Where to go in Sicily and Salina Island

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Apr 16th, 2018, 11:02 AM
  #1
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Where to go in Sicily and Salina Island

My husband and I are thinking about going to Sicily next year end of May or early June. We will probably have about 9 days or so. We would like to stay in Salina for a short time as well as visit Modica. Would love to hear any suggestions as to where you all have visited in Sicily. I hear mixed reviews about Taormina. We tend to like more off the beaten track and coutry experiences. What about Palermo? Any and all comments are welcome. We would be flying from NY.

Thanks you very much.
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Apr 16th, 2018, 04:25 PM
  #2
kja
 
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9 days is very little for Sicily, which easily takes 2 to 3 weeks just to see most of the highlights, so you will need to be very selective.

IMO, Taormina is beautiful, but the crowds even in May to early June are so dense as to make the experience of being there during the day quite unpleasant. YMMV.

I adore Palermo. It is certain not off the beaten track.

If you haven't already consulted them, I'd strongly encourage you to get the Michelin Green Guide and/or Rough Guide. And check out any of the MANY trip reports that Fodorites have taken the time and energy to file over the years.
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Apr 16th, 2018, 09:54 PM
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9 days is really very little time for Tuscany, Umbria or Lazio or the Veneto or Sardenga or..... Sicily is another of the 20 regions of Italy that is stuffed with things to see and do. Most people do not feel obliged to see all the highlights of any region of Italy, and 9 days in Sicily can make a fabulous experience. It's all in your approach to travel, how flexible and realistic you are. If you want to combine Salina and Modica you will get quite a varied taste of Sicilian culture, off the tourist track, with marvelous beauty.

If it is really important to you to see both Salina and Modica, traveling between the 2 is going to consume quite a chunk of those 9 days, and even more if you are counting your travel days from NY and back to NY as part of the 9 days.

Taormina is not off the beaten track by any stretch of the imagination. In late May it will be heaving with tourists (and even without the tourists, the commercialisation dominates) Palermo is great fun, especially if you have a lot of experience of NYC, because you can feel rather at home there because of the many strong immigrant contributions of Sicilians to northeast America. However, Palermo is not a country experience (whereas the countryside around Modica is beautiful and a food heaven).

You are trying to craft an unusual trip so standard guidebooks are going to be of limited value to you. Asking your questions on many message forums might help (or drive you nuts).

Last edited by kitbag; Apr 16th, 2018 at 09:58 PM.
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Apr 16th, 2018, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kitbag View Post
You are trying to craft an unusual trip so standard guidebooks are going to be of limited value to you. Asking your questions on many message forums might help (or drive you nuts).
IMO, the more unusual the trip, the GREATER the value of a good, comprehensive guidebook or two, as the better ones cover places that few (if any) people who respond to travel forums have visited. Guidebooks might not help much with lodging or dining (they're outdated by the time they are published), but good guidebooks provide extensive information about your options for sightseeing, how to get from place to place, regional specialties for cuisine and crafts, etc. -- not to mention a wealth of information about norms, language, history, context, and a slew of things you might not even know to ask.
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Apr 17th, 2018, 11:03 AM
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I just went to my bookshelf and looked at my copy of the Michelin Green Guide to Sicily.

It's 366 pages, but It has less than half a page on Salina, and less than one page on Modica if you extract the restaurant and hotel recommendations you don't think are worth following.

Amazon is selling the book for $43.

I would not trust any published guide book to have accurate 2018 info about ferries and flights.

People who ask questions about Sicily on the Tripadvisor forum and Frommer's get prompt and informed responses. Lonely Planet and Rick Steves travel forums are definitely worth a shot.

Somebody who wants to go to Salina and Modica, starting from NYC, is going to get very little value from the $43 Michelin Green Guide -- unless they think they might spend the 9 days doing something else in Sicily, fine. But even then they will still benefit from conversing on social media about best modes of transport, timetables, current car rental costs, etc.

I was thinking the other day how many trips I have planned by inviting to dinner people i know who have gone to the places I want to go. It's the first thing I do -- start a personal conversation with someone who has been there before me, and preferably spent a long time in that location. I will eventually buy a guide book -- but I don't start with them, and I have often thrown guide books away -- and I am not speaking poetically, I dumped them in the trash -- after discovering in the middle of traveling that the guidebook kept steering me into a trip I did NOT want to take.

Do you have any idea how many Rick Steves guidebooks have been tossed mid-trip? The expensive Michelin guides have their own agendas and it's not for everybody. For Modica and Salina -- which are quite romantic destinations and a great intro to Sicily --- Micheln's one and a half pages doesn't seem like much guidance.
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Apr 17th, 2018, 01:01 PM
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I realized long after posting that my copy of the Michelin Green Guide to Sicily was certainly quite old, since I bought it before my first trip to Sicily more than 15 years ago. So I went to Amazon to see what I can learn about a newer edition -- and there is no newer edition! At least not from Amazon.

The most recent Michelin Green Guide available from Amazon was written and published in 2001 -- meaning, the information in it is at least 18 years old. For somebody trying to figure out the feasibility and optimal routing for a trip to Sicily today, plus planning for what sites are open, what kinds of agriturismo or tour experiences are available, then information from 18 years ago might be very misleading. Certainly in the case of Modica there is much more in the way of assistance and amenities for tourists than there was 18 years ago.

By the way, the Michelin company maintains an extensive website with quite a bit of information about Sicily. Before ponying up $40+ for paperback guide with only 2 pages on one's chosen destinations, why not check out the free website?

https://travelguide.michelin.com/europe/italy/sicily
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Apr 17th, 2018, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mikster View Post
My husband and I are thinking about going to Sicily next year end of May or early June. We will probably have about 9 days or so. We would like to stay in Salina for a short time as well as visit Modica. Would love to hear any suggestions as to where you all have visited in Sicily. I hear mixed reviews about Taormina. We tend to like more off the beaten track and coutry experiences. What about Palermo? Any and all comments are welcome. We would be flying from NY.

Thanks you very much.
We intended to spend nine days in Sicily but that was cut short due to a medical emergency and the eruption of the Icelandic volcano. We missed the Baroque area of south-eastern Sicily, but wrote a trip report for the rest. To find it, click on my name and then "find trip reports". A highlight of our trip was the Roman villa near Piazza Armerina.
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Apr 17th, 2018, 07:53 PM
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I loved Modica: the churches, the people, the vistas, the hills (I prefer hilly places to flat).
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Apr 25th, 2018, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for all of your comments...I think given that we will likely only have 8 or 9 nights or so we may have to save Modica and south for another trip. I'm very torn about this as I really would love to go to that area by my number one on my list is Salina. If we fly into Catania would you recommend that we go direct to Salina or should we stop over in Taormina? I know it's quite touristy but it seems like it still might be worth a day. We are also contemplating a night or two in Rome before arriving in Catania. So the itinerafy may be NY to Rome (stay one or two nights in Rome), Rome to Catania, Cantania to Taormina (stay one night in Taormina, Taormina to Salina (stay two or three nights in Salina) and then the last few nights in Palermo before going back to NY. Would love to hear feedback on this and any hotel recommendations. Thank you.
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Apr 25th, 2018, 04:59 PM
  #10
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You need to decide your priorities, and none of us can do that for you. Adding a night or two in Rome gives you very little time to do anything there, and limits your ability to see even the few parts of Sicily you plan to include. I think you would benefit from identifying the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Only then can you see what is going to work for you.
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Apr 30th, 2018, 09:26 AM
  #11
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We have a real soft spot for Rome and say we will go for two nights since we connect through there. We are leaning toward 3 or 4 nights in Salina and then 3 or 4 nights in Palermo. I agree that we will need longer to cover Sicily so we will need to do a few trips back. I really very much want to go to Salina. Having said that, does anyone have any hotel recommendations in Salina and Palermo. Range can be from $200 to $400 or more if it's really special. Opinions on Capofaro in Salina?
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May 20th, 2018, 03:24 AM
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Does anyone have accommodation recommendations for Salina?
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