Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sicilia on the road, 10 days and 2 wheels

after i had  the 101 film photos developed, my travel journal scanned and i finished the watercolor illustrated map last night, it's time to talk about our road trip in Sicilia, and i'm still not sure i have the right words for this.

Sicily is overwhelming.
there is so much to do and to see {and to eat} in this blessed island that 10 days can be considered as the first, inebriating, sip.

this post is meant to be for anyone who is curious about details and organization of our trip, who is going to visit Sicily soon, or is planning a road trip by vintage scooter.
enjoy!
Sicilia by lambretta watercolor map





planning & shipping

there are several ways to travel by vintage scooter. you can jump on it and ride on, as far as you can. if you are dreaming about a more distant destination, you can carry it by ferry boat or train {as we did last year for our Bosnia trip}, or you can ship it by express courier.
we choose the last one, and shipped the lambretta to Palermo {and back} in a iron cage, using the TNT Scooter Express service. it was our first time, and everything went smoothly enough we can highly recommend it now. yes, it comes with a price. we paid 418 euro for a round-trip shipping. at first glance it may seem a lot, but you have to consider that renting a car costs about 40-50 euro per day. they arrange round-trip shipment all over Italy, and ship in Europe, too.
 
piazza Bellini, Palermo | nikon F801s + Fujicolor 200




km 0 - km 1045 | VscoCam


itinerary

10 days are not enough to visit Sicily properly. we knew that, we had to make some choices when it came to itinerary. this is our experience, with no claim to be the most complete or beautiful.

our lambretta is 55 years old, and we try not to push it too hard, plus we want to take it slow enough to visit and enjoy as much as we can, so we usually plan the itinerary with a 100-180 km per day average in mind.

Cafalù |  nikon F801s + Fujicolor 200














from my travel journal


day one | Palermo | overnight > Palermo

day two | km 0 - 133 | Cafalù, Sant’Agata di Militello | overnight > Sant’Agata di Militello

day three | km 133 - 222 | Milazzo | overnight > Milazzo

day four | km 222- 392 | Randazzo, Bronte, Catania | overnight > Catania

day five | km 392 - 572 | Pachino, Portopalo di Capo Passero, Marzamemi | overnight > Pachino

day six | km 572 - 664 | Oasi di Vendicari, Noto, Marzamemi | overnight > Pachino

day seven | km 664 - 858 | Modica, Agrigento | overnight > Agrigento

day eight | km 858 - 922 | Agrigento, Valle dei Templi, Scala dei Turchi | overnight > Agrigento

day nine | km 922 - 1045 | Palermo | overnight > Palermo

day ten | Palermo | home!

Capo Milazzo |  nikon F801s + Fujicolor 200





Milazzo |  VscoCam



from my travel journal 





accommodation

my favorite chapter 
when it comes to accommodation, Marco and i are choosy. i spend hours browsing the web to find the perfect stay, and love every minute.
it has to be located in a nice position, it has to have a garage or internal courtyard to safely park the lambretta overnight, it has to fit in the budget, and, above all, personality is a key discriminating factor. that’s why i usually prefer airbnb to booking or other online search engine for hotels.

Tindari - Bronte | VscoCam



night one | Palermo
Mamamia Hotel & Guesthouse
we didn’t have the lambretta on the first night, and we wanted a place in the city center, with everything within a walking distance, including public transport, to leave early for picking up the lambretta and starting the road trip.
Mamamia Hostel was the most convenient choice. close to the train and bus station, easy to reach, cheap. it was clean and has a decent wi-fi connection. the host Vittorio is super nice. he called us when we were at the airport to make sure that everything was ok, he was curios (and then excited!) to learn about our journey and willing to help with some tips.

nights two & three | Sant’Agata di Militello and Milazzo
we stayed with some family friends at their place. nothing better than a Sicilian family to eat, discover the surroundings, and eat again :)

Catania |  nikon F801s + Kodak Ektar 100



night four | Catania
airbnb, Yvonne and Raffaele’s place
when we arrived, Yvonne was cooking swordfish. the table was set with red wine, vegetables and brown rice. she didn’t hesitate and invite us to join them to lunch. it was the best welcome! the room was cool enough (a significant feature, given the outside temperature), equipped with drawing paper and watercolors (yes! what a coincidence!).
Raffaele can arrange hike, canyoning, caving or cycling adventures for his guests (check Sicilia Inside) and he's also launching a website that provides outdoor experiences in Catania and the surroundings, called Sicilia Active
they have one more nice room for rent, stuffed with Yvonne’s comic books and manga. here’s the ad.
Pachino |  nikon F801s + Kodak Ektar 100



nights five & six | Pachino
airbnb, Laura and Gianluca’s place
since i had booked our staying in this lovely cottage, i’ve been dreaming about it. it was way better that i thought. location: deep in the Pachino countryside, surrounded by tomato fields, almond groves, vineyards. absolute peace, light wind, fresh fruit picked from the trees in the backyard, endless stars. furniture: have i mentioned that we love a place with personality? Laura’s cottage is really the ultimate apartment to rent. she has renovated the place herself and handmade all the furnitures with the loveliest taste. people: Laura and Gianluca were the best hosts, welcoming but never intrusive, they share food, stories and tips, making us feel at home. i’m not going to say anything more as i’d like to write another post about this wonderful place 
Noto |  nikon F801s + Kodak Ektar 100



Oasi di Vendicari |  nikon F801s + Kodak Ektar 100


chocolate tasting in Modica |   nikon F801s + Kodak Ektar 100



nights seven & eight | Agrigento
airbnb, Nerella’s place
for the third time in a row, when we arrived to Agrigento, our host invited us to lunch (are we lucky or scroungers?). Nerella’s place was cool, quiet, (believe me, these are features you’ll need if you’re spending summer in Sicily) and artsy -in a good way-, as her husband was an artist. there was also a nice garden with the most beautiful view on the Temple Valley.

night nine | Palermo
airbnb, Francesco and Letizia’s place
this time we were on our own, cause we rent the whole apartment. once again, we stayed  downtown n order to enjoy the most out of our Palermo experience. the place was nice and furnished in simple Sicilian style.

Valle dei Templi | nikon F801s + Kodak Ektar 100



budget

how much does a trip to Sicily cost? for us, half of the whole budget has been spent on logistics {flights + lambretta shipping}. we do not travel in luxury but we also like to relax, not to constantly worry for money. this way, we manage to spend (average, per person per day) 22 euro for accommodation and 25 euro for food and drink, which is less than northern Italy, way less than northern Europe, but not as cheap as other destination outside Europe.

tips

bigger cities {Palermo, Catania, Agrigento} are traffic congested, but, as Catania and Agrigento are normal-traffic-congested, that’s not the same for Palermo. the traffic is insane. i do not reccomend to visit the city by scooter or motorcycle. we shipped the lambretta a couple of days before our flight, and collected it the day after our arrival to Palermo, at the begin of the road trip. when we went back from Agrigento to Palermo, we did ship the lambretta right away, and enjoy the last day and a half in Palermo on foot.
 
Scala dei Turchi | VscoCam




it took me hours to write this post! i hope you appreciate the effort :)


to read more about our road trip across Sicilia:
* what makes the difference is people
* analogue walk in Palermo
* Sicilian color palette
from Sicilia with love: travel souvenirs
7 reasons we will visit Sicily again

16 comments:

  1. As usual here, a wonderful recount with beautiful photos and illustrations. I love it!

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  2. Awesome! Looks like fabulous place to go. I loved your map drawing. Are you going to make postcard of it. It will be perfect. And the last photo white hill looks so fascinating. ❤️
    And I used airbnb for the first time. It was good experience. I am definitely using again.

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    Replies
    1. thank you dear! the last pic was taken at Scala dei Turchi, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world :)

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  3. Great trip ! Fascinating places in Italy ❤️ :)

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    1. thank you! travelling in Italy is never disappointing ❤️

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  4. wow! I loved everything! Your film photos, your lambretta and your journal! I'm such a big fan of watercolor illustrations! Your map reminds me so much of http://www.theydrawandtravel.com/ :) Lastly, I love the place where you stayed at in Pachino. :)

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    Replies
    1. thank you! i LOVE they draw and travel website!!
      :)

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  5. So, soooo beautiful! my fiance traveled through italy in july with his family while he was taking his citizenship, but "saved" sicily for our trip together. <3

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    1. it was the right call! Sicily is perrrrfect to be visited with the fiancee. and a wonderful honeymoon destination, too! ♥♥♥

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  6. Bella la Sicilia. Bel viaggio. Bei ricordi... su carta.

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  7. wow! é sempre incredibile vedere fino a dove riuscite ad arrivare con la vostra lambretta <3
    penso che la Sicilia offra degli scenari meravigliosi. purtroppo non ci sono ancora stata ma quando ci riuscirò, mi ricorderò di questo - e di altri - tuoi post!

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    Replies
    1. grazie cara! la Sicilia è MERAVIGLIOSA, da visitare assolutamente, da respirare a pieni polmoni. buoni viaggi :)

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