Sicily never ranked high on my travel list. But on a rainy day in the middle of Belgian October, it promised to be a great gateway from work and city life, with sun, sea, blue sky, good food and amazing landscape all waiting to be enjoyed. All at an affordable price.
Ryanair took us late one evening to Trapani, and this is where our short journey into Sicily began. Sicily, as I was to find out, has the fine smell of seafood, holiday and wears a scent I always fall for — that of the salty Mediterranean breeze.
Travel in Sicily
While Trapani is not my ideal city for a holiday, it is a rather convenient landing point and a nice intro into the Sicilian life. We explored the city the following day, rays of sun guiding our way.
Trapani has charm at a closer look. There is always something utterly seducing and soul-soothing about walking on a street packed with ancient buildings showing signs of decay mixed with past grandeur. The buildings look as if they should have collapsed a long time ago and yet, strangely enough, are still very much inhabited.
I like to let my hand slide along those walls painted in lively colours that wear off but that match the summer-like background setting so well. I like to get their pulse, imagine their stories. A walk in places like these feels like being in a parallel dimension, in which reality is but a distant memory. With the sea waves hitting the shore in the untamed wind, colours sprinkled everywhere, Sicily looked good.
What to Eat in Sicily
And it was. If anything, Sicily is food heaven. If you are passionate (or nuts) about good quality coffee, real coffee, you shall be delighted in Sicily, of course. Add sensational gelato to the list of goodies – one can never go wrong with Italian/Sicilian products anyway – and all is well with the world.
We sat down to plan our next move over a rich, delightful and extremely affordable lunch (count +/- 30€ for 2 people with primi and secondi piatti including 1L of wine which in Sicily costs about 5-6 €) at Osteria La Dolce Vita – a small restaurant with a simple, unpretentious decoration governed by a giant picture of Marcello Mastroiani and some truly memorable food.
We decided on the spot that we wanted to climb Mount Etna, an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily. We had arrived in Sicily without hiking boots and had no adapted equipment whatsoever. Neither did we know at that precise moment how high a mountain Etna really was.
The accommodation we booked for the night at B&B Villa Loriana was in a splendid location, and I don’t think I have ever found a more considerate and helpful host than Gianluca. The breakfast was copious and his guidance extremely valuable as he gave tips on how to do the trek the following day.
Continued on next page