A personal travel guide to Sicily

Christopher Carson has spent many years promoting and selling some of the best Italian wines on the UK market and Sicily remains one of his favourite spots. Here CellarVie Wines’ Managing Director gives an insight into some of the best places to visit on this beautifully iconic Italian island...

“If you are visiting Palermo, the Cathedral is a must, as is the Norman Church of San Giovanni. Steeped in history, just walking around the old town and looking at the architecture is mind blowing, you have to have a peep into every church – there are simply too many to mention.
“In term of restaurants look out for S. Andre (real Sicilian cuisine with fresh produce) in Piazza S. Andre; La Scuderia (considered to be one of the best restaurants and slightly more formal if there is such a thing in Sicily), Viale del Fante 9 and if you want to go out of town for the evening and be by the sea, try the Charleston restaurant (fresh, fresh seafood in the village of Mondello – 10km from the centre and to the north of the city is great).

“A town to visit is Monreale, which is 8km to the south west of Palermo, perched at 300 metres above sea level overlooking the city, the sea and the valleys. The Cathedral here is well worth a visit; the mosaic of Christ has to be one of the best examples of this form of art anywhere in the World. After which try the Dietro l’Angolo restaurant at Piave, 5, just around the corner from the Cathedral – wonderful pastas and meats!
Image by girolame 

“Etna, the volcanic mountain, is certainly worth a day’s detour but be careful - it erupted again very recently; albeit in a gentle manner. Here I would suggest a packed lunch and a deserted spot where you can almost pretend you are on the moon!
“Syracuse is situated in the south eastern corner of Sicily and miles away from Palermo, but it is certainly worth the journey. If you like history and Mediterranean in particular, as well as architecture, this is a must. Built by the Greeks but occupied by many since, it is a beautiful oasis that turns the clock back and opens doors to a bygone era. The Greek Theatre cannot be missed and if you are eating, try the Don Camillo, Via della Maestranza 96, if you want to celebrate, or just opt for any one of the little restaurants in back streets and squares all offering wonderful value for money.
Image by Jerome Bon 

“Taormina is one of the most popular places because of the famous Greek theatre and its breath-taking views over the sea, with Etna in the distance and the perennially beautiful sunsets! It’s a busy place with many tourist shops and restaurants with magnificent views and beaches, but if you like seafood you have to go to Gran Duca, Corso Umberto, 172.
Image by Scott Anderson 

“The town of Agrigento for temples and Roman buildings is fabulous - almost every time you go round the next corner there is a temple or roman dwelling. Situated on the south coast it is a good day’s excursion if you are based in Palermo, Catania or Taormina.”

Have you been to Sicily? Can you recommend any special spots that you found whilst you were there?
Main Image by gnuckx 


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