Sicily is a magical island!
If you are planning a trip to Sicily, take a look at this infographic: we suggest 10 places that you really can’t miss.
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Things to do and see in Taormina (Sicily)
This year we are eagerly awaiting the Taormina Film Fest from the 15-22 of June, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit Taormina and the nearby coast and islands! See all the details for the upcoming film festival on the website: http://www.taorminafilmfest.it/home.asp?lang=1&an=44.
In Taormina, you will find a real antique theatre (http://www.gotaormina.com/en/events/teatro_greco.html), which is perhaps one of the most beautiful locations to have a film festival that you could imagine. As the director of the 58th Taormina Film Festival, Mario Sesti says, this extraordinary location encourages the imagination to return to the cinema as a primordial spectacle of laughter and fear from where to explore major cinematic genres, such as comedy and horror.
It is an opportunity to be in the presence of great authors, new faces highlighted by the “golden age” of different TV shows. A chance to share an experience with authors and actors who have been popular in the Italian cinema of the past few years.
While you are in the Taormina area, you will have a gastronomic experience of a lifetime as well as as cinematic one. Your meals will be characterized by the spring foods typical to this part of Sicily like “frittella” made with fava beans, peas, artichokes, onions and extra virgin olive oil. Also, the famous “pasta alla norma”, made with aubergine and “pecorino” cheese; the Sicilian fish cous cous with almonds or vegetables. And this region of Sicily has amazing desserts! At almost any bar you can find typical sweets made with ricotta cheese and sugar, such as the famous “cannoli” pastry and “cassate” cake.
Be careful, not to confuse the location of the film fest with “l’Odeon,” the small theatre that is in the back of Palazzo Corvaja, on the main street of Taormina, Corso Umberto. However, this little theatre is worth a visit. It was built under the Roman empire of Caesar Augustus Octavian in the II century. Fascinating history!
Once in the area you must visit the village of Taormina, with its famous Bar Turrisi (you will understand why you must go there once you get there!), and Isola Bella for a swim in a crystal-clear water. Take a walk along Corso Umberto I, the main street which is a bit more commercial. And discover the narrow streets and peculiarities of this historical centre: artisan shops, restaurants and its many balconies full of vases and flowers that give so much colour to the town. The most famous view is that of “Piazza 9 Aprile,” which is characteristic by the fabulous black and white pavement and the view of Mt. Etna and the Gulf of Naxos at the back of St. Joseph’s church.
For a great place to stay, we recommend soloSicily (www.solosicily.com), a villa is really the best solution for families or groups of friends, if you divide the cost of the villa, the price is honestly unbeatable! While you are in Taormina, don’t forget to take a day trip to the islands of Lipari and Vulcano. It is easy to take a bus to Milazzo and then a boat to the Aeolian Islands.
If Lipari is a true, uncontaminated authentic island village, the island of Vulcano is even more so! As soon as you get on the ferry, you can sense the smell of sulphur typical to these islands. Then, stop by the Black Bay with its marvellous black sand and stroll around the cute shops and boutiques that offer typical jewellery made out of the islands’ rich minerals.
Before heading back to Milazzo, be sure to visit the Island of Vulcano. It is a great place to explore, it is full of wondrous caves!
If you still have time, Mt. Etna, the volcano back on the Sicilian mainland, is waiting for you!
soloSicily the best Sicily Villas!
A holiday in an apartment or villa on the beach in Sicily is the perfect antidote to the UK’s current unseasonal blast of low temperatures and rain. Just wander through the garden gate on to the sand, swim in the clearest blue sea and feast on freshly-caught fish at a beach restaurant for lunch. soloSicily has a selection of properties situated right on the beach along the island’s east and south east coast.
Terrace with a view: The latest additions to soloSicily’s programme are two striking, contemporary apartments with private beach access and amazing views over the coastline and Taormina’s pretty Isola Bella from the terrace, living room and main bedroom of each apartment. Wander over to the beach where you can rent sun-loungers and umbrellas and linger over leisurely lunches at one of two restaurants or walk across to the tiny island of Isola Bella, connected to the mainland beach by a narrow path.
A week at Lilla in June starts at £1694 (sleeps 2) with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 0207 097 1413.
Outdoor living: Amaltea, another new addition for summer 2013, gives ‘beach life’ a whole new meaning. The simply furnished 2-bedroom cottage at Pozzallo in south east Sicily overlooks a huge garden that opens straight on to a picture postcard and often deserted, white, sandy beach. The garden has a fantastic fully-equipped outdoor kitchen with barbecue and wood-burning pizza oven and in the summer months, a pedalo, sun loungers and umbrellas are set up on the beach for the cottage guests.
Enjoy the sandy coves and crystal clear water of the nearby Vendicari Nature Reserve and explore the baroque towns of Noto, Modica, Scicli and Ragusa. A week at Amaltea in June starts at £1540 (sleeps 5) with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 0207 097 1413.
Vineyards and orange groves: Set amongst vineyards and citrus groves, Elisa is in the popular seaside resort of Avola, in the famous Nero d’Avola wine-growing area in south east Sicily. The 3-bedroom apartment has a magnificent garden with a huge 25m pool, shady terraces and a garden gate that leads directly through to a white sandy beach. The stunning Vendicari Nature Reserve and the towns of Syracuse, Noto and Modica are all close by.
One week at Elisa in June starts at £2475 (sleeps 6) with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7097 1413.
Flights to Catania with Easyjet or BA from around £180 return. soloSicily offers rental villas throughout inland and coastal Sicily. For further information, visit www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7097 1413.
New from soloSicily is a selection of villas and apartments with views of some of Sicily’s most iconic sights.
Island location: Lilla and Viola, two apartments in the exclusive coastal resort of Taormina, offer private beach access and a much-coveted sea view directly over the tiny island of Isola Bella. Primarily a nature reserve, the island has a small beach and is connected to the mainland beach at Taormina by a narrow path.
Enjoy the same magnificent view from the terrace, the master bedroom and a huge picture window in the dining area of each apartment. Wander over to the beach where you can rent sun-loungers and umbrellas and feast on freshly-caught fish at one of two restaurants or take the cable-car up to the centre of Taormina with its shops, bars and restaurants and magnificent coastal views. One week at Lilla in June starts at £1694 (sleeps 2) with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 0207 097 1413.
Pottery and ‘palazzi’: In south east Sicily, the ancient town of Caltagirone is a Unesco site and the capital of Sicilian ceramics. Rising over 600m above sea level, between the largely agricultural landscape of rolling hills and vineyards that dominate the provinces of Enna and Caltanissetta, the town’s most spectacular feature is its Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte, a flight of 142 steps, each decorated differently with hand-decorated ceramics.
Stay at soloSicily’s La Loggia for the best views of Caltagirone. The villa’s large terrace and pool have a picture-postcard view over the town which becomes even more magical at night. One week at La Loggia in June starts at £1635 (sleeps 7) with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 0207 097 1413.
Flights from London-Catania with Easyjet from around £180 pp return. soloSicily features villa and apartment accommodation throughout inland and coastal Sicily. For further information, visit www.soloSicily.com or tel. 020 7097 1413.
Holiday in Sicily in July and enjoy a selection of colourful events and celebrations.
Palermo: Festino di Santa Rosalia
Dating back to 1624, this must-see celebration (14-15 July) of Palermo’s beloved saint involves a spectacular parade of a ship-like vessel bearing Rosalia’s relics through the streets of Palermo, followed by an evening firework display on the shoreline. Unsurprisingly, the celebrations are accompanied by much lively partying and feasting on all kinds of local delicacies from dried chestnuts, toasted nuts, almonds and pistachios to roasted broad beans and nougat from stalls along the sea front.
Stay slightly out of the heart of the action at a villa in the chic Palermitan seaside suburb of Mondello. A week in July at Corisia, a 3-bedroom villa with a fabulous pool and garden, starts at £495 per person, based on six sharing, with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7097 1413.
Stairway to heaven in Caltagirone
The astonishing 142-step Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte in the Unesco heritage town of Caltagirone, in southern Sicily, takes centre stage throughout the year but never more so than during the ‘Illuminata’ at the end of July (24-25 July) when the steps are lit up by thousands of candles. Connecting the lower town with the older upper town, the steps reflect the town’s astonishing ceramics heritage, evident on the tiles of many of the buildings of the old town and in so many of the shops.
La Loggia is a newly-built villa, surrounded by six acres of land and beyond that, a landscape of rolling hills, woods, vineyards and olive groves and with superb views over Caltagirone. A week at the 3-bedroom villa with pool in July starts at £325 per person, based on 7 sharing, with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7097 1413.
Stragusto! Street food, Sicilian style
Held in the historic Piazza Mercato del Pesce, overlooking the sea at Trapani, Stragusto (25-28 July) is a celebration of the street food found throughout western Sicily. Each evening, traditional local Sicilian, Italian and Tunisian food such as couscous, stuffed olives and pizza-like ‘sfincioni’ is prepared and consumed against the backdrop of musical performances and entertainment.
A three-night break in July in the Badia Tower (sleeps 2), a pretty tower with its own private terrace amidst lush gardens on the vast Badia Estate near Marsala, starts at £190 per person (based on 2 sharing) with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7097 1413.
soloSicily features villa and apartment accommodation throughout inland and coastal Sicily. Low-cost flights available to Palermo or Trapani with Ryanair or Easyjet. For further information, visit www.soloSicily.com or tel. 020 7097 1413.
A marvellous stay in a Sicilian villa on the seaside
We are two newly wed couples. We met each other on our honeymoons and had such a good time that we wanted to have another holiday all together, this time in beautiful Palermo.
We decided on villa Corisia in Mondello which is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places possible to wake up every morning. In Mondello we were on the seaside, but it was so close to many important landmarks and interest points (Palermo, Cefalù and Monreale). And the villa itself! It left us speechless. The quiet garden, the marvellous pool, it is a truly charming villa. And, it is really the absolute perfect place to stay if you want a seaside vacation experience as well as the opportunity to enjoy Palermo’s city centre.
We spent many days in Palermo, but our evenings we spent in Mondello’s fabulous seafood restaurants. We especially recommend the restaurant “Le Antiche Mura” which is quite close to the villa. Order the “polpette di tonno al sugo”, tuna “meatballs”, they are delicious! Check out the photos to see the villa and garden, it is really a dream holiday place to stay. www.solosicily.com/sp50_romantic-villas-in-sicily/sc185_corisia.aspx
Oh! And towards the end of our trip, some friends arrived in Sicily as well! They had booked villa Tanguera, another luxurious villa near where we were staying in Mondello, but closer to Palermo, about 10 minutes. On the second to last day of our trip, they invited us over and we had such a lovely evening with them, sipping wine on villa Tanguera’s patio with jacuzzi. www.solosicily.com/sp50_romantic-villas-in-sicily/sc154_tanguera.aspx
Read other soloSicily reviews:
For a relaxing holiday in a Sicilian Villa
The best proposals for your holidays in our villas in Sicily.
Villa specialist soloSicily still has availability at several properties for Easter and throughout April, the perfect month for exploring some of the island’s towns and cities. Spring and Easter discounts are available on one week stays at selected properties.