Shopping and Eating in Sicily, Italy
Sicily is one of the largest cities in the country of Italy.
Shopping in Sicily
If you love shopping you will love Sicily defined by AbbreviationFinder. Although the island is dominated by agriculture and fishing, as well as tourism, and self-assertion stands strong among its citizens, it is not to come from that you are in Italy. Fashionable clothes, stylish shoes and designer goods of all kinds are of top Italian quality and the prices just as nice.
Of course, Palermo is the best place to visit for this kind of product. We suggest the fashion street Viale della Libertà. Also the town of Taormina with its street Corso Umberto and the island’s second largest city Catania with the Via Etnea street are excellent options.
Souvenirs from Sicily
Most people who come home from holidays in Sicily bring wine and / or food. It’s no wonder. There are hardly any other places you get better and cheaper. One tip is to buy the island’s specialties, e.g. marzipan or almond wine Vino al la mandorla. Otherwise, there are many wonderful cheeses and olive oils you can buy. Do you visit famous cities such as Corleone you could be buying with you a mafia memory. Eg. a liqueur labeled “Godfather” or equivalent. But for this type of product, quality is probably less important than the imagined product brings.
An alternative to souvenirs is papyrus. Souvenir shops throughout the island offer this specialty that has been produced in Syracuse from the “Morning of Time”. Siracusa in the south-east of Sicily is also the place where you can buy copies of ancient Greek coins, and the city also has a very nice flower market.
You may want to bring some great pottery jars home with you. Visit San Stefano di Camastra just east of the very famous tourist town of Cefalù for the best editions.
Outdoor shopping in Sicily
Do like the Sicilians! Do your shopping outdoors. Markets are everywhere, and the quality is often very good, although Sicily also has its dose of copy goods from China and elsewhere in the East, and is sold more or less everywhere tourists travel. If you visit Agrigento, you know the city with the archaeological excavations, know that this is also the region for leather products. The markets here also have excellent food products, e.g. olive oil, cheeses and wines. In Sicily, outdoor markets have been a tradition since the 8th century, when the island was under Arab control.
The inland village of Ragusa in the south of Sicily is an impressive city known for its beautiful buildings and rich culture. Visit the streets of Via Roma and Corso Italy for many great shops. Le Massarie in the street Via a Grandi and Centro Commerciale Ibleo on the street Viale delle Americhe are both major shopping centers. On Sundays, there are food markets in several places in the city, and a large Wednesday market takes place just outside the city’s football stadium.
Catania has its famous Piazza Carlo Alberto market in the square just off Via Umberto and Corso Sicilia. A popular fish market can be found at Piazza Duomo. The markets often close early in the evening and remain completely closed on Sundays.
Palermo has a number of markets spread around the city. Just off the church of Martorana and Quattro Canti you will find the Ballarò market. It extends from Piazza Ballarò and across Via Ballarò all the way to Corso Tukory. Also visit the Capo Market just off the great Teatro Massimo.
The tourist favorite is for many the Vucceria market which starts at Piazza San Domenico and goes along Via Maccheronai to Piazza Caracciolo, parallel to the main street Via Roma. Most markets are open every day from morning to evening, except for Sundays where many are closed.
Mafia-free shopping in Sicily
Palermo and other cities in Sicily offer some pizza-free shops. Check for signs and you support local traders who will not pay protection money to the mafia.
Eating in Sicily
Sicily is an agricultural region and all over the island you will find farms that produce fruit, vegetables, meat and wine. And of course, along the coast there is plenty of fishing villages.
As you can see, there is no point in obtaining the highest quality raw materials, almost everywhere in Sicily. And in every village and town you will find good restaurants that offer food of the best brand at good price. You can of course get pizza and pasta in Sicily too. But the restaurants offer so much more.
Local cuisine in Sicily
Sicily is perhaps best known for its seafood. A specialty of Sicily is grilled swordfish. This is actually possible to get at several restaurants around the island. If you are just a little hungry or are considering a good appetizer then try a local pizza variant called Sfincione. Ingredients are anchovies and of course onions and tomatoes, and especially without cheese. Or is Caponata popular. Caponata is a tasty salad with celery, eggplant and olives, among others.
Another typical small dish for Sicily is Involtini. Involtini are small, filled rolls of swordfish baked or deep fried.
Are you fond of meat so white that in Sicily you are good with lamb and goat dishes. The most commonly recommended dish is Vitello alla marsala, (calf marsala). In general you can say about the main courses in Sicily that the steaks are big and tender, the fish fresh, the salad refreshingly good and the wine delicious.
If you do not usually eat dessert then introduce yourself to this habit when you are in Sicily. Try a Cannoli which is a baked sweet ricotta that tastes different. But it is certainly not negatively intended. The reason the taste is different here than from the rest of Italy is due to the use of local sheep’s milk. Alternatively, eat a Cassata. It is a cake that contains lots of cream and caramelized fruits.
As a dessert wine, for example, choose a Passito which is a sweet (naturally) wine from the island of Pantelleria southwest of Sicily. If none of the aforementioned desserts are tempted then you just have to get some ice cream. Italian ice cream is the best in the world, and the ice in Sicily is perhaps the best in Italy!
When to eat in Sicily?
Lunch in Sicily begins at 1300 and lasts until 1500 or 1600. Dinner begins around 2000 and lasts almost all night. The lunch can be as extensive as dinner. And the appetizers (antipasti) are often more delicate than many of us are used to. For example, try Arancine which is saturating and good rice balls. The main course or primo piatti are usually pasta or rice dishes. Secondo is the main course and as mentioned earlier it is often fish or lamb meat. Often the main course should be followed by a contorno which is a side right, e.g. salad. Drink is almost always water and wine.
Most people associate Italian food with pizza and pasta, but the Sicilian cuisine also offers some very different culinary experiences. Local restaurants and chefs believe that the reason is the good supply of top quality ingredients.
Good restaurants in Sicily
Palermo and Cin-Cin
Don’t look the dog on your hair when looking for Palermo’s best restaurants. They are often in side streets with worn facades. Cin-Cin is one such restaurant. You can find it in Via Manin 22, not far from the English Garden (Giardino Inglese) and the Opera House.
With its many small rooms that allow for some private surroundings, this is not at all an A-typical restaurant in Sicily. But the kitchen prepares delicious food, and the house ricotta is legendary. Add to that the restaurant is open year-round and has a long and tasty wine list so you understand that you have a winner.
Are you in Palermo and looking for a good pizza? Visit Corvo dei Beati Paoli at the Piazza Marina square not far from the castle of Steri Castle Garibaldi Gardens. Choose from 30 pizza varieties, e.g. a delightful Sicilian capricciosa. If you are more than pizza-hungry, you can get delicious dishes of lamb or seafood. The address is Piazza Marina 50 and you can choose whether you want to sit outdoors or indoors.
restaurant Granduca is widely known and an institution in Taormina. This is primarily a restaurant for those who love good seafood. But there are plenty of other dishes for you who prefer meat or pasta. The street-level stairs take you up to the restaurant’s terrace, which offers wonderful views. More on the bar is excellent service and a great wine list. As mentioned, the town is Taormina just off Messina east of Sicily, and the address is Corso Umberto 172.
Catania and Al Gabbiano The
restaurant Al Gabbiano (the gulls) probably has more with the location and preference for seafood than birds on the menu. The restaurant is a great choice if you are in Catania (east of Sicily, and just south of Taormina and Messina). You can find it in the old town, more specifically in Via Monsignor Ventimiglia, 182. NB! The restaurant is closed in August.
Cefalu and Vecchia Marina
The tourists’ favorite city of Cefalu naturally offers some great restaurants. One of these is Vecchia Marina. Here is the atmosphere and history of buckets and buckets. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes and grilled seafood. Great value for money and then we have not even included service of the best brand. Veccha Marina is normally closed between November and January. The address is Vittorio Emanuele 73.
Agrigento and Manhattan
Maybe you also visit the city of Agrigento in southwest Sicily? If so, it is said that the best place to eat their food is at the Manhattan restaurant. Maybe not exactly a name you associate with excellent Italian food? And at least not in Sicily. But then one can make mistakes. The address is Salita Madonna degli Angeli.