It’s been a while I did not spend any summertime in Sicily, for two main reasons: prices to fly there in August are extremely expensive and everywhere is insanely packed.
Living in Milan for most of the year means I don’t want to spend my time on holiday stuck in traffic and I don’t want to fight with the person next to me at the beach for some more room.
So, my personal piece of advice is keep reading this post to know how I escaped the crowd, but book your flight to get there in spring or fall to enjoy the best from this beautiful island and save some money you can reinvest in food 🙂
Read till the end, where my best recommendation is, but don’t skip there: there is a panino surprise in between!
I landed in Catania early in the morning, the same day my friends, Alessandra and Elena, were flying to Sicily.
I spent some time with my parents and after lunch I joined my companions for a couple of days together: off to Syracuse and Ortygia.
When in Sicily, my only religion for breakfast is granita and brioche, something really hard, I realised, for a non-Sicilian to understand.
The first day we went up north to Augusta to spend a nice day by the pool with some friends and to enjoy a warm sunset at Sbarcatore dei Turchi. Good wine and fresh seafood for dinner in Brucoli.
The day after we drove to San Lorenzo and the Vendicari Nature Reserve. If you are in this part of the island you can also go and visit Noto, a typical Sicilian Baroque town, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002.
We already visited the city so we decided to skip it this tipe, and admire the sun going down at dusk in Capo Passero. Marzamemi, a fisherman village, was our choice for dinner.
My personal advice: don’t go to Marzamemi in August. It’s a beautiful and traditional village but really too small to handle the amount of restaurants and people gravitating there in summer. But again, go in late spring or beginning of summer and you’ll be fascinated by Marzamemi and its beauty.
The third day, was the best one if we are talking about food.
A crazy, in a good way, man is running the Caseificio Borderi cheese shop in Ortygia, the island of Syracuse. His name is Andrea and, as he said, he spent his entire life being a cheese maker, and his name was famous only in Sicily. He is now making sandwiches since the last two years and he is renowned in the entire country of Italy. The reason is simply said: these panini are simply delicious. A sandwich with all-inside: fresh cheese – at least 4 different types – fresh herbs and vegetables and, if you are not vegetarian, some charcuterie from his shop.
Wait in line for your turn, he will delight you with jokes and stories while playing with food for making the most appetising panino you can get in Italy. His very patient wife at the counter will surprise you, again in a good way, with the bill.
I left my friends in my hometown, Catania, where I joined back my family. Some quality time with them and my nephew. Days of relax and healthy food. The day the the beach and the night some freshly picked tomatoes and zucchini from the vegetable garden, eggs from my dad’s chicken, and the most amazing shooting star I’ve ever seen while drinking a beer with my parents lying back looking up at the sky.
If you are in Catania and want to try something different go on a hike on Mt Etna – perfect at sunset – and enjoy a glass of Nerello Mascalese wine, or – and that’s my favorite thing to do when there – join Carmelo and his Surf School for a class. Impossibile to be disappointed – unless there are no waves around!