Early dusk shaded under the lemon orchard, sipping their sour citrus, cool margaritas and market food sprawled on a table fit for nine. Sunset feasts turn to star lit conversations, emptying bottles of local vino tinto as Mt Etna looks over us.
If there’s one thing you do, go to Sicily. If there’s one thing you don’t do, it’s leave without taking one of these moments home with you.
Rightly so in the land of lemons, we start the day eating limone granita with warm brioche buns. Italian ancestors gave birth to Sorbetto here, using ice collected from the snowy peaks of Mt Etna, adding lemon juice and almond milk to cool down during the summer months. The Italian word Sorbetto was derived from the Arabic word ‘scherbet’ meaning sweet snow, or from the Turkish word chorbet meaning, ‘to sip.’
If it’s not lemons…
Land pearls with purple speckled green jewels encased in a slightly open shell for digging a nail under; Pistachio’s are honoured everywhere in Sicilian cooking. If it’s not lemons, it’s pistachios. Most local ‘forno’s’ will sell pistachio cream filled croissants and canolli’s, that linger in your dreams long after an encounter.
From the Greek word ‘I burn,’ Mt Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe and sits on the east coast of Sicily. Hike at sunrise or catch a cable car for a panoramic look at Etna’s undulating ranges.
If you hike Cavangrande Natural Reserve, make sure to bring bathers so you can dip in the emerald lakes carved into its canyons. We took a picnic and spent the day lounging on towels on the hot limestone and dipping into the cascading pools decorated with pink flowers.
Le Isole Eoli
Sicily is surrounded by many glorious neighbours, including Lempedusa, Pantelleria and the Aegadian islands. The Aeolean Archipeligo is also nearby, a UNESCO-listed region that was formed after 260,000 years of volcanic activity. Within it is endless islands to visit; Lipari being known for its hiking spots and Salina for being the greenest, with lots of vineyards to relax in.
Perfect for spending days by the ocean and then throwing on a skirt to go for sunset spritz's.