The bluest skies, the sweetest tomatoes, scenery from a postcard… that is what you’ll find in Sicily.
It was my first time visiting this beautiful island, and venturing this far south in Italy, and boy was it worth it. I didn’t know what to expect, having spent time living in the north of Italy in Milan last year. As it turns out, Sicily is the perfect melange between Greece, my native country and Italy, a country I have fallen in love with.
We arrived in Catania last weekend for a short three day whirlwind break. It was a breath of fresh air (literally) coming out of the airport to be surrounded by scenery from a fairytale. Rolling hills, orchards of orange and olive trees, castles on cliff edges out at sea… it was truly idyllic. Being such a big island, or rather ‘region’ of Italy, it is impossible to explore all the areas in one go – so for these few days we took the chance to visit Catania, Aci Castello, Noto and Siracuse;
all beautiful parts of the island and all very different.
Our first day was spent in Catania and Aci Castello (the places you can see in this post). Catania is a big working city bursting with stunning baroque architecture every corner you turn. I have always loved the windy streets you find in Italy, dotted with beautiful ornate balconies brimming with flowers, and Catania was full of that. Walking through the local market was another experience altogether – if you think the vendors on your market shout a lot, try visiting the ones in Sicily – I thought my eardrums had burst! It was total madness but amazing to watch and food is one of the best parts about the island, given just how fresh and rich their produce is.
These are the things that you must try when you are there:
– Granita con brioche (pretty much a brioche, ice-cream sandwich… not something I have ever tried before but worth a taste!)
– Granita al limone (crushed ice with sweet lemon juice, delicious!)
– Arancini (large risotto croquettes filled with cheese, mushroom, ragu and other delights)
– Caponata (slow cooked aubergine salsa with tomatoes, capers and celery – my favourite!)
– Lemon salad (a salad made of sweet chopped up lemons, amazing!!)
– Crispelle (deep-fried dough filled with ricotta, dipped in honey)*
– Cannoli (pastry cylinder filled with sweet ricotta)*
– Iris (a sugared donut filled with sweet ricotta)*
Visiting Aci Castello, the castle out at sea, was a wonderful change of scenery. As we drove along the coast, we passed countless weddings – one of which you can see a little snap of below. May, with its blue skies and light breezes are perfect for wedding season (definitely not what we have been experiencing in London recently!) and it’s those serene moments of bliss, watching the waves of the blue Ionian sea brush against the shore that makes you think, shall I drop everything and move to the Med? Hhhmm…if only!
*As you can see, the Sicilians rreealllyyy like their ricotta!!