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Sicily (Sicilia) - ItalyInformation on Sicily (Sicilia) - Italy
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Agrigento Agrigento AG Caltanissetta Caltanissetta CL Catania Catania CT Enna Enna EN Messina Messina ME Palermo Palermo PA Ragusa Ragusa RG Siracusa Siracusa SR Trapani Trapani TP

Map of SicilyThe largest of the Mediterranean islands, Sicilia is home to spectacularly beautiful mountains and heavenly beaches, as well as Greek temples and Baroque churches.

The Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French, and Spaniards all marched across Sicilia at one time or another, and their influence is evident in the region's cooking style. The Greeks exerted their influence on the preparation of fish and vegetables. The Arabs brought eggplants, spinach, apricots, almonds, couscous and spices and showed the Sicilians how to preserve fish and fruit, as well as how to make some of the candies for which they're now famous. The Normans advanced Sicilian baking.

Foreign influences aside, pasta is the basis of Sicilian cooking, with sauces based on fish and vegetables. Eggplant is the island's most popular ingredient, but tomatoes, onions, zucchini, capers, garlic, olives, broccoli, peppers, and cauliflower are also highly prized.

Nothing depicts the variety of foods on which Sicilian cuisine is based better than a pass through the Sicilian market, la vucciria, which is an elaborate bazaar of everything from marzipan, to olives, to luscious fruits and vegetables, to fresh cheese, to every kind of fish imaginable (although swordfish, tuna, and sardines are the region's trademark seafood).

Sicily has more vineyards for wine than any other region, yet per capita Sicilians consume less wine than other Italians. Many grapes go to make raisins, another key ingredient in Sicilian dishes, and dessert wine, like Sicily's pride and joy, Marsala. Cannoli are Sicily's most famous sweet, but gelati and sorbetti also find perfection in the region. The island is also famous for its honey.

With a total surface area of 25460 sq. km, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean basin. Around it lies a number of smaller islands: to the north the Aeolian islands and Ustica, to the West the Egadi, and to the south the Pelagie islands and Pantelleria, making a total surface area of 25.708 sq. km. Sicily boasts around 1.000 Km of coastline, mostly rocky in the north and sandy in the south. The landscape is varied, prevalently mountains and hilly, but with an expanse of plains around Catania. In the eastern part of the island Mount Etna (about 3.330 m) is Sicily's highest mountain, the whole of which is a protected area within a national park. Still active, it is the biggest volcano in Europe. Along the north coast, from east to west, lies a stretch of the Peloritani and the Nebrodi and Madonie Mountains, some of their peaks reaching 2,000 m. The area to the West of the river Torto has an irregular lime-stone formation, patchy or continuous, alternating with low rolling hills. Over to the east of the island, between Messina and Mount Etna, lies the easternmost tip of the Peloritani chain, very similar to the mountains of Calabria. The Southeast corner comprises a series of high plateaus made up of lava, tuff and above all limestone, and features a number of impressive gorges carved out by water erosion through the centuries. The innermost part of the island is predominantly hilly, consisting mainly of the so called Altopiano Solfifero (literally the sulphur uplands), with altitudes ranging from 500-700 m. Its summit, however, with the snow, rises to almost 1.OOO m.  

Inquiries accommodations We welcome inquiries for available accommodations for the region of Sicily and surrounding areas. Contact us for listing requirements. (Hotels - Motels - Villas - Bed & Breakfast - Condo Rentals, Agriturismo & all related accommodations)

Information:
Abruzzo official site Regione Sicilian official site

Sicilian Recipes: Chicken Marsala - Pollo alla Marsala Eggplant and Caper Salad - Caponata Red Mullet in Onion Sauce - Triglie di Scoglio Pasta with Fennel and Herring - Pasta con le Sarde Stewed Squid - Calamari in Umido Caltanissettan Chicken Stuffing - Ripieno alla Nissena Rabbit Amandine - Coniglio con Salsa di Mandorle Artichoke Rice - Risotto coi Carciofi Orange Salad - Insalata d'Arance Zabaglione - Egg Nog Granita - Ices Trionfo di gola (Triumph of gluttony)

The Sicilian Network: sicilynetwork.it sicilynetwork.com sicilyweb.it sicilyweb.com siciliaonline.com sicilypizza.it sicilycinema.it sicily-photos.com

Agrigento

 

Agrigento

AgrigentoThe province of Agrigento is situated in the southern part of Sicily. On the sea shore of the Channel of Sicily, it offers a wide variety of panoramas and scenarios. Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Agrigento was founded as Akragas around 582 BC by a group of colonists from Gela, who themselves were the immediate descendants of Greeks from Rhodes and Crete. The area was inhabited much earlier; a female skull (that of the "girl of Mandrascava") found near Cannatello is half a million years old. A Mesolithic village at Point Bianca, farther down the coast toward Montechiaro Castle, dates from 6000 BC. Akragas was renamed Agrigentum by the Romans, and Girgenti by the Saracens, only to be christened Agrigento in 1927, but the place is the same.

The medieval city of Agrigento is not without a certain charm. High in the historical center of the city, the Romanesque Gothic cathedral, built during the fourteenth century, still displays some of its medieval character, as does the thirteenth-century Church of San Nicola. Unfortunately, the Saracen fortress believed to have stood at Agrigento has not stood the test of time. The Greek temples, theatres and ruins, and even the archaeological museums, are located outside the city proper.

Akragas, named for the nearby river, flourished under Phalaris (570-554 BC), and developed further under Theron (488-471 BC), whose troops participated in the Battle of Himera in 480 BC, defeating the Carthaginians. Agrigento was destroyed several times during the Punic Wars, suffering particularly extensive damage during a siege by Roman forces in 261 BC, but always rebuilt. The Greek poet Pindar (518-438 BC) described Akragas as "the most beautiful city of the mortals." Akragas' most famous citizen was the philosopher and scientist Empedocles (490-430 BC).

In the Valley of the Temples are the ruins of numerous temples but also necropoli, houses, streets and everything else one would expect to find in an ancient city. There is a small amphitheatre, as well as several auditoria, and a fine archeological museum. Unfortunately, most of the temples at Agrigento are in ruins, with pieces strewn about, and several appear to have never even been completed. Part of the Temple of Juno, built around 450 BC, is still intact. Its style has been compared to that of the temples at Paestum, near Salerno. The Temple of Concord (named retroactively), built around 440 BC, is in far better condition, and at night the illuminated temple is a sight to behold. A number of telamons (large segmented stone columns in the form of human figures) have been preserved.

Agrigento's importance declined under the Byzantines and Saracens, who encouraged settlement of the medieval city (present-day Agrigento) several kilometers from the Valley of the Temples. The Normans, however, recognized its importance, and it was during the Norman rule that beautiful churches were constructed in and around the city.

Ancient Agrigento's architectural character seems more Greek than Roman, though the latter is certainly evident. What's missing are the thin bricks so typical of Roman sites like Solunto and Taormina. Despite its location virtually in the shadow of a modern city, the Valley of the Temples is surrounded by olive groves and almond orchards that render its ambience altogether natural, though a number of illegally-built houses mar the landscape. The almond blossom festival held in February is a spectacular event.

The ruins of a Roman villa are located at an archeological site a few kilometers up the coast from Porto Empedocle. Though Porto Empedocle itself is today little more than an ugly shipping town, there is a nice beach nearby. The birthplace of Luigi Pirandello, (1867-1937) a Nobel prize-winning author, is located in the tiny hamlet of Caos, where his house is a museum.

Abruzzo official site Regione Agrigento official site

What to taste What to taste:

• The sea and land are two elements recurring in local food and beverages. Salted anchovies, olives, oil preserved vegetables, dried tomatoes or the typical "pitaggio" based on fresh broad beans, peas and artichokes, are fanciful appetizers to be tasted before the main courses. Pasta dishes are a triumph of first courses, considered an all-in-one dish like the renowned pasta with sardines. Also excellent are the "cavatelli" with tomatoes, aubergines or the ricotta cottage cheese with broad beans. Baked goat and lamb meat or grilled sausages flavoured with wild fennel, sweet-sour pork, and rabbit with tasty dishes of seasonal vegetables as side dishes, are but some of the best offers of the Agrigento menu.
• The sea also provides the main ingredients for second fish-based courses. The sole, stuffed sardine and the exquisite dentex in meat broth are really special.
• As far as desserts go we have the famous Sicilian pastry, a triumph of sweetness and colour such as Ciarduna - Sicilian Ricotta Filled Dessert.

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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Agrigento , Alessandria della Rocca , Aragona , Bivona , Burgio , Calamonaci , Caltabellotta , Camastra , Cammarata , Campobello di Licata , Canicattì , Casteltermini , Castrofilippo , Cattolica Eraclea , Cianciana , Comitini , Favara , Grotte , Joppolo Giancaxio , Pelagie (Lampedusa and Linosa) , Licata , Lucca Sicula , Menfi , Montallegro , Montevago , Naro , Palma di Montechiaro , Porto Empedocle , Racalmuto , Raffadali , Ravanusa , Realmonte , Ribera , Sambuca di Sicilia , San Biagio Platani , San Giovanni Gemini , Sant'Angelo Muxaro , Santa Elisabetta, Santa Margherita di Belice , Santo Stefano Quisquina , Sciacca , Siculiana , Villafranca Sicula .

Santa Elisabetta

Santa Elisabetta

Santa ElisabettaSanta Elisabetta is a 22 Km. distance from Agrigento, the province is 76 Km. from Caltanissetta, 214 Km. from Catania, 117 Km. from Enna, 278 Km. from Messina, 135 Km. from Palermo, 164 Km. from Ragusa, 145 Km. from Siracusa, 189 Km. from Trapani. The municipality counts 3.227 inhabitants, its surface measures 1.617 hectares, and its population density is 200 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on an internal hilly area, 425 meters above the sea-level. The Town Hall is located in piazza Municipio, tel. ++39 0922-479296 fax. ++39 0922-479296.

A charming agricultural center, Santa Elisabetta is outstanding for the conspicuous production of wheat, grapes, almonds, pistachios, and olives. Cattle breeding is flourishing, and the cattle is exhibited each year at the Cattle Fair, held in the month of September.

The town was named Santa Elisabetta in honor of the homonymous patron saint. The first inhabited center rose in 1620 by will of lord Nicola Montaperto. During the XVII century, it first belonged to the noble Bonanno family, and afterwards to the princes of Lanza. The suburb was then ruled by Aragona's jurisdiction, and it achieved independence only in 1955.

Beautiful among the monuments are the XVII century Chiesa Madre, the Chiesa di S. Antonio, and the marvelous chromatic panels in located in piazza San Carlo.

What to do What to do:

• In the province of Agrigento for sports enthusiast, the sea is your gym, always at your disposal for. snorkelling, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and canoeing. The ocean beds of the Pelagiean Islands are real paradise for scuba divers because of the great variety of fishes and the lushness of the vegetation. Lampedusa's Spiaggia dei Conigli (Rabbit Beach) has become an important Natural Reserve in terms of marine fauna reproduction. Marine turtles lay their eggs under the constant surveillance of the WWF volunteers who protect the little turtles until they safely reach the sea.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• In the Valley of the Temples the fascination of ancient history blends with the beauty of nature. The sea on one side, the old city-hill on the other, the majestic Doric style temples rise in the middle, the golden colour of the tuff they are built becoming particularly intense at sunset and creating a unique and extraordinarily attractive effect. The Temple of Concordia is the best conserved among all because it was transformed into a church, the Temple of Juno still shows 25 of the original 34 columns that support its structure to-date. Though the Temple of the Dioscuri is considered the most symbolic of all the temples, the Temple of Hercules, is the oldest of them all. Together with the Temple of Olympean Zeus, these five giants dominate the Valley that has been declared a World Heritage Site. As you leave the valley and head towards the city, you will come across the remains of the Hellenistic-Roman site with its houses decorated with beautiful mosaics.
• In the Acropolis the remains of two temples dedicated to Athena can still be seen. The remains of Greek fortifications, very well conserved, were found in the Cape Soprano excavations. Nestled on a high plain the town of Sciacca is divided into quarters situated on three sloping terraces. The most ancient quarter with its alleys and courtyards can be found in the higher part of the city, from there one enters into the more elegant part of the city with elegant buildings and churches that lead to the potters' quarter which surrounds the city's wharf.
• Next to the city, on Mount Kronio, one finds the thermal baths and can enjoy a panoramic view over the sea. Do not miss the "Enchanted Castle", an original exhibition of faces sculpted into rocks and into the bark of trees by Filippo Bentivegna. In the hinterland one finds Naro, where the architectural lines were impressed during the 18th century along with the many renovations of buildings and churches. Higher up one finds the medieval Castle, the Old Cathedral and Piazza Garibaldi, all surrounded by refined 19th century buildings. In the lower part of the city on Via Dante, one can admire the architecture of the Church of San Salvatore, the Chiesa Madre and Palazzo Destro. Innumerable art treasures can be found in the interior of the province.  

Events Events:

• Yearly, in the spectacular Valley of the Temples, a cultural event is held where international groups participate in the festival created to re-launch ancient traditions. The carnival which is celebrated annually in the city of Sciacca is one of the most important in the region featuring a procession of decorated carts.

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Caltanissetta

 

Caltanissetta

CaltanissettaCaltanissetta, a splendid province in the heart of Sicily. History, folklore and gastronomy perfectly blend together in this beautiful breathtaking region.

The retion is rich in archeological excavations and in the castles scattered all over its territories.

Its history tells of the transition of many ruling powers – the Greek, Roman, Norman, Swabian, Anjou, Aragonese and Castillian – and all have left their particular mark. The peak of its grandeur was linked to the exploitation of the great sulfur mines, now extinguished, which became part of the province’s historical-naturalistic legacy.

Going towards the Agrigento border, the landscape still shows the ancient mines with wells and tunnels engraved into the mountain profile. Dry and yellowish hills trace the profile of this zone but in spring the panorama changes, taking on an intense green hue. Gentle hills slope down towards the short coastline which marks out the province’s outlet to the sea.

The northern part is mountainous with hills and broad valleys which are an excellent habitat for the cultivation of nut trees, vineyards and olives.

What to taste What to taste:

• What figures predominatley in the Caltanissetta is the baked rice richly seasoned with mortadella, eggs, aubergine, pork meat and cheese, and the vegetable soup "pitirri". Very flavourful are the "fuate"-stuffed flat bread, "focaccia" stuffed with sardine, oregano and percorino cheese.
• Chicken is cooked in the oven with caciocavallo cheese, grated breadcrumbs and lemon, grilled cockerel first marinated in oil, parsley and lemon, and aromatized with mustard. In this region, you can taste the sweet version of the "arancine". The preparation is the same but the filling foresees the use of amarena cherry preserves.
• On the pastry tray you will certainly find nougat torrone with honey, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, and almond paste. The "buccellati" are pastries filled with dried figs, nuts, roasted almonds, cinnamon, honey, chocolate drops and "zuccata." We then have the mastazzola, stuffed pastry with nuts and roasted almonds, nut kernels, cinnamon and clove.
• The Cerasuolo della Vittoria DOCG wine is the leading brand of the territory's wine production. Dry red wine, full-bodied and round, matches perfectly with meat roasts, braised beef and game cut on barbecue sticks with matured and spicy cheeses. But Caltanissetta is also the land of liquors. It is here in fact that one of the most renowned Italian digestive liquors is produced.

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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What to do What to do:

• The extremely variable landscape is a play of colours and light continually punctuated by the green of the Mediterranean vegetation, and the blue of its lakes and rivers.
• Close to Marianopoli, at the foot of the Cozzo Pertichino, lies the Lake Sfondato, surrounded by thick woods which will enchant you with their wild orchids.
• The whole area in fact is characterized by the presence of numerous caves.
• Another fascinating water basin is Lake Soprano which hosts various animal and bird species. South of Campofranco is Monte Conca, another exceptional natural reserve. The itinerary is really adventurous and suitable to trekking and speleology enthusiasts.
• The journey may then proceed towards Niscemi, famous for its rich reserve of cork oaks and for the colours of its flowers and butterflies populating the area. Just next to the sea, you will find other environments, so different from what we have just cited. The reserve of Biviere, is a land of beach orchids, white brooms and bluebottles. This is the perfect destination for naturalists and bird watchers who may watch the most varied types of birds: ducks, ash-grey herons, leeches and pendulines.  

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• One of the most amazing castles is that of Mussomeli which traces back to the 14th century, but was later modified with embattled walls and a square tower. A legend says that three sisters were buried alive in one of the halls which today is called the "Hall of the Three Sisters." From the well preserved castle of Delia visitors enjoy a splendid view over the surrounding territory.
• Butera, located in the plain next to the coast, can be easily recognised for its castle towering over the village. At the Mediterranean port of Gela the Terranova Castle, a square floor plan with four square towers, and the Castelluccio are well worth a visit. At Manfria, a short distance from the port, a defence tower is set on a hill looking out over the gulf of Gela.

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Catania

 

Catania

CataniaThe Etna Volcano rises from above and creates the design of the landscape. Enriching its land so its fruits can be harvested, reminding all of its irresistible power. This is the unbreakable link between Etna and Catania, the gem of eastern Sicily. The coastal strip, the beauty looks out over the Ionian Sea which is the other natural boundary of the province.

Lying in a green cradle, Catania opens out like a beauty, to gather with its grand squares and wide roads its lavic rock architecture, and recall its past destruction and reconstruction, with those burnished hues that seem to struggle with the intense rays of the sun shining over this land.

The city is full of attractions, offering a historical and artistic legacy to be admired by all. With its lively city buzz, its gaiety and cheerfulness, it expresses the reality of an open and carefree populace who are well aware that life has to be lived every moment, day after day, without leaving for tomorrow the smile that can be given today.

The big and small centers of this region are marked by different cultures that have crossed the land. Traces of history show a culture that has absorbed the influence of many rulers, as seen in the architectonic lines of its buildings, churches and monuments, perfectly blending with the beauty of nature, demonstrating its generosity and benevolence, but also asperity and severity.

Etna symbolizes all this. High, impressive, silent, with its peak wrecked by a great mouth of fire, it looms over the entire landscape, a great part of which has been designed by its own power. Gardens and the bright colors of orange and lemon groves interrupt the lavic grey of the soil which is dark, but fertile. Chestnut trees, nuts and oaks, pine trees and beeches make up the thick woods covering the medium heights of the mountain, like a curtain opening out beyond to an oasis of colors.

When you reach the top, you will be enchanted by the extraordinary view extending to the horizon as far as the eye can see. Cobalt blue, blue, crystalline with undefined hues between one tonality and the other: colors so much like the sea of Catania, the other living force of this land. It seems to have been created on purpose to give visitors the chance to choose that stretch of coast they prefer. Delightful beaches, small bays alternating with dark tracts of erupted rock, high cliffs a sheer drop from the sea, and endless golden coastlines, are part of a landscape, which conveys endless sensations. But wherever you choose to go, the sensation evoked by the beauty of a limpid sea is the one of the things you will surely not forget.

What to taste What to taste:

• The cuisine of Catania is one of the tastiest in Sicily. Fish dishes are the most traditional. A sea salad may be one with octopus and ox eyes, marinated "Masculini" (sea anchovy), salt-preserved anchovies in typical terracotta jars (cugnetto), peppered raw ox eyes (sea molluscs) and shells seasoned only with a sprinkling of lemon. Mullets, needlefish, scallops and anchovies are the best ingredients for fries, whereas the breams, sargoes and dentex are served baked. Tasty and very typical dishes are the "sparacanaci," fish fries of newborn mullets, accompanied by onions from Calabria, and the "u muccu" fries of newborn little fish. Agriculture is well developed in the hinterland, where you can taste excellent beef, equine meat and pork grilled with vegetables and genuine cheeses. The most typical feature of the Catania cuisine regards the roasts, and the well-known "oranges" made of crunchy rice balls stuffed in the middle.
• The "Sicilian" a thin pastry stuffed with "tuma" and anchovies and then fried, along with the pancakes filled with cottage cheese and anchovies. And how about pastries? Look at them and taste them once to become immediately "addicted". As the saying goes: "the eye needs its share" and preparing cakes for Sicilians is a true and proper art. A triumph of shapes and gaudy colours fill the dessert tray: "cannoli" stuffed with ricotta and decorated with drops of dark chocolate or pieces of fruit candy or finely chopped pistachio, the Sicilian "cassata," "martorana" fruit based on almond paste, "monaca" biscuits, nougat "torroncini" and Santa Agata raisins. Ice-creams and ice shakes are the other strong points of Catania and the entire region. Different flavours, almonds, lemon, orange, chocolate, mulberry, peach, and coffee, are all spectacular if accompanied with two servings of cream.  

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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What to do What to do:

• The parks and natural reserves offer an infinity of ideas on how to enjoy your time and learn about quite an unusual nature. Trekking and horseback riding itineraries are ideal to trail the paths that spread out over the slopes of Etna, through the thick vegetation where many species of animals live. It is also a perfect place to engage in birdwatching. Sparrows, buzzards, pilgrim peregrines and golden eagles fly high in the sky above the volcano, while ducks and other aquatic birds live on the waters of Lake Gurrida, the park's only water basin. The Simeto delta is another excellent birdwatching spot. Here coots, storks, sea crows, falcons and herons build their nests to pass the winter.
• A very attractive sight-seeing itinerary is offered by the 200 grottos in the Etna Park, once built by man as a refuge and burial place. The most renowned are the grottos of Lamponi, Tre Livelli, Gelo and Palombe. At the Gole di Alcantara the river seeps through the cracks of the lavic mass. Narrow trails run along high rock walls with the most incredible shapes, along which the clearest rivers run to form one of the most exciting and enjoyable sights nature can offer.
• This land's mild climate guarantees pleasant holidays all year round. If you wish to put on your skis, come in the winter when the Etna is covered with snow. You will not believe what you see. The skiing facilities ensure a sportive, enjoyable "white" holiday. Skiing with your gaze on the blueness of the sea below is an experience which only this place can offer!
• Nightlife abounds. Day activities range from scuba diving in the ocean beds between the land and the stacks. Seawatching and snorkeling is ideal for those who are not familiar with oxygen bottles and diving suits. All wind sports are possible, from surfing, windsurfing or sailing.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• The Cathedral Square is surrounded by the Senatorial Palace and elegant noble buildings arranged around the Fontana dell’Elefante, the symbol of the city. The monument, the work of Vaccarini, is a kind of historical stratification: the base (the elephant) recalls Carthaginian civilization, the obelisk recalls Egyptian civilization, and the cross, palms and globe refer to Christianity.
Badìa di Sant'Agata Church
Piazza dell’Università square is dominated by the grand façade of the Ateneo, the construction of which was authorized by Alfonso V of Aragon and rebuilt after the earthquake with a design by great architects of that era. Vaccarini built two floors of the internal courtyard, the colonnade and dual-colored flooring.
• The Collegiata or Regia Chapel is another magnificent example of the architectonic splendor built during the rebuilding century, with the interior decorated by Giuseppe Sciuti. Colossal even if unfinished, is the Benedictine Monastery of S. Nicolò l’Arena with interventions designed by Battaglia, Vaccarini and Amato.
• The Ursino Castle which Frederic II ordered to be built, survived the catastrophic events of the 17th century. It was originally located on the coastal stretch but the eruption modified its structure and today, the castle is set further back compared to its initial position. 

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Enna

 

Enna

EnnaEnna embodies all the features which make Sicily unique. You can walk among the ruins of past epochs and still feel the same life throbbing under the same blue skies. You can stroll in the woods and discover enchanted places, taste its good cuisine and still find the flavors of long ago.

You could wander around the country fairs and learn the traditions of its people. All things are possible in Enna. Woods and pine trees, oaks and beech trees, precious oases of willows, elms and poplars color the uplands of a broad valley where the famous Sicilian oranges and lemons grow. Big and small water basins interrupt the expanse of green, creating an enchanting scenery with their intense blue hues of the water lit up by sunlight.

Enna is called the “Lake province,” the only one among all the Sicilian provinces that does not have an outlet to the sea, but it is surely one with the greatest number of lacustrine basins. Traces of ancient rulers are scattered all over the territory as evidenced by the archeological diggings that testify to the Greek-Roman period, and castles and medieval towns reveal the passage of Normans, Swabians and Aragonese. Precious architecture reveals the expansion of the Baroque styles from the eastern coast to the internal lands.

This land is generous also in terms of flavors, and offers typical specialties that reflect the love and hard work of man. If you wish to travel through the pearl of the Mediterranean do not forego a stopover in Italy’s viewpoint, the “Belvedere” on which ” clouds fly and the sunsets shine” (Guido Piovene).

What to taste What to taste:

• Local food and wine characterized by simple dishes but very rich flavours, reflect a prevalently agricultural land dedicated to sheep farming. Vegetables, oranges and lemons, eggs and cheese, so wisely blended together, appear in many local recipes. Pasta with "macco" (mashed broad beans), cauliflower or broccoli, new beans, "carrettiera" style or aubergines and tomatoes, make up pasta and the products of the land, a simple but perfect alliance even for the choosiest taste buds.
• Wild asparagus are really special, and so are the slightly bitter chicory and wild fennel which give a gracious flair to many recipes. Baked or grilled pork, lamb and goat meat, and the strong cheeses among which the "Piacentino" and the cottage cheese stand out, complete the Ennese menu, not to mention the fantastic biscuits like the "vucciddati," stuffed with dried figs, honey, fruit candy and roasted almonds, or the "cannateddi" very typical of Easter celebrations where abundant meals are crowned with Sicilian pastry, accompanied – if you wish – by a little glass of limoncello, finocchietto or noceto.  

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• The thick woods and lakes characterizing this land are a great gift for those who wish to spend a holiday in the midst of nature. Trekking, easy walks, horse rides or mountain biking are the best ways to immerse yourself in these uncontaminated landscapes, with the possibility of relaxing on the green fields that mark out the lacustrine banks. The Altesina and Scalpello mountains and the Giangagliano stream offer interesting naturalistic itineraries penetrating into the rich vegetation that spreads out in the midst of eucalyptus trees, pines, oaks and beech trees.
• The Lake of Pergusa is a rich bird fauna area. Herons, coots, wild ducks, buzzards and blackbirds attract the attention of the most passionate bird watchers. The lake ambience of Olivo, Pozzillo and Ogliastro, become attractive themes especially towards the late afternoon for those who love taking a snapshot of sunsets.
• If you are a motorsports fan, the Pergusa Autodrome is what makes for you an enjoyable place. Rallies and historical automobile events find the right atmosphere in this environment. Enna is also the land of festivals, country fairs and historical commemorations. Its ancient tradition never fails to speak of them in many ways. Nicosia is the city where the Gara del Palio competition is held, where all the confraternities of the 12 quarters of the city contend for a trophy. The Standard of Our Lady of Victory is the coveted prize that the four medieval quarters of Piazza Armerina compete for during the Palio dei Normanni. Leonforte has dedicated special attention to its specialties, and the "Peach Fair and its typical products" having reached its 28th Edition is proof of its popularity.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• In its central square, you will see forty, splendid, perfectly preserved mosaics embellishing the grand cathedral composed of various venues opening out around the main courtyard, surrounded by eighteen marble columns or peristyles. The Villa is considered the greatest example of museum art of the Roman era, and has been proclaimed a World Heritage Site. The place exerts a fascination that attracts and is irresistible, but also the ancient villages covet interesting surprises within. The Cathedral, designed by Orazio Torriani can be sighted from afar, its majestic framework and dome rising up towards the infinite skies. Though its façade is sober and refined, it displays a finely decorated portal, flanked on each side by three columns each, leading to two wide staircases. Not far away is Aidone, an attractive village set on a hill where the narrow streets, small stairs and courtyards design an ancient urban fabric. In its territory you will find Morgantina, one of the most important archeological excavation sites. The remains of a theatre, residential buildings and farmhouses, all arranged around the agorà (the central square of Greek cities or polis) tell of the Hellenic period in these lands. Among the bright yellow hues of wheat, greenness of the cultivations and redness of poppy flowers, you enter into a marvellous landscape of Lake Pergusa, where the purifying effect of microorganisms periodically colour the waters with reddish hues. In the higher section of the province you will see picturesque villages, very typical because of their narrow alleys and streets which make up the more ancient part and also the small gems of art that you can admire there. At Leonforte, the architectonic value is linked to the name Branciforti. The Granfonte fountain with water bubbling from its 24 spouts, and the Palazzo Branciforti are worth visiting. You will find the Mother Church of Assoro very interesting, along with the imposing Sperlinga Castle with the houses hanging on to the rocks along with Cathedrals of Nicosia and Troina. Enna is located in the centre of its territory, dominated from above by the Lombardia Castle and its stately towers from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view. Queen Eleonora of Aragon had set the first brick for the Cathedral, rebuilt after the fire that destroyed it almost completely. From outside you can see the three overlapping bodies of the structure, as they rise majestically. The three interior naves are marked by two colonnades that create a harmonious contrast with the clear stone of the overhanging arches. Surmounted by a 17th-century wood ceiling, frescoes, sculptures and stuccowork form part of the sumptuous interior decoration. The capital is also the seat of the Archeological Museum of Palazzo Variano with its rich collection of findings which narrate the history of the Etna province from the Brass Age to the Middle Ages, and the Alessi Museum which displays the works of art and archeological findings.  

Events Events:

• Besides rich food tasting activities, the event highlights shows, folkloristic music groups, street jugglers and actors, and parades. If you visit the town during the right period you will not miss the Regabulto Carnival, a festival of colours, masked characters and music.  

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Messina

 

Messina

MessinaIn Messina you just have to look at the Etna and Eolian Isles to comprehend the grandeur of nature. Etna’s activity is one of the most fearful menaces due to its destructive force which has never spared anything. Its awakening is still modeling the profile of this province, imprinting each time, a different shape, so much like an unsatisfied sculptor who continues to modify his work. And the results are magnificent.

The beauty of this fascinating landscape attracts and repulses at the same time, and is a masterpiece ideally set in the framework of the sea. So much like a kaleidoscope of blue shades, it changes from nocturnal blue to a crystal transparency with slight blue veins. Nature here shines under a limpid sky, extraordinary even in its marine depths where another world awaits to be explored.

Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli, Vulcano, Filicudi and Alicudi are the seven pearls scattered over the waters facing Messina. All are of volcanic origin but each has its own beauty and historical identity, a treasure which has been proclaimed a World Heritage Site.

As in the past, Messina is the principal entrance gate to Sicily. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Swabians landed on its coasts and strongly influenced its culture. By exploring the small provincial towns you will discover precious works of art, kept in churches and palaces, or important traces of great far away civilizations. History narrates also of the traditions which have remained in the memoirs of the local people, and of the ancient flavors that still today, are prepared and set on their tables.

What to taste What to taste:

• The principal ingredient of local cuisine is obviously fish: fried or baked, baked in foil, or grilled. The preparation changes but what matters is utmost freshness.
• Sword fish from the strait is particularly delicious and is cooked in a thousand equally appetizing ways. Fish, crustaceans and mussels make a sumptuous soup and the condiment for rice recipes and spaghetti baked in foil. Vegetables and fruits are other outstanding components of Messinese cooking.
• The "caponata" aubergines with parmesan and potato fries are three of the best unique dishes prepared with the flavoursome products of this land. Meat is never missing, especially goat meat or mutton, strictly grilled to exalt the taste even more. Excellent dairy products highlight the "canestrato" cheese in the sweet or spicy version, goat "pecorino" cheese, "provola" and cottage cheese all processed according to ancient traditions.
• Olive oil, honey, hazelnuts, pistachio and berries are the delicacies particularly linked to the land, especially in the Nebrodi territory. Local pastries propose the classic items that have become renowned the world over: "cannoli", "cassate", almond paste, "martorana" fruit and the typical Messina "pignolata".
• The DOC wines of Etna and orange and lemon liquors define the great flavours of the area.

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What to do What to do:

• The Aeolian Isles stand before you and are an obligatory stopover for those who enter the Messina province. What meets your eye is a sequence of colours, a mosaic of tiles of the most varied hues with shades of the sea framing it all around. And as if to confirm Mother Nature's talent, it is known that the Aeolian Isles were crafted by the volcanoes which, though destructive on one hand, on the other create masterpieces of incomparable beauty. Panarea is the heart of the nightlife, whereas Stromboli is the force of nature, with incandescent flames that compete with the moon's brightness to illuminate the night. Vulcano is the archipelago's black pearl and Lipari is called the "lighthouse" because of the light irradiating from its mountain. Sipari instead, is the land of flavours and fragrances, whereas Filicudi and Alicudi are solitary and wild.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• The Ancient Theatre, one of the greatest of the Greek-Roman epoch is immersed in an expanse of olives, oranges and almond groves that inebriate the air with their perfume. Behind the stage the scene opens out to the moon and stars which capture your gaze, reflecting their light over the dark sea. Tiny art gems can be found in the alleys of its ancient quarter. The Piazza Duomo embellished by the Fountain of Montorsoli, highlights an ancient Cathedral which in its exterior design recalls the lines of a fortress, graced by a splendid 17th-century portal. Behind the church of Santa Caterina, you will find the Odeon, a tiny theatre of the Roman era, assigned to cultural events. The Etna, imposing, towers over the landscape and reveals a vegetation interrupted by trails of black, solidified lava flows. Caves and different environments alternate along its slopes, and which you have to cross to reach the peak where a great "mouth of fire" awaits you. The Tyrrhenian coast is marked by the Golfo di Patti named after the same locality, well equipped like all the other beach resorts, to offer you a pleasant sea holiday.
• The Regional Museum offers a very interesting artistic itinerary, with its Picture Gallery in fact, exhibits precious works like the "Polyptych of St. Gregory" by Antonello da Messina, the "Adoration of the Three Holy Kings" and the "Resurrection of Lazarus" by Caravaggio. This province is washed by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. Both coastal strips are punctuated by gracious localities, which offer, besides the beauty of nature, also interesting historical and artistic recollections. Among all, Taormina, perched on a terrace, a sheer drop over the sea. Very steep and rocky, its coast is full of small bays coloured by a lush maquis and the blueness of the sea. Taormina is considered the "Lady" of the Ionic Coast, port of destination for celebrities and illustrious personages.

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Palermo

 

Palermo

PalermoPalermo stretches out in the northern part of Sicily looking out over the Tyrrhenian sea, with a tract of splendid coast opening out into the Carini Gulf, Palermo and Termini Imerese. The coast shows its fantastic colors ranging from intense blue of the sea to the greenness of the vegetation, from the dark hues of the rocks against the whiteness of the beaches of finest sand.

Mondello stands out as the beach most frequented by the local people, whereas Cefalù matches its monumental legacy with cozy beaches, and Sferacavallo, an ancient marine village, has become a haven for scuba diving. Against the skyline in the open sea in front of Palermo, you can distinguish the profile of Ustica Island, the remains of a group of erupted volcanoes, rich in naturalistic beauty with coves, caves, and archeological findings. 

The territory is prevalently mountainous and includes the group of the Madonie that extend toward the Pollina and the Imera Valleys, including a part of the coast. This environment is protected by the Madonie Regional Park which offers spectacular panoramas and a great variety of landscapes, from the rough rocky mountains and cliffs diving straight down into the sea, up to the hilly expanse of the hinterland, transiting through valleys ploughed by rivulets.

Besides the beauty of nature, renowned localities and marvelous artistic treasures of different eras make this territory unique and special, a popular tourist spot well-known among visitors even at international levels. From the Solunto ruins of the archeological area of Mount Jato to Monreal and Palermo, the entire territory is full of art treasures, enchanting landscapes and attractive remains of ancient civilization.

Palermo shines in the center of the Gulf bearing its name, a city with a rich past and which in ancient times was the melting pot of European and Arab civilizations, testimonials of which still abound.

The province is full of attractions, from the historical villas punctuating the Bagheria area to the food and wine delicacies, and from the traditional folkloristic celebrations to the relaxing holidays by the sea. Palermo and all its territory is a tourist spot for all seasons and for all demands.

What to taste What to taste:

• What we traditionally hear when talking food in Palermo is "arancini" and the "pani ca' meusa", a roll of bread stuffed with veal entrails.
• Main courses include pasta with sardines, baked "aneletti" al forno and "sfinciuni" tuna. Other traditional specialties are the "cchi mascolini" pasta, "spaghetti alla carrettiera," typical Ustica fish soup, and fish broth with "attuateddi" pasta.
• Fish releated dishes include such names as "beccafico" sardines, tuna with onions, tuna with "ragù" sauce, and hakes cooked the Palermo way. Lamb and mutton meat are the specialties of the Madonie area.
• Desserts include martorana fruits, "cassate" "cannoli" and "mostaccioli".
• Local wines are Corvo di Casteldaccia and Partinico.  

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What to do What to do:

• The coast offers splendid beaches and offers a relaxing holiday by the sea. You can sail and take advantage of all the water sports. Some parts of the coast and the island of Ustica are ideal for scuba diving. and boat excursions to visit some of its beautiful caves. The protected areas and natural reserves offer a variety of routes for walking or trekking on the Madonie highlands.
•The spas of Termini Imerese and Sclafani Bagni offer treatments and therapies for a regenerating stay

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• Palermo is the starting point of a touristic itinerary through the territory, and stands facing its gulf, surrounded by orange and lemon groves of the Conca D'Oro.
• The city denotes a picturesque feature, dominated by the polychromatic marble of its buildings, the Arabian-like domes, the most colorful Vucciria market and the lushness of its green areas such as those of the Parco della Favorita, Villa Giulia and the Garibaldi gardens. The splendid monuments displayed in the historical center testify to its illustrious past, example of which are the Palazzo dei Normanni with the Palatina chapel full of ancient mosaics and décor.
• The church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti is surmounted by five red domes and the cathedral, a majestic structure which contains works of art, and in particular, the "Royal and Imperial Tombs." Worthy of note is the church of San Domenico, one of Palermo's main baroque monuments whereas the oratories of the Santo Rosario di San Domenico and of Santa Zita are famous for the rich stuccowork and their interior decorations.
• Another spot you must not miss is Monreale, located in a panoramic position with respect to the Conca D'Oro, just a few kilometers from Palermo. Monreale is one of the most renowned touristic spots of Sicily and of all Italy because of its artistic heritage, represented by the Cathedral, one of the highest samples of Norman times, with its interior completely adorned with decorations.
• The small town of Bagheria, surrounded by a rich vegetation, is known for the presence of some noble 18th century villas, especially the luxurious Villa Valguarnera and thr picturesque Villa Palagonia, also called "villa of monsters" due to the many sculptures it contains in the form of monstrous characters. Villa Cattolica, seat of the Guttuso Museum, is known for the works of art by this contemporary artist who is a native of Bagheria.
• Cefalù is a renowned and most frequented beach resort, famous also for its artistic legacy like the Cathedral which dominates the entire town, a building dating to the Norman times, and the Mandralisca Museum with its rich art and archeological collections. The surrounding territory conserves numerous archeological findings. On the cliffs above the town, you find the remains of an ancient sanctuary whereas on the coast, there are numerous remains of archaic fortifications. The Isle of Ustica is a renowned tourist spot because of its impressive coastal caves, its thick vegetation and a picturesque town center. Close to Santa Flavia, along a rocky slope you can admire the ruins of the ancient city of Solunto, a very interesting site due its unusual position and the richness of its findings.

Events Events:

• The feast of Santa Rosalia in Palermo (July) or the Targa Florio international rally of Sicily (July).
• There are countless country fairs and festivals dedicated to typical products: in Gangi a characteristic country fair is held, dedicated to the wheat stalk which evokes the customs of country life of the past. In Cerda we have the artichoke country fair, and in Isnello that of the "tuma" and cottage cheese (July). Among the most typical events, we highlight the carnival of Termini Imerese and the "Estate Cefaludese" in Cefalù.
• Easter celebrations are particularly attractive. The Holy week rites in Piana degli Albanesi trace Greek-Orthodox traditions whereas "Holy Representations" are held in Mondello and Prizzi. On Easter Sunday the "Abballu di li diavoli" (dance of the devils) is held. All of these fairs narrate of the allegorical battle between winter and spring, between darkness and light.  

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Ragusa

 

Ragusa

RagusaRagusa is a maze composed of shaped tiles perfectly laid along the long dry walls built by the local people, their brown hues matched to the newly tilled fields and the brilliant greenness of the sprouting crops.

Its landscape traces the Iblei highlands and valleys which are the unrivaled masters of the Ragusa hinterland, characterized by profound canyons shaped by the waters of rivers and streams. The landscape’s profile becomes more gentle as it slopes down toward the splendid coast, with Scoglitti and Pozzalo marking out its confines. It is an alternating balance of cliffs and endless beaches of the finest sand. The colors you see here are beyond words, for the sunrays seem to play a game defining the hues, exalting the blueness of the sea and releasing golden shades on the beaches.

Picturesque villages and charming localities welcome you to a sea holiday, with a touch of gaiety due to the evening events held in the open air under the star-lit sky. A gracious landlady makes you feel at home with the delicacies she prepared for you, while she keeps you engrossed with rich and exciting tales.

This is how the Ragusa province flings open the most refined “living rooms” of its home, embellished in pure Baroque Sicilian style. It is a style that speaks of the 18th century reconstruction, a historical moment of great artistic highlights. As you stroll through the streets of Ragusa, Modica, Scicli and Ispica, observe the prestigious architecture release a golden warmth under the sun, making you experience very special emotions. The precious décor of squares, churches and buildings are exalted by the particular type of tuff which is recurring component in all Sicilian monuments. But the story began even earlier, when the Sicels established their settlements in this land, and continued with the Magna Graecian and Roman epochs, including other rulers who influenced Sicily’s art and culture. A wonderful land in the south of Sicily, Ragusa receives its visitors with the joyfulness and openness of its inhabitants.

What to taste What to taste:

• Most common is the traditional Meat pies that are stuffed with minced meat or lamb and goat meat mixed with cheese and eggs, and the rustic "scacce" is very tasty because of its rich and complex filling. The traditional food is pork and white meats and rabbit.
• Also known for their cheeses including the Ragusano DOP, the caciocavallo ibleo, the Tumazzo medicano, canestrato and cottage cheese, all produced using ancient traditional methods.
• The pastry of course, is full of delicacies, starting from the renowned Modica chocolate. Rich biscuit recipes include the "mustazzola" prepared with honey and almonds, "mpanatigghi," soft tarallucci, and biscuits with almonds which are the main ingredients of Sicilian sweets.
• The local wine is the Cerasuolo della Vittoria DOCG, an excellent choice for meat dishes.  

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What to do What to do:

• The natural beauty along the coastal waters offers open air activities at no end. Excursions and trekking find their ideal environment in the Cava d'Ispica, a deep inlet that stretches out for several kilometres. Gorges, natural caves and cave tombs are elements characterizing this charming path, the signs of which tell of the presence of man ever since Prehistoric times. A dense Mediterranean undergrowth and the colours of the small orchards cultivated by the few inhabitants, give a fascinating aspect to this place.
• Bird watchers can discover moorhens, snipes, partridges, wild ducks, brown pochards and redshanks.
• A splendid beach coasts along the Port of Ulysses, with the white cliffs of Castelazzo point marking out its confines. Marina di Modica is the ideal place to spend your holiday by the sea, and which, thanks to its sandy beaches, make it also suitable for families. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are possible thanks to the lively winds that blow. The sparkling night life also attracts those who take pleasure in going to trendy places after sunset. The coast is punctuated by tiny marine villages nestling along the beaches or perched on rocky cliffs. Places hold ancient enchantment where life still unfolds, beating time to ancient rhythms.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• Ragusa can be defined as two cities in one. The new part was created with the 18th century reconstruction, the old one rebuilt over the ruins of the earthquake.
• The Duomo di San Giorgio is the symbol of the city's rebirth and is the work of Rosario Gagliardi whose signature appears on many masterpieces of the Noto Valley. Columns, friezes and statues confer to the façade a very typical Baroque ostentation. The three naves are delineated by stone pillars with finely decorated capitals. The cathedral's façade is impressive and is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, dominated from above by a lateral 50-meter bell tower. S. Maria delle Scale is very attractive with its 14th-century portal that survived the earthquake and was re-utilized for the construction of the new baroque church. Refined and richly decorated buildings grace the streets of the city. From the top of a great stairway, the imposing façade of the church of San Giorgio looms, a symbol of the most beautiful little town of Modica in the hinterlands. The town opens out at the foot of the cliff on which the ancient part of the town nestles, marked out by picturesque alleys, roads and small stairways. The cathedral of S. Giovanni is a must. As you look upwards you will be impressed by the richness of the decorations and the enthusiastic perspective impressed on the façade. Modica is the birthplace of Salvatore Quasimodo, Nobel Prize in literature, and the house where he spent a part of his life has remained exactly the same, with his memoirs and his photos.
• Scicli is the pearl of Sicilian baroque and of the Ragusa coast. Finely decorated balconies display their ironmongery and flower decorations, and portals carved with elegant mouldings. Frames and friezes complete the design, mainly characterized by refined city buildings of which Palazzo Beneventano is one of the best examples. Three structures assembled together in a pyramid form compose the exterior part of the monumental church of San Bartolomeo, the "queen" of Scicli. Another art gem of the province is the town of Ispica which also offers naturalistic attractions.  

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Siracusa

 

Siracusa

SiracusaSyracuse is made of ancient civilizations still hover in its streets and Baroque architecture narrate its rebirth as the sky, sun and sea enfold it with their brightness. A journey to this corner of Sicily awakens profound sensations, as if you were crossing the threshold of time to go back thousands of years.

This is what you can sense as you walk through the streets of Syracuse, where precious testimonials recall with great force the splendor of Magna Graecia, and step after step, accompany the visitor to the succeeding eras which also had a strong impact on Syracuse’s history. Romans and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Swabians and Aragonese, all wrote their portion of history.

Neapolis, Acradina, Ortygia, Tyche, and Epipoli were the quarters of the ancient city. Their names alone suffice to make us enter into another dimension.

In the Park of Neapolis and on the Island of Ortygia, connected by three bridges to the mainland, you find yourself where the most interesting monuments are concentrated. Immersed in the Iblea valley, within the framework of the Mediterranean vegetation, is Pantalica Necropolis, a place of extraordinary archeological value with thousands of tombs dug in the rocks by the earth’s primordial inhabitants who were successively exploited by the Greeks and Romans.

Noto and Palazzolo Acreide are two of the eight cities of the Noto Valley, declared a World Heritage Site for the richness and prestige of its architecture, linked to the reconstruction in the 18th century and retained as the highest expression of late Baroque art in Europe. Extraordinary monuments are found immersed in an equally splendid nature. From within, the Iblei mountains slope down gently towards the coast, enlivened by cliffs, bays, islets and tracts of white beaches.

An expanse of emerald hues, with lines of cobalt blue and streaks of light which enhance their shades, go to complete Syracuse’s marine landscape. In the hinterlands especially near the river courses, there are various naturalistic sites populated by interesting samples of flora and fauna. Ancient flavors and a lively cultural and folkloristic life integrate the generous touristic attractions the province offers.

What to taste What to taste:

• Fish delicacies figure predominantely including Swordfish cooked the "stemperata" way, fried and dipped in a sauce of capers and onions, fresh tuna cooked with tomatoes and peppers, and onion with the fish soup Syracusan style. The shrimps are excellent, and so are the crabs and sea squills. Fish is the preferred condiment also for many first courses such as spaghetti with black squid sauce, or with seashells, or lobsters with anchovies and toasted breadcrumbs.
• Excellent pork meat allows for a good production of tasty salami and sausages.
• Avola brings us its wonderful almonds, the main ingredient for the very sweet Sicilian pastry and its famous nougat "torrone". Besides pastry, Sicily is also famous for its ice-cream and water-ice with an unending range of flavours: from the classic version – coffee, lemon and strawberry.
• The local wine is Nero d'Avola, a prestigious red wine.

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What to do What to do:

• The Vendicari Natural Reserve is a coastal strip where the salinity of the water contributes to creating a very special ecosystem. It is named "Bird Hotel" because this is an ideal habitat for birds during the migration period. Especially in the early morning and late afternoon hours bird watchers can observe about two hundred different bird species. The Cavagrande del Cassabile Natural Reserve is very attractive with its thick woods of oriental sycamores, willows, poplars and ash trees growing around a deep canyon excavated by the river waters. The same goes for the landscape around the banks of the Ciane River nurtured by the springs of Pisima and Pisimotta which seep through the green papyrus, a typical plant of the Nile and quite rare for Italy.
• The river is ideal for canoe enthusiasts. It is a perfect place for excursions which are good occasions to visit the sights. Beaches, rocks, a crystal-clear sea and delightful localities are the choice offers of our naturalistic heritage. The protected marine area of Plemmirio lies to the South of Syracuse and includes the Maddalena peninsula. The landscape presents white beaches and high cliffs, at times dug out by the sea's erosion.
• The Grotta di Capo Meli, Grotta del Gambero and Grotta della Pillirina, are ideal for those who love to go on boating explorations, and fantastic for lovers of marine speleology.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• The Doric Temple dedicated to Athena is the heart around which the Christian church was built. Belonging to the Byzantine era, it was renovated by the Normans. The façade was destroyed in an earthquake, and rebuilt in the 18th Century in Baroque style.
• The Temple of Apollo stands on the wet dockside, first transformed into a church, then built into a mosque by the Arabs and again into a church by the Normans.
• The stately Greek Theater, a portion of which is dug into the rocks, is the most famous of the ancient world. It is still today an attractive stage for theatre events.

Events Events:

• The province offers a rich program of country fairs full of religious and popular events. At the feast of flowers, the "'Infiorata", thousands of petals are arranged artistically along Via Nicolaci and embellish the balconies of the houses. Feasting and gaiety come alive in the city streets where baroque lavishness unites with the beauty of nature.
• The program of cultural events offered by all the main towns of the various communes are full of interesting events.

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Trapani

 

Trapani

TrapaniTrapani extends out in the western part of the region, between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Canal of Sicily. This enchanting land is composed of phenomenal coastlines alternated by steep cliffs and endless beaches. If you truly want to go back to the past & experience the true traditional italian experience then Trapani is the choice when visiting Sicily.

The Trapanese coast, one of the most impressive in Italy, comprises very valuable naturalistic spots such as the Gulf of Castellamare with its seafront full of cliffs and stacks alternating with beautiful beaches. Scopello is particularly known for its stacks and for its transparent sea which allows all to admire its ocean beds. Part of this enchanting marine scene is San Vito Lo Capo, with its white beaches and waters of the most brilliant hues.

The province encloses an extraordinary natural heritage, starting with the renowned Egadi Isles and the splendid volcanic isle of Pantelleria, true and proper oases to be discovered in person.

There are innumerable protected areas such as the Zingaro Natural Reserve, which stretches out along the coast and reefs, inlets and marine cliffs a sheer drop to the blue sea, covered by thick Mediterranean shrubs. In proximity with Trapani, the particularly breathtaking landscapes are composed of saline banks from which wind mills arise. This is certainly one of the most important humid coastal zones, protected by the Trapani and Paceco Saline Natural Reserve.

The province is particularly known for the important traces of over-millenary civilization spread all over its territory, from the archeological area, Segesta, located in the coastal hinterland of Selinunte and Erice, up to the island of Mothia: a journey in the discovery of ancient past, in the midst of archeological findings and extraordinary landscapes. After which, comes the city of Trapani, with its typical historical center and splendid monuments dating to different epochs, a unique and fascinating collection. This corner of Sicily is special for its traditions, transmitted through the centuries, always reserving a thousand surprises for its visitors.

What to taste What to taste:

• Local gastronomy is influenced by the culture and customs of the many peoples who passed through these lands throughout the centuries. A symbol of this fusion is the cous cous, a typical food of the Arab world with which the local inhabitants conducted great maritime trades.
• Fish is the main ingredient of local cuisine, and it is cooked in many ways: from lobster-spaghetti or grilled fish. The typical product par excellence is tuna fish.
• Trapanese cuisine in fact is famous for its traditional mattanza (tuna fishing). As to cakes, as in all of Sicily we have the renowned cannoli with ricotta cottage cheese and the mustazzoli from Erice and fruit from Martorana.
• The local wines are Marsala and Alcamo white.  

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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What to do What to do:

• The coast offers great opportunities to spend a relaxing holiday by the sea with the possibility of practicing all sorts of water sports, from sailing to scuba diving.
• The protected areas allow to go on naturalistic excursions and trek on the countryside trails. Sea enthusiasts can take on a boat tour, to discover the breathtaking caves of Maréttimo island, among which, is the famous Grotta del Cammello.
• At the Thermal baths of Segeste wellbeing is ensured. The baths exploit the properties of special waters for treatments and therapies.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• Visit the port, the historical centre of Trapani abounds in countless testimonials of history and art: ancient buildings, monuments and churches such as the cathedral of San Lorenzo with its elegant Baroque façade.
• The Pepoli Regional Museum which gives a picture of the evolution of Trapani's artistic heritage from ancient times up to today.
• A popular marine attraction in the Trapani province are the Egadi Islands, three pearls wedged into the Mediterranean's blue waters, where nature is still wild, with extraordinarily clean beaches and sea
• The volcanic island of Pantelleria is the biggest of the islands surrounding Sicily and famous for its landscapes which catch your eye for the blackness of its lavic stones and the greenness of its vegetation.

Events Events:

• The calendar of local events is full, and highlights the famous Holy Friday Procession in Trapani, the feast of the Holy Crucifix in Calatafimi (May), and the feast of Sant'Alberto in Trapani on 7th August.
• Among the celebrations dedicated to gastronomic specialties and typical products, not to forget the food and wine week in San Vito Lo Capo (August) and the Mediterranean Wine Fair in Marsala (May and September).
• You can moreover participate in traditional activities linked to marine traditions such as the "mattanza" (killing of tuna fishes) in Favignana in the period of May-June.  

Tours Tours avaiable in the region:

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