Must-See Places to Visit in Sicily

Sicily is the most significant island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is also held in high regard to be one of the (if not the) most beautiful Italian and east European islands in the entire region. It also just so happens to be the stronghold of the Italian Mafia and has been for quite a few decades. It boasts of up to 5 different UNESCO World Heritage sights, which is entirely unheard of, considering the amount of land that the island of Sicily has when compared to other islands or complete regions with similar amounts of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Because Sicily is in a part of Italy that has been ruled by the Romans (obviously) as well as the Greeks, Europeans, Asians and Africans, it boasts a wildly differentiating style of architecture that you simply cannot find in any other place in the world.

During one the famous cruises or simple visits to the beautiful and wonderous Island of Sicily, you will undoubtedly be awed and in shock at the sheer mountains and views that pertain to Sicily.

1. The Palermo
If you want to procure for yourself an authentic and traditional taste of Sicilian and Italian life, then look no further than the Palermo; the marketplace. Here you can find street vendors and fancy restaurants, absolute loads of street music and multi-cultural wonders.

2. Tindari
Located in the relatively small province that is Messina, a small town named Tindari can be found. It is a world-wide pilgrimage site as well as an ancient Greek village. It has been popularized and is exceptionally widely known for its poetry and art by the infamous Quasimodo. It is beautiful in every way possible and holds one of the World UNESCO Heritage sites, this particular one among the others being the famous Black Madonna Sanctuary. Among many other things, it was founded by Dynosious himself.

It boasts original Ancient Greek Walls as well as the very same Old Roman baths and mosaics that were built back in the late B.C ages as well as into the early A.D ages.

3. Aeolian Islands
The fancy, sulfurous, and somewhat upscale volcanic island chain of the Aeolian Islands merely is one of the places to be when you are going on a vacation to Sicily. It has beautiful cliffs, fantastic views, and is worldwide renowned for its fishing and its food.

4. The Pelagian Islands
The most significant island of the trio of Pelagian isles is Lampedusa. It is in the absolute southernmost part of Italy and is therefore in the southernmost part of Sicily. This wonderous landscape has lovely sandy beaches as well as a beautiful rugged scenery and long ridges that are carefully protected by coves and cliffs.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of beautiful places to go when you are not only visiting Italy but also explicitly visiting Sicily. Naturally, this is just scratching the surface, but there indeed are a lot of places for you to gaze at. From the fantastic pasta-Al Fredo to the incredible and out-of-this-world wine, all the way to the warm and crystal clear waters and sandy beaches, Italy is the place to be for the most pleasant and most exciting summer vacation.

Famous Sicilian Artists

 

Sicily has an extremely long history of raising up incredible artists, sculptors, and painters. It also has an even longer history of contributing to the upbringing of many of the world’s greatest philosophers and so-called ‘thinkers.’

These people have a legacy of making changes so subtle that the world may never know their name as much as they should, or they shake the world with such vigorous creativity that the world is left changed forever. In this list, we will focus on quite a few of both of these kinds of people; the subtle and naive versus the popular and outgoing. Stick around, you might be better and more historically versed for it.

1. Archimedes

Quite a lot of philosophers and historians have known this man’s name throughout the ages. This incredible man was not only a mathematician but a philosopher, engineer, astronomer and a well-rounded genius inventor. He also invented Algebra, so there’s that. What’s both humorous and ironic is the fact that Sir Isaac Newton and Leibniz both argued back and forth for years about which one of THEM (Right?) created it. Now here’s the ironic part; with the help of x-rays, back in 2008, an old scroll was found that proves the widely believed notion that Archimedes literally ‘schooled’ them both by over 2,000 years.

2. Renato Guttuso

From the coastal Sicilian town of Palermo came a famous painter who would eventually leave his very own mark on the world. His name was Renato Guttuso. His most famous painting is named “La Vucciria” and is painted after the La Vucciria market in Sicily, Italy. Big surprise, huh? The name and location? Yeah, me too. Anyway, during the 1950s, the English over in Britain didn’t have any kind of mainstream Italian cuisine. The queen of England had, somehow, literally never heard (in her life) about olive oil or parmesan. How do you live?

3. Empedocles

This famous philosopher was born in Agrigento, which is a town within the borders of Sicily. He was the very first person to coin the four elements as being water, earth, wind, and fire in one singular idea and statement. His thoughts also become the actual foundation of western medicine for over two thousand years. You see, the reason why I say over two thousand years like that is simple. I’m stating it in such a sense like it is to say that the roots of western medicine have changed since then. However, I would like to report that this is just not the case. Instead, it’s because it’s only been 2,000 years since his birth, and we haven’t gone into the future and replaced it with anything yet. Just wanted to clear that up, thanks.

Anyway, he turns out to be wrong. He did have the ultimate track record of curing people during his time, though. It also it turns out that SOME (I say that because not all of his ideas were correct and worked in any sense) of his thoughts helped to stop some plagues, sicknesses, and nationwide epidemics from spreading further than they had. I dare say that we owe this gentleman quite a lot.

Here’s a modern artist – Fulvio Di Piazza:

What is a Sicilian Style Pizza?

 

For pizza lovers, Sicilian pizza is one of the most desired types of pizza. But, what is a Sicilian style pizza, and why is it so popular? The reason it is so beloved is the fact that it is simple, tasty, and relies on natural, fresh ingredients in the preparation process. But, where does it derive its name from? Sicily of course.

Sicilian style pizza is merely a term which is coined to a pizza which is prepared in the manner it was initially prepared in Sicily. No complicated ingredients, no lengthy list of ingredients, and nothing fancy about it. Simply put, it is a pizza which uses fresh ingredients, authentic ingredients, and comes from Sicily, the home of pizza (and many favorite Italian dishes for that matter).

What does this pizza style look like?

In the US, the Sicilian pizza is often associated with pizza recipes which have a broader or thicker crust. Deep dish pizza, where the ingredients are placed below the sauce, is the style which is associated with Sicilian style pizza recipes. Sicilian style pizza dates back to the 1860s, where it was originally introduced in the Sicilian island chain. It arrived in the US in the mid-19th/early 20th centuries. By the time it made its way into the US, the crust had become thicker/doughier, and the shape had transitioned into a rectangular pizza, as opposed to the original round version of the pie.

  • This type of pizza differs from Neapolitan style pizza in that: It is thicker (crust).
  • It is rectangular, not round.
  • It has more sauce and more cheese than traditional pies.
  • Strong cheese, sauce, and anchovies are the primary ingredients which are typically used in the preparation of this style of pizza (both in Sicily as well as in the US).

When it comes to pizza, Sicily is one of the original creators of the dish we’ve all come to love so much over the years. Sicilian pizza has withstood the test of time, due to the simple nature of preparation, the authentic ingredients, simplicity in execution, and yes, the fresh ingredients which are used in the preparation of the pie.

Whether you love classic styles, are looking for a new recipe to try, or simply want something which is simple and tasty, you can’t go wrong with pizza. For those who want the most authentic style of pizza, a Sicilian style pizza is as original and authentic as they come.

And here’s how you make it. Enjoy!

The Best Time to Travel to Sicily, Italy 

 

As beautiful and culturally rich as Italy is, there are very few places within the country that hold a candle to Sicily. This gorgeous island in the Mediterranean Sea is very easily the most scenic region of Italy. From awe-inspiring beaches to temples and hiking trails that are straight out of the Silver Screen, Sicily is without a doubt, a beautiful destination. That is why it is flocked by hoards of tourists all year round.

When is the best time to travel to Sicily Italy?
The answer to this question will greatly depend on your intentions. If you love lazing about at the beach getting a glorious tan, then you might want to visit during July and August. This is when the temperatures are soaring high, and the sandy beaches are filled with sunbathing travelers. For most people, temperatures that go into the triple digits are a bit of a heavy yoke to bear. So they opt for more accommodating conditions during different seasons.

The May – June
These are two of the most beach friendly months. The temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees, and the water at the beaches are lovely. You will, however, have to mix it up with huge crowds at any of the popular tourist sites because this is when many people prefer to visit.

The July – August
This has to be the hottest period in Sicily. For the most part, you will find that many resorts are closed down because the owners have travelled elsewhere to escape the searing heat. This period is perfect for those who do not mind the heat. You are, however, advised to confirm your reservations if you intend to visit during this time of year.

The September – October 
Considered a favorite season (along with the May and June period), the early fall period is just perfect for those who want to enjoy the island life in Sicily. The temperatures hover around 70 degrees and the breeze from the Ocean is just refreshing. It is Italy’s high season so expect huge crowds and overbooked hotels.

The November – April
This is the heart of Winter in Italy. It can get very chilly during this time of year. Although you will get amazing travel deals because it is the off season, you will not get to see Sicily at its best. Whether you are a hiking enthusiast, an avid surfer, a beach goer or a mountain climbing fan, Sicily has it all on offer. You just need to find the right and best time to travel to Sicily, Italy.

Consider visiting for the holidays…:

What Fruit and Vegetables are Native to Italy?

As is the case with fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables, some items are shipped from Italy. For those who want to prepare authentic Italian dishes, or desire the most refreshing, best-tasting fruits and vegetables from the country, there are plenty which is native to Italy. Whether you are preparing an authentic Italian dish, visiting the country, or simply doing personal research, these are a few of the native fruits and veggies to the nation.

Vegetables are grown in Italy: 

There are many vegetables which are stapled ingredients in Italian dishes. The freshest, which are native to the country include – Olives (a staple, and one of the most common ingredients found in Italian dishes), Sugar beets, Corn, Artichokes.

Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list, but it is a variety of vegetables which are commonly associated with Italian cuisine and dishes, which are native to their home country.

Due to the viability of many vegetables, these are not in season year round. So, before purchasing these vegetables, it is important to know when they are in season, where they were harvested, and whether or not they were produced in Italy if you are looking for authentic, fresh taste when preparing dishes.

Fruits which are native to Italy  
Like many of the vegetables which are staples and linked to popular Italian dishes, there are also many fruits which are associated with Italian cuisine. If you are looking for those who are native to and naturally grown in Italy, a few varieties of fruits include Citrus based fruits (lemons, limoncello), Tomatoes, Figs, Grapes.

 

Without grapes, we would never have the finest tasting Italian wines, to pair perfectly with our favorite pizza or pasta dishes. Again, this is not an all-inclusive list of the native fruits which are produced in Italy, but rather a few of the most popular, which are well known for their presence in Italian dishes and the world famous cuisine.

From preparing pizza, trying a new pasta recipe, or creating a citrus-based fruit salad, when it comes to authentic taste, you want to choose to produce, fruits, and vegetables which are native to the type of cuisine you are preparing. For Italian food lovers, you can’t go wrong with any dish you prepare. But, if you want authentic, rich, and the freshest ingredients prepared right outside your front door, these are some of the staple ingredients, which are native to Italy, you can add to your favorite dishes.

What are the Aeolian Islands In Sicily?

 

Directly off of the coast of Sicily, there lies a group of islands known as the Aeolian Islands. They have water that is as clear as glacier water, while at the same time offering the same health benefits as traditional mineral water while being as warm as the Bahamas! They have many different tourist locations as well as delicious, and most expensive, gourmet restaurants. Here are the Aeolian Islands one at a time.

1. Vulcano
If you intend on passing either through or around the infamous Tyrrhenian Sea, then you will end up somewhere around the even more well known Vulcano. It is a beautiful and expansive volcanic island that reeks (somewhat) of sulfur, due to its active volcano. It is a perfect place for you to bathe in the hot springs and take it easy, provided that you are comfortable with sleeping with a nose-clip on!

2. Lipari
The next island in the ring of the Aeolian Islands would most certainly be Lipari. It is the most populated of the seven islands and has hospitals as well as schools and a year-round life that does not pertain solely to vacationers. Its main town is always busy. It is also worthy of a visit if you are into Bahamanian-like waters, as well as delicious fresh fish. A trendy place to get a quick and tasty meal would be Atilla’s Pop-up food restaurant. There, you can get a plate of pasta-alfredo with a side of whatever fish Atilla has managed to catch that morning!

3. Stromboli
This island is the Eastern-most island on the ‘chain,’ so to speak. It is home to fashion designers as well as tourists. There is tons of great food and great places to stay. While it does have a volcano, similar to the first island on the Aeolian chain, it does not pollute and stink of sulfur, even though it is active. Speaking of which, it erupted randomly in 2007, which stranded a lot of visitors on the island, but nobody was hurt. It was then shut down for a few years to ‘rebuild’ somewhat. It has since become a lively place for people to vacation.

4. Salina
The beach of Salina at Pollara was filmed multiple times, especially during the 1940’s, due to its spectacular beauty as a beach and as an island. It has since been featured many times in films and has become one of the most well known Italian beaches to date. It is stunningly beautiful, especially at sunset.

There are much other smaller and less popular islands in the Aeolian Islands chain, and they are all beautiful and equally deserving of a visit! Save up your dollars and break your penny jar, because it’s time to go to Italy!

Do Italians Eat Healthy?

 

Ever noticed how trim, happy and energetic Italians are? There’s something that the Italians are doing that Americans and citizens in other developed countries aren’t. The truth of the matter is that Italians eat healthier and observe healthy eating habits.

Garden Fresh Ingredients
To the Italians, food is more than a source of fuel to keep you going throughout the day. It is a source of nutrition and good health. Most homes and restaurants in Italy grow their ingredients right in their backyards. They take pride in harvesting their spices, herbs, and vegetables and using them immediately to prepare their meal of the day. Now, this makes the food richer in not only flavor but nutrients too. So, this is unlike other nations where canned and frozen foods are the order of the day.

Catch the Italians dead buying frozen or canned foods. People here take pride in presenting tasty and satisfying dishes to their families and friends.

Communal Eating
Did you know that most Italians prefer to dine communally with their friends and family? Yes, they do. This is unlike Americans who eat on the go or individually staring at the television. Italians grab every opportunity to gather their loved ones and enjoy a hearty meal together. Families and relationships here are close-knit. They utilize meal times as opportunities to bond, catch up laugh and love.

Slow Eating
Although there are fancy restaurants in Italy, most restaurants in small towns and villages keep it small with lots of personalities. Most of them do not have menus or daily specials. You get to enjoy local delicacies freshly prepared as you wait. Expect to see clusters of families around laughing, telling stories and dancing while their meals get prepared. The food here is enjoyed and not devoured. Sometimes, it takes 3 hours or so for the Italians to finish eating. This is a recommended practice that is healthy for your digestive tract. It also facilitates slow absorption of food which fills you up for longer. This rules out the need to binge eat after meals which further adds to weight gain.

Small Meal Portions
The food here is served in small portions. Expect a starter, main dish, a dessert, wine and finally a small cup of freshly brewed coffee. The portions may seem small but combined; they will fill you up.

Healthy eating as showcased by the Italians can be adapted by all. Rarely do they incorporate artificial flavors and dressing in their food. Their foods are lightly cooked so as maintain their natural flavors. Pasta, one of their native dished is mostly cooked al dente hence filling you up faster and for longer.

 

Most Beautiful Churches in Sicily

 

Because Italy was the birthplace of Catholicism and all of its many denotations as well as cultural and traditional figures, it comes as no surprise to us that Italy has many (and we mean many) of the world’s most beautiful churches. In this article, you will see some of our picks for the most beautiful and ornate Catholic churches in History.

1. The Duomo Of Milan
To kick things off of this exciting list, we will start with the infamous Duomo of Milan. It took an astounding six centuries to build and is the largest Gothic church in all of Italy. It has precisely 3,400 statues, 135 marble spires, and an incredible 135 gargoyles. The inside is just as, and even more so, impressive. The inside of the cathedral houses 52 marble pillars, as well as various statues and paintings.

2. Saint Mark’s Basilica
With its impressive and gorgeous Byzantine and Italian architectural style, it holds over 80,000 square feet, about its thirteenth, twelfth, and eleventh-century mosaics. The ceiling of this magical building, known as a basilica, is covered with ‘copulas,’ and the floor (which, don’t get me wrong, is just as amazing) is intricately lined with a mix of mosaic as well as stone and marble.

3. St. Francis’ Basilica
This monument, as well as cathedral and church, was dedicated to St. Francis during the early 13th century and is one of the most famous Catholic churches in Italy for tourists to visit. Not only is it one of the most popular places for Christians to go to mass, but it also serves as one of UNESCO’s most widely known World Heritage Sights.

4. The Orvieto Cathedral
This wonderfully designed church made over the course of two entire centuries by many different artists, some famous and some of them being less widely known. Either way, it still stands today, in incredible condition, as a monument to Catholicism, Gothic architecture, as well as a testament to the amazing abilities of the artists of the time.

 

5. The Duomo Of Siena
This Duomo, or mega-cathedral, is one of the most (if not the most) incredible, awe-inspiring, and outright outrageous churches that have ever been constructed. With its insane height as well as it’s horizontally striped marble pillars, it will stand out to you as the most beautiful church you have ever seen. It was completed in the year 1263. Inside the Cathedral, you will find the work of not only Donatello, but Michelangelo and Pisano, and even some touches of extravagant detail by the world-renowned Pinturicchio.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of beautiful churches in Italy. This only scratches the surface! We do have one tip for you, though, if you are planning on visiting some of these churches. Most, if not all, of these churches, cover the floor with carpeting to protect the precious marble surface. They then uncover them during the tourist season, which is usually between July and September. So, if you are planning on visiting, be sure to go only during these few months!

Sicily Tours And History

Tour Sicily to Learn History

What would better than learning and exploring new things while spending your holidays? Well, Sicily is the place to come! It has a glorious past that still is alive in the spread monuments and ruins. Several archaeological sites in Sicily are the centers of attraction of history lovers all around the globe.

Selinunte – yet another example of Greek architecture Agrigento – a popular Greek Temple Valley Segesta – Greek temple, now its ruins are only there Eraclea Minoa – is a Greek ruin Piazza Armerina – also part of world heritage known for Roman mosaics Several facts and myths related to Sicily history will really astonish. But for that, you need to come to Sicily

Tour Sicily to Enjoy: Sicily has lots of dimensions. Therefore people come here for scores of reasons and enjoyment is one of the main draws about Sicily. You can see and experience loads of things that are exclusively available in Sicily only.

The Etna volcano: It is one of the active volcanoes in the world. It is a magnificent mountain; from its top, you can have the best view of enamoring Sicily.

Taormina: This is one of the most astonishing mountain towns in the world. It is filled with lush greenery along with the cleanest atmosphere. In addition, ride to Taormina with the cable car is one of the memorable moments! Summers fests are something not to be missed at Taormina.

Beaches: Beaches are the main attractions of Sicily. Filled with glazy sand, beaches are simply amazing at Sicily.

People and Lifestyle: See the lively and great hospitable people of Sicily. They welcome you heartily and treat you the best. Must see their wonderful and impressive lifestyles!

Tour Sicily to Sport: Water sports and mountaineering are some of the main sports to be enjoyed at Sicily! Scuba diving, sailing, fishing, bathing, swimming, and much more, people enjoy the clean ocean water to the max. In addition, you can also enjoy mountaineering and explore new corners of beauty.

Tour Sicily to Eat, Drink and Fun: It is said that Sicily cuisines are the tastiest in the world! If you don’t believe, then you must try out wonderful food recipes like pasta, rice, ice-creams, pastries etc at Sicily. Fruits like orange, lemon, and almonds must not be missed. Sweet, sour, veg or non-veg or any other taste, Sicilian cuisine offers all.

Sicily is one of the oldest wine regions in the Europe. It’s pretty difficult to amass the beauty and class of Sicily into words.