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5 reasons to stay inland in Sicily How much do you know about Sicily’s extraordinary interior? While most visitors to Sicily flock to the coast, shunning its mountains and rugged landscape for its beaches and inviting seas, its heartland remains delightfully unexplored and tourist-free. Venture inland and you’ll find mountain ranges, limestone plains, hilltop villages, and olives groves and vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. If you choose to stay on the coast, you can of course still easily access the island’s interior but if you’re looking to get under Sicily’s skin, then inland is the…

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The best Sicily holiday ideas for 2022 As the world starts to peer cautiously round the corner, just the thought of booking a summer holiday for 2022 is one that fizzes with excitement. Where to book? The sunny shores of the Mediterranean are tantalizingly close, but perhaps something that promises a little more activity or culture might be more appealing. A city break perhaps? Or an away-from-it-all destination where you can delve deep into the local culture or natural world? The good news is that Sicily ticks all these boxes, so read on for inspiration. The family holiday Pick somewhere…

Catania town main square center (Piazza del Duomo)

The best things to see and do in Catania Catania may technically be Sicily’s second largest city but its lashings of Baroque style, dark lava stone buildings and elaborate architecture elevate it to one of Sicily’s must-see destinations. Undeniably lively and perhaps slightly chaotic, the city today blends history and art with contemporary living, showcasing extravagant palazzi and churches, authentic markets and designer boutiques. In the 17th century, the city was devastated by a volcanic eruption and, less than 30 years later, a major earthquake, resulting in much of the city being rebuilt into one of black and white palazzi…

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Is Sicily the best place for a big family holiday? After 18 months of uncertainty, enforced lockdowns and at worst, oceans between us, there’s never been a better time to plan a holiday with our loved ones. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who have missed out on sharing those landmark moments with the special people in your life, this is your chance to catch up on memory-making. Close the generation gap Let’s face it – no one’s going to spoil your kids as much as their grandparents! If you’ve got young children who have been deprived of the…

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The Guardian recommends a half-term break in Syracuse, Sicily Who wouldn’t enjoy some October sunshine, a last chance to swim in balmy seas before winter sets in and a daily fix of a brioche bun crammed with gelato? Those are just three of the reasons the Guardian chose to include Sicily, and specifically Syracuse, in its recent round-up of ten best half-term holidays. Guests at Casa a Ortigia in October can hop over to the urban beach across the road from the villa and enjoy dips in waters that still retain some of the summer heat. Alternatively there are baroque…

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Experience Sicilian food, culture and nature If a holiday in Sicily has been on your radar for a while, you’ll already know how much there is to do. Long lists of ancient temples, baroque churches and Roman amphitheatres trip off the tongue and before you know it, you’re feeling stressed about how you’re going to fit everything into a mere week on the island! But what about activities that don’t involve traditional sightseeing? It seems that while many visitors may not necessarily want to delve back into ancient history, they may equally want to do something other than flop on…

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The Guardian recommends Pozzillo for a late sunshine break For anyone desperate for a few last rays of sunshine and a change of scene, the Guardian’s recent round-up of autumn sun holidays is packed with inspiration. Sarah Baxter picks 10 of the best characterful locations where you can live like the locals, and still enjoy sea dips, beach excursions and lingering alfresco meals in balmy temperatures. If it’s authenticity you’re after, Pozzillo ticks every box. This tiny fishing port on Sicily’s east coast is close to some of Sicily’s most popular attractions, but also perfect if you want to experience…

Piazza Pretoria, Palermo in Sicily.

Take an alternative Italian city break With one of the biggest historic centres in the whole of Italy, atmospheric markets, a fascinating food culture and the second largest opera house in Europe, Palermo is increasingly a strong contender when it comes to Italian city breaks. At times, it can seem a little rough round the edges but that’s all part of the attraction and quickly overshadowed by magnificent UNESCO World Heritage architecture and a buzzing restaurant scene which sets the city up as the perfect introduction to the rest of the island. When is the best time to visit Palermo?…

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5 of the best Sicily villas for an October half-term break The summer sunshine tends to linger just that little bit longer in Sicily compared to the rest of Italy, which means that October is still a very pleasant month to holiday here. Days can still be warm and sunny, with temperatures reaching up as high as 25˚C, and the sea temperatures, at around 23˚C, tend to be higher than in May. The summer crowds, however, have all headed back home which means that you get to see the real Sicily. Enjoy the luxury of having beaches almost to yourself…

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Save up to 20% on Wish Sicily villas Italy’s recent announcement that it has dropped its 5-day quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Britons puts Sicily firmly back on the holiday map. Villa specialist Wish Sicily is offering up to 20% off selected apartments and villas in September and October when, given Sicily’s location just 100 miles or so northeast of Africa, you can expect temperatures in their early 20’s and sea water that has been warmed by the summer sun. Discounts are available on the following holidays: City break in Syracuse Feeling culture starved?  Make up for lost time with…

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Wish Sicily featured in the Telegraph’s 20 Italian villas The announcement at the end of last month that the Italian government was extending its 5-day quarantine mandate for UK visitors to the end of August was bitterly disappointing for many, but as the Telegraph reports, an initial 5-day enforced respite from the outside world may not be such a hardship. According to the Telegraph, the secret lies in picking the right villa. Once you’ve got that sorted, the prospect of chilling over leisurely breakfasts on the terrace and catching up on poolside reading, rather than dashing off to the beach…

Close up of a surface texture of a creamy green Ice cream.

Welcome to our world of gelati, granite and cremolate It’s crazy to think anyone would plan a holiday in Sicily based on ice-cream, but who doesn’t give a little whoop of joy at the thought of everyone flocking from far and wide for a scoop of gelato from your local gelateria! Sicilians take their gelati very seriously and even if you’re not a mad ice-cream fan, we suspect you’ll struggle to resist this frozen treat. Historically, gelato was probably first introduced to Sicily by the Arabs and was more of a granita than a creamy ice cream.  Mount Etna came…

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Discover some of Sicily’s lesser-known sights If you’ve holidayed in Sicily in the past, you’ll know just how many extraordinary sights and experiences are lurking round each and every corner. Few other Mediterranean islands manage to pack in quite so much in the way of architecture, nature, history and culture. Marvel at the Byzantine treasures of Palermo and the baroque architecture of the southeast, then feast your eyes on the smouldering backdrop of Mount Etna or the blinding white steps of the Scala dei Turchi. The truth is, Sicily never fails to dazzle. But if you’re on a second or…

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5 of the best things to do on the west coast of Sicily Given that Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and around a fifth the size of England, it’s not surprising that the vibes on its west coast are very different to those of the north and east. This is partly due to its lack of obvious tourist hotspots. Compare it to the east coast where Taormina takes centre stage, or the north coast which is dominated by Cefalù. However, its proximity to north Africa (Tunisia is less than 100 miles away) is also a key factor…

seaside-villa-sicily-wishsicily

10 of the best Sicilian villas with beach access With 1500km of coastline, you’re never too far from a beach in Sicily. But what if you want to hit the sand without the hassle of loading up the car with all the beach paraphernalia? In Sicily, there are plenty of villas and apartments that are right on the beach, with the sand or sea directly accessible from your back door. Take your pick from some of our favourites, dust off your flipflops and pack your bags! Dedalo, Sciacca New to the Wish Sicily fold, Dedalo is located on the outskirts…

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We always love seeing our villas featured in the press and the in-depth review of Rocca di Pietra in the current edition of CasaAntica magazine is no exception. Each issue, the bi-monthly publication turns its attention to the restructuring and renovation of timeworn but lovingly restored homes, exploring the use of ancient materials, and in particular terracotta, wood and stone. In the article, owners Giovanna and Luigi discuss the restoration of their much-loved property, situated 16km from their home in Ragusa in south east Sicily. The country house dates back to 1930 although its original foundations go back much further.…

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Should I book a guided tour in Sicily or explore independently? One of the things that really sets Sicily apart from other Mediterranean islands is the sheer volume of things to see. Stunning beaches and an enviable climate certainly make it a natural choice for a fly and flop holiday but the island is also a favourite for anyone interested in exploring beyond the nearest stretch of sand. The problem is that with so much to see, it can be quite tricky to fit everything into a week’s holiday! Efficient planning can help but inevitably, unexpected issues arise and trips…

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Which are the best beaches in Sicily? June in Sicily is beach time and we’re the first to grab any opportunity for a quick dip and an hour or two soaking up the sun. Fortunately, for those of us based in Palermo, we’re rather spoilt for choice. Our favourite beach is at Mondello but the sandy bays and seafront restaurants around Castellammare del Golfo are also tempting when we have a little more time available. Which type of beach do you prefer? Do you head straight for the luxury of the nearest lido, with traditionally Italian regimented rows of sun…

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5 reasons to visit Sicily in September and October Here in Sicily, we’re hopeful that travel discussions are moving in the right direction. In Italy, we’re getting ready to welcome overseas visitors with open arms and without the need for quarantining. But if you’re still a little nervous about travelling abroad, why not plan ahead and book a September or October break? Here are 5 good reasons why. The last of the summer sun After a challenging winter, the idea of extending summer as long as possible is hugely appealing. Luckily, our southerly location just 100 miles northeast of Africa,…

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The Times includes Casa del Carrubo in its September suggestions It’s no secret that there’s nowhere we’d rather be in September than in Sicily, so we were thrilled to see the Times newspaper include a Wish Sicily holiday in its recent round-up of top September breaks for 2021. With temperatures reaching up into the mid-20’s and the sea pleasantly warmed by several months of sunshine, a September holiday in Sicily will extend your summer well into the autumn months. Beaches at this time are blissfully quiet and the atmosphere in towns pleasantly laidback. On cooler days, you can step back…