Travel Tips for Visiting Sicily

Caltagirone from a distance photo by Margie Miklas

Sicily is  one of the most fascinating and beautiful places in Italy. “If you haven’t seen Sicily you haven’t seen Italy. Sicily is where the soul of Sicily is.” – Goethe

The Sicilian people are also some of the friendliest in Italy. I could describe this southern Italian island in so many ways: beautiful, diverse, amazing, historical, lovely, appealing, fantastic, and wonderful.

Flowers on the staircase in Caltagirone, Sicily Photo by Margie Miklas

Flowers on the staircase in Caltagirone, Sicily

As you know by now, Sicily is the home of my maternal grandparents, so it holds a special place in my heart. I will always return to Sicilia because I feel at home there.

My Grandparents' village in Sicily - Cesarò

My Grandparents’ village in Sicily – Cesarò

Situated just off the “toe” of Italy’s mainland, the island of Sicily offers stupendous views,  wonderful food, historical sites, relaxing countrysides, tempting shopping, and so much more.

Winding roads in Sicily

Winding roads in Sicily

Each time I visit Sicily I learn something valuable to make travel there a little easier, and here are a few travel tips, based on my personal  experience traveling in Sicily.

• Fly into Palermo or Catania from other places in Italy. Flights costs are inexpensive and the time you save from taking a ferry will be worthwhile.

• Be sure and taste some almond wine in Taormina, or take the bus from there to the hilltop town of Castelmola, where they make this Sicilian  dessert wine. The small bottles make great souvenirs. Just remember to pack them in your checked luggage so the airport security guards don’t confiscate them like they did mine. What was I thinking?

DSCN2371edited

• Buy some hand-painted ceramics in one of the hundreds of shops of  Caltagirone. The prices are lower than what you might think, and they give discounts if you pay in cash.

Ceramic shop in Caltagirone, Sicily photo by Margie Miklas

Ceramic shop in Caltagirone, Sicily

• Rent a car to see the countryside of Sicily, where rolling hills and mountains are the landscape. Plan on more time than the GPS suggests, as these winding roads always take longer. Plus you just may have to wait for a herd of sheep  or cows to cross the road!

Cows crossing the road in Sicily Photo by Margie Miklas

Cows crossing the road in Sicily

• Enjoy the history and architecture of the large cities of Palermo and Catania but also experience the local vibe at the street markets, where the locals love to interact with travelers.

• Eat plenty of seafood on the coast of  Sicily, since it is always fresh and reasonably priced. Don’t expect to find this in the towns that are inland, since seafood would have to be imported from the coast, and would of course not be so fresh.

20130919-230831.jpg• Don’t miss a sunset on the coast. Bellissimo!

Sunset in Cefalu`

Sunset in Cefalu`

• Walk into the shops where  handcrafted products are still being made. The shop owners welcome you with a smile.


• Be sure to have a cannoli or two because they are the best in Sicily!

Cannoli in Sicily photo by margie Miklas

Cannoli in Sicily

These travel tips are just a few suggestions based on my memorable experiences in this most southern part of Italy.

Have you traveled to Sicily? What are you waiting for?  Flights within Italy are inexpensive and Catania and Palermo both have modern airports.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment.

Grazie and ciao

You can read more about my travels in Sicily in My Love Affair with Sicily.

My Love Affair with Sicily Photo by Margie Miklas

This entry was posted in Italian lifestyle and culture, Italy Photo, Italy Travel, Italy Travel Planning, Photography, Reservations, TRAVEL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Travel Tips for Visiting Sicily

  1. Ishita says:

    I loved your book Margie and now I can relate to many more things that I did when I first read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debra Kolkka says:

    I can’t wait to get to Sicily.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. marilyneb says:

    An island I’ve wanted to visit Margie.
    Some great images here – love that floral staircase!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tony says:

    I cannot wait to visit Sicily on my next trip to Italy (along with other areas in the south I did not hit on my first trip). I hope to trace back some of my roots on my mother’s side too. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. imarancher says:

    New camera? New lens? Interesting first pic of your maternal grandparents ancestral village. Really liked the pic. Your photography has always been above average but you are really getting a superior view or angle or something special on recent pictures. Who wouldn’t want to go to Italy with shots like these?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Janice says:

    I just returned from 15 days, hadnt been back for 8 yrs and missed my friends so got a ryanair flight (55 euro but pd an extra 60 for second bag -15 kilos each). My usual spot is on the west coast near thr Zingaro riserva, but I met a friend and we spent a week in the Ragusa Noto area. Had seen but not in depth. It was fun for example to see the house of Montalbano (“poisonally in poisson”) and Ragusa Ibla, Scicli-which is a very manageable andlivable town nearby. I have to go see your grqndparents’ town….
    Went also to Poggioreale (abandoned ruins) and some other places. I do like bringing my own car by ferry qnd have done it from all the Italian ports…when you have time and its not a structured vacation thats the nicest way to go. Agree Margie, you cant see Sicily without a car…except Palermo and if you want to do that I advise to go to punta raisi and get a driver.
    I once thought I would buy a house in Sicily and it lives in my heart but I found Sardegna. For 12 years i took a month in spring and 3 weeks in fall to live there. One never gets ones fill 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, Sicily looks amazing, it’s definitely on my bucketlist. I love all your pics, they really give you an insight into the community and culture there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. vkrivas says:

    Love this pictures! I’m definitely going visit southern Italy the next time I’m in Europe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have a lot more exploration in Sicily to do. Went when I lived there in 2001 and went to Palermo and Taormina. Wasn’t a lover of wine so NEED to go back. Too bad they took your items. I would’ve been broken hearted. Bringing back memorabilia is always so important.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. On the very short list of Best Days of my Life was an afternoon in Pozzallo. It was one of those days we wished would never end.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Vino Travels says:

    Great photos of your visits. My first cannolo in Italy was Sicily. Almond wine sounds interesting, but Sicilian wines have definitely peaked on the Italian wine market and continue to do so.

    Like

  12. I visited Sicily three times in a two year period. Also, got in a few days in Amalfi. Amalfi was beyond beautiful, but too many tourists (like me). Sicily was wall to wall beauty. Beaches, mountains, people, seafood, festivals and history and art and Greek ruins, etc. Tips for Americans? It can be hot in spring and October. Don’t expect ice cubes ever with a drink.. You need to ask, most will comply, some act like you are stealing something. Sicilians have a higher tolerance for heat than us. Don’t be shocked when someone in a fall jacket complete with scarf around the neck. walks by you near the semi-crowded beach. Plan on gaining weight. Stunningly delicious food everywhere. breakfast-lunch- dinner-dolce. Your first day or two upon arriving, you’ll probably be beat up from jet-lag. Try not to dive right in to see as much as possible. It might take two days or more to get into “sicily-speed”. There’s varying degrees of calmness throughout this paradise island and in it’s people. If there’s a problem visiting Sicily, it’s that there’s too much to experience. You’re gonna need a month.
    Pizza is different in Sicily than American pizza. Try sfincione, a pizza bread with soft thick pillow-like bread. Fresh food, produce, seafood is there and surprising value from back home. I can’t wait to return.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Taormina’s Greek Theater – Teatro Greco | margieinitaly

  14. Pingback: Headed to Sicily – Travel Plans | margieinitaly

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