Browsing CategoryFood-related activities

Food and pastry. Cannoli from Sicily

Focus on Sicilian food We’re frequently asked how Sicilian food differs from the rest of Italy and what makes our cuisine so unique. After all, we too eat pizza and pasta and demolish huge quantities of gelato! In fact every region of Italy has its own distinctive cuisine but this is particularly noticeable in Sicily where our daily diet is an extraordinary legacy of the island’s history, resulting in a dazzling combination of flavours. Add to that a mix of ingredients that have been enriched by the Sicilian sun and our steadfast commitment to so called ‘cibo chilometri zero’, that…

Pizzo dell'Ovo

Book a villa in Sicily to celebrate in style in 2023! Are you one of the many who have lost out on celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary in recent years, or have simply missed sharing experiences with friends? If so, there’s no time like the present to start planning for 2023! Several of our villas in Sicily are big enough for parties of 20 and more, with a whole range of services that cater for large groups, designed to make your holiday even more memorable. Choose from chef services, tours and gastronomic experiences – we’ll make sure you’re well…

gelati-sicily-holday-ice-cream

All about gelati in Sicily As temperatures soar across the UK, Italy, France and Spain, one thing we can be sure of is that ice-cream sales will rocket. In fact even the thought of stepping into a gelateria is soothing in these sweltering temperatures. Disappointing as it may be, the truth is that eating ice-cream doesn’t actually cool you down. Despite its initial cooling effect, once our body’s metabolism kicks in to break down the nutrients in the ice-cream, our body temperature starts to rise again. And the bigger the ice-cream and higher calorie content, the bigger the effect on…

SUITCASE_Magazine_Logo

Sicily’s Tastiest Foodie Retreats selected by Suitcase magazine The gastronomic scene in Sicily is continuing to expand, becoming ever more adventurous whilst still remaining true to its traditional roots. And the good news is that you don’t need to head for a Michelin-starred restaurant to experience it – you’ll find fantastic ingredients on market stalls and simple but delicious dishes at the local trattoria. But what if you want to dig deeper into Sicilian gastronomic culture, to find out what to buy at the market and learn how to prepare some of the dishes for yourself? Cue Cooking & Culture, a…

christmas-in-sicily-wishsicily

Traditional festive Christmas and New Year celebrations Christmas is coming and with it, a sparkling display of nativity scenes, twinkling lights and a selection of foodie treats. As you’d expect, the Christmas period in Sicily is both traditional and religious but you’ll also find plenty of festive fun. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to get a real insight into life in Sicily without the tourists. Weather in Sicily at Christmas In spite of Sicily’s proximity to Africa, you’re not going to find soaring Mediterranean heat. Temperatures tend to range from around 11 to 16˚ but this can vary further depending…

tours-activities-experiences-sicily

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…

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…

western-sicily-wishsicily

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…

villa-oasivera-vendicari-wishsicily

Take a mouth-watering culinary journey in Sicily Spend any length of time in Sicily and you quickly realise that no milestone passes without a substantial feast … and what a feast!  Sicilian cuisine wisely makes the most of what nature throws its way, packed with flavour-busting vegetables, fresh fish, and dishes and delicacies crammed with home-grown almonds and pistachios. Yet it’s also a cuisine that draws on its multi-layered history and so, in common with all Italian regions, has its own set of very unique flavours, traditions and recipes.  In Sicily, for example, you may find yourself starting the day…

culinary-retreat-sicily-wishsicily

What sort of holiday person are you? Are you the first to stake your position by the pool, ready for a week of basking in the sun? Or do you devote months before your trip to planning a week crammed full of activities and researching the best local restaurants? The truth is that while some of us are firmly in either the chill-out or action-packed camp, many of us fall somewhere between the two. Catching up on local culture is always welcome but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to spend every day sightseeing. Similarly, while you might like…

street-food-tour-sicily

Discover the main Sicilian street markets If there’s nothing you like more on holiday than a mooch round a market, Sicily certainly ticks plenty of boxes. Most towns have a market, even if just once a week. At the bigger markets, where coloured tarpaulins provide shade from the fierce morning sun, get ready for a maelstrom of noise, colour and activity. Some of the markets’ names, such as Palermo’s Ballarò, date back to the Saracen rule of the ninth century and in fact the atmosphere isn’t much different from their Arab counterpart. Stalls display a dazzling range of exotic spices,…

best-villas-in-sicily

Lunch by the pool or dinner under the stars is one of the great treats of a villa holiday in the sun. In fact we think having an exquisite outdoor space is a real decider when choosing a holiday villa.  From May to September one of the big pleasures of life in Sicily is being outside from dawn to dusk, and beyond. Throw in the luxury of an outdoor kitchen and some dramatic coastal or rural views, and you’re well on your way to a holiday in heaven. Not sure where to start looking for your villa? Read on to…

villas-in-sicily-to-rent

Some of the questions that crop up repeatedly amongst our guests involve driving in Sicily – particularly what it’s like to drive in Sicily, whether a car is absolutely essential and whether there are restaurants and shops within walking distance of the villa. The truth is that if your villa is in a rural location, a car is generally recommended. In fact, even if your villa is near to shops and other services, there’s no doubt that having the independence of your own rental car to explore will definitely enhance your holiday. Travelling by bus or train can take time…

Foodie-Experiences-in-Sicily

You don’t need to be a diehard foodie to recognise the role that food and drink plays in a holiday in Sicily. Part of its culinary attraction is the simplicity of the food and the fantastic quality of the ingredients, from the flavour-packed tomatoes and capers to the surrounding seas which are teeming with shellfish and seafood. The cuisine also provides a fascinating – and extremely enjoyable! – history lesson of the island, providing an invaluable insight into past invaders. Many of its natural ingredients can be traced to a former time, from the Greeks and Arab invaders to cooking…

sicilian gastronomy

Aside from the obvious advantages of holidaying in Sicily in May or June when prices are low and the beaches crowd-free, a Spring holiday in Sicily means gastronomy. Dip into your nearest trattoria for a dish of pasta con le sarde or wander along to the local market to stock up on the freshest seasonal ingredients for a gourmet al fresco meal at your own villa. So what are the traditional Sicily food in May?   Springtime traditional Sicily food products Fish plays a big part in the Sicilian diet year-round but tuna and sword fish are at their best…

food in sicily

No celebration in Sicily, religious or otherwise, is without its special food and this is particularly the case at Easter. Despite the saying ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi’ (‘Christmas with family, Easter with whoever you want’), Easter is traditionally a time to be with family and friends – a fabulous gastronomic experience that is shaped, as with all the best Sicilian celebrations, by the many myths and traditions embedded in the island’s culture. Lunch on Easter Sunday is a long lingering affair and the best advice is to go hungry! Lamb, with Sicilian Easter bread, is on…

catania-sicily

Festivals are all part of the fun of a villa holiday in Sicily and regardless of where and when you visit, there is a good chance of stumbling on local celebrations. With every town claiming a patron saint, religious festivals can be very spectacular affairs involving processions, fireworks and, not surprisingly, plenty of delicious food. In addition, many of the small towns and villages hold local sagre, dedicated to celebrating their most famous agricultural produce. These are just a few to whet your appetite.   Cannolo Festival in Piana degli Albanesi If you are staying in a holiday villa near…

Sicily villas for foodies

From its creamy risotto filled arancini to its prolifically-growing zucchini, Sicilian food is packed with flavour.  Fresh sun-ripened tomatoes, shiny silver sardines and sweet fat pistachios have been incorporated into a distinctive cuisine that has been shaped by centuries of foreign rule.  Events such as San Vito lo Capo’s Cous Cous Fest and sagre celebrating everything from artichokes to onions punctuate the calendar but every day in Sicily brings another gastronomic treat. Villa specialist Wish Sicily has brought out a new collection of villas for foodies, where guests are never more than a bite away from the top foodie hotspots…

Sicilian Dessert Sweets Cannolo Gastronomy

Sicilian cuisine is something to relish when you take a vacation there, the seafood is incredibly fresh and delicious paired with some nice white wine made on the hills of Mount Etna. Yet, the culinary journey does not end there. Save room for Sicilian desserts and wash it down with nice Marsala, because they are to die for. One of the most iconic Sicilian sweets is the Cannoli. There are cannolis and then there are Sicilian cannolis. This incredible dessert, called in the dialect of the island cannolu, is a fried tube of pastry dough filled with a creamy ricotta…

Wine and tasting tour in sicily

If you are travelling to the beautiful region of Sicily, there are two things you should know: “Sicily” and “wine” go hand in hand. Do not leave the island without taking a tour of one of the many vineyards or doing several wine tastings. The wines of Sicily have been fermenting since 1500 BC when the Greeks began to settle the land, making it one of the premier wine destinations in the world. Some of the best areas to taste Sicilian wines are: Mount Etna: enjoy the view and the crisp white wines Ragusa, for some incredible food and wines…