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Journeys in SlowMotion in Sicily

  • Slow Motion journeys in Sicily
  • Slow Motion journeys in Sicily
  • Slow Motion journeys in Sicily
  • Slow Motion journeys in Sicily
42  holidays found view
See for yourself...
  • beautiful, intoxicating, inspiring
  • Baroque riches & archaeological treasures
  • magnificent temples amid timeless scenery
  • glorious coastline fringed by the glittering Mediterranean
  • fresh fish & seafood, and the home of Marsala wine

 

Everything in Sicily is more. The sea seems bluer, the light clearer, the colours more vivid, and everywhere there is a sense of life being lived to the full. There is freedom, openness and daring – from the rich diversity of the island’s cuisine to the bold, passionate nature of its people. And having been ruled over by the Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Saracens and Normans, the Mediterranean’s largest island has a rich and multi-layered history which further enhances its unique allure. In the east, ancient monuments, Baroque towns and brooding, all-seeing Etna vie for your attention; while, farther west, timeless landscapes and a tranquil coast prove every bit as seductive. Perhaps Sicily is, as Sigmund Freud claimed, “the loveliest region of Italy: a stunning orgy of colours, scents and lights – a great delight.”

Read on to discover more of what Sicily has to offer...

The Zingaro Nature Reserve

Much of the long, craggy finger of the Capo di San Vito is now a stunning nature reserve – a truly unspoiled stretch of Mediterranean coastline. Take a dip in the impossibly blue sea from one of a number of rocky coves, and venture inland where the slopes are home to a wealth of flora and fauna, including 700 plant species and various birds of prey, including peregrine falcons, buzzards, Bonelli’s Eagle (named after Italian naturalist Franco Andrea Bonelli), and the even rarer Golden Eagle.

Astonishing Segesta

See Segesta and gasp! Emerging like a mirage from a green and tranquil valley, this great Doric temple and its 36 columns, which have stood here for two-and-a-half millennia, makes an immediate and everlasting impression. This curiously roofless edifice (no-one quite knows why, but it is thought to have been left incomplete) is framed by Monte Bernardo and Monte Barbaro; and a short walk up the slopes of the latter brings you to a superb Greek theatre, offering a fabulous vista over the hills and coast.

Marsala’s Sweet Delight

Marsala’s name is derived from the Arabic Marsah el Allah (‘Port of God'), and, like many of Sicily’s strategically important settlements, has been ruled by various invaders over the years – Romans, Carthaginians and Vandals, to name but a few. In the 18th century, though, it was the turn of the English; but they came not to conquer, but to make wine. The town’s eponymous fortified tipple was ‘discovered’ by merchant John Woodhouse in 1773, and comes in both dry and sweet varieties – the latter pairing nicely with the classic Italian dessert zabaglione, for which it is also a key ingredient.

Escape to the Egadi Islands

For a taste of Sicily with a North African accent, you would do well to take the hourlong boat trip to Marettimo, the westernmost of the secluded and little-known Egadi Islands. Here, whitewashed houses, colourful fishing villages, sun-scorched hills and tropical vegetation lend an exotic feel, and with only one proper road there is hardly any traffic to worry about. In fact, all other concerns – and the trappings of modern life – will be left far behind: this is the perfect place to tune out and switch off, amid some truly idyllic scenery.

Valley of the Temples

The great Greek temples of ancient Akragas, occupying a splendid location on a ridge near the modern town of Agrigento, date back to the 6th and 5th centuries BC and are the finest Doric temples to be found outside of mainland Greece. The Valley of the Temples, as the wider area is known, is one of the Mediterranean’s greatest ancient sites – a beautiful rural landscape characterised by century-old olive and almond trees – and the nearby Archaeological Museum is also well worth a visit.

Ragusa & the Realm of the Baroque

Following eastern Sicily’s devastating earthquake of 1693, a lavishly ornamental style of Baroque arose from the rubble, with architects often using shades of grey and black from volcanic lava in their audacious projects. Splendid Ragusa – plus Ibla, its dreamy little counterpart – is much admired, and in sleepy Scicli you will almost have the churches and palaces to yourself. But the city of Noto (rebuilt in an entirely different location) is perhaps the most harmonious example of all, its twirling palaces and graceful squares dominated by an enormous Baroque cathedral.

Siracusa & the Necropolis di Pantalica

There’s certainly no shortage of things to see in Siracusa, remembered by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”. Besides the magnificent ruins in the archaeological park, make sure you visit the old quarter on Ortigia Island with its peeling palazzi and narrow streets. And don’t miss the nearby Necropolis di Pantalica, where you can walk past the foundations of a Bronze Age palace and a 'village' of cave dwellings to discover the extraordinary Anapo Valley, characterised by orchards, willows and plane trees.

Dazzling Taormina

Writers, aristocrats and celebrities have flocked to the fashionable Grand Tour resort of Taormina since the great poet and philosopher Goethe extolled its virtues in the 18th century. Indeed, sitting on one of the original limestone benches in the ancient Greek theatre, it is hard to contend with his assertion that “no audience in the world had a better view”. From this magical, cliff-top setting, you can gaze right down the coast, fringed by a turquoise sea and backed by the looming presence of magisterial Mount Etna.

Nebrodi National Park

The vast majority of visitors to Sicily bypass the Nebrodi Park en route to more obvious attractions. But beauty is all around – there are valleys, lakes and beech forests to explore on foot – and there is a rich variety of flora and fauna for nature-lovers. Food-lovers come here too, drawn by the indigenous black-skinned pig, the suino nero. The Sicilian salsiccia made from this small, free-roaming animal have become quite a delicacy.
To delve deeper and linger longer, we suggest:
Treasures of Eastern Sicily
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This is a land of fascinating history and traditions that you explore by car from four elegant hotels in four exciting locations.
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Uncover the fascinating history, culture and landscapes of western Sicily by car, then kick back on the idyllic Egadi Islands.
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Western Sicily's Temples & Coast
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From Greek Temples to the Zingaro Nature Reserve, discover Western Sicily by car, with its rewarding discoveries, far-reaching views and gastronomic delights.
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Using your hire car, you can readily explore this fascinating corner of western Sicily to discover a wealth of cultural and historical interest.
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Baroque Riches of Sicily
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Baroque treasures and timeless landscapes
Autumn and spring are great times to discover the island’s fascinating heritage. Stay in atmospheric hotels in three magnificent Baroque cities.
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1 Sep-12 Nov 2016 & 19 Mar-30 Apr 2017
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