Sensational Sicily: Eat, drink and explore Roman ruins

Architectural treasures, delicious food and a wealth of cultural remnants from invasions over the past couple of thousand years or so are what give the Sicily of today its unique identity. Part of Italy it may be, but this sun-drenched island –the largest in the Mediterranean – has a heritage that includes Greek, Roman, Arab and even Norman infuences.

express cefalu

Traces of these vastly different cultures are everywhere on this sun-drenched island, from its distinctive, flamboyant architecture to the world famous Sicilian cuisine. The major attractions here are well known – Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna, sent spectacular columns of lava high into the air as recently as a couple of months ago.

And its cities – such as Syracuse and nearby Catania – are packed with sunny squares and glorious historic churches. But for our summer holiday, we decided to explore Licata, a city on the south coast between Ragusa – where BBC Four’s popular Inspector Montalbano series is filmed – and Agrigento, home to Sicily’s most famous historical attraction, the Valley of the Temples.

It put us within reach of a cornucopia of cultural sites and beaches, although Licata is not well known itself – except by Second World War buffs as a landing point for invading Allied forces in 1943. It has its share of pretty churches as well as a castle and a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, La Madia, that attracts fine diners from all over the world.

After flying into the capital, Palermo – and driving our rental car three hours south – we reached our rental villa, Masseria Falamandrina, a renovated farmhouse with a glorious pool, all nestling in an olive grove on a working organic farm. The owner, Giulia, kindly presented us with a bottle of olive oil made on the premises. It was gorgeously fruity when poured over the caprese salads we made each day for our alfresco lunches on the villa’s shady terrace.

Licata’s attractions included an historical centre with imposing buildings and cafés offering refreshing coffee and gelato. Impressive edifces included the grand Palazzo Frangipane and Palazzo di Citá, an art nouveau building that overlooks the town’s central road crossing. Also worth seeing is the 18th-century Church of Santa Maria La Nova, which houses the famous ‘Black Crucifix,’ blackened during a fire set by the Turks during the 15th Century.

My Visit in Cefalu

Linda Lindforff is the name, and you can find my blog at  I’ve been visiting Cefalu for many years, and this year I stayed at a fabulous villa named Villa Borghetto.  This place was the best I’ve seen in many locations.

As you can see from all the pictures we were near a beach and the kids and I got to enjoy them each day we stayed in Cefalu.  The people in this location are the best too, so friendly and pleasant, willing to help you with just about anything.

Plus the museum in the area gave me a chance to share the local culture and history with the kids as well.  Talk about a well-rounded trip of not only fun, but education as well!

If you are looking for a new vacation spot, check out Cefalu too.  You’ll find the beaches are fabulous, the scenery is wondrous, and the people are second to none.  Try and stay at the same villa as we did, you won’t be sorry!






Norwegian Activities and Sports in town

Cefalu offers Norwegian friends a chance to enjoy the lovely Sicily location and also enjoy plenty of sports and activities while vacationing.  Each year you can visit Cefalu and enjoy a visit to the fitness center in town, or you can do something outdoors.

Plenty of trekking around options are available in Cefalu, and you can enjoy other sports lessons as well.  Maybe even try your hand at cooking lessons, so you can learn how to create a fabulous Sicilian meal for your Norwegian friends and other new friends you meet while in Cefalu!

All on the top


Sicily a new dawn

The Telegraph online Edition Jan 2011

cefalu telegraph

At the same time the shimmering mosaics of Monreale and Cefalù, the virtually intact Greek temple of Segesta, and Palermo’s spectacular palaces and churches blew us away. Sicily’s historic monuments are still here, thank goodness, some of them looking even better than before: the Roman mosaics of Piazza Armerina, for example – famous for their depiction of bikini-clad female gymnasts – should again be visible in all their glory this spring, after a stop-go restoration effort that has dragged on for years.