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BhamBlazeDog
Mississippi St. Fan
Birmingham
Member since Aug 2018
2190 posts

Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
Just wanted to get everyone's opinion here. We originally had a 3-week trip planned last May that was canceled due to Covid. Flying into Naples and then driving down to Lecce/Puglia, then over to Matera and then on to Sicily. This isn't our first time to Italy, and we would keep the same trip plan as we had last year. Does anyone think Covid will have slowed down enough by July?


lowhound
LSU Fan
Effie
Member since Aug 2014
4340 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
Gonna be hot as hell, dress accordingly


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
13820 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
quote:

Does anyone think Covid will have slowed down enough by July?


I would only book refundable or movable reservations, and what do you mean by slow down enough? Do I think I could likely have a great time in July, absolutely. I don't think I'd plan on it being normal though unfortunately.


BhamBlazeDog
Mississippi St. Fan
Birmingham
Member since Aug 2018
2190 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
quote:

I would only book refundable


This is my thought too. What I've realized is that you really have to dig into the terms of the flights that you book. They don't do a very good of advertising refunds obviously. Luckily, the majority of AirBNB's all do full refunds up to a month out.


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BHS78
LSU Fan
Member since May 2017
593 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
Hotter than a summer in Louisiana?


deltafarmer
Member since Dec 2019
29 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
It isn't hotter. It's about the same as Louisiana. The air conditioning is much worse so it feels hotter. Electricity is ridicously expensive there. My wife and I did airbnb on our last summer trip to Rome. It was very hot so we ran the AC knowing we had to pay for the electricity. At the end of the week the electricity bill given to us from the utility company was $800 for a very small 2 bedroom apartment
This post was edited on 1/12 at 3:55 pm


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11714 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
Sounds like a lovely trip--but I agree that I wouldn't be booking ANYTHING that is non-refundable. Health infrastructure in the South is not robust, especially in Puglia/Basilicata. It is difficult to predict how quickly people will be vaccinated in those mountainous regions---I haven't been keeping up with vaccine distribution and immunization in Italy.

I've driven from Rome to Palermo & back--the roads (at least the big autostradas) in the south are new & nice, so the driving isn't difficult. Now, the drive across the middle of the Sicilian interior on the A19 (from Catania to Palermo) is another story--long stretches of elevated roadway over river flood plains & the concrete was visibly crumbling, rebar visible all over the place. Many stretches down to one lane or under repair (this was 2018).

What's your planned itinerary within Sicily?


BhamBlazeDog
Mississippi St. Fan
Birmingham
Member since Aug 2018
2190 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
quote:

What's your planned itinerary within Sicily?



The planned itinerary in Sicily will be Taormina, Siracusa, Agrigento, and then on to see my wife's cousins in Palermo where we will stay in Mondello as a base. We still have to work out the day specifics, but pricing in Sicily is hard to beat when it comes to places to stay and food.

That is good info to have on the interior of Sicily, the furthest inland I have driven to is Bisacquino to see where my family was from. Those roads were definitely a little sketchy, but an absolutely beautiful drive. While driving is definitely an adventure in Sicily, especially in places like Catania and Palermo, there seems to be so much more of an organized chaos that I really enjoy.

Also, good points on the outdated health care infrastructure in the South, will need to get a read on how their vaccinations are going.


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kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
8257 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
There is really no telling with Covid. It may be open by July. But when do you plan on booking flights? Usually it’s good to book an international flight further in advance than a domestic. Covid could still be impacting affordable flights during that time.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11714 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
Agree about the organized chaos—a wonderful way to describe Palermo for sure. If your route from Siracusa goes back to Catania then on to Agrigento, consider a stop in Enna around lunchtime. One of the better meals of my life was in a simple trattoria in Enna: La Rustica. Traditional food, served to locals.


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jkylejohnson
New Orleans Saints Fan
Alexandria
Member since Dec 2016
6502 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
I wanted to make a similar trip this summer but we decided to wait until travel is closer to back to normal. Sucks booking and planning so much stuff only to have to sweat it out to see if you'll even be able to go.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
13820 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
I'm not sure how sold you are on going to only southern italy. I'd consider something like flying into Milan and then training south. I don't know maybe its a dumb idea, but my thought is that then if Southern Italy is not a good idea you have Switzerland, france, northern italy, austria, etc. all within a couple hours. Would potentially be easier to change your trip on a whim.

Now obviously you could do that with flights too.

ETA: I gotta assume Italy needs tourism back and once opened they'll be eager to see people. But maybe I'm wrong, knowing italians they're happy broke and with the place to themselves.
This post was edited on 1/12 at 5:21 pm


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11714 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
Flying into Milan makes zero sense if his objective is to see family in Sicily. Travel between regions in Italy may get restricted.....and a border crossing into Switzerland or Austria is even chancier should Covid rear it’s ugly head in the north again. It’s 8.5 hrs by train from Milan to Lecce. A whole day wasted, just going south.

A reasonably sensible Plan B would be to fly to Palermo and limit the trip to just Sicily....there are no direct (non chartered) flights to Sicily, so he will have to connect through Rome or CDG, etc.


BhamBlazeDog
Mississippi St. Fan
Birmingham
Member since Aug 2018
2190 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
quote:

Sucks booking and planning so much stuff only to have to sweat it out to see if you'll even be able to go.


This was the worst part of last year, and unfortunately seems to be trending this way in 2021 as well. If you get a chance to go Sicily is a hidden gem, it's definitely gritty, but I've enjoyed it more than any other place I have been in Italy.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11714 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
quote:

Sicily is a hidden gem, it's definitely gritty

You know, I’ve never found the countryside to be especially gritty. Palermo is gritty, but it has a very crumbling/decaying/enduring feeling that reminds me of New Orleans. It is pretty much the opposite of a “theme park” Italy experience found in Tuscany. I loved it, and it has the best food in Italy, by leaps and bounds. None of that plain, cucina povera simplicity: the Sicilians love sweets, they love fried things, seafood, and the wines are surprisingly good. A scoop of gelato on a split brioche roll is an ordinary breakfast. Sigh. Now I’m gonna have to make something Sicilian for lunch.


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
13820 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
quote:

Flying into Milan makes zero sense if his objective is to see family in Sicily. Travel between regions in Italy may get restricted.....and a border crossing into Switzerland or Austria is even chancier should Covid rear it’s ugly head in the north again. It’s 8.5 hrs by train from Milan to Lecce. A whole day wasted, just going south.


Sure, but you basically took every bias possible to make your point. I was assuming OP had to fly direct into Milan or Rome then travel from there right? Are there flights direct from USA to Sicily? Honestly don’t know. But why fly through CDG or Heathrow right now? I wouldn’t add that risk imo. If half of your scenarios occur like shut down between regions or shut down from Italy to Austria his trip may as well cancel as is, right? The main issue I see with southern Italy/ Sicily is once there it’s a long ways from anything else. A short flight certainly, but that can be said of anywhere in Italy.

I was assuming he could fly from Milan to Sicily or wherever. I was simply saying I’d consider going somewhere with options in every direction in case something happens in one.


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DaBeerz
LSU Fan
Ellic
Member since Sep 2004
14217 posts

re: Planning a trip to Southern Italy/Sicily in July.
No Covid isn’t going anywhere due to governments... they want to control us


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