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Looking for confirmation on 6-day Sicily itinerary Oct/2010

Toronto, Canada
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Looking for confirmation on 6-day Sicily itinerary Oct/2010

We (a couple) will be driving down from the Amalfi coast on Day 1 and are hoping to stay in the Madonie for our first two nights on Sicily then on to Noto for the next two nights, and ending our Sicilian holiday with one night in Taormina before returning our rental car at the Catania airport early on day 6. We fly to Rome's Fiumicino airport and then home to Canada on a flight at 1:15 pm.

I have to admit that this schedule breaks my trip-planning 'rule' of staying a minimum of two nights in any location, but I also am concerned to be a short distance/drive time to the airport, which is why I chose Taormina for our last night. Taormina comes highly recommended as a very beautiful town "not to be missed".

My questions are:

1. Any comments on our itinerary?

2. We love natural beauty and history (and great food and wine) and are willing to be adventurous. What should we plan for our time in these locations? We have sea kayaked in several areas of the world and it would be fun to do a short jaunt off Sicily if it didn't take up too much of our time.

3. What would be the best route to drive from the Madonie to Siracusa on Day 3?

4. Can you recommend a flight website for inexpensive flights Catania to Rome/Fiumicino? All I've found so far are Alitalia flights.

5. For the life of me I can't find the thread where Vagabonda talked about the beautiful drives in the Madonie, as well as places to stay and eat. I would love to revisit that one - and possibly get an update!

Thanks for any help you may offer!

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Noto
Noto
Sicily, Italy
Taormina
Taormina
Sicily, Italy
Catania
Catania
Sicily, Italy
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Fiumicino
Fiumicino
Province of Rome, Italy
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1. Re: Looking for confirmation on 6-day Sicily itinerary Oct/2010

Go to the 'Sicily forum' box above or below the page you are now on and type in 'vagabonda madonie' and hit enter. Molto Bene!

Here & There
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2. Re: Looking for confirmation on 6-day Sicily itinerary Oct/2010

Welcome to Sicily happywanderer727477!

You may rethink your itinerary….

How did you come to decide on these destinations?

You might be underestimating distances – You’ll be spending most of your time driving and very little time seeing anything.

Check all driving routes and estimated driving times and distances on ViaMichelin.

http://www.viamichelin.com/

The autostrada from Salermo to Messina is under construction and driving is very slow and tedious.

Advice: Driving from Taormina to Naples??:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k3020…

Driving from Amalfi to Mascali:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k3568…

Driving the Madonie is also very slow driving – You will be completely exhausted driving from Amalfi to the Madonie. And with earlier darkness, you wouldn't want to be driving the Madonie in the dark.

Noto can be seen in half a day and there isn’t a huge selection of accommodations or restaurants.

If you’d like to kayak in Sicily, why have you chosen mountainous and inland locations?

And if you love historical destinations, why haven’t you chosen Sicily’s top historical destinations?

WindJet, blu-express, and Alitalia fly from Rome Fiumicino to Catania.

http://w4.volawindjet.it/

blu-express.com/cgi-bin/airkiosk/I7/181002i…

http://www.alitalia.com/IT_IT/home/index.aspx

It would take a full day to tour the heart of the Madonie (160km/100mi), starting in Cefalù-Castelbuono-Madrice Vecchia-Geraci Siculo-Petralia Soprana-Petralia Sottana-Polizzi Generosa-Caltavuturo-Sclafani Bagni-Collesano, and back to Cefalù.

Was this the thread you were trying to find?

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k3701…

Best Wishes!

Vagabonda

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3. Re: Looking for confirmation on 6-day Sicily itinerary Oct/2010

Thank you SO much Vagabonda for your perspective on the suggested itinerary. Like so many other posters on this site I have to agree that your comments are MOST helpful!

I have gone back to the drawing board and am seriously re-thinking the driving Amalfi to Sicily plan and am exploring instead flights Naples to Palermo or Catania, and drastically reducing our driving while on Sicily.

With respect to flights, I have used the links provided and found some great deals on flights only to be bumped into a Canadian site for the same airlines when I tried to book - with prices over double, sometimes triple! Help! How can I lock into the Italian rates? Do I have to book from within Italy? We arrive on October 15th and wish to fly fom Naples on October 18th. Dare we leave the booking of the flight until we set foot in Italy????

Can you suggest an itinerary for us if we land in Palermo at 11:30 on Day 1, rent a car and fly out of Catania on Day 6? Should we instead consider flying in and out of Catania (renting a car for the time on Sicily) to keep it simple?

Because I have the concern of being close to the airport, and in this case we have an early flight out of Catania (7:00 am) I am wondering if we should stay close to the airport on our last night. Have you any thoughts on this, and if you agree, can you recommend a place to lay our heads that night?

A side question to this post is that friends of ours will be traveling with us until our departure in Naples for Sicily. They will head back up to Rome that same day in order to catch their flight home at 6:00 pm. My dilemma is this. They are novice travelers who speak only English and whose travels in North America are in the mode of automobile only, occasionally by air, and never by train. My husband and I feel responsible to make their way as easy as possible on this their first visit out of North America. I have explored as many possibilities for them as I could think of, and would welcome suggestions that would get them to the Fiumicino Airport as uneventfully as possible, and with as little hassle for them as possible. I looked up the Eurostar train and that looks interesting but I wonder if there is a train that goes directly to the airport or would they have to transfer in Rome? Another consideration is that my husband and I would feel obligated to drive them to the Naples train station and I'm wondering about the ease of that. Muddying the whole situation is that these friends have been told recently that Naples is the LAST place they would ever want to spend time because of the pickpockets and other criminals - talk about getting off to a bad start! Help!

I know I'll have many more queries before we leave home. I can't tell you how much it means to have a partner in this venture planning!

Thank you very much!

Happy Wanderer

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Catania
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Here & There
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4. Re: Looking for confirmation on 6-day Sicily itinerary Oct/2010

Prego happywanderer727477,

If Alitalia is bumping you into the Canadian site, stay with Italian to get the better fares on the Italian site, but Air Italy fares are very competitive.

Air Italy runs inexpensive flights from Naples to Catania or Palermo.

http://www.airitaly.it/site/index.php

From the Amalfi Coast, you could also take the SITA bus to Salerno and the Caronte ferry from Salerno to Messina.

www.carontetourist.it/v2.0_us/autostrade.mvd

Drastically reducing your driving time in Sicily would result in more time to enjoy your destinations, and depending on your destinations, you might opt for public transport.

Palermo is a large, hectic and gritty city – Baptism by fire for first time visitors.

Keep it simple and maximize your precious little time - Consider flying to Catania and hiring the car at the airport. Visit Taormina, Mount Etna, Siracusa and Noto. If you’d like to also visit Catania, take the bus from Siracusa or Taormina, or park at the airport and take the AMT Alibus 457 to the city. Visit La Pescheria early morning.

Half day free, before flight from Catania:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k2872…

You would find excellent group bus excursions from Taormina and might even opt for an excursion to Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples.

www.sat-group.it/excursion_en.asp?cod=summer

saistours.com/downloads/EscursioniLocandina.…

http://www.interbus.it/Escursioni.aspx

You could return the car the night prior to your flight, take the Alibus to Catania, stay in Catania, enjoy a delicious final dinner, and take and take the Alibus service back to the airport in the morning – The service begins at 5.00.

http://www.amt.ct.it/PercorsieOrari.php

One Night In Catania?:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187888-i735-k2782…

But with a car you might also stay near the airport at Castello D’Urso Somma B&B.

http://www.castellodursosomma.com/

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187888-d657078…

Your friends could take a flight from Naples to Rome. Curreri Viaggi runs a direct bus from Sorrento to the airport in Naples (bypassing Naples).

Or they could avoid Naples and take the train from Salerno to Rome. From Rome’s Termini station, they could take the twice hourly Leonardo Express train to the airport.

Best Wishes!

Vagabonda

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5. Re: Looking for confirmation on 6-day Sicily itinerary Oct/2010

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