Holiday in Sicily
Many think that if you want to experience the real Italy, then you have to travel to Sicily. Perhaps this is because Sicily appears more unassuming, vibrant and full of history and cultural treasures. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and is located in the far south of Italy. Here you can find quiet, charming coastal towns that are not dominated by hotels and charter tourism. The temperatures are warm from April to October. Sicily is much more than beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, and with a rental car you can explore the island and spice up your beach holiday with all sorts of different experiences.
The history of Sicily is influenced by the different peoples who have lived there through the ages, like Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs. The island has several beautiful churches from different eras, and Greek temples from the sixth century. Sicily has the best-preserved Greek amphitheater in the world. Parco Archeologico is a prehistoric theater with room for 16,000 people. It is located in the city of Siracusa, which once competed with Athens.
For those interested in the mafia, Savoca is a must. It was this small village that Francis Ford Coppola chose to shoot the legendary film trilogy The Godfather. Here you will find the church where Michael Corleone married, and “Bar Vitelli” where Corleone sat with his friends.
If you want to explore the island, the city of Ragusa deserves a visit. It is located in the mountains on the southern part of the island, and is referred to as one of the most beautiful cities in all of Sicily. The city is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is a popular tourist destination.
The capital Palermo is a melting pot of different cultures with its Norman, Arab and Spanish roots. Some highlights are Monreale Cathedral, Palermo Cathedral, Quattro Canti, Fontana Pretoria and Teatro Massimo. In the closing scene of The Godfather, Don Michaels’ daughter is killed on the steps in front of the Teatro Massimo, and the fate of the Corleone family is sealed. Just outside the city center is the Catacombe dei Cappuccini (more than 8000 mummies of the city’s former inhabitants are buried there). Other recommendations are visiting markets such as Mercato Il Capo and tasting Sicilian street food.
Of course, it must be mentioned that Sicily has Europe’s highest active volcano. Mount Etna is located at 3329 masl. Climbing the volcano on foot takes about four hours round trip. It’s possible to drive large parts of the road up. The last documented eruption is 1500 BC.
Food and Drink
Italian cuisine is world-class, and in Sicily you get delicious pasta dishes, exciting pizza varieties and seafood dishes. Typical desserts are Cassata and Cannoli. Oranges, lemons, tangerines, olives, nuts, vegetables and grapes are raw ingredients Sicily is especially famous for. Pistachios from Bronte are a specialty that you can find in various stores, and is used to “spice” up several of their dishes. Sicilian wine has a good reputation among wine connoisseurs, and one can safely choose local white and red wines.
Sicily has lots of beautiful sandy beaches. The most popular are in Cefalú on the north coast, Giardini-Naxos on the east coast, and the Mazzaro coast south of Taormina. If you want to get away from the tourist flows, San Vito lo Capo is a popular and beautiful beach. South of Sicily is the Scala dei Turchi. Here you bathe on white, “soft” limestone cliffs, which nature has sanded down to terraced layers similar to stairs. Together with the clear blue water, this place has a magical touch.
Azure water, white sandy beaches and romantic sunsets: welcome to Sicily!