I returned yet again to Sicily, a place that is magical to me. From the cute streets in Taormina, the Bougainvilleas, the Baroque buildings in the South to the rough beauty of Catania. Of course I am also in food heaven here with endless options on Vegetarians dishes and desserts.
And still there are places I haven’t discovered. Even better, more reasons to return. I get surprised reactions when I tell people I travel to Sicily in August, but I love it. When it gets too hot I stay close to a pool or I go to the beach in the evening rather than midday. A lot happens in the evening anyways, you will see families with their children strolling around still at midnight when the temperatures are perfect. Observing the Italian Ferragosto vacationers is a lot of fun anyways. Though I admit, I would love to return in spring for once, when the orange trees are blooming, it must be spectacular.
I recommend renting a car when in Sicily, you will be able to explore much more of the island and public transport is not always so flexible. I did travel alone and managed quite well getting around by bus but there were also a lot of taxis rides involved. So my plan is to return with friends and a car and to explore even more !
If you do travel alone I recommend taking a language course, I’ve done it many times and it’s not only a great way to learn something new and get distracted from work thoughts but also to meet people.
Where to stay, what to do
Noto: stay at Villa Favorita outside of Noto, beautiful minimal setting and a great pool ! The pool was the best refreshment during August heat.
In the evening go to Noto city, enjoy some Sicilian food at Cantina Modica di San Giovanni, ok the food it just good here not the best I have had, but sitting outside Via Nicolaci ist the most beautiful experience ever.
Have a three taste Granita tasting at Cafe Scilia ! The granita is the best I have had in Sicily, super fresh and light, the almond granita, wow. I brought an almond creme home form Cafe Scilia and will return to taste their Cassata too.
Just stroll around visit seem of the 42 Baroque churches.
Taormina: If you can afford it stay at the San Domenico Palace.
I opted to rent and apartment and a few nights in a budget hotel, Villa Nettuno which is a steal and has a beautiful garden.
Walk down to Isola Bella instead of taking the Funivia, take a swim and walk back up for beautiful views and a bit of exercise ; )
Dinner at Andreas, Via Bagnoli Croci, 88, across from the public gardens. The best food I had in Taormina, it starts with a five bread tasting and amazing olive oil.
Visit Castelmola for stunning views and have dinner at Taverna dell Etna, make sure to reserve for a table with the most amazing views on to the Etna. The food is great too !
Sweets: Granita at BamBar and if you want to indulge go for the whipped cream and brioche, mini ice cream cones at Pasticceria d’Amore, Sfoglia die Ricotta at Pasticceria Chemi on Corso Umberto.
Ibla di Ragusa: stay at one of the great B&B’s, I stayed at L’Orto sul Tetto right behind the Duomo, great rooms !
If you want star kitchen eat at Ristorante Duomo, or at the more economical and very cool ‘Banchi’. Enjoy a fresh almond milk too.
I also ate at ‘Il Barocco‘ and loved it for their huge antipasti selection and wine.
During the day go to Marina di Ragusa for a good beach, perfect for swimming.
Have you been to Sicily and to you want to share your advices ?