We voyage through Sicily following our travel writer Ben Nguyen’s adventures. Squeezing eight places in seven days during peak season sounds hectic but his incredible photos reveal otherwise. Pure relaxation amongst stunning backdrops, Sicily is one beautiful place, and we can’t wait to visit.
Palermo & the Northern coast
We landed in Palermo in the peak of the summer holiday in August. Palermo is such an exciting city with so much energy and exceptionally good food, you could call it the Bangkok of Italy, if not Europe. It was our base for 3 nights while we visited the many beautiful places nearby: Mondello Beach, Tonnara di Scopello & Riserva naturale dello Zingaro in the West, and Cefalú in the East. However, by the last day, the crowd just became too much. It was time to get out.
A Sicilian farm stay
After a 2.5 hours drive from Palermo, we gladly arrived in Agriturismo Feudo Muxarello, a beautiful farm in the mountain in Aragona in the South. The farm is immaculately maintained, surrounded by a fruit garden with a lovely pool and an amazing view of the valley. Every evening, dinner was cooked personally by our host Sandra with everything that is freshly produced on the farm, served on one big long table where we shared with other guests as well as Sandra’s family.
Sicily is a melting pot of so many cultures from the Mediterranean and beyond, the food is amazing everywhere on the island, yet nothing is better than simple and scrumptious Italian home cooking. Over dinner, through guests who are fluent in Italian, we heard many stories about the farm from Sandra’s husband Calogero, like how there was barely any but a 3 hours rain this year in April, which basically saved the year’s harvest; or to call the olive oil extra virgin, the olives have to go from harvest to press within 48 hours, even though their farm always does it on the same day; how their olive oil is sold for 8€/litre wholesale but ends up 3.5€/bottle retail, while the government is too corrupt to investigate what really goes into it.
Agrigento & the Mediterranean coast
The farm is a perfect base to visit many sights in Agrigento. We made it to the secluded Spiaggia di Torre Salsa, where we had an entire stretch of the beach to ourselves, and had a lovely dinner at the nearby Bovo Marina. Even when we visited the Valle deli Templi (Valley of the Temples) and Scala dei Turchi (The Turkish Steps), two of the biggest attractions of Sicily, it was still so much less crowded than the North.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, it takes at least a week to see the island in any detail, yet for us it still feels like there is so much more to explore. It will take some planning depending on the time of the year that you go, but the result will be greatly rewarding.