We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Our February Sicily visit

Bangor, Maine
Level Contributor
22 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Our February Sicily visit

I’ve finally gotten around to writing a report on our February trip to Sicily. After four days in Rome, my wife and I flew to Catania, then spent 10 days on Ortygia, a week in Modica, two nights in Agrigento and three in Palermo. We made side trips to Noto, Ragusa and Monreale. We had planned to visit Catania from Siracusa but we both had bad colds the last few days there.

Considering it was the rainy season, we were very lucky with the weather. It rained only a few times, mostly at night. The last eight or nine days were perfect: warm and sunny.

I’m sure some will think 10 days on Ortygia and a week in Modica is too much but we were more interested in relaxing and absorbing the culture than in seeing all the sights. We loved Ortygia. The Piazza Duomo is stunning. I’m an avid photographer and I never tired of strolling through the piazza at all hours of the day and night with my camera. We went to the fresh market almost every day, sometimes to buy, sometimes just to absorb the energy. I made an effort to wander every street on the island but I was still finding new ones the day before we left.

Our Frommer’s guidebook, published last fall, said the Palazzo Bellomo museum was closed for renovations but we were happy to find it had reopened. The guidebook also said Carravaggio’s Burial of St. Lucia was in the Bellomo, but in fact it is hanging above the altar of the Church of Santa Lucia.

After a week of climbing and descending steps in Modica, our legs were in terrific shape. We encountered no other tourists and it was a good place to observe “the real Sicily.” I learned that to have any chance of passing for a Sicilian, I had to stroll with my hands clasped behind my back. On Sunday morning, it seemed that all men over the age of 60 were gathered in Piazza Napoli or Piazza Rizzone to talk about politics or the weather.

GAC, you’ll be glad to know we survived our layover in Gela on the way to Agrigento. A friendly local showed us where to buy tickets for the SAL bus. However, we were surprised when everyone got off the bus in Licata. The driver motioned to another bus and we got to Agrigento with no further problems. The advantage of arriving in Agrigento by this route is that there are stunning views of the temples on the hill above as you come into the city.

The Valley of the Temples and our stay at the Terrazze di Montelusa B&B were the highlight of the trip for us. We would like to have stayed a couple more days. We actually got sunburned exploring the temples and the Garden of Kolymbetra. I’d like to have explored the old town more and spent more time at the archeological museum.

When we got back to town after visiting the temples, we found a barrier and lots of police at the bottom of the main street and we thought there must have been an incident. Then we realized it was for La Passeggiata. The street was filled with people, young, old, couples with babies. It felt nice to be part of it.

We were a little worn out when we got to Palermo but we did lots of walking, focusing more on the markets than on churches and monuments. Americans who think Europeans are anti-capitalist should walk the length of the Ballaro Market.

A word of advice. If you buy tickets to the opera at Teatro Massimo, don’t get seats number four or five in the boxes. You have to stand and lean forward to see the stage.

Looking through my guidebook, I realize how many beautiful spots we missed. We’ll have to make another trip. Thanks again to Vagabonda and others for all the help.

Anyone interested can see my Sicily (and Rome) photos at http://www.pbase.com/harrimanpond/italytrip

Paul

Monumento strage di Capaci
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Monuments & Statues
La Madonnina del Porto
Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Monument to Russian Sailors, Heroes of Mercy and Self-Sacrifice
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Monuments & Statues
Porta Nuova
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Monuments & Statues
Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
106,437 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Our February Sicily visit

With sincerest thanks for a most enjoyable trip report, hotel reviews, and absolutely fantastic photos Harriman67!

I will bookmark for reference for future travellers!

The best -

Vagabonda

Hagerstown, Maryland
Level Contributor
6,157 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Our February Sicily visit

Isn't Sicily amazing? Two weeks from today I leave for my second trip there, and it can't come soon enough.

Loved your photos! Thanks for sharing.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
106,437 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Our February Sicily visit

Buon Viaggio jjkdc - Yes Sicily is amazing!!

Vagabonda

Edited: 14 March 2010, 23:56
Bangor, Maine
Level Contributor
22 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Our February Sicily visit

Thanks, Vagabonda and jjkdc.

Island of Hawaii...
Level Contributor
1,526 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Our February Sicily visit

What are the names of the hotels/B&Bs you stayed in ortygia and modica? Would you recommend them? Thanks.

Bangor, Maine
Level Contributor
22 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Our February Sicily visit

On Ortygia, we rented Apartment Arezzo:

www.holidayapartmentsyracuse.com.

In Modica, we rented La Casetta:

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p407638

Both apartments were small but clean with comfortable beds and everything we needed. In both cases, the landlords spoke English, were very helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

7. Re: Our February Sicily visit

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 September 2010, 07:16