A Guide to the Hidden Gems of Sicily

Advisor - Zoé Gotti
Curated By

Zoé Gotti

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  • Italy

  • Sicily

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Family Travel

  • Group Travel

  • Solo Travel

  • Hidden Gems

  • Multi City

  • Sightseeing

a blue row boat is tied to the shallow rocks in clear blue water
Curator’s statement

Sicily is just off the 'toe' of Italy's boot. Whether you are looking for a relaxing travel experience by the sun and the sea or a tour of the island to get the most of the culture, Sicily is full of culture, gastronomical experiences and hidden gems. The magnificent landscapes will leave you mesmerised and the cultivated fresh food will have you wanting more. We traveled there as a family and fell in love with all of the sightseeing and restaurants available to try. My uncle who lives there showed us the local's way of living and his favourite locations, which I have curated in this guide along with my own inspirations.

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Where to stay in Sicily

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San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel

Perched on a rocky promontory high above the Ionian Sea, this 14th-century convent with panoramic views of Mount Etna offers fine dining and local experiences.

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  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

Villa Sant'Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina Mare

Luxe property from 1830 with upscale rooms and suites.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia

Providing the best in Mediterranean hospitality, Capofaro is surrounded by rows of vines reaching the sea and is home to 27 villas, each unique yet all with their own private terrace with a sea or garden view.

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Things to do in Sicily

ancient roman theater remains over ocean views of a coastal city on a hazy day


  • Taormina E Giardini di Naxos - These are the botanical gardens perched on the town of Taormina, perfect for a walk with the family and sightseeing the mesmerizing views of the island.

  • Teatro Antico di Taormina - The place to head to once in your life to experience the true culture of Italian Opera shows. We were left breathless in this ancient Roman theatre.

  • Mercato Di Ballaro - A must do as it is open everyday from 7am until 7pm. You will find everything local and traditional.

  • Fondazione Sant'Elia - This modern art museum is like no other as it is in an ancient monastery, open until 6pm and closed on Mondays.

  • Orto Botanico di Palermo - Since you are in Palermo, you must see the magnificent greenery that grows in the Orto Botanico. A walk in nature is always a good idea.

  • Barone di Villagrande - A wine lover? This is the perfect winery tour to go on to have a taste of the local wine such as the Etna Rosso bottle.

  • Mount Etna - Check the local tours and guides or the Horse Riding tour on Viator.

  • Agrigento - Visit the valley of temples and be submerged in ancient Roman life and history for a walking day.

  • Boat Trip in Syracuse - You can find local boat tours to see the caves surrounding this wonderful island.

  • Zingaro Nature Reserve - Another great hike on the coastal paths of Sicily, the panoramic views are worth the walk!

  • Lipari Island Boat Trip

Places to eat & drink in Sicily

a narrow ancient city street in summer with busy outdoor restaurants


  • Cappello (Palermo - Piazza Politeama): Known for its delicious pastries and traditional coffee.

  • Irrera Pastry Shop (Messinain - the center of Messina): The best pastries, traditional cannolo siciliano and 'Setteveli' sweet by Salvatore Cappello.

  • Bam Bar Granita (Taormina): The must try granita with various flavours, though the best local one is lemon. There is outdoor seating and tables.

  • Colicchia (Trapani): Very famous for its Sicilian cassate, cannoli & granita.



Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Teresa Nanci Pappalardo's guide, Local's Guide to Palermo, Sicily.

Advisor - Zoé Gotti

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Zoé Gotti

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy.