As beautiful as Rome is, I am sure you are looking forward to escape the Dolce Vita for a while this summer. If you still haven't made plans, I am here to recommend Sicily. Not only because I've spent a month exploring the beautiful island last year, but also because I'm thinking of going back again next month!
Still not convinced?
*Sicily has long been a crossroads and crucible of Mediterranean culture, and the island today is a fascinating palimpsest in which Greek temples, Norman churches and Baroque palazzos emerge from the rich fabric.
But it also has natural wonders aplenty, from the smoking craters of Mount Etna to the still relatively undiscovered beaches of the southern coast.*
See you there?
Here are our 9 reasons why you should visit Sicily this summer!
1 Life is a Sicilian beach
Whether you prefer to build sand castles or to lie on rocky terrains, Sicily has got you covered. With an endless coastline, the island offers large, long beaches as well as secluded bays. Some of the best beaches are protected in natural reserves: I loved Vendicari and Lo Zingaro.
2 Food, gorgeous food
One word? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
Of course, like the rest of Italy, the flavours and taste in general are incredible, but in Sicily, everything is multiplied. If you like fish, this island is going to become your favourite ever.
But don't forget to try the arancine, cannoli, cassata and everything else.
3 Oh, yummy street food
Yes, the street food here needs a separate mention, in fact, Sicily is probaly the one region in Italy where you will feel like you are in Asia. There are street food vendors everywhere, day and night, offering all sorts of yummy snacks. While in Palermo, make sure to head to the bustling Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo markets to try the panelle, stighiolle and while you are there make sure to track down Rocky Basile, the ‘King of the Vucciria’ to get one of his world's famous pani ca meusa.
4 Brioche con gelato a colazione
Yes, also ice-cream croissant for breakfast need a special mention. Don't you think? Yeah, that's a (serious) thing and I'm not even joking.
5 Architectural and historical heaven
With such a long and multicultural history, Sicily has some of the incredible architectural mix in Europe (the world?). One of the most amazing site is the Valley of the Temples near the city of Agrigento, which is truly an archaeological wonder while the Temple of Concordia is known as one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world. And what about the hundreds beautiful churches?
6 Boat trips
Not only one, big island, Sicily is surrounded by magical archipelago. You can opt for day trips to the Egadi or Eolie or you can decide to take a 2-3 night yacht cruise to Lampedusa.
8 Climb a vulcano
Mr Etna (no, that's not a typo) is a massive, impressive, giant mountain. To be exact, reaching 3329m, this is Italy's highest mountain south of the Alps and the largest active volcano in Europe. To top it up, Mt Etna is in an almost constant state of eruptions and it's not rare to see it like this:
9 Small cute villages
I don't know if it's just me. But I'm obsesed with tiny, cute, partially pedestrian viallages wherever I travel to. Especially if they look seem like complicated mazes, full of steps and gorgeous little shops. I particularly loved Modica, Ortigia and Ragusa Ibla.
Ever heard the myths and legets around Italian men and women? Well, pack them wiht you and then go to Sicily. You will be amazed by the amount of beautiful people around you. Seriously, I think that I've never seen as many gorgeous guys and girls in my life as last summer.
Now you know why I'm going back, uhm? ?