Getting there and around Sicily

Getting there

This trip was organised for us by LAI Travel, who have recently rebranded as 'www.expertosicily.com'. They take great care in selecting hotel accommodation and our choices were exceptionally good. Flying to Sicily from Manchester direct is currently only during the summer season, and there's only one flight per week — Sundays with Thompson at around £250.00 per person for 2012.

Getting around

Car hire is the obvious choice, buth there are trains and buses too for the intrepid traveller who has plenty of time. Car hire facilities at Catania airport are typically Italian, involving minimal directions but friendly staff who sorted the paperwork speedily and gave us a big Fiat Punto diesel estate. Roads round Sicily are generally excellent with good signage.

Moving on from the baroque towns of the Val do Noto, we took a diversion to visit the Castello di Donnafugata, attracted by the name, even though we knew it was not the actual location of the country house in ‘The Leopard’ — an intriguing hour walking round the gardens and terraces.
Travelling to the Falconara resort, we headed for Gela: the next large town on the coast — not a pretty sight, but great if you want to fill your car full of local fruit and vegetables for less than Euro 20.00 from the stalls lining the main road. Beyond Gela, we eventually spied the Castello Falconara around a bend ahead, apparently surrounded by plastic polytunnels used by Sicilian farmers to get their produce to the markets of Europe ahead of their northern counterparts.