"Under my skin" Sicilia by Sjalen
Sicilia Travel Guide: 2,522 reviews and 7,469 photos
I have no words! Well...love. Having come back from Sicily, the only thing me and my colleagues can say is that I behave like someone in love :-))) As soon as someone asks anything about my holiday in Sicily, I get a silly grin and drift away into a world of my own...when I don't babble on for ages that is. My friends always say I seem to want to live everywhere I visit, but not in a long time has this feeling been as strong as here.
My father had talked about Sicily for so long after going there regularly for years whilst I was busy going to England. I had always wondered what made this island so special compared to other Mediterranean destinations, and in May 2004 I finally found out when he accompanied us there.
Again, I really do not know how to start describing this amazing island! For a start, there is the arrival. Just like the Rough Guide says, there is a sense of arrival like nowhere else. You sit in a plane, and all of a sudden, you spot little islands with volcanic craters on. Then amongst the clouds, you suddenly see something that isn't a cloud...you then realise that it is the snow clad peak of a giant volcano! That's when you know you there is something special to this destination.
Once you've landed, there she is in all her splendour - Etna. Europe's biggest volcano, and still active, with a trail of smoke at the top. The slopes around her are full of vineyards and orchards as the volcanic minerals are fantastic for growing just about anything - the reason people live in this, the north east corner of the island.
As if living in the shade of a giant volcano is not enough, you start thinking about the mafia people are aware of here. Maybe the reason Sicily is not more awash with tourists. Their loss I say. I am ten times more scared in the Stockholm underground on a Friday night than I ever was in the poorest quarters of Agrigento and you can read my "warnings" on why. Instead, I have met some of the most friendly and inviting people ever in my life. Of course it is chaotic here and there, like most places in Italy - but here there is an explanation; you are on an island which has been Fenician, Carthagian, Greek, Roman, Norman, Arab, Spanish and Italian. Everyone has met on this island and it shows! People are welcome wherever they come from, even if there is a distrust of authorities for the same reason (capitals were always somewhere else). I have never felt as much a part of LIFE as here and at times, it was almost like being in a movie. Theatre like if you want, and I perfectly well understand why my theatre parents love this island. Then again, local author Luigi Pirandello too, has famously written about no less than six personalities, all with one Sicilian in mind. They say themselves that life is either drama or tragedy - must be one of their Greek legacies!
Talking about the Greeks, they in their time made this one of their main centres and Siracusa was as big as Athens, whilst Agrigento with its temples was at least the size my current home town! Today, you see Greek temple ruins better than in Greece and on top of that you have Roman villas and Norman cathedrals to keep you busy for years. At least I know I will be busy for years coming here again...and again...and again...if nothing else for the gorgeous food. Italian food but better, since this is the sunniest part of Italy and the tomatoes and lemons are riper than elsewhere, the aubergines bigger and the fish of course as fresh as it only gets somewhere surrounded by the sea. All this spiced up a bit extra because of the Arab legacy.
As Goethe said, the key to Italy lies in visiting Sicily. I am glad I have done things in the right order then!
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PAGE DO NOT YET INCLUDE PALERMO, CEFALU, MONREALE, TRAPANI, LIPARI ISLANDS, PIAZZA ARMERINA, SELINUNTE and other places I certainly also consider "must sees" on this island. I have just decided for this page to only be about places I have seen myself so far, as Sicily impressed me too much not to. Fear not, I shall return, and duly fill this page with more every time. Count it to one of my "constantly updated" pages - the ones I make about places I return to often :-)...
- Pros:friendly, lots of history, dramatic scenery, great food
- Cons:environmental problems
- In a nutshell:Come and change your view of life forever!
Not since Hungary have I had such a food experience. The Italians are known for their food, but without having tried it... more travel advice
In my Siracusa page you can read what is so special about this place. A hole in the wall style restaurant with some meat... more travel advice
Sjalen's Related Pages
Sicilia Travel Guide
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- ""Touched by the sea, kissed by the sun ....."
- "Sicilia - more than another island"
- "Sensational Sicily"
- "SCENES FROM SICILY"
- "My sunshine land"
- "Under my skin"
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