Sicily is a wonderful island in the Mediterranean Sea that is fascinating to most people who wish to travel around the world at some point in their life. The region holds a rich background in art and history.
Magnificent blue skies and luxurious vegetation calls out to be visited and experienced at least once in a lifetime. Sicily offers an array of things to do and places to see.
When planning a trip to Sicily, a person should always be well-informed of the climate in this area. The good thing to know is that Sicily has a much longer warm-weather season than northern and central Italy.
Sometimes this season can stretch well into November. It is also good news that spring occurs early. There can sometimes be flowers covering the ground as early as February. This makes for nice weather for tourists visiting the area.
There are many reasons that a tourist would want to visit Sicily. It holds a unique place in history books. Almost every great European empire has ruled Sicily at some point. This shows through most of the beautiful architecture on the island.
It ranges from Roman architecture to Byzantine. This affected the Palermo’s palaces, churches and crypts. These are a glorious site to see for any tourist.
Orygia Island and the Valley of the Temples
Another reason to visit Sicily is to walk on Siracusa’s Orygia Island. The sites in this location are awe-inspiring where the Duomo is situated on top of an ancient Greek temple.
And yet another reason to visit Sicily is to visit the Valley of the Temples. These Greek temples are so well preserved and are set in the middle of an almond tree forest. The temples set high above the sea in a picturesque setting.
Food and wine
One thing that most tourists know about Sicily is the food. The extraordinary food has records in history all the way back to 600 B.C. Many cultures have played a part in shaping the island’s unique good combinations. Italian pastas show up in the foods of Sicily as well as some North African elements.
For the main meal Sicilians drink mostly wine. Sicilian wines are renowned for being strong, flavoursome and full-bodied. The soil and the climate in Sicily are ideal for growing grapes. Various wines are produced, such as the famous Marsala.
Another food item that Sicily is known for is their desserts. The top dessert for this area is the cannoli. The cannoli is made up of an ever so delicate pastry shell that is filled with ricotta that is seasoned to just be sweet enough.
These can be found in many different sizes to enjoy by guests. Although the cannoli is well-known in Sicily, the traditional cake is the cassata siciliana. This is a type of chilled spongecake. It is a colorful dessert that cannot be missed.
It is rumored that the first ice cream was made by the Romans from the snow topped caps of Mount Etna. Another great treat found in Sicily is gelato. Many Sicilians and tourists enjoy this treat.
Salt Flats in Trapani
One location that is neat to visit is the Salt Flats in Trapani. Tourists can witness salt being made in the traditional way. After the tide has gone away, the salt is swept up and then ancient windmills are used to grind it down.
Past foreign domination
The unique thing about Sicily is the presence of past foreign domination. This has trickled down to the present day cities. Even though Sicily is one large island, each city seems to be blessed with its own culture. This leads to different local specialties throughout the island today.
The language that is heard most in Sicily is Sicilian. This is not the same as Italian. Sicilian is spoken by the natives of the island. Tourists can also hear Italian, because most Sicilians also know the language. Schools in Sicily also teach their students English.
There are many different ways to access the island of Sicily. Sicily has two main airports located in Palermo and Catania. These are good access points to fly into the island. Tourists can also access the island by train.
Sicily is attached to the Italian train network. These can be long train rides but the view is nice along the way. Another way to access Sicily is by bus. There are long-distance busses that can bring tourists to the island. By boat is another choice when coming for a visit. There are cruise-ferries that can be used to come to Sicily.
There are many choices for tourists to consider when picking a place to stay in Sicily. The cheapest places to consider are inns and finding a room for rent. These are starred according to other hotels but can be quite sufficient.
The next choice would be a guesthouse or a bed-and-breakfast. These usually receive a one to a three star. Hotels should be considered last as they are the most expensive choice. Tourists will be happy with their choice, but may not like the price tag that goes with it.
Do the research
The best thing to do when planning a trip to Sicily is to do the research. Learning the history of the island is very beneficial in understanding why the island is the way that it is. It will help to explain why the architecture is as grand as it is.
Prepare for the trip by gathering a list of all the prominent locations that need to be visited. Not a moment should be wasted in this vast land of magnificent sights. It is culturally rich. It will not only feed the soul but also the mind.