Get away from it all on a Eastern Sicily escape for two. Ragusa and Taormina are a lovely combination for a few-day holiday.
A jewel of rare beauty, Ragusa Ibla is the stunning frame of the first days of this Sicilian holiday. You’ll explore a quiet and authentic region filled with a wealth of historical and cultural attractions, eating out at arguably the best restaurants in Sicily. From traditional trattorias to high-end dining, Ragusa and its neighbors Modica and Scicli make this area a culinary wonderland.
From Ragusa you’ll be driven to Taormina for a few more days in a irresistible beach-side reatreat and one of the most beloved Italian towns.
Flying either into Comiso or Catania airport you’ll be privately transferred to your boutique hotel in Ragusa Ibla. While the driver takes care of your luggage, you will be riding on an Ape calessino into the old town of Ibla winding through its narrow alleys dotted with churches and bell towers.
Join your guide in the afternoon for a beautiful walk from Ragusa Superiore to admire Ibla from up there and then walk down the stairs into this crib town along the old road that once connected the upper Ragusa to Ibla. Strolling through exuberant baroque palaces with curved wrought iron balconies, step into the studio of two Sicilian artisans and painters who create unique pieces for one of Italy’s most famous fashion stylist.
To be a small town Ragusa boasts two Michelin restaurants and you don’t have to choose as you can try both.
SIDE TRIP ONE, MODICA & SCICLI
Tomorrow head off with your guide on a amazing urban trekking through the old districts of Modica strolling up and down the maze of narrow alleys and stairways that connect the town. Step into a private home to learn how to make the typical Modicano chocolate and soak up the beautiful view over the city’s rooftops from your host’s terrace.
Having verified since the first day that this area is a culinary paradise, you just have to choose whether to lunch at the side street tables of your guide’s favourite spot for “scacce” and local wine or at a historic trattoria known for its distinctly south-east Sicilian cooking or also at Accursio restaurant for delicious high-end dishes.
The delightful little town of Scicli is just a step away and has an incredible charm enveloped as it is in a sleepy calm. Yes, expect old men in coppolas sitting on benches and watching people go by. After all they are the precious guardians of stories and traditions that we hope will never be forgotten! Expect as well amazing local craft beers like the Tarì beer you’ll taste during the aperitivo along the canal or, if you wish, we’ll arrange a private tour and tasting directly at the brewery.
SOME BEACH TIME
Though you can’t see it from the hills and the inland towns you visited up to now, you are one step away from pristine sandy beaches and nature reserves. If you are traveling between May and October we’ll reserve you a spot at a nice lido with the same 50’s atmosphere and where to lunch on sensational seafood dishes “pieds dans l’eau” or we’ll arrange a boat at disposal for the day to sail along the south coastline and disembark in the pretty fishing village of Marzamemi.
SIDE TRIP TWO, THE WATERMILL
Today your guide will take you for a very special breakfast at the dairy. Yes, ricotta must be made early in the morning and it takes about an hour of cooking over a wood fire before it begins to flake, rising to the surface and ready to eat, sweet and fragrant.
Have you ever cooked in an 18th century watermill and prepared your lunch from organic, freshly milled flour? Today you will and the expert hands of mothers and grandmothers will guide you to to make durum wheat pastries stuffed with all sorts of delicious fillings.
You have to be smart to come to Ibla, and you’ve already been there.” Gesualdo Bufalino, Sicilian writer
It’s now time to leave Ragusa’s beautiful piazzas and head to Taormina where you’ll be staying at the Belmond property on the beach, Villa S. Andrea. Spend your days chilling on the private beach and strolling through the cobblestone streets from the Greek Theatre to the heart of town and soak up the famed views of this Mediterranean gem. In the evenings enjoy sundown cocktails, Taormina’s lively food scene and why not a concert at the Greek Theatre.
We’ll arrange a private boat trip to the Cyclops Riviera. You’ll sail along a beautiful protect marine area and swim by the faraglioni which – Homer says – were thrown by the blinded Cyclops Polyphemus, in a desperate attempt to stop Odysseus escaping.
On the final day you’ll take in the most unique views on a private helicopter ride over Mont Etna. Fly over the craters and the ever-changing landscapes from the old lava flows to the lush pine forests and moon-like black lava deserts. Land in the private field of an excellent winery to end over a wine tasting and lunch your Sicilian holiday.
The present itinerary and the suggested accommodation are just examples to give you an idea of what your customised trip may look like. Get in touch to design together your very own trip to Sicily.
when to go
Private Driver / Self-drive
where will you stay
Ragusa Ibla, AD 1768
A high-design boutique hotel housed in an historic Baroque palace, a.d.1768 combines Sicilian antiques with modern art in a most refined way. Open your balcony on Piazza del Duomo and begin your day with a tempting array of à la carte regional options for breakfast. We loved the tasting of cioccolato modicano and the biscuits made by Michelin star chef Ciccio Sultano.
Taormina, BELMOND VILLA S. ANDREA
Enchanting travelers since the 50’s, Villa S.Andrea is set in lush, sub-tropical gardens on a stretch of beach on the bay of Mazzarò just below the hilltop town of Taormina. Born as a private villa, it has preserved its intimacy, cozy feel and understated luxury. Definitely our favourite beach-side retreat in Taormina.
About WINE & FOOD Way of Travel
How many times we’ve heard - and said - that food and wine are the key to a country's discovery? Well, it is still very true. And Sicily? No one on earth would question it is a culinary wonderland.
To be honest in all our itineraries you’ll eat and drink extremely well… that’s Sicily! but the itineraries below will give you an idea of what your food or wine focused journey will look like.