Vacation rentals in Sicily
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Your guide to Sicily
All About Sicily
Though very much part of Italy, Sicily is like a country unto itself, with its own distinct dialect, strong culinary traditions, and distinct Arabic, Greek, and Spanish influences. In fact, almost every major European power left its mark on Sicily throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. As Italy’s largest island, Sicily rises from the warm, calm waters of the Mediterranean. The island boasts diverse architecture and ancient ruins — so much so, it’s often described as an outdoor museum.
The geography of Sicily is equally dramatic and diverse, with turquoise waters, craggy cliffs, and Mount Etna, one of Europe’s most active volcanoes, as its backdrop. With over 1,000 kilometres of coastline, there are plenty of beautiful beaches and coves to explore. In Sicily, you can go wine tasting, sample unforgettable street food, take a pasta-making course, or visit the many villages dotted around the island — including the vibrant capital, Palermo.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Sicily
Sicily is a lovely place to visit all year round, though is most popular during Italy’s summer break, which lasts from July to mid-September. Many Italians head south to enjoy the coast and the long summer evenings, especially in August. During summer the weather can be hot, so be sure to pack plenty of light, cool clothes — and don’t forget your swimmers! From October through December, Sicily becomes somewhat quieter as many Italians return to work, and temperatures drop considerably — though from mid-December through to March, many visit the island to ski on the slopes of Mount Etna. A great time to visit is from April to early June, or from late September to October. The weather is still warm enough to swim, though much milder, and it’s easier to find a spot on your favourite beach.
Top things to do in Sicily
Sicily is well known for its authentic cuisine, with many recipes having been passed on for generations. Though distinctly Italian, Sicilian cuisine also shows strong Greek, Arabic, Spanish, and French influences. Much of the cuisine also uses ingredients grown in or around the island such as olives, eggplants, and pistachios, and common dishes include pasta alla Norma, cassata, almond granita, and arancini. Locally caught seafood such as sea bass, swordfish, and tuna are also very popular.
Mount Etna National Park
A striking geographical feature of the island, Mount Etna is situated within the Etna National Park, which spans nearly 48,000 acres and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also the highest volcano in Europe and one of the most active. As well as making a visit to this spectacular park, which includes impressive caves, grottos, and even a glacier, you can also take several hikes, including a guided trek up to the crater of the volcano.
Thanks to Sicily’s rich history, there are lots of fascinating and diverse ancient sites to explore. The Valley of the Temples offers some of the most well-preserved ruins in the world, and the Segesta temple is still used to stage plays and performances during summer. There’s also Syracuse, the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Taormina amphitheatre, and many more.