“Sicily is the pearl of this century…Since old times, travelers from the most far away country…boast of its merits, praise its territory, rave about its extraordinary beauty, and highlight its strengths…because it brings together the best aspects from every other country.”
– Al-Idrisi, Arab geographer, The Book of Roger, 1138 – 54
This September, Zephyr is launching our inaugural Sicily Bike Adventure. We asked our guide, Giovanni (who you might have met him on one of our European biking adventures), why he is excited to be sharing one of his favorite vacationing gems with a group of lucky adventurers.
You’ve been vacationing in Sicily quite a bit over the years. What keeps you going back?
I’ve vacationed in Sicily with my wife several times. It’s a wonderful, adventurous place for me because it’s not too easy to reach so it is not overrun with too many people. What strikes you is the journey into the elements – the fire of the volcano, the water of the sea, the lush orange groves, the almond fields, the olive trees it’s almost like the Garden of Paradise!
We know that you are a big foodie. What can we look forward to tasting while in Sicily?
Big emphasis on food in Sicily – I love food. The sweets are the best in Sicily. The cuisine has an Arabic influence as a consequence of the years the Moors being there. One thing I always look forward to is the granitas – kind of like a slushie made of ice, granulated sugar, and fruits or can even be of nuts or coffee. They have it for breakfast – brioche with granita with whipped cream on top. And I can’t forget Sicilian cannolis – there’s an incredible sweet shop in Syracuse that sells cannoli with all different kinds of fillings.
In addition to the Arab influences, what other cultural influences have you noticed in Sicily?
The classic heritage – Greek and Roman heritage. There are more signs and settlements of Ancient Greece than in Greece today. These aspects, the nature, and the history of this incredible Mediterranean blend is quite interesting.
Our Sicily Adventure has now sold out – but contact us if you’d like to be placed on the waiting list!