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I’ve always said that traveling to Sicily is like getting a 3-in-1 deal. Part Africa, part Italy, part Greece — and the ancient city of Syracuse is built over and around Greek ruins. Siracusa is surprising, and offers all kinds of clues to the evolution of Mediterranean culture. Journeying into the heart of this city reminds me of opening “nesting eggs”. Syracuse — the largest egg — is a complex maze of the exterior city network. The next egg — ancient Ortigia — is tiny and special. (That’s where we stay on our tours.) Then within Ortigia, a smaller egg — the Piazza del Duomo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exploring this area is super easy on foot. You’ll find Borgia del Casale at the edge of Piazza del Duomo. Done in a Rococo style, this palace is worth visiting. Check out the 19th century frescoes and stuccoes, and sip the cool white wine that’s provided with the admission cost. Visit at night for balcony views of the Piazza all lit up, it’s a brilliant nightscape to remember. This is also a wedding venue…and I love seeing wedding parties spilling out into the streets. Andiamo!
Image: Borgia del Casale
If you’re in Ortigia, reserve a table at Ristorante Regina Lucia. The tables are in one of the most picturesque piazzas in all of Italy. The 4, 5, or 7 course tasting menus are our choice. Add the wine pairings and relax yourself, because octopus might just be imminent! (If you opt for a single dish, go for the shellfish ravioli and pesto with local herbs, it’s a favorite!) Time it so that the sun’s evening rays are slanting across the nearby historic cathedral as your samplings arrive. On a chilly evening, dine inside under the tufa stone arches and pretty warm lighting. Either way, dining like this will have you over the moon, and waltzing your way back to the hotel.
Image: Regina Lucia
Hooray! You made it to the island of Salina! This is the place where you release your ambitious schedule and embrace a slower pace. Italian islands are our fave! On our Sicily tours we stay at Hotel Signum — but I also think that a Hotel Ravesi stay is an Rx for wellness. Check into your room. Stop. Take a breath. Stroll through the gardens. Find a seat at the Ravesi Bar. It’s Musical Happy Hour, where residents from around the island come to hear local music and sip on cocktails made by Mrs. Ravesi (she uses fresh ingredients from her garden). Oh my gosh, the vibe is fine. And tomorrow? Read in the shade of a lemon tree. Swim in the infinity pool. Bask in the glow of Stromboli. Schedule a boat trip. Rent a vespa. Or sleep in, stretch across crisp white linens, then doze some more. When’s the last time you slept till noon? Go ahead, have lunch for breakfast. You’re on vacation, and this hotel won’t let you forget it.
Image: Hotel Ravesi
WHAT WE’RE LOVING RIGHT NOW
Underwater portrait photography in Palermo! Book an appointment with local photographer Fabio for a unique underwater photography session. Fabio takes you to the Palermo seabed where he will capture gravity free photos of you — floating in the waters of Sicily. The shoot is divided into three forays into the sea, so plan ahead when you pack for Italy, and be creative! This might include your cutest swimsuit, fancy gown, or the mermaid outfit that you wore to last October’s costume party. Talk about vavoom holiday photos!
In the mood for Sicily? Send us an email with “Sicily or Bust” and we’ll send you more info on coming to Sicily with Italian Fix. We have everything planned for you — just bring your passport — we’ll do the rest.
Choose from September 2-10 or 11-19, 2022.
They are co-ed — come alone or bring a friend or family member.
Thanks for reading, and happy travels!
With love + sweet Sicilian lemons