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Sicily Off the Beaten Path

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I love Sicily! The island is booming with culture, great food, and loads of history. While most of Sicily is offbeat and good for adventurous travelers, this list takes the adventure a few steps further, focusing on a few of my favorite lesser-known spots on the east coast — so that you can experience the best the area has to offer.

Good for
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker

8 Places

5 City Tips

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Map

8 Places

Lukos

Restaurants

Monte Etna

Geologic Formations, Volcanoes, Mountains

Pasticceria Savia

Restaurants

Ninnetti

Restaurants

Museo Civico Castello Ursino

History Museums

Caffe Costanzo

Restaurants

Piazza Immacolata

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Fera 'o Luni - Mercato di piazza Carlo Alberto

Flea & Street Markets

Christopher L's City Tips

  • Traveling by car gives you the most flexibility. Buses are another option, but if you do not speak Italian, finding the right bus, and the right stop, can be difficult.
  • Fly to Lamezia (a town in South Italy, on the peninsula), and then take the train from there to Catania. This trip is absolutely beautiful.
  • Sicily is relaxed and laid back, although Sicilians can be quite fiery. If you can adapt to both, you'll be quickly integrated.
  • Sicily is relatively cheap, so it's a good value for money when eating out.
  • Never eat in an empty restaurant, or one full of tourists. Find a restaurant that is packed with Sicilians — even if the food takes some time to arrive, it will be worth it!
  • Lukos
    Restaurants (Italian)
    Christopher L Says:

    This cozy restaurant is in the small town of Vizzini, just outside Catania. I was first introduced to Lukos by a local friend, and I found the food to be simply amazing, especially the pizzas. Most likely, you will be the only foreigner here too, which is why it is an excellent spot for those looking to escape the more mainstream destinations in Sicily.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Vizzini is a small, beautiful town, so an after-dinner "passeggiata" (evening stroll) around this astonishing part of Italy is almost required.
    • Try the "pizza con panna e pistaccio." It's probably the best pizza I have ever had in my life!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • most interesting experience of tipical sicilian place 28/05/2015
    • Carino 23/08/2016
    • Lukos
    Address:
    Via Andrea Doria 2
    95040 Licodia Eubea, Sicily
    Italy
  • Monte Etna
    Geologic Formations, Volcanoes, Mountains
    See more photos
    Christopher L Says:

    Mt. Etna is the tallest active volcano on the European continent. While most visitors to the east coast of Sicily admire this natural landmark from afar, not many go and really 'see' the volcano. Check out the stunning views from Catania on a sunny day, and then venture much closer, exploring the several small villages, wildlife and magnificent views that you'll find near its base.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you are an adventurous and/or sporty type, mountain bike tours of Mount Etna are available.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 219 things to do in Catania
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Incredible volcano in a very populated area 15/10/2018
    • Walk to the top 15/10/2018
    • Monte Etna
  • Pasticceria Savia
    Restaurants (Italian, Bar, Cafe, Fast food, Mediterranean)
    See more photos
    Christopher L Says:

    Despite its size, Catania is a pretty offbeat destination, meaning that it is full of hidden gems that have never made it onto the tourist map. Pasticceria Savia, dating back to 1897, is one such local treasure — and my favorite snack stop in Catania. At this charming sweet shop, they make absolutely delicious baked goods and Sicilian sweets, all of which capture the authentic taste of the island.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Try the "cannoli alla ricotta." It does not get more Sicilian, more local, or more delicious than this!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Late lunch 14/10/2018
    • For a sweet tooth 07/10/2018
    • Pasticceria Savia
    Address:
    Via Etnea, 300/302/304
    Via Umberto, 2/4/6
    95131 Catania, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 095 322335
    Price range:
    US$ 1 - US$ 7
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    7:45 AM - 9:20 PM
    Other:
  • Ninnetti
    Restaurants (Italian, Pizza, Seafood, Mediterranean)
    See more photos
    Christopher L Says:

    Situated in a lovely town between Catania and Parco Dell’Etna, Ninnetti is one of the best restaurants I have experienced in Sicily. Proper Sicilian fare right in front of Mt. Etna is pretty amazing, and you will not have a more Sicilian experience than this: The service is good, the prices are fair, and the food is just out of this world.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Seafood fans will be in seventh heaven here. Everything is fresh and delicious.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Dinner al Fresco 22/07/2017
    • Great find 04/06/2017
    • Ninnetti
    Address:
    Via Roma 16
    San Gregorio
    95027 San Gregorio di Catania, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 095 525257
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    12:30 PM - 11:30 PM
    Other:
  • Museo Civico Castello Ursino
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Christopher L Says:

    Castello Ursino dates back to the 13th century and was home to Emperor Federico II, one of the most powerful Roman emperors. The building has been well maintained and is worth a visit for the beautiful examples of handicrafts, porcelain, clothes, weapons, and paintings on display. It's Sicilian heritage and culture at its best.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Walk along the castle's perimeter, where you can see the old moats.
    • Note that the castle and museum close from 1-2:30pm. Otherwise they are both open 9am-7pm all days but Sundays, when they close at 1:30pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 219 things to do in Catania
    • Worth a stop if you like museums 09/10/2018
    • Great from the outside,but... 04/10/2018
    • Museo Civico Castello Ursino
    Address:
    Piazza Federico di Svevia 3
    95121 Catania, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 095 345830
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Other:
  • Caffe Costanzo
    Restaurants (Italian)
    See more photos
    Christopher L Says:

    There is not much more to say about Corrado Costanzo than that it is most likely to be the best ice cream you will ever have! Ever. While there are several spots in Noto where you can find amazing ice cream, the texture, flavor, and richness of the scoops served at Corrado Costanzo are second to none. I am a chef with a sweet tooth, so believe me — I have tried a lot!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Go for the Sicilian flavors: Mandarin or Lemon. Both are to die for!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great coffee and canoli 11/10/2018
    • Good gelato, but slightly pricey 10/10/2018
    • Caffe Costanzo
    Address:
    Via Silvio Spaventa 7
    96017, Noto, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 0931 835243
    Price range:
    US$ 16 - US$ 24
  • Piazza Immacolata
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    Christopher L Says:

    Noto is a small town in South East Sicily. Piazza Immacolata in Noto is one of the most lovely squares to just sit and enjoy life for a while. The square is overlooked by a beautiful baroque facade and the view from the ’piazza’ is just lovely. The square is flanked by several beautiful buildings but the church of San Francesco all'Immacolata is absolutely stunning.

    Good for
      Tips
      • Combine this with a trip to Corrado Constanzo. A lovely gelateria in Noto!
      Plan to stay:
      Less than 1 hour
      From the community
      Ranked #35 of 86 things to do in Noto
      • IT’S WHAT’S AROUND IT, NOT IN IT 29/08/2018
      • Ok place to relax. 08/09/2016
      • Piazza Immacolata
      Address:
      Villa Immacolata SNC
      96017, Noto, Sicily
      Italy
    • Fera 'o Luni - Mercato di piazza Carlo Alberto
      Flea & Street Markets
      See more photos
      Christopher L Says:

      La Fiera is a food and clothing market and it is only closed on sundays. It opens at 7 AM and closes around 2 PM. It’s a super local thing to do in Catania, especially if you get here a bit early. Try some of the local specialities from the small vendors selling different foods.

      Good for
      • Must See
      Tips
      • If you get here 15 minutes before the market opens you will enjoy a very relaxing atmosphere and you can easily interact with the sellers without being disturbed.
      Plan to stay:
      1-2 hours
      From the community
      Ranked #32 of 219 things to do in Catania
      Certificate of Excellence 2014
      • Worth it is you haven't seen others 09/10/2018
      • Great place to buy cheap clothes 02/10/2018
      • Fera 'o Luni - Mercato di piazza Carlo Alberto
      Address:
      Piazza Carlo Alberto
      Catania, Sicily
      Italy
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