Couples trip to Sicily and Rome
Italy, Vatican City, United States13 days / August - September 2016
Our trip to Sicily and Rome was a couples trip with 4 adults. Our trip goals were historic sightseeing and exploring the culture of my grandfather’s homeland of Sicily.
Highs & Lows
The quest to find the best cannoli in Sicily.
Weather interfered with our scheduled sailing trip and had to upgrade to a larger boat.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I would have budgeted more time for Siracusa and Ortigya. We just passed through on our way from Ragusa to Taormina. We didn't visit Palermo, though we planned to in order to explore the food of Sicily. Seems like a must do.
What tips would you give a friend?
We always needed small bills and coins. Next time in EU, bring mostly fives. We didn't seem to have problems finding places that took credit cards, but when the transaction size was small, they wanted cash. Handing a 50 Euro bill at this point wasn't acceptable. We rented a wifi hotspot from WiTourist. It was invaluable!
Any standout moments?
A family reunion on a Sunday evening in Ragusa. We watched generations of Sicilians dancing to traditional music.
Anything go wrong during the trip?
Bad weather required a rescheduling of a sailing trip. Stay flexible. We almost cancelled the trip, but they offered an alternative that was a little more expensive, but worth it.
We did carry-on luggage, but ended up having to check it due to EU carriers having a different opinion on what qualifies as carry-on. Make sure you know the size rules, and be prepared to pay fees. Also, we were very optimistic about being able to wash-launder clothes. Try to plan out hotels with reliable laundry facilities mid-way through the trip. This was a fail for us, and we ended up with a lot of wet clothes hanging in our bathroom for a few days.
How was the food?
Amazing food all around. Here are some of the best recommendations: Emma's pizza in Rome; the sandwich at Borderi in Ortigya; Caffe Sicilia's gelato in NotoI; Banchi's cannolo in Ragusa- the best of our trip; Charcuterie (especially coppa) and cheese at Sorpasso in Rome; Swordfish crudo at Il San Lorenzo in Rome; Cappucino at Tazza d'Or; Seafood tasting menu at La Madia in Licata; Spaghetti with sea urchin, lamb chops at Il Duomo in Ragusa
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Piazza Farnese Luxury Suites- Good location, well situated to many of the most popular attractions. Rooms were comfortable.
- 92100 Agrigento, AG, Italy
Azienda Agricola Mandranova - Beautiful location among an olive grove. Shower in our room was a little bit too small. Overall, room was comfortable.
- 97100 Ragusa, Free municipal consortium of Ragusa, Italy
San Giorgio Palace Hotel - A little bit sterile. Felt like we were staying in a Microsoft conference room turned into a hotel room. Hotel staff were impatient. But, location is ideal for exploring the town.
- 98039 Taormina, Province of Messina, Italy
Hotel Taodomus- Nice views of Mt. Etna from rooms. You must park far away, and transport your baggage across the cobblestones to the hotel. A small elevator takes your bags (but not you) upstairs. GPS navigation is a little wonky in this area, as there are many crisscrossing tunnels underneath the town, so it was difficult to navigate to the hotel’s designated parking garage.
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Capofaro Malvasia and Resort - Beautiful location set among a vineyard. Tranquil. Excellent food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Beds were extremely hard and uncomfortable, though the couple we were travelling with did not have such an extreme experience in their room.
- Catania, Province of Catania, Italy
UNA Hotel Palace - Comfortable room, clean, centrally-located.