Why Sicily?: Best-preserved Greek ruins outside Greece; Melting pot of cultures, including Greek, Roman, Norman and Arab; Beautiful countryside and traditional villages; Delicious and unique cuisine
The itinerary: Arrive in Catania and immediately drive to Siracusa (2 nights); Drive to Agrigento (2 nights); Erice (1 night); Drive to Palermo (3 nights)
What to do: Wander the old town and Greek ruins in Siracusa; Visit Roman ruins at Villa Romana de Casale; Tour the magnificent Greek temple at the UNESCO site, Agrigento; Spend a morning at Monreale’s Norman ruins; Sight-see small coastal towns and inland farms and vineyards
What to buy: Ceramics in Sciacca, Erice or Caltagirone; Pistacchio di Bronte in the east; Wines
What to eat: Arancini (fried risotto balls); Cannoli; Granita e brioche (ice cream for breakfast!); Frutti di mare (Swordfish, tuna, sardines, anchovies, squid; seafood of every kind with pasta, in salads or by itself.); Local cheeses; Palermo street food– panelle (chick pea fritters), sfincione (a kind of pizza), cazzilli (potato croquettes) and, gulp, pani ca’ meusa (bread roll filled with boiled veal lungs and spleen); Wines, particularly Nero d’Avolo and Masala.