SICILIA HAS BEEN in my heart since long ago―I have always wanted to take a little tour to discover this beautiful side of Italy.
It depends on how many days you decide to stay, but it is not hard to cover the region while stopping at the most iconic places on the island. I booked my flight to Palermo and also booked a lovely Airbnb in the center of the same so I could connect easily with Stazione Centrale. The most recommended places on this trip were Cefalù, Agrigento and Trapani, but I decided to take a longer route to see Taormina, Siracusa and Noto, which were on also at the top of my list. I moved a lot from city to city and sometimes was pressured by the time and train timetables to make my stay in some places a shorter, but whenever I had the chance, I enjoyed the Italian dolce far niente and enjoyed the local food. Here are a few places I visited and truly recommend, as they are really worth trying.
“To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.” ―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Excellent local food and friendly staff. The atmosphere was loud but nice. There was a good blend of tourists and locals, with a very lovely interior setting. Can be very busy, so it’s an adventure to get a table. If you can’t get a table, you can order take away.
Via Alessandro Paternostro, 58,
90133 Palermo PA, Italy
As I had the chance to stay two minutes from this place, I got to try all the good things they make. The staff is super nice and if you ask any palermitano they will tell you it’s the best pasticceria in town. And I truly believe them. Try as many delicious pastries al pistacchio as you can. You won’t regret it.
Via Colonna Rotta 68, 90134,
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Buatta Cucina Popolana
The place was recommended to me by my local host. The service was impeccable and the squid ink pasta was the best I have tried in Sicilia. Fabio Cardilio is the chef.
Via Vittorio Emanuele,176,
Cefalù / Photo by Davide Molica @il_mastromatto
Cefalù / Photo by @dana_chels
Only one hour away from Palermo, locals consider Cefalù an important getaway from the busy city. The streets of Cefalù smell like fresh laundry and sweet vanilla and salty air. The weather was moody but perfect for strolling.
La Botte Restaurant was founded by the Fiduccia family in the late 1980’s. What to expect: tasty, mouthwatering food and very attentive service, familiar ambiance mixed with a jazzy music and (rare) discrete Italian conversations. The menu changes daily as it depends on the fish they catch. Try the Risotto al Nero di sepia and finish with semifreddo del chef with almonds or pistachio and ricotta.
This place was the highlight of my day in Siracusa. I like to start my morning slowly, with soft music and a good breakfast. I had such a warm welcome and every single perfect detail made me feel a at home.
Corso Umberto I, 50,
96100, Siracusa, Sicilia Italia
The atmosphere is is very vivid, very Italian: loud conversations and laughs. The wine selection is pure bliss and the sommelier was very kind to advise me what would be the best combination. The food was good, but the service was slow, though I didn’t mind the wait, and there was live jazz music playing, so one thing compensated for the other.