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Travel Guide — 07.02.18

City Guide: Sicily With Elisa Nalin

Elisa gives us a taste of Sicily and its many local gems. Her travel guide will have you flocking to the Mediterranean for the ultimate sun-drenched getaway.


Sicily! Especially the southeast part, from Catania all the way down to Portopalo di Capo Passero.

Credit: @elisanalin_

Credit: @elisanalin_

Credit: @elisanalin_

Best local tips?

Head to Caltagirone, the city of ceramics and don’t forget to step on the amazing staircase of Santa Maria del Monte.

Sicily has a rich culinary culture and is rife with fresh and delicious produce. Taste the famous Sicilian almonds, the salted pistachios, the tunas, the crispy and intensely fragrant Pachino’s tomatoes, the granitas, the magical chocolate of Modica … the choices are endless!

What to pack? 

The less you pack the more you can shop! But definitely a straw basket to carry your summer essentials, a pair of sunglasses, a bright summer hat, loads of cute bikinis, and flowy summer dresses.

Where to stay?

San Carlo Suites is an elegant yet cozy hotel, where you can truly feel you’re in the heart of Sicily’s baroque pearl that is Noto. Definitely start your day with San Carlo’s dreamy breakfast made with typical Sicilian products like organic jams, seasonal fruit, and cakes prepared according to ancient recipes, almond paste and the inevitable sweet ricotta of Sicily.

San Carlo Suites in Noto

Where to eat?

Everywhere! For dinner, I recommend Il Dammuso of Signora Baglieri, who works her magic in the kitchen while her son Giorgio runs the place. Her other son Marco is the great chef behind Il Crocifisso, an exquisite and refined restaurant in Noto. And for a quick lunch, I love to stop by La Fontana d’Ercole. It serves delicious homestyle Sicilan food that everyone wants a taste of. Their orange and onion salad is definitely worth the wait!

Il Dammuso
Il Dammuso
Il Crocifisso
Il Crocifisso
Il Crocifisso
Trattoria Fontana d'Ercole
Trattoria Fontana d'Ercole

Best breakfast?

The non-glamorous Bar Il Ciclope in the main square of Pachino. Their pistachio granita is the best! Also not to miss is Caffè Sicilia. From the cakes to the ice creams and the fig granita with peperoncino, everything they offer is absolutely divine! It’s also the perfect spot to people watch.

Best treats?

Pasticceria Kennedy in Piano Alto, Noto is incredible! Their heart-shaped biscuits filled with jam or chocolate are to die for! Their cannolis are made fresh for you when you order them. They’re irresistible! And let me not get started on the gelato alla nocciola (hazelnut gelato) …. mmmmh….

Pistachio Granita at Bar Il Ciclope

Source: TripAdvisor

Pistachio Cannoli at Bar Il Ciclope

Source: TripAdvisor

Jam-Filled Biscuit at Pasticceria Kennedy

Favorite dinner spots?

Anche Gli Angeli is a concept store and trendy restaurant in Noto, where the loveliest and most charming Norma will welcome you! La Grotta is MY FAVOURITE  place to eat in the splendid town of Scicli. La Manna in Noto is also beautifully decorated and the food is fantastic too.

Where to get an adrenaline rush?

Waiting for your hot arancino …

What’s your ideal day?

I’ll start my day with a nice breakfast at Caffè Sicilia with a fresh juice followed by a granita al caffè (coffee granita) with panna and one of their many heavenly cakes (I highly recommend the fig cake!). Then I’ll head to the beach of Marianelli in the middle of the Vendicari Nature Reserve. You can have lunch or an apertivo at the Ristoro Marianeddi where you’ll need to park your car before walking along the golden beach and dipping into the pale blue waters. Then a quick jump back to the city to freshen up, followed by an aperitivo on the panoramic terrace of the Hotel Gagliardi or a spritz in the piazzetta of Marzamemi, a little fisherman’s village. I’ll end the day with dinner in Modica at Accursio, a Michelin-starred intimate restaurant where you’ll experience a creative twist on traditional dishes made with the best local ingredients and flavours of the island.

Marianeddi Beach

Credit: Marianeddi

Fig Cake at Caffè Sicilia

Credit: @elisanalin_

Sicilian Aperitivo at Marianeddi


Best cultural spots?

You just have to stroll around in Noto and wander into the thousand churches and majestic baroque palazzos… and then go visit Modica, Scicli, and Ragusa.

Instagram: @elisanalin_

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