Any place that we stayed I wrote a review about which you can look up, or I'd be happy to answer any questions I could. I traveled with my wife of a few days as we had just gotten married on the Amalfi Coast.
We arrived in Palermo via plane from Naples which was not cheap (280$US/person).
I had booked our rental car online through Auto Europe, but after standing in line forever (be the first one off the bus will help) they kicked me over to Auto Europa, which you're supposed to avoid. At this point, I just wanted a car. It was a very small 2 door and we were very thankful several times on the trip that it was so small.
Off to Castellamare Del Golfo! We had a great map, but found out great maps don't help much when there isn't much signage to assist you. Stayed at the Uliveto House. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. Patrizia and her mother were incredibly warm and hilarious, we had the best time there. Stayed there for 5 or so nights and ate like kings and queens. Highlights were Trapani, Erice, Lo Zingaro (YES!! if you like hiking amongst amazing scenery), Segesta (we went late in the day and had the whole place nearly to ourselves) and Scopello.
Sad to leave, but then off to Agrigento. Stayed at Agriturismo Due Ganee, pretty good and totally fine for a stopover, but difficult to find. Valley of the Temples is a must see, obviously.
Then off to Siracusa and Ortigia...we stayed at the B and B Spiraglio, nice place in Ortigia but it had an odd shower. Ortigia is amazing, especially at night. It's unlike anything else I've ever experienced. Day trips to Noto (amazing, we even caught a rose festival) and my wife, who is a canoli expert, proclaimed they had the best canolis....and day trip to Mt. Etna. Then flew out of Catania en route to Malta for a few days.
We had incredibly positive experiences in Sicily and it exceeded any expectations we had. Driving was fine but you had to be 'on' all the time, especially with the infamous 3rd lane. :) My wife did an amazing job navigating, I never would have been able to find my way around with driving and reading the map. We almost drove into the center of Catania at an extremely busy time of day but aborted just in time, that was the only time I was pretty nervous (and I've driven in the big cities of the US).
We had amazing weather 60-80F the whole time with just a little bit of rain one day but it burned off.
Vagabonda was incredibly helpful, if not for her help (and some others chiming in), our trip wouldn't have been so smooth (which definitely helps with the positive memories). Thank you so much!!!
I've only returned to a destination once for a second time, but Sicily is definitely on the list for another time.
If anyone is planning a trip and has any questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can!
P.S. Auto Europa was fine, charged what the should've. I took pix of the car before and after to document any damage.