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Sicily

Sicilian Road Trip Pt.2

You’re halfway into your road trip, when you thought you had seen it all..but in Sicily there is no such thing as seeing it all.

 

Its landscape is vast and varied, its architecture and customs change from area to area, the food…oh the food, is endless and each city has it’s forte from arancini to granita. 

 

We hope you soaked in the Parlermo’s palaces, Burri’s Cretto, the hinterland fresh ricotta and are still wondering if you just dreamt of the Valley of the Temples or actually experienced it. 

 

Well buckle up, roll down your windows, because the second part of your journey is about to begin. Get ready to be mesmerized by the beauty of Sicily’s Baroque towns, sweat away the busiate pasta, the almond cookies, the pistachio gelato and the sweet cassata while climbing Mt. Etna, eat fresh seafood right from the source and lose control of all your inhibitions through a fatal mix of natural wine and excessive beauty.

 

SICILIA SUD ORIENTALE (Siracusa/Ragusa)

The golden triangle of Sicilian Baroque – between the provinces of Catania, Ragusa and Syracuse – attracts many travelers thanks to its crystal clear sea, fine sand beaches and unique inland landscape. The best advice we can give you is to take a road trip through the Iblean countryside and stop by the famous Baroque towns of Ragusa, Noto, Modica and Scicli, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Off route and worth the detour there is Palazzolo Acreide, a small baroque town with Greek roots with a great traditional mountain cuisine.

 

SLEEP 

 

A.D. 1768 – Piazza Duomo, Ragusa Ibla

Ancient Baroque residence in the heart of Ragusa, transformed into a boutique hotel and furnished with designer pieces. For sophisticated contemporary travelers only.

 

Seven Rooms Villa Dorata – Noto

In the historic center of Noto, inside Palazzo Nicolaci, a nineteenth century palace, resides an extravagant and elegant boutique hotel overlooking the roofs of Noto. 

 

Riofavara Relais – Ispica

Small and sophisticated wine resort within the Riofavara winery, in the heart of the Val di Noto wine route.

 

Baglio Occhipinti – Vittoria

An authentic 19th century residence among centuries olive groves and the DOCG vineyards of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.

 

Casa Talia — Modica

Marco and Viviana, who share a great love for architecture, left their chaotic big city life in Milan for a slower life in the small (but stunning to say the least) town of Modica in Sicily where they built a home, not only for themselves, but for all of us passing by. Casa Talia, is a seven-room B&B with exquisite taste, modern and stylish but at the same time humble and strongly tied to the territory. Here you will find a view, a view that is just to die for.

 

 

WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT

 

Duomo – Ragusa Ibla

Unmissable stop for true gourmets: the dishes of the chef Ciccio Sultano (2 Michelin stars) are pure magic.

 

 

Ristorante Crocifisso – Noto

The cuisine of the chef Marco Baglieri is a modern and true expression of this corner of Sicily

 

 

Caffe Sicilia – Noto

The master of arts and crafts, Corrado Assenza, now a worldwide “celebrity” makes arguably the best sicilian granitas and Avola almond biscuits.

 

 

Andrea Sapori Montani – Palazzolo Acreide

Excellent restaurant to try the dishes of the Iblei mountain tradition, based on sausages and truffles.

 

 

I Rizzari – Brucoli

Fish is the main protagonist of this typical restaurant where you eat right by the sea

 

 

Cortile Arabo – Marzamemi

Seaside tavern in the heart of the old fishing village of Marzamemi. Excellent fish dishes prepared by chef Massimo Giaquinta.

 

 

Gli orti di San Giorgio – Modica

Thanks to Simone Sabaini’s restoration work, this once abandoned place is revived and now re-evaluated as a public space for exhibitions, concerts, cultural activities and the Sabadì Bar (the best chocolate in Modica).

 

 

Accursio – Modica

Chef Accursio Craparo (1 Michelin star) opened the restaurant which bears his name in an ancient palace right in the heart of Modica.

 

 

Antica Dolceria Bonajuto – Modica

Six generations of artisan confectioners with a love for Sicily: do not miss the ‘Mpanatigghi, the Modica biscuit par excellence, produced with an ancient recipe that combines chocolate and meat (beef sirloin).

 

 

Scjabica – Punta Secca

Joseph Micieli is a young and talented fisherman and chef. His restaurant is located on the beach of Punta Secca.

 

 

Cannolia – Scicli

A new and delicious reality entirely dedicated to cannoli, one of the most famous Sicilian desserts in the world. The waffle is instantly fried, filled with cream and then served hot and crunchy. In addition to the original one made with cow’s milk ricotta, there are six other variations for you to choose from.

 

WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS

 

Vendicari nature reserve

Greek theater of Siracusa and archaeological park of Neapolis

The late Baroque towns of Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa Ibla and Scicli

The Necropolis of Pantalica

Excursion in the uncontaminated nature of the Neviere di Buccheri

 

CATANIA

Dynamic, young and baroque, welcome to Catania (called the Milan of the South). Sicily’s second largest city, lies on the Ionian Sea, under the shadow of Mount Etna. A town that has “died” and resurrected more than once, a town made on lava of a grey appearance but of a very vibrant and colorful soul.

 

 

SLEEP

 

Asmundo di Gisira – Catania

Nestled between the Cathedral, the spectacular Baroque churches and ‘a Piscaria, the famous and colorful Catania fish market, Asmundo di Gisira is an exclusive and unique stay with a great attention to details. 

 

Monaci delle Terre Nere – Zafferana Etnea

A country boutique hotel that preserves the historical identity of what was once the home of the monks of the order of St. Anna.

 

Zash – Giarre Riposto

Country boutique hotel at the foot of Mount Etna with SPA and restaurant led by chef Giuseppe Raciti (1 Michelin star).

 

Shalai – Linguaglossa

Small charming hotel with 13 rooms in a late 19th century building in Linguaglossa. A Spa and the excellent 1 Michelin star restaurant of chef Giuseppe Santoro are available to guests.

 

Tenuta di Fessina – Castiglione di Sicilia

Among the many Etna wine resorts, this 17th century millstone, hidden among old vineyards, is certainly one of the most refined and fascinating ones.

 

WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT

 

SUM – Catania

Inside the Romano Luxury Hotel is the restaurant led by the very young chef Davide Guidara. Order the “mezedes”, the tomato soup and the grilled spring onion with salt and the “caponata”.

 

Sapio – Catania

The city’s first restaurant to have obtained the Michelin star thanks to the talented, under 30 chef Alessandro Ingiulla.

 

Mm Trattoria – Catania

Seafood restaurant in the heart of the Pescheria market, loved by both by locals and by tourists. The raw fish appetizers are delicious.

 

Scirocco Sicilian Fish Lab – Catania

Overlooking the Pescheria di Catania, this place offers great seafood street food, their hot octopus cut on sight is a must. 

 

Pasticceria Savia – Catania

Historic pastry shop in Catania. Here you will find the legendary arancini (and other cult local delicacies), the typical sweets (cassata, cannoli, almond paste) and the unmissable granitas to be ordered with the inevitable “brioche con il tuppo“, Catania’s summer breakfast par excellence.

 

Pasticceria Santo Musumeci – Randazzo

The granita by Giovanna Musumeci, daughter of the master gelato maker Santo, is undoubtedly one of the best in all of Sicily. Try these flavors: strawberry, pistachio and peach

 

Cave Ox – Solicchiata

Among the best trattorias in the Etna area, Cave Ox is the ideal place to taste dishes and wines of the Etna tradition. Pizzas with selected flours and yeast are also great!

 

Il Buongustaio – Randazzo

Better known as “Da Pippo”, in this wine shop in the medieval village of Randazzo you will find the best wines of Etna, to try accompanied by a platter of local cheeses and cured meats.

 

 

WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS

 

Monastero dei Benedettini – Catania

Pescheria of Catania

Badia of Sant’Agata Church (panoramic view from its cupola) – Catania

Teatro Romano and Odeon – Catania

Palazzo Biscari

Benanti – (Catania)

Pietradolce – Solicchiata (Catania)

Palmento Costanzo – Passopisciaro (Catania)

I Vigneri di Salvo Foti – Milo (Catania)

Trenino dei vini dell’Etna

Excursion on the summit of Mt. Etna.