Sicilia - Italian Villa Vacations
The island of Sicily is distinctly different from the rest of Italy as it floats just off the toe of the Italian mainland. The Capital city Palermo is splendid with its chaos and treasures. Be prepared to explore the palaces, castles and churches which are a fusion of Arab, Norman, baroque, and Renaissance gems. Life in Palermo is quite full on. A very warm hearted and noisy affair.
The people of this city love to eat. Whether they are shopping, or on their way home from work, they are always enjoying little hot snacks prepared at street stalls. A famous chickpea fritta, custard filled croissant, potato croquette, or an oily pizza topped with onions and caciocavallo cheese are just a few examples of the delicious food available in the street stands.
Sicily is a part of Italy that starts to take on a flavour of Greece or of north Africa. It's not just the hot weather and relaxed nature of the people, but the unique history of Sicily has given it a hybrid culture. Sicily also has its own language/dialect which is a close relative of Italian, but with Greek and other influences thrown in. It's the first language of the island, although you'll find standard Italian and English spoken in shops and hotels.
Sicily contains nine provinces; Agrigento, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Syracuse and Trapani. There are also small islands offshore, including Pantelleria, Ustica, the Aeolians, the Aegadians and the Pelagian Islands. Main towns on Sicily include Siracusa (Syracuse), Catania, Messina, Cefalu, Palermo, Trapani, Marsala, Agrigento, Ragusa, Noto and Enna.
Sicily was an independent kingdom before Italy unified in the 1800s. No wonder that the culture, language and cuisine are such a diverse mix. On the menu all over Sicily you will find plenty of seafood - sardines, swordfish, tuna and anchovies. Lots of Cheeses as well such as provolino, ricotta and pecorino.
Italian Villa vacations have one rental available in Sicily in a seaside town called Capo Di Orlando.
Capo D’Orlando is a busy commercial centre with a population of approx 13000 people spread over the hills. The town is clean and modern with beautiful boutiques as well as shops carrying a cheaper range of goods. Supermarkets, restaurants, bars and pastry cook shops are in abundance and an outdoor market each Thursday morning sells fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and meat direct from farms. It is VERY safe town and tourists swell the numbers in the summer months as the shores of the bay are sandy and very clean. People wander about at night enjoying the beaches and eating out until the shops close at 9.30.
In front of the railway station, buses depart for other towns but these are not always on time, so it pays to rent a small car from local Tourist Agencies to explore the Island.
The Sicilian culture is ancient and diverse and has much to offer the tourist. Within 2 hours one can almost traverse the Island and visit Greek, Roman, Norman, Arabic and Spanish archaeological gems, eat flavoursome meals and explore the many hilltop villages. The inhabitants are friendly and helpful, having many connections with Australia due to migration.
Capo di Orlando
The seven sisters (AEOLIAN ISLANDS) are situated on the North-eastern coast of Sicily. They were submarine volcanos which are around 40,000 years old. Although Stromboli is the only active volcano today. The ‘Aeolian Islands’ take their name from ‘Aeolus’ a legendary Greek god. They are isolated islands in the centre of the Mediterranean sea which have overtime establish
The western side of Sicily offers plenty of daily excursions: charming art towns such as Trapani, Marsala and Erice, some of the best preserved Greek temples (Segesta, Selinunte and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento) beautiful sandy beaches and natural wonders such as the Egadi Islands
Trapani has a beautiful historical centre with baroques palaces facing the sea and the ancient