I have the opportunity to spend Feb. exploring some parts of southern Italy, thinking I may find the place I want to return to in retirement six months from then. I plan to spend the first "leg" of my trip (about 8 days) in Abruzzo, the next 8 or so in Puglia and the final 8 or so in Sicily. My research so far has led me to put Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, and Modica on my list. I'd prefer not to rent a car, if possible, but to rely on local transit (part of the experience I think will be sharing busses and trains with locals). I'm not trying to cram in every lovely vista or cathedral, but would like to see some of the best, as well as to spend some time wandering in the cities and towns, stopping for a coffee (or a gelato, if its not too cool!) and getting a feel for the place.
Would I be better off to stay put in say Syracuse several days and do daytrips? Or to meander from one place to the next? Any particular order make sense? And most importantly, is there anyplace I really must see that I've left out?
Two other specific questions. Weather in February? And does the ferry from Pozzollo to Malta run in February? Thought I'd try to sneak in a last few days there and catch a budget airline flight back to Frankfurt where I start a course in March.
Thanks so much!