Sicily

This is an overview of our trip to Sicily in September and October of 2010 broken down into three sections  – road trip around the island, explorations from a vacation rental, and language and cooking classes in Taormina.  I hope this outline will help those planning their own Sicilian experience.

Thinking About a Trip to Sicily?
General overview

Road Trip

Road Trip

Arrivederci Taormina, Buon Giorno Palermo
Two nights in Palermo visiting the Palatine Chapel – amazing mosaics, Capuchin Catacombs and the markets of Vucciria and Capo.

Monreale and Segesta
Driving from Palermo to Erice, stopping at the Cathedral of Monreale (similar in style to the mosaics of the Palatine Chapel in Palermo),  and Segesta, a beautifully preserved Greek Doric temple with grand views of the surrounding country side.

Exploring Erice
Two nights in medieval Erice, a quaint town with windy cobbled streets, stone churches and sweeping panoramic views.

Marsala, It’s Not Just Wine
One night in Marsala, home of Marsala wine, with a Baroque old town, a warship from the First Punic War and an ancient Roman villa site.

Exploring Agrigento
Two nights in Agrigento including visits to the ancient Greek sites of Selinunte, with a spectacular seaside setting and impressive garden of fallen columns, and Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the islands largest archeological site.

Exploring Ragusa
Understated crumbly Baroque town perched on two hills. Home to the Michelin starred Duomo Ristorante.

Day Trips from Vacation Rental

Vacation Rental

Mt. Etna Cottage
General description of the cottage.

Discovering the Markets
Riposto fish market near the cottage.

Acireale Markets and Villa Romana del Casale
Acireale is a Baroque town just north of Catania with a lively daily market.
Villa Romana del Casale has the most impressive Roman mosaics in all of Sicily.

Cooking Under the Etna Cloud
A drive around Mt. Etna on a rainy morning with visits to a local butcher shop and wine store.

Siracusa
Visit to the old town of Ortigia including the food market and the baroque town center, the Roman and Greek archeological park, and the ruins and catacombs of San Giovanni.

After the Rain – Sunshine and Mushrooms
A drive along the north side of Mt. Etna with a stop at a mushroom farm and continuing on to Nebrodi National Park.

Catania Fish Market
Catania’s fish market is the liveliest in all of Sicily.
Post includes a visit to the Greek theater in Taormina.

Italian Language and Cooking Classes

Babilonia Language School, Taormina
Review

Description of Language Classes
First Day of School
Grammar Is Still Just Grammar
First Week Finished
Just Another Monday

Language School Immersion
Taormina – First Impressions
Various Ramblings from Taormina
Starting a New Week
More Ramblings from Taormina

Description of Cooking Classes
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Exploring Taormina and Other Excursions
Exploring Taormina – part 1
Excursion to Mt. Etna
Exploring Taormina – part 2
Elton John in the Pouring Rain
Girl’s Day Out
Taking the Afternoon Off

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