South of Italy: The magic beauty of Sicily
January 1, 1970
by Dessy Ivanova
“To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, Sicily is the clue to everything.”
That is my favorite quote by Goethe and I can say I totally agree with it!
So here we are, going to see the beauty of the gorgeous italian island – Sicily. You do not know how to arrive, how to find accomadation, what to visit, what to eat ? Do not worry, I will help you with some smart advices based on my Crazy Sicilian Trip. 🙂
This is one of the places that definetely have to be seen! If you are italian, you have been in Italy before, you have italian friends or you just like to learn useless information, you probably know that this part of the country is totally different than the north one. People are not talking a lot of english, they have funny italian dialect, so even if you know to speak italian it will be a bit harder to understand them. But do not worry.. sicilian people are really nice, cheerful and always trying to talk with you, to direct you,to help you, there is no matter if you speak the same language or no, they will find a way.
For me Catania is number 1 sicilian city but if you have more time to spend on the island you have also to visit Palermo ( it is the “capital” or the chief town of Sicily). Close to Palermo you can find also an amazing beach called Mondello.
If you are planning to go at some other season but not the summer, I am sure you are wondering if you could go into the sea. I have good news for you, I was there in december and it was possible to swim so take your bathing suit!
HOW TO ARRIVE?
Well the most comfortable way is definetely with aero. You can find really cheap tickets with Ryanair from a lot of cities in Italy .
Have a look here : https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en/ As I already said it is really nice to visit first Palermo and then to travel to Catania. I still do not believe that I am saying this but yes, a train trip would be amazing. Palermo – Catania itinerary is a prove of my words. You can not move your eyes from starring at the breathtaking landscapes.
If you choose this option the ticket will cost you around 13 euros so it is basicly nothing.
WHERE TO STAY?
If you are attempting to save money, the best options for finding accomodation are two:
- Searching for hostel or B&B – nice places can be found for 15/16 euros for a night. Check here : http://www.hostelworld.com/
- Searching a room/ a whole apartment on Airbnb – usually you can find the cheapest offers here (moreover if you are bigger group): https://www.airbnb.com/?has_logged_out=1
WHAT TO VISIT?
Well it it is a lot to see in Catania, behind every angle there is something amazing. Let`s have a look in my list of the places that I find obbligatory to visit:
- Castel Ursino – the castle is situated at the centre of the city, the interesting about it is that it was built close to the harbour and used as a lighthouse ( the harbour is situated 2.5 km away from the current location of the castle). One of the eruptions of the volcano of Etna have moved it.
- Piazza del Duomo – It feels like this square have captured the spirit of the whole city. You can see there the architectural beauty of the Cathedral Sant`Agata and the Elephant fountain.
- The harbour – From there you can enjoy the view of the amazing landscape of the sea and the volcano of Etna. I strongly recommend you to stay and watch the sunset from there. The view is unforgetable.
- The Mount of Etna – And the top of the cakeeeee…. Etna, Etna ,Etna. You can base all of your journey around the volcano. That is an expirience that should not be missed. I advice you to take a guide , it will cost you around 50/60 euros but IT IS WORTHED! The duration of the tour is around 4 or 5 hours ( and you will not want to go back). Climbing volcano and running into lava sands will bring you to the top of the world (somewhere in the clouds 🙂 ) from where you can see even the endless ocean. It can not be described with words, you just need to be there!
WHAT TO EAT?
There is a lot of crazy (and tasty) even a bit exotical sicilian food. Anyway make sure you tried these ones:
- Arancini – the speciality of Sicily.. I really love it! It is a fritten ball or cone full with rise and meat/peas/mozarella/ham
2. Panino con milza – A sandwich full with pieces of spleen and lung from calf traditional for Sicily, it takes part of the street food of Palermo. If you are interested in trying different kinds if food , you have to try it.
3. Seafood – You are on an island so there is a pleanty of seafood you have to try. It just depends on your taste, you can find almost any kind of fish , cooked according to some strange sicilian recipe.
4. Dolcies – There are a lot of delicios sicilian desserts , you just have to choose. I am sure that you will like everything. And it is really cheap.. No more than 1 or 2 euros from any kind of street food, not only the candies. Of course there are some of them that you will fall in love with. For example – Cannoli and Cassata.
5. Oranges : And let`s not forget the most important thing to eat.You have not been in Sicily, if you did not eat at least one orange. It is their home so do not wait a lot ( If you do not want to pay, just find an orange tree, they will be everywhere around you 😉 )
Summed up if you are searching for sun, warm people, marvelous beaches, active volcanoes, tasty food and a lot of adventures..Do not hesitate, Sicily is your next destination !!!