There are few things you don’t want to do when in Sicily. One of them is driving a car. I tell you, traffic on Sicilian roads is MAD. So if you do decide to take up the challenge, make sure you get a full insurance on that car. Beware of the fact that traffic rules are rather a guideline than actual rules and make sure you’re focused while driving.
Apart from this, Sicily is a bliss. I loved it. Not even the crazy traffic could ruin it for me. Beautiful beaches, mesmerising sunsets, even better daybreaks, stunning views over hills, charming little towns, historical sites, architecture, the smell of fresh laundry and strong perfume wherever you go, and of course great Sicilian food. Funnily enough, the thing with the fresh laundry is something that stayed with me most vividly. Imagine walking down some twisted narrow alley in +35°C and a random breeze brings the scent of flowery-clean washing. In that sweaty moment you feel like in one of those softener ads, running on green grass between fresh bed sheets hung up in an imaginary secret garden. That’s what Sicilian streets smelled like all the time – despite all the rubbish beside the roads.
My adventurous journey started in Palermo. Mind you after two delayed flights and lots of useless running. One’s for sure, Palermo sure is worth a visit, but you don’t need more than about a full day or two to see the most prominent sights. For starters, it’s a pretty old city, about 3000 years old and that being so, it was ruled by Greeks, Arabs and Normans, and was later in German, French, Spanish as well English hands. No wonder it reflects such a variety of influences in its architecture. From Arabic style buildings to Baroque churches and palazzi, you’ll find everything here. Palermo was by far not the highlight of the trip, but certainly worth a short visit.
From bustling Palermo the trip continued to Scala dei Turchi at Realmonte, one of the most amazing beaches I’ve seen. It’s name means “Turkish steps”. For one, it does look like a massive rock staircase. Legend has it, however, that the beach was named after the Turkish and Arab pirates who used to visit here. Fun fact, the white stone is marl, containing a range of minerals (Wiki has all the infos you might need on this) so locals would use small rocks and rub them off with sea water to make a facial or whole body skin treatment. It feels like clay on your skin, but after washing it off, your skin will feel all soft and tightened. Not bad and its all organic ^^
After this seaside wonder, the road trip headed towards the East, to discover a town on a hill, the volcano we all know by word of mouth and a magical little village in the North. If I got you curious, stayed tuned ^^