Once in Sicily, you definitely should not miss the multicultural capital, Palermo. It is one of the most interesting cities I have visited in Italy because it has been influenced by the Greek, Arab-Muslim, Spanish, and French cultures, among others. My favorite day trip from Palermo was to visit the cathedrals in Cefalù and Monreale. Apart from those, the ancient theaters and ruins in legendary places such as Syracuse and Taormina are also worth visiting. Catania is another popular city in Sicily but I personally did not like it. I only went there to get to Taormina.
Visiting Sicily, tourists tend to skip small town and villages such as Modica, Sciacca, Ortigia, and Erice. But according to Nicolas Casula in his article "The Unmissable Sicilian Villages," the borghi (the Italian word for "villages) will leave you speechless and take your breath away. The article really makes me want to visit all of those off-the-beaten-path villages. Among them, Modica is definitely on the top of my bucket list because I am a fan of the Aztec chocolate made in Modica.
"Italy has very beautiful cities indeed but let's not forget about the small and untouched villages, the kind you just can't find anywhere... except if you are in Sicily! I would strongly recommend a car (since some of them do not have efficient public transportation) and especially a small car since the streets are very very narrow :) And now, let me take you there (at least with your imagination) and make you dream a little!" - Nicolas Casula
One of my favorite things about Sicily is its breathtaking and untouched nature. During my visit to Palermo, I had the privilege of touching a sacred tree, one of the largest and oldest trees in Europe. Apart from trees, Sicily also has amazing beaches, rivers, and mountains - some of which are in natural parks such as Parco delle Madonie and Parco Naturale Regionale dei Nebrodi. And of course, we cannot forget the mighty Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Unfortunately, due to weather, I could not hike up Mount Etna but I hope I can come back for that and admire the volcano from as close as possible.
"Mount Etna is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, the largest and highest active volcano in Europe and it is the natural attraction that inevitably draws the largest number of tourists in Sicily from all over the world. Mount Etna lies in the eastern part of Sicily, has a height of about 3,300 meters ad a circular base of over a hundred kilometers. It is visible from most of the Eastern Sicily, often gives amazing flaming shows, with high fountains of lava that illuminate the cool Sicilian nights." - Eleonora Ruzzenenti
The most fun part of traveling is tasting local foods. “Food is more essential than clothes,” said Sicilians. Indeed, the Sicilian cuisine is exciting to explore. From tasty street food to delightful sweet treats, Sicily has them all. A list of the essential foods to taste in Sicily is in my article "Foods You Must Try in Sicily." If you are particularly interested in the Sicilian dessert cannolo, check out Eleonora Ruzzenenti's well-written piece "The king of Sicilia: the cannolo", an inside-out guide of the traditional pastry.
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