Pick up your hire car at Palermo airport and head for the godfather of all Sicilian cities.
"Look at us, we're one of the most important cities of the ancient world with the art and architecture of centuries to prove it!"
Palermo has indeed managed to preserve its impressive cultural legacy, though these days it's also a bustling, modern city.
By far the busiest city you'll see in Sicily and a great place for people watching. If you don't catch at least one wedding while wandering around, it's probably the apocalypse.
Coffee-swilling, horn-beeping, hand-shaking lovelies. Ask for directions and you're likely to end up getting a lift, a potted history of the city and possibly dinner.
There's potential for year-round ice cream feasting with months of warm and sunny weather and summers that verge on scorching.
Seafood and aubergine in any form are guaranteed to be good. Get them together and you're in for a real treat.
Leonardo Sciascia, Sicily's most famous author of grim, life's-a-bitch stories about murder, corruption and the Mafia, died in Palermo - of natural causes, ironically.
Everyone's favourite posh coffee, the cappuccino, hails from the Capuchin monastery on the edge of the city.
"Whoever goes to Palermo and doesn't see Monreale, goes there a jackass and returns a fool." - Sicilian proverb
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Massimo? It ain't half. Palermo's opera house covers a whopping 8,000 square metres. That's a whole lotta opera. Splash out and get yourself a box.
Leave your hire car in Piazzale Ungheria and pay at the coin-operated machines. It costs €1.50 an hour.
The red domes of this church give it a Moroccan air - that's because, during the Islamic conquest of Sicily, it was converted into a mosque.
Park at the Piazza della Vittoria.
When it comes to spectacular Italian churches, you'd be hard pressed to find a more impressive example than this. Dripping with spectacular Baroque mosaics in vibrant golds, blues and reds, Santa Maria dell'Ammigalio dates back to the 12th century.
Don't be fooled by the vehicles in Piazza Bellini: unless you are a town councillor, your car will be towed away!
Like swimming? Like prehistoric remains? Then you'll love this pretty beach town, where you can go for a refreshing dip and check out a selection of early man's cave-based abodes.
You can park your hire car on Viale Regina Elena, Piazza Valdesi and on most of the neighbouring streets for 50 cents per hour from June to September.
Behind the frankly average facade of this Norman palace lies a wealth of jaw-dropping art added to and embellished by the city's ever changing overlords. Like a mini Vatican - but without the queues.
Park at the Piazza della Vittoria parking. You can also park along the streets of the nearby Albergheria neighbourhood.
Work up an appetite and head here for dinner. Tourism is big business, but the old quarter retains a rustic charm and hides some of the best seafood joints in town.
Head east along the coast on the E90. It'll take about an hour.
Yep, it's the one from The Godfather - and also the place where real-life mafioso 'boss of bosses' Bernardo Provenzano was arrested in 2006.
Head south on the E90, then the SS121. Then head south-west on the SS128 and you're there. Bada bing! The drive takes around an hour.
On a hill overlooking Palermo, Monreale boasts a cathedral that concentrates Norman, Arab and Byzantine art into one heady concoction.
It's a 20-minute drive south-west along Corso Calatafimi, which becomes the SS186 as you head out of town.
People have been taking the therapeutic waters of the thermal springs at this picturesque seaside town since the days of ancient Greece. Soothe away any aches and pains then hit the beach, revived.
Head south on the SS624, then the SP79. It'll take you about an hour and 50 minutes.
" Definitely hire a car if you wish to make the most of your visit to Sicily and explore all the gems the island has to offer. But avoid driving in the city centre, where the traffic is chaotic and the roadworks can be erratic. Don't jump out of your seat every time someone toots their horn at you - tooting is just what we do here, it's a local habit and often doesn't mean anything in particular. So keep your wits about you, because the chances are you're not doing anything terrible. "