An intense bitter-sweet experience in Sicily: here the sun shines bright, the art treasures span from astonishing baroque architectural beauty in Catania and its high quality of the cuisine, to the refined architecture of Magna Graecia. In the middle the artistic beauty of the Arab craftsmanship mingled within Norman austerity: some of Europe’s finest palazzi and villas are located here in Taormina, palermo, Catania. Rather complex also the landscape that includes Mt Etna, a crustal clear aquamarine coastline with the Aeolian Islands (Isole Eolie), the seven islands of Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Alicudi and Filicudi.
They include a huge 200km volcanic ridge, between Mt Etna and the Vesuvius above Naples. A unique kind of volcanic characteristics which is part Unesco’s World Heritage list.
Also astonishing is Parco Naturale Regionale Delle Madonie: 40,000-hectare of forests which include the nearly-extinct Nebrodi fir trees, existing since the last Ice Age! between Palermo and Cefalù with the Madonie mountain range inside and some of the highest mountains in Sicily after Mt Etna such as Pizzo Carbonara (1979m).
In winter Piano Battaglia is the only place in Sicily, after Etna, where you can ski.
The slopes are full of legends and wolves, beautiful wildcats and majestic eagles. In summertime, many agriturismi will offer you the tasty rural cuisine: prepare your belly to roasted lamb and goat, grilled mushrooms and pasta with sauce.
Castelbuono is capital of the Madonie area and boasts very good restaurants and some excellent pastry shops such as the historic Fiasconaro: you need to try the hand-wrapped Mannetto sponge cakes, spiked with candied fruit and/or chocolate.
For travelling to Sicily, book a ferry on Ok-Ferry.com (click here)!