2022 discoveries: Sicily, Italy

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Sicily is one of our favorite destinations in the Mediterranean. It’s also one that Bella Vita Travels visited frequently this past year. This island has something for everyone. Breathtaking beaches, mountains, historical cities and unforgettable small towns. We love to visit Sicily, and so do our clients. It’s been more and more requested each passing year!

Part of what makes Bella Vita Travels so special is that these are destinations that we visit ourselves. We don’t send our clients on their dream vacation in an unknown spot. Continuous research and incredible relationships with our suppliers mean that you are in safe hands. The holiday you’ve been dreaming about will be as perfect as you imagined.

Over the past few weeks, we have been sharing some of our top discoveries of this year in several of our destinations. These are places and experiences we loved or old friends we visited again to make sure they are just as fantastic as we remembered. It’s a fun but incredibly challenging part of our work here at Bella Vita! This week, we share spectacular Sicily with you.

Hotels in Sicily

Four Seasons, San Domenico Palace, Taormina

The hotel is stunning and every detail has been considered after an impeccable renovation when taken over by the Four Seasons hotel group. They have done a terrific job updating the hotel while keeping its original charm. It’s like stepping into a private oasis – having lunch poolside with views of the ocean and Mt Etna was magical, as are the surrounding gardens. The rooms are luxurious and comfortable and the service is top notch. For those fans of White Lotus, you’ll recognize a familiar scene. After several site inspections this year, we all agree- its a favorite spot on one of our favorite parts of the island.

Adler Spa and Resorts, Sicily (Torre Salsa)

The newest opening from the Adler Spa and Resort group is truly a gem. The Adler hotels started based in the alps, one of the first hotels in the Dolomites to merge comfort, relaxation and wellness into a hotel experience. They branched out in to the thermal waters and wellness in Tuscany years ago. This past summer, they opened a true jewel on the southwestern coast of Sicily.

This resort is located in an extraordinary place (within a nature reserve) with a private beach and breathtaking swimming pools and waterfalls with sea view. Courteous and kind staff (as befits the whole Sicilian population), waiters always available and excellent locally focused food. There are amazing excursions offered throughout the day, like e-bike rides and olive oil tastings. The sunset bar has a view you will never forget.

For those traveling with kids, there is a dedicated menu (also a spa menu for little ones) and a mini club open all day. Movie nights, kids crafts and shallow, crystal clear sea make this a destinations for not just adults, but also the tiniest travelers as well. We loved our family stay here, and will certainly be back next year.

DiVisi Suites, Palermo

This six-bedroom property is a great choice and respite from the vivacious, lively city of Palermo. Located in the perfect center on a quiet side street, you are just a short walk away from the main sites. The rooms are modern, curated (and with the highest ceilings we have ever seen), with a touch of the antique palazzo and modern luxuries. The spacious rooms are real suites, created in such a way as not to alter the original layout of the ancient rooms of the building. Excellent breakfast, especially the baked Sicilian cassata and freshly squeezed local orange juice.

New discoveries: restaurants in Sicily

La Bettolaccia, Trapani

One of the culinary highlights of Trapani. The perfect place to taste the famous cuscusu, the Sicilian version of couscous, served with fish and seafood (fried or grilled) and fish soup. In so many places with large portions, it’s hard to find true quality. Here, that isn’t the case. Excellent, locally sourced food and impeccable, friendly service. The best experience this year in Trapani, a city not to miss!

Di Giovanna Winery, Sambuca

Di Giovanna Winery exceeded our expectations. Their guided tour filled with knowledge and family history was fascinating. It was followed by a generous tasting of delicious wines and a meat/cheese/breads accompanied by their organic olive oil. This was a great way to pass the afternoon when driving from Palermo down to the southern coast of the island. This winery is a great example of why the hospitality in Sicily is so special!

Nni Franco U Vastiddaru, Palermo, Sicily

Sicilian street food at its best! This unassuming stop is where to go for fried, local food. Another dish you cannot miss is the panino con milza – a local specialty of a sandwich stuffed with slow cooked veal spleen and lung. For those less adventurous, a local beer washed town with fried chickpea flour fritters or deep fried potato croquettes. An easy lunch or a late night snack, this place is addictive!

Tailor made Sicilian experiences

Taormina cooking class in a private villa

Taormina is famous for its lush villas and elegant historical palazzi. Enjoy an experience led by a professional local chef who will teach you about Sicily’s gastronomic heritage. Located at the center of the Mediterranean between the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian sea, Sicily has been, since ancient times, a place of great dominations which in turn created a complex gastronomical culture. Favored ingredients are mainly locally produced vegetables, meat, and local seafood from the dazzling sea that surrounds the island.

Tie your apron and get to cooking under the watchful eye of your professional local chef who will offer helpful guidance along the way to successfully create a typical Sicilian menu. Then enjoy the “fruits of your labor” with a delicious meal on the terrace with a selection of Etna wines to soak up the atmosphere of the villa!

Palermo for children tour

The red domes and mosaics of the Arab-Norman Unesco monuments, the playful cherubs of the Serpotta oratories scattered around the city, the market stalls, overflowing with colors and excellent street food dishes such as panelle, street-art on the walls of the historic center, gardens with exotic plants, the sunny smiles of its inhabitants, the disorder and the nonstop chatter: this is what makes Palermo a unique city!
Our expert guide will help you discover all the main monuments and markets of Palermo and reveal to you all the secrets of the Sicilian puppets tradition, that has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The pupi master (the name for these special puppets) isa charismatic and wonderful guy – great with kids. This is a truly memorable day for families with children of all ages. It perfectly merges the interests of the adults while keeping the littlest ones entertained. And, after all, who doesn’t love a puppet?

The magic of Sicily…

Sicily is an experience unlike anything else in Italy.

We hope that these itinerary ideas provided some travel inspiration for a future holiday. As always, its our mission and promise to make your Mediterranean travel dreams come true!

Contact us to start planning!

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