Holiday season is still on and what other place better than Sicily to have the best holidays this August? Discover places like Riserva dello Zingaro, Castellamare del Golfo, Alcamo, Erice and Palermo where you can find the best beaches and the best of what Italian cuisine has to offer. Find out about Sicilian traditional pastry such as genovese and cassata and the classic way of eating pistachio ice cream.
I have been wanting to write this article for such a long time, however only now got the chance to finally upload the pictures and videos of these amazing holidays that I have spent last month. In July, Sicily has really high temperatures and mostly, you will want to be at the beach. I tried to discover and enjoy the most in the five days I went to Sicily, but I wished I had have more time to visit more places, since this Italian island has 9 provinces and I only visit 2 of them, Trapani and Palermo.
MOOR’S HEAD/ TESTA DI MORO
I really like the legend behind the ceramic vases that you can see all over Sicily with a Moor’s Head, as seen above. Briefly, a young girl in Palermo standing in her balcony filled with flowers whilst crying, attracted the attention of a foreign merchant that instantly fell in love with her. He promised to love her and make her happy, so she wouldn’t cry ever again. Unfortunately, after both fell in love, the young girl found out the merchant had already a wife and kids in his home country. Her anger after find out this betrayal, made her cut the head of the merchant, so he would stay with her forever. From his head, she made a beautiful vase where she planted basil. Her neighbours after seeing such a beautiful vase, decided to copy her, by creating beautiful vases of a moor’s head. And a legend was born!
ARRIVAL TO ALCAMO
When my boyfriend and I arrived to Sicily, my friend Enrico Zangara, who I met through the self development course, which I wrote about in my last post, came to pick us up and advised us to stay in his city Alcamo, since it’s a quiet city, with good restaurants and bars, and it’s situated close to beautiful beaches like Riserva dello Zingaro.
We went straight to a Pizzeria called Desio. The pizzas there are super delicious.
ALKAMURI POSH HOTEL AND SPA
I stayed in Alkamuri Posh Hotel and Spa for the 5 days I was in Siciliy. This hotel is located in Alcamo, in the province of Trapani. It’s a 4 star hotel that offers comfort, modern appliances and Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries. Check their Instagram and the video I edited below.
In our second day, we sunbathed at Alcamo Marina and lunch time was passed at Sunshine Ristorante.
CASTELLAMARE DEL GOLFO AND BELVEDERE
Castellamare del Golfo is absolutely stunning. The fishing boats combined with the rustic buildings and the mountains behind, bring out the best scenery of Sicily. Then going up the hill, you will get to Belvedere, where you can have a view over all Castellamare.
In Castellamare del Golfo you can rent a boat and visit the whole coast of Riserva dello Zingaro.
What I liked the most in Castellamare was the pistachio ice cream in the Gelateria Vernaci. It is so tasty, completely different from any pistachio ice cream you can try elsewhere. In Sicily, pistachio ice cream is definitely the original and much creamier and tastier.
If you want to follow Sicilian tradition, then you have to eat pistachio ice cream in the bun as shown below.
An interesting fact in Sicilian cuisine is that instead of bread crumbs, they use pistachio crumbs, representing the abundance of pistachio production in Sicily.
RISERVA DELLO ZINGARO AND MAKARI
Riserva dello Zingaro is a protected area which can only be accessed by walk or boat. It includes several beaches and the one we liked the most was Cala Capreria, it’s the very first beach you will get to either by walking or boat, when you come from the south side, called Scopello. The water is so pristine! To access the other beaches I would recommend to do it by boat, instead of walking, because if you do so, it will take you at least 1 hour to get to the second beach and let me tell you that hot as Sicily is, you will end up like a “burnt shrimp”.
Since you won’t get any restaurant, coffeeshop or bar around, it’s important to take your own food and drinks.
As I said previously, in Castellamare del Golfo you can rent a boat and visit the whole coast, which we did and it’s definitely worth it. You can truly admire the beauty of Sicilian nature.
After the whole coast of Riserva dello Zingaro, you can also visit San Vito Lo Capo, located at north. You can drive to San Vito Lo Capo and visit Makari beach.
Between Trapani and San Vito Lo Capo, there is a gorgeous citadel called Erice, at the very top of the hill.
Erice is really famous by its typical pastry Genovese, a delicate pastry filled with Italian type of custard (crema pasticcera).
On the way to Erice, we stopped at a delicatessen and ate also the typical pane cunzato, a sandwich with fresh tomatoes, anchovy, fresh cheese , extra virgin oil and oregano.
Again on the way to Erice, we found a village with an amusing name called Purgatorio.
To eat in Erice, I totally advise you to book a table at the Restaurant Monte San Giuliano. It’s a Michelin Guide Restaurant where you can taste the best of Sicilian cuisine. They have the best Sicilian cannolo I ever had. The filling is super soft, creamy and not overly sweet. It’s just perfect!
I didn’t visit any monuments in Palermo, neither visit properly the city. Overall, Palermo looks like a mixture of an European and African city altogether. Some areas are really hectic and a bit dirty. I did go to Palermo to eat more Sicilian delicacies and watch a concert that a friend of mine invited me to.
You can not go to Palermo without trying pani ca meusa in the Antica Focacceria S. Francesco. Pani ca meusa is a soft bread with sesame seeds on top, filled with sliced veal lung and spleen. I guarantee you that it will be a delight for your stomach.
Another delicacy that you can have in the Antica Focacceria S. Francesco it’s the Sicilian cassata, a traditional cake made of sponge cake, marzipan, ricotta and fruit juice or liqueur.
Afterwards, we went again to eat something new, unusual and so delicious: meat sushi. No wonder I gained 5kg (almost 1 stone) whilst in Sicily! Giaca Sushi Meat it’s a butcher that after staying a while in Japan, learn the artistry of sushi. The result: a scrumptious sushi made out of the best meat worldwide.
If you are curious about, check their Instagram page bellow.
Then following all this food, incredibly we still had more at the concert in Sanlorenzo Mercato.
To end this article here are some pictures of the Sicilian basil and tomato and a video of all the places we visited
Wishing you all an amazing week 😘