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Best of Sicily tour - seeking recs for sights & restaurants during free time

Hi! We have the Lonely Planet Sicily book and our RS itinerary, and are looking for options for things to do and see, and places to eat in the afternoons and evenings that we are in our own. Any recommendations would be much appreciated! We will be going in mid-September and hoping for not too hot weather. Thank you!

Posted by
369 posts

I really enjoyed the Streaty Food tour in Palermo. A great way to get to know the area and some of the food of the area. http://www.streaty.com

I tried to eat what was "local" in each area. I enjoyed pasta con la sarde in Palermo. I went to Antica Foccaceria San Francesco and ate outside on the patio. Also had yummy caponata with swordfish there.

In Trapani, I had Couscous Trapanese with wonderful fresh seafood at a little place along the water promenade, don't know the name.

In Taormina, I just walked some back streets away from the crowds and looked for seafood - ate at a tiny table on the sidewalk with non-Americans ;)

Many times the included group lunch was so huge, I didn't need much for dinner.

I went in September 14-23, 2015 and it was hot, hot, hot. But we made it through and it made for wonderful mild evenings to be out and about. You are going to love this tour!!!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much for the eating tips! And the reassurance that we will have a wonderful time, regardless of the heat. :) Did you do the Palermo food tour even though RS includes a tour through one of the food markets?

Posted by
2589 posts

In Trapani a bunch of us went to Pizzeria Calvino Salvatore, Via Nunzio Nasi 71.
There were 10-12 of us at two tables. We were there off-season and it wasn’t the easiest getting a table. Great food, great time, very local, fun experience.

In Palermo, on Via Vitoria Emanuele, Buatta Cucina and Cagliostro Ristorante both earned kudos from many Ricksters on the tour. And there’s a bank ATM on the walk there from the hotel Ambasciatori. The street market is not only food but many other things as well. The group did not stop along the way to buy or eat, it was too fast-paced to do that.

Posted by
1910 posts

Adding another recommendation for the street food tour recommended above by Barbara. It was lots of fun, the food was interesting, unusual and delicious and there was plenty of it! I booked the tour online through their website from home with no issues. We scheduled it for the 'in-between' day between arrival in Palermo and meeting with the tour group. With the food tour, we also benefited from the accompanying walking tour, visiting places we didn't with the tour group.

Posted by
369 posts

I agree with Andi that the Food tour was great to take in addition to what our RS tour included!

Posted by
2786 posts

We took the RS Sicily tour in May of this year and chose May due to the historical weather forecasts. It was max of 80*F then except for one day. We had an excellent RS tour guide that was full of good recommendations for places to eat when not on tour meals. She also provided some suggestions for places to visit during "free time". Many such food and sightseeing recommendations were included in that LP guide books.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you, Andi, Philip, and Barbara for reinforcing the recommendation of the food tour. We will have an extra day at the front end so will plan to schedule that in. Also, thank you for the specific restaurant recs. I will check them out.
Yes, we were expecting that the tour guide would give us ideas of places to see and restaurant recs. I’m just a planner aheader and like to read about things ahead of time. :)
Thank you again, everyone, for taking the time to response to my query!

Posted by
6612 posts

Don't overlook the restaurant recommendations in your Lonely Planet book - I used them myself during my 2015 trip to Sicily.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you, Agnes! Yes, I'm checking out the Lonely Planet book for restaurant recs but sometimes find it hard to narrow down a choice from the many listed there.
Bad news regarding Streaty! It turns out there's no Sunday morning tour, and we arrive a little late on Saturday to be able to participate on the tour. If anyone has another food tour to recommend in Palermo, that would be great!
Thank you!