Sunny Sicily Shenanigans

In Berlin, I spontaneous booked my flights to Sicily because Emily was going to be there and also because I wanted some real European summer ie. hot weather, sun and beaches.

This was one of the best decisions made – the weather was near perfect for the 5 days I was there. It was not long enough but I did and saw lots and it was great to catch up with Em.

Accommodation wise, I went on couchsurfing and came across Elisa’s profile and she looked like an incredible host and no doubt she was! She picked me up from the airport and was so welcoming from the get go. We were based in Catania and made several trips to different parts of Sicily including Mount Etna, Lipari and Taormina.

Catania

I explored the city centre whilst Elisa was working and before Emily’s arrival. Catania is on the east coast of Sicily, full of ancient buildings and architecture and a lively vibe.

Catania

Duomo in Catania
We went to have granita – originally from Sicily and is a typical summer meal made out of ice, sugar and a flavour of choice. It is served with brioche and we had it for lunch, but personally it was more like a dessert for me. Nonetheless it was a refreshing and delicious.
Granita – I had a berry and almond flavour one
Elisa, Emily & I
On the first night, Elisa took us to her fitboxing class. The class was in Italian but because I knew the numbers anyway, it was easy to catch on. The class was very upbeat and a fantastic workout and it helped that the instructor was also very active and engaging.

After the class, we freshened up and then with Elisa’s help, we made the Sicilian specialty “pasta alla norma” – made with egg plant, onion and tomato based sauce and served with fresh ricotta cheese – it was such an easy, simple and delicious meal to make!
 
Another night, we went to Trattoria del Cavaliere – a typical Sicilian restaurant to try some authentic food. The red wine was flowing and we tried many different dishes including horse meat! It is a specialty in Sicily and was very lean and quite flavoursome. For the entree, we had a mix of
vegetables, parmigiana, eggplant with cheese, bread crumbed zucchini etc. which was good! Emily and I shared a seafood linguine with prawns, octopus, mussels which was so delicious and for dessert, we shared a lemon sorbet with mulberry. Much recommended place to go for authentic food and good prices!
Pasta Alla Norma with Aperol Spritz – amazing first night dinner!
Elisa’s homemade limoncello – to die for!
                               Meat platter with the Sicilian specialty – horse meat
Mount Etna
We took the bus to the base and we explored the area. We took the Schiena Dell’Asino trail up. There was a good incline but the walk wasn’t too straining at all. Unfortunately the weather was rainy, windy and foggy so it was advised that it was too dangerous to go up to the top of the active volcano if you didn’t know the route. We reached a point where we couldn’t go any further but it was still beautiful up there.
       Mount Etna
Hike up to Mount Etna

Mount Etna
  Emily & I at Etna

Lipari

We made our way to Lipari which is one of the largest islands in the Aeolian islands (Isole Eioli). It was quite an effort to go from Catania and probably wasn’t worth it (time and cost wise) for a day and night. Regardless it was a beautiful little island and we got to enjoy the beach and sea.

However, the nightlife is lacking here so if you want to party, this is not the place for you. Regardless, we found a couple of bars to have aperol spritz and enjoyed the warm weather and atmosphere.

It would be great to come back here and do island hopping to the nearby islands such as Stromboli, Vulcano etc.

Lipari
Canneto
Laneways of Lipari
Enjoying the view
Taormina
We made our way to Taormina after far too many modes of transport – ferry, train, bus. We stayed at Hostel Taormina (much recommended) and the hostel balcony was stunning! We walked down to Isola Bella and the walk down the stairs was stunning. We hung out by the beach for hours which was fun and relaxing. We had amazing seafood dinners and explored the city including visiting the many squares, parks and Teatro Greco which had an amazing seaside view! Definitely a must go place when in Sicily!
View from our hostel balcony
Amazing seafood pastas – had so much of this!
Isola Bella
Isola Bella
Hanging out at Isola Bella
Seeing the sunset from our hostel balcony
Sunset in Taormina
Teatro Greco
Taormina
After coming back from Taormina, I spent the last day in Catania. We went to a restaurant called Ninnetti in San Gregorio di Catania.We had a pizza feast and some cocktails! It was a really great way to finish off my Italian escapade!
    Final dinner in Sicily – pizza!
Aperol Spritz
Last night in Sicily!
Sicily is so beautiful and I cannot wait til I’m back here again. I love the culture, the atmosphere and especially the food here. The Southern Italians are really hospitable and I can’t thank Elisa for her generosity and to Emily for always being a great travel companion!

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