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Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

los angeles
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Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

After checking out this board and a lot of advice and postings from Vagabonda and others (thank you!), this is our itinerary as of now.

We are middle aged, well traveled couple and have visited other regions of Italy – but never Sicily. Our dates are set by frequent flyer tickets. I will have more detailed questions about sites, etc., later – this posting is to see if my itinerary needs tweaking.

My husband likes antiquities more than I. We both really like to wander cities and countryside, see the sights and soak the experiences…..well, pretty much what other people like, too!

May 20 – arrive Naples 9 p.m. (from LAX thru Munich)

4 nights Naples

May 24 – fly to Palermo, 3 nights Palermo

Unfortunately, full days will be Saturday and Sunday.

May 27 - Pick up rental car 'whenever' on Monday (so we have extra time in Palermo if we want it) Vagabonda suggested picking car up at airport.

4 nights Villa Sogno, Selinunte

This was a hard choice. At first I wanted to base in Scopello for Western Sicily and stay at Pensione Trancino. But after reading reviews of Villa Sogno it seems like that will make even better base for this area. Plan to do day trips to Erice (probably have dinner there and see it in evening), Segesta, see the ruins at Selinunte and whatever else we want in the environs of Trapani, eg., wine tasting, olive oil tasting, etc. It could also give us a bit of a vacation feel with the garden and pool. If we stay there we may not make it to Riserva Zingara, which I was looking forward to hiking and part of what made Scopello attractive.

May 31 – Depart for Piazza Armerina.

Another tough decision. We can’t do everything and may skip Agrigento since we will see other ruins, and instead see the mosaics at Piazza Armerina. Overnight Piazza Armerina (Villa Clementine) or Caltagirone. Hopefully see mosaics afternoon of arrival and Caltagirone next day on way to Siracusa.

June 1 – depart for Siracusa. Stay 4 nights at L’approdo delle Sirene or similar in Ortigia. Day trips wherever we feel like going – Noto, other baroque towns, etc, plus see the archaeological park.

June 5 – return car to Catania airport for flight to Munich/LAX (or might return car in Siracusa day before and get airport transfer if possible)

Well, that's it for now. Look forward to hearing back from everyone with comments.

I'll have more specific questions later.

Thanks so much.

Alison

p.s. I may also post this on the Fodors board. While there's some overlap, there are also different folks there.

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los angeles
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1. Re: Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

bumping in hopes of getting responses. Or, did i read so many postings that there is nothing to critique in my planned itinerary?

Still appreciate input!

thanks,

Alison

Here & There
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2. Re: Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

Ciao alison18losangeles,

Naples and Palermo back to back after a transatlantic flight - Whew!

Saturday is a lively day in Palermo – See the Saturday markets.

The bus service from Palermo to the airport is frequent and reliable, and the car hire from Palermo’s airport makes perfect sense if heading to Western Sicily and Villa Sogno.

BUT one does not have to preclude the other, and why be disappointed?

Spend 2 nights at Pensione Tranchina and 2 nights at Villa Sogno – See the Northern Trapani attractions from Scopello, and the Southern Trapani attractions (Selinunte) from Villa Sogno.

Dinner is late for most tourists, and Erice is a distance from Selinunte to comfortably drive after dinner.

Again, one does not preclude the other, especially with Agrigento along the way to Piazza Armerina, and especially if your husband likes antiquities – Store your luggage at the left luggage storage at Agrigento’s train station, see the Valley of the Temples, and then drive onward to Piazza Armerina. The Valley of the Temples is a premier archaeological site with better Greek ruins than you would find in Greece.

Then spend two nights in Piazza Armerina with a day trip to Caltagirone, and Modica or Ragusa, and then spend three nights in Siracusa with a day trip to Noto.

Best wishes!

Vagabonda

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los angeles
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3. Re: Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

Vagabonda, you have such great ideas. We realize Naples and Palermo will be a lot of "gritty city," but we LOVE cities. But that's part of the reason we want some relaxation and to move around as little as possible. My husband has vetoed two places in western sicily as he doesn't want two, 2-night stays there. Yeah, i was afraid that Erice would be a problem for dinner.....oh, well. Maybe late afternoon will avoid the day-tripper crowds.

As for Agrigento, we can decide that once we are there. We can always decide to stop there on way to Piazza Armerina. I have asked Villa Athena if they will accommodate left luggage if we eat lunch there. Am waiting for a response.

Hmmmmm....staying 2 nights in Piazza Armerina and doing Modica/Ragusa from there. Now that's intriguing. Are the three towns (Modica, Ragusa, Nota) that different? Ortigia sounds so wonderful....was hoping for 3 full days there so we can day trip one of the days, see the archaeological stuff one of the days and have a 'down' day at end of vacation, take boat ride....something. Will have to ponder this.

But definitely food for thought! Thanks, Vagabonda.

Anyone else have input? For example, anyone done Noto/Ragusa/Modica as one big loop from Siracusa? or is that just too long a day trip?

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4. Re: Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

4 nights Villa Sogno, Selinunte

Ideas for 4 nights in Western Sicily

One day Selinunte

One day Segesta/Erice

One day Trapani salt pans/ Mozia (ruined Phoenicaian colony)/Marsala

One day Agrigento. Agrigento is a must. It is not very far from Selinunte. We drove much further on a day trip from Castellammare to Agrigento

Sicily google map

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms…

Selinunte is the red traingle and Agrigento is the yellow sun behine a cloud.

Google map of Mozia/Marsala area with some sights marked

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms…

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los angeles
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5. Re: Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

thank you so much. It's great to hear that we can make these day trips fairly easily from Selinunte/Villa sogno.

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6. Re: Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

Hi alison18losangeles – Grazie!

Relaxation will be in order after Naples and Palermo!

If your husband has vetoed two places in Western Sicily, then one place it is. However, all the additional driving won’t be so relaxing.

Hotels store luggage for guests, but you could store your luggage at the left luggage storage at Agrigento’s train station.

There are 8 Val di Noto Baroque towns, and you will also find baroque in Siracusa – It’s not necessary to see Noto, Ragusa, and Modica. You’ll experience “baroque-fatigue”, although if you were to divide your baroque experiences with Piazza Armerina between, perhaps more palatable.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1024

Noto, Modica, and Ragusa in one day is overly ambitious and unfair to you and the towns. Remember the mid-day closing.

Noto is so near Siracusa, a convenient baroque experience, and a stunning town. Ragusa, and especially Modica are better enjoyed by 'living' and spending an overnight than by day-tripping.

From Piazza Armerina, you might find Caltagirone an acceptable alternative with the additional bonus of ceramics. There's no left luggage storage in Caltagirone.

You really do know what you want – If you’d like to relax, then spend your three full days in Siracusa. See Noto, enjoy the Villa Romana del Casale, and decide on Agrigento when in Sicily.

Distances in Western Sicily were discussed on your other thread - tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k5796…

Kind regards,

Vagabonda

Edited: 29 September 2012, 03:16
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7. Re: Planned itinerary for May 2013 -- comments & advice welcomed

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