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Sensational Sicily


Doorways Villa Vacations


Dear Friends,

Sicily was recently voted #1 in TripAdvisor's "Top 10 Mediterranean Islands" because of its combination of stunning natural beauty and ancient cultural traditions. Fifteen years ago, I organized a Bryn Mawr College Alumnae trip and was captivated by this beautiful island, woven like a tapestry from the threads of the many civilizations that have conquered her, leaving behind a legacy of magnificent sites.

One of the things I love best about Sicily is that it feels like a real, living place rather than just a beautiful island resort. Visiting Sicily is like stepping back in time, yet there are modern highways and sophisticated, stylish reminders of mainland Italy. You will find Sicily a fascinating and varied place to explore, and the scenery is heartbreakingly beautiful.

There is easy access to Sicily on low-cost airlines from Rome, and Eurofly has direct flights from Kennedy to Palermo. Stay two weeks, if you can one near Palermo and the other on the East Coast, near Siracusa, Catania or Taormina. Sicily is beautiful year round, but particularly pleasant from March through June and September until mid-November.

Ciao, Kit


1. MYTHOLOGY: The one-eyed Cyclops monster lived on Mount Etna. Scylla and Charybdis guarded the Strait of Messina. Persephone was abducted near Enna.

2. WEATHER: Sicily's Mediterranean climate means mild-to-warm winters and warm-to-hot summers. Sicily is pleasant even in the winter; summer crowds are gone and temperatures are likely to be in the 60's.

3. TEMPLES: Sicily has more intact Greek temples than Greece. Don't miss the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento; the abandoned Greek city of Selinunte; the temple at Segesta, standing alone in an idyllic setting; and the amazing view of the coast from the Greco-Roman amphitheater in Taormina, with Mount Etna and the sea in the background.

4. FOOD, WINE & OLIVE OIL: Sicily has earned the nickname "God's Kitchen" because of its wonderful cuisine. Click to read more about the Food & Wines of Sicily.

5. PEOPLE: The heart and soul of Sicily is its people. Sicilians are proud of their island, identity and culture and often consider themselves Sicilian before Italian.

6. ARTS: Archimedes, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, was born in Siracusa, and another famous Siracusan, Epicharmus, is credited with inventing comedy. The Monreale mosaics represent the largest decoration of this kind in Italy, with at least 100 million glass and stone tiles. Palermo's Teatro Massimo is Italy's largest opera house and the third largest in Europe. Sicilian composers include Bellini, Pacini and Scarlatti.

7. MOUNT ETNA: Europe's tallest active volcano (10,900 ft) is one of the most active and most studied in the world. Click to read more about Mount Etna.

8. BEACHES: Surrounded by three seas, Sicily has beautiful beaches all around its coastline. Some of the best are Mondello Lido (near Palermo), Mortelle (near Messina), Spiaggia Sabbie Nere (with black sand), and Lido Mazzarro & Giardini-Naxos (near Taormina).

9. CITIES: The cities of Sicily boast some of the world's most remarkable monuments. Major cities include Palermo, Catania, Messina and Siracusa. Some of Italy's best examples of Baroque architecture can be found in Noto, Ragusa and Acireale.

10. ROADS: The A19 Palermo-Catania, the A20 Palermo-Messina, the A29 Palermo-Trapani-Mazara del Vallo, and the A18 Messina-Catania make it easy to travel from one part of the island to another.


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