Spring in Sicily, magic itineraries not to be missed
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«Between cities of art and paths to discover the local food and wine, Sicily can always be enjoyed, not just in the summer. You arrive by ferry and travel by car, so that you can freely create your itinerary on the road. Here is all the magic of spring in Sicily.»
Do you feel that little quiver in your heart hat has been accompanying your allergies and ailments of March for a few days? We too, we call it spring, and it has arrived. For travel enthusiasts it only means one thing: to leave. Before venturing to exotic destinations and unknown hemispheres, always remember that we’re in Italy and that there are many places to discover. For example, you could get ahead of the summer vacation crowds and plan a trip spring in Sicily, which – we swear on what we hold dearest – can win you over in a thousand different ways, 365 days a year. If you don’t believe it, it’s because you’ve never been there (shame on you!) and, above all, because you’ve never tasted local products.
Sicily is a land of its own, and not only because it’s geographically detached from the rest of Italy, but precisely because of its culture, food, the sea, the boundless land, the heat, the people who live there: it’s sort of a mystical place, a bit out of time, that someone put there in the middle of the sea to remind us that heaven exists. The best way to move around in the spring in Sicily is always the dear, old car. We’d like to be able to talk about a more eco-friendly itinerary, perhaps riding on old mules, on foot, by bike, on a kite, but the truth is that Sicily is big, internal transport is not always very well equipped and the time available in spring is little (nibbling on holiday leave here and there). A good idea is to dock in Sicily by ferry and then move around by car. You can set your itinerary starting from one of the main Sicilian cities, just book online ferries to Sicily and organize your itinerary through port-equipped cities, so you can dock wherever you want and enjoy your spring in Sicily.
It’s the most visited province of Sicily, as it also includes the splendid Taormina, Milazzo and the Aeolian Islands. Messina is easily accessible by ferry and is the ideal starting point for exploring Sicily. Born in 756 BC, it was Greek, then Roman, then Byzantine and still Arabic and Norman, but it’s only with the Aragonese dominion that it became the Capital of the Kingdom of Sicily and the richest city of the island. Shocked by two major earthquakes between the 18th and 20th centuries, it rose from the ashes like a phoenix.
Messina has so much to offer: your tour can start from the city center, with the wonderful Norman-style Cathedral, in which legend says that St. Paul met a group of Messinesi who asked to go with him to Palestine to meet Maria, who wrote a letter in which she blessed them and the Sicilian city. At noon, don’t forget to turn your nose upwards towards the astronomical clock of the bell tower, which triggers a musical mechanism at the twelfth stroke. In the center of Piazza Duomo, the Fontana dell’Orione rises with its refined carvings. The sacred architecture is, as in many Italian cities, the strong point of the city, which is teeming with churches with Byzantine forms, but also at the Regional Museum you will find your work to do, including Roman sculptures and sarcophagi, Norman-Swabians and works of Antonello da Messina and Caravaggio. In the province of Messina there are some of the most popular tourist resorts: Taormina, Giardini di Naxos, the natural wonder of the Aeolian Islands, very usable in the warm Sicilian spring.
You can reach Catania from Messina or directly by ferry. This city of ancient origins is a riot of colors, architectures and baroque profiles, inevitable in your spring trip to Sicily. Mount Etna stands proud behind it and, periodically, you can witness the evocative spectacle of its eruptions.
The Roman Theater, in the center of the city, strikes like a bolt from the blue for its majesty: its cavea and scene are still intact, it’s partially buried and incorporated into the houses. Together with the Achilliane spa, it’s part of the Terme dell’Indirizzo and the Terme della Rotonda, of the Greco-Roman archaeological park of Catania. The symbol of the city is ” U Liotru “, an elephant supporting an Egyptian obelisk, located in the central Piazza del Duomo, where you can find the Town Hall (Palazzo degli Elefanti), the Palazzo dei Chierici, the Porta Uzeda and the historic fountain ‘Amenano , whose cascade of water reproduces the effect of a sheet.
Between an arancino and the other, slip into the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, Baroque-centric and home to the relics of the Saint and musician Vincenzo Bellini. Catania’s living room is via Etnea, which cuts the city from north to south for 3 km. The coast of golden sand interspersed with lava rock is a breathtaking panoramic walk on the bay that faces the volcano. Breakfast with granita and brioche is a moral duty and from then moving on towards the splendor of Syracuse only takes a moment (an hour, to be precise). You should then proceed south, where getting drunk on Nero d’Avola or chocolate from Modica is good and right.
In order to leave to discover the west coast, Trapani is the ferry-friendly landing of your spring in Sicily. Always a strategic point on the Mediterranean, Trapani has suffered many battles for dominance, from the times of the Carthaginians up to the Normans, thanks to which the city began to proliferate, discovering wealth and development. The historic center, redeveloped, teems with buildings that often host large exhibitions, attracting many tourists.
The area of Trapani is famous for the presence of numerous salt pans, active following the land reclamation occurred under the Bourbon kingdom. From Trapani you can easily reach Marsala, a land of great liquor. The area is also known for the processing of coral and leather. From Trapani you can easily reach the islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Isola Grande, or – pointing north – the beautiful coast of San Vito Lo Capo.
Italian Capital of Culture of 2018, it’s the ideal destination for spring in Sicily. Palermo has been talked about from the time of the Phoenicians, who made it their outpost on the Mediterranean, as well as the Greeks, who traded far and wide from the port. When it had to decide whether to stay with the Romans or the Carthaginians, Palermo chose the first option and since then it has experienced a very long period of prosperity, continued even under the Arab domination, from which all of Sicily was affected. Palermo is full of Norman palaces, such as the Royal one, the seat of the Region, which houses the most important Arab-Norman monument, the Palatine Chapel.
Representing Arabian art is the church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, with red domes and decorative arches. Although a city in all respects, Palermo still retains a rural aspect and winks at agriculture and tuna breeding. The local cuisine is the triumph of Sicilian style, clearly oriented to fish and to the most absolute genuineness. Here, too, you can’t not go on a food and wine tour, which includes a visit to the surrounding area and the coast, between nature reserves and holiday resorts, which in spring make you want to throw yourself into the crystal clear waters, such as Mondello and Cefalù.
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