Sicily and Sardinia, Italian journey
From the North to the South, from Tuscany to Rome, Florence, and Pisa, we are now traveling to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Our third journey, check here and here for our previous posts on Italy. Two jewels of Italy on their realm, these islands are full of history, culture, and tradition. When traveling Italy, we recommend these two on separate trips. Each has so much to discover, both are worth the time and money! Let’s explore Sicily and Sardinia, Italian journey!
Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, is just to the east coast of Italy. Here, monuments and ruins talk about its rich history. Plan on visiting the Valley of the Temples along with the Doric-style Greek temples. As well as the Byzantine mosaics at the Cappella Palatina, a former royal chapel in the capital city Palermo. On Sicily’s eastern edge is Mount Etna. This is one of Europe’s highest active volcanoes
Sicilian food is excellent and keen on seafood. Grilled swordfish is popular. Smaller fish, especially snapper, is sometimes prepared in a vinegar and sugar sauce. Seppia (cuttlefish) is served in its black sauce with pasta. Another Sicilian seafood dish made with pasta is finnochio con sarde (fennel with sardines).The variety of dishes is over the top! Eggplant (aubergines), olives, capers. Sfincione is a local form of pizza made with tomatoes, onions and (sometimes) anchovies. Prepared on a thick bread and more likely found in a bakery than in a pizzeria. Meat dishes are always popular. Made for the most part with lamb or goat. Best known outside Sicily is Vitello alla Marsala(veal marsala), one of many regional meat specialties and Chicken "alla marsala" also a traditional dish.
More to see, more to enjoy
The beaches are pristine, and in the islands of Aeolian, Lipari, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi, Stromboli, Panarea and Vulcano you will find beautiful scenery, volcanoes, castles, thermal resorts, water sports and excellent fishing. In Summer months is crowded with tourists and also Italians on vacation, as a touristic destination, you will need to plan ahead.
The city of Palermo has existed for more than 3,000 years. It has been robbed, invaded, conquered by many through history. Let’s no forget that it is also the bed of the Mafia (Cosa Nostra). It has a particular kind of beauty and demeanor like all of Italy itself. Visiting this city as a tourist is like going back in time to a different era, a way of life. If visiting the city, plan on walking. Palermo is small; taxis are not that easy to get. What you have seen in movies showing the city and groups of people walking for the different activities is still a reality today!
The "Valley of the Temples" is a large archeological site outside town surrounded by olive groves and almond orchards. The almond blossom festival (in late February) is rooted in enchanting folklore. Agrigento boasts several ancient Greek temples, including the Temple of Concord, one of only two completely standing ones in Sicily. The other is at Segesta, and if time is very limited, we suggest visiting either Agrigento or Segesta.
Mount Etna Europe's greatest natural wonder, the sacred mountain of legend and myth. Consider visiting the upper regions, covered with snow for four months of the year; it's a beautiful sight. Therefore, dress warmly even in summer; it's always cool at the top. Mount Etna is Sicily's highest mountain at approximately 3350 meters.
Sardinia is one of Italy's autonomous regions. It's sandy beaches, and mountainous interior crossed with hiking trails is a favorite for Europeans on vacation. Its rugged landscape dotted with thousands of nuraghi – mysterious Bronze Age stone ruins shaped like beehives. One of the largest and oldest nuraghi is Su Nuraxi in Barumini, dating to 1500 B.C.
These monuments are unique to the world. These are a testimony to an ancient culture that had endured thousands of years and remains a mystery. The Nuraghi constructions were built using great blocks of stone and developed around a central cone-shaped tower that communicates strength and power. These are archaeological sites where it is possible to grasp the old-fashioned charm of ancient rituals. Of these many constructions, the Barumini complex is among the locations in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
To move around the island is better to rent a car. Therefore, you will be able to do sightseeing and wonder outside of the capital of Cagliari. All over the island, you will find ruins and castles and history dating back up to 8,000 thousand years.
Plan on visiting:
Maddalena Archipelago – a cluster of islands Northeast of the coast of Sardinia
Cagliari – the capital
Alghero – where you will find the ruins of the Nuraghi
Costa Smeralda – Most popular beach area
Nuoro – In the slopes of Monte Ortoben
We have covered several regions of Italy in our three part series. Hope you have enjoyed it! Leave us a comment with your thoughts, love to hear from you! Join our readers by signing to our newsletter and participate in our monthly giveaway! We do not share information! Let's be friends!
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