The island of Sicily in the Mediterranean is quickly becoming a hot travel destination. Millions of travellers visit Sicily every year, mainly due to its long list of beautiful beaches, great restaurants, local culture, and exciting things to do.
The best way to enjoy Sicily, however, is by digging deep into the local culture. By being part of the way locals live and exploring their culture, you get to see the other side of the island that is truly magical. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started with enjoying the best of Sicily.
Cities and Villages
Every city and village in Sicily offers something interesting, so do enough research before your actual trip to learn more about the best ones to visit based on your personal preferences. You can decide the kind of holiday experience you want to have and set your itinerary accordingly.
Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is a good example of how the island is filled with people – very friendly people – with different cultural backgrounds. A trip to one of the local markets in Palermo is always fascinating. You get to see a melting pot in real life.
Syracuse is more historic. It was considered the largest city during the Greek Classical Period, and you can see a lot of well-preserved artefacts from the era as you explore the city. A guide can take you to the Neapolis Archaeological Park and you can learn so much about the island’s long history.
Sicily is also famous for its authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Dishes like the signature Sicilian Cannoli and Pasta con le Sarde are great. But, don’t forget to also try dishes like Panelle and Cassata. Even better, there are a lot of local restaurants that serve these dishes in their authentic form.
Sure, going out to a nice restaurant is great for an evening or two depending on your budget. But I think the best dining experience is to be found in local restaurants run by families. The dishes aren’t only more authentic and incredibly delicious, but also more affordable.
The Sicilian people are very friendly. Those who speak English will not hesitate to accompany you or start a conversation while you wait for your meal. Even the older Sicilians that don’t speak English are friendly to travellers.
My personal favourite about visiting Sicily is the villas you can now find on the island. There are a lot of luxurious villas with great amenities to choose from. Villas are usually better located than hotels since they can be closer to residential areas. Which means you can interact with the locals even more.
Do a quick search for villas with pool in Sicily and you will also find that they are not as expensive as you think. Holiday rentals and villas are relatively more affordable than hotels. They are certainly the more cost-effective options when you’re travelling with friends or family.
If you want to enjoy the best of Sicily, do it like the locals. Take long walks, enjoy a cup of coffee at a small shop near the villa, have great meals and conversations, and bring home memories you will never forget.