Forgive the cliches, but Italian escapes are all about mouth-watering food, iconic sights Insta-worthy scenery. Sorrento has been high up on the hotlist for Italian destinations – and, while you’ll still find plenty of trips there across our site, over recent years, Sicily has become the biggest ‘S’ on the scene. (Any White Lotus fans out there?)
If you’ve seen Sorrento, Sicily could be the next Italian destination on your getaway list…
Tempted? Check out our latest Italian deals.
Island-hop ‘til you drop
The gorgeous island of Capri is an easy half-hour ferry ride from Sorrento. This tiny island is a celeb favourite, with A-listers like Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Leo DiCaprio choosing it for their own escapes. Take a boat trip into the famous Blue Grotto caves and admire the views of the whole island from Monte Solaro or stroll along the gorgeous Marina Piccola.
Sicily has its own equivalent, too – in fact, there are several of them. The Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily are just an hour’s ferry ride away and boast Capri-like credentials, all with different draws. Lipari is the biggest of the islands and a bit like a mini Sicily. It’s got bright-blue waters lapping its shores, quaint shops and restaurants for you to duck into and lots of tasty local produce to try. Vulcano, on the other hand, is a much smaller island that you can walk around, which lines up a black-sand beach and a volcanic mineral mud bath where you can put nature’s best spa treatment to the test.
Colourful coastal villages
Having the Amalfi Coast right next door is one of Sorrento’s main draws and Positano is one of the most well-known villages. The colourful buildings of this hilltop resort are usually what you see slapped on the back of postcards of the famous coast. The village also boasts pretty Moorish-style buildings, stylish bars and leafy lemon groves, plus stunning views of the sea from almost everywhere.
Sicily has its own answer to Positano – Taormina, on the west coast. This charming, cliffside town is full of stylish bars, Mama’s kitchen-style restaurants and pastel-coloured houses with flower-filled balconies. Insta-worthy sights include the Garden of Villa Comunale, which is full of exotic plants and Indiana Jones-style architecture, plus the crumbling open-air Teatro Greco amphitheatre. Classic Italian operas performed here come with a backdrop of the smoking Mount Etna in the distance.
Volcanoes are a pretty exciting attraction on any holiday and two of the most notorious fire mountains are in Sicily and Sorrento. Near Sorrento, you’ve got the magnificent Mount Vesuvius, which is famous for having wiped out the city of Pompeii in 79 AD. You can hike up to the summit to get amazing views, then step back in time to explore the perfectly preserved Roman ruins in Pompeii.
Over on Sicily, the mighty Mount Etna takes centre stage. From the town of Taormina, you’ll get an ant’s-eye view of the smoking craters, but if you want to get up close and personal, it’s easy to take a trip to the top. You can even book a 4×4 excursion to the summit and hike the craters with an expert alpinist.
Food for thought
Italy’s cuisine needs no introduction – from classic pizza and pasta dishes, to fresh antipasti and world-class wines. While you might’ve tried traditional spaghetti bolognese and crispy Neapolitan pizza in Sorrento, you’ll find doughy, American-style pizzas in Sicily and pasta dishes brimming with freshly caught seafood.
Sicily’s also famous for its arancini – rice balls stuffed with ragu sauce, cheese and peas and fried in breadcrumbs. Plus, you can’t visit the island without getting your hands on some cannoli – a pastry tube filled with fresh cream cheese and topped with pistachio nuts – or granita, which is a fruit or nut-based sorbet served with a brioche bun. When it comes to wines, the volcanic vineyards on Mount Etna produce a full-bodied, fruity selection of reds and whites for you to sit back and sip on.
Looking for more articles? You’ll find them on the Inspire homepage.
Author: Selina Akhtar and Becky Wells
Last updated: 23/08/2023
You may also likeItaly