Guide to Arts & Culture in Sicily
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
A stunning island that has so much to offer—food, wine, history, archaeological sites, cooking, outdoor activities and the beach. Most only go for a few days but I recommend a week to take it all in, get around and even relax a bit.
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Where to stay in Sicily, Italy
Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina
Sicilian-style hillside property with upscale rooms and suites offering views of Mount Etna and the coast.
$100 food / beverage credit.
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San Domenico Palace
Polished hotel set in a 14th-century former convent overlooking the Ionian Sea.
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Located on a cliff in Baia delle Sirene Bay, this chic property boasts rooms with either a balcony or terrace, several dining options and a spa.
A bottle of Italian sparkling wine upon arrival.
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Things to do in Sicily, Italy
Palermo, beautiful and bustling Palermo is a great entry point for your trip. You can walk the streets, do a food tour, visit churches, see an opera and head to the Capo market. While at the market don’t forget to eat all the street food including panelle, arancine and a cannoli. The very brave can opt to try a Pani câ meusa. Enjoy!
With some of the best-preserved ruins in Europe, the Valley of the Temples is a great stop for everyone. Get an archeologist as a guide to make the most of your time here and see all the temples and vistas. See where Dolce and Gabbana held their famous 2019 fashion show. If you spend all day there you can opt to spend the night at a boutique hotel with a great view of the ruins and dine overlooking them. So much magic.
Looming over Sicily is Mount Etna. Although active, the volcano is easy to explore although again I recommend a guide that can tell you about eruptions over the years and how it affects the soil and life (animal and human) on the island. You can walk on lava fields, crawl though caves, hike, take in some incredible views, see where local honey is made and visit a winery. The wine made on the volcano is some of my favorite and a visit to one of the vineyards is great fun even for kids.
Taormina is so gorgeous that you may think you are in a dream. Beautiful windy streets with fun shops, gelato everywhere and great restaurants all set among stunning ruins. Make time to explore on foot and make sure to see the theatre and other historical sites. Also save some time to do a bit of shopping (my favorite is the make-your-own sandals) and enjoy the beach at the bottom of the town—the Ionian Sea feels good. And if you look up you will still see Mount Etna in the background. The only hard part about this town is figuring out which incredible hotel you will stay at. And yes, this is where you splurge.
Interested in more ruins? Head on over to Syracuse and the Neapolis Archaeological Park to explore. Then perhaps consider a trip to the town market and cooking class with a local chef. Learn her tips and secrets and go home knowing a bit more about the food of the region. And then head on a bit further south to Noto. Stroll the streets of this picturesque baroque style town and be on the lookout for the famous granita.
Interested in wine? You can stay at a wine hotel on the slopes of Mount Etna.
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Looking for more Sicily inspiration? Check out my Fabulous Sicily Travel Guide.