We are thinking of taking a trip to southern Italy and Sicily. After that we are looking at going to Bari and travel to Dubrovnik then along the coast to Split and then to Trieste and leave from Venice. We are looking for good travel books on Sicily and southern Italy, first and foremost. Then for ways to travel to these places in Croatia. We do not rent cars.
Obviously, the Rick Steves book on Italy is the best, in my opinion. There's also Lonely Planet. I also like the "Go Guides" because the photographs are so nice. I currently have an "insight Guide" to Sicily put together by the Discovery Channel. Go to your local library or book store and just see what appeals to you. BUT for basic planning and good detailed info about arrivals, departures, reasonable hotels, etc., RS is still the best. I hope you have a lot of time for this trip because you're covering a lot of ground here. I would think about 3 weeks would be comfortable. Concentrate on either Eastern (my favorite) or Western Sicily. Spend at least 5 days in Sicily to do half the island. Re Cars: I don't drive in Italy either! Here's a great website that rents apartments and does tours on the Eastern side of Sicily.legendofsicily.com Look at your map of Sicily. This company is located in Taormina. They rent apartments and do tours that cover all of Eastern Sicily. The tours are very good and the owner of the business is extremely personable and accommodating. They also offer a car service to pick you up in Catania and bring you to the apartment. So you fly Rome/Catania. The city of Taormina itself is beautiful with lovely Greek Ruins, Majestic Churches, beautiful gardens, lovely streets with restaurants, cafes and vegetable/fruit stands selling lush produce. It's close to Mt. Etna (take a tour), vineyards and has incredible views of the Med. Sea! It's a fun place to be and a great base for touring Syracusia, Catania, Cyclopes, etc. From Catania, you could fly into either Rome or Venice and travel to Dubrovnik and Split and maybe ferry back to Venice. (Not sure of this,
you may need to ask a separate question with this in the subject line) Given enough time you could fit Trieste in too but I'm no expert on that area.
Thanks for the information I should have said we are veteran travelers, somewhat, we have been to Italy several times and we love R. S. books but he is short on information on Sicily. At least the 2011 book was, but we love his books for the details about getting around. And, yes, we are both retired and lately we tend to stay two months traveling since the air fare costs so much and we have all kinds of time.
Thanks again for the info, and we do prefer to rent an apartment.
Lonely Planet Sicily (also Lonely Planet Puglia & Basilicata) and Rough Guide Sicily are the best for practical details. I also used the Cadogan guide to Sicily. Sorry I can't help with Croatia (haven't been there yet) - we don't rent cars either!
Regarding Sicily - We used Rough Guide and Frommer's guide books. Although we had not driven in Italy we did drive in Sicily so we can't help on how to get around. We were there for 28 days and found the car to be the easiest way to tour the island and see what we wanted when we wanted. We did turn the car in and visit Palermo without it. We used the bus to visit Monreale and walked to all the sights in Palermo.
You are right! RS doesn't "do" Sicily but I will tell you in all honesty, that our trip to Sicily was the best! We loved our apartment, and the tours, the tour guide and I've sent several groups of friends who all loved using legendofsicily.com It can be a little difficult to find on "google" as they're pretty small, but find it! It will be worth your while!