Sicily, The Perfect Italian Family Vacation
Considering a family vacation to Italy? Think about Sicily! The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily is such a special place and a wonderful choice for a family vacation. I fell in love with Sicily many years ago and always jump at the chance to go back. Kids will be in awe of the ancient Greek and Roman ruins and fortified castles along the coastline, as well as the magnificent Mt. Etna towering in the background. No Italian vacation is complete without visiting Sicily, an island full of cultural, historical and geological surprises. I’m pretty sure you’ll love Sicily as much as I do!
Families Should Know:
- The best way to get to Sicily is by air. The main airports are in Palermo (PMO) or Catania (CTA). At the airport, you can rent a car to get around. If you’re already in Italy, there is train service from Rome or Naples, but it is a long trip.
- The language spoken in Sicily is not standard Italian, but Sicilian, so brush up on the basics before you go. And unlike the Italian mainland, English is not widely used by locals.
- The quaint resort town of Taormina is one of the best for families. There are ample resorts and rental villas as well as plenty of activities and sights all within walking distance.
- Surrounded by crystal clear waters, Sicily is the perfect place for water activities such a swimming, snorkeling, fishing and boating. In the resort areas, you can rent pedal boats and other sporting equipment.
- Mt. Etna is an active volcano on the island but generally gives plenty of warning if it plans to erupt. The smoldering from the volcano does make for a lovely backdrop for those vacationing in the area.
- Like most of Italy, Sicilians love children and welcome them with open arms. Children are treated kindly and are often given treats of gelato or granita by locals. Be warned, your kids might get spoiled on this kid-friendly island.
Taormina’s Greek theater that was built into a hillside has amazing views of Mt. Etna and the sea. Kids will enjoy performances in the summertime.
Take the cable car to Mazzaro, the beach resort just below Taormina for swimming, and exploring the coves along the coast. For lunch, there are plenty of bars and restaurants right along the beach (many will bring the food to you).
A tour of Mount Etna is definitely recommended. See up close the wonders of an active volcano. Many daily tours are offered, check with your hotel for times.
Palermo, Sicily’s cultural and tourist capital is a top destination not to be missed. Rich in history, there are many sights and attractions, as well as top restaurants and shopping areas.
Sicilian food specialties that the kids will love are: granita (flavored crushed ice), homemade gelato, and the famous Sicilian cannoli.
If your children are in to puppets, a visit to the Museo Internazionale delle Marionette (International Puppet Museum) in Palermo is a fun experience for the entire family.