After our Best of Italy tour ends we are traveling to Sicily for 4 days. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to stay and where to visit in Sicily? We plan to rent a car when we arrive.
Four days is so few for Sicily, but certainly better than three, or two, or worst of all, none. My two very favorite spots in Sicily were Erice in the northwest corner, with Segesta nearby, and Taormina, near the northeast corner, with Mt. Etna nearby. But there are so many other possibilities. What month is your visit, what are your main interests, and can you spare a few more days?
The possibilities are endless. I had 11 nights in Sicily and rushed around to hit what I considered my "must sees," so in 4 days you will probably want to limit yourself severely. That said, with a car you can see a lot of places with a few hours drive from you're staying.
You may want to start with airports and work backwards. In descending order of size and the number of flights they get, the airports are Catania (in the east), Palermo (northwest) and Trapani (west). I see your tour ends in Rome, which is good, because there are LOTS of flights to the Sicilian airports on multiple carriers. If you've already booked your flights, work from that. If you haven't, investigate your options on Skyscanner:http://www.skyscanner.com/. Flights from Sicily connecting back to the US on the same day can be difficult to find; you often have to spend your last night in Rome.
My favorite of the places I saw were Taormina and Palermo, so you could spend some time in each. With only 4 days and a car, another option is to stay at a central agriturismo. I wrote a VERY detailed trip report that may give you some ideas, including information about the agriturismo (Silvia Sillitti), how to get cheaper flights on Alitalia, and more: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/sicily-palermo-caltanisetta-siracusa-taormina
In order to give you any advice, we really need to know:
Dates - what time of year
Where fly in and where you fly out and how much time you have on the ground - are you landing in the morning? Are you flying out in the morning? How many nights? For me (and most of us) 4 days = 5 nights.
What you really really want to see - chill on the beach and wander the little towns; visit the Greek temples; WWII sites; the possibilities are endless.
We will be there in mid September. I wish we could spend more time there but it isn't possible this time. I haven't booked flights yet but plan to leave Rome in the morning so we can get most of the day and then fly out of Sicily back to Rome early for our flight back to Chicago. So really only 3 full days and half a day (4 nights.) We hadn't thought about any other airport other than Palermo. I will definitely check flights from the other cities. Thanks for the link Harold! We are interested in beaches, exploring villages (need to visit Carini where my grandma was born) and maybe Mt Etna.