Sizilien

From Rome, we rode the InterCityNotte on 3.12. to Milazzo and took a ferry that same day (4.12.) to the Aeolian Islands

Ferry

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 overpriced, waterfront 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.  The entire island is beautiful and charming with lots of little hidden treasures to find.  There's a fantastic street market on Via Emmanuele de Benedictis where I bought 1kg of sundried tomatoes.  At the north end of the street is the wonderful La Salumeria where we enjoyed made-to-order sandwiches, coffee, vino, antipasti, etc.  We also liked the Movimentocentrale Bike Cafe on Via dei Mergulensi.  Loved Ortigia.

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.

Other Links:

Beyond the Obvious guide to Sicily

Italo train

Trenitalia

Sicily rail network map

SNAV ferry

Beyond the Obvious guide to Rome