Discovering Ragusa, the pearl of Sicilian Baroque

The magnificent Ragusa stands among the Hyblaean Mountains, in the south east of Sicily.

Third Sicilian municipality by extension, this city is also the southernmost provincial capital of Italy.

Highest expression of Sicilian Baroque in the heart of the famous Val di Noto, Ragusa is also known as the “city of bridges“, due to the presence of three famous bridges: the Ponte dei Cappuccini or Ponte Vecchio(Old Bridge), the Ponte Nuovo (New Bridge) and the Ponte Giovanni XXIII or Ponte San Vito.

Continue reading Discovering Ragusa, the pearl of Sicilian Baroque

Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo: the wonderful Aegadian Archipelago

The Aegadian Islands are a wonderful archipelago, nestled in the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and located about ten kilometres off the west coast of Sicily, not far from Trapani.

Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo are the three main islands, to which other islets are added.

This archipelago is by no doubt an ideal destination for sea, snorkelling, sailing and hiking lovers. Their virgin nature and great variety of flora and fauna make these islands a real earthly paradise.

Would you like to get to know this enchanting place better? Here is some information you may find useful!

Continue reading Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo: the wonderful Aegadian Archipelago

Arancino or arancina? The recipe!

Is it called arancino or arancina? Answering this long-standing question is not easy and the gender of this Sicilian delicacy’s name, a delicious fried rice ball, splits the island in two: the western side, in fact, uses the feminine noun, arancina, while the masculine noun is used in the eastern side, therefore arancino.

The Crusca Academy, the most important research institution of the Italian language, has also tried to answer this dilemma: according to the Crusca, this flavourful rice ball owes its name to its resemblance with an orange tree fruit, therefore the orange (arancia in Italian, while the orange tree is arancio).

So, in conclusion, it seems that the correct form is the feminine, arancina, even though in reality the question is not completely resolved. The gender distinction between tree and fruit in standard Italian dates back to the second half of the 20th century, yet today among speakers, in many cases, the fruit is also indicated with the masculine form: subsequently, arancino could mean “small orange”, referring to the fruit instead of the tree.

Continue reading Arancino or arancina? The recipe!

The natural beauty of the Alcantara Valley

Do you enjoy trails, long walks and adventurous sports while totally immersed in pure and virgin nature?

Then the spectacular, extraordinary and mammoth Alcantara Gorges, also known as the Larderia Gorges, are definitely for you! This scenery of breath-taking beauty, which also includes waterfalls, beaches and lakes, is located in the province of Messina, in the Alcantara Valley, between the towns of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra.

In 2010, these gorges were awarded the prestigious European Destination of Excellence award.

Continue reading The natural beauty of the Alcantara Valley

The Carnival of Acireale, the most beautiful Carnival in Sicily

What is considered the most beautiful Carnival in Sicily takes place every year in Acireale.

Here, absolutely grotesque carnival floats, masks, shows, confetti and flowers flood the streets of the city during one of the most colourful and folkloric events on the entire island!

The city of Acireale, a magnificent example of Sicilian Baroque, thus becomes the scene of parades, exhibitions and concerts: an extraordinary event that you absolutely cannot miss while in Sicily during the Carnival period!

Continue reading The Carnival of Acireale, the most beautiful Carnival in Sicily

Sfincione Palermitano Recipe

The sfincione is one of the cornerstones of Sicilian street food, a recipe that brings together the typical ingredients and flavors of Sicily: a soft focaccia topped with tomato sauce and onions, caciocavallo cheese and anchovies, to which it’s impossible to resist.

Of course there are many variations on this delicacy, such as Ficarazzi, Catania or Bagheria’s sfincione, or even a sweet versions consisting of a leavened and fried dough (sfince), but the recipe from Palermo is the most renowned, thanks to the famous street food tradition so dear to the Sicilian capital.sfince), but the recipe from Palermo is the most renowned, thanks to the famous street food tradition so dear to the Sicilian capital.

Continue reading Sfincione Palermitano Recipe

Palermo in a weekend: all-you-must-see!

A trip to Sicily does not only mean sun and sea; beyond famous summer destinations the island offers countless and interesting travel opportunities and thanks to the growing popularity of low-cost airlines, leaving for a weekend has never been easier.

Palermo, the Sicilian capital, is undoubtedly an ideal destination for a short getaway of art, history and good food.Particularly known as the centre of Sicilian street food, Palermo boasts influences from various populations passed through here over the centuries. The legacy they left can be found in several sides of the city, from architecture to dialect, cuisine and traditions. Let’s discover together the treasures to explore in the Sicilian capital.

Continue reading Palermo in a weekend: all-you-must-see!

6 Sicilian Cities You Should Visit

Beyond heavenly beaches that have always made it one of the most popular destinations for summer holidays, Sicily also proudly hosts many places rich in culture and history that are absolutely worth visiting, lively cities, small colourful towns and points of interest for every taste, to visit at any time of the year.

Restricting the list of cities to visit can be challenging, but here are the reasons why the following places are truly unmissable.

Continue reading 6 Sicilian Cities You Should Visit

Sicilian Cannoli Recipe (Fast & Easy)

Together with Cassata, Cannoli are the most loved and most popular Sicilian dessert.

A recipe rich in taste, a simple yet challenging preparation, where the quality of its ingredients make the difference between a good cannolo and a GREAT cannolo.

The preparation of the shell can vary: there are Sicilians who use cocoa powder, some who use cinnamon, some who do not use any flavoring and some others who replace lard with butter or Marsala wine with red wine.

Anyway, the main ingredient is ricotta cheese, widely used in Sicilian pastry – remember that it must be made of sheep’s milk, which has a more intense and typical taste.

Continue reading Sicilian Cannoli Recipe (Fast & Easy)

5 Sicilian Celebrities You (Probably) Know

Sicily may be known as an exporter of citrus fruits and of course the starting place of the Mafia as we know it. From movie stars to legendary singers, football players and fashion stars, Sicily is the birthplace and ancestral home of more celebrities that you would think!

Italian–American crooner, Frank Sinatra, has his roots in Sicily, while Domenico Dolce (of Dolce & Gabbana) and footballer Mario Balotelli call the island home.

Then, there’s a fair share of Hollywood legends that call Sicily home too – like Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Frank Capra.

Continue reading 5 Sicilian Celebrities You (Probably) Know