Italy Today

Exploring Sicily’s beaches and traditions

Crystal clear floors, ancient theatres and granita

Exploring Sicily’s beaches and traditions

Claudia Astarita

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It is hard to say which one is the best beach in Sicily. The great variety of scenarios offers crystal clear sea floors in different parts along the coast. In the Riserva dello Zingaro on the Tyrrhenian Sea, there are a number of smaller intimate beaches that can be reached through some trekking routs along the coast. In the area of Palermo, the white sand of Cefalù is a must: at the bottom of a rocky promontory, it is famous for its white beaches and the mosaics that decorate the old Norman cathedral, which made it be numbered among the best villages in Italy.

For lovers of scuba diving, the Ustica is the right place to be. There are more than fifteen underwater itineraries to explore. Explanatory panels held by buoys are to be found all along the routes that are 10m to 25m deep. Even beginners have the possibility to experience the underwater world with some snorkelling gears, provided by one of the diving centres present on the island.  Another island worth visiting is Pantelleria, a piece of Africa in Italy. Characterized by wild beaches and a lunar landscape in its inner land, in Pantelleria you can have a mud bath in a little lake called Venus' Mirror, facing the sea and rejuvenate thanks to its therapeutic effects.

The history of Sicily also rotates around arts. Ancient amphitheatres present in Palermo, like Teatro Massimo, relive thanks to concerts of symphonic orchestras, operas and ballet performances. Something that you cannot miss is to freshen up eating a delicious slush, called granita. Every café has its own secret recipe. The classical one is that with almond coffee and cream or that with lemon. Usually, it is served with a freshly baked croissant. Again, it is hard to establish where the best granitas are served, apparently Catania is the best place.

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