Sicily and Aeolian Islands

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Visit Sicily, and you get three cultures for the price of one.  This lush and mountainous island – the largest in the Med – boasts some of the finest relics of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, not to mention a splash of Moorish North Africa.

Sail off to the Aeolian islands for the ultimate chillout holiday. This is the place to hone your tan, swim straight from a boat in deserted coves and watch the sparks fly at night from volcanic mountains.


Sicily’s capital Palermo has plenty of appeal. Ignore its manic traffic and take to a horse and buggy for a clip-clopping ride through the backstreets – a tapestry of statues, markets, fountains and washing hung out to dry. Then head up to the cathedral town of Monreale, for mesmerising views over the bay.

This sprawling hillside village has second-to-none views of Mount Etna, plenty of great shops and a lively nightly passeggiata along Corso Umberto, with its wealth of outdoor cafes. Taormina's ancient Greek/Roman theatre stages productions throughout the summer months.

Relive ancient history in elegant Syracuse with a ringside seat at the city’s vast Greek theatre, where classic tragedies are still staged. Other cultural diversions can be found at nearby Villa Romana dei Casale, with its wonderfully preserved mosaics depicting bikini-clad Roman ladies.

This coastal town is home to Valley of the Temples, one of the wonders of the ancient world. Come at sunset, when the seven Doric temples stand illuminated against a velvety sky.


If Sicily is the place to overdose on culture, the neighbouring Aeolian Islands are the place to play. This necklace of tiny volcanic isles attracts a hip crowd keen on sea, sand and sun.

This is the arrival point for most island-hoppers. The little port’s narrow streets are lined with cafes and chic boutiques selling designer labels (this is Italy, after all), and  you can hire a motorini for a free-wheeling coast-to-coast tour.

This is the chic see-and-be-seen party island
, with the coolest hotels, clearest waters and most vibrant nightlife.

Setting of the movie Il Postino – this is the greenest of the Aeolian isles.

Don't miss a trip to volcanic Stromboli to see the island's nightly free firework show
, when jets of molten lava shoot up into the night sky.

Vulcano’s trademark sulphur-like smell fails to deter visitors from making the two-hour hike to the summit of its volcanic cone or wallowing in the open-air (and rather whiffy) mudbaths.

Alicundi and Filicundi
These rocky isles offer a glimpse of tiny caper plantations, lava-hewn staircases and all the feel of an island timewarp.


It's big in Palermo – come and see the huge parade and re-enactment of the Last Supper.

Taormina Film Festival. Rising stars of the screen world come out in force.

Festa di San’Onofrio-Pollara – Salina. The island's Caper festival celebrates local culinary traditions.

Festa di San Pietro – Panarea. Watch the fun and games and pyrotechnics.

Festival of Santa Rosalia. Parades and other festivities mark the 400-year-old celebration of Palermo’s patron saint.

Classical Greek theatre. Drama and classical music take centre stage at Taormina's ancient Greek Theatre.


Watch the smoke rise from Mount Etna while sipping a local Malvasia wine. Then match it with an evening cruise in the Aeolian Islands to see the free nightly firework show from Stromboli's volcano, beneath a starlit sky.

Boutique Hotels in Sicily and Aeolian Islands

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