Top 5 Things To Do In Erice

Torre Pepoli, Erice

Erice

If you find yourself in Western Sicily then Erice should really be on your list of places to visit. In fact, Tripadvisor rates it number 14 in its list of Top Things to Do in Sicily—yep, in all of Sicily. That’s a pretty impressive achievement for a small medieval borgo (town) situated on the top of a mountain.

So, why should you give this little gem a go? Well, I would describe Erice as the Sicilian equivalent of a quaint little Cotswold village. It’s a place to while away your time exploring the endless cobbled streets and alleyways, stopping into the little tourist shops (some authentic, some a little less authentic) and enjoying an espresso at the many different cafes. However, don’t be mistaken, there is more to Erice than initially meets the eye. Continue reading “Top 5 Things To Do In Erice”

The Best Things to Do in a Week in Trapani

Cala Rossa, Favignana

So, in a few weeks my cousin is coming to visit and of course has been asking about where to go when she’s here. Now, Sicily is a lot larger than most people imagine and oftentimes people think they can visit places from one side to the other with no problem at all. It’s here that I’ll let you in on an essential piece of information: It takes about 4 hours to travel from Trapani, on the Western-most tip of Sicily, to Catania, the centre of the Eastern side of Sicily. That’s not an insignificant drive. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re only going to stay the other side one night. Speaking from experience you’ll want two nights. And providing your flights are in and out of the same airport then you’re going to waste one day of the holiday purely driving, 4 hours there and 4 hours back.

There’s really no need to spend all that time travelling. There is plenty to see on each side of the island. This is even true for Western Sicily, the less popular side of Sicily.

Living in Western Sicily it got me thinking. How would I spend a week’s holiday around the Trapani province? Continue reading “The Best Things to Do in a Week in Trapani”

Why you’ve never really experienced Sicily until you’ve visited at Easter

So, as of Sunday Sicily is now in its most exciting time of year— Holy Week. Holy Week (La Settimana Santa) starts on Palm Sunday, and in Sicily sees the start of a number of unique events. If you are looking to experience the true, authentic Sicily then you really should visit during Easter. Continue reading “Why you’ve never really experienced Sicily until you’ve visited at Easter”

The Festival of the Mandorlo in Fiore

I confess, the first time I went to Agrigento I wasn’t very impressed. I’m not talking about the Valley of the Temples, that is amazing— Ancient Greek Temples, what’s not to like? But the first time I ventured into Agrigento I was a little underwhelmed. Not so this time when I went to see their spectacular Festival of the Mandorlo in Fiore (Almond Tree in Bloom). This time I found it charming, and full of unexpected gems! Continue reading “The Festival of the Mandorlo in Fiore”

The Carnevale di Valderice

Today is Shrove Tuesday, in Italian Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday), and it is the day which signals the end of carnival and the beginning of lent. It is therefore the last day of carnival celebrations across Italy excepting those which follow the Ambrosian rite.

So, what does a typical Sicilian carnival look like? I went to the town of Valderice to find out. Continue reading “The Carnevale di Valderice”

How to Make Chiacchiere- A Classic Italian Carnival Treat

So, when my mother-in-law heard I was going to write about Chiacchiere her immediate response was…

Let’s make some together, I’ll teach you how.

Now, it’s here that I should point out that my mother-in-law in some kind of culinary genius. She is an authentic Sicilian housewife of the old mould. She whips up all kinds of amazing things without a written recipe to be seen anywhere. So, whenever she offers to teach me things I’m not one to say no (after all this woman is the reason my husband is prone to say “that’s not how my mum makes it”).

If you’ve been thinking since my last post- I’m not going to be in Italy around carnival so I won’t be able to try chiacchiere- then you’re wrong.

Here is how you can make this delicious carnival treat at home. Continue reading “How to Make Chiacchiere- A Classic Italian Carnival Treat”

A Carnival Tradition You Shouldn’t Miss Out On


So carnival is fast approaching and that means two things:

  1. Everyone is looking for the perfect costume
  2. The appearance of Chiacchiere in the bakeries!

 

Ok, let’s address point number one first:

Costumes

Continue reading “A Carnival Tradition You Shouldn’t Miss Out On”

7 Things You Never Knew You Could See In Sicily…

Sunset behind Mount Erice.
Sunset behind Mount Erice.

 

2017

This year marks a momentous occasion, as this year it will have been a whole decade (I can barely believe it) since I first moved to Sicily. In that time I have done more things than I anticipated, seen more beauty than I thought possible, and stayed a hell of lot longer than I EVER intended.

You see, I moved to Sicily fresh out of university and attaining my TEFL certificate. I came here on a temporary 8 month contract with no intention of staying any longer.

My twenty-two year-old self was going to teach English here for eight months and then head off somewhere else. It was entirely by chance that I ended up in Sicily anyway; I wanted to go to Padua, where I spent a year of my degree studying, but somehow (and to this day I’m really not at all sure how, seeing as the job I applied for was in Padua) I was offered a job in Sicily. Anyway, I figured I could last anywhere for 8 months. So I packed up my suitcase and arrived all alone on a flight. A taxi service met me at the airport to take me to my destination, and it was there that my whirlwind delivery into Sicilian life began. Continue reading “7 Things You Never Knew You Could See In Sicily…”