a VirtualTourist member from Albany
Hello all, My wife and I would like to visit Sicily the first week in February. I have heard that Siracusa is a nice city and would serve as a base for our 7-8 day stay. I'd love advice on the best way to do this...ie tour, self, airport to fly into, how to get to Siracusa and so forth. Any general advice will be most appreciated. Thank you, Jeff
Yes, Siracusa is a great city with the romantic Ortygia island in its centre full of bars and restaurants (see page). I'm not sure about the weather there in February but it is of course better than northern Europe amd NY :))) and there is plenty of culture and good food even if you can't swim then. As for flying from the US, I don't know what the cheapest option would be (maybe Palermo) but the main airport closest to Siracusa is Catania. From Catania centre, you can then easily catch a train for the short trip to Siracusa (just don't be terrified when seeing the huge Augusta refineries, none of that can be smelt or seen in Siracusa) if you don't want to drive. From Siracusa, you can easily visit World Heritage city Noto. It is further to Agrigento and its Temple Valley but then again, you might drive. Similarly for the northern coast with Etna but that is at least served by quicker trains and is a shorter trip in general. February sees the annual almond festival in Agrigento by the way. Not sure which week though.
Hi, yhanks for your help. Maybe I should have posed my query differently. Let me restart. My wife and I have never been to Sicily and hear that it is a great destination. The concept that I have, given that we only have a week to be there is something like this: We want to spend the time in a really neat city (? Siracusa) and use that as a base to visit nearby sights. I really don't want to rent a car so we would need to go by train, bus or taxi. Would like reccs on small, typically Sicilian hotels or B&B in town. I f we could fly to Cataonia, how far by train to Siracusa. Thanks again! Jeff
Siracusa is about an hour south of Catania by train. Trains from Siracusa to mainland Italy go via Giardini-Taormina station which is another 50 minutes from Catania if memory serves me right. This works for a daytrip since you also go along the base of Etna for the 50 minutes towards Catania so there is a great sight! Taormina is up on a hill from the station but there are local buses. Very touristy (but less so in February) but with great views of Etna (in clear weather) and the sea from the old Greek amphitheatre. From Siracusa, you also have train to World Heritage city Noto like I said before. There is a VT page with little info but loads of pictures of Noto. It's also possible to visit Ragusa from Siracusa, as well as the famous roman villa at Piazza Armerina.
I hope you haven't already left! Catania is the best airport for that area, Siracusa has many trains and buses or you can rent a car. OF SPECIAL NOTE during the first week in Sicily both Catania and Acireale have their festivals on WELL WORTH IT! Catania has St. Agata and Acireale is celebrating Carnevale (Mardi Gras) Not to be missed! Here is a GREAT link on travel in Italy/Sicily fodors.com/forums/threadsele... Check it out!