Sicily itinerary by car
Shall we start our Post on Sicily Itinerary by car? It is the ideal trip to get to know Sicily in maximum freedom, visiting the places of greatest historical, artistic and landscape interest, a complete tour to reap the beauty of the island from the coastlines to the inner regions, from the cities of arts to the small villages, a region of discover, to get to know and to live through a range of stages, which space, according to the wishes and requirements of each one, between nature, history and tradition. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
It will be an itinerant week, during which you feel free to follow the route according to the pace and instinct of the traveler. The tour foresees departure and arrival in Palermo. Our itinerary includes historical, artistic and natural stages on the beautiful island of Sicily, departing from Palermo, renting a car to the airport (Find out how much it costs to travel by car in Italy). We will visit Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento, Ragusa, Catania, Siracusa, Taormina and back to Palermo.
Lets go to know our Sicily?
(Source: Drone Travel)
1) Sicily itinerary by car – PALERMO
We will start our trip by dedicating an entire journey to this splendid city, Palermo, which we will get to know more closely. Certainly choosing the car also has its problems, as Palermo is often congested by traffic, but we will be able to easily overcome the traffic obstacle. Read the following link about Zona a Traffico Limitato (Limited Traffic Zones): How do ZTLs work in Italy?
A little more about Palermo
Being governed by several foreign peoples, such as the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Byzantines and the Normans, made Sicily a mixture of customs and identity, characteristics that make it even more fascinating and interesting, as well as architecture and architecture. reflect this mix of cultures.
Palermo Cathedral and the Sundial
We started visiting the Sicilian capital starting from the cathedral, one of the most characteristic works of the city, an important architectural monument that encompasses this stratification of styles. Set in the oldest sacred area of Palermo, it is shown on a vast plan systematized by the archbishop Simone di Bologna in 1452, where a Byzantine church emerged that the Arabs had transformed into a mosque and the Normans had restored to Christian worship. It is also interesting to stop on the sundial, placed on the floor in front of the major altar. The Sundial consists of a metallic strip with a length of 21.812 meters. From the foot of the gnomon extracted from a lateral nave, on the sides of the clock, in a multicolored marble panel, the twelve zodiac signs are represented. Following is the photo of the Cathedral of Palermo.
Norman Palace and other attractions
So I advise you to proceed to Via Vittorio Emanuele and visit the Norman Palace, the Palatine Chapel (unmissable) and the cloister of St John of the Hermits, which is close to the cloister, and then finish the morning with a tour of one of the famous Palermo fairs, Ballarò, full of screams, fruit, fish, the heart of a living city, with perfumes and euphoria “pushing around”, and where you can stop to taste Sicilian specialties. In the afternoon, you will leave to go to Casa Professa, towards the four corners and Fontana Pretoria, and the churches of Martorana and St Cataldus. And obviously be sure to visit the Cathedral of Monreale, which is fantastic! At this point I advise you to stay overnight in a B&B, or a hotel in the city, and rest to be light and ready for a new day. Where to stay in Palermo?
(Source: Luca Piraino)
2) Sicily itinerary by car – TRAPANI
Nomad’s Reserve, Trapani, 107 km. Today in the morning visit I advise the nomad’s reserve, a beautiful walk through the countryside in nature and close to the sea, after one of the several natural coves. In the afternoon, head to Trapani, the city surrounded by the sea and protected by Mount Erice, travel in the city center, have dinner and then spend the night in the crowded places of the city, overnight in the area of Trapani.
(Source: Mariano di Giovanni)
3) Sicily itinerary by car – SEGESTA, SELINUNTE AND AGRIGENTO
Segesta, Selinunte, Agrigento, 268 km. Departing early in the morning from Trapani towards Agrigento, where we will arrive at dusk, because during the journey we will also visit Selinunte and Segesta. Beautiful is the temple of Segesta, a magnificent example of Doric style in excellent condition. No less is the Greek theater carved in the rock that probably dates back to the middle of the 5th century. In eternal competition with Segesta is Selinunte.
One of the most interesting areas is certainly the acropolis, where the powerful remains of the numerous Doric temples and fortifications on cliffs above the sea reign with a very fascinating effect. Leaving the cars in the parking lot in front of the entrance, we headed for what was once the beating heart of the city. After having lunch, we continue towards Agrigento. It is one of the oldest cities in Sicily, along with Syracuse. The position of the city is panoramic, you can see, a few kilometers away, the sea, temples, excavations and other ancient monuments.
Valley of the Temples
In Agrigento we can visit one of the most fascinating places in the world, The Valley of the Temples, to get drunk on the magic and history of one of the most important evidences of the ancient history of Sicily, with ten temples in Doric order, several necropolises and numerous others remains of the 5th century BC, all in a unique state of conservation. I advise you to stay overnight in a hotel in the Agrigento region.
4) Sicily itinerary by car – PIAZZA ARMERINA, RAGUSA
Piazza Armerina (Armerina Square), Ragusa, Km 102. Sicily offers an agglomeration of places to visit, that space between nature, history and tradition, in fact, today our trip will be rich in these elements. After having an abundant breakfast, we continue our journey in one of the spectacular places rich in art and history, Piazza Armerina, which we will strive for all morning.
Piazza Armerina is the famous commune of the province of Enna, the main element that catalyzes the attention of around 600,000 tourists each year. It is constituted, by the famous Villa del Casale, a wonderful unique place, this magnificent Roman employer village, rich in mosaics and history, beauty and past, dated between the 3rd and the 4th century AD After having seen the Villa del Casale, we headed to the center to stop at a typical restaurant and then continue on to Ragusa.
You arrive in the afternoon in Ragusa, a Baroque city, declared a UNESCO heritage site, for its precious evidence of Baroque art. The city is subdivided between the modern upper and the lower part, called Ragusa Ibla, created by the ruins of the old city and rebuilt after the earthquake, according to the old medieval readjustment. Interesting is, in addition to the various palaces and churches, the Donnafugata Castle. Contrary to how much the name may make one think, it is not a true and proper medieval castle, but a sumptuous noble house at the end of the 19th century.
About the Castle
The name of the castle is probably of Arab origin, given the name given to the locality. Legend has it that Princess Bianca di Navarra, imprisoned by Count Bernardo Cabrera, lord of the county of Modica, managed to escape through the tunnels leading into the surrounding countryside, therefore, for this reason Donnafugata (“woman who fled”). I also believe that for today there is nothing left but dinner and overnight in a hotel in the city of Ragusa.
(Source: Epic Life Flashes)
5) Sicily itinerary by car – NOTO, SYRACUSE AND ORTIGIA
Noto, Siracusa, Ortigia, 230 km. Today our itinerary includes the city of Noto, a splendid fruit of Sicilian Baroque, in the province of Siracusa, which appears near Mount Alveria. The entry point of its historic center is the beautiful Ferdinandea port, and through it you cross the Corso Vittorio Emanuele center; it marks the entrance to the city hall, along which, facing each other, the two most important buildings in the city emerge and worth a visit. They are the Palazzo Ducezio (Ducezio Palace), a small jewel of civil architecture, and the splendid cathedral dedicated to St Nicholas. Enthusiastic about the baroque Noto, we arrived at the moment to return and continue in Syracuse, whose fame is linked to its Greek history, when it was one of the most important and powerful polis in the Mediterranean.
Cattedrale della Natività di Maria Santissima (Metropolitan Cathedral of the Nativity of Holy Mary)
In Siracusa we must admire the beauties of the Baroque period, such as the Cattedrale della Natività di Maria Santissima, the Chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia (Church of St Lucy “ala Badia”) and the Greek theater. We end the tour admiring the splendid Ortigia. The island of Ortigia was the first inhabited nucleus in Syracuse. The island of Ortigia is the beating heart of the entire city, just a square kilometer away and also a fascinating chest of treasures and natural beauty that surprise us. Temples, castles, old aristocratic houses and baroque churches that determine the fascination of the small island dedicated to Artemis. It is advisable to stay overnight in a home accommodation in Syracuse.
(Source: Sky drone)
6) Sicily itinerary by car – SYRACUSE
Syracuse. The whole day to continue with the visit to Syracuse.
7) Sicily itinerary by car – CATANIA, ETNA, CALTAGIRONE
Catania, Etna, Caltagirone, 190 km. We are together on the penultimate day of our trip. Today we will visit Catania famous for its baroque, Piazza Duomo (Duomo Square), the most commonly called Piazza dell’Elefante (Elefante Square), which is at the end of via Etnea, a perfectly straight road towards Etna, which cuts through half the entire city. In this square you will find, precisely, the cathedral dedicated to Saint Agatha, patron saint of Catania, and the monument to the elephant, symbol of the city and emblem of Catania.
(Source: Epic Lif e flashes)
The black lava elephant, also called ‘Liotru’ by the Catalans, dates back to Roman times and carries an Egyptian obelisk on its back. We cannot fail to visit Via Crociferi, perhaps the most beautiful road in Catania from the 18th century and a UNESCO heritage site, in which churches of remarkable historical and architectural importance appear. After having a quick snack, we headed towards Parco Nazionale dell’Etna (Etna National Park), the largest volcano in Europe, with its 3,340 meters high. The journey takes about 15 minutes and once you reach the top of Etna, the spectacle is absolutely fascinating.
If you prefer to do things more smoothly, I advise you to sleep in Catania, if you prefer to see more cities, you can go to Caltagirone, great center of the province of Catania. An important figure in the history of the city is represented by Don Luigi Sturzo, mayor for fifteen years, founder of Scuola di Ceramica (Pottery School), who even today carries out a performance of paramount importance for the new generations of ceramic artisans. Therefore, Caltagirone has so many other things that make it famous, such as the famous and spectacular staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, which, in addition to awakening the wonder of its length and slope, has all the elevations of the steps entirely covered with very fine majolica that deserve be visited. In the evening, dine where you need and I recommend booking a home accommodation in Caltagirone.
8) Sicily itinerary by car – TAORMINA AND PALERMO
Taormina, Palermo, km 259. We are reaching the end of our itinerary, today we will visit Taormina, and at the end of the day we will leave for Palermo. The last stage of our itinerary is the mundane Taormina, which has been the target of travelers and tourists for centuries, loved by artists and writers. Given its position (200 meters above sea level) it is compared to a splendid terrace that takes a glimpse across the Ionian Sea to that of the Etna volcano.
Taormina is famous for its alleys with fashion stores, its Greek theater, the spectacular view over the Ionian Sea and the famous Ilha Bela. Here tourism is active every year and is facilitated not only by the cultural and naturalistic beauty typical of the city but also by a good receptive and recreational system and by the typical Sicilian heat. Over the centuries, the city has always been a major tourist destination that has also housed some famous personalities, by Guglielmo II di Germania, numerous writers such as Goethe, Maupassant, D. H. Lawrence, A. France, Oscar Wilde, Brahms.
Taormina is considered the most desired Sicilian place of stay. Of the glorious antiques, preserved in the silence of its roads, the most outstanding monument is undoubtedly the Greco-Roman theater. Despite the devastation, this structure is certainly one of the best preserved of its kind, afterwards the theater of Siracusa. In the afternoon, departure for Palermo where the next day we will leave the car at the dealership and return to everyday life.
(Source: DK Aerial)
Map 01 Sicily itinerary by car
Map 02 Sicily itinerary by car
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How to get to Sicily?
1) How to get to Sicily? BY AIRPLANE
In Sicily you can arrive by plane through the international airports Falcone and Borsellino (Palermo), Fontanarossa (Catania), V. Florio (Trapani – Birgi). From Palermo, Catania and Trapani air flights depart to the islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria. Read here how to get to the Hotel from Palermo Airport?
Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILAN?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER?
2) How to get to Sicily? BY TRAIN
The railway infrastructure in Sicily complexes extends for about 1,350 km of lines. Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”. See travel options through the Trenitalia website.
3) How to get to Sicily? BY CAR
The highways connect Palermo with Catania (A 19), Palermo with Messina (A 20), Messina with Catania (A 18) and Palermo with Mazara del Vallo and Trapani (A 29). The rest of the road network is efficient, different on fast routes, state and provincial roads, ideal to enjoy the best landscape.
If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
Traveling by car in Italy
How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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Did you know?
Dear Reader! It’s a pleasure to see you here! Did you know that I participate in Mala para Dois magazine as a special guest? Be sure to read my first post for a safe trip at the link Conselhos par quem vai pela primeira vez para a Itália (Advice for those going to Italy for the first time!) And the posts from the section Car Travel in Italy, Examples of Itineraries, where from time to time I will be writing and giving an example of a car tour in an Italy region.
Did you like the idea?
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Our next itinerary will be dedicated to the wonderful region of Sardinia with its famous locations such as Olbia, Porto Cervo, Palau, S. Maria Teresa di Gallura, Arcipelago della Maddalena, Castelsardo, Stintino, Capo Caccia, Alghero Bosa, S’Archittu, Penisola del Sinis, Orgosolo and Orosei .
Sicily itinerary by car? Sicily is one of the pearls of southern Italy. Nature seems to have destined for this land its greatest wonders: mounts, hills, and above all the sea, which with its incredible colors, the transparency of the waters and the beauty of its depths is distinguished from other seas. Let us not forget, therefore, the spectacularity of the volcanoes, some of which are more dormant like Etna and Stromboli. An added fascination is also due to the precious archaeological evidence that relates the ancient origins of Trinacria (original name of Sicily), the many monuments, testimony of an art that has been forged over the centuries.
If you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier:)
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