Sicily: one of the world’s most captivating places.
It is the largest island in Italy, with suggestive landscapes and a wealth of natural wonders. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Sicily has always been at the crossroads of cultures. It conceals fascinating traces of its ancient history, and the influences inherited from different populations await visitors behind every corner.
A unique food tradition combined with cheerful and welcoming locals make it a remarkable place to spend a couple of days of discovery and relaxation.
Sicily’s mild climate ensures that it is a great travel destination all year round. Renting a home rather than booking a hotel for your stay is recommended. Here you can find holiday lets in Sicily for every needs and budget.
In this article you will read about the 5 best things to do or see in Sicily:
The Amazing Food
Obviously, we have to start by looking at the amazing food.
The Sicilian culinary tradition is extraordinary – in particular the street food: tasty and savoury specialities which you can grab on the go.
First of all, you can’t miss the “Arancino” (or “Arancina”). There is a lot of varieties to choose from, but there are only two original stuffings for these fried rice balls/cones: either you fill them with ragù or with butter.
If you have a sweet tooth you have to try Frutta Martorana (almond pastry moulded in fruit shapes) accompanied by Marsala sweet wine. In Ragusa you’ll find a great Caciocavallo cheese. Modica is famous for its chocolate, and Pachino for the little typical tomatoes.
“Pane e Panelle” is also a very common street food. It consists of bread filled with a croquette made of chickpea flour.
A special mention goes to “Granita e Brioche”, a breakfast dish. A surprising combination that I won’t explain any further. Just give it a try!
Catania and Etna Volcano
In the city centre of Catania, you will admire the beautiful churches of San Francesco Borgia and San Benedetto, the marvellous street Via Crociferi and a huge Roman amphitheatre; all of this surrounded by astonishing buildings and villas in black and white shades, colourful windows and little streets paved with cobblestones.
Close to Catania you can also book an excursion to the Etna volcano. Or in winter you may want to enjoy the ski slopes there. The highest peak reaches 2600 metres! Have you ever skied on a volcano with a sea view? What a thrilling experience this must be!
Agrigento: Valley of the Temples and the Best Sunset Spot
Even if you try your best to avoid the cultural and historical sites you won’t be able to resist the Valley of the Temples close to Agrigento. The richness of Ancient Greece is all here in one spot: amongst temples dedicated to Zeus and Juno, in the eternal columns that have survived the centuries, in the Agora square from Greek-Roman times.
Close to Agrigento there is also a spectacular spot to watch the sun disappearing into the sea, at the Scala dei Turchi. It is a white smooth cliff, easy to reach, that perfectly contrasts with the blue of the Mediterranean. The name is a reminder of ancient times. According to tradition, this is where the Turks began their invasion of the island.
The Food Markets
Sicilian markets? A model of authenticity.
Some great fish markets can be found in Marsala, Trapani and Syracuse, but above of all in Catania. Imagine a dinner in your Sicilian home consisting of grilled swordfish, fresh prawns and local savours like oregano, lemon and olive oil… How romantic!
Strolling around the colourful stalls full of delicacies from the sea, you will hear any kind of lively and vivid claim to attract customers.
Another golden Sicilian market is Ballarò in Palermo. It is located in the historic centre of the town, close to the station and the Royal Palace. During the Middle Ages, exquisite meats were sold in this market, along with fresh fish and plenty of spices coming directly from Deccan. Today, Ballarò still retains this ancient splendour and visitors will find the atmosphere fascinating.
Dreamy Sicilian Beaches
Finally, here you have the top 5 beaches in Sicily according to us:
- Cala Mosche, in the Vendicari Reserve, close to Noto: To get to the beach you need to walk 20 minutes, but it is totally worth it.
- Punta Secca, close to Ragusa, situated in a small picturesque village: Easily accessible, and the transparent water calls you to dive in.
- Isola Bella: 7 Km from Taormina you will find one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Sicily.
- San Vito lo Capo, close to Trapani: White sand and crystal clear water. In this area, you can also taste the typical Sicilian Cous Cous!
- Scopello:, an enchanted hamlet like heaven on earth close to Trapani.
This is our selection, but there are many other wonderful beaches and little islands in Sicily (such as Favignana, Pantelleria or Lipari). We believe that you won’t find it hard to discover them for yourselves. Enjoy a little bit the adventurous spirit while exploring as it perfectly fits this island!
One article is not enough to highlight all the beauties of a magical place. Nevertheless, we hope this is a first step to get some inspiration for your next journey.
Enjoy the island like a local renting your perfect holiday home in Sicily, doing your grocery at a market and admire the sunset over the sea. Other amazing Sicilian towns that are worth mentioning are Ragusa Ibla, Taormina, Syracuse, Noto.
Don’t forget to get your Sicily guide book before you go!
This post is brought to you by Feries S.r.l. whose website Feries.com is the leading site for vacation homes and vacation rentals in Italy.