Especially now, when the weather in Berlin makes us dreaming about better (read: warmer) place, it is so satisfying – thinking about last long weekend on Sicily. We had such luck with the wetter, bright sun and clear blue skyes three days out of four, temperatures over 18 degrees, everything blossoming and pleasantly smelling… This all was as a bonus to the beautiful nature, cozy cities, delicious food, fresh vegetables and good wine. Therefore, this post is less words, more pictures, juicy colors and captured impressions.
Our four-days-tour in short: 2 girls, 1 car, 4 days, 600 km, flight to Catania – Catania – renting a car – driving to Taormina – Taormina – Visiting Etna – driving to Marzamemi – Marzamemi – Noto – Old City of Noto – Noto Beach – Syracuse – flight back to Berlin, 400 photos.
The easiest way to get to Catania from the Fontanarossa Airport is to take the Alibus (4 Euro one way). We landed at night and had to take a taxi. Our taxi driver was probably the real Mafia: he didn’t speak a word English and the price for the ride magically doubled at the end. When we tried to object, he started swearing and cursing. At 1 am we decided we’d rather pay and leave in peace…
In the morning, we were rewarded with the great coffee and baked goods – a pleasantness of staying at Domoikos (Via Pietro Garofalo, 8, 95124 Catania CT, Italy). By the way, this was almost the only inn having a 24-hours reception.
On Sicily, the must eat are tomatos. Oh my, oh my, how delicious are they!
Catania has its beautiful corners…
We found a cafe with an ideal view to the city and to Etna: Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant (Link).
The trip from Catania to Taormina took 50 minues and cost us 1,5 Euro (some roads on Sicily are toll roads).
The hostess of the inn we stayed at recommended to take a ride to Castelmola. A confusing ride took us more than 30 minutes as we were driving circles. Finally, we reached the town and were charmed by the narrow streets and beautiful views.
On the way back we enjoyed the view to Isola Bella. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to take a stroll along the narrow sandy path to the island, since we wanted to see Taormina at day light.
After being there, I can only agree with those who say that Taormina is the most beautiful city on Sicily. I confirm: it’s a real gem!
Next day, early in the morning…okey, maybe not so early as you think, but before 10 am, we started our trip to Etna. The road to Funivia dell’Etna (Etna cable car) took about 1 hour. Sometimes we couldn’t resist and stopped to take a picture.
Good news for those, who doesn’t want to hike to the big craters: there is a Crateri Silvestri on the entrance to the Etna Car Park. It is easy to reach and it’s for free. Nevertheless, the view is magnificent!
We decided to go a step further and took the cable car (30 Euro) to the La Montagnola. I can’t say that the hike fell us easy. More in the opposite: we were walking through wet snow and black sand and our feet got soggy very quickly. No need to tell that we thought about turning around more than 10 times. Nevertheless, we followed first the lone hikers, than the crowd arrived with the buses till the top.
I’m so glad we did it! Being on the top of the mountain will probably become one of the highlights of this year. Witnessing steaming ground and supermundane landscape is worth a lot!
But the jewel in the crown of Torre Del Filosofo was of course the flowing lava. At first you think you look at the stones. Then you notice that they are moving. Then you observe gleaming-red flashes and realise: THIS IS LAVA!!!
The evening in Taormina was all about tasty food, wine and limoncello. When you travelling on Sicily, keep in mind that the majority of the restaurants are closed between 2-3 pm until 7 pm. We arrived in Taormina around 5-6 pm and were already very hungry. Luckily, one of the restaurants agreed to open earlier and served us delicious fish. So, I can recommend La Conciglietta (Link) for a dinner.
The next day we planned out trips in the way that we arrive at Marzamemi around 7 pm and go directly to La Cialoma (Link), a Michelin Guide restaurant with very good references (and handsome decor). The fish was so good, that I even didn’t manage to take a picture (this is a criterion, right?)
For the drinks afterwards we headed to the opposite side of the square – to Liccamuciula. Wine and limonchello was our sustained choice.
In the morning we headed to Noto and its famous Caffe Sicilia (Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 125, 96017 Noto SR, Italy) to try its cannoli and almond granita.
After exploring the “new” Noto, we drove to Noto Antica, the old city destroyed by an earthquake in 1693 and never rebuilt. Noto Antica is a very pleasant and quiet place to take a walk and chill on the sun…
On our last day, before goint back to Catania, we headed to Syracuse, Isola di Artigia.
In Syracuse we bought some Sicilian lemons in order to try to re-create our belowed limoncello in Berlin!
As a recap – yes, I liked Sicily a lot! We were there at the right time at right places. Pleasant drives, great dinners, a lot of sun and relaxed atmosphere. Sicily, I’m in love!