We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sicily with a couple days in Rome

S S
California
Level Contributor
134 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Sicily with a couple days in Rome

My husband and I are planning to visit Sicily in May for around 10 days. So far, we plan on visiting Palermo, Taormina, Mt.Etna, Syracuse in Sicily. Our flight lands and leaves from Rome, and we have to be there for a few hours anyway before we catch our flight to Sicily, so we are wondering if we can stay in Rome for a day or two, and visit just the important spots.

Is that a good idea? Is a day enough to see the most important attractions in Rome? Our main destination is still Sicily so we do not want to take too much time away from that.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
96,241 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

Welcome to Sicily S S!

Rome truly deserves more than a day or two, and you would be taking time from Sicily, but if you’d like to see Rome, see Rome at the end of your trip to better position for your departing flight.

frommers.com/destinations/…0064010007.html

Do you plan to ever return to Rome or Sicily?

You could easily spend two weeks in Sicily alone....

Consider an open-jaws itinerary in Sicily with an arrival in Catania and a departure from Palermo.

Do you plan to hire a car?

If you plan to visit Taormina, Mount Etna, Siracusa, and Palermo, you really won’t have time for other destinations, but you could day trip from Taormina to Etna, from Siracusa to Noto, and from Palermo to Monreale.

Best wishes!

Vagabonda

S S
California
Level Contributor
134 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

Thanks for your response, Vagabonda! The link to Rome in 1/2/3 days is very helpful.

We do plan to rent a car in Sicily. How many different accommodation stops would you recommend? It seems to us that staying in one place and driving all around Sicily is not convenient and we would spend a lot of time driving. We are thinking 2 or 3 hotels (close to Catania, Taormina and Palermo).

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
96,241 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

Prego S S,

Avoid driving in Catania and Palermo, and even Palermo’s ring road and Monreale – Fortunately Catania and Palermo’s airports are located west of the cities, so you can easily avoid driving within the cities.

It's impossible to see Sicily from only one base. Consider three bases – Taormina, Siracusa, and Palermo.

Drive from Eastern Sicily to Cefalù and return the car in Cefalù - Possibly begin in Siracusa and then drive onward to Taormina and Cefalù.

Then take the train or SAIS Trasporti bus from Cefalù to Palermo. Take the Prestia e Comandè airport bus from Palermo to Palermo's airport.

You could also begin in Taormina or Siracusa, and then drive onward to Agrigento via autostrade from Catania.

Store your luggage at Agrigento’s train station, see the Valley of the Temples, and return the car in Agrigento - Take the Cuffaro bus from Agrigento to Palermo, 2 hours.

You wouldn't need or want a car in Palermo!

Vagabonda

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
66 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

Agreed with Vagabonda on her three proposed places to stay (Taormina, Siracusa and Palermo). Siracusa is a much nicer place to stay than Catania, plus Taormina is already relatively close to Catania.

I would encourage you to see Agrigento if you can. The collection of Greek ruins there is truly astounding. You could spend a night there en route from Palermo to Siracusa or vice versa, possibly seeing Piazza Armerina as well.

As for how to apportion your time between Rome and Sicily, it depends on you. Have you ever been to either of these places? Do you think it's likely you'll go back?

I guess you could see the absolute highlights in Rome in a day. You're not going in peak season, but Rome will still have plenty of tourists. You could probably pack in the Vatican, the Forum and the Colosseum in a single day, but you would be rushing around. As much as I love Sicily, I would say give yourself at least 2 days in Rome unless you think you'll have a chance to go back soon. Even with 2 days, your itinerary would still be completely packed even if you just stuck to the most popular sites and went at a slightly less-manic pace.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
96,241 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

You’re more likely to return to Rome than Sicily, and more likely to find yourself in Rome en route to somewhere else than Sicily, but if you were to decide to spend some time in Rome, spend two nights to make it worthwhile – Otherwise you’d be spending time commuting back and forth from the airport for very little time to appreciate anything of Rome.

No argument that Agrigento is worth the visit, and you might allocate a night a night to Agrigento, especially if you decide against Rome, but if you spend time in Rome, you can see Agrigento en route to Palermo – One night stays waste time, and this itinerary is already short on time for what you’d like to see and do.

Vagabonda

S S
California
Level Contributor
134 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

Thanks a lot for all the responses. This is helping hugely with our planning! :)

So, two options we are considering for Agrigento: stop at Agrigento en route to Palermo, or do a day trip from Palermo. In the second case, as per Vagabonda's advice, we would have returned the rental car, so we would need to take a bus/train to Agrigento and back. Which of these is more feasible? If we are driving to Agrigento and then Palermo, we will be starting from either Taormina or Syracusa, it seems like the distance is around the same from either.

Any suggestions on which of these would be better?

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
66 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

I would personally probably prefer the first option as it (1) avoids backtracking and (2) allows you an opportunity to see places on the way from Siracusa to Agrigento (e.g. Piazza Armerina or towns on the southern coast).

I think that's a more efficient use of the travel you'll need to do anyway to get to Palermo. It also potentially allows you to split the travel over two days, depending on if you spend the night somewhere in between Siracusa/Taormina and Palermo.

S S
California
Level Contributor
134 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

Thanks, RainyDevil!

So, we are looking to stay at Siracusa, Taormina, somewhere around Palermo (preferably that's close to other attractions since we might not have a car in Palermo). Also, our flight back to Rome will be from Palermo.

Please let me know if you guys have any recommendations for accommodation. Something clean and budget-friendly, that's walking distance from the town center would be fine!

Any recommendations for non-touristy unique, beautiful places to visit would be very much appreciated too!

Also, I am a vegetarian, I love pasta and cheese, so I am guessing I wouldn't have much of a problem finding food (I did see a few other posts here on the subject), but let me know if there are any must-eats in Sicily.

Thanks!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
96,241 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

If you were to day trip to Agrigento from Palermo, you wouldn’t necessarily backtrack depending on your route from Taormina or Siracusa to Palermo.

But considering the alternate route to return the car in Cefalù, and considering the easy 2-hour bus ride from Agrigento to Palermo, see Agrigento on your way to Palermo, return the car in Agrigento, and take the Cuffaro bus onward to Palermo.

Stay directly in Palermo and day trip to Monreale or Cefalù from Palermo.

Consider Hotel Ambasciatori – This hotel is a good value, well positioned for public transport including the airport bus, and the views from the roof terrace are stunning.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187890-d529169…

There’s no problem for vegetarians in Sicily!

Sicilian food for vegetarians

tripadvisor.com/…28841943

Vagabonda

S S
California
Level Contributor
134 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Sicily with a couple days in Rome

Sounds like a plan! :) Any recommendations for accommodation in Taormina and Siracusa? Also, can we take our rented car to Mt.Etna or would we need to take a tour bus or such?