Sicily…By Kirsty Leggatt

by Susannah Grant posted on 13 May 2016

I have to apologise for my late post this week. I’ve been travelling a lot lately and currently I’m on a group trip where I’ve found that my time is not my own. Add to that the difficulties I’ve sometimes faced with Wifi on my journeys and posting has been a little problematic.

We had the opportunity recently to visit Sicily for an official event and decided to take a few extra days for a small vacation. Everyone who had been there previously suggested that Taormina is a fabulous place to stay. It’s on the East cost of Sicily and quite near to Mount Etna.

We booked an apartment through Airbnb and hired a car — easy.

The apartment was perfect and had lovely views over the water. It was also in walking distance to Taormina and the cable car that takes you down to Isola Bella beach. It’s important to remember when booking anywhere to stay in Sicily to check how far the nearest township/city is. In my opinion, it’s best to be within walking distance of shops/restaurants and the beach.

Taormina is beautiful and I highly recommend it as a good place to stay. There are numerous restaurants and great shops and there is also a Roman Theatre, which was amazing to tour around.

Roman Theatre - Taormina
Roman Theatre – Taormina

We drove up to Mount Etna, which, as an active volcano is quite desolate and has a covering of fine black dust. It would have been fantastic to trek the three hours to the active crater but we didn’t have the appropriate clothing and footwear with us. This would be a great thing to do if you happen to get across to Sicily but do check the requirements and whether or not you need a guide before hand.

A day trip to the Roman Villa — Villa Romana del Casale is a must. This is a beautiful ancient villa, thought to once be the centre of an agricultural estate. The villa boasts amazing mosaic floor tiles, all depicting different stories and phases through ancient Roman history. It’s definitely well worth the drive to Piazza Armerina where the villa is located just outside the city.

We also stayed a couple of nights in Catania, which is another fabulous city with many interesting things to do and see and has a lovely historic section.

Sicily has a lot of beaches but all tend to have big sand, or the really dark type due to the volcanic rock, so whilst the water looks lovely, the beach itself often doesn’t, which is to be expected on a volcanic island. We didn’t swim, as the weather was too cool but the ocean was clear and beautiful.

Another tick off our bucket list!

Floor Mosaics
Floor Mosaics – Villa Romana del Casale
Isola Bella Beach
Isola Bella Beach