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.
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.
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.
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?
• 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.
• 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!
• 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.
• 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!
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.