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Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

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Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

The TA Forum, (shout out to Vagabonda - you're beyond awesome!!!) was so invaluable to the Sicily portion of my trip planning that I felt compelled to share the Sicily piece of my trip report to thank those who offered so much advise and to help those in the future who plan to travel to Eastern Sicily.

My Sicily itinerary was somewhat aggressive for 3 nights. I was traveling with my sisters who are 70 and 73 and I'm 20 years their junior. I realized they probably would not have the opportunity to return to Italy much less Sicily.

Day 1

They flew Portland Oregon to DC where they picked me up and we did Economy Plus to Geneva then Geneva to Catania. Managed to get some ZZs and enjoy the BClass lounge at Dulles and Geneva due to my Gold Status. No view of Etna on the Catania piece :(

Day 2 arrive Catania at noon.

After a 30 minute walk that should have taken 10 minutes (eldest is in bad shape), we cue up for a 30 minutes wait only to find out AutoEurope lost our reservations even though the car rental was prepaid. It took another 60 minutes to get them back, I used this time to calibrate GPS. So at 2 pm we're on the road to Ortygia. We find Hotel Gutkowski relatively easily, get a free parking space in front of the Hotel that we don't have to move then check-in to a rather small triple room with no view of the sea but quiet. At 4 pm sis and I proceed to do a 3 hour self guided walking tour of this historic section of Siracusa. We see the square Melinda walked through, the famous fountain and the beauty of this quaint little Sicilian town than in retrospect deserves at least 2 nights. We have a tastey dinner at the hotel and I proceed out around 9:30 pm to see Ortigia at night and play a little foos. So I visit B&B Itica, walk back through Melina's square and later, on the way home around midnight, stumble upon a bar about 100 meters to the left of Hotel Gutkowski which had a foosball table and 4 girls to play against! Hotel Gutkowski failed to give me an entry door key so I was locked out when I got home just past midnight. I found an Italian policeman and explained my problem...within about 30 minutes 3 other policeman were calling phone numbers and using their sticks to knock on the entry door. Quite a scene for midnight in Orytigia..I should have taken a picture...finally I get in my room around 1 30 am!!!

DAy 3: late morning...we don't wake up until 9 am and nearly miss breakfast! I wolf mine down grab a bike from the hotel and head to the Greek Amphitheater, I pass some amazing structures on my way. I did not enter the Theater as we needed to check out by noon but I saw the outline of it. I get back to hotel around noon...check out and say hello to a Dutch B&B owner near the hotel (and really close to the foosball place) that I befriended but could not accommate us because she only has one room in her well decorated B&B. WE leave for Taormina round 12:30 and arrive at the Godfather 3 train station about 2:00...do a quick observation and photo shoot and proceed to find Mamma Maries B&B. Unfortunately our GPS wasn't much help. A nice parking lot attendent showed us via motor bike where MM's was...I slipped him 5E for his efforts. Checked in and got ready for our 7 pm walking tour of Taormina which was fantastic. Late night dinner at the recommended place of Vito the manager of MM B&B even though we had a 9pm reservation at A-Zamma and wasted an hour trying to find the entry street to our B&B. It was very good restaurant and it started with a G like the train station. It was across from the Gardens next to the expensive parking garage that held the car (17E a day ouch!).

Day 4: first thing: Got tickets to the Film Festival activities for final night of the festival. Fed the cats at Congressional Plaza with catfood I brought from US . Got the car and headed to Savoca. Found Bar Vitrelli where we had Gelato and walked the walk of Micheal and Apollona to the Church. Bought a Godfather shirt and played foos with one of the employees of the snack shop across from Bar Vitrelli. Then headed to Forgia D Aggreia for a late fish lunch recommended by Vito (difficult to find this town). Fantastic meal for 35E each, tons of fish...left overs were brought home and fed to the cats of Taormina the next morning before we left. We headed back to B&B around 6 and relaxed then one sister and I went to the Greek theater for the show...fantastic venue...we saw the awards, a preview of Planet of the Apes and finally the movie Belle. We capped off the night with a wine and snacks at Grand Bellemond Timeo.

Day 5: check out and head to Messina to see the clock strike by noon. We leave Taormina at 10 am with and find a street spot 100 meters from the square with 10 minutes to noon to spare! Watch the clock do it's magic as well as a procession into the Church. Head to the ferry to catch the 1:00 pm to V San G. That's our Sicily portion....wish i could post pictures!

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1. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

Sorry for the poor spelling....B&B Itaca was the foos place & Al Giardino In Taormina was the restaurant that was very good...perhaps the best we encounted (per one sister). The fish place was a lot of food & fish and great environment. I brought home my Gnocci in addition to fish for the cats of Taormina!

Here & There
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2. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

Grazie mille Jim. It was my pleasure!

Somewhat aggressive for 3 nights is an understatement, but I've bookmarked your report for the benefit of any future traveller interested in a whirlwind of Eastern Sicily or foos!

Pity about Etna. You'll have to return!

The parking on Ortigia was compensation for the car hire debacle.

Hilarious about foos and your lock-out. Somewhat cut from the same cloth, not foos, but a pub with unexpected live traditional music in Ireland, resulting in a lock-out, but at least I presented for breakfast on time.

GPS isn't always reliable in Sicily as you unfortunately discovered.

Taormina's walking tour is fantastic. Glad you enjoyed it.

Did you have dinner at Al Giardino?

Where did you enjoy lunch in Forza d'Agrò? Ristorante Osteria Agostiniana? ’O Dammuseddu?

I'll have to better notice places with foosball should you return!

Perhaps post some reviews, and include photos with the reviews.

You surely maximised your limited time in Sicily Jim!

Thanks so much for giving back to these forums with your report.

All the best!

VB

Here & There
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3. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

Oh I see it was Al Giardino in Taormina!

VB

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4. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

yes Osteria Agostiniana & Al Giardino both on my credit card!

I managed to find tables pretty easily throughout Italy (especially Rome along the Tiber but none in Taormina :( but then I didn't have a whole lot of time in Taormina with the film festival walking tour and GF sights). The bar I found on my way home was about a 100 meters to the left of Hotel Gutkowski if your back is to the sea was the 2nd place I found to play foos in Sircusa. It was near Dutch Carolyn's tastefully decorated B&B. You walk up steps and another 10 meters flat and it's a bar with a foos table in back. 4 young ladies were playing and I joined...I'd post that picture if I could remember the name of the bar! I was being good by coming home around 12 15 but that extra hour & 15 pounding on the non-main entrance of Hotel Gutkowski and yelling to open windows was quite the scene...perhaps I attracted the first policeman....they tried but there was little they could do except try to call Hotel Gutkowski....I was very tired hence the oversleep...THAT WAS MY FIRST NIGHT TOO!

I posted many reviews throughout Italy most of which should be visable and a couple by tommorrow. If you think you know the bar with the girls and table let me know and I'll post a picture for that one. I think it was the owner and his son that I played at B&B Itaca since they were serving at the gelato parlour that the table was in front of...people were watching world cup that night...the fountain of Siracusa was in the background....quite a backdrop! I'll post another pic of the father son team playing with the fountain in the back ground.....One more night in Siracusa would have been perfect (2 and 2). I'm glad I did Taormina for the 2 of the 3 though. All in all a fantastic trip....even got better on the mainland!!!!

Here & There
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5. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

You did have a very busy first day after a transatlantic flight!

Could it have been Pub 17? Did it also serve pizza?

Thank you for your many reviews as well!

Vagabonda

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6. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

You know I googled pub 17 and didn't come up with much...are they on TA? I'd recognize the bar as soon as I saw it....seems like they had a DJ or music going since I heard it and that's what drew me to it....I don't think they took credit cards and they definitely didn't have WiFi not sure about the Pizza since I wasn't hungry...I just remember the table in the back and it wasn't very big...the bar was in front....I'd leave them a picture of the table and the girls that loved foos!

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7. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

Someone confirm it was Pub 17...I want to post the picture of the foos girls....does anyone have a TA link to Pub 17 in Siracusa?

Here & There
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8. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

Hi Jim,

It doesn't appear that there's any TA listing for Pub 17, or even a website, but perhaps you could post the first review with photos.

Vagabonda

Edited: 12 July 2014, 12:19
Here & There
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9. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

How do I request that a place be added to TripAdvisor?:

https://www.tripadvisorsupport.com/hc/en-us/…

Vagabonda

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10. Re: Our Trip report for 4 days 3 nights in Eastern Sicily

I tried to add Pub 17 but TA asked for an address which clearly I don't have. Instead, got the foos place and girls posted in my review of Ortygia. Also added a couple of other reviews....should be viewable in a day or 2. I think I posted as much as I could about my limited Eastern Sicily portion but I"m sure I'll remember something I did and will add another post in a month or 2!