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Topic: Who's been to Sicily?  (Read 2185 times)

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Who's been to Sicily?
« on: March 07, 2018, 04:43:18 PM »

Anyone?  I'm planning a trip in June.  Highlight is going to be the island of Stromboli, where you can watch it erupt every 30 minutes. 

This is going to be an Instagram holiday, driven by my daughter's Instagram / Pinterest feeds. 

Anyone have any recommendations?


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 04:47:58 PM »
Not been, but curious.  We are looking at our summer holiday and Sicily is being considered.  Though hopefully we'll be in the next couple of weeks. 


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2018, 04:51:53 PM »
I'll let you know.  Seems like summer can get crowded but that's just what I have read. 

We are seriously suffering because of the price hikes for school holidays and the fact that one of our kids is now considered an adult by the airlines.  The plane tickets are killing us.


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 05:04:34 PM »
I'll let you know.  Seems like summer can get crowded but that's just what I have read. 

We are seriously suffering because of the price hikes for school holidays and the fact that one of our kids is now considered an adult by the airlines.  The plane tickets are killing us.

We found a few good places to stay that weren't insanely overpriced for August but were SHOCKED when we saw to fly Ryan Air from inconvenient airports at horrible times would set us back £1,000 (for the 4 of us, one on the lap).  So we've booked nothing yet....


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 05:09:17 PM »
I've booked Heathrow to Catania at reasonable times for roughly 1600 total, including one bag in the hold.


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 05:11:53 PM »
I've booked Heathrow to Catania at reasonable times for roughly 1600 total, including one bag in the hold.

How are you managing one bag?  I'm amazed!  Everyone just bringing a change of pants?


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2018, 08:19:59 PM »
I've only been to Taormina but that was way back in 2002. My favorite band was performing at Taormina Arte at the Teatro Greco and a group of 30 fans from all over the world met up there for the gig.

It was a difficult journey because at that time, there were so few flights that went there. We had to fly from Manchester to Paris to Rome to Catania. But we had to book each single trip separately. Add to the trauma of my kids being 10, 4 and 18 months. The plane from Rome was held together by scotch tape! Curiously, the flight had three nuns o it. I'm thinking they were hired by the airline to pray over everyone in case something happened . Oh yeah, we had an additional hiccup when my ex-husband, the father of the ten-year-old, showed up unexpectedly in England to visit his son three days before we left on the trip. Guess who came to Taormina too and played babysitter for all three kids while we were at the gig?

I remember so little about the town because we literally drank the town dry so my memories are fuzzy. The main drag had so many beautiful people walking along the streets in stylish designer gear. The architecture was beautiful, the food was delectable. A fan of the band, who was instrumental to the band moving to Taormina, owns a small restaurant called "La Botte" so he indulged our group with Sicilian treats. I ate my weight in pasta, pizza and gelato. And washing it down with limoncello from the owner's lemon grove. It was a great treat.

The Teatro was quite possibly the most incredible setting for that concert and remains to this day, the best venue and gig that I've attended. I've seen this band 36 times over 36 years so that says a lot.

The beaches were a little bit difficult to get to since the town is on a hill but there's a cable car down. It was a novelty for the kids.

We didn't stay long in Taormina because we were following the band to their gig in Rome a few days later. It still is a visit that is so close to us though. It was a beautiful setting, good friends, good food, family time, and listening to the band live that brought me and the Brit together in the first place back in 1986 *sigh*


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 09:25:35 AM »
I went to Sicily for the first time last summer.  Loved it!  The food was outstanding.  Sightseeing and weather great.  August is the busiest time and high season (Europe on holiday plus Sicilians living away return for a visit).  Thus, hotel rates in August are high.

If I recall there are 4 airports you can fly into - Catania, Trapania, Comiso,and Palermo. Best airport to fly into will depend on where you want to go.  Getting from one end the island to another, takes time given the roads. 

We flew into Catania and stayed in Taormina - right by the Greek Theater.  The drive from the airport to the hotel I think was a bit over an hour.  Traffic along tourist roads can really back up.  We almost missed our boat tour because of traffic - usual drive from the top of Taormina to the bottom took 30 minutes instead of 10. 

Top hotels book up quickly in August.  So book soon.  We stayed on 4 nights because I could not book a longer time period. 

Stromboli - Rated having best pizza.

Warning about the beaches in Taormina - Beach has lots of rocks!  Highly recommend swim shoes. Otherwise, your feet will hurt after awhile.  Also, beaches  / ocean water has jelly fish.  Each day I heard about someone getting stung by a jelly fish.  Thus, my kids preferred the pool after the first day.



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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 10:31:30 AM »
How are you managing one bag?  I'm amazed!  Everyone just bringing a change of pants?

It never even crossed my mind.  The alternative was unthinkably expensive so that's what we'll get.  I'll teach the kids the front -back-inside out underwear trick.  It will build character

Also, we all get a personal bag and a carry on and it's warm. 


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 10:35:56 AM »
Lorena, thanks for the long post, that sounds like a great trip.  I'm fairly certain that I won't be inviting any exes along for the ride.   You must be pretty mellow to put up with that. 

Still, you have to tell us the name of the band!   


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2018, 10:42:20 AM »
Remember - many of these airlines have really small overhead baggage compartments so your hand luggage needs to be a rather small carry-on.  I checked my old ticket reservation email and it indicates hand baggage should weight less than 8 kg and measure no more than 50 high x 35 wide x 25 deep.  Flew Alitalia.

Something you may want to consider is paying for just one or two checked bags depending on your group size. 


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2018, 10:42:26 AM »
Munich London, thanks for all that detail.  I hadn't planned on visiting Taormina even though it is close to where we will be, I've heard it's a bit pricey and touristy.  That could change though.  Good tip on swimming shoes, we'll want some of those.


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2018, 10:50:37 AM »
Sorry - I forgot you were planning on going to Stromboli which case you probably would fly to Messina.  If you go in August, you may want to look into whether you need to book a ferry to Stromboli in advance or can buy a ticket that day. 

Traveling through Greece, I've learned that tickets on the fast ferry / speed boat sell quickly and you may end up stuck on a ferry that takes much longer to your destination.


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2018, 11:15:47 AM »
You have picked up the important questions I'm dealing with.  We are flying to Catania because I've already booked the tickets. 
From what I understand, we need to get to Milazzo to catch the ferry.  You are right, we may have to book a ferry in advance. 
My question for now is wether we should avoid renting a car for the first 3 days and take public transport to Milazzo or should we rent a car on arrival and drive to Milazzo and then let it sit an get broken into while we take the ferry to Stromboli.  It all depends on wether we can get from Catania to Stromboli in one day via public transport.  That's hard to judge.


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Re: Who's been to Sicily?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2018, 01:32:12 PM »
We flew to Catania and had car service to Taormina.  In Taormina our hotel had a shuttle service that guests could use to get from the top down to the beach.  Given the traffic in summer and the fact you will have light luggage you may prefer to use public transport - mainly train to get from 1 major city to another.  In Taormina, parking in town is limited.  There is a huge parking structure where most people park when they visit.  Many roads are narrow and one way.  Check with your hotel to see if they have parking for guests.  If not, you may struggle to find a space whereever you visit before heading to Stromboli. 


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