DESTINATION TAORMINA

Taormina sits across the Strait of Messina, that divides the Region of Calabria from the Island of Sicily. Mother Nature has created a masterpiece here, painting the gorgeous sea into its background. Nature also one of this area’s biggest highlights, extraordinary under a limpid sky and sitting above marine depths where another world waits to be explored. So much like a kaleidoscope of hues, the sea changes from nocturnal blue to crystalline defined by slight blue veins. One of the marvels of this sea? The Aeolian Islands: Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli, Vulcano, Filicudi and Alicudi are the seven pearls scattered over the waters facing Messina. All of volcanic origin, each contains its individual beauty and historical identity; together, they have been proclaimed a World Heritage Site. As in the past, Taormina is the main portal to Sicily. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Swabians landed on its coasts and had a heavy influence on culture here and throughout the Island. By exploring the small provincial town, one can discover precious works of art in its churches and palaces, and important traces of great and faraway civilizations. Above all, Taormina, dramatically perched on a precipice (and with a great view of Etna […]

Siracusa

The Sicilian City of Syracuse is a wonderland. Echoes of ancient civilizations still resound in the streets of this coastal city, and Baroque architecture narrates its eventual rebirth as sun, sand and sky envelop it with their brilliance. A journey to this corner of Sicily awakens profound sensations, as if one were crossing the threshold of time into thousands of years ago. We can feel it as we walk through Syracuse’s streets, where precious testimonials recall with great force the splendor of Magna Graecia, and step by step, accompany the visitor through the eras that impacted Syracuse’s history so strongly: i.e. the Romans and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Swabians and Aragonese. Here they all wrote a page or two of Sicilian history. Neapolis, Acradina, Ortygia, Tyche, and Epipoli are the quarters of the ancient city. Their names alone suffice to transport us into another dimension. In the Park of Neapolis and on the Island of Ortygia, connected by three bridges to the mainland, we find ourselves in the thick of the monuments. Immersed in the Iblea Valley and amidst Mediterranean vegetation is the Pantalica necropolis, a site of extraordinary archaeological value: findings include thousands of tombs dug in the rocks […]

Ragusa

This is a province primarily designed by man. Farmers in particular have contributed to Ragusa’s character, appearance and cuisine, for years shaping the countryside through seed-sowing and cultivation of the harvest that abounds on the people’s tables. The same fruits of the soil render unique the fragrances of Ragusan foods and wines. Ragusa is a puzzle of shaped tiles perfectly-placed along the long dry walls constructed by the local people. The walls’ hues of brown contrast with newly tilled fields and brilliantly-green, sprouting crops. Its landscape traces the Iblei highlands and valleys, the unrivaled masters of the Ragusa inlands that are characterized by profound canyons, eroded over time by flowing rivers and streams. The landscape becomes gentler as it slopes down towards the splendid coast, with Scoglitti and Pozzalo marking out its confines. It is an alternating balance of cliffs and endless beaches of finest sand. The colors one can witness here are truly beyond words, painted by sunrays at play over the blue seas and golden beaches. Picturesque villages and charming localities welcome us to a seaside holiday, within the delightful ambience of open-air events under a star-lit sky. If we’re lucky, gracious landlady may invite us to her […]

Agrigento – the legendary door to the Olympus

The Province of Agrigento stretches out amidst ancient ruins and Baroque architecture, as well as sparkling beaches, marvelous islands, crystal-clear waters and ocean beds buzzing with life. It is the ideal place for those in search of culture, history and art, all in an environment of total relaxation and, of course beneath the warmth and rays of the Italian sun. The clear sea washes up onto one of the world’s most beautiful and transparent coasts. In the distance, the turquoise water seems to melt with the blue skies, and where the gaze meets the horizon lies the dazzle of a thousand blue hues. Long sandy beaches alternate with deep bays, adorned by the typical Mediterranean maquis that characterizes much of Sicily. Aromas of the land combine with the scent of the sea, that floats towards the shore on the light marine breeze. The Islands of Lampedusa, Lampione and Linosa, make up the Pelagiean Archipelago. These “Islands of the High Seas” are the southernmost point of the European Union. The hinterland is a great expanse of plains cultivated with vineyards, various grains and wheat, fruit orchards and orange groves; there, an array of greenery resides, and notable is the striking candor of […]

Catania, visit the lava black city at the foot of Mount Etna! Watch this beautiful video

Catania lies cradled amidst the splendid greenery of its surroundings, yet at the same time opens out to the sea, welcoming us with its grand piazzas, wide roads, and architecture in lavic rock. The city is full of attractions, offering historic and artistic wonders for everyone. Remnants of history prove that the various cultures that have left their mark; the people have absorbed the influences of their many rulers, as seen in the architectonic lines of the buildings, churches and monuments. Its Duomo is a magnificent example. Reconstructed with the use of materials recovered from Roman-era buildings – such as the marble columns that decorate its courtyards – it looks out onto the piazza carrying its name (which after the earthquake was designed to leave ample space between buildings in the event of another destructive earthquake). It is dedicated to the city’s Patron, St. Agata, whose statue surmounts the main façade designed by Giovan Battista Vaccarini. Besides the church, the splendid Piazza Duomo is surrounded by the Palazzo Senatorio and elegant noble buildings arranged around the Fontana dell’Elefante, the symbol of the city. The monument, also the work of Vaccarini, is a kind of historical stratification: the base (the elephant) […]

The best beaches in Sicily: take a free tour!

Sicily is a summer holiday jewel in the Mediterranean Sea and Sicily beaches are some of the most beautiful in all of Europe! If you are coming here and looking for some of the best beaches to relax on then check this list of the Best Beaches in Sicily. You will definitely choose one for your coming holidays! There is no one in Palermo who wouldn’t go to the beautiful beach of Mondello during the hot summer days. It can be sometimes overcrowded but is definitely on the list of the most beautiful places in Sicily.  The beach is located about 10 kilometers away from the city, nestled between Monte Pellegrino and Monte Gallo mountains. Sant Vito Lo Capo’s turquoise waters and crescent-shaped sandy beach are a well-kept secret, sure to impress beach-lovers. Set against the imposing backdrop of Monte Monaco in Sicily’s north-west, this charming coastal town is also a big hit with climbers. Visit in September to experience the Cous Cous Festival. Who wouldn’t know the famous beach between Trapani and Palermo with the equally famous and iconic mountain? The beach is 3 km long and wide enough to accommodate thousands of visitors every day. San Vito Lo Capo […]

PASQUA IN SICILIA: le celebrazioni più belle da non perdere!

La Pasqua in Sicilia è la ricorrenza che fin dai tempi più antichi e più di ogni altra, ha suscitato in tutto il territorio dell’isola, una intensa partecipazione popolare. Nel corso della Settimana Santa è un susseguirsi di rappresentazioni e processioni che hanno come intento quello della rievocazione e commemorazione della Passione, Morte e Resurrezione di Gesù Cristo. I cortei che si snodano per le vie delle città sono formati dalle confraternite delle arti e dei mestieri nei loro caratteristici antichi costumi, seguite dal clero con i paramenti quaresimali, nonché da simulacri di Gesù morto, della Madre sua in dolore e dagli altri personaggi che contornano la Passione di Cristo. Ma più spesso queste rappresentazioni sono impersonate dai fedeli che raffigurano con grande pathos i tristi momenti del Calvario di Gesù. La presenza attiva della gente è sentita a tal punto che, anche a livello emotivo, i sentimenti del dolore per la Morte prima e poi della gioia per la Resurrezione del Redentore, appaiono autentici per la teatralità che assumono nei vari passaggi del ciclo pasquale. Forte è la simbologia che connota e caratterizza la Settimana Santa sia a livello decorativo degli scenari per la presenza di elementi ormai rituali […]

Easter in Sicily

Sicily is famous for its spectacular celebrations surrounding Pasqua (Easter) as Sicilians head to church and take to the streets in parades to honour the most important week in the Christian calendar. Festivities continue throughout Holy Week, culminating on Easter Sunday, when families enjoy a lunch based on roast lamb and specially-prepared cakes. Pasquetta (Easter Monday) is traditionally the first chance for a spring outing in the year, when Sicilians head for parks, beaches and nature reserves to have a picnic. All over the island, in large towns and tiny villages alike, processions weave their way through narrow streets, central thoroughfares and piazzas until finally they arrive at the local parish church or Cathedral. Easter also signals the arrival of Spring, and many pagan traditions that used to mark the arrival of the “beautiful season” have been incorporated into the religious festivities. For food lovers, Easter is a great time to come to Sicily: enticing seasonal delicacies and gastronomic delights celebrate the bounty of Primavera. It is the time for Martorana, or Pasta Reale, marzipan confectionary that is delighfully shaped and painted to resemble fruit of all types. With Easter being a time for celebration, the Cassata, Sicily’s signature cake, […]

Ostern auf Sizilien

Ostern wird auf Sizilien groß gefeiert und es ist ein wundervolles Erlebnis, zu dieser Zeit die Insel zu entdecken. Über die ganze Insel verteilt finden Prozessionen statt, die sich ihren Weg durch die schmalen Gassen, großen Hauptdurchgangsstraßen und Piazzas bahnen, um bei der Kirche oder Kathedrale ihren Abschluss zu finden. Ostern läutet den Frühling ein und viele heidnische Bräuche zur Feier der Ankunft der „schönen Jahreszeit“ sind in die religiösen Festlichkeiten eingeflossen. Für Feinschmecker ist Ostern eine ideale Zeit, um auf Sizilien zu verweilen: die Fülle des Frühlings wird mit verführerischen saisonalen Gerichten und kulinarischen Genüssen gefeiert. Es ist Zeit für Martorana oder Pasta Reale, eine Art Marzipan-Konfekt, das wie richtige Früchte geformt und bemalt ist. Cassata, ein typisch sizilianischer Kuchen aus gesüßtem Ricotta-Käse, Marzipan und kandierten Früchten wird auf der ganzen Insel aufgetischt. Frische Erbsen, Fava-Bohnen und Artischocken harmonisieren zusammen in „frittella“, und die Thunfischsaison beginnt… Zurück zum heiligen Aspekt von ‘Pasqua’ (Ostern): Es gibt einige sehr interessante Anlässe, die es bei einem Besuch auf Sizilien zur Osterzeit nicht zu verpassen gilt und bei denen Sie die Atmosphäre von jahrhundertealter Traditionen erleben können: Im Westen Das vermutlich bekannteste religiöse Spektakel auf Sizilien sind die „Mysterien“ von Trapani, an denen […]