Worthwhile Stop Near Palermo, Sicily

Jun 10th, 2011, 08:50 AM
  #1  
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Worthwhile Stop Near Palermo, Sicily

Hi,

I'm going to Sicily for a week in July and we'll be going to the Aeolian Islands, Taormina, Siracusa, and Palermo. We arrive in Palermo in the afternoon and we'll leave the next morning for Salina. Our flight out of Palermo on our way home leaves at 6.45am in the morning but I don't want to go back to Palermo for the night, necessarily, or if we do, I'd like to spend the day somewhere outside of the city. My fiance LOVES roman and greek history, which is why we're going to Sicily. Does anyone have any recommendations outside of Palermo that could be worth visiting?

Thanks!
Caitlin
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Jun 10th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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Cefalu,
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Jun 10th, 2011, 09:34 AM
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The Greek temple sites for someone with a love of Greek and Roman history. Segesta is the one that's closest to Palermo.
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Jun 10th, 2011, 10:14 AM
  #4  
kja
 
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> My fiance LOVES roman and greek history, which is why we're going to Sicily

I'm surprised, in that case, that Agrigento, Selinunte, and Segesta aren't in your plans. I'm not criticizing your plans - you will see some wonderful things - I'm just noting my surprise. As bon_voyage sais, Segesta is closest to Palermo. And although it isn't Greek or Roman, do consider visiting the cathedral in Monreale while in the Palermo area - it is magnificent!
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Jun 10th, 2011, 02:31 PM
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I second the Monreale suggestion. Haven't been to Sicily in awhile... but Mondello used to be suggested as a nice place to stay... near Palermo and on the beach if I'm correct.... and I believe it's close to the airport.
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Jun 10th, 2011, 02:34 PM
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Segesta. We visited in March. I had researched places to stay overnight nearby when I was first getting my Sicily plan together. Ultimately that wasn't in the cards for us, but I will go back and see if I came up with anything promising. I know there's an agriturismo close by that supposedly has excellent food.
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Jun 11th, 2011, 03:24 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for the help! I know it seems like an odd selection perhaps but it's also a bit of a compromise selection since I really, really want to have a vacation where staring at the water is involved - hence the Aeolian Islands!

But, I think what we'll do based on these suggestions is:

Palermo -> Aeolian Islands -> Stop in Taormina (but not spend the night) -> Siracusa -> Agrigento -> Segesta -> Palermo for departure out.

Does that sound good? Any hotel recs in Segesta?!?

THANK YOU!!!

(PS, the truth is, it's our honeymoon )
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Jun 11th, 2011, 04:51 AM
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In only one week, Palermo and the Aeolians are a full plate.
And, the best Greek ruins are really at Selinunte---see my pics. The airport is almost an hour west of Palermo--plan ahead, or fly back from Catania.

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=3828
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Jun 11th, 2011, 05:19 AM
  #9  
Ian
 
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>And, the best Greek ruins are really at Selinunte

I disagree, Bob . . . although technically you are possibly right. Segesta is far more dramatic - although not Greek but Elymian. Agrigento feels somewhat 'canned' but the reconstruction is superb. And Siracusa & Taormina are chiefly Roman additions.

Ian
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Jun 11th, 2011, 09:47 AM
  #10  
kja
 
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With a 6:45 am departure, you might want to stay closer to the airport than Segesta. You can stop at Segesta for a few hours on your way there.

I hope you enjoy your honeymoon!
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Jun 11th, 2011, 09:58 AM
  #11  
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SO, I think you're right, kja, that it may be better to stop at Segesta for a few hours on our way to Palermo but stay there for the night the morning before our very early departure. I've just inquired with the hotel where we'll be staying if we they have availability. It probably does make more sense...

Now I'm debating Agrigento....I can't seem to find a great hotel in the area...I love the idea of some agriturismo spots. We're staying on a working vineyard on Salina (Capofaro) and at another agriturismo hotel near Siracusa, which is also quite "luxurious." I'd love to do the same around Agrigento. Any suggestions?
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Jun 11th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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Segesta is a few hour visit (unless you are "really serious"). Do stay near airport, I think there is a Hilton nearby that is reputed to be very nice.
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Jun 11th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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Staying that close is not a bad idea, actually, rather than going back into the city. I'll look into it, thanks! I mean, we'll be leaving SO early anyway it doesn't really matter.

Also, I decided to book at the Hotel Villa Athena in the Valley of Temples for the night before. I figured if we're going to do it, we might as well go all in!

So it'll be Palermo (1 night @ BB2) - Salina (2 nights @ CapoFaro) - day stop in Taormina - Siracusa (2 nights @ Caol Ishka) -Valley of Temples (1 night @ Hotel Villa Athena) - day stop at Segesta - Palermo, near airport (1 night).

I think for us this a good compromise of what we both want: Sand, sea, and ruins

Thanks for the help!!!
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Jun 11th, 2011, 01:31 PM
  #14  
Ian
 
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We stayed at a winery just outside of Menfi - Baglio San Vincenzo - & liked it. See my TR: http://members.rennlist.org/imcarthur/menfi.htm

It is 20 minutes away from Selinute.

Ian
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Jun 11th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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Congratulations, NicaZ, on your upcoming wedding! Would love to hear how you liked Capofaro.
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Jun 12th, 2011, 01:42 PM
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Hi NicaZ-so glad to see you chose Villa Athena in Agrigento. My husband and I stayed there in May- it was our "splurge" for our 30th anniversary trip,and worth every penny (euro!). Ask for a room with a terrace facing the Temples-it is just magical at night sitting with a glass of wine looking at them all lit up. Also,try to stay overnight in Toarmina-it is so beautiful-thanks to Bob the navigator we booked Villa Schuler, and can't imagine a more wonderful B&B. From our terrace, you look to the right at Mt Etna, to the left the ancient Greek Theatre, and right below,the Ionian Sea. Absolutely incredible! In Palermo, if you don't get to Monreale, which is about 1/2 hour bus trip outside the city, make sure you go to Cappella Palatina for a smaller version of incredible mosaics. We loved Sicily and know you both will, too. Add my congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
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Jun 20th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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Villa Athena is will worth it. Plus dinner is excellent and breakfast is memorable. Go for it!!!
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 12:53 AM
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Thanks for everyone's help here!!! We had a great time on the trip and your advice was really useful. For anyone else that might find this post, here are some thoughts after the trip --

Taormina was good but small and touristy. I'm glad we didn't stay there for the night.

Siracusa was a total disappointment. The site is really poorly maintained and it was hard to find out information about what we were looking at, even after buying the books and guides. I'd keep Siracusa as a day trip or day stop but not more. Ortigia was really lovely but it's not what we were there for. Still we ate really well n Ortigia!

The Valley of Temples, and the Villa Athena were our highlight. All were amazing!!! We went to the Valley of Temples later in the day and the light was gorgeous. It wasn't crowded and they had a fantastic audio guide. Agrigento as a city was avoided but the Villa Athena was a perfect spot. The setting, the views, the comforts - it was well worth it.

Selinunte was breathtaking and well worth it. We loved it. So dramatic, tons of useful information & beautiful views and temples. Take the golf cart- so convenient.

Segesta was nice but we were pretty exhausted when we got there so we didn't enjoy it as much as the others.

Coming in and out of Palermo on the airplane was easy enough and we stayed at a nice B&B called BB22. Also, just FYI, we spent a few glorious days on Salina at Capo Faro. I'd recommend it to anyone.
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 03:39 AM
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Palermo is a wonderful city...visit Mt. Pellegrino. there is an amazing church called St Rosalia. It is built in the mountain. The roof of the church is actually the mountain. Great place to see. My families favorite church. Monreale is a spectacular view and we loved that area. I liked Mondello too. great restaurants and beautiful views. We had our best little local meals in Palermo. I think our favorite was a little local dive in the garage of a families home..right in the heart of Palermo. I think it was zia pinas. It doesn't get any non touristy than this. Get the tenarumi. amazing food! Walk! Walk! Walk! It's a great place. We hit capo market and loved it!
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 03:42 AM
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I forgot to mention something very unique. My family is from Polizzi Generosa. This is a little mountain village about 1 hour from Palermo. It is a step back in time. It's about 1/2 hour from Cefalu and worth every second. Very quaint village and hopefully you will get there when the fog rolls in. You are in the clouds. We stayed at il templari which is this great little apartment attached to a restaurant. So reasonable it was kind of embarrasing. Clean and quaint with excellent breakfasts. The town is just wonderful. i would recommend it! Look it up...email me if you have any desire for more info [email protected] I would love to help with palermo and Polizzi
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