After the great sacrifices imposed by Covid-19 we are slowly returning to normal, and it seems to me that the time has come to start thinking about travel and holidays again. And why not choose as a holiday destination 2021 one of my 8 travel itineraries not to be missed in my beautiful Sicily? Here are eight must-see travel destinations in Sicily: historical places like Palermo, Syracuse, Ragusa, Agrigento to Pantelleria, laviche rocks in the heart of the Mediterranean. Passing through Etna and the Nebrodi, for those who prefer hills and mountains. Or the wonderful salt route between Marsala and Trapani and the Sicilian Baroque of Noto and Modica, that has no equal in the world.
Holidays 2021 in Sicily: 8 must-see travel itineraries
According to the usual surveys on the favorite destination of Italians for summer holidays, Sicily leads the list of the most desired destinations for the holidays 2021. Together with Puglia and Tuscany. Between cities of art, sea and beaches, Trails, the wonder of Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, Sicily offers so much to tourists. And I didn't mention food: Granite, sweets, fish, recipes with Eggplant, cheese and wine. Not to mention the people and their hospitality. "Si, I'm biased. But it's all true.
and you've never been to Sicily, it's time to think seriously and choose one of my 8 travel itineraries not to be missed. In each itinerary I obviously recommend all the places to visit, but also the restaurants to try, where to sleep, the dishes you absolutely can't miss. And still, what to buy as a souvenir and i'll tell you about the story of my wonderful land.
Dammusi, Masas, zibibbo and fiery sunsets on a sea surrounded by lavic rocks. Pantelleria is Sicily squared: in this island everything is hard, sparkling, crystalline. A holiday in Pantelleria will put you in touch with yourself: it's a slow vacation, from slow times, surrounded by nature, caressed by the silence and wind of the Mediterranean.
Between panteschi kisses stuffed with ricotta, a glass of fine passito wine by Pantelleria Doc and an aperitif on the roofs of the dammusi, Pantelleria will be able to enchant you. My advice is to go there at the end of August, in harvest time, to see the spectacle of the zibibbo withering lying in the sun between the dry stone walls. And feel in the narrow streets the scents of must. Is’ holiday suitable for those who love unspoiled nature and without compromise.
Syracuse is one of the landmarks of Sicily: enchanted millions of tourists with its crystal clear sea and impressive archaeological remains. Is’ definitely one of the perfect places for a holiday of culture and good living. The old town, Ortigia, since 2005 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Syracuse, in ancient times, was one of the most important centers of the Mediterranean: heart of Magnagrecia, managed not to lose any of its charm century after century.
Is’ the perfect holiday for those who love wandering among temples, churches, Greek amphitheatres, Baroque cathedrals, Christian catacombs. In short, for those who love culture and history. But it doesn't disdain a bath in the city's green waters, a boat ride to admire the fortifications at sunset, a dinner of fresh fish or a chic aperitif on the waterfront.
Palermo, Unesco by 2015 with its Arab-Norman itinerary, it's my city of the heart. For me a holiday in Sicily can not but start from Palermo, a city with infinite beauties and infinite contradictions. Among all the possible holidays in Sicily, the one in Palermo is the most versatile. Love history and culture, architecture and archaeology? You'll have so much to see that a month wouldn't be enough. You like the sea and nature? A stone's throw away are Cefalù and Mondello, the hills around Monreale and a little further away the beaches of San Vito lo Capo. You are the classic food and wine tourists? Street food, rotisserie, starred restaurants, home trattorias, bars and pastry shops. Palermo is the paradise of the gastronauti. Palermo is definitely among the 8 travel itineraries not to be missed if you have decided to spend your holidays in Sicily.
The itinerary I propose runs along the common thread of the civil and religious buildings protected by UNESCO, all dating from the Norman period, ranging from 1130 to 1194, exceptional example of socio-cultural syncretism that occurred miraculously in Sicily between Western culture, Byzantine and Islamic. With delicious breaks, sweet and savory, between visits. Palermo will remain in your heart.
between Trapani and Marsala there is one of the most special places in Sicily, where I never tire of return. Is’ the area bordered by the salt road, a natural and cultural landscape where salt draws a fine line that unites the land to the sea. A place where there is always wind and colors are unique. the yellow stones, the blue sea, the green Mediterranean vegetation and the white salt.
In the middle is Erice, one of the most beautiful villages on the island, where you'll get passionate about genoese ericine, one of the typical sweets of the place. Between Trapani and Marsala the holiday becomes gourmet. Here grow garlic by Nubia, paceco's "yellow" melons, the watermelons, they produce the oil Dop Valli trapanesi, Marsala wine, the Doc Erice. There is fresh fish and lemon slushes with hot bread in the morning, spaghetti with Pesto alla Trapanese. There are cellars and vineyards. And there are islands: Levanzo Municipality, Marettimo and Favignana. There are dazzling salt pans, with their mills. And the fire-red sunsets on the salt pans. Is’ a place that is good for the soul.
In the triangle of Sicilian Baroque, between Noti, Scicli and Modica, you have to be careful not to fall. Because you will always have your gaze turned upwards. To admire balconies, Railings, timpani, Doors, Terraces, spires and bell towers. Vallo di Noto is one of the most beautiful corners of Sicily. Since 2002 the entire Vallo di Noto has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Known, Modica and Scicli together with Catania, Militello Val di Catania, Palazzolo Acreide, Caltagirone.
Places reborn from their ashes, disastrous earthquake of 1693, become a dazzling beauty thanks to artists who have played with the shapes, erecting palaces and churches, embroidering balconies and attics, acquerellando faces and flowers on the walls and gates, creating an original and unique style. That joins a particular gastronomy made of scacce, breaded breads, almond slushe, Chocolate of Modica. Is’ the holiday for art enthusiasts, sculpture drawing and beautiful things.
The itinerary between Etna and the Nebrodi, which starts from the sea and climbs slowly to the largest active volcano in Europe is the one most loved by German and French tourists, that travel by car the curves and villages between the province of Messina and Catania, in Eastern Sicily. From the Gulf of Milazzo countries, through the valleys between the Peloritani and Nebrodi mountains, passing through Novara di Sicilia (gourmet break par excellence) and Francavilla of Sicily with the wonderful gurne of Alcantara. Unspoiled nature and a swim in pure and icy water. This is perhaps the most amazing of the 8 travel itineraries not to be missed for your holidays in Sicily.
To get to Randazzo, built of lava stone and then on Etna among vineyards and dry stone walls. Etna is not just a volcano, In fact, it is a territory with a thousand facets, became in recent years the paradise of winelovers. The great Italian wineries compete to grab a piece of that black and fertile land that offers long-lived wines with extraordinary flavor. And it doesn't just give grapes, but pere, peaches oranges, figs like you've never seen, with a soft and sweet pulp. Is’ the slow holiday of those who love to discover the good and beautiful things that nature, imposing and wild, can offer.
A castle, a city that has a mysterious and baroque heart, a green sea, beaches of fine sand. And still vineyards that come to the sea, oak woods and sunny countryside. You want all this and even more? then a holiday awaits you between Ragusa Ibla (Unesco heritage) and donnafugata castle, the port of Licata and Cala del Re. Is’ a slow Sicily, suggestive and ancient. It is a cultural and food and wine itinerary between trattorias and starred restaurants. But it's also a television itinerary, since there are many places immortalized in Commissioner Montalbano's series.
Ibla, Ibla, alone, deserves more than a vacation. Located on a hill about 400 meters high, with its 18 monuments that are world heritage sites, is built with a yellow stone with a dazzling color. Donnafugata Castle, on the other hand, is in neo-Gothic style. between, so much countryside and woods, farmhouses and educational farms. Is’ the perfect holiday for families, who want to eat well, see unique places, walking in nature, take a bath in shallow, crystal clear waters.
From the top of the acropolis of Agrigento you can see the sea. The grandeur of the Scala dei Turchi, shaped by water and wind, is the version designed by mother nature of the Greek temples designed by man. Agrigento, in Sicilian ' Garcia ', is greece in miniature. If you have seen the Acropolis of Athens but not that of Agrigento, you don't know what you missed. From the sea to the stones of the temples everything is of an enormous beauty. Is’ so also the food: the oil, almonds, the fish, the wine, the milk of girgentane sheep. History murmurs incessantly between stones and the sea.
Agrigento is also a 'slow' Sicily, where the slowness is a virtue, where you can eat a spaghetti with clams on the beach without haste. Feeling just fine, with the wind in your hair. Then stroll in a cork, go back to donkey. Preparing for energy-demanding visit to temples, strength and low and comfortable shoes. An experience you will not forget.