So in love with these photos took in Sicily at Sciacca by my love Matteo Volta.
So in love with these photos took in Sicily at Sciacca by my love Matteo Volta.
If you are looking for a resort in Sicily you need to go in Verdura Resort, a real heaven on earth. If you choose this resort, you’ll not stay in a room but in a full comfort extra luxury home with two kilometers of sea coast. Being at this resort is like living in the Maldives: it’s one of the most prestigious resorts in all the isle.
Verdura resort is located in Sciacca, a beautiful area near Agrigento, and whoever decides to visit Sciacca dreams of being in this extra luxurious place. Many VIPs go to this resort too. Inside the structure you’ll find so many restaurants where you’ll taste traditional Sicilian foods like fresh seafoods cooked with the olive oil of the Verdura Agricultural Society. They make a very scrupulous check of the quality of the products before selling them to consumers. Besides, the Verdura Resort Society also produces some fruits and vegetables like Sicilian almonds, herbs, lemons, oranges and vegetables.
And that’s not all. The attractions you will find in this wonderful place are uncountable. Your journey will be ended before you realize it is beginning, it was what happened to me. For example, let’s talk about the SPA: I think it’s something supreme; inside it has everything … even hairdressers! You probably will not be able to try all the comforts and services of relax area with a full day at the SPA. The Width of this area is 4000 square meters and eleven rooms are reserved for couples sauna and massages. It’s not a dream, everything is true!
The structure has a golf course too and it’s really ample. Opening a very qualified golf course was one of the main dreams of Sir. Rocco Forte, one of the founders of Verdura Resort, and he did it with the help of the Californian architect Kyle Phillips who made a state-of-the-art resort. And this one is not only among the best golf resorts in Sicily: it’s one of the best and award-winning golf resorts in Italy! The European Tour Sicilian Open 2012 took place here too.
If you don’t like golf, or only like to watch it on tv, you can do some fitness and swimming activities. Verdura resort has a 170 square meter gym and all around this area there are swimming pools and watercourses.
When you have done all these activities your day is certainly ended and your main desire is to go back into your room. Room? Like I said, it’s not a simple room but a villa! I stayed for my 5 days of Verdura Resort in a really priviledged house called “Presidential Suite”. It was the top: a 165 square meter home with everything a girl can dream of inside. My dream became real for those 5 days and I wish it will do for you too.
Ortigia: you can feel the history of Ortigia, an area of Syracuse, in the everyday life, walking through streets, eating foods, looking at buildings and the columned structures. Many witnesses demonstrate that this history is closely linked with the Hellenic colonization: also the Greek historian known as Tucidide talked about that. A very suggestive testimony is represented by columns of tempio di Apollo. You can see this temple by walking through Ponte Umbertino, at the beginning of Ortigia: in this way you’ll see two very beautiful things together, Umbertino bridge and Tempio di Apollo. Umbertino bridge is in fact a very romantic place: my advice, you have to see it after sunset, when everything will be more folkloristic and dreamier then ever.
I had my vacation in Ortigia some months ago and I discovered that this place is the most ancient area of Siracuse; it was the heart of the city for political and religious activities in the Hellenic age.
What to visit in Ortigia
Here we are, I’m talking about Ortigia and I feel like I’m there again, losing myself in the streets and traditions. Life of the city revolves around piazza Duomo, where there’s the most important cathedral in town, il Duomo. Piazza Duomo is located at the highest point of Ortigia and its architectural structure is like a jewel made 2400 years ago.
All the historical attractions of the town are not so far from this square: Ortigia’s area is extended over less than two square kilometers. For example, not so far from Piazza Duomo you will find Tempio di Apollo, located in Piazza Pancali. It’s the most ancient temple in town and it has undergone many changes over the years.
You have to visit Castello di Maniace too, it was built in the Swabian age in Syracuse, and Fonte Aretusa, a very beautiful reflected pool where the legend of Aretusa and Alfeo was set.
But now let’s talk about one of the most folkloristic things in the city: Ortigia Market in Syracuse. In this place, you’ll feel the real soul of the town and purchase fresh fish and fruit. If you are hungry, along the way you’ll find some street fast food where you can buy some typical foods like cartocci fritti, ostriche and ricci marini. My advice, you have to taste citrus fruits too: they are fantastic!
Noto is a wonderful area of Siracusa, in Sicily. The link between Noto and the birth of Baroque is really prominent and you can admire it everywhere. That’s because in 1693 there was an earthquake which destroyed all the town, so politicians had a completely new downtown built in Baroque style. They chose the most qualified architects and artists of the time.
The signs of Baroque’s that you can find in that area are much more colorful and fancy than ones you see in other places of Italy.
Having breakfast at Noto is a great idea! You can have it walking through Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the most popular street of the city, where you will find some beautiful confectionery. There are many typical products that you must taste. Some confectionery’s names that you have to ask for: mandorla, pasta reale, frutta martorana, torrone, mustazzuoli, facciuna, biscotti, cannoli siciliani, cassata, brioche alla ricotta, granita alla mandorla e schiumone.
A place where you can go to have breakfast at Noto is “Caffè Sicilia”. The most important Italian newspaper of gourmet criticism, “Gambero Rosso”, compares this cafe with some of most beautiful historical buildings of the city to explain the supreme quality of foods it makes.
Dining in Noto is a wonderful idea too! If you want my advice, the best choice you can make for dining there is caponata with local tomatoes, but before eating that you must to taste a very special Sicilian appetizer: arancini. Another typical food is ricci (sea urchins): at Noto, the seafood is totally fresh and you can also eat it without dressing.
I will list below some of my favorite restaurants to dine out in Noto. All of these are not so far from downtown.
… And now, have a good dinner in Noto!
Caltagirone is an area located in the center of the Sicily, near Catania. The story of this town is very interesting and full of traditions. I think it’s very important to go there to capture the deep soul of Sicily: you will learn many historical and mythological curiosities. It’ll be amazing to lose yourself amongst the Hellenic and the Saracen buildings and works. Have you even heard of the ceramics of Caltagirone?
A couple of years ago, a really famous Italian brand of clothes, Dolce & Gabbana, took inspiration for its collection from the ceramics of Caltagirone … and it’s a way to understand the importance of these potteries! These stylists motivated their choice with the phrase: “A product’s quality is more important than money”. Dolce & Gabbana also inserted some crochet works, another Sicilian tradition, into the same clothes collection.
I have already talked about the Arabic influence on Caltagirone’s history. The connection between these two cultures is so deep it also explains the name of the town: it seems that “Caltagirone” is morphologically linked to the Arabic noun “qal’at”. And there’s a legend that links these cultures too, depicted on potteries of Caltagirone: the story deals with a white girl and a black boy that fall in love. She loved spending her time cultivating plants and he one day declared his own love for her. She was in love with him too but later she discovered that the boy already had a family in the east and he wanted to go there. From that time, the girl planned a murder: the murder of her lover. She killed him while he slept and then she cut off his head, using it as pot to grow a basil plant. This was for her the only way to never lose her lover.
What to do in Caltagirone
Caltagirone’s history is not the only reason to visit the city. You can find a really good panoramic view if you go up the scala di Santa Maria del Monte steps. The view is superlative!
If you have more time to visit the town and you don’t know what to do in Caltagirone, another must is the Museo dei Cappuccini. It’s an ancient convent where you can admire many historical finds. This Museum is now also a school.
In the top list of what to do in Caltagirone we have the ponte di San Francesco (S. Francesco’s bridge) too. It’s located in the downtown of the city and it’s very romantic! Its walls are built with the Pottery of Caltagirone.
Restaurants in Caltagirone
And now let’s talk about restaurants in Caltagirone. My first choice? No doubt, you must go to “Il locandiere”! It’s located in the center of the town, near the “scala di Santa Maria del Monte”. The food is amazing: I recommend the fish menu. You can ask about the menù a base di antipasti di pesce caldi e freddi (hot and cold fish appetizers menu), it’s the best! A good dessert is semifreddo al pistachio (pistachio semifreddo).