It’s been a minute since I shared my travel adventure so let’s embark on an unforgettable journey. In this post, I unveil the sun-soaked treasures of Sicily.
I recently explored the cities of Catania, Ortigia, and Taormina, where ancient history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering flavours collide in perfect harmony. You can read and save my itinerary and my favourite experiences in Sicily.
I also wanted to share what captivated me the most about this adventure so I truly hope you enjoy this post.
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you are planning a trip yourself or have been and have two scents to share.
Day 1-3: Catania – A Date with History and Granita
Picture this: we kick-started our adventure in Catania, a vibrant city that oozes old-world charm with a modern twist.
We couldn’t resist diving into its rich history, so we headed straight to Piazza Duomo, where the magnificent Cathedral of Catania stands proudly.
The baroque architecture took our breath away! Later, we strolled along Via Etnea, a bustling street filled with trendy shops and local boutiques.
Oh, and let’s not forget the highlight of the day—indulging in a refreshing granita. Granita Sicilian treat that hit all the right taste buds at Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant!
There was something magical about Sicily. I found The Legend of the Elephant in Catania particularly interesting.
“Legend has it that in ancient times, Catania was plagued by violent eruptions from Mount Etna, leaving the city in ruins. However, amid the chaos, a brave and wise elephant named Uzeta appeared.
The elephant, carrying a majestic obelisk on its back, walked through the city’s streets, marking the boundaries of a new and safe settlement.”
The people of Catania saw this as a sign of protection and resilience. Today, the symbol of the elephant with an obelisk can be found throughout Catania, reminding visitors of the city’s triumph over adversity.
All in all, Catania was our least favourite as it was such a mix of modern tarnish and rich history. I don’t know if I would choose to visit again but the food was so delicious, that I may just go back for one more Pasta alla Norma.
Day 2-7: Ortigia – The Magic of Sicily in Ortegia
Our next stop was the enchanting island of Ortigia, and boy, did it transport us back in time! Wandering through its winding streets felt like stepping into a magical fairy tale.
We made a beeline for the awe-inspiring Duomo di Siracusa, a majestic cathedral that blends Greek, Roman, and Norman influences.
Talk about architectural dreams! And of course, no visit to Ortigia would be complete without immersing ourselves in the vibrant local market. The colours, fragrances, and flavours filled the air as we savoured every moment.
What got my attention about Ortigia is the magical story of The Fountain of Arethusa.
“According to Greek mythology, Arethusa was a beautiful nymph who caught the attention of the river god Alpheus. Fleeing from his advances, Arethusa sought refuge in the sea.
The goddess Artemis took pity on her and transformed her into a freshwater spring on the island of Ortigia.
The Fountain of Arethusa, with its crystal-clear waters surrounded by lush vegetation, is believed to be the very spot where the nymph found solace. Today, visitors can admire this enchanting spring and hear the whispers of its mythical tale.”
Ortigia was my top favourite spot on this trip as it truly had a great balance of the local charm and tourist culture. I think I also spotted a couple of ex-pats working off their laptops which is always a nice plus for me as
Day 7-14: Taormina – Enchanting Taormina
Our journey continues to the crown jewel of Sicily East Coast: Taormina. Perched high on a hill overlooking the sparkling Ionian Sea, this town stole our hearts from the moment we arrived.
We lost ourselves in the ancient ruins of the Teatro Greco, a Greek amphitheatre that hosts mesmerising performances against the backdrop of the shimmering sea.
Corso Umberto, the lively pedestrian street, beckoned us with its charming shops, cozy cafes, and high-end boutiques. And let’s not forget the breathtaking Giardini della Villa Comunale, where we soaked up the panoramic views and felt like we were on top of the world.
We spent days soaking up the sun at Isola Bella and drinking Caffè Affogato overlooking the beautiful sea. Our favourite restaurant for dinner was Osteria Rita and seriously it shouldn’t be missed. The next top spot goes to Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel. We preferred Time over San Domenico Palace. It was a truly unforgettable dinner.
To not miss Taorimina’s The Legend of the Lovers’ Balcony as I found the entire Sicily so magical and these legends so interesting.
“High above the charming streets of Taormina lies the captivating garden known as the Lovers’ Balcony. Legend has it that a young couple, deeply in love but from feuding noble families, used to meet secretly on this balcony overlooking the sea.
They would declare their undying love for each other, oblivious to the world around them.
As fate would have it, their families discovered their forbidden romance and forbade them from seeing each other. Heartbroken, the lovers decided to take their own lives, hoping to be reunited in the afterlife.
Today, the Lovers’ Balcony stands as a poignant reminder of their tragic love story and a testament to the power of love itself.”
I don’t know about you but there is something about lost love and Italy.
Now, let’s talk about how touristy Taormina was even before the season kick-off. If you are planning a visit please avoid months from Mid May to Mid September. It will take away the local charms. Let’s not forget the overflow of the White Lotus fans too.
The unforgettable experiences that made our trip truly exceptional were the views of Mount Etna. Wherever we went we couldn’t resist the allure of Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano.
And the food! Oh, the food! We savoured authentic Sicilian cuisine, from the mouthwatering arancini to the delectable cannoli. Our taste buds are still dancing with joy!
I hope you enjoyed this post and I’m excited to share more of my travel adventures as I embark on them.