Sicily. Beautiful and a bit of a surprise

As I was saying. Sicily was beautiful and honestly a bit of a surprise in many ways. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a long time. I had this image in my mind of sunshine, warm lemon scented breezes, olive trees and a sparkling ocean peeking into view through the winding cliff side roads.

Well it kind of was like that. Minus the warm breezes and inserting rain and gusting winds for much of our trip. So the swimsuits didn’t exactly make an appearance this time. But I’m sure I’ll be back for that kind of trip.

We explored more of the east coast than the west. Flying into Catania and then hiring a car to explore. Brave choice if you’re thinking about it. I love having a car to explore new places but if you think driving around mainland Italy is hairy as a tourist then prepare to come back from Sicily with a few more grays 👵🏻! Road rules aren’t really a thing, and stopping for red traffic lights DEFINITELY aren’t a thing. It’s more a matter of slightly slowing down and wildly looking around for a gap in the traffic in every which way and then just going (and really really hope you don’t get hit).

Our itinerary looked something like this. Catania, Sicilian wine and pizza, patting cats, Noto, gelato, Syracuse, Taormina, Sicilian cannoli, espresso, Giardini-Naxos, found another cat to pat, Cefalù, more gelato, nearly getting blown off the road in a storm, Catania again and more cheesy Sicilian pizza, and home.

Catania is one of the largest towns on the east cost of Sicily. So it definitely has a proper city feel. It’s not all cute seaside village in nature. It has a lovely old town though. Very grand with some Roman ruins they have partly been able to uncover in the centre of town.

 

We asked around and were told to try this place for dinner. It’s called Al Vicolo Pizza&Vino. You’re welcome. Just go. It was honestly so so good. And pretty much all locals. The Sicilian red wine is 👌🏼 and the pizzas are HUGE and just so cheesy. Which I didn’t realise was a characteristic of Sicilian pizza (but it is). We split one (ONE) pizza between us and even then we couldn’t finish it. And I can eat pizza for England!

Noto was the first place that we road tripped to and where we realised that Sicily really a historical architecture gem. Specifically of Baroque architecture. For this heritage consultant 🙋🏻‍♀️ that really means it was a bit of travel heaven. I mean look at this place…

Taormina is such a pretty place, the one I think nearly everyone comes to Sicily to see (I know I’m generalising). And it is lovely. But the real surprise? That was Cefalù. I’m leaving these two for their own blog because they deserve it, and because I have way to many photos to choose just a few 😂.

But for now. Cheers from two very happy campers and one intact rental car!

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