Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, at the tip of the Italian boot, Sicily has stirred up the envy of many local civilisations. This island in the south of Italy has its own personality. 5 things to do during your holidays in Sicily and nowhere else
Explore the Palatine Chapel, the Norman Royal Palace of Palermo and the Capuchin Catacombs. Also take time to soak up the city and walk around, wandering randomly and getting lost in the small alleyways, which are surprisingly cool when the sun hits, and from which a dazzling gap of raw light suddenly emerges. The city of 'Cosa Nostra' has many more attractions than just its Mafia.
It is a place like no other, like a huge terrace facing the Mediterranean, nestled in a tiny green haven in Sicily where scorched ochre land is everywhere. The Greeks, and then the Romans, were right, they saw that Taormina was the place to be, and left us the majestic ruins of their theatre. The city is made of this golden stone, which seems to have captured the sun's rays. Enjoy a cup of strong coffee, as only the Italians know how to make them, on the terrace of a bistro stumbled upon when exploring the town's beautiful streets.
Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world with almost 100 eruptions during the 20th century. Watching lava flows at night is a breathtaking sight. At nearly 11,000ft tall, the majestic volcano dominates the landscape, and is always on the horizon as you travel from Taormina to Catania via Regalbuto. Approach it from Etna National Park, walk along its slopes, and, accompanied by an official guide, walk to the edge of its eruptive mouth, which opens to the belly of the world.
"I would like so much to see Syracuse" sings the famous French Caribbean singer Henri Salvador in his warm voice. It is understandable : Corinthians and Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Swabians and Aragonese succeeded one another to create this City of Wonders, ' The most beautiful city in the world ' during Cicero's time, perhaps even more beautiful today, the Doric temples, the impressive Greek theatre and the Roman theatre already existed in his time, but he was centuries away from admiring the sublime baroque architecture of the city.
They are semolina biscuits, filled with figs, almonds, walnuts and candied oranges, and sprinkled with cinnamon. Sicilian cuisine will definitely be a highlight of your trip. Sicilian cannelloni, local aranchini, sfincione - local pizza with olive oil, pecorino and onions - and squid ink spaghetti are all waiting to be enjoyed.
Cover picture : Flaviu Boerescu/fotolia.com