We actually didn't go to Florence this trip because there was too much walking for my wife. We traveled through the Tuscan countryside and visited a winery. Very enjoyable. I've visited Florence previously. If you don't mind walking, don't miss Florence.
We actually went to Messina, not Palermo. Not much to see in Messina but the Sicilian countryside is interesting and Mt. Etna is worth the trip. We passed by Taormina. It looked like it would be a great place to visit if you can walk uphill.