Somehow the last weeks have gone by in a bit of a haze. There was a trip to Berlin, meeting old friends and many new, lovely people I had only known virtually until re:publica 2012. There has also been major work on my upcoming cookbook, which is scheduled for spring 2013. And yet another absolutely stunning food-related trip I will write more about soon.
Following up on Oliver’s recent Sicily post you’ll find some of our favorites below, in chronological order of our trip.
Hotel Villa Carlotta, Taormina
Probably the most charming hotel staff we ever encountered, Simona and Olga made our stay an extremely pleasant one. Not to mention the elaborate breakfast and THE VIEW…
Cooking School Fabrizia/Anna Tasca Lanza, Regaleali/Case Vecchie
The days spent with Fabrizia at Case Vecchie and a handful of other dear fellow bloggers was a dream come true. From day one we were welcomed like family and had some of the most memorable meals of our trip. If you want to learn about Sicilian cuisine from a food icon herself, who loves to share her knowledge about this island, its people and their food, Case Vecchie is the place to go.
Giardino della Kolymbetra, Agrigento
As impressive as the numerous old Greek temples are, the real highlight was the ancient citrus grove we spent the afternoon at. A perfect, peaceful spot for a picnic, surrounded by a countless variety of citrus fruits.
Masseria Quartarella, Modica
When looking for a B&B around Modica we fell for Franceso’s Masseria and he responded so nicely to our emails, we just had to book one of his suites. Finding it may be a bit tricky (look out for the cute donkeys!), but absolutely rewarding in the end.
Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, Modica
Just when you thought you knew everything about chocolate… Sicilian chocolate is a different chapter. You will either love it or hate its grainy consistency – we fell for Bonajuto, and not only for his chocolate (try their chocolate with cardamom, with marjoram, the Aranciata, the Cannoli and if you feel especially brave the Mpanatigghi…)
Olimpia Bar, Ragusa
Strolling through the narrow streets of Ragusa was another highlight, so many hidden corners are waiting to be discovered. When the steep streets took their toll and we stopped by at Bar Olimpia for a quick espresso, we discovered some of the best cookies we had on Sicilian soil – by accident. My only regret: I should have bought many, many more.
B&B La Via della Giudecca, Siracusa
If you are looking for the perfect place to stay in Ortigia (the historical center of Siracusa), don’t look any further. Location, service and style, a perfect 10.
Ortigia’s daily market, Siracusa
Friendly vendors and plentiful produce, a combination that is hard to beat. Walking alongside Via De Benedictis without loading up our bags was close to impossible. Not to be missed: the guys who sell sea urchins and Andrea Borderi’s shop. He let us sample so many superb cheeses, we could have easily skipped lunch that day (of course we didn’t!). open daily, except Sundays
Cantina Malavoglia, Siracusa
We had just settled in our room and were starting to discover the old town when chance led us to this little gem. It was way past 2 pm and my curiosity -we heard piano music playing from outside- made me peek inside what appeared to be a restaurant. Only one table was taken and when I asked the owner if we could still have lunch, she welcomed us with open arms. The food was excellent (esp. the octopus salad and the caponata) and the live performed, soft piano music topped it off; we wouldn’t hesitate a second to go back. Just one word of warning: When we left through the other entrance (at the top), we saw some rather touristy-looking signs – don’t let them fool you (here is the odd exception to the rule)!
We didn’t cover the northern and western parts of Sicily this time, but are eager to go back. If you want to share some of your own favorites, things we shouldn’t miss on a next trip, we’d love to read about them in the comments!
And if you need some visual proof, that Sicily is worth a trip, here you go (use the cursor keys to go back and forth):