From Rome, we rode the InterCityNotte on 3.12. to Milazzo and took a ferry that same day (4.12.) to the Aeolian Islands:
Villa Meligunis in Lipari ~45/night
B&B Il Giardino Segreto in Stromboli ~58/night
Pedra Residence in Stromboli €67/night
Il Gabbiano Relais in Stromboli ~72/night
Upon returning to Milazzo, we had the best meal of our entire 3 week trip in Sicily at Trattoria La Casalinga! Normally I shun restaurants that try to sell you too hard at the door, but after such a long day on the ferry and a near melt-down while searching for accommodation, I had no energy to look further. Turns out, it wasn't even the owner or a waiter enticing us at the door: it was just a friend of the owner who, after sharing lots of vino, became a friend of ours. At €7 for a litro rosso, Nero d'Avola of course, it was the best priced wine we saw on the island. The food was delicious and we had a nice, long, relaxing, multi-course meal. After an annoying travel day, it was just what I needed to go to sleep with a smile on my face.
We stopped at Cefalù on the way to Palermo - cute city, but avoid the waterfront, i.e. overpriced, restaurants.
Palermo: we stayed at the BIKE house! 7-11.12. Casa di Tata the bike house
Sfincione is Palermo street food heaven: soft, doughy pizza bread.
Frittola is my nightmare: leftover pig parts in a roll.
Arancina is a fried dough ball with various fillings - traumhaft!
Ortigia, Siracusa: stayed in a wonderful airbnb 'cave' studio apt on the island and it was our favorite accommodation during the trip.
Taormina: was a ghost down in the off-season and although it's gorgeous with its dramatic landscape, I would not want to come here during tourist season.
Mount Etna. On the north side of Etna in Castiglione is Warmshowers host Angelo. We didn't see Etna at all during our 3 days in Taormina because of the clouds, but I'm glad we didn't experience an eruption.
Once again we rode in the "promiscuoso Cucette 4" in the InterCityNotte on 19.12. to Napoli, where we stayed one night at the B&B Hotel on the 20th. On the 21st, we trained it to Bolzano/Bozen and spent a wonderful birthday up at the Erdpyramiden.