You will have ice cream for breakfast
First and foremost, it is essential that you understand that tucking into
2 or 3 scoops of gelato before you brush your teeth is considered the norm in
Sicily. Leave the diets and healthy-eating regimes at home, for there is certainly
no room for that kind of behaviour in Sicily. You are on your holidays after
all! Two scoops of chocolatey perfection in the form of a nut-based gelato with
a flavour that is so rich in texture and taste that your average vanilla from
home will never quite be enough. Order an eggy brioche for the perfect contrast
of essence and maybe accompany with one of the countrys world-famous coffees.
This breakfast of champions is highly recommended to set you up for the holiday
of a life time in Sicily.
Morning markets are a must
Wake up at a reasonable time and spend your mornings exploring Siciliys
market scene, which has reached a level that is unrivalled across the
continent. The open air markets are a great place to frequent on your holiday,
if just for the atmosphere instead of the actual purchasing of goods. Most
major Sicilian cities boast large markets, so be sure to stray off the beaten
path at times and youre sure to stumble across a market hidden from the main
streets. Palermo and Catania are particularly well-known for their exuberant
Go island hopping
The Aeolian Islands off the north coast and the Egadi Islands off the
west coast near Trapani offer some of the most beautiful scenery in Sicily, as
well as glorious cuisine to sample. The islands provide ultimate relaxation
opportunities as well as being the perfect backdrops for leisurely strolls to
soak up the beautiful landscapes and excellent sea views. Keen walkers should
head to the fertile island of Salina for some incredible walking trails at the
Fossa delle Felci nature reserve where you can hike through volcanic landscapes
and take selfies of the seemingly endless supply of stunning view points. For a
more relaxing day trip, hit the mud baths at Vulcano, which is car-free and is
home to a smoking crater and hot springs.
Take the plunge
Sicilys ever expanding and diverse rocky coastline makes it the perfect
location for the more adventurous amongst us to try their hand at cliff-diving.
There will be no shortage of Sicilian youth to make fun of your screams and
hesitance, as they throw themselves off the cliff (quite literally) and descend
elegantly into flips, flops and dives until the ocean catches their fall. Its
worth sticking to where the locals are jumping, as they will know of the safest
places to jump, but be sure to check out the seas below for any rocks for your
own peace of mind if nothing else. A great spot for jumping is just north of
Syracruse, where you can hurl yourself into the sea in a variety of shapes all
afternoon, before retreating to the restaurant just above, named Jónico, for
some well-deserved spaghetti.
Sicily is home to the biggest, sweetest pistachios in the world and its
a wise idea to make the most of the authentic nuts at every opportunity!
Pistachio gelato is a taste like no other and is the obvious way to ensure you
get your fill, but there are also dozens of slightly less conventional, but
equally yummy means to get your nutty fix. It can be found in pasta dressings,
grilled swordfish steaks, olive green pastes and even inside flaky croissants.
Do not leave Sicily without bringing a jar of pistachio pesto with you its
bound to impress dinner party guests and will let you to remember the unique
and authentic taste of Sicily.
Visit the hills
The South eastern corner of Sicily is the agiriturismo capital of the
island and farmers, wine makers and olive oil producers all welcome tourists
with open arms to gain an insight to their culture. Inland the Hyblean
mountains provide a beautiful sight of rugged scenery with low stone walls and
steep gorges. The cheese is particularly notable around this area, as is chilli
chocolate. The towns in the Noto Valley, including Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Scicli
and Caltagirone are of particular architectural importance and together they
form the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Val di Noto. The food that can be
sampled here is outstanding, and you should open your mind and your mouths
to a whole host of tastes and flavours that are prevalent in Sicily. Signs of a
good Sicilian restaurant include a lack of tablecloths, walls and menus.
Visit The Valley of the Temples
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Valley of the Temples can be
found in the southwestern town of Agrigento and is a must-see for anyone lucky
enough to be staying in one of our Italian villas. The ridge is covered with
seven temples from the Doric Style back in 5th century B.C. and are
each dedicated to different deities such as Zeus, Hephaestus, Hera and
Heracles. The site is a spectacle to see, both during the day and at night,
when it is floodlit.
This is just a taster of what you need to know before visiting Sicily, so
you know what to look forward by looking at some of the top attractions and
things to do while youre there. Check out our fantastic range of villas in
Sicily for your chance to have an unforgettable holiday this year with your
Image credit: Scott Wylie
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