Sicily Travel Guide
Markets don't get more pungent and raucous than Palermo's labyrinth of narrow passageways piled with produce. Feisty matrons haggle with vendors in thick Sicilian dialects for the best pomegranates or tangy Pantelleria capers.
Visitors to the Planeta Winery in Menfi do not just come for the wide range of classic Sicilian vintages like grecanico, moscato di noto, and frappato, as well as the newer syrahs and chardonnays.
Located in the countryside of southwest Sicilily, this Menfi winery is the largest of the Planeta family’s six.
Fabrizia Lanza teaches at a 19th-century country house with four rustic rooms. You'll learn to make a sweet cassata, a traditional sponge-cake dessert filled with ricotta cheese and covered with candied fruit and a sugar glaze.
When the Spanish brought chocolate to Sicily in 1500s, they also brought Aztec preparation methods that still flourish on the island, especially at Antica Dolceria Bonajuto in the southeastern city of Modica.
Local artist Daniela Neri sells jewelry made from native sea salt, resin, and coral.
The Sicily-based school doesn’t teach much dialect, but there are plenty of ways to absorb local culture in the sun-soaked, seaside town of Taormina: students take classes in the kitchens of residents. Courses range from one to 24 weeks.
As the country's largest theater, the neo-classical Teatro Massimo has loomed large in the opera, ballet, and classical music scene since opening in 1897. It was also site of the culminating scene of Godfather III, which attracts a number of fans as well.
Cooking classes are offered at the private estate of Gabriella Becchina, where the robust olio verde is produced.
While waiting for graduate school to begin in 1980, Giambattista Cilia’s father gave him and two friends a few tons of nero d’avola grapes for winemaking. The first vintage bonded the three, who promptly founded the COS Winery.
Gelato aficionados can find some of Sicily’s most popular in a small kiosk outside the Giadini Inglese in Piazza Gentili. Everything is created with traditional techniques and natural ingredients since the 1950s.