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Sicily or Sardenia?

(22 Posts)
SSSandy Sun 28-May-06 20:44:42

We're trying to decide. Has anyone been to either of those places. We're looking at renting a house and car for a couple of weeks.

SSSandy Wed 31-May-06 09:44:48

bump bump anyone been to either Sicily or Sardenia?

Marina Wed 31-May-06 09:51:16

Went to Sicily years ago (pre-kids) and loved it. Wonderful, atmospheric place. Great for Roman and Greek ruins. Circumetnea Railways was a highlight.
Have never been tempted by Sardinia, can't really put my finger on why.
But I think it has more in the way of attractive family resorts etc...Sicily is still a bit untamed, especially in the interior, and a couple of the cities - Catania eg, are pits, frankly. And, er, the driving...(went by bus from Siracusa to Ibla Ragusa, never again )
My favourite Med island remains Corsica

SSSandy Wed 31-May-06 09:53:16

Oh thanks Marina! Yes, I definitely won't be doing the driving. Thought dh did a good job of driving in Naples once we figured out that red traffic lights are just a form of street decoration and not to be taken seriously. Mind you, now with a child in tow, I don't think I would feel as relaxed as I did then.

Good point...

Corsica, eh? But there's the bombs..

Marina Wed 31-May-06 10:01:49

Honestly, SSSandy, I'd rate Corsica for personal safety over Sicily overall any day! And Naples - if you've done that, Corsica is like Frinton-on-Sea in comparison.
The paths/terrain in Sicily do not lend themselves to buggies btw - Taormina is a delightful resort (bit chichi for me but very popular and beautiful) but its pavements are heavy going. How old is your child?
Do you have anywhere specific in mind? A Mner who doesn't post much these days, Bells, had the most fantastic time with her young family in Palermo of all unlikely places - not a city I even dared visit in the 1980s.
I did enjoy the Southern coast though - Siracusa, Noto, and Ragusa being standout places. And the roads have got to have improved since then. I think they also, finally, have hire cars with Sicilian numberplates instead of all being registered in Reggio di Calabria on the mainland. We travelled in 1985 and were explicitly warned not to hire a car because it was so obvious you were not local.
Cefalu I think is the BIG resort on the north coast.

hoxtonchick Wed 31-May-06 10:04:16

marina, i need your advice on my corsica thread please!

sssandy, we spent a week in sicily this february, in siracusa. we had a fabulous time, & didn't find the driving hairy at all (& dp & i had the most almighty row driving round rome a few years ago....). the weather was perfect, everyone was great with the kids & we really enjoyed it. it think it'll be very hot in the summer which puts me off, but we're all lightweights when it comes to heat.

SSSandy Wed 31-May-06 10:05:48

dd is 5, Marina, so we don't need a buggy. However, this all doesn't sound too good. Hmmm... Just wanted something different, we usually rent a house in Andalusia and drive about looking at dried out riverbeds and things. Just thinking, if the traffic is that bad though in Sicily, it won't be fun driving about. Might have to think again...

SSSandy Wed 31-May-06 10:11:45

Thanks hoxtonchick, feeling very undecided. Wondering what the attraction is in Corsica actually. It's a place I've never considered... Might do a little googling..

Marina Wed 31-May-06 10:24:18

What the attraction is in Corsica?
Hmm...the wild and heavily wooded interior...the gorges...the scented scrubland at this time of year...the walking...the friendly people...the delicious local cooking...if you are interested in geology/natural history, seriously SSSandy, I am positive it will hold more interest than Sardinia. It doesn't have masses of stunning monuments like Sicily because of the terrain, but the inland towns like Corte are unforgettable.

Marina Wed 31-May-06 10:26:16

Remember roads and driving wise I was there 20 years ago. I think there has been massive investment in the Sicilian road network...if you don't need a buggy and all like hot weather, Sicily is a good place to go.

SSSandy Wed 31-May-06 10:35:51

Thanks for the advice, Marina. That's great. I didn't doubt Corsica's charm, it's just a place I've never thought about. Dh and I are history buffs so we really like climbing around old ruins, so that was part of the attraction in Sicily. It might be too hot for a summer holiday though, you're right there.

Might be nice if we can get away for a week or so in autumn to Sicily. I'm having a look at Corsica on the web

TinyGang Wed 31-May-06 10:49:40

I have only been to Sicily - it's beautiful.

Went a very long time ago when I was a teenager and had a lovely holiday romance<sigh>

SSSandy Wed 31-May-06 10:51:00

Is anyone listening?...shhh....

holiday romance would be nice! Any romance for that matter! Whereabouts in Sicily were you?

TinyGang Wed 31-May-06 10:54:16

Gosh now you're asking...it was about a thousand years ago. Brolo, I think.

Marina Wed 31-May-06 11:05:07

We did get to see the Menhirs de Filitosa in the SW of the island, SSSandy, which I think is supposedly the top prehistoric site on Corsica. That was very, very beautiful and atmospheric.
Architecturally, though, the island is mostly crumbling clifftop shepherd's cottages etc...
But there is way more to see in terms of architecture and historic sites on Sicily - I'd love to go back...not in high summer...to revisit Ibla Ragusa, Noto and Siracusa again, see the sights of Palermo and visit Piazza Armerina and Agrigento, all of which I missed first time out.
So I can ask you for some advice about Herculaneum and Pompeii then...did your ds enjoy them?

SSSandy Wed 31-May-06 11:11:46

dd wasn't around in those careless days, Marina.

Pompei was interesting, slightly scandalised at all the antique over-sized penis graffiti on the door frames (!) It's a big place, so you need plenty of time to walk about it. I wasn't so impressed with Mount Vesuvius but it was shrouded in mist at the time, so it was a long hike up, to peer down at a couple of faint wisps of smoke (I suspected a couple of locals having a fag down there) and a view of nothing really. Still, having watched some Italian women staggering uphill in pencil skirts and very high heels, I felt it would be too slack not to follow them.

We flew to Naples and drove down the coast to Sorrento/Salerno stopping here and there. It was spring and the best trip I've ever made. Lovely, and SO romantic.

Marina Wed 31-May-06 11:19:25

Dd, sorry SSSandy
I travelled to Sicily by train (Transalpino anyone ) and we went right down that coast and round the bay. It looked magical. Ds is quite into Romans and history so we think he might like Pompeii, and if there are penis drawings that is only an additional attraction. Thanks for that. No-one I know has successfully done Vesuvius while visiting the area...
The Filitosa site I mentioned is, ahem, fertility based, but not explicitly so

BonyM Wed 31-May-06 11:23:45

We went to southern Sardinia last year. It was lovely, very un-touristy, restaurants not expensive, beautiful beaches, but not much to see/do otherwise.

To be honest though, dd2 was only 3mths at the time (we went end of July) so we spent most days at our villa as it had a really big garden and lovely pool. It was very hot btw.

3mum Wed 31-May-06 16:56:06

Big vote for Alghero in Sardinia. Ryanair flies there. There is a lovely old town with lots of places to eat out and it has fabulous beaches. Plus a children's playpark which isn't enormous and lovely Italian ice cream. We have been four times and will definitely be going again.

lapsedrunner Wed 31-May-06 19:08:44

Corsica gets my vote

SSSandy Fri 02-Jun-06 10:36:15

Thanks for the tips! I've scrapped Sicily for now, might try it in autumn though.

Sardinia sounds nice. Can you recommend a particular villa 3mum? We want a quiet place with own pool (not shared facilities and a garden). Sounds a bit like what you had.

I've been hunting for a villa with pool in Corsica but not having much success, seem to be divided up into flats with a shared pool which isn't my idea of fun.

Ho hum....

Cam Sun 04-Jun-06 21:20:47

Marina, we went to the Amalfi Coast this half-term, got back today.

Pompeii, dd loved it, I loved it, must advise you to hire a guide though so that you get a tour of the highlights (drawings of Bacchus with large penis included).

We just got talking to another English family at the entrance and decided to join together in hiring a guide.

It is indeed a huge site, Pompeii was 66 acres, originally had a sea harbour before the eruption, its fantastic, walking those straight streets, seeing the grooves worn into the stone by the chariot wheels, standing right in the middle of the amphitheatre.....

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