just relax. I just returned from two weeks in Sicily where, of course, the highlight was the eruption of Mt. Etna. One of our favorite stops was Villa del Casale on the way from Palermo to Taormina. It is an excavated Roman villa with incredible mosaics.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 10:30 AM
  #18  
Terry
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I have been to Italy many times but not to Sicily. I have read all your comments about getting around, but don't you people eat and sleep? I am planning to go in March. My question has to do with hotels. I would appreciate any comments you may have. I want to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels. In Palermo, do I stay at The G.H.Villa Igiea,The G.H. Et Des Palmes or The Centrale Palace? In Taormina: The Bristol Park Hotel,The G.H. Timeo &amp; Villa Flora,The San Domenico Palace or The Atlantis Bay in Mazzaro? I plan 3 nights in Palermo and 4 in Taormina. Look forward to your suggestions and any others you may have concerning the best places to stay in Sicily. Thanks. Terry. Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ontario
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 10:58 AM
  #19  
loislane17
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9 days is an excellent amt. of time to do a first broadbrush look at the island. I would definitely rent a car. We started in Palermo and went round anti-clockwise! Unfortunately. we didn't make it to Cefalu, if you can, do so! Essentially, you need to decide what exactly you'd like to see: ancient Rome/Greek ruins? Then you must go to Agrigento, Eraclea Minoa (and teh museums at both), Segesta (just a driveby, but exquisite) and the Roman theater at Taormina. Baroque? You should consider Ragusa Ibla, Cefalu, Palermo, Ortygia (the little peninsular town of Siracusa)and maybe driveby of Sciacca). It might be early enough (it's the too hot you have to worry about, not too cold) to go through the central valley-which is where they filmed all the spaghetti westerns-the only Italian desert country. <BR>If you like hilltowns and medieval, then you should stop in Erice (sweet-the city of science!) and Enna at least. The Monreale cathedral (duomo), (outside of Palermo-did I mention the wonderful puppet museum in Palermo?) has gorgeous mosaics, and a truly enjoyable cloister attached to it.<BR>Ortygia and the Hotel Gran Bretagna have lovely frescoes in several rooms.<BR>We had a wonderful time; the Italian art teacher (in San Francisco for a year to teach here) who helped me plan my holiday as well as several Sicilians, suggested we stay away from Gela and the south and far south eastern tip of the Island, due to mafia and higher crime stats. We were careful about never leaving anything in sight in the car, and we never had any trouble. <BR>We adored the towns and people and the food across the whole island. A few additional sites that might help you narrow down your desires, other than Fodors, are ENIT or nat'l tourism site of Italy http://www.italiantourism.com/<BR>and http://www.itwg.com/rg_sicil.asp and tons more. <BR>Start with a good map and figure how much time from your guides you might spend in a place and how much you can stand to travel in a day. This helps you get realistic! Any other questions (sotty this is so huge) please email me!
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 11:13 AM
  #20  
Maria
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Terry,<BR><BR>In response to your questions on 5-star hotels in Taormina, the San Domenico Palace is tops. It is in a great location, the atmosphere is elegant, the rooms are beautiful, etc. I could go on and on. I also hear that the Grand Timeo is also very beautiful, but they do not have a pool - in case that matters to you.
 

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