Italy is always at the top of everyone’s favorite destinations, but it can be overcrowded and overly touristic. We decided to escape the crowds of the mainland and fly down to Sicily, an idyllic Italian island that effortlessly captures La Dolce Vita (“the sweet life”). While there are many places to stay in Sicily, we recommend the tantalizing town of Taormina,  set on the cliffs of the Tyrrhenian Coast. While hotels are lovely, we always prefer staying in our own private villa so that we can feel more like a local so be sure to consider villa rentals in Sicily.

How to Get There

There are many ways to get to the island of Sicily. If you’re coming from North America, you’ll have to fly to a connector city in Italy such as Rome, Milan, Naples, or Venice. Other major cities in Europe have connections to the island such as London, Athens, Amsterdam, and Istanbul among others.


  • Catania Airport: Catania Airport is the best airport to fly into if you want to visit the east coast of Sicily (Taormina, Messina, Syracuse).
  • Palermo Airport: Located on the northern coast in the capital city of Sicily.
  • Trapani Airport: Located on the western coast of Sicily, this airport serves many low-cost airlines.


There are various ferries to Sicily from several areas of Italy. You can sail from Civitavecchia (port of Rome), Genoa, Livorno, Naples, Salerno, Reggio Calabria, and Vibo Valentinia.

There are also ferries that visit Sicily from the countries of Malta and Tunisia.


While this is the most expensive way of visiting Sicily, helicopters from Rome or Naples are the quickest way of arriving.

Must See Cities

  • Taormina – This cliff-side city emanates romance. From its fabulous beaches to its ancient Greek Theater, Taormina is a must for any visitor to Sicily. This is where the posh Sicilians go to see and be seen.
  • Palermo – Palermo is the largest city in Sicily and it’s known as the regions capital. While the area is known as grittier than other areas of Sicily, it still offers plenty of historical sites, art galleries, and activities.
  • Catania – Catania has one of the main airports on the island of Sicily, but it offers much more than that.
  • Aeolian Islands – These islands are a sailors dream! Rent a sailboat or yacht and cruise around the islands, stopping off to see the constantly erupting Stromboli and the beautiful beaches of Panarea.
  • Cefalù – While Cefalù is not as posh as Taormina, it still has plenty to offer. Nestled on a rocky cliff with views of the Mediterranean, Cefalù is still an undiscovered gem and its only about 45 minutes from the capital of Palermo.
  • Siracusa (Syracuse) – Ancient Greek philosophers loved the city of Syracuse. This is a city for archeology and history lovers where you can explore the antique temples of the town.

Sicilian Food

Sicily is known for its delectable, fresh ingredients and incredibly crafted food. With its seaside location, Sicily is known for its fresh seafood among many other delicacies. When in doubt, always try the Sicilian pizza. It will never disappoint!

Here are our top recommended foods to try in Sicily:

  • Spaghetti ai ricci – A twist on your traditional Spaghetti. Since Sicily is located on the sea, this delicacy is made with sea urchins to create a seaside spin on spaghetti.
  • Polpo Bollito – Another seaside treat, the polpo bollito is fresh boiled octopus.
  • Cannoli – Yes, we have cannoli’s here in the U.S., but none compare to the fresh, sweet taste of a local Sicilian cannoli. A cannoli is made with fried dough and stuffed with ricotta cheese.
  • Granita — Granita is an absolute must when visiting Sicily in those hot summer months. Granita is made with fresh fruit, ice, and sugar — think of granita as the original Italian ice.


  • Hike Mt. Etna – Mt. Etna is an active volcano on the island of Sicily. As the tallest active volcano in Europe at almost 11,000 feet, it’s also one of the most active volcanoes. While in Sicily, take the time to hike this beautiful volcano, which was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
  • Go Wine Tasting – While Italy is known for its plethora of great wines, the wines in Sicily stand out from the rest of the wines in Italy. With vineyards set along the volcano of Mt. Etna, the vines are planted at high altitude and in volcanic soil, creating a complex taste that differs from the regions of Tuscany and Umbria.
  • Cooking Class – Learn from the best chefs in Italy by taking a cooking class at a local eatery. Choose from pizza making, pasta making, or even cannoli classes!
  • Beach Time – Sicily has plenty of incredible beaches around the island. We loved swimming in the warm summer sea in Taormina and renting a boat to take us to Isola Bella.
  • Boat Rental – With hundreds of miles of coastline, Sicily is the perfect place to explore by boat. Rent a boat in Taormina and yacht around the nearby Aeolian Islands!