To me Sicily is a gem. It is that largest island in the Mediterranean that was conquered by groups of people such as Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Germanics, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, and the Sicilian mafia. Everyone here is a mix of history.
Sicily is a part of Italy and is not its own country, however it is quite different in a lot of ways from mainland Italy. It has its own identity and is a place worth visiting at least once in your life.
Having the largest active volcano in Europe, Mt.Etna sits on the east coast of Sicily, close to the city of Catania. The volcano is a reminder to all about how delicate the balance of life is here and the acceptance that life as they know it, could change in an instant. The past eruptions have given parts of the east coast ecclectic beaches with lava stones and rich soil allowing for an abundance of plants and vegetation in the surrounding area.
Catania, Palermo, Taormina, Agrigento, Cefalù, and Siracusa are all cities WORTH visiting. From ancient Greek and Roman ruins, to outstanding architecture, scenic views, and absolutely amazing mouth wateringly FRESH seafood.
Catania and Palermo are not only football rivals, but there has been an age old argument between the two cities with how to say this delicious street food known as arancini. In Catania they pronounce it arancinu and has a cone like shape while in the north west city of Palermo, they pronounce it arancina and it is shaped like a ball. The ingredients are exactly the same in both cities. It is made with a meat tomato sauce (ragu), rice, and mozzarella and is deep fried to perfection. If you have never tried it, I recommend doing so.
If you want to see ruins that make you feel like you’ve stepped through time, go to Agrigento and check out Valle dei Templi. Walk where the Greeks and Romans walked, check out the amazing temples that are still standing today and just bask in the history of your surroundings.
Another place to check out close to Agrigento is a place called Scala dei Turchi. It is completely carved by the wind and sea and looks like white steps coming out of the Mediterranean Sea. It is truly remarkable to see.
If you make your way to the north of Sicily there is a place called Cefalù. You might as well be transported to a French beach with strategically placed umbrellas, crystal clear water, and white sandy beaches. It is a wonderful place to enjoy time on the beach and unwind with a Negroni. Just remember to wear sunscreen and reapply when necessary. The last thing anyone wants is a reminder that the combination of sun and saltwater can be brutal on your skin.
Taormina, my absolute favorite place in Sicily. It is a city that is perched up on the hillside in the north eastern part of the island. To get there you take a narrow windy road that eventually spits you out at your destination, provided you aren’t completely carsick from all the twists and turns you took in your car to get there. Walking through the streets of Taormina is incredible from amazing shops to adorable restaurants and the panormaic view of the sea, it’s no wonder that it is a celebrity hotspot in the summer. There is also a breathtaking amphitheatre with a view of Mt.Enta in the background that is certainly worth a visit. Spend a night or two in this wonderful place and you will not be disappointed.
There is so much more of Sicily I want to share, so you’ll have to wait for my next post to find out more.