THE ISLAND

It’s been a while since our last post about coast to coast. After telling that story, now comes a new one about the island…Sicily 😉

Our journey started in Messina, where we arrived with a ferry from the main land. After a few hours in the car we arrived to Palermo. We’ve been spending one month there. In this blog post we will also share with you; Cefalù, Corleone, beaches around etc 🙂

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Since now we are in October, lets start with remembering the sunny and warmer days of September, and the beaches!

 

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mondello

 

  • Mondello

This is the most common beach where people from Palermo and tourists hang out. Classy and beautiful landscape in between the mountains. One of the nicest water around.

One of our last days in Sicily it was really wavy so Danilo and lots of other people were surfing. At this beach there are a lot of activities you can do like surfing, wind surfing, sailing etc.

 

 

  • Isola delle Femmine

Taking the highway that heads to the airport, near Capaci, there is this area called Isola delle femmine. Literally the ladies’ island, because the legend says that the fishermen were jealous of their wives, so during the fishing season they brought them to an island to avoid unfaithfulness.

This is a great location because it’s easy to find space on the beach and its’s not as crowded as Mondello.

  • Baia dei Francesi

Our favorite place. Getting there feels like a wild journey…the access is not that easy, deep steps, much bushes, but it’s worth it. There is no space at all for getting comfortable since it’s rocks all over, the real reason to go there however is the water.  Extremely clear and beautiful color. Around there are no bars, so good to bring food and water.

  • Acapulco

Worth a visit, but you must be lucky. If its to wavy it’s hard to both get in and out of the water. In between Mondello and Palermo, just behind the mount Pellegrino so the view is really nice.

 

 

In Palermo there is much to see. Historic buildings, traditional markets and different stiles due to the conquests, for example Arabic style, Catalan gothic style and Renaissance influences. Also music and food have big importance!

 

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Teatro Massimo and Politeama are the symbols of the city. Ballarò, la Vucceria and Mercato delle Pulci are historical markets where you can find the most typical street food of the city, such as; fried fish, octopus salads, bbq meat – stigghiolas, gelati and granite, arancine, cannoli siciliani and sfincione (Palermo pizza style) and much, much more. Hard to be on a diet in Sicily. The most typical flavors of gelato in Sicily are pistachio and citrus.

 

 

One amazing spot to visit is Scala dei turchi. It’s the perfect place for pictures with really cool effects of the white “stairs” and in the background the turquoise water.

You can also swim there, but it’s a bit hard to get in the water, also a lot of algas, rocks and seaweed. One type of seaweed stings like jellyfish so you better be careful.  Luckily the guards have ammoniac as a first aid kit, so if you get stung, like we and a lot of others did, they can help you.

 

 

On our way back from La Scala dei turchi we had a nice stop at Valle dei templi (the valley of temples). If you are interested in ancient history this is a must, it’s a nice, long walk along the ruins of greek art and architecture.

 

 

 

 

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Cefalù

Not to far from Palermo is the lovely and beautiful city Cefalù. Not to touristic for being September, but we imagine that more people go here during summer, July and August. We spent the morning on the beach and the afternoon walking around the tiny streets, some shopping and of course a gelato and coffee break at the piazza.

 

 

 

 

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The road to Corleone was an adventure…we skipped the highway and detoured up around the mountains, on old non maintained roads, through tunnels without lights. It was worth it though for the old school feeling and the view over the fantastic landscape.

Arrival in Corleone: siesta time, around two PM. Everything closed. We got ourselves a nice walk however in this old city. What we missed, because of the bad timing, was the mafia museum and the Godfather bar, we have to plan better next time 🙂

 

A nice stop between Palermo and Corleone is Bosco della ficuzza. A national reserve park, with amazing nature and a cute village.

 

 

 

This ceramics are really common in Sicily – Teste di moro – and of course it’s a story behind them, a story of love, revenge and mystery.

The legend takes place 1100 AD in the Arabic quarter of Palermo, when the Moors had conquered Sicily and builded ceramic workshops all over the island. One day a Moorish merchant saw a beautiful maiden, caring for her plants on her balcony. He was mesmerized by her beauty and fell in love, as did she. It was a passionate affair. Soon she learned though that the Moro had to return to his home country – to his wife and family. The young woman was blinded with rage and heartache. In the night when he was asleep she cut off his head with a kitchen knife, so he could never leave her. The morning after she brought the head to her balcony and used it as a pot for basil – the symbol for passion and loyalty. The basil grew big and the locals in the village envied it so much so they ordered the construction of similar “pots”, made of ceramic.

 

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