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Destinations

5 reasons to start dreaming of visiting Sicily

Mar 19, 2014 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

Looking to uncover Italy's multicultural island of Sicily? We've highlighted the top five reasons to visit Sicily.

1. Cannoli

canolli

From the Italian for “little tube,” cannoli are Sicily’s best-known dessert. The traditional recipe is simple and endlessly variable: fry dough around metal molds to create the tube shape, then fill with a mixture of ricotta cheese, citrus zest, powdered sugar and vanilla.

In the States, you’ve probably seen cannoli adorned with candied cherries, chocolate chips, ganache and more, but in Sicily, there’s only one other ingredient in true cannoli: succade, candied citrus peel, most popularly of the citron fruit.

2. Syracuse

Syracuse

While it’s considered Italian soil, the spirit in the city of Syracuse is decidedly Greek. It was once a Mediterranean power to rival Athens and Rome, thanks to its strategic position on the southeast corner of Sicily amid vital sea lanes. It was considered by Plato considered to be a model of the ideal city and also home of Archimedes, one of the great engineers of the ancient world.

Legend has it that Archimedes devised ingenious, almost magical devices to defend his hometown during the Athenian invasion, including mirrors that reflected the sun to set fire to Athenian ships and an enormous claw designed to pluck boats from the water. Archimedes’ war engines may be a matter of folklore, but the Greek ruins at Syracuse are palpably real.

3. Taormina

Taormina

Just a few short miles from Mount Etna sits Sicily’s favorite resort town since ancient times. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, Taormina has drawn vacationers since before the rise of Rome. The city’s architecture reflects Sicily’s unique blend of cultures from all around Europe and Africa, from the Normans to the Greeks to the Arabs.

Taormina is also home to perhaps the most dramatically situated theater in the world—the audience faces southwest, making the snowy slopes of Mount Etna and the gorgeous Sicilian coastline the backdrop for every scene. Nature lovers should take time to explore Isola Bella, a teardrop-shaped island in the heart of Taormina’s tranquil cove. You won’t need a boat to get there, since a rocky sandbar connects Isola Bella to the mainland.

4. Savoca

Savoca

A town seemingly untouched by time, this hilltop commune was chosen by Francis Ford Coppola as a fitting backdrop to Vito Corleone’s early 20th-century Sicilian childhood in The Godfather Part II.

The town’s Bar Vitelli has become a popular destination for fans of the film, but the unspoiled natural beauty of Savoca and nearby Forza d’Agrò is the real show-stopping attraction.

Traveled to Sicily? Head to our Facebook page to share photos of your time on tour!


About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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