Saturday 4 June 2016

Sicily - Entertainment, Art and Gastronomy

I spent some time in Sicily on my travels - this Island is known for entertainment, the arts and incredible food. 

Sicily is soaked in culture, with many festivals taking place in the towns around the island, each with their own unique history and traditions that go back thousands of years. I was there for a week, and came across 2 different festivals/street parades.

Sicily is also the largest of the Islands in the Mediterranean, and is infused with the wisdom of ages and preserves the cross­cultural heritage which has made it the ‘Jewel of the Mediterranean’ since Greco­Roman times.

I had expected Sicily to be over-run with British tourists, but it wasn't at all. The Island feels relatively untouched by tourism and true to its heritage. Next time I visit I'll definitely take the option of renting an apartment or a villa in Sicily, as I think that's the closest to the true Mediterranean experience as you can get on a short holiday.

Sicily has some of the best beaches in the Med, including San Vito lo Capo which is near Trapani (you can go scuba diving, sailing, surfing, kayaking... depending on the time of year that you go, there is also an International Kite Festival which would be great for families).

Other festivals like Vento D’ Amare by the beach of Cefal├╣ and Favignana offer a spectacle of colour and artistic creations built on the sand. Check out also the exotic Aeolians; Spiaggia Bianca (Lipari) with its white sands and warm waters or the volcanic sands of Vulcano.

The island is heaving with with all the treasures of its uniquely well ­preserved ancient Greek, Roman and Arabic temples, amphitheatres, Norman/Byzantine Cathedrals, and Churches filled with works of art from the best masters of the ancient world and the medieval and Renaissance period. The Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo, the best collection of ancient Roman Mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale, the timeless atmosphere of the Baroque medieval towns in the Val di Noto, and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento are eternal splendours and some of the best preserved examples we have today of the legacy of the ancient world.

Swordfish, prawns, tuna, clams and of course squid from the Mediterranean Sea are some of the best dish specialities served with pasta; pizza with the freshest tomatoes grown in Italy, the Caponata, Cannelloni, Lasagne, cassata and cannoli for dessert, a glass of Nero D’Avola and thirst­quenching icy granitas will make Sicily the best gastronomic experience for any food lover. Oh, and the food markets... you must go, I've never seen fish as big (bigger than me!!), and the freshest fruits and vegetables you could possibly imagine. Oh, and the gelato... make sure you fill up on that too.


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