The 5 Best Sicilian Cooking Classes 🇮🇹 [2022 Reviews]

If you’re in Sicily, you have likely already experienced the incredible architecture and friendly locals. However, something that many of us would love to learn is how to cook authentic Italian food.

Sicily is known for offering some of the most delicious regional dishes, so what better place to learn from than on this gorgeous Mediterranean island?

If you really want to maximize your experience and learn from pros, we highly recommend taking a proper tour. Don’t go anywhere, because we have the top Sicilian cooking classes available right here!

Best Cooking Classes in Sicily

 Half-Day Cooking Class & Market Tour in PalermoSicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour in TaorminaTraditional Home Cooking Experience with Dinner in Catania
editors choice
Half-Day Cooking Class & Market Tour in PalermoSicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour in TaorminaTraditional Home Cooking Experience with Dinner in Catania
Location:Porta Carini, the entrance to the Capo MarketPorta Messina ArchSordino
Start Time:10:30 AM10:00 AM11:00 AM, 6:00 PM
Duration:4 hours4 hours3 hours
Includes:Ingredients as per itinerary, lunch, Sicilian wine tasting (wide selection available)Guided market tour, wine tasting, apron and certificate, taxes4-course dinner, cooking lesson, wine

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 5 Best Sicilian Cooking Classes For 2022

  1. Half-Day Cooking Class & Market Tour in Palermo
  2. Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour in Taormina
  3. Traditional Home Cooking Experience with Dinner in Catania
  4. Half-Day Pizza Making Class in Taormina
  5. Sicilian Cuisine Cooking Class in Palermo

Sicilian Cooking Class Reviews

#1. Half-Day Cooking Class & Market Tour in Palermo

Half-Day Cooking Class & Market Tour in Palermo

Class Highlights:

Let’s kick things off with the Palermo: Half-Day Cooking Class & Market Tour. This 4-hour course will have you cooking a 4-course meal made with fresh ingredients for an authentically Sicilian experience.

As vegetarian and gluten-free menus are also available, it’s a great option for anyone. Start by meeting by Porta Carini, which is the entrance to Capo Market. You’ll purchase some hand-picked fresh and seasonal ingredients required for the meal you and the rest of your small group will make.

Afterward, you’ll all take the ingredients back to the apartment in the center of Palermo, where you’ll see plenty of iconic Sicilian buildings and landmarks.

Your chef will be there to oversee and lead the way, ensuring everyone has the proper technique. If you do have any questions, they’re always very friendly and more than happy to answer them.

Your meal will start with a starter, then primo or pasta, a second with fish or meat, caponata/vegetable stew, and a traditional Sicilian cake.

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As you cook, your chef/guide will tell you all about the history of the dishes you’re making, Sicilian culture and history, and so much more. They are some of the friendliest people out there, and it always feels like you’re cooking a dinner with longtime friends.

To accompany your dishes, you’ll also go through a fantastic Sicilian wine tasting where you’ll learn about properly pairing them to different types of food.

While this is definitely a great way to appreciate fresh food that you may not be able to sit down and try at a restaurant, it’s also great for meeting tourists or simply having a great time with your loved ones.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#2. Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour in Taormina

Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour in Taormina

Class Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Porta Messina Arch
  • Start Time: 10:00 AM
  • Includes: Guided market tour, wine tasting, apron and certificate, taxes

While the other tour was a dinner course, this tour is going to teach you to make a mouthwatering Sicilian lunch! Just as thrilling as it is educational, this comprehensive experience will show you how to pick the best ingredients and turn them into a masterpiece.

If that sounds like fun to you, do yourself a favor and check out the Taormina: Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour. Start off by meeting with your chef and the rest of your small group at 10:00 am at the legendary Arch of Porta Messina.

Stroll towards the market of Taormina, where you’ll have a fully-guided tour and learn how to select the best fresh ingredients. Learn all about the local produce and even try a small tasting of different salamis and cheeses!

Once everyone arrives back at the restaurant, the chef will offer up some delicious coffee as you take a break. As you sip, listen to what they have to say about the recipes everyone is going to help prepare. If you do have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, as the chefs are so friendly and helpful.

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Then, the preparation and actual cooking of the meal will commence. Usually, the highlight of the group is the handmade pasta which is really an artform and quite fun to learn!

Throughout the entire time, there are plenty of laughs to be had as the instructor really keeps things lighthearted and the perfect environment for learning effectively.

Once everything is prepared, everyone will come to the table to enjoy a traditional regional lunch. To perfectly accompany the dishes, you’ll learn about wine pairing and get to try various different types.

After, each person will receive a certificate of completion and autographed apron to commemorate this wonderful experience.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#3. Traditional Home Cooking Experience with Dinner in Catania

Traditional Home Cooking Experience with Dinner in Catania

Class Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: Sordino
  • Start Time: 11:00 AM, 6:00 PM
  • Includes: 4-course dinner, cooking lesson, wine

Doesn’t is seem to be the case, that the warmest people seem to make the best food? With this tour, the host will actually bring you into her own home to teach you the ins-and-outs into making delicious, authentic Sicilian dishes.

If that sounds appealing to you, go ahead and put the Catania: Traditional Home Cooking Experience with Dinner at the top of your list.

This 3-hour tour starts off with meeting your guide and the rest of your group at the host’s apartment building. The building is a typical palazzo right in the heart of Catania, which only adds to the experience.

Limited to a maximum of 10 participants, this provides you with more one-on-one time and the chance to ask your host any questions you may have.

Once you walk into the apartment and location of your class today, your cook and instructor, Claudia, will make you feel right at home!

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Along with her husband, she has carefully curated a top-notch menu of Sicilian classics. Using fresh produce and seasonal ingredients, this is a healthy and tasty way to experience the island.

Learn how to properly prepare the ever-abundant fresh fish and vegetables purchased from a nearby local market, using locally-produced olive oil as well.

This 4-course meal consists of dishes like tomato and eggplant pasta, anchovies, flan, vegetable rolls with orange, and Panna Cotta! Learn further about the art of wine pairing with all the dishes, as Claudia also tells you about Sicilian wines and how unique they are to all of Italy.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#4. Half-Day Pizza Making Class in Taormina

Half-Day Pizza Making Class in Taormina

Class Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Arco Porta Messina
  • Start Time: 10:30 AM
  • Includes: Cooking ingredients, pizza cooking lesson with a pizza chef, lunch, water, soft drinks and local wine, pizza certification, VAT and local taxes

Next up, we bring you the Taormina: Half-Day Pizza Making Class. We all know how cool it looks watching pizza experts spinning the dough in the air! While it looks complicated, it just takes a bit of skill and technique and you’ll learn all that here in this exciting setting!

This 4-hour class will start at different meeting points, depending on if you select the afternoon class or the evening class. However, both are located in a convenient place in the city so you don’t have to deal with booking transportation and can likely just walk there.

Held in a pizzeria, the class is instructed by a professional pizza maker who will give you all the secrets to making the perfect pizza!

Your guide will teach you the basics of how to prepare any pizza, showing you essential techniques and making sure you’re doing them correctly. This hands-on experience is incredibly helpful in developing good habits, where you can ask any questions you may have.

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Then, you’ll start learning about the ingredients and how to make a savory pizza sauce and what kinds of toppings will go well on it.

After the preparation period, you’ll put your pizzas into the ovens and wait (impatiently!) as they bake. Once ready, everyone gets to sit down for a delicious meal that consists of your pizzas, bruschetta, mineral water, soft drinks, local wines, and more.

We loved that the chef even gives you a pizza certificate to let the world know you’re a certified pizza expert!

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#5. Sicilian Cuisine Cooking Class in Palermo

Sicilian Cuisine Cooking Class in Palermo

Class Highlights:

Are you looking for a fun evening in Sicily where you’ll get to learn more about the culture and its iconic cuisine? Perhaps you’d like to meet other people in the area or simply experience some great cooking that you can’t find at a restaurant.

Whatever the case may be, the Sicilian Cuisine Cooking Class in Palermo is always a gem. This 4-hour tour starts at 6:00 pm, which is great if you have the evening free of plans.

You’ll meet in the center of Palermo, where your hosts open their home and welcome your group inside for a unique cooking experience. The hosts are so welcoming, friendly, and funny that you’re in for a night of lots of laughter and learning.

Local chef, Antonio, will be doing most of the instruction and show you how to make all kinds of dishes. You could create a fish or meat dish, with many vegetarian options available if you let them know beforehand.

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The 4-course meal will include a starter, first dish, second dish, dessert, and water, wine, coffee, and/or limoncello!

Gone are the days of boring cooking classes – at least when they’re being taught by Antonio and his family! The participants can be from around the globe, making it a great way to get to know others from different countries and make lifelong friendships.

After preparation is taken care of and the meal is ready, everyone will get to sit down and enjoy great conversation over a delicious meal and good local wine.

Their outdoor kitchen is located in a beautiful nature setting full of gorgeous plants, trees, flowers, and fresh air. It’s one of those experiences that feels surreal – like you’re in a movie!

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Sicily Travel Guide

Sicily will shock you. While your first choice for a vacation in Italy might be Rome with the Vatican or Venice with the St Mark’s Basilica, Sicily actually offers more. Successive waves of invaders have built some of their finest architectural masterpieces on the island, but somehow later generations left them alone.

You’ll find better medieval Norman buildings than anywhere in Normandy, the best-preserved Roman villa in the world, and Ancient Greek temples larger and in better condition than anything found in the Acropolis in Athens.

What’s more, Sicily boasts some amazing scenery, including one of the world’s most active volcanoes. And there are plenty of great beaches to take your family to for fun in the sun. Read this brief guide to find out more.

Airports & Entry

Sicily has two international airports: Catania-Fontanarossa Airport and Palermo Falcone-Borsellino International Airport. Palermo handles around 7 million passengers a year but most flights arrive at Catania, which handles 10 million passengers a year and is one of the busiest airports in Italy. Visitors can also reach the island by sea.

Catania

Catania has a small terminal with a good selection of food outlets and shops, including a post office and duty-free. The shops and food outlets all close by midnight. It’s difficult to find power outlets to charge mobile devices and Wi-Fi is only available inside the two airport lounges, which you must pay to enter.

There’s an Information Desk in the Arrivals area and a Tourist Office nearby. Both offices open at 8 am, the tourist office closing at 10 pm and the information office at midnight. You can also find a currency exchange desk and ATMs in the Arrivals area.

The easiest way to get into the city center of Catania is to take the AMT Alibus or a public bus. The AMT Alibus runs services every 25 minutes from 5 am to midnight and takes around 20 minutes to the center and railway station. You purchase €4 tickets from the Bus Ticket Office in the Arrivals area before boarding the bus. Local Bus No. 457 runs the same route every 40 minutes but only costs €1! However, you must buy your ticket from the Newspaper Stand (Tabacchi) in Arrivals.

If you prefer, you can take a taxi into town. These should take around 15 minutes and cost between €25 and €40. The difference in price relates to the number of passengers carried and the time of day. Taxis are more expensive at night. They can be identified by an illuminated TAXI sign atop a yellow or white vehicle.

For greater freedom, you can rent a car at the airport. There are 8 car rental companies at the airport, including Hertz Italiana and Sixt.

Palermo

The airport near Palermo is a little better. It also has a small terminal, and the shops and eating outlets are on the expensive side. But it does offer free WiFi in the Departure lounge, and there are plenty of mobile device charging outlets.

You’ll find the Information Desk in Arrivals, and it’s open from 6 am to midnight. In a medical emergency, there’s a First Aid Station in the Check-In area and a Pharmacy in Departures. The foreign exchange desk is also in the Check-In area.

The easiest way to get into town is on the train service that links the airport to central Palermo from 5 am to 8 pm. The train takes about an hour and costs €5.50. However, the airport bus is quicker. It takes around 50 minutes and costs €6.50. Bus services run from 4 am to 10:30 pm and you can buy your ticket on the bus.

Taking a taxi from the rank outside the Arrivals area is a little quicker. They generally take 40 minutes to the city center and cost around €45. Or you can rent a car for greater freedom. Car rentals are provided by 12 different agencies including Avis, Europcar, and Hertz.

Ferry

Since Sicily is less than 2 miles away from mainland Italy, it’s also easy to get there by taking a short ferry crossing which costs around €13. You can cross from Reggio di Calabria or Villa San Giovanni on the mainland to Messina on the northeastern point of Sicily.

Long-distance ferries also link Sicily to more distant places, including Malta and Tunisia as well as major Italian seaports like Genoa and Naples. You’ll need your passport ready if you’re traveling from Tunisia or Malta. Technically, you shouldn’t need your passport traveling from other Italian ports, but you may be asked to show a photo ID to land in Sicily.

Planning Tips

There are a lot of great things to see and do in Sicily. You’ll really enjoy your visit. Here are 5 tips to help you plan your stay.

Tip #1: Decide what you want to do before planning your visit to Sicily

There’s a lot to do around the island, but when you go and where you stay depends upon what you want to do when you get there. If you want to hike up and down mountains or to the many wonderful ruins, avoid the midsummer heat and go in spring or the fall. If you want to ski, go in winter. If you want to snorkel and enjoy the water, summer is great. It takes time to move around the island, so research where you want to spend your time and base yourself nearby or in a central location.

Tip #2: Buy unique art and crafts

Sicily boasts many unique products that make excellent gifts for your friends back home or souvenirs for you. For example, you can buy jewelry made from the local coral, ornaments made from volcanic rock from Mount Etna, and traditional marionette puppets as used in the traditional Opera dei Pupi (Sicilian puppet theater). The puppets from Catania and Palermo are the best known.

Tip #3: Be prepared for arduous hikes

Many of Sicily’s most iconic landmarks are best viewed by ascending steep slopes to a lofty height in hot weather with bright sunshine. So, be prepared. Before your visit, do a few practice hikes up and down hills near home to prepare your muscles. When packing, take a hat for shade, plenty of sunscreen, and well broken-in shoes. On actual hikes, carry plenty of bottled water and stay hydrated.

Tip #4: Book in advance, especially during summer

Sicily is the place Italians come to enjoy the beach in summer, so be ready for huge crowds. Popular activities and the best hotels can be fully booked months in advance. To ensure you don’t miss out, book in advance. Reputable tour companies will agree to refunds for tours tickets canceled with reasonable notice.

Tip #5: Be prepared for the challenge of Sicily

Sicily offers some of the most amazing cultural sites you’ve ever seen. However, it’s not like the rest of Italy. When you get there, you’ll find it’s more like Mexico than Rome…more roadside garbage and graffiti that you’re expecting, run-down structures and infrastructure, and some wild locals. This is all changing very rapidly, with new roads being built and tourism going through the roof as more and more people realize what a prime cultural site the island is. Get there before the tourist crowds and global corporations ruin it and turn it into Rome Mark #2.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Sicilian cuisine is distinctly Italian and Mediterranean but of a distinct local variety shaped by the island’s rich history and the locally available food ingredients. So, you’ll see plenty of pasta, seafood, all cooked with lashings of olive oil. But you’ll also see elements of cooking influenced by the Moors and the Greeks who occupied the island in the past.

Perhaps the most famous dish in Sicily is pasta alla Norma. It’s made using aubergine, locally grown tomatoes, salted ricotta, and garlic served with short pasta. If you’re wondering “who” Norma was, it’s actually the name of an opera written by Bellini. Pasta con le sarde is the equivalent seafood dish, with sardines, anchovy fillets, raisin, pine nuts, and saffron made into a sauce and poured onto a kind of spaghetti called bucantini. You can find tasty Sicilian pasta dishes in Ristorante Bellotero in Palermo.

Like elsewhere in Italy, pizza is a popular dish on the streets. However, Sicilian sfincione pizza has an unusually thick base. You’ll typically find it with a thick topping of cheese, onions, and anchovies. Sarde a beccafico is one of the signature dishes of the island. Sardines are one of the most common fish in the sea around Sicily, and a popular way of cooking them is stuffed with breadcrumbs, raisins, and pine nuts.

A popular vegetarian dish originating in Sicily is caponata. This antipasto is made using fried aubergine mixed with tomatoes, onion, and celery and turned into a stew. The exact recipe changes from restaurant to restaurant, but caponata is seen on menus throughout Italy.

Wandering around the island, you’ll see arancini balls sold in many food stalls and cafés. These are balls of creamy risotto rice breaded and deep-fried. They make a great snack while you’re walking around the picturesque streets of Palermo or Catania.

Granita con brioche is an interesting traditional breakfast. Granita is a frozen sorbet made from ice and sugar with fruit or coffee, and at breakfast, it is typically served with a warm brioche roll. This dish has a long history, and before refrigeration was invented was made using ice brought down from the high mountains on the island. Now it’s a popular morning meal on hot summer days. Every morning, you can see people sitting outside cafés like The Bam Bar in Taormina enjoying granita con brioche.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, you’ll love the vast variety of desserts found around Sicily. A great place to sample traditional Sicilian sweets is Pasticceria Cappello in Palermo.

Torta Setteveli is a delicious, seven-layered chocolate and hazelnut cake. Cassata is a sponge cake flavored with citrus fruits, chocolate, marzipan, and sweet ricotta cream. Cannoli is made from deep-fried pastry tubes filled with creamy ricotta. And Semifreddo alle mandorle is a molded frozen almond parfait that is soft and similar in texture to ice cream.

Nightlife & Entertainment

You’ll find a broad variety of nightlife in Sicily from quiet bars with soft piano music to wild beach bars and nightclubs. Most of the nightlife is found in the two largest cities of Catania and Palermo. Taormina is another popular tourist resort where you’ll find a lively nightlife, though it’s tiny compared to the two cities. In the town center of Taormina, you’ll find some great bars with outside seating areas, like Caffe Wunderbar.

Catania is a student city and a focal point for Sicily’s nightlife. The bars and dance clubs are clustered together making it a great place to tumble from bar to bar. If you want to begin the evening with a snack, the Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant is a great place to enjoy a drink with stunning views of Mount Etna and a delicious evening buffet. But if you prefer a livelier venue, Afrobar is a bar with a dance floor on the beach. Here you’ll often see bonfires and fire dancers.

The most well-known club in Catania is located in the Contrada Jungetto area south of the city. Mercanti Generali is spread over three rooms and a palm-shaded courtyard and terrace area. The music is eclectic, from hip hop and R&B to house, dubstep, and drum and bass.

Palermo is much more spread out than Catania, so you’d be better staying in one nightclub otherwise you’ll need transport. The nightclubs tend to draw a younger crowd, many of them students. There are 4 main areas for nightlife in Palermo: Old Town, La Cala Marina, Downtown and the beaches.

The historic center is where you’ll find the less formal bars and clubs. While the bars and clubs in other parts of the city are closed by 3 am, some of the venues around Vucciria in Old Town stay open until dawn. Check out the Cantavespri Art Café where you’ll often find live bands on Wednesdays and Fridays. The horseshoe-shaped La Cala Marina is found close to the Old Town, and you can find a selection of trendy bars overlooking the water.

The Politeama and Liberta Downtown area are where you’ll find the quieter crowd of more mature drinkers and the more sophisticated cocktail bars. Along the coastline and beaches, the Addaura, Mondello, and Sferracavallo coasts are where you’ll find the locals drinking and dancing. In summer, it’s cooler on the beaches and a great place for dancing.

Getting Around

Sicily has a well-developed public transport system, so it’s easy to get around by train or bus. In the past four decades, the roads have been upgraded so getting around by rental car is also a good option.

The trains are a fast option and provide great views of Sicily’s landscape. The Inter City Express trains are the fastest and most comfortable, but they’re more expensive than the local trains that stop at every station. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll be happy to hear that kids between 4 and 11 get half-price tickets.

The services are operated by Trenitalia. Before boarding your train, you must stamp your ticket in one of the orange ticket machines in the station to validate it.

When planning connections or booking events at your destination, be aware that Sicilian trains are notorious for running late. Allow extra time between arrival at the railway station and the start of your activity or connecting service.

Buses are usually cheaper but slower than trains, but there are exceptions like the connection between Palermo Airport and the city center where the buses are both quicker and more expensive than the local train connection. Research the particular journey you want to take to compare time and cost.

Orange-colored buses run services around a specific town or city, and you can use them to reach attractions around that city. Blue-colored buses provide connections between cities. Tickets can be purchased in advance from newsagents and other small stores. Note that Sunday services are very diminished.

Renting your own vehicle is a great option if you want the freedom to explore at your own pace, especially on a Sunday. However, the cities do experience the usual problems of traffic jams, one-way systems, and a lack of parking places near the major attractions. Also, note that you may find the pace of traffic much slower than you’re used to. Even on the freeway, people sometimes drive quite slowly.

On the smaller, rural roads, watch out for potholes and landslides. Mount Etna is an active volcano, so the ground around the island isn’t as stable as most other places.

The new freeways are wonderful but note that the A18 from Messina to Catania and the A20 from Messina to Palermo are toll roads. Because most vehicles enter Sicily on ferries from the mainland at Messina and Catania and Palermo are the two main cities, these are the two most important routes. Using the A18 costs €3.70 and the A20 €10.10.

Taxis are generally fast and safe, but they are also expensive. If a bus journey costs €1, expect to pay around €25 for a taxi ride to the same destination. You may find it difficult to hail a taxi in the street or find one at a taxi rank, but hotels can arrange one in advance if you ask at reception.

Accommodations

There are lots of fascinating attractions spread around Sicily, and if you want to visit them all then you might want to consider staying in several locations during your visit rather than settling in just one. Otherwise, where you stay depends upon whether your main interest is soaking up the sun and swimming in the Mediterranean or visiting some of the many cultural and historic sites.

If you want to explore the Ancient Greek temples, consider staying near Syracuse in the southeast or Agrigento in the southwest. For beautiful Baroque architecture, base yourself in the southeast near Val di Noto. To explore the Norman historic sites of Monreale and Palermo, find a hotel in the northwest. If you intend to take a lot of boat tours and visit other islands, you’ll find Messina the most convenient location. And if Mount Etna’s volcanic landscapes appeal to you, then stay somewhere around Catania.

Palermo is the largest city and where you’ll find the most hotels. The city is divided into 25 districts, but only 3 areas are really tourist-friendly: the Old Town, the Politeama and Liberta districts, and Mondello. Generally, the Downtown area of Liberta and Politeama is the best place to base yourself as it’s considered the safest area, and it is still convenient for the tourist sites around the Old Town. The Old Town is also great, but it’s the main party and nightlife area…so it can be wild and the streets full of drunk people in the wee hours of the night.

If you want to do your bit for the environment, check out the Bio Hotel in the Politeama area. They aim to leave a minimal carbon footprint. But if you want to enjoy sumptuous luxury, consider the Grand Hotel Wagner.

Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily and offers a wide range of options for tourists. If you like roof terrace gardens and classic rooms, check out the Hotel Villa Roma. But if you’re traveling with your family, you can get great value family rooms in the Hotel Etnea 316, which is centrally located close to St Agatha’s Cathedral and within sight of Mount Etna.

But if you want to live out in the beautiful countryside of Sicily, consider renting a villa for the duration of your stay. There are a wide range of modern and historic buildings to choose from in lots of different locations around the island.

Weather

Sicily has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Because of African currents reaching the southern coast and high-altitude areas inland, different areas of the island can experience very different weather conditions.

The winter temperatures are coldest in January, with an average daily high of 590F and a low of 500F. Areas above 3,000 feet see enough regular snow for skiing. By April, the fields are green, though the snow yet lingers atop Mount Etna. The temperatures range from a high of 640F to a low of 550F.

In the summer, Sicily occasionally sees scorching sirocco wind from the Sahara and rainfall is rare. Water shortages are common on the island. The hottest month is August, with an average high of 860F and low of 750F. The local harvests begin in August, with crops such as figs and watermelons providing wonderful treats and the wine grape harvest begins.

The main harvests are during September and October, when the pistachios, almonds, and olives are ready to reap. November sees rapid cooling. You can see snow atop Mount Etna again, but the fields remain green. The average daily high drops to 660F and the low 570F.

Attractions

Sicily is a treasure house of world-class cultural and natural attractions. You’d need years to explore them all completely. Here’s a selection of some of the best.

Ragusa and Modica

With an active volcano and its position on the edge of a tectonic plate, Sicily sees a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. An earthquake in 1693 destroyed most of the buildings around the southern tip of the island.

This provided a blank canvas for rebuilding on a grand scale in a fashionable style we now call the Baroque. Because of this, the towns of Ragusa and Modica are one of the best places in the world to view fine Baroque buildings.

Monreale Cathedral

Almost a thousand years ago, the Normans spread out across Europe and occupied many areas of coastland or islands, including Sicily. During this time, they built a grand cathedral in Monreale.

The most remarkable thing about this structure today is that, unlike many other cathedrals across Europe, it has remained largely unaltered since its first construction making it the best-preserved Norman building in Europe. Monreale Cathedral features 12th-century mosaics in vibrant colors and rows of grand double columns around a courtyard fountain.

Villa Romana del Casale in Enna

Sicily is home to one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Europe. 50 rooms have been excavated by archaeologists to reveal over 38,000 square feet of mosaic floors and lots of fine features, such as a thermal bathhouse with a colonnaded courtyard and fountain. The detailed mosaics paint a picture of everyday life in the Roman Empire along with scenes from history and mythology.

Ancient Greek temples

In Selinunte, you can see 8 Ancient Greek temples, the oldest dating back to the 5th century BCE. Nearby is a large Acropolis with surrounding walls from the 7th century BCE. One of these temples, known as Temple G, was one of the largest Greek temples ever built.

But it is the large complex of tombs and temples in Agrigento that most visitors want to see, including the famous Tempio di Concordia—one of the best-preserved Doric temples in existence. The group also includes the circular Tempio di Heracles, the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, and the Tempio di Juno Lacinia.

Mount Etna

The tallest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna dominates the eastern end of Sicily and fascinates millions of visitors every year. It stands 10,912 feet tall as I am writing but may be shorter or taller when you read this because frequent eruptions change its height. In winter, snow tops its peak providing fun for skiers and a beautiful skyline.

Visitors are often treated to views of a smoking cone, bubbling hot springs, volcanic vents, and occasional lava flows. But be careful and only go on organized tours run by experienced locals. The volcano is very active!

Aeolian Islands

Sicily also makes a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding Mediterranean islands. The Aeolian Islands are 7 islands of volcanic origin off the north coast of Sicily. Stromboli boasts the most active volcano, and its pyrotechnics frequently light the night sky. Visitors love to engage in water sports around the islands and admire their unique volcanic landscape.

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The Half-Day Cooking Class & Market Tour in Palermo is our Editors Choice for the best cooking class in Sicily

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