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1st Trip to Sicily suggestions

#1
We will be staying in Italy for 3 weeks next fall(2019) and would like to spend another week in Sicily. This will be our first visit to Sicily, where do you suggest to visit in this amount of time? We will rent a car. Thanks for your help.
 
#2
I spent a week on a guided tour of Sicily last year which very much hit the tourist honey spots... Ancient remains were very much to the fore. Impressive just doesn't begin to describe Villa Romana del Casale.

Taormina with its Roman Amphitheatre was amazing. I also enjoyed the Valley of the Temples. Ortygia was great fun to walk around and the Cathedral was amazing as it was originally a Greek Temple. I regretted not having time to visit the archaeology park at Siracusa as well.

We only had a day to see both Palermo and Monreale which just wasn't enough time.

After a week of full sunshine the morning allocated to Mount Etna was damp with low cloud. Talk about frustrating. I did take the cable car to the second level but decided there was no point in taking the Unimog bus to the top. Frustratingly by the time we got back to our hotel the summit had cleared....

I was aware we'd hardly scratched the surface as there is so much to see. Sicily was a lot more attractive than I'd expected. I'm sure others will pith in with loads more suggestions.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#3
We spent 10 nights in Sicily a few years ago. I wanted to see the Greek temples, so that was our priority. I wrote up my notes for the Greek temples and the Roman mosaics that Eleanor mentioned above:
https://www.sloweurope.com/daytrips/italy/sicily/

I have a trip report posted:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/italy-sicily-april-2014.332/

Jim Zurer also posted a trip report for Sicily:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/zurers-in-italy-may-2016-mostly-sicily.1348/

And Lisa:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/in-sicily.3312/
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/incredible-palermo.3356/

And Shannon:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/10-days-in-sicily.2796/

There are probably more trip reports but that will get you started.
 
#5
We spent two weeks in Sicily in 2011 as independent travelers. It was a great trip and Sicily is highly recommended. Sicily is a big island and too much to see in two weeks, let along the one that is planned. I suggest picking eastern half and limit your travels there. We flew into Catania and had a driver take us to Syracusa/Ortygia where we stayed for three nights.

We rented a car and drove to Modica for the baroque architecture. There are several similar cities nearby with baroque sights, but I picked Modica because of the hotel Palazzo Failla, which had a Michelin rated restaurant at the time (Chef Accursio Craparao of La Gazza Ladra). I think the chef has moved on to open his own place. I understand that there is still a very good restaurant at the hotel, but by another name.

We drove to Piazza Armerina to see the amazing mosaics of 4th century AD Roman hunting lodge, Villa Romana Casale. We stayed in a nice B & B, La Casa Sulla Collina d'Oro , with excellent city view and breakfast. The owner of the B & B was also a tour guide at the Villa Romana so we paid a little extra for the personal tour.

The next stop was lovely city of ceramics, Caltagirone. We stayed only a few hours here but could have stayed much longer. We then drove to Taormina and stayed at the wonderful Villa Schuler , located just below the busy main drag. We stayed about three nights here and enjoyed Taormina. We dropped the car here and took the train to Cefalu, a small seaside village with a nice beach, about 20-30 miles from Palermo.

Next stop was four nights in Palermo which should not be overlooked as it has a lot to offer from a sightseeing standpoint. Great dining options as well. We stayed that the Hotel Ambasciatori which is centrally located, about three blocks from the train station. They had a fantastic rooftop bar/restaurant/breakfast area with terrific view of Palermo. We also took a day trip via bus to see the cathedral at Monreale.

I suggest minimal use of car and avoid driving in Palermo. I am including a picture of city view of Piazza Armerina from viewing deck of our B & B, and city view of Palermo from rooftop terrace from Hotel Ambasciatori.
Piazza Armerina.JPG
Palermo.JPG
 
Last edited:
#6
I spent a week on a guided tour of Sicily last year which very much hit the tourist honey spots... Ancient remains were very much to the fore. Impressive just doesn't begin to describe Villa Romana del Casale.

Taormina with its Roman Amphitheatre was amazing. I also enjoyed the Valley of the Temples. Ortygia was great fun to walk around and the Cathedral was amazing as it was originally a Greek Temple. I regretted not having time to visit the archaeology park at Siracusa as well.

We only had a day to see both Palermo and Monreale which just wasn't enough time.

After a week of full sunshine the morning allocated to Mount Etna was damp with low cloud. Talk about frustrating. I did take the cable car to the second level but decided there was no point in taking the Unimog bus to the top. Frustratingly by the time we got back to our hotel the summit had cleared....

I was aware we'd hardly scratched the surface as there is so much to see. Sicily was a lot more attractive than I'd expected. I'm sure others will pith in with loads more suggestions.
 
#8
We spent 10 nights in Sicily a few years ago. I wanted to see the Greek temples, so that was our priority. I wrote up my notes for the Greek temples and the Roman mosaics that Eleanor mentioned above:
https://www.sloweurope.com/daytrips/italy/sicily/

I have a trip report posted:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/italy-sicily-april-2014.332/

Jim Zurer also posted a trip report for Sicily:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/zurers-in-italy-may-2016-mostly-sicily.1348/

And Lisa:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/in-sicily.3312/
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/incredible-palermo.3356/

And Shannon:
https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/10-days-in-sicily.2796/

There are probably more trip reports but that will get you started.[/
 
#10
We spent two weeks in Sicily in 2011 as independent travelers. It was a great trip and Sicily is highly recommended. Sicily is a big island and too much to see in two weeks, let along the one that is planned. I suggest picking eastern half and limit your travels there. We flew into Catania and had a driver take us to Syracusa/Ortygia where we stayed for three nights.

We rented a car and drove to Modica for the baroque architecture. There are several similar cities nearby with baroque sights, but I picked Modica because of the hotel Palazzo Failla, which had a Michelin rated restaurant at the time (Chef Accursio Craparao of La Gazza Ladra). I think the chef has moved on to open his own place. I understand that there is still a very good restaurant at the hotel, but by another name.

We drove to Piazza Armerina to see the amazing mosaics of 4th century AD Roman hunting lodge, Villa Romana Casale. We stayed in a nice B & B, La Casa Sulla Collina d'Oro , with excellent city view and breakfast. The owner of the B & B was also a tour guide at the Villa Romana so we paid a little extra for the personal tour.

The next stop was lovely city of ceramics, Caltagirone. We stayed only a few hours here but could have stayed much longer. We then drove to Taormina and stayed at the wonderful Villa Schuler , located just below the busy main drag. We stayed about three nights here and enjoyed Taormina. We dropped the car here and took the train to Cefalu, a small seaside village with a nice beach, about 20-30 miles from Palermo.

Next stop was four nights in Palermo which should not be overlooked as it has a lot to offer from a sightseeing standpoint. Great dining options as well. We stayed that the Hotel Ambasciatori which is centrally located, about three blocks from the train station. They had a fantastic rooftop bar/restaurant/breakfast area with terrific view of Palermo. We also took a day trip via bus to see the cathedral at Monreale.

I suggest minimal use of car and avoid driving in Palermo. I am including a picture of city view of Piazza Armerina from viewing deck of our B & B, and city view of Palermo from rooftop terrace from Hotel Ambasciatori. View attachment 14007 View attachment 14008
 
#11
Beautiful!
It always amazes me how helpful people are on these sites and share such a wealth of information. I appreciate your help so much!
 

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