i'll be flying into rome next week. it's my first time going to italy and i'm SUPER excited.
i've been having a really hard time deciding how best to spend the nine days i'll be there. i'm meeting a friend from tel aviv and we want it to be relaxing -- i think that rules out renting a car (at least for me, the idea of driving in italy would be stressful.) definitely need some eating and neighborhood suggestions in rome but i'm sure there are plenty on the board, so i'll do some digging for those.
my plan is to spend a couple days in rome, and then maybe head down the coast to naples and ferry over to the aeolian islands, and make our way to sicily. probably stay a few nights in ortigia, and fly out of catania back to rome to catch our flights home.
does this sound like an OK itinerary, or am i crazy for skipping over the amazing-sounding florence & venice etc on my first trip? any other parts of sicily that are first-rate, charming, that you'd recommend staying in over ortigia? I want to avoid taormina, i think, b/c it sounds like there are always hordes of tourists there. are my instincts right?
if i do go this route, can anyone recommend favorite eating experiences in these places? i don't really eat pork, but i'm pretty much open to anything else (and i love sweets!)