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Autumn – winter: Low season means fewer crowds and emptier roads. The perfect time for a Sicilian self-drive.
Ideal Length: 7 days
Best for: Those who like to travel at a slower, quieter pace.
Visit the fresh fish markets of UNESCO–listed Catania which sits in the foreground of graceful Mt Etna before driving to Syracuse for its enchanting Ancient Greek ruins. Discover the real Sicily in Sciacca; the epitome of shabby-chic, where the tumbling hillside flashes a medley of faded buildings and a ram shackled air of indifference, while Marsarla, which sits on the opposite spectrum of affluence, boasts streets paved with marble and a famed dessert wine that should be sipped from an ornate piazza café. Both Palermo and Cefalù prove difficult to appreciate during a heaving summer but make perfect stop-offs in the cooler winter months. Discover Cefalù's honey coloured architecture and mouth-watering seafood in restaurants that would otherwise be impossible to book.
HOT tip: Sicilian winters range between 13°C - 18°C and are a little warmer in autumn.
Ideal Length: 3 weeks
Best for: Sun loving culture fiends.
Take 2-3 weeks and drive the entire length and breadth of Italy, you don’t want to miss an inch. Hot spots obviously include the big crowd pleasers such as Venice, Florence and Rome. You’ll want at least three days in Rome to fully appreciate all its wonderful sights, from the astoundingly in-tact Roman artefacts to The Vatican, why wasn’t history this interesting in school? Venice is a city where it’s impossible to take a disappointing photo and there are a handful of charming towns just outside that will make for an enjoyable stay. Make reservations in Arquà Petrarca or Monselice and for ease, take the train into Venice instead. Florence should not be missed. With its bustling market, delicious gelato and stream of fabulous museums and art galleries. But then every town, city and hamlet of Italy is a must-see; hence why you need three weeks.
HOT tip: Keep an eye out for scooters. They’re everywhere. And their risk-taking drivers are often zippy, carefree and highly unpredictable.
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