Italy is known for its northern wonders, perhaps more so than its southern wonders. The tourists flock to the northern attractions and often miss the south entirely. And even then, those that venture south only happen by the star attractions missing much of the south.
It is true that the south – and I’m talking the very south, Sicily – can be more difficult to tackle as a tourist than her northern counterparts. But your efforts will be repaid in a rich cultural experience.
Sicily offers a rich culture that, whilst similar, can also be entirely different to mainland Italy. It’s almost as though all of the cultural traditions of Italy are magnified here. Family values and food culture become more relevant – if that’s even possible. No decision is made without first thinking of the repercussions to ones family name.
We were fortunate enough to have a family home stay in one of Syracuse’s satellite cities. Whilst Syracuse is a beautiful tourist destination in its own right, her satellite cities are an entirely different experience.
Our experience was warm and personal, with door-to-door chauffeur service, home cooked meals, personal tours and our every need catered too. I’ve taken a photo-walk through the streets of Floridia to share my experience. Syracuse’s satellite cities are obviously in a state of economic decline but with a local host can be a rich and wonderful experience.
A word of advice for would-be travellers. In these satellite cities public transport is practically non-existent or reportedly unreliable, you will need a car. And if you’re driving a car be aware that driving can be perilous. Unlike the rest of Italy eating out is not a daily staple and there are fewer cafes and restaurants, perhaps due to the economic decline. You’ll always pick up something delicious at the panificio – bakery – though.