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Hidden gems in sicily

Leeds, UK
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Hidden gems in sicily

We are going to Eastern Sicily next week for 7 days and wondered if anyone has come across any little hidden gems in terms of restaurants or towns/villages/hotels that might be worth a visit. I suppose we are looking for something that might not be heavily featured or featured at all in the guide books and more local home cooked food than Michelin Stars.

We have a car to travel around but have no definite itinerary yet.....

Many Thanks Paul

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

There are many towns, agriturismos and trattorias, but could you please be a little more specific about the area in western Sicily?

Where will you arrive and depart - from Catania??


Leeds, UK
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2. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

Flying in to Catania and intend to spend a little time in Taormina. would like to go into hills and interior for a few days . probably about 4 hours drive fom catania would be max.


Here & There
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3. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

Hi PaulbLeeds,

This earlier thread offers information on the Madonie and Nebrodi Mountains.

Sicily off the beaten track??:


Not far from Taormina, around Mount Etna at Linguaglossa, there is some beautiful countryside to explore.

Arrigo is an agriturismo set in the countryside in Linguaglossa.

Azienda Agrituristica Arrigo:


Agrituristica Liperus in Piedmonte Etneo is a good stop for lunch.

Azienda Agrituristica Liperus:



Around the foothills of Etna in Randazzo, you would have several exceptional dining possibilities.

Ristorante Veneziano is in town, but if it doesn’t seem off the beaten path enough for you, Parco Statella has the same owners.

Ristorante Veneziano:


Parco Statella:


There’s a lovely drive around the Nebrodis from Maniace across the highlands with views across Sicily and on to Floresta and Sinagra. Trattoria da Angelo in Sinagra is another gem.

Trattoria da Angelo:


From Sinagra, you could continue to Capo d’Orlando and end with a swim.

The Nebrodi Mountains:





Castelbuono is one of the Madonies most special towns to explore. Trattoria la Lanterna and Ristorante Romitaggio would be two good choices for lunch and though Michelin rated, Nanalarruni is always a favourite.

Trattoria La Lanterna:


Ristorante Romitaggio di Castelbuono:



5km south of Castelbuono, the restaurant Romitaggio, housed in the medieval Convent of S. Guglielmo specializes in traditional Madonie’s specialities.

Ristoranti Nangalarruni:

Via Delle Confraternite 5

0921 671428





The section on the SS120 between Polizzi Generosa and Petralia Soprano is an especially beautiful drive in the Madonies. Polizzi Genrosa is about 2 hours from Taormina.

Madonie Mountains:





If you were to begin around Scillato, you could visit Antico Frantoio, an agriturismo producing olive oil.

Antico Frantoio:


L’ Itria, Ristorante L’ Orto dei Cappuccini and the Pasticceria Al Castello would be good choices in Polizzi Generosa, but Polizzi Generosa has many good choices.

L’ Itria:


Ristorante L’ Orto dei Cappuccini:


Pasticceria al Castello:


Visit the Pasticceria al Castello for sweets and cakes including the typical sfoglio (mille-feuille) made with unsalted fromage frais.

Agriturismo Antico Casale is a rustic gem in Polizzi Generosa – the restaurant serves typical cuisine with local organic produce.

Agriturismo Antico Casale:


Cerasella Ristorante Pizzeria is very simple, but delicious in Petralia Soprana.

Cerasella Ristorante Pizzeria:


Trattoria Pizzeria Da Salvatore and Petraelejum couldn't be more local or authentic with simple cuisine from the mountains of interior Sicily!

Trattoria Pizzeria Da Salvatore:

Piazza San Michele 3

0921 680169

For very, very local cuisine, try the trattoria pizzeria Da Salvatore in Petralia Soprana.

Start with fresh ricotta, excellent provolone and other cheeses in a basket, and work your way to the antipasti - omelet with wild herbs (picked in the local fields by Salvatore and cooked by his wife), soups, pasta con virduri. Meats all come from local farms - excellent grilled lamb, veal, kid, or pork. Finish with homegrown fruit, and traditional cookies. There's a house wine and other local Sicilian wines. Very simple and very real!


Corso Pietro Agliata 113

0921 641947

Also in Petralia Soprana, the Petraelejum is a small restaurant on the main street. Start with ricotta and cheeses from the local dairies. The wild vegetables in batter are outstanding! Mountain crepes, tagliatelle with ricotta, and stewed lamb or kid are all specialties. Again, Sicilian wines are served.



Leeds, UK
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4. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

Couldn't ask for more. Thanks very much !!

Manchester, UK
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5. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

Hi Paulb, what about the South-Eastern Sicily and the Baroque towns of Ragusa, Modica and Noto. All part of the World heritage and Unesco Sites.


Ragusa and Modica are only 2 hours 30mins drive from Taormina but not as touristy and would be a good base to explore the nearby towns. In Ragusa Ibla (the old medieval part of Ragusa) you can find restaurants (some are listed below), and the town has a very charming and relaxed atmosphere. Is the same for Modica.

LOCANDA DON SERAFINO - 39, v. Orfanotrofio, Ragusa Ibla tel: 0932 248778


U Saracinu Srl Ristorante - 9, Via Convento, Ragusa Ibla tel: 0932 246976

Trattoria La Bettola di Bengasi Paolo - 7, Largo Camerina, Ragusa Ibla tel: 0932 653377

An other little gem near Ragusa (only 30min drive) is the Castello of Donnafugata, next to the castel you'll find:

TRATTORIA AL CASTELLO di GIOVANNI LA FERLA - ctr. Donnafugata - Ragusa (vicino castello D.) tel: 0932 619260

Nuovo Gattopardo Snc Di Costantino Ristorante Pizzeria Donnafugata - CONTRADA DONNAFUGATA - tel: 0932 619313

Leeds, UK
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6. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

interesting, I'll take a look at these . Thanks...

Here & There
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7. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

Salvo is absolutely right about the province of Ragusa as well – I actually thought about posting information on Ragusa, but I got a little carried away with the Madonies!

The Province of Ragusa is completely enchanting with pristine countryside – AND lovely towns dotting the coast. The cuisine (and the restaurants and trattorias)are some of Sicily's best.

Here are some earlier threads with information about the province of Ragusa – a favourite for sure!!

Nice beaches in South-Eastern Sicliy?:


Modica Restaurants:



Here & There
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8. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

Regaleali in Vallelunga Pratameno is also a wonderful vineyard to visit!









9. Re: Hidden gems in sicily

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