Inspired by history, books, quotes, movies, and other travelers’ experiences, Sicily has been on my bucket list for the longest time. This lovely island caters to any traveler’s desires from its astounding seaside to its medieval villages perched atop a hilltop. Unsure of where we wanted to spend most of our time, we allowed the sights of this beautiful island to guide our 8-day adventure.


We landed in Palermo at 6:50 pm. I was immediately drawn to the tranquility of the city. The sea sparkled underneath the sunset’s kiss as boats idly sailed on. An overwhelming sense of excitement enveloped my entire being; the same feeling one gets when unwrapping a gift. I immediately knew I was in for a treat.

We stayed at Hotel Palermo Quattro Canti. It is strategically located in the historic center of Palermo next to the Piazza of Quattro Canti on Via Victoria Emanuele. The hotel has a rooftop terrace with an unbeatable panoramic vista.

After settling in, we walked around the lively Via Maqueda: A street brimming with culture and history. Little shops, restaurants, and bars dotted the street. The overall atmosphere is lively. Music, laughter, and food aroma permeate the air beckoning you to indulge in what the city has to offer. It seemed like rush hour for dinner as most restaurants were fully packed. We were lucky to secure a spot for dinner at Ciurma restaurant. Friends had told me a lot of good things about Sicilian food , and here I was, in the heart of Palermo about to have my first Sicilian food experience. It felt like a dream come true.


En route to Taormina we stopped by Cefalu. A charming fortified village on the northern coast. We enjoyed strolling along Cefalu’s narrow alleys, accompanied by icy granitas. Duomo Serio 1952 located in the main square is the perfect spot for aperitivo with a view of the Cathedral of Cefalu. An elegant 12th-century fortress-like structure with elaborate Byzantine mosaics and twin towers: An unmatched gem of Arab-Norman architecture.


Taormina is a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily. It sits close to Europe’s largest and most active volcano-Mount Etna. We stayed at Mazzaro bay because of its well known wonderful beaches and proximity to the historic center. There is a cable car that connects Mazzaro bay and the historic center and it runs every 15 minutes making the commute seamless. Our days were spent lounging on the beach. Our evenings were spent exploring the historic center. Strolling along Corso Umberto, a vibrant street, with cute little stores, quaint bars, and restaurants.

A must visit is the Ancient Theatre of Taormina. A famous landmark and an archaeological masterpiece. Johann Wolfgang Goethe once wrote, “No theatre audience has ever had such a sight in front. From here visitors also get bonus spectacular views of Mount Etna and the Calabrian coast beyond.


There is a saying that states “you breathe a little bit of Africa In Siracusa.” I felt a little bit at home in Siracusa. Visiting Siracusa is like traveling back in History. This medieval city is filled with timeless splendid riches to discover. Get lost in the narrow streets of Ortigia (The historic center of Syracusa and a UNESCO heritage site) or delight your senses with the astounding baroque churches and Palazzi.

We stayed at La Giudecca, a charming little hotel located in one of the narrow alleys of the Jewish neighborhood. The hotel basement boasts the oldest and biggest Jewish bath in Europe which I highly recommend visiting. Visitors can book a guided tour at the hotel’s reception.

We spent the afternoon exploring Ortigia and later that evening we drove to Noto for dinner. Noto is the capital of Sicilian Baroque art and unrivaled architecture located 32KM Southwest of Siracusa. It makes for a pleasant late afternoon/ early evening visit. We strolled around the town with intermittent breaks to marvel at the churches and palazzi.

We settled for a wine-tasting dinner at Enoteca del Val di Noto. Delicious Sicilian tapas style food accompanied by local Sicilian wines from the region.

La Giudecca is located a walking distance away from the sea. We woke up early the next day for a morning swim before setting off to our next destination. We thought we were going to be the only ones but surprisingly many locals also wake up early for a swim before heading off to work. As I watched them happily bidding each other, ‘’Arrivederci, ci vediamo domani’’ which simply means, ‘’Goodbye, see you tomorrow’’, I couldn’t help but think I wouldn’t mind swapping my morning sun salutations on my yoga mat in our small loft in Florence for a dip in the sea at sunrise in Siracusa.


Borgo Giallonardo is a charming Boutique Hotel and wine estate near the famous Turkish Steps. It is surrounded by native vines and olive groves evoking the quintessential charming Sicilian countryside vibes.

The hotel’s infinity pool lends a spectacular view of the olive groves and the windy roads. The hotel features a spectacular breakfast spread and a one-of-a-kind fine dining experience where guests have a chance to indulge in Borgo Giallonardo wine and olive oil paired with Sicilian delicacies.


Our next and final stop was Trapani. A small port city at the northwestern tip of Sicily. We stayed at Room Mate Andrea hotel which is located in the city center. We loved their spacious modern rooms, delicious cocktails at the rooftop pool bar, stunning lounge overlooking the sea, and delicious food at Fronte Villa, their in-house restaurant located on the ground floor.

We had organized a boat excursion to explore the island of Favignana situated off the northwestern coast of Sicily, but due to unfavorable weather conditions, our excursion was canceled. We ended up spending the day exploring the city and beach hopping. We initially wanted to go to the famous San Vito lo Capo beach but winding roads led us to Isolidda Beach located in Macari. Isolidda is the perfect sea escape off the beaten path at the foot of the cliffs of the northern cape of Sicily. The turquoise sea enveloped by the mountains was an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

After a relaxing day at the beach, we drove to Erice, a walled 12th-century medieval hilltown in northwestern Sicily that sits 751meters above sea level. Walking through Erice is like treasure hunting. One never knows what lies ahead. Thus, we took our time walking through its cobbled lanes- one narrow alley at a time.

Not to be missed are the church of San Martino, Torre di Federico for an idyllic view of Erice, Giardini del Balio for its unrivaled panoramic vistas of the Tyrrhenian coast of the Gulf of Trapani, Trapani’s salt pans, the Egadi Islands and the coasts of Marsala, and last but not least is Castello di Venere or the castle of Venus that was built on top of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the goddess of love.


All good things must come to an end. As our plane took off, I couldn’t help but think about Renzo Barbara’s quote, “On the sixth day, God accomplished his work and, pleased with all the beauty he had created, he took the earth in his hands and kissed it. There, where he put his lips, that’s Sicily.”

Sicily is indeed special, an island with a soul. Although this is a fast-paced itinerary with so many stones left unturned, the boys and I had the best time ever and we can’t wait to be back again.

Lora by Lora

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