After over two years of travel restrictions and border closures, now is the time to turn your dream holiday into reality. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we should enjoy life to the fullest, right? So, go all-out on your next big trip to chase away the pandemic blues.
A new wave of luxury accommodation is making Sicily, the largest and most exotic island in the Mediterranean Sea, one of Italy’s hottest places to visit in the second half of 2022.
An overlooked gem, the Italian island of Sicily seduces everyone with its exquisite landscapes, multicultural history, luxury accommodation, stunning beaches, and flavorsome cuisine.
With real pearls like Taormina, Noto, and Cefalù, this gorgeous island all the way down off the tip of Italy’s boot has emerged as one of the finest luxury destinations in the Mediterranean.
Here are some very good reasons why an escape to Sicily makes for a prime addition to a luxurious Italian sojourn this year.
Luxury has set its sights on this big island off Italy’s toe, which is stepping into the limelight with a growing number of super-luxe accommodation options.
Opulent Sicilian villas are hard to beat for pure, unadulterated luxury in 2022. The space and privacy of a private villa, the comforts and deluxe facilities of a boutique hotel, a real live-like-a-local experience… It’s difficult to beat a luxury villa holiday.
Options vary from family-friendly villas with private pools, romantic hideaways, sumptuous mansions, and secluded countryside retreats, to ravishingly restored Sicilian baglios, architect-designed contemporary homes, and ultra-luxe, beach-front villas with high-spec amenities, and direct, private access to the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean Sea. In Sicily, there’s truly something for everyone.
So, if you are planning a special get-together with your loved ones, put this sun-kissed island in the middle of the Mediterranean on your radar.
One of the region’s most exclusive luxury holiday rental agencies is Select Sicily, based in Palermo, which charts some of the chicest rental properties on the island. Instead of staying in a busy hotel, renting a beautifully-appointed, luxury self-catering holiday house is the perfect choice right now for a socially-distanced vacation.
As well as having a warm, dry climate year-round, Sicily has a rich, 10.000-year history, and is awash with scenic UNESCO World Heritage sites, and architectural treasures.
Archeologists have identified evidence of civilization in Sicily as early as 12.000 BC. By the 5th century BC, the island was a thriving part of the sprawling Greek Empire, attested to by a wealth of beautifully preserved ancient Greek temples and amphitheaters.
Then came the Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines, Carthaginians, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards, among significant others. Each wave of civilization has left its indelible mark, from Roman aqueducts, Phoenician tombs and Byzantine mosaics, to Arabic mosques, terracotta-hued Norman cathedrals, and some of the world’s finest examples of Rococo and Baroque architecture.
Gorgeous balmy beaches
Surrounded by the Ionian, Tyrrhenian, and Mediterranean Seas, Sicily has more than its fair share of pristine sands waiting for your beach towel. From kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling and scuba diving, to kitesurfing, sailing and paddle boarding, there is a nearly endless list of things to do on this sun-drenched, tri-cornered island at the very south of boot-shaped Italy.
Great food and fine wines
The widely adored Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano, masterfully played by the Roman actor Luca Zingaretti, has introduced the world to some of the most delicious traditional Sicilian dishes, from the fish couscous of Trapani, flavorful pasta ‘ncaciata and squid-ink spaghetti, to tasty fried rice balls made with peas, saffron and cheese, mouthwatering cannoli, and caponata, a Sicilian version of ratatouille made with chopped fried eggplants, olives, capers, and celery.
It should come as little surprise that bon viveurs love Sicily, which is also one of the largest wine-producing regions in the Bel Paese.
What do Ernest Hemingway, Goethe, D. H. Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, Richard Wagner, and Audrey Hepburn have in common? All have visited the glamorous, cliff-perched seaside town of Taormina, on the eastern coast of the island. Goethe once called it “a patch of paradise.”
Taormina’s north coast rival is the impossibly picturesque town of Cefalù, about an hour’s drive from the main city of Palermo, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for its syncretic Arab-Norman architecture in 2015.
There is a wide variety of picturesque towns to visit in Sicily, from strikingly beautiful Baroque towns such as Noto, Catania and Ragusa, to one of the most iconic and photogenic locations in all the Mediterranean, Scopello, with its ancient, creamy-colored tuna factory, huge sea stacks rising out of the glistening blue water, and rugged, prickly pear-covered cliffs.
As you can see, in sun-splashed Sicily you can really get the perfect trifecta of vibrant culture, great food, and beachside luxury. Dust off your passport, refresh your holiday wardrobe, and start planning your next luxury escape!