PDA

View Full Version : Sicily for 3 Weeks in Sept/Oct and a Few Days in Paris



paullowry
11-28-2014, 04:22 PM
This is how I packed my Tristar for a European holiday. Pictures and text. I like to travel light and wash every week or so.

nsh
11-28-2014, 05:25 PM
This is a great packing list, especially since you took such a long holiday! What was your favorite part of your trip? Favorite meal? I love hearing about everyone's adventures.

paullowry
11-29-2014, 06:50 PM
Hi Nsh, I really enjoyed the history of Sicily. So many marvellous Greek (some of the best preserved outside Greece) and Roman remains and the lovely old towns. Beautiful countryside too. I liked the fact that it was warm and relatively uncrowded for Italy.

Favourite meal on the terrace at a restaurant in Taormina called Osteria Nero D'avola mussels, spaghetti vongole, fried calamari with mushrooms, meatballs, orange salad, tiramisu and a lovely chilled Moscato. Pretty impressed too by two places in Taormina selling the most divine arancini.

Favourite place was the island of Ortigia in Siracusa. Special mention to the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento , the Cathedral at Monreale and Villa Romano di Casale. I also failed to mention Malta in my title!.

A couple of photos of where my Tristar took me (very handy when you arrive and park outside of town because no cars or trains allowed!).

adalangdon
11-29-2014, 07:24 PM
Gosh, thanks for these photos. I'm really too lazy to get out of the country, but as a history buff I've had Sicily on my mind for a long time. (Rome is my favourite place on earth!!) These pics may have just pushed me in the right direction... :-)

monkeylady
11-29-2014, 07:54 PM
Sicily has to be my favorite place in Italy. Seeing your photos conjured up so many warm, sweet memories. Some of the best food ever! Taormina is so beautiful and so romantic. Did you per chance visit the Roman mosaics at Piazza Amerina, outside Enna? A must-see if you return...thousands of square feet of mosaic tile floors uncovered in a caesar's hunting lodge. The depiction of ships bringing animals from Africa to the mainland are extraordinary. Ortygia is beautiful, too. Mostly Italian tourists when we went one fall...with a piazza that functioned after dark just as portrayed in so many books. And south of Siracusa at Vendicari Preserve where flamingos over winter in the salt flats...ah, yes, Sicily.

paullowry
11-29-2014, 08:56 PM
Sicily has to be my favorite place in Italy. Seeing your photos conjured up so many warm, sweet memories. Some of the best food ever! Taormina is so beautiful and so romantic. Did you per chance visit the Roman mosaics at Piazza Amerina, outside Enna? A must-see if you return...thousands of square feet of mosaic tile floors uncovered in a caesar's hunting lodge. The depiction of ships bringing animals from Africa to the mainland are extraordinary. Ortygia is beautiful, too. Mostly Italian tourists when we went one fall...with a piazza that functioned after dark just as portrayed in so many books. And south of Siracusa at Vendicari Preserve where flamingos over winter in the salt flats...ah, yes, Sicily.

Sicily was very, very special. A few photos of the mosaics at the Villa Casale outside Piazza Amerina, the piazza at Ortigia and the Cathedral in the piazza built round the bones of the columns of an old Greek temple......

paullowry
11-29-2014, 09:03 PM
Gosh, thanks for these photos. I'm really too lazy to get out of the country, but as a history buff I've had Sicily on my mind for a long time. (Rome is my favourite place on earth!!) These pics may have just pushed me in the right direction... :-)

Sicily is of course, a lot more spread out than Rome and the Greek history is more obvious. The history is fascinating. At a small mountaintop village (Erice), there is a tiny museum and in to the iron prow of a vessel from the Punic wars! Everywhere, evidence of the Greeks and before them the Phoenicians. We liked it!

monkeylady
11-29-2014, 09:17 PM
See those white umbrellas in the main piazza in Ortygia? We had the best pizza ever there one night. The place was buzzing with families, kids riding bikes and little ones playing soccer (more or less), folks strolling, gathering, talking. We just loved it!

paullowry
11-29-2014, 09:58 PM
See those white umbrellas in the main piazza in Ortygia? We had the best pizza ever there one night. The place was buzzing with families, kids riding bikes and little ones playing soccer (more or less), folks strolling, gathering, talking. We just loved it!

I think we just had a couple of rounds of aperitifs and snacks, late one afternoon and watched a wedding party emerge onto the steps of the cathedral (complete with exotic Italian sports cars) and bathed in the gentle buzz of life lived at a different pace......

Something about the stone down there makes the light in that piazza particularly compelling.

BTW, one of the photos above is from our hotel on the other side of the island.

monkeylady
11-29-2014, 10:10 PM
Yes, the view from your hotel window looks very familiar. We stayed at Domus Mariae on that side. The woman who was concierge at the time directed us to some very fabulous restaurants, dogged the airlines for days over our lost luggage (yes, that was the LAST trip we ever checked a bag). We had great arancini near the Cathedral, which was undergoing a facelift on the fascade at the time.

adalangdon
11-29-2014, 10:30 PM
We had great arancini near the Cathedral, which was undergoing a facelift on the fascade at the time.

Man, I *love* arancini. Our neighbourhood 'trattoria' serves it every once in a while and we never miss it.

This thread has seriously put me in the right frame of mind to plan a holiday in Sicily in a few years' time. It looks nothing short of wonderful.

paullowry
11-30-2014, 03:22 PM
Man, I *love* arancini. Our neighbourhood 'trattoria' serves it every once in a while and we never miss it.

This thread has seriously put me in the right frame of mind to plan a holiday in Sicily in a few years' time. It looks nothing short of wonderful.

Gotta say that two places in Taormina served the best arancini we had ever had. Like nothing else. One called Da Cristina - check out the reviews on TripAdvisor - you'll be booking now :)

Didn't mind the cannoli all over Sicily too!

Orangeboys
11-30-2014, 06:17 PM
OK, I had to look up arancini -- never heard of them, but oh my they sound good!

Duster
12-03-2014, 12:47 AM
Your photos of Sicily brought back many fond memories, one of which was the incredible food. After reading over this Thread, I'm starting to crave Pasta alla Norma and Cannoli.

Ortygia was also one of my favourite spots, but I enjoyed everywhere I visited in Sicily. One thing that I remember from Ortygia was that there were a lot of weddings during the time I was there. I extended the usual greetings to one couple ("Auguri") and the bride and I "high fived" each other, which was captured on video by the official wedding photographer.

Regardless of where else I travel in Europe, I always get to Italy every year, and don't think I'll ever get tired of going there.

BTW, how did the TriStar work out for a three week trip? Was that the only luggage you travelled with?

(sorry, the photo is a bit dark).

9364

paullowry
12-03-2014, 01:57 AM
Your photos of Sicily brought back many fond memories, one of which was the incredible food. After reading over this Thread, I'm starting to crave Pasta alla Norma and Cannoli.

Ortygia was also one of my favourite spots, but I enjoyed everywhere I visited in Sicily. One thing that I remember from Ortygia was that there were a lot of weddings during the time I was there. I extended the usual greetings to one couple ("Auguri") and the bride and I "high fived" each other, which was captured on video by the official wedding photographer.

Regardless of where else I travel in Europe, I always get to Italy every year, and don't think I'll ever get tired of going there.

BTW, how did the TriStar work out for a three week trip? Was that the only luggage you travelled with?

(sorry, the photo is a bit dark).

9364

Hi Duster - you are lucky to get to Italy every year. Its a long way from down here and we only make it every two or three years but we do usually spend a full three weeks or more there. They do seem to have the lifestyle thing sorted done't they?

The food was fabulous and we enjoyed pretty much everywhere we went in Sicily. There were lots of weddings in Ortigia. We fondly remember the bride pulling up in a huge Maserati to one of the churches down the side streets. It took about ten or more back and forths to make the 90 degree turn into the (small) area in front of the church steps (meantime blocking two roads of traffic). Of course, this ocassioned much waving of arms, advice from all and sundry (including passers by and shop keepers) and applause upon completion. It was really tight.

The TriStar worked out really well. As per the description and photos above it was packed to just under the typical 7kg limit but with room for a medium cafe bag to fit inside it as well i.e. one 7kg bag plus personal item if challenged but otherwise just one bag to carry and worry about. I've had it now for a couple of years and it is my go to bag for long trips of up to a month. I like to have the cafe bag too as it gives me a day bag for when I am there with plenty of room for camera, water bottle, maps, etc.etc. and hands free but without looking like too much of a tourist.

I also use the TriStar for business trips (just back from 8 days in Vietnam) as it is just as practical and doesn't look out of place in a business setting. It is idigo (don't think that colour exists any more but see the photos in the first post). I don't mind standing out a little and often get comments when my associates enter with a large roll-on plus a carry on in black or grey and I enter with just the bright blue Tristar. Usually very complimentary!

Your photo brings back great memories!

Duster
12-04-2014, 12:05 AM
paullowry,

Thanks for the additional information on the TriStar. Your packing skills are impressive! I haven't been able to master the one bag method for one month trips to Europe yet, but I'm working on it. I also have a TriStar and that's the bag I'll be using. I always travel with a dSLR, so that requires an extra bag, and for that I'm considering either the Pilot or Co-Pilot, which could be used as a carry-on if I have to check the TriStar (some European airlines only allow ONE carry-on bag). Hopefully I'll figure it out eventually.

paullowry
12-07-2014, 01:39 PM
paullowry,

Thanks for the additional information on the TriStar. Your packing skills are impressive! I haven't been able to master the one bag method for one month trips to Europe yet, but I'm working on it. I also have a TriStar and that's the bag I'll be using. I always travel with a dSLR, so that requires an extra bag, and for that I'm considering either the Pilot or Co-Pilot, which could be used as a carry-on if I have to check the TriStar (some European airlines only allow ONE carry-on bag). Hopefully I'll figure it out eventually.

The dSLR makes it tough to go with one bag. You could probably do it in an aeronaut but then you blow the size/weight on some of those European airlines. Everything is a compromise.......

I do like the Tristar as it works for me domestically down here but can pack enough gear for a long trip. Most airlines (even the European ones) will let you get by with one bag such as a Tristar and a personal item (handbag, umbrella, book, camera etc.). That is why I use the cafe bag. Slung over a shoulder it looks not much more than a handbag. The only time I've had to check the Tristar has been on some short haul flights around Europe on small jets/turboprops where everything larger than a handbag was collected on the tarmac and stowed in the belly and returned at the other end as you came to the bottom of the stairs off the plane. That I can cope with!