11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

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LoriMcLaughlin
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11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#1 Post by LoriMcLaughlin » August 24th, 2018, 11:33 am

Hi everyone,

I've taken a look at the posts here on Sicily that have been a big help so far - trying to finalize an itinerary for this May. We are flying into CTA and out of PMO.

2-3 days Taormina or nearby - looking for a small, intimate seaside hotel like Il Pellicano - does it exist?
2-3 days Ortigia/Noto/Siracusa
2 days other locations??
2 days Verdura
3 days Palermo (opera, markets, Monreale, etc.)

Should we add another hotel location? Cefalu or maybe Trapani?

Prefer coastal locations over interior with exception to visit to Villa Romana de Casale. Passing on Mt. Etna and the Aeolian Islands (been twice before).

Ruins - where to go? We've already done Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum, Athens, Mycanae, etc. Segesta or Agrigento? Worth the time?

What are your musts for Hotels? Dining? Sights? Top 2-3 wineries?

Many thanks!

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T. Melloni
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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#2 Post by T. Melloni » August 24th, 2018, 11:51 am

Cefalu is a beautiful city with extensive historical sites. I much enjoyed my visit. Good restaurants.

The restaurant scene in Palermo can be tricky. I have learned of a few places in Palermo that closed when they wouldn't pay for "protection."

I have only been on the north coast of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands so can't speak to the rest of the island.
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LoriMcLaughlin
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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#3 Post by LoriMcLaughlin » August 24th, 2018, 12:57 pm

Yes I'm debating Cefalu - looks lovely. We loved the Aeolian islands - we stayed on Panarea - but with just 11 nights it's hard to fit them into this trip when there's so much to see. Palermo certainly has its challenges, but there is so much there that I can't wait to experience.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#4 Post by T. Melloni » August 24th, 2018, 1:23 pm

LoriMcLaughlin wrote:
August 24th, 2018, 12:57 pm
Yes I'm debating Cefalu - looks lovely. We loved the Aeolian islands - we stayed on Panarea - but with just 11 nights it's hard to fit them into this trip when there's so much to see. Palermo certainly has its challenges, but there is so much there that I can't wait to experience.
I stayed on Salina, Lipari and visited Vulcano. Salina was a paradise. Had some good wine (Heira) from Salina. Vulcano has a hot sulphur mud bath and that stink stays with you for days.
We sailed by Panarea on our way to visit Stromboli. Sadly, the wind and waves kept us from getting to Stromboli.

In Palermo, friends went to Teatro Massimo - the opera house - for La Boheme. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to an early flight departure. They said it was wonderful. You might want to look into their schedule of events.

Cefalu has Greek ruins, Roman ruins and was ruled by the Normans. So you get a nice slice of history. There are also some nice sandy beaches if you want sun and surf. It is an easy town to walk around.
Tho m@s (sometimes); You can call me T.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#5 Post by LoriMcLaughlin » August 24th, 2018, 2:02 pm

Yes, thanks - Cefalu is moving higher on the list! And we are definitely planning on a night at the opera in Palermo - it's been on my bucket list for awhile. We love opera so it's a no-brainer for us, as well as the markets!

We were able to visit Lipari, Vulcano, and Stromboli, but we missed Salina. In addition to our visit to Panarea, we took a second "cruise" to Lipcari, Vulcano, and Stromboli from Tropea and was able to spend some time on each. We loved Lipari as well, but Panarea was special.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#6 Post by Riccardo Campinoti » August 25th, 2018, 1:04 am

Marsala is definitely worth a visit, beautiful place great food a bit off the beaten path. Visits to De Bartoli and Cantine Florio are great, Le Lumie is a good restaurant there. I love Marsala wines...
On Mount Etna you should visit Russo, Fessina, Passopisciaro , stay and eat at Shalai if you go.
La Madia in Licata is one of the best restaurants in Italy
As far as sightseeing Sicily is insane, stuff everywhere. Definitely visit Selinunte, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Taormina etc... It's definitely worth the time
Nino in Letojanni is a great seafood restaurant not far from Taormina
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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#7 Post by doug johnson » August 25th, 2018, 6:59 am

Segesta was breathtakingly beautiful and not too time consuming. Also fits nicely with Trapani / Erice.

I respectfully disagree about La Madia based on my one fairly recent trip. Good wine list though.

Look for a restaurant called Tiramisu in Taormina. Really fun poking through their wine inventory and their food is good.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#8 Post by brigcampbell » August 25th, 2018, 10:20 am

Big +1 for Tiramasu. Grilled calamari off the charts.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#9 Post by Robert Broder » August 26th, 2018, 6:44 am

One day in Agrigento for the Greek ruins is certainly worthwhile. Stayed at a small B+B and ate at local restaurant both of which were decent, but not noteworthy. Highly suggest dinner at Nero d'Avola in Taromina. Small trattoria with wonderful food.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#10 Post by Eric Michels » August 27th, 2018, 11:22 am

Agree with others above on Cefalu. Quite a comfortable place for a couple of days.

I am less in agreement on Nero d'Avola in Taormina. The food was ok but fairly average for Italy. Service seemed to be highly dependent on the price of the wine that one ordered. We were nearly ignored while tables near us had the staff hanging around all evening.

While nowhere near the standard of luxury that you had requested, we really enjoyed our stay at Hotel Villa Paradiso in Taormina. It is really well located in the center of the city next to a park and has a shuttle to a beach that they share with another property. We found the beaches throughout the area to be average at best but it is a nice way to escape the heat.

The best recommendation that I can offer in Sicily is the restaurant Don Camillo in Siracusa. I wouldn't otherwise recommend a visit to the city as we found it oppressively hot with little to see or do but Don Camillo was a highlight of the trip.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#11 Post by Barry L i p t o n » August 27th, 2018, 4:39 pm

Agrigento is on par with the others you list. It’s a full site with much to see. Segesta has one astonishing temple, very, very worthwhile but if you have to choose one ,
Choose Agrigento

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#12 Post by Ramon C » August 28th, 2018, 6:13 am

Agrigento’s ruins are definitely worth a stop, plus a the lively night at the old city center can provide s bit of a contrast from the other more subdued towns.

I’d throw in my suggestion for Ragusa to try one or two very good restaurants in a quiet, quaint old town.

Also, Vittoria area, where a few very good wineries are located (COS, Occhpinti, among others), is in between Ragusa and Agrigento. That is, if there’s interest in doing a visit or 2.
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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#13 Post by Scott Sovinee » September 2nd, 2018, 9:00 am

Another plus for Agrigento...

Visit the Valle dei Templi earlier in the day and try to plan to go to Scala dei Turchi for sunset. If you google SdT, you'll see it's a strikingly beautiful rock formation leading to a beach. Really quite amazing.

I haven't been to Cefalu (looks wonderful), but Trapani can be a great base as well. From there, you can take the cable-car up the mountain to Erice, go to Salt Pans/Mozia between Trapani and Marsala or go to the beaches at San Vito lo Capo. Excellent restaurants too - including Pizza Calvino (in a former brothel). Something for everyone.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#14 Post by LoriMcLaughlin » July 8th, 2019, 6:51 pm

Back from Sicily and was really impressed. Lovely part of Italy - very diverse and easy to get around.

We ended up with the following itinerary:
2 nights in Siracusa
3 nights in Taormina
2 nights in Sciacca at Verdura
2 nights in San Vito Lo Capo
2 nights in Palermo

Could have easily spent another two nights in Palermo. Some favorites included:
-Infiorato di Noto - amazing flower festival in Noto - fun evening with dinner at
Crocifisso in Noto
- Driving through lava flows near Passopiscaro on Mt Etna
- Villa Romana del Casale and Agrigento Valle del Templi
- Strolling through Erice in the rain (we drove to the top as the cable car was closed)
- A visit to Mazzaro del Vallo for the Dancing Satyr museum
- Monreale
- A visit to the salt pans near Trapani
- Ballaro Market in Palermo and the market in
- We had a great meal at Osteria Nero d’Avola in Taormina - amazing pistachio and lemon zest crusted fish. We had great service and only ordered a bottle of Etna Rosso.
- Teatro Massimo in Palermo
- Palermo, Palermo, Palermo

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#15 Post by brigcampbell » July 11th, 2019, 11:19 am

LoriMcLaughlin wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 6:51 pm
Back from Sicily and was really impressed. Lovely part of Italy - very diverse and easy to get around.

We ended up with the following itinerary:
2 nights in Siracusa
3 nights in Taormina
2 nights in Sciacca at Verdura
2 nights in San Vito Lo Capo
2 nights in Palermo

Could have easily spent another two nights in Palermo. Some favorites included:
-Infiorato di Noto - amazing flower festival in Noto - fun evening with dinner at
Crocifisso in Noto
- Driving through lava flows near Passopiscaro on Mt Etna
- Villa Romana del Casale and Agrigento Valle del Templi
- Strolling through Erice in the rain (we drove to the top as the cable car was closed)
- A visit to Mazzaro del Vallo for the Dancing Satyr museum
- Monreale
- A visit to the salt pans near Trapani
- Ballaro Market in Palermo and the market in
- We had a great meal at Osteria Nero d’Avola in Taormina - amazing pistachio and lemon zest crusted fish. We had great service and only ordered a bottle of Etna Rosso.
- Teatro Massimo in Palermo
- Palermo, Palermo, Palermo
Well done - you saw most of it.

On a clear day you can see Africa (Tunisia) from Erice which is a great strolling town.

When we were in Palermo the mob had just whacked a couple of people, one in a cafe we were at, so the mood of the entire town was somber at best. Made it difficult to enjoy.

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Re: 11 nights in Sicily - Itinerary?

#16 Post by T. Melloni » July 11th, 2019, 3:04 pm

LoriMcLaughlin wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 6:51 pm
Back from Sicily and was really impressed. Lovely part of Italy - very diverse and easy to get around.

We ended up with the following itinerary:
2 nights in Siracusa
3 nights in Taormina
2 nights in Sciacca at Verdura
2 nights in San Vito Lo Capo
2 nights in Palermo

Could have easily spent another two nights in Palermo. Some favorites included:
-Infiorato di Noto - amazing flower festival in Noto - fun evening with dinner at
Crocifisso in Noto
- Driving through lava flows near Passopiscaro on Mt Etna
- Villa Romana del Casale and Agrigento Valle del Templi
- Strolling through Erice in the rain (we drove to the top as the cable car was closed)
- A visit to Mazzaro del Vallo for the Dancing Satyr museum
- Monreale
- A visit to the salt pans near Trapani
- Ballaro Market in Palermo and the market in
- We had a great meal at Osteria Nero d’Avola in Taormina - amazing pistachio and lemon zest crusted fish. We had great service and only ordered a bottle of Etna Rosso.
- Teatro Massimo in Palermo
- Palermo, Palermo, Palermo
Sounds like a wonderful trip. I am glad you got to Teatro Massimo. The pistachio/lemon zest fish sounds like the epitome of Sicilian cuisine.
I remember enjoying some pasta with pistachio/lemon zest pesto. Delicious.
Tho m@s (sometimes); You can call me T.

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