Sicily was so beautiful and so much more than expected that I simply have to share a few highlights with you. A fab pictorial summary with a few essential tips for anyone planning to visit Sicily. So keep reading and enjoy!
Sicily: 10 Top Tips around Siracusa.
Sicily: 10 Top Tips around Siracusa
1. Mount Etna
No trip to Sicily is complete without visiting Europe’s largest active volcano Mount Etna. Despite the BBC claiming they were nearly killed in the February eruptions earlier this year, locals call it the friendly volcano. Apparently no one has died from it in years.
Catch the gondola and then a four wheel drive to get right to the top.
Make sure to take a piece of warm clothing or end up dressed wrong. Wearing my hubby’s jumper – at least one of us knew what to pack!
Gusts of wind and constantly changing atmosphere make the experience unforgettable.
This lovely hilltop town is often sold as a package deal to visit together with Mt Edna.
Taormina is known for the Teatro Antico di Taormina still used for concerts today. It’s the most dramatically situated Greek theatre in the world and the second largest in Sicily.
Treat yourself to an apero away from the crowds at the Grand Hotel Timeo, just next to the entrance of the Teatro. Leave time for some fab shopping too!
This is where the largest Teatro Antico in Sicily stands. Certainly worth a visit. Such a magical air about the place that if you listen carefully you might hear the voices of the great Greek heroes, Agamemnon, Medea or Oedipus.
The legendary Ear of Dionysius is the most famous cave in Siracusa. In legend a prison built by the tyrant Dionysius. Don’t think he likes us either as a bird pooped massively on us as we were inside!
4. Boat trip to/around Ortygia
Ortygia is the ancient city of Siracusa, forming a little island of it’s own that is linked to the mainland by a couple of bridges. One of the most beautiful trips during our stay was simply taking the boat from our hotel to Ortygia but there are great boat trips around the island too discovering many caves etc.
We also had great fun looking up the different private yachts moored each day.
5. Ortygia Shopping
Be aware shops shut for many hours in the middle of the day. All the same there are some great Fashion and other artisan shops to wander through.
Favourite shops in Ortygia:
Lunetteshoes Via Cavour 39 – Fab designer items at great prices for both women and children. Fab style advice too!
Hamdis Store – via Maestranza – local artist with fabulous paintings, scarves and bags.
Fish House Art – has to be seen, this new ceramic fish art.
6. Cliff Jumping
If you ever had the desire to jump off a cliff into crystal clear waters, Sicily is the place!
Our Hotel Beach…
I promise I did this jump too! See Here
Completely destroyed in the 1693 earthquake, Noto is now an architectural supermodel of baroque belle. In 2012 it was formally added to the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Be sure to walk up the church bell tower for a breathtaking view at the top.
8. Fishing Villages around Marzamemi
Not your typical tourist trap. It’s certainly worth a drive around Pachino and Marzamemi to see typical local villages and lovely crystal waters. Experience Sicily like a local!
One of the 10th largest cities in Italy. Catania is an ancient port city at the foot of Mt. Etna. It reminded us of San Fransisco with the suddenly steep roads in the middle of the city.
Great shopping and a lovely park right in the centre of the shopping district.
Bought my hat there for 4 euro and learnt that paper hats such as this one can be flattened in your suitcase and come out ready to wear once back home!
The city’s wide central square, Piazza del Duomo, features the whimsical Fontana dell’Elefante statue and richly decorated Catania Cathedral.
10. Useful tips
- Avoid crowds by sightseeing in the early morning.
- Hire a Car – the absolute best way to get around
- Ask Reception – once we’d decided where we wanted to go we always asked reception for tips on where to park – saving so much time and risk in larger cities such as Catania and Siracusa.
- Take a warm piece of clothing – essential for Mt Etna
- Shop Opening Hours – usually closed for around 4 hours midday!
- Dress Smart – it’s the one place I didn’t sightsee with LV bag and was glad for it!
At the car park there may also be a place to park your pet for the day, have them showered, fed and looked after!
Still dreaming of wonderful Sicily!
Great site for booking accommodation here.
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