Sicily-An island touching different worlds
Sicily is full of beguiling contrasts. The untamed west vies with the flawless Greek classicism of the east and every Mediterranean civilization has passed by, bequeathing marvels fit for the gods and a rich gastronomic heritage.
Palermo has bustling markets and grand architecture. Sample fish couscous and the typically Sicilian atmosphere of Palermo’s riviera. Erice is a medieval fairy-tale on a hilltop, and Marsala is the eponymous heart of wine country. Nature lovers can walk in Zingaro Nature Reserve and on the lovely sweeping sands of San Vito Lo Capo. Along the coast, Cefalù has it all; fascinating alleys, an imposing square with its grand Norman Cathedral and a long stretch of golden beach.
Western Sicily-a rich melting pot
The most African of the island’s landscapes, the North West saw a cultural melting pot of Phoenicians,Greeks and Arabs settling in Sicily.Their stamp remains.This has also been the historic heartland of the Cosa Nostra network,a fact that today lends little other than a frisson of mistery to towns such as Castellammare,Alcamo and Partinico.
Below sweeping mountain scenery some great beaches are among this largely unspoilt area’s many assetts-from the largely untrammelled sands of Selinunte and the big golden arc of San Vito Lo Capo, to the secluded coves of the Zingaro Nature reserve and the little bay of Guidaloca,east of Scopello.In the west, beachside restaurants specialise in fish couscous while buzzy little cafes,serve delectable deserts called caldo-freddo.
Incontestably,some of the island’s most charismatic ancient sites are also to be found in the West-the Greek temple and theatre of Segesta,surrounded by rolling meadlowland and the Phoenician site on the island of Mozia,just off Marsala.
Selinunte’s Doric columns are special too,as is the Phoenician ruin of Solunto,perched on the slopes of Montecatalfano.But be prepared for contrast.From the vibrant port town of Trapani you can take a boat across to Sicily’s captivating Egadi Islands or a cable car which whisks you up into the medieval walled town of Erice where you can almost feel that you have been transported to Tuscany.
You only need a Visa if you are coming from South Africa, not from other countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand etc.Of course, you would need a valid passport. Make photocopies of your passport for your piece of mind.