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Sicily - tips?

(16 Posts)
TSK Fri 05-Sep-14 12:50:18

where would you recommend we stay in Sicily with two young children aged 3 and 8. we don't mind apartments or child friendly hotels, would you recommend May as reasonable temperature wise?


PlentyOfFreeTime Wed 19-Jun-13 13:06:48


[Envy] of you in Taormina.

Catania market is worth a visit (where Rick Stein) got threatened by a fish seller grin).

Hi Gloria

Are you staying in Palermo?

You definitely need your wits about you constantly in Palermo. Driving is an absolute nightmare.

Palermo cathedral and the one at Monreale are worth a visit. I saw a group of very shady characters coming out of Palermo cathedral - complete with their bodyguards with in-ear communication devices. Quite scary!

Cefalu is a very picturesque town on the north coast. If I was staying in Palermo I'd also try to see Trapani and Erice.

The Aeolian islands (iVolcano, Stomboli etc) are stunning but probably too far for a day trip from Palermo?

JanieLovesLuckySocks Thu 13-Jun-13 16:40:20

Thanks everyone for all your tips! In Taormina now after travelling by train from Palermo (I can't do long buses without toilets!) and everything went surprisingly on time! Taormina definitely expensive but manageable if you have time to wander off the main areas. Palermo was about a quarter of the price if things here!

I wouldn't recommend driving here, plenty of public transport options!!

Thanks again for all your handy tips grin

Annunziata Thu 13-Jun-13 15:58:08

They are, Gloria, but it will be a long day and if you're going in the summer you really will need to be careful of the heat midday.

I think you can do it by public transport from Palermo but like people said above, it's not entirely reliable! Otherwise you'd need to brave driving, it'd be about 3 hours.

GloriaPritchett Mon 10-Jun-13 20:53:19

Oh, we're going to Sicily this summer, so if you don't mind OP, I'll bump for more tips!

Are the temples at Arigento reachable from Palermo?

Annunziata Sun 09-Jun-13 22:49:03

Yes, the trains come when they feel like, everyone just shrugs and 'pazenzia!'

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 09-Jun-13 22:44:15

Book a tour to go up Etna. Really cool and if you have time then go over to Stromboli and book a night hike up the volcano too. Bloody amazing.

In Sicily, watch your belongings in the markets.

bruffin Sun 09-Jun-13 22:38:10

We stayed in apartments halfway down the cliff in Toarmina and loved it except the walk up. We had a choice walk up or walk down to the bottom and get the cable car thingy up.
We went to Argenta to see the greek temples and did a boat trip over to Volcano and Limpano and a trip up to Mount Etna but I dont think the restaurant we went to is there anymore as it was caught up in an eruption. There was a lovely restaurant called a'zammara and it looks like its still there and getting good reviews on trip adviser.

fedupwithdeployment Sun 09-Jun-13 22:34:52

We had our honeymoon in Taormina and it was fab. Would love to go back with our volcano obsessed boys! The villa with amazing mosaics inland stands out, but to be honest we loved just being in Taormina. The passagiata in the evening... Generally fab food... Enjoy!

soupmaker Sun 09-Jun-13 22:26:13

We had a fantastic holiday in Palermo. The markets are fantastic, the archeological museum was good, and just wandering looking at the architecture a must. You have to have ice cream in a bun and coffee and cassata.

veryconfusedatthemoment Sun 09-Jun-13 22:20:10

Lucky yousmile I love Taormina - touristy but nice!

We did a trip to the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina. fabulous - tip though if approached by a guide ask the cost before taking tour.

I was also pregnant and didn't fancy the trip up Etna. we took DS back when he was 5 and the trip was great.

Also love Noto - south of Catania.

RhondaJean Sun 09-Jun-13 22:20:08

Trains can be delayed by literally hours so be prepared for that. It is likely to be very hot too so be prepared for that.

Chefalu - try the golden cafe for the most amazing bruschetta. Taormina I haven't been in for years but remember as very pricey. Though stunning. Palermo I find a little run down in comparison. There's a great puppet museum you should see.

You need to get out into the mountains and villages to really feel the island.

I am so jealous!

JanieLovesLuckySocks Sun 09-Jun-13 22:15:04

wow thank you so much for all the amazing tips!! i really appreciate it! thankfully we have decided against hiring a car so will be travelling by train / bus between the cities!

i think i'll steer clear of the tripe and spleen!! delightful as it sounds!!!

thank you again for all your help and advice, really valuable info!

Annunziata Sun 09-Jun-13 22:06:31

I think that Taormina and Cefalu are the most expensive places on the whole island, especially in the big piazze and on the seafronts, but they are lovely, and you can get tourist menus that are not bad price and quality wise. From Taormina you could go down to Giardini Naxos for beaches, it's more down to earth. You won't be able to park in Taormina unless you organise it through your hotel or apartment, you'll have to leave the car on the outside of the town. The Greek theatre is the big thing, go as early or late as possible with the heat and the crowds. Go to Gelatomania and Bam Bar!

In Cefalu, you have to go and see the duomo obviously, and the castle, and up to Diana's temple, if you feel up to it, it's quite a walk. The seafront and the piazza are nice places to eat, but expensive again.

I really don't know about public toilets. There should always be one around but I don't know about cleanliness! Donne/ signore or uomini/ signori if you see them.

Just shout if you need to know anything else!

Annunziata Sun 09-Jun-13 21:29:40


First of all- are you driving? Make sure you have full insurance and nerves of steel. It's not a car accident in Sicily unless someone ends up in hospital, and then it's only a little scratch. I'd really say not to drive in Palermo at all if you can avoid it, but at least it isn't Naples! If I remember rightly, one thing you should really watch for is the turn off for Taormina, it comes literally straight at a wall.

Palermo, avoid the train station and port, be very careful with belongings, don't take any expensive bags, jewellery or cameras out with you, make sure your car is empty if you have one. Keep a hand on your bag all the time. The market is amazing and the duomo is spectacular. Go to Foro Italia for ice cream and passegiata. Food wise most places are fine, but the street food can scare off the tourists, unless you like fried tripe and spleen.

Most of the locals go to Mondello for beaches but if you are driving along to Taormina, Bagheria and Porticello could be nice places to go.

Sorry, the baby is crying, but I'll come back!

JanieLovesLuckySocks Sun 09-Jun-13 17:26:55

hi guys, we're a couple heading to Sicily, staying in Palermo, Taormina and Cefalu over the course of a week and wondering if anyone has any good advice / tips for these areas? we have accommodation sorted, just looking for tips on nice beaches / restaurants / ice cream shops!! also, can advise if there are public toilets dotted about? the need to pee at the minute is pretty common as I'm pregnant (16wks)!
thanks in advance.

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