Italy - Sicily is amazing, it is like India in Europe!
It is long ago that you have read from us on our blog. But we used the situation in the world to first take intensive care of our company. And then we took the chance to explore more of our own country. So, just by the end of last year we finally hopped on a flight again since a loooong time and charged our batteries in Siciliy, the amazing island in the south of Italy.
If you want to get more infos about Switzerland, if you want to see some off-the-beaten-path experiences in Switzerland we warmly invite you to subscribe to our brandnew youtube-chanel . Here we have weekly vlogs about our live in Switzerland: places we visit, practical things you need to know living/traveling in Switzerland and much more coming up in the next months. We started making videos during the lockdown - and to be honest, we enjoy making them immensely. And Markus is even becoming a real pro in flying the drone! We enjoy it so much, we started this youtube-chanel.
But now back to our trip to Sicily:
To enter Sicily a simple quick test was necessary which we did in Switzerland before boarding the plane. And no-one wanted to see this test every - not even when we boarded the train. By the way, the same happend on our way back a week later.
So from Basel we flew to Catania whre we spend 4 nights directly on the coast. How wonderful it was to be by the sea again. For nearly 2 years we had no sea breeze. Well, while living in Switzerland in one of the most beautiful surroundings in the world (we cannot complain), we definitely have no sea. We love our lake view and the mountain breeze, but a sea breeze in between is really something else.
From Catania we visited many, many spiritual places. Well, this was why we came here. We went to many, many wonderful churches and sanctuaries, hear stories of amazing saints. One of the was the story of the marthyr Saint Agata in Catania itself. We enjoyed the lively city of Catania a lot. From Catania we went, of course, to the Etna. Here we visited a cave - a cave where the Madonna della Sciara was burried underneath a flow of lava. The lava stopped flowing where the statue stood. Till nowadays you can walk into the cave and see the imprint of the head of the Madonna in the lava field. It was a very special place. In general, the landscape around Mount Etna is amazing. But from time to time the villages around the mountain are covered with black ash as the vulcano is non-stop active.
Further on, we visited Messina. Messina is an important transit town. Here the boats and ferries leave for mainland Italy. From history till now, this fact makes Messina a city with an interesting cultural mixture. We visited the old town and enjoyed the views over to Calabria on mainland Italy. Also from Catania we went to Syracus. What a picturesque town! The old town with its alleys is simply stunning. This place shows what your kitchy italian fantasies are. Amazing churches and the huge sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime (Madonna of the tears) were not to be missed!
The second half of the trip we based ourselves on the north coast of Sicily near the town of Termini Immerese, directly at the sea again. From here we visited Palermo. And man, how much did we like this city! It is bustling, it is chaotic and it really has this dangerous mafia vibe! We fell in love with this city. And also the surroundings are amazing. What we highly can recommend is a visit to the Monastry of Saint Benedict the Moor. He was the first black saint. And his monastery is an oasis of peace and love. It is simple, but really heartouching. And, of course a visit to the majestic cathedral of Monreale with stunning views over Palermo is a must. Unfortunately on the day we visited, it was rainy. But, nevertheless a gorgeous place.
What we enjoyed most in this region was a visit to the sanctuary of Tindari and the Black Madonna. Its location has wheeping views over the Liparian Sea. Check out the beaches around here. They are stunning. And, yes, not to forget a detour into the mountains of Siciliy. No matter where you go - the villages are so lovely here. Nature is amazing and around each corner you find a stunning church with a saint and an amazing story about what this saint made. We made a detour to Agira and to Alcara li fusi. Remote villages - but this is the core of Sicily.
But 7 days pass quickly. We thouroughly enjoyed Sicily and want to come back again, not only for all the beautiful saintly places but also for some beach time and some dolce vita with lots of amazing food, yummy ice creams and coffee on the piazzas. Sicily surprised us in many ways - and it was not even on our bucket list. But it definitely should be on everybody's list.
So, don't forget to check out our videos . See you soon and stay safe and healthy!