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A holiday for two … who said you must go to Venice, Paris or Prague? The ideal place could be even closer. It could be Sicily! And for five good reasons. The beauty of this island has no time and no season. You can visit it at any time of the year, to discover its charming places, monuments, coasts, towns. Places that have been attracting people from around the world, for centuries.

But if you just want a private holiday, a romantic event, you may want something different. Something away from crowded tourist places. So, here you are. Five things to do in five beautiful locations in Sicily. The trip you haven’t done yet, and you could book very soon.

Sunset from Erice

5 romantic places sicily02Erice is a very old little town on top of Mt San Giuliano. It faces the stunning view of Trapani and the Egadi islands. Walking along the main street, among the medieval architecture, can be a very romantic experience. Make sure you go to the Balio Park, first. From its balcony you will admire two castles: the Castello di Venere and the more recent (19th century) Castello Pepoli.

As you walk back on the main street, stop at Maria Gramatico’s pastry shop and taste the delicious “genovese”. Then you will reach again the cableway station in order to go back to Trapani, at the foot of the hill, and enjoy another show. The red sunset over the Egadi islands, seen from the other balcony of the town. Not far from Erice there are the salt pans of Marsala. You must have a drink there,  as the sun sets over them!

Agira and the tourist village

If you are looking for an exclusive and intimate holiday in a location that normally does not attract crowds, come to Agira, in the district of Enna. This medieval town still preserves precious monuments, such as the many ancient churches and noble palaces. In the church of San Salvatore you can admire the oldest Jewish altar in Europe, the Aron, perfectly preserved.

The historic heart of Agira, the old houses gathered at the foot of the castle’s ruins, has recently been restored. Today it has been transformed into Case al Borgo, a charming widespread hotel. Imagine a room with a view, in one of those ancient houses, and the panorama of the Enna valleys at your feet. Not far from Agira, and clearly visible from the village-hotel, there is Lake Pozzillo. A small natural paradise, this one, to be discovered perhaps on a beautiful sunny morning.

Syracuse and the myth of Arethusa

If you are staying in Syracuse, make sure to find a room in the historic centre, the island of Ortigia. On this islet now incorporated into the city, you will admire a beautiful monumental fountain embellished with Egyptian papyrus plants. It is called Fonte Aretusa and celebrates the beautiful nymph who escaped the aggression of Alpheus.

In Syracuse there will be opportunities to enjoy together the beauty of the ancient Greek ruins and to taste the excellent Sicilian food in the local restaurants. An absolute must: taste an almond granita as  they perfectly make it! If you can, let yourselves have a romantic boat trip on the quiet Ciane river, which flows close to Syracuse among the thick vegetation of reeds and tall papyrus.

The cliffs of Aci and Galatea

There is no romantic place in Sicily as the Cyclops Riviera. Or Aci and Galatea’s cliffs. It is that stretch of coast that runs from the northern outskirts of Catania (Cannizzaro) to Acireale, passing 5 romantic places sicily03through Aci Castello and the famous Aci Trezza. Chasing the myth of the unhappy love between the shepherd Aci and the nymph Galatea, contrasted by the cyclop Polyphemus, you will admire wonderful places.

The Norman castle of Aci Castello stands on a lava platform similar to that on which Aci died.  The Faraglioni rocks in the sea of Aci Trezza and the island Lachea are reminiscence of the romantic landscapes that the mythical couple loved to see. Finally, the sixteenth-century route of the Chiazzette, in Acireale, descends through the wild vegetation of the Timpa to the sea. Right here Aci – transformed into a river – reached Galatea in the Ionian Sea, forever.

Timeless queen, Taormina

Taormina is the queen of Sicilian romantic locations. Walking hand in hand along its medieval streets – now full of shops, café and restaurants – you will reach the balconies and have some “selfies” with Mt.Etna in the background. Enjoy a very intimate kiss inside the tiny narrow alley Vicolo Stretto, if you ever manage to get in, both of you!

You cannot miss a visit to the delightful Isola Bella, which can be reached comfortably from the centre of Taormina with the practical cableway. The most transgressive couples could make their evening exciting by going up to the nearby village of Castelmola. Here they will have a drink at the tables of the most scandalous café on the east coast, Bar Turrisi. It is famous for its many sexually explicit … decorations! (photo by Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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