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Off topic: Tips for a winter holiday in Sicily?
Thread poster: Amy Williams

Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:17
Italian to English
+ ...
Dec 3, 2007

Hello everyone,

I'm currently coordinating a winter holiday for 6 people in Sicily. We'll be staying in Trapani province, a few km inland from the northern coast of the island.

I'd be grateful if anyone has any tips/local knowledge on must-see places/things to do on the island that you might not find in your average guidebook. Anything food- or drink-related and you have a very captive audience...!

Many thanks in advance,
Amy


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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
Italian to English
+ ...
Erice is well worth a visit Dec 3, 2007

Its very close to Trapani, and the town itself is very unusual (pre-Roman). The local delicacy there is Couscous with fish. It can be cold in the winter, especially if there's any fog or mist forecast (still not cold by UK sandards though).

There's also a hot water spa within easy reach of Trapani, but I can't remember the exact location at the moment.

You should also check out the greek temple/amphitheatre complex at Segesta, they put on plays in the summer, but I don't think they do anything like that in ther winter.

I have a beach houe not far from there, but we tend to only use it in the summer, not so much in the winter, so I've never given much thought to things to do in the winter.

However, if you come accross anything on the internet etc. feel free to email with any questions you might have.

Cheers.

Sandy


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Raffaella Cornacchini  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
English to Italian
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mozia Dec 4, 2007

one of the most enchanting spots in Sicily (you should have good weather, though)

Mozia (Sicilian: Mozzia) is a small island, formerly known as Motia and San Pantaleo in the Trapani province, in Sicily, Italy, lies in the Stagnone Lagoon, and is generally included as a part of the comune of Marsala.


[edit] Historical significance
Main article: Motya
Just 400,000 m² in size, the history Mozia is very ancient: as a shipping centre and staging post, and due to its presence near the coast of important trade city, it was one of the most important Phoenician and Carthaginian settlements in the Mediterranean area. The Phoenicians transformed the inhospitable island, which they called Motya, into one of the most affluent cities of its time, naturally defended by the lagoon as well as high defensive walls. Ancient windmills and salt pans were used for evaporation, salt grinding and refinement, and to maintain the condition of the lagoon and island itself. Recently the mills and salt pans (called the Ettore Infersa) have been restored by the owners and opened to the public.

In the 6th century BC, due to the struggles between ancient Greece and Carthage over Sicily, Motia sided with the Phoenecians and Carthaginians against the Greeks. The ancient settlement at Motia, founded in the 8th century BC, was destroyed by the Syracuse tyrant Dionysius the Elder in 379 BC.

During the Middle Ages, Basilican monks settled on the island and renamed it San Pantaleo, and in 1888 was rediscovered by Joseph Whitaker.

enjoy your stay!
raffaella


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:17
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks! Dec 4, 2007

Thank you both for your suggestions, and your offer, Sandy--much appreciated. Can't wait to see these places--they sound fascinating.

All the best,
Amy


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Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com
France
Local time: 11:17
English to French
+ ...
But that's where I wanted to go! Dec 24, 2007

Hi Amy,


I've been wanting to go for ages, and just eat lots of that delicious Sicialian food. But I must say the only hairdressers I ever found that could really cut hair were Sicialian but hard to find them here in Paris.

Pse send me a private note on what you recommend in Sicily. I'd have to go on my own due to freiends being tied down with kiddies, and I'd need something affordable so any tips would be much appreciated.

Best...

Anna


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:17
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sicily is fantastic! Mar 4, 2008

Just realised that I never updated this topic.

Stayed in a small fishing village about 25 minutes' drive to the west of Palermo airport over New Year.

It was great to be there out of season in the sense that it felt like we were the only English-speaking people in the area, so none of the tourist tack, etc.

We hired a car (I'm not sure you could do it without?) - definitely recommended. The autostradas are generally great and the UK could learn a thing or two from them. Balls of steel occasionally required.

Took in Selinunte (wow!), Marsala (a bit windswept and probably more lively in the summer?), Erice (beautiful), Segesta (a hidden gem!), Monreale, Cefalu', Scopello (walk down to the tuna station for crystal clear sea), and many other places. We tried to get over to Etna for a day but the weather wasn't on our side and they apparently won't take you up unless the weather is good.

The people were unbelievably welcoming and the food was some of the best I've had in Italy so far, especially as I'm an aubergine fiend! Our best meal was after a trek to the amphitheatre at Segesta: our car was leafleted by a restaurant owner - the leaflet looked a bit touristy but it was mid-afternoon and we were really hungry. There was no menu; the waiter listed a few dishes (wild boar, that sort of thing) and advised us to try the antipasti. He brought three or four dishes - olives, stuffed tomatoes, cheeses, nuts, grapes and meatballs. We loved it and munched away. But he kept bringing more, filling the table with regional specialities until there was no more space and plates were balanced on glasses! We were in our element. If you're interested, the restaurant was the Baglio Pocoroba near Segesta.

Will definitely be going back to Sicily. It sounds clichéd but the people were so welcoming and so (justifiably) proud of their island, and it was a brilliant trip.


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