Sicily Travel Guide
While most travelling to Italy make a dash for Rome or Venice, those who arrive on the sun-soaked shores of Sicily find one of the country’s most spectacular spots – bustling cities, smoky volcanoes and beaches lapped by the sparkling Med. Sicily has a distinctive culture that is quite different from the rest of Italy and can be seen in the dialect, cuisine and things to do. It’s a large island too and while there is public transport, you can’t do better than having the freedom of your own Sicily car rental. Consider starting your journey in Catania and finishing in Palermo stopping en route to explore the beaches, Byzantine attractions and beautiful interior.
Dining in Sicily
Over the centuries, the Romans, Moors and Normans have all left their mark on the island’s culture, particularly the cuisine. Its year-round balmy weather helps grow some fine produce from citrus fruits to tomatoes and its proximity to the sea keeps the restaurant menus stocked with amazingly fresh seafood. Sicilian cuisine is all about simplicity. Look out for arancini, balls of risotto rice stuffed with cheese, caponata, an aubergine stew or pasta con le sarde, a spaghetti made from fresh sardines, fennel, pine nuts and saffron. Sign off with a granita e brioche, a semi-frozen dessert with seasonal fruits.
Attractions in Sicily
If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous beaches, there are plenty of things to keep you busy particularly if you have your own car rental in Sicily. First-timers simply can’t miss a clamber up Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano, or a ski down its peaks in winter. Culture vultures are well catered for too. The UNESCO World Heritage Villa Romana del Casale was built in the 4th century and houses some of the finest Roman mosaics, while the Monastero dei Benedettini serves as one of the largest monasteries on the continent.
Sicily driving routes
If you have the time, you can take your Sicily car hire on a spin around some of Italy’s most beautiful driving routes. There are several to choose from including the road to Segesta which passes hilly landscapes, an archaeological park and the town of Alcamo or the mountain road to Monreale which offers spectacular views over the Golfo di Castellammare. Alternatively, follow the road up to the town of Corleone passing Lago Poma, long rows of vineyards and olive groves. Whichever you pick, you’ll quickly find out that Sicily is made for road trips.
Sicily car rental
You simply can’t explore the island properly without a car rental in Sicily. The most convenient places to pick up your vehicle is at one of the two major international airports – Palermo and Catania. Both have a good stock of cars, so whether you are coming on a weekend break with your partner or need a people carrier for all the kids, you’ll always find one that fits the bill. Its worth planning out your road trip before you arrive and using a satnav as the road signs can be a little thin on the ground. If you plan to spend your time in the cities, try to book accommodation with free spots for your car as finding parking can be a little tricky.