- The ocean
If you’re going to visit Sicily, make sure you book a hotel with an ocean view. And make time to sit and enjoy it. You’re never far from the sparkling Mediterranean Sea so you might as well take advantage of it. One of our favorite things to do after a long day of sightseeing was to enjoy a bottle of wine on our room’s balcony overlooking the bay.
- The markets
Visit the many outdoor markets that make Italy what it is. Produce, fresh breads, seafood right from the sea… it’s all there in the market. Whether you’re cooking for yourself while you’re there, or just looking to pick up a snack while you’re wandering around its ancient streets, the market will have something for you. Even if you’re not interested in buying anything, it’s a great opportunity to take pictures and practice your Italian with some of the locals. Just don’t get offended if they laugh at your accent! Before we went we spent a few weeks learning the language – and thought we were really getting the hang of it until we spoke with the locals.
- The volcano
Mount Etna is certainly a sight to see in person. It is Sicily’s tallest mountain and Europe’s tallest active volcano. Before you take a lift up, I recommend making a stop in Taormina. There are lots of tours that will take you there if you don’t want to rent a car. Taormina sits directly opposite Mt. Etna and offers stunning views of the peak. In fact, because it’s so pitcheresque, Taormina was a destination for 19th century English aristocracy. After you stop there for lunch and some photos, tkae a ride up to the top of the mountain. The views are breathtaking. But remember to pack some warm clothes for the ride!
There are, of course, so many other things to see and do if you’re going to spend some time in Italy. These three are the three that stick out most in my memory of the trip. If you want a real Italian experience, you must see them.