Insight Guides: Explore Sicily: The Best Routes around the Island
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Beautiful and seductive, the Italian island of Sicily offers everything from Greek and Roman temples to mouthwatering street food and a dramatic scenery topped by mighty Mount Etna. Explore Sicily is part of a brand-new series and is the perfect pocket companion for your trip: a full-colour guide containing 14 easy-to-follow routes, taking in all of the classic sights, such as Val di Noto's sublime Baroque architecture and the frenetic capital Palermo, alongside Agrigento's fine Greek temples and, further afield, the stunningly beautiful Aeolian Islands, popular for volcano-climbing. Insight's trademark cultural coverage perfectly sets the routes in context, with introductions to Sicily's cuisine and shopping possibilities, as well as an overview of the island's complex history and the low-down on its array of outdoor activities. Hand-picked places to eat and drink are highlighted in each tour and in the directory section, which contains a wealth of useful practical information including a language guide, as well as a range of carefully selected hotels to suit all budgets. All routes are plotted on the useful pull-out map, and the stunning photography captures the dramatic Sicilian landscape.
reduced it in size and the market now only truly bustles on Saturdays (the Ballarò [for more information, click here] has taken over as the city’s number one market). For lunch you could grab a pani cu’ la meusa, boiled beef spleen in a bread roll – a local favourite from market stalls, or if this is not your scene try the atmospheric Casa del Brodo, see 2, nearby on the main Corso Vittorio Emanuele. La Kalsa Neil Buchan-Grant/Apa Publications La Kalsa From Corso Vittorio Emanuele turn
www.ristorantelabrace.com; €–€€ This welcoming restaurant is excellent value and hugely popular. The menu offers specialities such as stuffed aubergines and Sicilian stuffed meatballs, and a good choice of desserts. Book ahead. 2 Le Chat Noir Via XXV Novembre 1856, 17; tel: 0921 420 697; L and D Thur–Tue; www.ristorantelechatnoir.com; €€ Despite the name, this family-run restaurant is dedicated to classic Sicilian dishes such as caponata or involtini ri pisci spade (swordfish filled with
There are 13 rooms and a small sunny terrace with panoramic views where they serve a delicious chocolate granita. Rich breakfast and friendly service, small dogs accepted. Mercure Siracusa Prometeo Viale Teracati 20; tel: 0931 464646; www.mercure.com; €€ Contemporary architecture meets the city’s classic setting at this branch of the Mercure hotel chain, just steps away from the archaeological area. The 93 rooms are comfortable and well-equipped, and the pleasant swimming pool is perfect to
and the overnight sleeper service from Sicily to northern Italy has been cancelled. There is a daily service between Rome and Palermo, Catania and Siracusa. At the crossing from Villa San Giovanni on the Italian peninsula the train carriages are shunted into the ferry, and then shunted off again at Messina. Palermo’s main station is Stazione Centrale. Always book a seat for long-distance travel. For information and online booking visit the Trenitalia website (www.trenitalia.com) or call tel:
puppetry’s main traditions are in Palermo and some of the best models are still made there. Vincenzo Argento, the last puppet maker in a 160-year-old family business, will make a paladino (paladin or knight) to order (Corso Vittorio Emanuele 445, Palermo; tel: 091 611 3680). Food and Wine Look out for delis selling local specialities such as fruit preserves, almond spreads, spicy pesto, salted tuna roe (bottarga), honey, olive oil and salted capers. Sicilian pastries such as cannoli (for more