Monday, 28 May 2012

Ideal lunch for your holidays in sicily


People having holidays in Sicily.


Having a traditional sicilian meal on a glorious sunny day.


Lunch time.


Castellammare del Golfo, "Posidonia" restaurant.


A selection of starters: "Polpettine di pesce" (fish and garlic balls) "Polpo bollito ad insalata" (octopus salad) "Fiori di zucca in pastella" (pumpkin flower stuffed with cheese and anchovies) "Pescetti fritti" (little fried fish) A taste of "fish cous cous"

Main course: "Spatola arrostita" (grilled eel)

Dessert: Lemon sorbet

What to drink? Local white wine and water

"Questa è la vita......" (this is the life), as my english friend Rita always says when she starts her holidays in Sicily.

Buon pranzo,


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Having dinner while on holidays in sicily

Are you on holidays in Sicily in the area of Trapani? Do you know a nice restaurant where to dine? Here are three ideas. These are places where I used to take my family to have a sicilian lunch/dinner.
Traditional sicilian pizza at "Li Macaseni" pizzeria address: contrada Balata di Baida, 20 mins off Castellammare del Golfo mobile phone number: 328 3760983 mail:
Have a "Trapanese" here; a pizza with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, fried aubergines, basel, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil (see picture).

Mussles and clams at "Trattoria delle cozze" by Basiricò address: SP 50 Litoranea Mazara Granitola, Mazara del Vallo phone number: 0923 942323 mail:
I suggest "Polpo bollito" (boiled octopus) as a starter and then either "Zuppa di cozze" (Mussels soup) or "Pasta con le vongole" (pasta with clams, parsley and garlic) as a main course (see picture for both).
Sicilian Cous Cous at "Trattoria Gna Sara" address: Via Duca degli Abruzzi 8, San vito Lo Capo phone number: 0923 972100 mail:
Of course have fish based cous cous as a main course. As an alternative "busiate gna sara" (pasta with fried aubergines, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, cherry tomatoes, basel, almonds and capers). Both things are delicious (see picture for both).
I hope you will really enjoy a real sicilian dinner.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Your holiday in Sicily: a day in the area of Trapani.

Stay in a B&B in the area (I suggest "Uliveto House" near Castellammare del Golfo). Get on your hired car and head to "Zingaro Nature Reserve" (20 mins). For those who love walking/trekking, there you will enjoy the place quite a lot.

Following the main trail, immediately after the entrance you pass through a tunnel which was part of an abandoned project to create a coast road and after a distance or around 100 metres you come to a turning which leads off to a picnic area. A short distance further on there is a Visitor Centre which houses a small Nature Museum followed by another turning which leads down to the inlet of Punta Capreria where there are two small pebble beaches set between the rocks. Continuing on the main trail you cover around 2 kilometres of coastal moorland before arriving at Cala del Varo where there is a small lodge which is only open in summer. Slightly further on you arrive at the Zingaro area which forms the heart of the reserve and is covered with scrub and dwarf palms; the area also has a number of old rural buildings. The path then leads on to Contrada Marinella (and its delightful inlet of the same name) followed by Contrada Uzzo with its splendid beach of fine sand. A short deviation at this point leads to the Grotta dell'Uzzo which is of archeological interest. Less than 300 metres from the grotto is the Museo della Civiltà Contadina which houses a collection relating to the production of grain and examples of the different techniques used in the weaving of native fibres. Just before arriving at the North entrance to the Reserve you come to the Tonnarella dell'Uzzo, location of the Museo delle Attività Marinare. Water supplies are available along the trail at Cala del Varo (only during the summer months) and at the Museo della Civiltà Contadina at Contrada Uzzo. There are two other main trails in the Reserve - an upper trail and a mid trail.

(source: Discover Sicily)

On the way back, I supposed you might be exhausted. Recover and refresh yourself at the fisherman village of Scopello (5 mins driving from the reserve).

Scopello (from the Greek "Skopelos" meaning "cliff") is located near the sea, on the slopes of the "Monte Sparagio". From the town you will have a view of the nature reserve "Lo Zingaro" and the "Golfo di Castellammare". Scopello was once famous for tuna fishing, but now that's nothing more than a vague memory of the past. However, Scopello, undoubtedly thanks to its small size, managed to keep the authentic atmosphere of an old Sicily. In Scopello you'll find a nice courtyard house ("baglio") from the 16th century, which accommodates ceramics boutiques, a bar and a restaurant in the shadow of a large eucalyptus. If you'd like to try the delicious "pani cunzatu" (a traditional local bread which is filled with tomatoes, local cheese, anchovies and herbs) or the sfincione, the Sicilian equivalent of the widely famous pizza, then you should definitely go to the village's baker who bakes his bread in a wood burning oven. You can enjoy this traditional food in the bakery's garden. Close to the village there is the old tuna fishery ("La Tonnara"), where you can go for a swim and where you will also find traces of the tuna fishing activity. The rusty anchors, to which the tuna nets were attached, indicate the former use of this site. In the eighties of the last century, tuna fishing near Scopello came to an end. The only tuna fishery in Sicily, which is still active, is the one located in Favignana.

(source: - Scopello)

After lunch, leave Scopello, drive back to Castellammare del Golfo and get on the A29 motorway towards Segesta. This is a very famous old greek archeological site.

The two attractions are a temple and an amphitheater dating from the 3rd century BC. These are the only two remains of the city of Segesta which was founded by the Elymians. When Troy was destroyed, the Elymians escaped to Sicily and with the help of the Romans and later the Greeks, they succeeded in making Segesta become an influential city and the biggest rival of the city of Selinunte. The Doric temple is placed in a beautiful location, at the foot of the Monte Barbaro, and is still very well preserved. The fact that the temple was never covered with a roof and that there are no signs of a "cella" (the inner chamber of a temple) ever being constructed, suggests that the temple has never been finished. It is very remarkable that it withstood several pillages. The positioning of the amphitheater is very special as opposed to all other amphitheaters, in that it points to the North. This is probably because of the splendid view over the valley and the Golfo di Castellammare. In the summer months, you can see a variety of cultural events (live music, plays, etc) in this beautiful amphitheater.

(source: Siciliandreams - Segesta)

It might be late afternoon / early evening and we should find a place where to enjoy a sicilian sun setting. You have got two chances.

The first: drive from Segesta to Erice, a nice medieval town on the top of mount San Giuliano. There you will enjoy a great sun setting overviewing the Egadi islands. You will have the impression that a "flaming" sun seems to touch the islands.

The second: drive back from Segesta to Castellammare del Golfo and go straight to its touristic harbour. There, find a bar and enjoy the pink colours of the sky. Sunsetting is not as impressive as Erice's but the atmosphere is very relaxing (of course this is not true in August! Please, avoid Sicily in August when all the italians used to have their own holidays).

Finally drive back to "Uliveto House" B&B and enjoy a traditional sicilian dinner, cooked for you by Dina and Patrizia (read comments about Dina's sicilian cuisine on TripAdvisor).

If you visit one of these places, please let me have your impressions. See you in Sicily!



Monday, 19 March 2012

A holiday in Sicily

Shoulder season 2012 has started (yesterday temperatures were over 25 °C in some parts of Sicily) and this is the right time for organizing a holiday in Sicily.
I own a website (Sicilian dreams) where I give information about places in Sicily where to go or where to dine, about how to arrive together with the chance of booking on line an accommodation in the western part of Sicily.

Here I am going to share with you my thoughts about Sicily and my short trips along the island hoping you can possibly try to do the same during your holiday.

You might ask: "What is the difference between this blog and Sicilian dreams' twitter and facebook account?"

Twiitter and its 140 allowed chars is not too much to describe both a thought or a short trip, whilst I consider Facebook more as a place where to share pictures of Sicily, sicilian music and art, events trying to get people interested about what happens in the island.

Of course, as you can imagine those three media will be linked to each other.

I hope you will like it.........let's start!!!

In the meantime you can follow me on:
FACEBOOK: Sicilian-Dreams-helping-travellers-organizing-their-holidays-in-Sicily