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Discovering Sicily by train   Mar 31, 2017

Lesley and her husband Robin have just returned from Sicily visiting Taormina - just when Mt Etna got active then the charming fishing port of Mazara and finally the capital Palermo - all quite an adventure and really catches the spirit of Traintours4u holidays!

Just so as you know ! Villa paradise in Taormina was perfect full of art real Miro on the wall and an elderly owner who told us all about his paintings and Florence trevelyan who owned the house and the gardens . ( Her nephew lives in our village )he photocopied lots of photos for us to take back for Phillip .it was a lovely old fashioned hotel .

Thankyou  out for that .

The following day we got to Palermo to find that a bus replaced the train to castle vetrano ,and I think they said had done for a year ( I might have misunderstood all the stations on the way looked very closed up ,another sign of rail fatigue ?) anyway it took over four hours until vetrano a distance usually an hour by bus but was at least interesting to tiny places and lots of cigarette stops but no loos or food or drink ,again thank goodness for Italian charm as the driver was full of chat despite our obvious lack of functional Italian . Mazara hotel huge and impersonal and when we arrived said they had no room plenty of drama again ( I'm used to it by now ! ) finally after I was miming ringing the agency they said it was their mistake . My very Yorkshire husband still shocked by the Latin displays of emotion so does not engage with these dramas . Anyway after more threats of room changes after one night and so on we have been fine . There is a small cafe next door where we have been going and their son it turns out works here . The father has taken robin off to day to (we think ) have a shave and haircut .

Anyway thought you'd like to know about hotel local colour and trains for further trips . Thankyou again we've had a lovely time so far amazingly friendly people just wish my italian was better


All well .got bus to Palermo though and Posta hotel very good there. Full of photos of theatricals (as my mother would have said ) as right near Theatro Massimo .its a good fifteen minutes walk from the station but in a very good spot and good family staff again ,quite quaint .We managed to walk past  the theatre as La Traviata was about the start and got really the last two ( very expensive ) tickets but what a joy ! The audience themselves were worth going for ,their enthusiasm stopping the performance several times.

Monday everything museum ,galleries etc. closed in Palermo (I always forget !) but we had an interesting time anyway .then a perfect journey home ,no trouble at all on the sleeper ,we checked at Palermo first and it was fine ,no supplement required . No coffee though in the morning again but you can live with that although the train man was indignant and reluctantly offered eventually after everyone else got off at Milan a hideous microwaved plastic coffee container . Undrinkable he said and he was right ! Anyway all smooth after that buffet in the SCNF train  ( we had supplies but just so as you know for others ) then Eurostar fine and we ran and caught the earlier train to York at eight not nine o'clock so that's good too as we have another hours drive north from York . Supper in Salerno by the sea and breakfast in Torino and supper in Paris just across the road and round the corner from gare du nord. Perfect !

So all in all ,Michael thankyou again for a lovely holiday .everything went smoothly (apart from sleeper and even that wasn't a disaster). The hotels were excellent particularly villa paradiso and Posta . We loved Mazara del volle as a place too so thankyou for sending us there ,can't wait to go back . We both feel rejuvenated with our sharp Italian haircuts and we've seen so many beautiful places and eaten wonderful meals and met some lovely people . Thankyou .

Best wishes