This chic seaside resort, 11 km north of Palermo, is situated between two mountains, namely Gallo and Pellegrino. The beautiful sandy beach with translucent water attracts flocks of tourists during the summer months. The landscape includes the Capo Gallo Nature Reserve and the Mount Pellegrino Reserve. Look out for the Art Nouveau style villas that border the beach – these are some of the finest examples of Art Nouveau styles in Italy and Europe.
This is a small town in the Trapani province with a population of just over 15,000 people. This destination is quite popular among tourists, with many placing it ahead of popular Cefalù and Taormine. With its large square decorated with palm trees, its public garden and its old Arab-Norman castle, Castellammare del Golfo has buckets of charm. On the beach front, some unmissable spots include Scopello, San Vito Lo Capo and Zingaro… easily accessible from aboard your catamaran charter in Palermo. On the cultural front, check out the Segesta Temples and step back in time to the Bronze Age.
Mooring in the port of Trapani, you’ll easily be able to explore the entire town by foot. 751 metres above you is the village of Erice which offers magnificent views of Trapani, the Egadi Islands and San Vito Lo Capo. It is one of the most beautiful viewpoints you’ll find in all of Sicily. To get here, you can take a 10-minute cable car ride from Trapani for as cheap as 9 EUR return. Explore Erice at your own pace and follow the signposted walk to see the town’s highlights – one of them is a Norwegian castle perched on a hill!
Favignana is one of the islands which together with Levanzo and Maretimo form the Aegadian Islands. Favignana is the largest of the three and the most visited as it is the best served route form Trapani. The most practical way to explore Favignana and its small, largely flat roads is by bike. Picking up a bike from a local rental company is easy and the roads are well signposted, so you won’t get lost easily! There are two historical buildings on the island: The Palazzo Florio – where the town hall is located – and the famous tonnara – an old disused tuna factory. Of course, take your pick of the beaches and creeks that are peppered around the island. Hot spots include Cala Rossa, Cala Azzurra and Lido Burrone. If you’re in search of calmer and more tranquil landscapes then visit either of the other two Aegadians, Levanzo and Marettimo.
Next stop Marsala – a city ruled over the years by several different groups including the Romans, Byzantines and Arabs. In its historic centre, you’ll find the 16th century Spanish Quarter, the baroque San Tommaso Cathedral with its stunning façade, the 16th century San Pietro Monastery located in the old Jewish quarter and much more. Not to be missed is the Museo Archeologico Baglio Biesina, which houses a Phoenician warship – the only one in the world found to date. While you’re here, have a sip of some Marsala wine, either dry of sweet.
Interestingly, the recipe for this staple dish varies from region to region across Sicily. This is due to the availability or not of fresh ingredients. For example, in Catania (Eastern Sicily), arancini is filled with ragu, peas and mozzarella. However, if you travel further into the centre, the filling will be chicken liver! Either way, arancini promises to delight.
This is a pork-based sandwich cooked in lard and served in brioche-like rolls. It’s commonly served outside train stations or at markets. In fact, street food culture is massive in Sicily and this was recognised when the country was crowned the European Street Food Capital in 2015.
Sicily’s original take on ‘pesto pasta’ – Forget about basil-coloured pesto pasta! In Sicily, the pesto is made up of tomatoes and almonds. This pesto is served alongside busiati pasta – a type of pasta that resembles a long and narrow screw with its winding, intricate grooves.
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