Crepes On
The Beach.

My favorite breakfast in the world is crepes on the beach, in
Sicily.

where-to-eat-in-sicily
love-crepes at Il Girasole, Letojanni Sicily

best-coffee-in-sicily
the best coffee in Sicily is at Il Girasole in Letojanni

If you follow this blog you will already know that my favorite place on earth to travel to is the spectacular island of Sicily.
Not only is Sicily staggeringly beautiful with a rich and layered history, but it also has some of the very best food in the world. Everything you eat has been grown within a few miles of where you are dining, in nutrient rich volcanic soil that creates a flavor explosion with every bite.
And you won’t find anything even remotely resembling the heavy, greasy, “Sicilian” food that they serve in the US.

My home-base in Sicily is the lovely little town of Letojanni, which sits adjacent to Taormina on Sicily’s east coast, between Messina and Catania.
Unlike the picturesque town of Taormina, which is perhaps the most tourist-rich spot in Sicily, and therefore full of high priced souvenir shops costly accommodations and expensive places to eat, Letojanni is a small beach town that does cater beautifully to travelers but at the same time lets you feel that you are among the locals. 

Taormina-Letojanni-Sicily
Letojanni seen from Taormina

Letojanni sits just a side-step to the left of Taormina, on the Messina side. From your beach chair at the lidos in Letojanni you can look up at the hill and see Taormina. From the Greek Theater in Taormina you can gaze down at the beach in Letojanni.

Beach-At-Letojanni-Sicily
Lido Copacabana, Letojanni

 The beach directly outside the apartment I rent in Letojanni is stunning. The red umbrellas of the Lido Copacabana provide perfect contrast to the sparkling blue water of the Ionian Sea. I honestly just never, ever want to leave.

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Lido Copacabana, Letojanni, Sicily

Sicily-Beach-Letojanni
the view from breakfast at Il Girasole in Letojanni Sicily

When my son and I are in Paris every day we walk from our
apartment on the left bank to the Place de la Concord to our favorite creperie,
then take our crepes into the Tuileries and sit on the very same bench, every
single time, and eat them as slowly as possible. Because they are so incredibly
good.
And because we really love crepes.

When we are in Sicily every morning the two of us walk along the beach in Letojanni to Il Girasole, where we order crepes and sit under the
sun umbrellas on the beach, and look out over the Ionian Sea as we eat our breakfast. It’s my
idea of heaven.

Crepes-Letojanni-Sicily
Il Girasole, Letojanni, Sicily

Beach-At-Il-Girasole-Letojanni-Sicily
Sun up, sundown – always beautiful at Il Girasole in Letojanni

And in our humble crepe eating opinion, the crepes at Il
Girasole
Crepepperia on the beach in Letojanni, Sicily are the very best crepes
in the world.

Letojanni-Sicily-Crepes
Arancia crepe

Letojanni-Sicily-Crepes
They serve sweet crepes and they serve savory crepes at Il Girasole

Once you have tried them there is no turning back. Your daily breakfast becomes a carb fest of crepes, complimented by the best coffee on earth. It is an early morning fortification that sets you up perfectly for a day of sightseeing, or a day on the beach.

Coffee-In-Sicily
coffee at Il Girasole, Letojanni

I wouldn’t miss it for the world! And if you are in Letojanni you can’t miss it either – Il Girasole (The Sunflower) is a bright yellow restaurant/cafe on the beach about halfway through town. 

Il Girasole is owned by my charming and very charismatic friend Giuseppe “Peppe” Tama’, who I just adore, and who adds definite eye candy to any
meal you are eating. 

Letojanni-Sicily-Il-Girasole
The boss at Il Girasole

Peppe is delightful and engaging, and he has built an entire crew who have a zest for life and a sense of fun, just like he does. Which is probably why his business does so well. 

The-Crew-At-Il-Girasole-Letojanni
The crew at Il Girasole, Letojanni

Not only do they make the best breakfast you’ve ever had,
and serve the very best coffee in the world at Il Girasole, but during the day
they have lunch food, and they also serve evening fare.

Nights-at-Il-Girasole-Letojanni-Sicily
fun nights on the beach at Il Girasole in Letojanni Sicily

Speaking of evenings, when the day is done and everyone is
out and about in Letojanni for la passeggiata (evening stroll) they wind up at
Il Girasole for evening coffees, glasses of wine or limoncello, or for light snack
fare. It is a delightful social hub, the perfect place to end another perfect
day in Sicily.

Nights-at-Il-Girasole-Letojanni-Sicily
midnight in Sicily at Il Girasole, Letojanni

If you travel to the east coast of Sicily, especially anywhere near Taormina, take the time to go to Letojanni for some crepes on the beach – you will thank me for it!

Il-Girasole-Letojanni-crepes
love-crepes in Letojanni at Il Girasole

~ all images are via iPhone and are my own. Please do not use without my written permission.
Thanks!~

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Ever since I took my first step onto Sicilian soil I have been obsessed with the place.

It is magnificent, mysterious and beautiful. Overwhelmingly beautiful.

But with a secret darkness to it.

I just can’t get enough.

As such, I read books about Sicily, books set in Sicily, fiction, non fiction – anything I can get my hands on.

One of the absolute treasures I found was a book called “A House In Sicily” by Daphne Phelps.

This is an autobiography that takes place in lovely Taormina, overlooking the Ionian Sea. A picturesque little town that holds a piece of my heart, or that maybe I’m holding in my heart. Not sure which.

Daphne lived in dreary old England, damp and grey, then inherited a magnificent home built by her uncle in sun drenched Taormina.

She moves to Sicily, and this is her story of life at Casa Cuseni. 

Casa-Cuseni-Taormina
view from the terrace of Casa Cuseni at night

Writers and artists drop by and stay for weeks and months.

She tackles the trials and tribulations of life in this little mountain town, at the same time basking in the glory of living in a place more beautiful than words can describe.

Casa-Cuseni-Taormina
Casa Cuseni,Taormina Sicily

Great reading for lovers of Under The Tuscan Sun and 
A Year In Provence.

Her home, Casa Cuseni, remains the star of the story, it’s beauty the perpetual subtext.

Casa-Cuseni-Taormina
Casa Cuseni, Taormina Sicily

Returning to Taormina this year I was determined to find 
Casa Cuseni

Which was actually really easy.

Daphne died in 2005 and willed the house to her nieces who preferred the rain in Britain to the sun in Sicily, and opted to sell it instead of relocating.

I would give almost anything to move there and own that home! I still cannot believe they let it go.

The new owners have made it into a bed and breakfast, and were more than happy to let me come visit, and look around.

Casa-Cuseni-Taormina-Corinna-B's-World
Outside the blue door at Casa Cuseni

Casa Cuseni is truly magnificent.

Much of it has been kept as it was in the book.

Daphne’s treasures are still there, along with her passports and personal papers.

Casa-Cuseni-Taormina-Corinna-B's-World
Salvatore at Casa Cuseni

My host for the day, Salvatore Spadro, showed me many of the belongings she talks about in her book. 

We strolled through the art filled rooms and the gardens, Salvatore filling me in on the history behind every room, every piece of art, every corner of the beautiful gardens.

We sat on the terrace taking in the view, while he told me more stories.

Casa-Cuseni-Taormina-Corinna-B's-World
Time for a glass of wine on the terrace at Casa Cuseni

It was just magical.

When we were about to leave he asked if I would like to see the Picassos.

Picasso had stayed at Casa Cuseni, and left the works he painted while he was there.

I still can’t quite believe I was able to spend quality time with Picassos that don’t live in any museum, that aren’t featured in any coffee table books. That pretty much no one else sees.

If you are planning to travel Sicily, look into staying at Casa Cuseni in Taormina for a few days.

There are only 6 bedrooms, so they do book out a long time in advance, but you can email them directly ( casacuseni@gmail.com) and see what openings they do have. 
Check out the Casa Cuseni website here

If you enjoy reading books about people relocating to glorious homes in Italy and building a life there (my favorite subject!), pick up a copy of A House In Italy by Daphne Phelps here.

Sicilitudine

… and I am happy to think that I now
carry in my soul a picture of Sicily, that unique and beautiful island, which
is clear, authentic and complete…

Goethe

Giardini-Naxos-Sicily
Giardini Naxos, Sicily

From the first step I took on this hauntingly beautiful
island, from my very first breath, I was completely enamored of her. And there
has not been one day in my life since then that she hasn’t crept into my
thoughts. 

Sicily-Corinna-B's-World-Sicilitudine
Taormina, Sicily

The screensaver on the inside of my eyelids runs a slideshow of
spectacular Sicilian vistas when I go to sleep, and sometimes the all
encompassing need to get back there
defies reason and dominates all thought.

Castelmola-Sicily
Castelmola, Sicily

This largest island in the Mediterranean is truly unique. It
is like a giant mosaic made up of thousands of vibrant and exceptionally hued
tiles, impossible to put together, yet alone each is magnificent, complex, and
exceptional.

Taormina-Sicily
Taormina, Sicily

View-from-Forza-D'Agro'-Sicily
View from Forza D’Agro, Sicily

Visually astounding, her shores are lapped by the bluest of
seas – the Mediterranean, the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian. 

Lido-Copacabana-Letojanni-Sicily
Lida copacabana, Letojanni, Sicily

Sicily

 The architecture and the cuisine have been
layered by a history of being conquered. The Greeks, the Carthaginians, Roman,
Arabs, Norman and Spaniards all ruled Sicily over the millennia and left their
mark, their flavor, their influence, weaving a rich and brilliant tapestry that
is equally beautiful and brutal.

Apollo's-Temple-Ortygia-Sicily

Ortygia-Sicily
Ortygia. Sicily

Sicilians have a hard history. The rich were magnificently
rich while the poor toiled in abject poverty. They were repeatedly heavily
taxed to pay for someone else’s wars, throughout time their men drafted to
fight the ruling country’s battles. Although since the unification they are
Italian, they are first and foremost and to their collective core, Sicilian. As
a people they have pride and resilience, are at times stoic, in some ways isolated
from the mainland, theirs is a Sicilitudine

Castelmola-Sicily
 Castelmola, Sicily

Yet invariably Sicilians smile the deepest of smiles.

At times more North Africa than Southern Italy, Sicily is
maddeningly beautiful, a culinary dream, it is mysterious and moody, incredibly
sexy, and feels vaguely dangerous with it’s rumbling volcano and it’s air of
mystery.

Mt-Etna-Sicily

Sicily is everything.

To take on this magical island all you need is a good map
and a sense of adventure…