Bella Sicilia – A Visual Feast On & Off the Bike

Sicily is nothing short of amazing. It is diverse, visually rich and has an intoxicating mix of warmth, history and natural beauty. We just love returning here to share amazing roads, stunning landscapes, a unique culture and history, delicious flavours and unheard of wines. This was certainly the case on our recent Best of Sicily Tour which we shared with a fantastic group. 

Here we share with you some of the visual feast we experienced as we rolled from the west of Sicily to the East.

Just like the island itself, the ride program was diverse.  We climbed up to and through ancient hilltop towns, along tiny rural back roads dissecting the rugged rock strewn landscape and we took advantage of the good weather and conquered Etna Sud.

Italian coffee is great, but there was a feeling within the ride group that the espresso’s we were having was the best they’ve had in Italy.

Each day presented a new challenge, a different terrain and varying levels of the spring wildflowers, literally blowing up the landscape with red, yellows, pinks and white flowers. The explosion of colour adds a sensational element to the ride.

There is decoration, colour, art and design everywhere you turn; on street corners, with the little three wheel “ape” (Italian for bee) painted with designs reminiscent of the old Sicilian horse carts, on street vendors selling spremute (juice) of local blood oranges and signage selling panini, in daily newspapers and in the architecture of buildings and historic villas. 

And then there is the food…… as the Italian’s say “Mamma Mia!”.

Ours was an adventure that your taste buds won’t forget in a hurry. We started on the coast with busiate pasta with small local scampi and pistachio, cous cous with a seafood broth, sardines stuffed with breadcrumbs and capers, tuna cooked with cipolla agrodolce (sweet & sour onions).  There were beautiful dishes where the local seasonal produce of eggplant, zucchini, peas and broad beans were the hero. Each night offered a different dining style, from a small family run osteria where nonna is still behind the stove, to butcher’s shops where they weaved their magic on a charcoal grill and institutions that have been in the family for generations, and who are still creating authentic Sicilian dishes infused with the tastes of historic civilisations – from the arabs to the moors, and to the greeks and the spaniards.

Our non riding partner program in Sicily is packed with a range of different experiences that see us enjoying the riches of the island’s culture and history with locals, and the natural beauty and bio-diversity of the land. We hiked through stunning national parks, explored ancient and tiny hill top hamlets, enjoyed adventures into history, art and architecture with local guides, had the pleasure of learning about olive oil production in the home of our warm, welcoming host and enjoyed local tastes and flavours at every turn.

A guided visit to the UNESCO protected Villa Romana del Casale saw us appreciating the greatest collection of well preserved mosaic floors from 4th century AD. This is utterly mesmerising and has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

Our cooking class on Mount Etna was a highlight for many and was definitely one of the best that we have experienced in Italy. As we often say, a cooking class is so much more than learning about cooking, it’s a cultural experience with locals where stepping into their home invites a whole other  experience and appreciation for food, culture, style and a deep understanding of the importance of high quality food in the Italian culture.  This cooking class experience was all of that and more. We made the classic Sicilian caponata (Catanese style), cavatelli pasta, delicious meatballs from an old family recipe and also a bonus dish of pasta al forno con polpette. It was a wonderful experience shared with a beautiful group of Sicilian women.

There is just so much beauty, warmth, history and charm in Sicily that it has you waking up excited each day about what interesting, diverse and stunning visual you will experience. Thank you to another great group of like minded travellers who were open to the adventure. We are already looking forward to the next Sicilian adventure in 2025.

If you would like to join us in Sicily in 2025, click here for more details or click here to email us with any questions.


Damian & Nancy

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