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Sep 8, 2010 01:55 PM

Too many choices! Traveling to Sicily and Southern Italy

Hello chowhounders,
I apologize if this is redundant, but I am having a hard time searching on CH for this trip I am planning.

My husband and I are taking 2.5 weeks to see Sicily and Southern Italy (departing from Rome) and I am having a hard time finding specific locations for foodie tours (chocolate, pasta making, wineries) and would love any recommendations.

Additionally, if you have any itineraries you could include and lodging that would be amazing! You can email them to me if needed.

I am thinking 5 days in Sicily, then travel up the boot to Rome.
As you can see I haven't put much together.... HELP!

Many thanks,

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  1. How much research have you done? I think it is a bit of a stretch to ask people to plan your trip for you, including lodgings and itinerary! For starters, get your hands on a copy of Carla Caplbo's book on Campania--she has oodles of info on food-related subjects including accommodations. Then buy the SlowFood Osterie guide, aong with a good guidebook--perhaps the Cadogan guide to Bay of Naples and Southern Italy, and the Cadogan Sicily guide.

    And then come back here and begin searching--there are dozens if not hundreds of threads on eating in southern Italy.

    6 Replies
    1. re: erica

      Erica, I just ordered the Slow Food book.
      I was not asking for people to plan my entire trip.
      However ,asking for ideas and examples of previous trips taken.
      This is my first time going to Italy and I'm sure many people out there have itineraries that they can share.

      Here's a rough idea of places we would like to visit:
      4 Days in Sicily including Palermo, Argrigento, Cantania
      Stops in Calabria, Amalfia Coast
      Few Days in Rome

      Looking to fill in a few days in between.
      Would love to visit a winery and olive oil mill.

      1. re: jroxybabe19

        It would be impossible to cover Palermo, Argrigento and Catania (assumed that is what you meant by Cantania) in 4 days. These three cities cover three corners of a large island and you'll be doing nothing by driving. Two years ago in April, we spent 12 days in Sicily (our first trip there): 3 days in Catania,/Mt Etna. 3 days in Siracusa with side trips to Noto and Ragusa, then 6 days in Palermo and Trapani. We had a great time though felt we hardly scratch the surface. Excellent food all around: seafood, pasta, fruits and vegetables, pastries, gelato. Catania, Siracusa and Palermo have wonderful outdoor food markets: swordfish, sardines, cuttlefish, olives, sundried tomatoes, citrus, whole lamb and goat hanging in the butcher stalls. Excellent Sicilian wines. If you are going after September, the grape harvest will be over and not much happening in the wineries. Most wineries are not equip for individual tours but you might research if someone might be leading a group. If you are interested on any of the above places, be a little more specific on what you are looking for andI will be glad to list places that we enjoyed.
        My advice is to lengthen your stay or if you have only four days, just do Palermo and the surrounding area.

        1. re: PBSF

          Good advice, I will see what we can do to have a longer stay.

          1. re: PBSF

            Dear PBSF,
            My husband and I will be traveling to Agrigento, Erice, Taormina, and Palermo. Do you have any specific restaurants in these towns that you recommend?

            1. re: camponelove

              I hope you get some specific responses but our general recommendation is always to do a search on this Board (using the box above) with your destination town names. There is a lot of advice and info already on the site.

              there were some recent Taormina reccs (a hard town for good food I guess) do a search. Also some reccs re Erice on a recent thread. that will come up on a search for that name..

        2. re: erica

          Somehow we all neglected to mention Fred Plotkin's book, one of the best resources for eating throughout Italy. And here is an interview with him in which he discusses eating in and around Amalfi:

          Thread on Cilento:


          My report on a food trip to Amalfi/Cetara from 2008:

        3. Like Erica said, the Carla Capalbo Foodlovers Guide book is a great resource on Campania (covers Naples, Amalfi and Sorrento coasts, the Cilento and the rest of the province, with lots of write ups of food producers, cheese makers, wine makers, olive oil mills etc in addition to restaurants. I am very high on this area since the food is delicious, the scenery is gorgeous,the hiking is wonderful on the amalfi coast and the cultural attractions (including Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Paestum archeological site. and the city of Naples) are amazing.
          We feel we have barely scratched the surface in two trips there. You are going to have to make some choices and wouldnt want to skip Rome on a first trip.Maybe book it open jawed or take trains part of the time to avoid spending all of your time driving. Thre are a couple of wineries in the Amalfi coast area that might be visitable, others near Avellino. Just wandering the markets in a place like Naples can be an eye-opener.