Riserva di Vendicari
Isle of Vulcano
Isle of Lipari
Isle of Salina
Favignana – Cala Rossa
Favignana – Cala Azzurra
Saline di Trapani
Beach near Siculiana Marina
Macalube di Aragona
Scala dei Turchi
Agrigento – Valle dei Templi
Our holidays in Sicily were so great that I don’t know where to start describing them. First of all you have to know me and my husband has a very personal way of visiting cities and countries that we call “quick tourism” because we are, as a matter of fact, running all the time to see the most of a place and to see the more that we can in the small amount of time that we have. We get bored very easily so we really love our holidays to be this way. That’s how in eleven days we had the chance to visit a lot of Sicily and its islands, a region that has SO much to offer in terms of views, beaches, sea, history and food that I couldn’t believe my eyes. And I’m Italian, so, I guess, I was supposed to know, or, at least, to imagine.
We left Milan heading to Catania the first day and as soon as we hit the airport we had the first cannolo in our hands. A mystic experience I’d say. We took the car we rented and started our journey from there. Catania is a majestic, beautiful city with big streets and charming gardens and its location is just perfect, between some of the most beautiful beaches and cities (Siracusa, Taormina) and with Mount Etna always in sight, watching over the city. The second day we left for an afternoon dedicated to discover the Riserva di Vendicari, an amazing beach with white sand sorrounded by rocks, then we went down to the South to the beautiful San Lorenzo Beach, we stopped in Noto to try their wonderful gelato and then we had a magical dinner in Siracusa.
Day three we left Catania, headed to Mount Etna. The day wasn’t the best one to go up, so we didn’t take the funicular, that was closed, but opted for a ride in the big Etna vans. The experience is kinda tough (and scary!) when there is a strong wind like we experienced, but it’s really worth it. From Mount Etna we decided to pass by the Gole Dell’Alcantara, a river coming through high walls of rocks where you can have a freezing bath, and from there arrived safely in Taormina. I though Taormina was incredibly stylish, a little jewel, sorrounded by the most beautiful sea at Isola Bella. If you visit Taormina be sure not to miss the view from the Teatro Antico, really breathtaking.
Day four we left Taormina for a three day tour in the Isole Eolie. Our hotel was based in Lipari and from there we visited the enchanting Isle of Volcano and the Isle of Salina. Little advice: take a boat and go have a tour around the islands, you’ll see secret spots like the Piscina di Venere in Volcano, which are really incredible and impossible to visit without a boat. After our mini-tour of the Eolie, we left for Palermo, passing through Cefalù where we had the best Pasta Alla Norma ever at the Tivitti Restaurant. Strongly recommended.
Palermo is as chaotic as you can imagine, but charming nonetheless. You can just walk around and meet markets of fish and fruit, incredible monuments, churches with hidden porches, gardens with palms and of course a lot of people just hanging around in the small streets. We stayed there two days then left for the beautiful beaches of Scopello and San Vito Lo Capo to arrive in Erice, a very small town on the top of Mount Erice from which you can see the North-West coast and the city of Trapani with its Saline. In Erice we fell in love with the bakery of Mrs Maria Grammatico, an old woman who learnt from the nuns a lot of secret recipes to bake small cakes with almonds and custard. One evening we had dinner just with her sweet sweet delicacies because we wanted to taste everything she cooked!
The next day we left for a one day trip to Favignana, which is the place that maybe conquered my heart the most in this beautiful region. We rented a bike and just went around from shore to shore, discovering the cleanest, bluest water in Cala Rossa and Cala Azzurra. A real paradise where I’d like to go back for a couple days more. From Favignana we headed to Agrigento passing through the temple of Segesta and the little volcanoes of the Macalube Park in Aragona (so weird and funny) to arrive to the amazing Scala Dei Turchi near Realmonte. This white rock looks like cotton candy while it’s washed by high waves and the seaside is charming with little natural pools. It’s really a great emotion to be there at sunset and follow the shadows grow longer and longer and the white rock shine like gold.
The last morning we wake up early to visit the famous Valle dei Templi which is just inside the city of Agrigento. This was our last stop-over before heading back to Palermo’s airport and then back to Milan.
In the pics above you can have just a little hint of what we saw with the vintage filter generously offered by my analogic Minolta. But seriously, if you have the chance, just GO to Sicily, you won’t regret it!