Why Sicily Should Be At The Top Of Your Travel Bucket List For 2020
There’s so much more to Italy than the Roman Colosseum, the leaning tower of Pisa and a gondola trip along Venice’s canals. Just off the southern coast of boot-shaped Italy is Sicily, the largest and most exotic island in the Mediterranean. It is a great holiday destination, still unspoilt by mass tourism.
Whether it is paradise-like beaches, crystalline waters, ancient ruins or delicious food and wine you desire, Sicily has it all – plus it is still not overrun with hordes of tourists. This gorgeous Mediterranean island just off Italy’s toe embodies history, fascinating culture, natural beauty and relaxation.
Summer 2020 is approaching faster than you think. Is Sicily on your radar yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Book a luxe escape to this spectacular part of Italy now, before everyone else does. Here are some very good reasons to add it to your travel list.
Over the centuries, Sicily’s strategic position in the Mediterranean has lured many cultures to its shores, all of which have left their stamp on the island’s culture and traditions.
Sicily has played host to an arguably incomparable parade of ancient peoples, from Greeks, Romans, Saracens and Byzantines to Carthaginians, Arabs, Bourbons, Spaniards and Normans, which left behind amazing archaeological treasures to be explored.
Whether you want to admire the gold-leaf mosaics of a Norman cathedral, wander through Carthaginian ruins, visit impossibly beautiful Baroque towns, or marvel at some of the world’s best-preserved ancient Greek temples, Sicily has got you covered. And you won’t even have to elbow through the crowds to visit Sicily’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Sicily boasts one of Europe’s richest and most varied cuisines, and it comes as no surprise that the island has become one of Italy’s hotspots for gastrotourism. Arab, Norman, Greek, Turkish and Spanish influences are speckled through its amazing array of delicious dishes.
Embrace the Sicilian way of life by dining al fresco, and sample local delicacies like arancini di riso, deep-fried rice balls, caponata, a Sicilian version of ratatouille made with eggplants, olives, capers and raisins, and mouthwatering cannoli, tube-shaped shells made with fried pastry dough stuffed with sheep ricotta.
Visitors are keen to taste their way through the island’s local seasonal produce, from sweet Pachino tomatoes, Ribera oranges, dates, olives and pistachios grown on the fertile slopes of Mount Etna to wild fennel, almonds, eggplants, pine nuts and the chocolate produced in the charming town of Modica using a process dating back to the Aztecs. There’s an abundance of great seafood as well, including anchovies, calamari, red prawns and sea urchins.
This gorgeous island off the coast of Italy is often called an oenological continent and a wine lover’s paradise. Its copious sunshine, balmy temperatures and warm, dry climate are perfect for viticulture, and people have grown grapes and produced wines here since the 5th century B.C.
Oenophiles should definitely make their way to Sicily’s many world-class wineries producing big full-bodied reds and mineral-driven whites. Red wine drinkers should explore Nerello Mascalese, Frappato and Nero d’Avola, arguably the most important red grape variety in sunny Sicily.
Popular Sicilian whites include Catarratto, Grecanico Dorato and Grillo, indigenous variety grown throughout southwestern Sicily. The dry, slightly acidic Carricante has been cultivated on Mount Etna’s slopes for thousands of years. And don’t forget Marsala, one of the world’s most highly praised fortified wines.
If you are a sea-lover, there’s plenty of postcard-worthy beaches to choose from along Sicily’s 900-mile coastline. When it comes to beaches, there is literally something for everyone here – from wide expanses of pretty much deserted golden sand and tiny pebble coves amid Mediterranean shrub to dramatic rock formations and secluded bays only accessible by boat, most of which are uncrowded even in the high summer months.
How does swimming in sparkling crystal-clear waters before a dinner of freshly caught fish sound? And how about snorkeling in sheltered bays framed by high rocky cliffs or simply soaking up the Sicilian sunshine? Sicily has everything you could want for a sun-filled, picture-perfect beach break.
With 300 days of sunshine a year, Sicily is a nature-lover’s paradise. Temperatures are almost always warm, which make outdoor adventures possible at any time of the year.
There is a lot to do on this large, mountainous island. Hiking, trekking, biking, kayaking, windsurfing and rock climbing are very popular. There are numerous gorgeous hiking spots, like the charming Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve, home to a network of spectacular coastal walking paths.
If you are looking for a little more thrill, how about climbing Europe’s highest active volcano? There are countless ways to check out Sicily’s Mount Etna, rising almost 11.000 feet into the sky. Don’t miss a chance to explore Mount Etna’s slopes and craters. You will be amazed by its surreal landscape. There are many different trails you can take, whether you are looking for an easy stroll or a real challenge.
Sicily has become a luxury Mecca. You are genuinely spoilt for choice when it comes to ultra-luxe accommodation on this gorgeous Italian island.
Most elite vacationers opt for high-end villa rentals with all the modern luxuries of a five-star hotel, but without any other guests around. Renting a top-level luxury villa with private swimming pool and panoramic sea views, then, is the way to go.
Based in Castelvetrano, in the province of Trapani, Select Sicily is an upscale vacation rental company that boasts a superb, ever-growing collection of seriously exclusive private properties throughout the island. You can choose from luxury beach villas with direct access to the shimmering azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, exclusive city-center apartments and sumptuous mansions with private swimming pool.
For more information, check out the company’s website www.selectsicilyvillas.com.