Finding Affordable Real Estate In Sicily

Cefalu
Cefalu

An Italian property specialist explains why Sicily in Italy is pulling in increasing numbers of canny real estate investors. She also suggests vital guidelines on where to buy the most affordable deals.

For more than 100 years it has been overshadowed by the sinister Mafia. However, Sicily in Italy is now slowly opening its doors to foreign property investors in the way Tuscany did in the middle of the last century.

One major change has been the increased availability of property in Sicily for sale. Until only a few years ago, they were mainly passed from parents to children. However, younger Sicilians are more likely to give up the family property to make their own way elsewhere.

Another factor behind the surge in demand among overseas buyers for homes in Sicily is its prices, which are in general not only infinitely less expensive than in Tuscany but among the most affordable throughout Italy.

Admittedly you will struggle to discover deals to beat the the one-Euro homes offered by Salemi mayor Vittorio Sgarbi a couple of years ago on condition that buyers repaired the properties’ old earthquake damage within two years. However, just Euro 55,000 should cover a 70sq m property to renovate if you are happy to be 15 minutes by road from a coastal resort. Budget for Euro 70,000 for an apartment around a 10-minute stroll from the beach in villages such as Calatabiano on the east coast and near the famous resort of Taormina. If you have to be a few yards from the waves, expect to pay just Euro 90,000 in nearby resorts like Giardini Naxos.

The burgeoning popularity of Sicily among house buyers and vacationers has also been helped by the establishment of new direct routes by no-frills air companies such as easyJet and Ryanair to its three coastal airports in Catania, Palermo and Trapani. A fourth airport is scheduled to be opened shortly in Ragusa. In addition plans have been rolled out for a Euro 6billion bridge connecting Sicily with the mainland. By the way, put aside the exaggerated threat of the Mafia, which foreigners never have contact with.

An expert at Italy real estate consultants the Property Organiser sums up the area’s attraction and says: “It has always attracted tens of thousands of holidaymakers because of its history, landscape, architecture, climate and low cost of living. Until five or so years ago, there wasn’t a great selection of  properties on sale except for in beach resorts as they tended to remain within families. Now a younger generation is less connected to tradition. They are happy to cash in on these family heirlooms to allow them to buy elsewhere themselves.

“It is quite straightforward to get a three bedroom property in Sicily for less than US $250,000. Be aware that some areas are expensive, such as Cefalu, Giardini Naxos and Taormina, but they boast great rental returns given that they have tourists practically 12 months a year.”

The most popular areas with foreign buyers and holidaymakers are Taormina on the east coast and Cefalu, Castellammare del Golfo, Scopello and Trapani on the north. Expect Euro 160,000 for a two-bedroom apartment in Cefalu. For one with a sea view, budget around Euro 220,000 either here or in nearby Castellammare.

Taormina is possibly the region’s premier location for overseas investors and as a result its dearest. In comparison, properties Catania, 50km away are often half the price. High-spec homes in the Taormina area often fetch over one million Euro. The upside is that letting potential is huge and can reach Euro 3,000 a week. Amid the high prices it is possible to unearth bargains. Expect Euro 300,000 for a sea view property, while if you’re prepared  to forgo the view, you save around Euro 70,000-Euro 80,000.

Sicily certainly lacks nothing in star quality. The 1988 hit Italian movie Nuovo Cinema Paradiso was based in Cefalu while swathes of George Clooney’s 2004 heist sequel Ocean’s Twelve were made in Castellammare del Golfo. And a number of famous faces have bought in Sicily, such as singers Jim Kerr, Peter Gabriel and Mick Hucknall as well as French film star Gerard Depardieu, designer Giorgio Armani and England football manager Fabio Capello. Julia Roberts and Madonna have vacationed here too.

Even going back in time Sicily had no shortage of famous fans. literary icons D H Lawrence, who penned Lady Chatterley’s Lover in Taormina, and Truman Capote as well as screen legends Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. In the 1700s the poet Wolfgang Goethe called the island “a land unutterably beautiful” while a century later Richard Wagner orchestrated his final opera, Parsifal, in Palermo.

Sicily’s principal gems are its incomparable architecture and breathtaking scenery. The historic temples and ruins testify to the series of civilizations that have ruled down the ages: everyone from the Romans and Greeks to the Normans and Brits. Sicily has an unparalleled natural allure as well, from its 990km coastline to its magnificent mountain ranges. Not everywhere lets you have a villa with a view over Mt Etna, which soars 3300mt above sea level.

Sicily is not just its mainlandFeature Articles, it also has sunny islands. Close to the northern shores are the seven Aeolian islands. To the west lie the Egadi Islands and Pantelleria while the Pelagie Islands off the south are closer to Tunisian waters than Sicily.

All this and almost year-round sunshine. What are you waiting for? You may end up making some real estate agent an offer he can’t refuse…

About the Author

Where to stay in Cefalu

Hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs can be searched and reserved here.

Santa Venerina – A Hidden Gem for Villas in Sicily

Santa Venerina
Santa Venerina

If you’re on the lookout to rent villas in Sicily, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for ones located near the quint municipality of Santa Venerina.

Booking one of the delightful villas in Sicily is the best way to immerse in the true heart and soul of this wonderful Italian island in the Mediterranean. What better way could there be to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life than to spend a week or two exploring the sunny shores and lush hillsides of Sicily?

Santa Venerina is a hidden gem of a commune, or municipality, when it comes to renting villas in Sicily. If you are within easy reach of this region here are some of the most noteworthy reasons.

Refreshing Solitude and Relaxing Comfort

The commune’s tranquil soul is the first and foremost reason Santa Venerina has a thriving community of villas available for tourists to rent. Santa Venerina strikes the perfect balance between calming isolation and comfortable accommodation. Not only are the villas themselves spacious and well-facilitated, but the people in the community itself are warm and appreciative of visitors to their humble little town. Aside from lounging in a quiet corner of your villa, you could take a stroll over to the local piazza to have breakfast in one of the local cafes without having to contend with a crush of other tourists or locals rushing to work.

Scenic Trails with Far-Reaching Views

A wonderful view is one of the main draws of any of the villas in Sicily, and Santa Venerina is no exception. Linera in Santa Venerina is a prime example. The frazioni
(hamlet) has wonderful views, not just of the Ionian Sea but of the island’s famous Mount Etna as well. Many a villa takes advantage of this fact, as they are often built on hilltops with the best vantage points of the major sights of the area. The best part here, however, is the many walking and biking trails that network the region. These trails pass through the countryside’s many vineyards, orchards and plantations – adding greatly to the experience. You can even sign up for a wine-tasting tour in some of the vineyards you pass.

Easy Access to Other Sicilian Hotspots

You probably won’t spend your entire holiday holed up inside your villas in Sicily, which is why it is vital that you should choose somewhere within reasonable driving distance of local tourist attractions. Santa Venerina fits the bill there, too. The major tourist destination of Catania is just 20 kilometres southwest of the commune and a ten-minute drive from other major municipalities like Acireale, which is famous for its many basilicas, and Giarre, which is well known for its ghostly abandoned public projects. The beaches of Santa Tecla and Marina di Cottone are within minutes of Santa Venerina as well.

The commune has quite a few attractions of its own as well, most notably the Piazza Roma. The shops lining the square sell a wide variety of local delicacies, from cakes and almond biscuits to limoncello and grappa wines.

Keep all these in mind, and you will understand just how Santa Venerina has become a hidden gem for villas in Sicily – active enough to make your visit to the island unforgettableFree Web Content, but secluded enough to enjoy at your own pace.

About the Author

Where to stay in Santa Venerina

Hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs can be searched and reserved here.

For Mediterranean Villas, Sicily Has What You’re Looking For

Taormina
Taormina

The Mediterranean is a fabulous place to book villas. Sicily is one of the first destinations you should start your search in – with something for everyone.

If you’re looking to rent holiday villas, Sicily is one of the first places you should start your search for a Mediterranean getaway. But what exactly is it about the island province that makes it so attractive in the first place?

Here’s a list of the foremost reasons why Sicily is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world.

Warm Tropical Weather

The fantastic weather is one of the main reasons people continue to flock to the hotspots in the Mediterranean. Sicily is blessed with plenty of sun and surf, making it the perfect escape for those looking for a tropical getaway with friends or family. The heat here, however, is not as oppressively humid or as desolately dry as in other tropical regions – especially when you take into account the cool breezes that grace the many seaside, hilltop and rural villas.

Accessible Seaside Locations

Looking for seaside villas? Sicily has lots of them, often just a few minutes away from the beaches by foot. The salty sea breeze also helps freshen the air up, which is always a plus when you head out to your own private patio for breakfast or a cup of tea.

Hilltops with Commanding Vistas

Many villas are located on top of hills and offer an amazing view of the surrounding area, often with the sea on one side and majestic mountain views on the other. Many of these hilltop villas also come with their own private pools, which is a plus to enable you to cool down after a day exploring in the warm weather.

Hidden Groves and Hedges

If you are looking for a more rustic and serene retreat, you’ll be pleased to find quite a few ‘hidden’ villas. Sicily is a land rich in orchards and vineyards, so it should come as no surprise that there are places to stay established in and around these lush plantations. Some even offer wine-tasting and fruit-picking events if you time your visit to coincide with harvest season.

Easy Access to Town Centres

Many Sicilian villas are strategically placed not just for privacy but for convenience as well. They are most often within easy access of roads that lead to major cities like Palermo, Catania and Taormina. This makes it easy to visit local hotspots in under an hour or two via shuttle or privately rented vehicle.

Friendly and Accommodating Hosts

The last but definitely not least aspect is the hosts who will welcome you. The island is renowned for its warm and welcoming locals, and they’ll make you feel right at home – with some even offering home-cooked meals spiced with lively conversation. What better way could there be to enjoy heartyScience Articles, traditional cuisines than with those who live and breathe the authentic ‘Sicilian way’ every day of their lives?

These points above are well worth remembering the next time you’re looking to rent any of the delightful Mediterranean villas Sicily has to offer.

About the Author

Where to stay in Taormina

Hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs can be searched and reserved here.

The typical dishes of Ragusa in Sicily

Ragusa
Ragusa

Sicily in well-known also for its cuisine, which is very interesting and varied in all of its cities. Here are some information about the cuisine of the city of Ragusa.

If you visit Ragusa you must try some of the typical dishes of the city. Like all the other Sicilian cities, indeed, also Ragusa can offer many interesting and tasty dishes to tourists, dishes that are characterized by special peculiarities that distinguish this cuisine from all the other ones making it unique.

Dealing with the cuisine of Ragusa we must say, first of all, that the city is among the first thirty Italian cities in the chart of high quality food and wine, and it is also the Sicilian city that has the greatest number of local products safeguarded by the European Union. This is certainly a clear and irrefutable evidence of the richness and quality of the cuisine of Ragusa. Other evidences are given by the writings of some famous writers and poets that for centuries have celebrated the typical products of the city: Shakespeare, but also many other poets, praised the Hyblaean honey, while Cato wrote about the cuisine of Ragusa, focusing on “cassateddi”, a typical cake made of ricotta cheese and cinnamon.

If we were to describe the cuisine of Ragusa in few words, we could say that this is a tasty but simple cuisine, originating in the world of peasants. The dishes that you can eat in Ragusa and its surroundings are therefore very substantial but are presented in a simple way, with no useless ornaments. Another peculiarity of the cuisine of this part of Sicily, which distinguishes it from other parts of the region, is that it does not include many fish dishes. One of the main feature of the cuisine of Ragusa is corn, but there are also many interesting meat and legume dishes and different types of cheese. As far as cheese is concerned, we must speak about the “caciocavallo ragusano”, a cheese with the protected geographical status that is well-known not only in Italy but also abroad.

If you happen to enter a restaurant of Ragusa, here are some dishes that you might want to try: you might begin with a starter, and in this case you can try “scaccia”, a special type of flat bread stuffed with ricotta cheese and onions, sausage, tomatoes or eggplants. Then the first course: a typical first course of Ragusa is “macco”, a bean soup that is believed to have a very ancient origin, but you can also try “cavati” (a special type of pasta) or ravioli with pork meat sauce. Pork meat is also used in some main courses, like aspic, sausages and stuffed chops , but if you want to try also other types of dishes you can try “pattuisa rabbit” or stuffed hen. Last but not least, here are some typical desserts: “biancomangiare”, a sort of pudding made of milk and almonds which was known also in the Middle Ages, “mucatoli” (biscuits stuffed with dried fruits), almond biscuits, ricotta cannoli, mandarin cake. And remember to try the chocolate of Modica, which is well-known all over the world!

To sum up, visiting Ragusa might be very interesting not only for the monuments and beautiful landscapes of the regionComputer Technology Articles, but also for the tasty typical dishes that will make you fall in love with this city!

About the Author

This article was written by Francesca Tessarollo with help from Ragusa luxury hotels.

Where to stay in Ragusa

Hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs can be searched and reserved here.

Top Destinations in Sicily for a Romantic Getaway

Syracuse - Castello Maniace
Syracuse – Castello Maniace

From modern Italian villas to Greek ruins that are thousands of years old, Sicily cannot fail to bring out the best in a romantic getaway.

In part, Sicily owes its vast, diverse beauty to its sheer size – it is, after all, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. But while it can so rightly boast of its historical Italian villas, its ancient Greek ruins, and the unmatched beauty of its lovely beaches, the island still has a lot more up its sleeve to make tourists fall in love with the place. For couples looking to plan a romantic getaway in Sicily, there are numerous options – depending on what they qualify as romantic – from the rustic Palermo markets to the magnificent views of the Mediterranean Coast.

The Unexploited Western Region

One of the things Sicily is known for is its excellent wine. While there are many places around the island to sample the wide variety of wine, a great destination to start is in the western part of the island. Couples who dabble in wine appreciation will fall in love with the region, which is dotted with gorgeous hilltop vineyards. Marsala, which is located in the westernmost part of Sicily, is a must-visit stop for those interested in enjoying a taste of the famous high quality wine. But apart from its wine products, Western Sicily is considered a treasure in itself because of its lovely villages, picturesque mountain scenery, Italian villas and the ruins of Segesta and Selinunte. For those who favour a more relaxed holiday far from the madding crowds, this region is perfect.

The Southeast – A Tourist Favorite

On the other hand, romantic couples who want to soak in the local culture of the island, be amongst a vibrant lively crowd, and see the island’s most visited attractions will have the time of their lives in Southeast Sicily, where Syracuse is located. Luxurious modern Italian villas sit comfortably side by side the beautiful Baroque towns of Noto and Modica, which are abuzz with thronging piazzas and a lively social scene. It is a joy to explore this part of the island, where old and new fuse in perfect harmony.

The Scenic Mediterranean Coast

So we’ve covered a region for those looking for a low-key holiday, along with one perfect for those visitors who want to surround themselves with fun and entertainment, but there are also numerous parts of Sicily for those who want to simply drink in the island’s expansive beauty. Staying in one of the stunning Italian villas overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, visiting the Valley of the Temples ruins, exploring Agrigento’s world-famous Greek ruins, swimming at the beaches in Riserva Naturale Torre Salsa, or hiking the rocky cliff in Scala dei Turchi are just a handful of the many choices. Perhaps one of the most diverse coastal destinations, though, is the commune of Favara, home to the Farm Cultural Park, which is a melting pot of innovativeFree Web Content, artistic projects with spectacular views to match.

About the Author

Where to stay in Syracuse

Hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs can be searched and reserved here.

Golfing is better in Sicily!

Golf Club & SPA in Sicily
Golf Club & SPA in Sicily

More and more people are becoming keen on golf. If you wish to mix golf and holiday, Sicily might be the right choice for you.

Although in many Italian regions winter does not seem to be coming to an end, it is almost time to think about summer holidays and to book a hotel in the city you have chosen. One of the most popular destinations in Italy, as far as sea holidays is concerned, is Sicily, with its sea, wonderful landscapes, rich historical, artistic and cultural heritage and fine food. For their summer holidays many Italians, as well as people from abroad, choose  Sicilian beaches, which in many cases are every bit as beautiful as the most exotic ones.

However, Sicily has many other aces in the hole, and has much to offer to its tourists also in terms of golf. The number of people who have a passion for this sport is increasing, also due to the sport deeds – and other kinds of deeds – of champions like Tiger Wood, who in the last few years has certainly promoted the sport he is excellent in. In Italy the increasing success of this sport is also due to the great results achieved by the Molinari brothers and Matteo Manassero, who became professional when he was 17, bringing to the fore a sport that otherwise would not be so popular in Italy, at least as far as the interest of media is concerned.

For all the golf lovers, old and new, there is no such thing as spending a few days in Sicily, where you can find some wonderful golf courses and hotels with spa, perfect for relaxing and recovering your strength after spending a day on the course. Sicily is the ideal region to practice an open-air sport like golf, with its mild climate and favorable climatic conditions that give you the possibility to play also in winter. In winter, indeed, when in other Italian regions people have chattering teeth and playing golf is unpleasant, if not impossible, the mild temperature of Sicily does not stop the lovers of this sport. An edge over also for the tourist sector of the region, which can be seasonally adjusted also with golf. Moreover, you do not need to worry about summer temperatures, which might be very high in Sicily, since in many areas of the island it is dry and windy, thus it is easier to stand the heat.

There are golf courses in many Sicilian provinces. Near Catania, for example, there are courses that offer you an unmatchable view of Etna, while near Trapani playing golf might mean immersing in the charm of the Madonie National Park. Other interesting golf courses in Sicily are the ones near Ragusa, which are only few minutes away from the most popular beaches of the province, and the course of Pantelleria, where you can play being literally surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea.

If you want to mix golf and sea holidays, or you are looking for a golf course where you can play even when summer takes long to comeFree Web Content, Sicily is what you are looking for.

About the Author

This article was written by Francesca Tessarollo with help from hotel in Sicily.

Where to stay in Catania

Hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs can be searched and reserved here.

4 Ways to Get the Most Variety From Villas in Sicily

Etna
Etna

The stunning villas in Sicily give you access to a feast of natural, cultural and historic differences. The largest island in the Mediterranean awaits.

The gorgeous Italian island of Sicily can boast of a strange cultural paradox. It has become, to many, a symbol of Italy, yet it has a strong vein within it that pulses with a desire to be considered separate from all that is Italian.

This paradox is perhaps a reflection of the island’s fascinating diversity. It has so much for the traveller to explore, in its breadth and depth. Renting one of the many villas in Sicily is the ideal way to gain the freedom and independence to explore this at your leisure.

From Messina to Etna

Renting one of the delightful villas in Sicily will afford you different vantage points of the island, depending on where you are situated. But from all of them you’ll have a chance to enjoy the range of diverse landscapes if you can invest the time and energy. From the Strait of Messina to the glowering sublimity of Mount Etna, you’ll be able to to explore active volcanos and verdant fields, imposing cliffs and sunny beaches, tiny hamlets and large towns, snowy peaks and blistering sun kissed hills. The sheer amount of natural choices on this heavily cultivated island makes it a paradise for the nature lover.

From Phoenicians to Vespers

The depth of human history is dug deeper in certain areas of the globe where remnants of history remind us more of ages past. Staying in any of the villas in Sicily will give you a chance to tap into a very rich vein of such history. From the Phoenicians to the Vespers, there are so many stories to be told. At the very sites they occurred, you can explore the clashes of the Punic Wars, the occupation by the Vandals, the battles for the Byzantine Empire, the Arab occupation, and the advent of the Norman kingdoms. And this is just for starters as the important position of the island in the Mediterranean has seen it be a touchstone for many clashes between nations, tribes, cultures and empires.

From Africa to Europe

The diversity evident in this island is also largely due to its central location as a bridge between worlds. The courses of modern history have long been seen as the meeting of the East and the West, between regions such as Europe and Africa. The villas in Sicily will invite you to holiday in a place that stands in firmly in the path of this meeting. The Arab and African influences here are as potent as the Roman and Germanic, and the island boasts in its cultural make up today the influence of these vast cultural zones.

From Aracini to the Teatro Massimo

Few islands can boast the degree of artistic diversity as much as the largest in the Mediterranean. The cities of Palermo, Catania, Syracuse and Ragusa all yield a rich bounty of artistic and cultural highlights. From the days of Archimedes to current performances in the Teatro MessinaFeature Articles, there are an abundance of highlights from the philosophical and creative output of the island. The diversity of artistic endeavour waiting to be explored here retains the quality that has seen it influence the world. During your stay in any of the villas in Sicily you can trace this influence and explore its deep and storied heritage in your own time.

About the Author

Lisa Jeeves

Where to stay in Palermo

Hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs can be searched and reserved here.

Experiencing the Heart and Soul of Sicily

Isola dei conigli - Lampedusa
Isola dei conigli – Lampedusa

Staying in villas in Sicily is the best way to discover the true soul of the Mediterranean island. The al fresco dining experience is truly unforgettable.

There are many reasons why villas in Sicily are a popular choice for holiday-hunters from around the world. The beautiful beaches, warm weather and even warmer locals are all best experienced from the luxurious comfort of your own villa.

Renting your own private villa also adds a secret ingredient that helps make the whole Sicilian experience truly unforgettable – al fresco dining. Simply put, al fresco dining is eating in the great outdoors. It’s all about gathering together as a group and having a casual, festive experience while eating – and it’s the Italian way.

So how exactly does al fresco dining play such a pivotal role when it comes to renting villas in Sicily? Here are some of the more notable reasons.

Amazing Views

Wonderful vistas are the primary selling point of Sicilian villas, whether situated within a cloistered grove of trees or on top of a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea. Now imagine having breakfast, lunch and dinner with these wonderful views every single day of your vacation. That’s something that you won’t easily forget, and will probably fuel your imagination enough to make the experience a regular occurrence – as so many do.

Warm, Comforting Climate

The tropical climate of the island is why many people choose to book villas in Sicily in the first place – especially during the summer months. Of course, this makes the al fresco experience such pleasant one. This is especially true when there is a mild breeze – the warm embrace of the Sicilian sun coupled with the refreshing breeze definitely enhances al fresco dining.

Clean, Refreshed Palette

Speaking of refreshed, another reason why al fresco dining is such a hit here is because of how clean the air is. Air conditioning is great for quickly cooling off, but there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh, unfettered air to enhance your appetite and makes the food taste just that little bit better.

Casual, Relaxed Mood

The great thing about renting villas in Sicily is that you have the whole place to yourself and don’t need to worry about rubbing shoulders with any other guests. You can literally lounge about your villa for hours at a time and enjoy meals at your own pace. You can sit down, chat to your heart’s content and stare out into the distance as long as you want – this relaxed mood definitely works wonders for the digestion.

A Private, Intimate Experience

One last thing: you won’t need to worry about crowds of other people ruining your dining experience. You can laugh and chatter to your heart’s content or you can quietly enjoy the calm and quiet of your patio. You can light up a cigarette or enjoy a drink without worriesBusiness Management Articles, and you can dress up to commemorate a special event or simply lounge about in your most comfy ripped shirt – the choice of how you dine al fresco is yours.

Keep these points in mind and you’ll understand just how al fresco dining plays such a pivotal role when it comes to the memories made in those villas in Sicily.

About the Author

Lisa Jeeves

Where to stay in Lampedusa

Hotels, apartments, villas and condo hotels can be searched and reserved here.

Exploring the Small Islands Around Sicily

Isola dei conigli - Lampedusa
Isola dei conigli – Lampedusa

If you’re staying in one of the villas in Sicily, make sure you get out and explore the smaller islands as well. Here is an overview.

As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, situated off the tip of Italy’s boot, Sicily is an ideal place to rent holiday villas. In Sicily, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches, exceptional food and wine, and more history than you’ll be able to ingest in one visit.

Once you’ve explored the ancient streets of Palermo, walked the rocky beaches of the south, visited all six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and even climbed up the dominating spire of Mount Etna, what do you do next? How about you get off the island! No, this doesn’t mean we’re suggesting you pack up and leave your lovely villas in Sicily, but you should definitely make time to visit the array of smaller islands in the surrounding area on a day trip.

The Aeolian Islands

Named after the god of wind, the Aeolian Islands are a small group off Sicily’s north-eastern coast. Leave your villas in Sicily behind for the day and head to this beautiful volcanic cluster of islands to explore in depth. Comprising Vulcano, Lipari, Filicudi, Alicudy, Salina, Panarea and Stromboli, in the summer months these islands are buzzing with activity around the thermal spas, resorts and beaches. The numerous beaches range from black sand at the Spiaggia di Sabbia Nera, to the white stretches of Spiaggia Bianca. To get your fill of history, visit Lipari, the largest of these islands and head to the archaeological park where you can still see some remnants of a Greek Era castle and the later fortress. Then, pop over to Vulcano for a hot thermal spa treatment before taking a trip to the lesser-inhabited islands to get a taste of a more isolated life.

Lampedusa

The largest of the Pelagie Islands and the southernmost part of Italy, Lampedusa is well worth leaving the comfort of even the best villas in Sicily to visit. The history of the island dates back to the times of the Phoenicians, when it was used as a landing base, and over the years it has remained an important place in the Mediterranean. While there, visit Rabbit Beach, which was voted as the best beach in the world on Trip Adviser in 2013. Here, the unspoiled outlook of the nature reserve, with its white sandy beach and azure waters, is also famous for being one of the few places that Loggerhead Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

The Islets

Though these small islands may not be home to any of the rental holiday villas in Sicily, for a day trip, they have enough history and mythological interest to entertain for a day trip. Head to the Cyclops Islets, which are off the coast of Catania and, according to legend, are made of chunks of boulders hurled at Ulysses by the Cyclops. Near the town of Palermo, the Women’s Island is no longer the place for unfaithful wives, but instead has become home to scores of migratory birds.

When you visit the larger Aeolian island of Panarea, you should also take time to explore the islets that surround itComputer Technology Articles, which are part of the larger nature reserve. The only way to visit is by sea and it is a pleasure to spend some time island-hopping and experiencing the calm and solitude of this lovely area.

About the Author

Lisa Jeeves

Where to stay in Lampedusa

Hotels, apartments, villas and condo hotels can be searched and reserved here.

3 Top Things You Need To Know About Sicily

Lipari - Photo © Sossio
Lipari – Photo © Sossio

There are many reasons why villas in Italy located on the lovely island of Sicily are the perfect holiday getaway. Here are just three of those reasons.

When planning a trip to Italy, choosing a particular region to visit can be difficult. After all, every region (every town, in fact) has its own special attractions – from the sparkling coast lands of Amalfi and the vineyards of Tuscany to the masserias of Puglia. However, if you’re looking for a destination truly unlike any you’ll find in the rest of the country, you should consider booking in to one of the many charming villas villas in Italy on the island of Sicily. Here are some reasons why.

Fascinating and Diverse

When describing the island, one of the first things people may tell you is that it’s not like the rest of the country. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean, it has evolved in vastly different ways from the mainland, both topographically and culturally. Knowing how to speak schoolbook Italian, for example, may not be as useful as you may think, as the region has its own hybrid dialect (a remnant of the various ancient conquerors who have left their mark, sometimes literally, on the island) that, in itself, has variations depending on the towns, many of which are multi-ethnic.

Long-ago influxes from Normandy, Spain, Moorish North Africa, Greece, Phoenicia, and Rome, among others, have created an incredibly rich cultural heritage that is evident not only in the language, but in the customs, traditions, art, and architecture. This is evident from the largest ancient temples (such as those in the Agrigento) to the smallest villas in Italy here – and even in the lemon and orange groves, which were established by the island’s Arabic invaders.

Amazing Topography

The largest island in Italy and in the Mediterranean, Sicily boasts a landscape that is extremely varied and complex. Actually an archipelago rather than an individual island, it boasts four massive mountain ranges. The Hyblaean Mountains in the southeast houses the 9,100 acres of Pantalica Nature Reserve, which counts among its treasures the largest stone necropolis in Europe, with over 5,000 tombs carved into limestone cliffs. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. There is also a number of volcanoes (including Mount Etna, the highest at 3,370 meters and still very much active), minor islands, sparkling rivers, and miles and miles of coastlands. Further inland are woodlands and rolling hills, as well as flatlands with vineyards, farmlands, and fruit groves, many of which boast charming villas. In Italy, the land itself is as fascinating as its people, and nowhere is this truer than Sicily.

A Gastronomic Heaven

Ask people what they remember best about Sicily and chances are they’ll say ‘the food’. Sicily is truly a gastronomic heaven, boasting specialties both savoury and sweet. The secret, perhaps, is that Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of cuisines from many cultures: Greek, Roman, Norman, Arabic, Phoenician, Spanish, Moorish (even their gelato is often made with exotic flavours).

In Sicilian cooking, distinctive spices and flavours are paired with the belief in cooking with love, using the best and freshest ingredients. When asked the key to being a good cook, it isn’t uncommon to hear a Sicilian chef say ‘you must cook from the heart!’

It would be near impossible to name just one ‘signature’ Sicilian dish, but Sfincione and caponata alla Siciliana are two dishes you definitely need to sample while staying in one of the villas in Italy on the island. (Every household boasts they have the best recipe.) As a plus, Sicilian cuisine is considered to be very healthy. In fact, Sicily is known to be one of the birthplaces of the Mediterranean DietFeature Articles, which has been scientifically proven to have major health benefits.

About the Author

Lisa Jeeves

Where to stay in Lipari

Hotels, apartments, villas and condo hotels can be searched and reserved here.