Oh, Sicily. Where do I begin? I always wanted to visit Sicily, but never really knew why. It was a vague curiosity, a hint of a different, more exotic Italy that beckoned.
After exploring Sicily for two and a half weeks this summer, now I know. Here are 10 reasons I fell in love with Sicily—and why you should visit, too.
1) You can’t run out of things to see and do.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. There’s a lot of ground to cover! We flew into Catania and stayed for 18 days, yet only managed to explore the southeast coast.
We spent our days driving along provincial highways, trying not to anger the aggressive speed demons lurking inside all Sicilians. Disclaimer: when not behind the wheel, they’re a very warm, hospitable, and lovely people.
Every day we explored a different town or beach, with lunch at a café and dinner at a restaurant (sometimes all four in a day!). We didn’t try to cram too much in. Traveling with a toddler, we prefer to go slow.
We didn’t do anything active, like hike up Etna or take a boat to the Aeolian Islands. Still, we had a wealth of options. Whenever we planned our daily itinerary, we always spent a few moments paralyzed for choice. We had to forego much for lack of time, such as visiting the villages where The Godfather and Cinema Paradiso were filmed (Savoca and Palazzo Adriano, respectively). Ah, next time.
2) Sicilian food is amazing.
Sicilian cuisine hit all my foodie buttons: seafood, citrus, pasta, wine, dessert. Sicilians are fiercely proud of their food, and menus often list the origins of every ingredient. They assume customers will recognize, for example, salami from the tiny village of Chiaramonte Gulfi or almonds from Noto as being of a certain standard. Impressive!