Inheriting Sicily

From ancient ruins to architecture: the beauty of Segesta, Selinunte, Agrigento and Taormina

By Honor Moore
Isola Bella, in Taormina, is breathtaking at dusk.
Photograph: Photo by: Harf Zimmermann

Honor Moore’s Sicily
Getting there I flew to Rome, and from Rome to Palermo on Air One, then returned via Catania. To get around Sicily, I rented a car (europcar.it) in Palermo, returning it at Catania.
Where to stay In Palermo, check out the Grand Hotel et des Palmes (despalmes.hotelsinsicily.it). Wagner completed Parsifal there. It has just been renovated, and it’s an easy walk to restaurants, shops and sights. If you go to Selinunte, consider Villa Sogno (sicilybedandbreakfast.villasogno.it). Rooms are small but amusingly decorated, and there is a pool in a lovely garden of olive and citrus. In Agrigento, we stayed at Fattoria Mosé (fattoriamose.com), an organic farm complete with a beautiful chapel. The farm harvests olives, citrus, pistachios, almonds, fruits and vegetables, and has been in the same family for 200 years. When in Taormina, book the San Domenico Palace Hotel (sandomenicopalace.hotelsinsicily .it). But note that food there is not as good as at the profusion of local restaurants.
Where to eat Even though my trip wasn’t about the food, eating in Sicily is an experience not to be missed—the fish and produce are spectacularly fresh. In Selinunte, reserve a table at Baffo’s Castle, Castelvetrano. I had delicious “pesto Siciliana”—basil, tomato, olive oil and a touch of tuna. If you visit the temples of Agrigento, check out Kókalos, a lovely restaurant that serves wonderful fish. In Taormina, try La Botte Trattoria, which is a short walk from the San Domenico Palace Hotel, and order the delectable pasta con aglio e olio, which is accented with very thin slices of red and green pepperoncini. —H.M. 
 
Honor Moore’s book The White Blackbird is now out in paperback, as is her memoir, The Bishop’s Daughter.  

For pictures from her trip, click here.

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