Eastern Sicily

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Hello, we are Ilaria and Giuliano and we want to tell you about our trip hoping to provide you with useful information, advice and suggestions if you decide to visit Sicily.
Before reaching Sicily we decide to make an intermediate stop on the coast of Basilicata and at the same time we decide to take part in the Jova Beach Party of 13/08/2019 in Policoro.
Our journey begins on 12/08/2019 with departure from Foggia and travel on the highway to Molfetta.
We decide to make a trip to Gioia del Colle, in particular to the Curci dairy to buy fresh mozzarella and burratine to eat during the trip. Really good.
We continue the journey towards Marina di Pisticci, loc. San Basilio in Basilicata. I was expecting a longer beach. "Caribbean" being Marina di Pisticci on the coast overlooking the Ionian Sea. The beach ? fine and golden and the sea is clean, obviously this makes it opaque and very similar to any other beach that overlooks the Molise / Abruzzo Adriatic Sea. The beach ? wide and there are several shores. After all, there are about 8 km of coastline in this area.
We spend the night in a hotel in Nova Siri (Siris Hotel, of very low level and very bad quality / price ratio). We decide to take a walk in Policoro to see the village. Actually, apart from the central square, isn't there? nothing else and for this reason we decide to head to the marina in particular we stumble in Montegiordano, the first village in Calabria about 20 km from Policoro.
The promenade of Montegiordano? nice and pleasant to go for walks. Any beach? equipped with a restaurant / pizzeria even if the choice is not? vast. Considering now 11 in the evening we decide to stop at Lido Sirena to eat something on the fly. There was very little left, and let's have a seafood salad, a peppered mussels, a marinara pizza and some local wine.
Did we spend 32 in all? and we were satisfied with what we ate considering the few demands we had.
We continued the evening taking a walk along the promenade and at 2.30 we decide to dive into the water. The night bath? always something exciting and with 32 degrees? really the top.

The whole day? was dedicated to the Jova Beach Party

1 day

We leave the hotel and head towards Taormina. We stop in Lamezia Terme to greet a friend and grab an aperitif. We leave towards Villa S. Giovanni for boarding to Messina with Caronte & Tourist. We bought tickets for two passengers + car online before departure at a cost of 73 euros return.
We booked a hotel for two nights, Hotel Fiumefreddo in the locality? Fiumefreddo di Sicilia, not far from Taormina.
In the evening we decide to take a walk in Taormina. First stop Isola bella. We park the car in the private parking adjacent to the cable car (there is also a parking lot near the cable car ticket office) and we took the cable car to go up to Taormina (cost 3 euros round trip). Here we strolled along the course and admired the beauty that the panorama of Taormina offers. We had dinner in an excellent restaurant, highly recommended for value for money (Rosso Peperoncino restaurant).
We decided to have dinner at this restaurant after seeing all the menus of the various restaurants in the main street of Taormina. Actually this restaurant is located in an alley and you have to know that to end up there. I was also convinced by the super positive reviews I read and for this reason we decided to have dinner here. Dinner ? it was excellent we had the red prawn tartare appetizer (16 euros) and the caponata (9 euros). As starters we opted for pasta with sardines (13 euros) and spaghetti turiddu (13 euros), water 3 euros and local wine 13 euros. The food ? state of excellent quality. tot. 71 euros
After dinner we headed to the BAM BAR to try the excellent granita, a must for those walking in Taormina.

2 day

? the big day. The excursion to the summit craters of Etna. We booked this excursion with Etna Nord Guide Group accompanied by the mountain guide Biagio. The ticket price of 85 euros per person includes part of the equipment (helmet) and the ticket for the cable car to reach the top of 2.500 meters. The meeting? been to the Sapienza Refuge. Arrived at 2.500 meters with the cable car c ?? the possibility? to rent high trekking shoes at a cost of 4 euros. Once you reach 2.500 meters, continue up to 3.334 meters. The experience on Etna? only. ? was quite tiring why? trekking uphill? very heavy but the landscape? something unique, which remains imprinted for life. A lunar landscape, the heat of the earth and the smoke of activity? Etna have repaid every effort. About 25.000 steps covered.
It was a wonderful experience, 5 hours of walking between craters, lava flows (including that of last July) and canals accompanied by expert guides who are attentive to our safety.

Now tired and fatigued at the end of the excursion we decide to take a dip in the sea and on the advice of a gas station attendant we are directed to the beach of Praiola.
The beach ? made of pebbles, stones of ancient lava flows and the sea? of an intense dark blue, crystalline and very limpid and clean.
We head to the hotel for a shower and to go to dinner. Between Taormina and Giardini Naxos it was impossible to move and for this reason we opted for a soft dinner at the Marina di Fiumefreddo. We had dinner at Mare kambo restaurant recommended by our hotel and after reading the reviews. An average restaurant with excellent value for money.

3 day

We had booked an excursion or better body rafting to the Alcantara Gorges and? it was another unique experience. The meeting ? was at 9 why? there are preparations. Indeed ? it is necessary to use the wetsuit, shoes, jacket and helmet. We booked with Sicily Green Adventure. Ciccio and Roberto are two extraordinary guides of high professionalism? capacity and skills as well as extreme patience and kindness. They are very willing to take pictures and then send them. Path ? simple and suitable for everyone. Ciccio and Roberto guide you in extreme safety. The gorges are beautiful and I highly recommend body rafting. The water ? icy. Was I very impressed by the love these guys have for the territory, the sea? the extreme respect for the environment as well as? the sensitivity? the issues of environmental impact of all forms of waste in the sea.
After the excursion at 12.30 we continue towards Syracuse. On the way we stopped in Calatabiano to grab two sandwiches on the fly.
We arrive in Syracuse at 15.00. We had booked 3 nights with Airbnb in a house almost? in the center which allowed us to move to the center and to Ortigia on foot and dispose of cannoli, arancini and granitas consumed in the previous days.
In the meantime, we decide to spend the afternoon and take a dip in the Plemmirio nature reserve, in particular we went to gate n. 25.
The Plemmirio reserve? spectacular. These are rocky coves, more? or not easy to access. The water ? clear and crystalline and? the perfect place for snorkeling due to the conspicuous presence of marine fauna.

After the day at sea we decide to take a tour of Syracuse in particular in the center of Ortigia. We stopped for an aperitif from Burgio, on the Ortigia seafront, a frozen daiquiri and a negroni for a total of 14 euros.
We decide to have dinner in a restaurant recommended by a friend. Trattoria da Marino left us very satisfied. Friendly helpful and welcoming staff. There are excellent Sicilian foods and very affordable prices with excellent value for money. price.
Our evening then continues with a walk through the alleys and alleys of Ortigia.

4 day

Wake up early in the morning and ready for an intense day at the beach. We decide to have breakfast at Bar Midolo, in Corso Umberto, recommended by the owner of the house. The pastry bar? great for savoring all the specialties? from cannoli, arancini to granitas and brioches. We also returned the following morning.
Our first stop? been Fontane Bianche. Did it take a while? to find parking being the central week of August. White fountains? characterized by white sand and crystal clear sea. However, there are many algae on the shore that yield a little? dirty the water. Moving to the bottom however the sea? spectacular.
In the afternoon we decide to leave Fontane Bianche to explore another area, or stop at Punta Asparano which was recommended to us by some guys. This place greatly surprised us with the beauty of the landscape and the crystal clear water. This place ? also very interesting for snorkeling.
We go home, shower and then go out. Let's have an aperitif at Bar Zefiro, in Ortigia, great for admiring the sunset. We had two cocktails and a platter of cold cuts and cheese. In my opinion the cutting board? of medium quality? but the very high price, 20 euros. Cocktails cost 7 euros.
The cutting board, however, had filled us and we did not have more? want to dine. So we decide to walk in Ortigia,? always beautiful among the alleys and alleys to admire the cafes and restaurants in the center.
We stop for a drink in Piazza Minerva, at the Monzu bar, a frozen daiquiri (9 euros) and a negroni (8 euros) and then we continue the evening in this way.
Late in the evening we finally decide to eat a Sicilian cannoli and after reading various reviews we go to the Artale bar to taste them. Good and average cannoli.

5 day

After having breakfast at the Midolo bar, we spend the morning visiting Ortigia in particular the Duomo and the port. We continue our visit to the Greek / Roman theater and to the ear of Dionysus by paying an entrance ticket of 10 euros per person.
In the afternoon we go back to the Plemmirio reserve in particular to gate 24 (difficult to access due to the rocky part) and to gate 26.
To admire the sunset we decide to have an aperitif in Cala Zaffiro (passage 23).
In the evening we had dinner with two excellent panini from Angelina Sicilian panini (an Alivi sandwich and a Casucavaddu sandwich at the price of 5 euros each) and we had an excellent gelato from Gusto.

6 day

After having breakfast at the Voglia Matta bar we head to Noto and its neighboring beaches. We decide to go to Lido San Lorenzo and I must say that we were dazzled by the beauty of its waters. We went beyond the Agua Beach (we parked the car in a parking lot in the area for 3 euros a day), in particular at the Brizo beach, much more? quiet. The sea ? spectacular, crystal clear, limpid and clean. It seems to be in the Caribbean.
We cooled off with a Messina beer and then we jumped into the sea.
In the late afternoon we went to visit the fishing village of Marzameni and have an aperitif from a bar located in the main square.
In Noto we booked two nights in the B & B Lo Spazio di Mima, very welcoming but outside the city. In the city? you get there by parking the car in Piazza Messina and walking down the stairs that lead to the city? old. There are no words to describe the beauty of Noto, its streets, its churches and its baroque in every corner.
We had dinner at the Dammuso Restaurant, of excellent quality. and with an average price range? high. We took a starter of fried ricotta and a ricotta crostone. As first courses we took spaghetti alla Palermo and pasta baglieri, a bottle of Etna wine (Piano dei daini), a water and a coffee. The total bill? state 73,00 euros
Did we stop for a coffee cannoli? Sicily, in my opinion a bit? expensive: 3 euros per cannolo.

7 day

On the morning of 20/08 we dedicate it to visiting the whole city? of Noto and its beautiful churches and in the afternoon we go back to the beach of San Lorenzo by now fascinated by its beautiful and clear waters.
For dinner we find a makeshift place and eat a first course on the fly, quite not recommended.
Let's take a coffee cannoli this time? Costanzo.

8 day

On 21/08 we head to Agrigento. The journey from Noto to Agrigento? quite long, it lasts about 3 hours, no motorway and fairly busy state road that also runs through the towns. On the way we stop in Comiso to visit the cathedral and refresh ourselves with a little bit.
Considering lunch time, we grab two sandwiches on the seafront of Gela.
We arrive in Agrigento around 14.00. We booked two nights at the B & B La casa di Nin ?, highly recommended for its cleanliness, hospitality and proximity to the historic center. We decide to rest for an hour and then continue our tour to visit the Valley of the Temples.
We stop at the famous coffee? concord to taste an excellent granita before starting our visit.
For the valley of the temples I recommend buying the ticket online with Tiqets to avoid the queues. I bought the ticket for the visit to the Valley with audio guide. The narrative notes of the audio guide are very useful even if in some points they are too detailed and discursive. Unfortunately it is not easy to follow the path due to the lack of signs with numbers on the site. Reading not? not even easy with the map why? those unfamiliar with the place find it hard to type the corresponding number for the audio.
For the rest of the site? wonderful. I recommend visiting it in the afternoon around 17pm. It takes from 2 to 3 hours to visit it with attached photos ... The beauty? when the sun sets and the artificial lights come on. The show ? insured.
Pay attention to the entrance. There are two doors. There? also a shuttle that takes you from the parking lot (for a fee, hourly rate) to the entrance. The shuttle costs 3 euros. We did it on foot. A pleasant walk and then useful for disposing of cannoli and arancini :)

In the evening we decide to go for dinner at Sal8, a restaurant recommended by the owners of the B&B. We were deeply satisfied with this restaurant for the excellent quality? of the dishes and for the courtesy and kindness of the waiters. A highly recommended restaurant.
We then spend the evening on the San Leone seafront.

9 day

The 22/08 we have dedicated it to the visit of the scale of the Turks that beyond? of the landscape and the white rocky coast, does it have a bit? disappointed by the sea water, full of algae and dark seabed. Must we go beyond? of the cliff to be able to take a bath in more? clear.
In the evening we took an excellent aperitif from Nzolia and we took the opportunity to buy excellent bottles of wine. We were very impressed by the quality? of the wines of Etna.
For dinner we stopped in a deli in via Pirandello, in Sammartino which also had a grill to cook the meat at the moment. I have to be honest meat of excellent quality.
The time to return was approaching. The next day we were supposed to leave and return to Foggia.

10 day

On 23/08 after refueling and after buying panzerotti and arancini at the bakery in th April, we leave for Foggia. On the way we stopped in Roccalumera, at Ciccio Parisi's bar to buy cannoli and fresh ricotta on the fly to take with us to Puglia.

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