Hello, my little blossoms!
I’ve been away for a little while because I’ve been on a road trip around Sicily. I can’t even describe how beautiful that Island is! It is definitely soo different than any other part of Italy. Sicilian delicacies, old, colorful, modest houses, beautiful sand beaches, baroque architecture, makes it the perfect destination for a vacation. It is a land of extreme contrast, where glowing volcano from mount Etna is full of snow, and where the Saharan sand is being swept to Sicilian beaches.
My boyfriend and I decided to rent a car which was a great idea but Goshh those Italians, and especially Sicilian people are the worst in traffic regulations, but probably the best drivers on the planet! It was a real challenge to drive in that circus! The car and an old man from the rent-a-car agency waited for us in the parking lot on the Trapani airport. For me, Trapani was not so impressive like other cities, but that was maybe because it was raining that day, and everything is more beautiful when there’s Sun!
On the second day, we went on a road trip and the first stop was a beautiful hilltop city on Sicily’s southwest shore, Agrigento. It’s known for the Valley of the Temples, a vast archaeological site with Greek temples. On the way to Agrigento, we stopped by to the gorgeous rocky cliff called Scala Dei Turchi, which means Turkish steps.
The next day we were heading to Syracuse, which is notable for its rich Greek history. But I just wanted to go to explore some hidden places and as the result, we found this beautiful cliff with the view on the Island and the sea.
Heading to Catania, the biggest city on Sicily’s east coast. Places you need to see in Catania are: La Pescheria – colorful and vivid street food market. It is a concept of a few jam-packed alleyways where you can find all kinds of meat, silvery fish, huge wheels of cheese and piles of yummy vegetables!
Don’t miss Piazza del Duomo; the Baroque centrepiece of the city which features Fontana dell’Elefante statue and gorgeous Catania Cathedral.
After Catania, we went to mount Etna, Europe’s largest and most active volcano between Catania and Taormina. It was really hot that day, so while we were driving up to Mt. Etna to 2000 meters it started to snow and became really cold. So basically, we started to dress up in a car, from short sleeve t-shirts to warm coats and boots.
For me, Taormina is the most beautiful city in Sicily. It is perched on a hill overlooking the coast and Mount Etna. Wherever you turn you can find spectacular views of the Mt. Etna or breathtaking bays and cities below. It is best to start your tour from Palazzo Santo Stefano and Piazza del Duomo and walk through the main street Corso Umberto I.
Visit Teatro Greco, made by Greeks in the 3rd century BC, and the most beautiful public garden with a spectacular view Giardino Pubblico.
For food and drink go to the restaurant with the most beautiful view Granduca, or an excellent pizzeria Vecchia Taormina. If you want to try original Sicilian sweets you should visit Chemi pastry shop also on Corso Umberto I. While you are in Sicily, don’t forget to try its top best food like Arancini (fried rice balls), Parmigiana di melanzane (sliced eggplant, fried, and layered with cheese and tomato), all kinds of pasta with different pesto sauce, and my favorite pasta Pasta alla Norma, made with fried eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and ricotta salad ! Very popular Sicilian sweets are Canolli, a fried dough filled with sweetened ricotta topped off with candied fruit, pistachios, or chocolate chips. Granita, ground ice with sugar and fresh fruit…
A stroll after dark through the center of Taormina is an unforgettable experience! If you want a romantic and fun night, go to see a live guitarist playing all kinds of music at La Scalla dell’Amore. The restaurant is located in a little hidden place next to an Irish Pub “O’Seven”. The atmosphere is great but food not so much!
We spend our two last days enjoying Sicily’s most beautiful sandy beaches. Castellammare del Golfo, Tonara di Scopello, Mondello beach near Palermo and San Vito Lo Capo, turquoise blue sea, perfect white sand; probably the most beautiful beach in Italy!
Spending our last nights in Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, we shared the apartment with 7 tourists from Spain, France and Ukraine and had the most amazing time! We actually didn’t know we would be sharing the apartment. We only had our private room but bathroom, kitchen and the living room were shared. Luckily, it turned out to be a great experience since we met some great new people!
It is a stunning Island of variety of beauty and magic. Yes, you will need to learn main Italian words for just about any communication you need. And yes, they drive insane! But we enjoyed it so so much and I am so nostalgic when I look at those pictures.
Until next time Sicily!