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7 days in Sicily in late September

Brooklyn, New York...
2 posts
7 days in Sicily in late September

I'm finally going to Sicily with my Roman husband and my 4-yr-old daughter. So psyched, but overwhelmed by the sheer number of places I want to visit/see.

I know I have to be realistic, and 7 days isn't that much time especially in a place like Sicily.

This will be a "side excursion" from Rome, where we will be visiting family. Currently thinking about flying into Canania from Rome, rent a car to get around, and fly back to Rome from Palermo at the other end. The question is, how do we divvy up the time?, how much can we see?, where do we stay?, etc., etc.

My interest is antiquity, my husband's is wining/dining, and no one knows what my daughter's will be two months from now.

So far, what I find appealing are: Taormina, Mount Etna, Syracuse, Villa Romana del Casale, and Agrigento. I don't think we can get to Selinunte on this trip. It's still too much, right? Is Palermo itself a must-see?

We can take another trip to Sicily in the future (we HAVE TO go to Rome every other year, any way), so we don't have to see everything on this trip. I like packed itineraries, but I don't want to rush around my family, either.

If anyone can weigh in on their favorites and suggest an itinerary/route (or two separate itieneraries -- one for now and another for the next time), I would really appreciate it. Any insights regarding anything would be of great help.

Thanks in advance!

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
21,433 posts
7 reviews
1. Re: 7 days in Sicily in late September

Think about where to base yourself in terms of access to the Autostada and where you can park your car.

If you fly out of the Palermo airport, Where will you stay the night before, and where can you park the car? The Palermo airport is far to the west of Palermo itself (blue airplane on this map)

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms…

And it is NOT surrounded by a nest of airport hotels (with free shuttle service to the airport) like American airports are.

Palermo does not have to be a must see. I spent 2 weeks in western Sicily, but never went to Palermo. I would have gone on the bus if the Archeological museum had been open during my stay. I had a rental car during my stay, and driving in Palermo is very chaotic, and parking is not readilly accessible. If you go to Palermo, you should turn in your rental car before tht and take the bus or train to Palermo.

Taormina is a pedestrian only city, but there ae big parking structures on the outskirts were you can park you car for a price and then shuttle into the city.

Syacusa has parking lot outside Orthygia (Talete) where you can park for a price by the day;ates looked reasonable. I have read that driving there is not bad.

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
21,433 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: 7 days in Sicily in late September

Other than Agrigento (sun behind the cloud on this map)

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms…

all the palces you want to see are in eastern Sicily. Agrigento is the furthesy west.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms…

Think about flying back out of Catania.

We drove to Agrigento from Castellammare del Golfo in northwestern Sicily and I think it took us 2.5 hours.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
115,285 posts
3. Re: 7 days in Sicily in late September

Welcome to Sicily Swampmouth!

Overcome the temptation to attempt too much – 7 days isn't that much time in a place like Sicily.

You could open-jaws your route with an arrival in Catania and a departure from Palermo, but considering that Palermo’s airport is west of the city, and that you also plan to return to Sicily on a future trip, focus on Eastern Sicily with an arrival and departure from Catania, or focus on Western Sicily with an arrival and departure in Palermo.

If Taormina, Mount Etna, Siracusa, the Villa Romaan del Casale, and Agrigento most appeal, focus on Eastern Sicily for this holiday. Siracusa is very child-friendly, and you could base in Piazza Armerina, and even day trip to Agrigento from Piazza Armerina.

Then focus on Western Sicily next time and see Palermo, Segesta, Erice, and Selinunte.

Best wishes!

Vagabonda

Brooklyn, New York...
2 posts
4. Re: 7 days in Sicily in late September

Thank you both, lupaling and Vagabonda.

So it sounds like there is a consensus among experts that we should focus on the east side of the island this year. I'm happy with that. (I just have to convince my husband of its wisdom.)

I am going to book both our in- and out-bound flights Rome <-> Catania and book a car at the Catania Airport (that's the right thing to do, right?).

Then, I am going to do a little more reading/researching about these places I want to see, and get back to you with more informed and specific questions. For example, I never thought/heard of Piazza Armerina, so I'll have to find out more.

BTW, Vagabonda, did you mean to suggest that we base ourselves the whole time in Piazza Armerina, or just a few nights for Agrigento and Villa Romana del Casale?

Ci vediamo (?) dopo.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
115,285 posts
5. Re: 7 days in Sicily in late September

Prego Swampmouth,

Seeing only Eastern Sicily tightens your driving time so you would enjoy more time AT your destinations and not time GETTING to your destinations.

Yes, that’s the correct thing to do – Flights to and from Rome-Catania, and the car hire at Catania’s airport.

Just a few nights for Piazza Armerina and Agrigento, but begin and end in Taormina or Siracusa, since these towns are both an hour's drive to the airport for your departing flight.

Villa Romana del Casale is located just outside Piazza Armerina. Since there’s no left luggage storage at the Villa Romana del Casale, or anywhere in Piazza Armerina, and since unattended left luggage in the car is always a risk, it becomes more important to base around Piazza Armerina, perhaps at a place like Villa Clementine, so your daughter could enjoy the pool.

tripadvisor.com/…51142917

Ciao -

Vagabonda

6. Re: 7 days in Sicily in late September

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