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Trip Report SICILY: A wonderful week of food and wine

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Sicily Trip Report

After a week and a half in Greece, and before heading to Rome, my husband and I spent a week in Sicily. We have traveled throughout Italy for several years now, but we had never spent any time in Sicily. We were eager to experience the food, wine, and culture of Sicily, but we only had one week, so we focused on Eastern Sicily.

In a nutshell, we flew in and out of Catania and rented a car. We were traveling in late June, and the weather couldn’t have been nicer -- between 75 and 80 degrees every day.
Our itinerary looked like this:
Taormina -- 2 nights at Hotel Imperiale
Panarea -- 2 nights at Hotel Cincotta
Vittoria (near Ragusa) -- 2 nights at COS winery
Siracusa -- 1 night at Palazzo delle Sale


DAY 1: TAORMINA

We arrived at Catania Airport a little before noon on a Monday in late June. Thank goodness we rented from Sixt instead of Avis or Hertz, as those lines were out the door and curled around the building, whereas no one was in line at Sixt! Furthermore, we were very happy with our Alfa Romeo Jullietta -- which fit 2 large suitcases and a carry-on all concealed in the trunk -- and cost less than $400 for the whole week.

HOTEL IMPERIALE -- check in was seamless, and we were thrilled that our room was ready at just a little past noon. We were welcomed with champagne and fresh fruit, delivered to our room soon after checking in. We had a sea view room with a tiny balcony. The room was small but beautifully decorated and practically laid out, with plenty of room for our hefty luggage in the large bathroom. The shower and products were great! The view from the balcony was breathtaking. The pool area was lovely and the fitness center had the same amazing views. This place was a great value in an expensive town. The service was outstanding and the location was very central. Everyone went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, even offering us breakfast really early on our day of departure an hour before breakfast actually started. In fact, the breakfast may have been the best we’ve had in Italy. I look forward to staying here again and highly recommend it. It was an outstanding experience!

After checking in, we headed to lunch...

L’INCONTRO -- we had a lovely lunch here. Very friendly service and excellent food and wine.

After lunch and a nap, we headed out to explore Taormina for a couple of hours. The weather was amazing -- mid 70s -- and the town is as beautiful and charming as I had heard, albeit not quite as crowded in the late afternoon. We explored the Greek Theater (wow!), the public gardens (gorgeous!) and walked down the length of Corso Umberto through the lovely piazzas (lots of great shopping!). The views were unbelievable, and it was hard to not constantly take photos!

Later in the evening, it was even quieter. We were surprised to be only two of probably 5 people at the famous WUNDERBAR for cocktails. This is truly a spectacular setting -- the piazza and views of the sea are amazing.

AL DUOMO -- dinner was fantastic here. Again, very friendly service and excellent food, but an outstanding atmosphere, as well. We sat out on a terrace overlooking a lovely piazza and church. In fact, a choir was singing in the church, and we could hear them from our table!

We were thrilled with our first day and evening in Sicily!

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