As honeymoon destinations go, the idyllic island of Sicily, steeped in romance, history and enchanting allure, is undeniably a first-class choice. With its epic, natural landscapes of verdant hills, smoking volcanoes and miles of glittering coastline, the breath-taking scenery will seduce you at first sight and your heart can’t fail to be won over by the historical cities, ancient ruins and divine cuisine.
The capital city, Palermo, is often the first port of call for many visitors beginning their Sicilian adventure. We’ve chosen our top six activities for honeymooners that this region has to offer…
The historical centre of Palermo is considered to be one of the largest in Europe, a labyrinth of streets just begging to be explored. Instead of the usual hand-in-hand stroll through the streets, why not try something a little different and enjoy your sight-seeing from on board a Segway? Tours run frequently throughout the city and include a half hour training session to allow you to feel comfortable when operating your Segway. Expect to roll through shady piazzas, past beautiful buildings and spot sights such as the magnificent Palazzo dei Normanni, filled with intricate mosaics. The tour culminates with a breezy jaunt along the picturesque seafront, via the ancient port.
Indulge in a street food tour
One for the foodie honeymooners, a street food tour through Palermo is ideal for sampling some of the specialty snacks of the city. A local guide will accompany you on your culinary adventure, through a variety of lively markets, such as Vucciria and Capo, where the stalls are piled high with seasonal produce. You will also visit traditional inns and bakeries filled with the alluring scent of freshly baked bread. Expect to sample a selection of Sicilian delicacies such as panelle (chickpea fritters), arancini (rice balls) and cannoli (a sweet ricotta-based treat). Wash it all down with one of Sicily’s delicious, local wines. Ensure to let your tour know of any dietary requirements in advance.
Take in a show at the Teatro Massimo
If music be the food of love then ensure you book in an evening performance at the stunning Teatro Massimo, reportedly the third largest theatre in Europe. The iconic building might look familiar to movie buffs thanks to its cameo in the final Godfather movie, when Sofia Coppola met her untimely demise on the sweeping steps. Hire an intimate, private box and marvel at the ornate interior as the curtain rises, treating you to a masterclass in the grandeur of Italian opera. After the show, drop into the Cafe del Teatro Massimo where occasional live music and the impressive flood-lit exterior of the theatre provide a romantic ambience that’s hard to beat.
We are sailing
Palermo’s convenient position on the north coast of Sicily lends itself perfectly for a romantic boat trip. A day out on the waves, soaking up the sunshine, sea views and astounding beauty of the region is the perfect honeymoon treat for you and your beloved. Visit the soft, white sands of Mondello and enjoy lunch in this charming fishing village, or escape the crowds at the Natural Reserve of Capo Gallo. Alternatively, opt for a sunset cruise in a traditional Sicilian fishing boat and watch the golden hour descend over the city whilst you take a dip in the crystal clear waters. A wining and dining experience on board can also be arranged.
Picnic in the parks
Palermo can be hot, hectic and full of the hustle of humanity. Find some respite at one of the city’s shady public gardens with a blanket, cold drinks and some Sicilian snacks. The Giardino Garibaldi is a landscaped haven of exotic banyan trees and tropical palms – look out for the 150-year-old ficus. Alternatively, try the Orto Botanio, a garden developed in the 18th century with a variety of fascinating flora from all over the world including coffee and cotton plants, bamboo and cacti.
Relax on the beach
There are an assortment of sumptuous beaches along the Palermo coastline but Isola delle Femmine, located to the west of the city, is one of the most romantic. The beach’s name is taken from the tiny islet situated around 500 metres off the coast, where a protected nature reserve houses an abundance of flora, fauna and sea life. Relax with your loved one on sugar-spun sands and allow all thoughts of reality to drift away on those crystalline waters.
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