Sicily is the largest island in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the South of the Italian Peninsula, just off the toe of the Italian boot.
For almost 3,000 years Sicily has been a crossroad of world civilizations who have all left their mark. A wealth of magnificent architectures, unique traditions have been entwined with a stunning natural beauty of the island.
From the sea to the mountains and countryside, to the volcanos and fishing villages, Sicily boasts unlimited experiences and breath-taking sceneries.
Sicily is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Among these, a must-see attraction is the Scala dei turchi (“Staircase of the Turks”), which is a peculiar white cliff made of a soft, limestone and blinding white marl. Over time, the erosion of wind and sea has carved the cliff and turned it into a long stretch of ‘stairways’ with ‘terraces’ at every corner. Also, not to be missed, the archaeological Area of Agrigento, with its well-preserved ruins of seven large Greek temples dated back around 600 BC, and the tallest volcano in Europe, Mount Etna.
Sicily’s natural geography has made it a unique source for delicious foods. While seafood is plentiful, what makes Sicily unique is its soil of the agricultural lands. Volcanic eruptions created very fertile soil, allowing for the production of oranges, lemons, olives, tomatoes, grapes, pistachios, eggplants and more. The land surrounding the active volcano Etna contains extremely fertile soil. Combined with a dry climate and strong thermal excursions, this area is the ideal location for growing three types of blood oranges: moro, tarocco, and sanguinello. While each variety contains its own unique characteristics, all three boast juicy, beautiful red interiors.
Sicily is particularly known for the Pachino IGP tomato. Pachino tomatoes are red, round, intensely fragrant, and are an explosion of freshness; sweet and savory with an abundance of flavor. Pachino tomatoes are the main ingredients of sauces, salads, and many more fragrant Italian dishes.
Also, Sicily has a very long history regarding the olive harvest and currently counts more than 25 cultivars. Among these there are the Castelvetrano olives, a variety grown exclusively in the Belice Valley, in the West of Sicily, and protected under the European PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) seal.
One of the most popular dishes in Sicily is Arancini, a street food of Arabic origin that is perfectly crispy, with a hot filled center. Arancini is a rice ball that is filled on the inside, breaded on the outside, and then fried until crispy. An illustrious Sicilian thought of the breading around the ball of rice as a simple technique to preserve rice during long road trips. The classic Arancini are filled with a stewed pork ragù, peas, or with a butter and béchamel sauce. Today, you can find countless varieties of this popular street food through Sicily.