What To Eat In Sicily

I’m so excited! It looks like I will be leading another private tour of Italy and Sicily at the end of summer. ( Glam Italia II). 

I was just thinking the other day that if I were to find out I was never going to set foot on the magnificent isle of Sicily again, I would probably just curl up and die right there on the spot.

Sicily is one of the most magnificent places I have ever traveled to. And I can never wait to get back.

I think about Sicily every day.

There are so many things to love about Sicily. One of them is the food.

American Sicilian food is nothing like the food in Sicily. Sicilian food is spectacular. Everything has been grown locally in nutrient rich volcanic soil, the seafood is caught in the pristine waters of the three seas that frame the island, and the exotic blend of flavors reflect the multicultural history of this place.

If you are heading to Sicily make sure don’t leave before you try each of these:



These are rice balls filled with ragu and deep fried. They are soooo good! And very filling. Your eyes might be bigger than your stomach!

Seafood Antipasti

seafood antipasti at my favorite restaurant in Giardini Naxos. Alici bottom left.

Especially Alici. (anchovies)
There is something about the way Sicilians prepare their anchovies. You couldn’t pay me to eat them at home where they are horrible, salty and pungent. But there they are sensational. The first time I ate them I didn’t know what they were, and probably wouldn’t have even tasted them had I known they were anchovies, now I eat them every day in Sicily! And every day I eat the local seafood. The restaurant menus change all the time as they are based on today’s catch, not on what is in the freezer.

Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma

At some point during a trip to Sicily you have to try this dish of pasta made with fresh tomatoes, fried eggplant, basil and fresh firm ricotta. 

Fresh Peasant Salads

Eolie salad, Blu Caffe, Canneto Beach, Lipari

We ate this salad at a little cafe on the beach in Lipari on the 2014 Corinna B’s World Glam Italia tour. It looks simple enough, but was so amazing we went back three times! Simple “peasant food” in Sicily is so good 



This is another food that I really don’t care for stateside, but in Sicily (where they are from) fresh cannoli are just amazing. Crispy shells filled with fresh sweet sheep’s milk ricotta flavored with chocolate chips or local pistachio. There’s just nothing quite like them! 


Breakfast granita al cafe con panna, Canneto beach, Lipari

You can’t beat an icy cool granita on a hot, sunny Sicilian day. They come in a variety of flavors are super refreshing and are nothing like Italian ices in America. The texture, consistency and taste are completely different.

In Sicily, when the days are long and hot and start early, granita and gelato are also breakfast food. A coffee flavored granita with cream ( beware – they add a very generous serving of cream) or a limon granita make a divine way to start the day. 

Brioche With Gelato

Brioche con gelato, Sicily

The first time I went to Sicily my friend Silvana made me a list of foods I HAD to try. One of them was brioche with gelato, a combo I would otherwise have passed on. Believe it or not this is another breakfast food! Warm sweet brioche filled with the creamiest gelato on earth. It is super sweet, gets a little melty, and is the food of the gods.

Pistachio Anything.

Pistachios were introduced to Sicily during the Arab rule, and now find their way into all kinds of foods. There are so many pistachio flavored foods to try – don’t miss out on them!

Breakfast Crepes On The Beach In Sicily

Crepes On
The Beach.

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

love-crepes at Il Girasole, Letojanni 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. 

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.

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.

Lido Copacabana, Letojanni, Sicily

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
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.

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
Crepepperia on the beach in Letojanni, Sicily are the very best crepes
in the world.

Arancia crepe

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 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. 

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

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.

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.

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!

love-crepes in Letojanni at Il Girasole

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

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Buyer Beware ~ Don’t Ship Ceramics From Taormina!

As a rule I don’t believe in negative blogposts – if I don’t like something I just won’t say anything about it.

But a travel reporter contacted me the other day asking if I had any “Buyer Beware” stories about travel in Sicily. I told him about an awful experience at Bar Papisca in Canneto Beach on the island of Lipari (to read my post on magical Lipari click here) and then I told him about my only other bad experience traveling in Sicily, or anywhere in Italy.

Buyer beware, do not buy ceramics in Taormina and have them shipped home.

Sicily is famous for it’s spectacular ceramics. They are just beautiful. Hand painted, distinctive, uniquely Sicilian.
They harken to the stories of Sicily’s past and at the same time are ingrained into it’s present.

Ceramics on a balcony in beautiful Taormina

Taormina is not only one of the loveliest places in Sicily, but it is also one of the loveliest places in the world. I cannot wait to get back there again, hopefully next summer.


beautiful Taormina Sicily

Last year I bought some pieces of local ceramics in Taormina and dragged them around Italy with me for 5 weeks before heading home to the US. I loved the pattern so much that I decided to buy a complete dinnerset as well as additional pieces when I returned this year.

I was a little hesitant to ship a giant order home without a trial run, so (thankfully) I just purchased a few pieces to try out the shipping, with a plan to order and ship place settings for 10 if all went well.
Which it didn’t.

buying some test pieces of ceramics in Taormina. Not all of  these items got home in one piece.

I purchased the 5 pieces at a store called Sikania Ceramiche located at Via Luigi Pirandello 18 in Taormina. The shipping was expensive – 65 Euros including shipping insurance.

They informed me that it would take about a month to arrive, that they have special packaging that guarantees that everything arrives in one piece, and that infact no one had ever had anything arrive broken. But not to worry – if the package didn’t arrive or arrived damaged in any way there was insurance to cover it.


Except, not cool.

The shipment arrived stateside about 3 weeks later, and I have to say the packaging was fantastic, the only problem was that when the ceramics were packed they were wedged in too tightly, and some of the pieces broke.



I telephoned Sikania Ceramiche the next morning and spoke to the store owner. When I told him that pieces had arrived broken he said that was impossible. 
Then promptly decided that he no longer understood english, and hung up.

No problem – I have tons of friends in Italy, so I had one of them call him and conduct the conversation in Italian. The owner said yes he understood that I had goods arrive broken, and that he just needed me to email or text him photos. He gave my friend the cell phone number to text them to and the email address to email them to.




I immediately did both – texted him the pictures as well as emailed them. 
Both of which he steadfastly ignored.
He ignored follow up emails too.

I have to say at this point that it shouldn’t have been a big deal. Replace the broken items – minimal cost to the store – keep the customer happy, and get a giant order for the rest of the set that I wanted.

Had Sikania Ceramiche actually purchased the shipping insurance that they charged me for, this wouldn’t be a problem, would it? 

I mean no big deal – have me send back the broken pieces and just replace them. Insurance will pay for it all.
Which of course makes me think they didn’t actually buy the insurance and just pocketed the extra money.

Sicily is famous for it’s gorgeous ceramics. 

And they are everywhere. 

There are many options and many stores to buy them from. 

All over Sicily.

Ceramics are everywhere in Taormia

But as some merchants own multiple stores, and allowing for the fact that in a small place like Taormina they all know one another, 
there are probably others in town running the same dirty game.

So the way I see it you are better off to buy your ceramics elsewhere. Buy them in Ragusa or Giardini Naxos, Siracusa or Savoca. Just not in Taormina. And maybe only buy what you can carry back home in your luggage – avoid the shipping scam.

And avoid Sikania Ceramiche like the plague.