Siracusa- the best food ever and a few general tips on how to survive in Sicily

My Sicilian trip is coming to its end and I’m about to start packing my suitcase- this one is going to be tricky after my yesterday’s shopping in Palermo!! We’re back to Trapani but still talking about our stay in Siracusa. To be honest with you we escaped from Taormina and decided to go to Palermo once again. Taormina is nice but there was way too many people and it was ridiculously expensive for what you get. Siracusa was probably the nicest culinary part of our trip, so I decided to share it as a last part of this Sicilian saga:) I also thought,  that I would share some of my general experiences from Sicily, in case you would like to visit it. I absolutely do not consider myself as a professional trip advisor, however as someone who can speak the language and knows the culture pretty well at this stage, I’m sure I can save you one or two struggles, or at least I can try. I will tell you where you can do nice shopping, what to expect on the road and what your options are when comes to accommodation.

But first things first- food 😀 so let’s go to Siracusa

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This would be a lie if I told you, that only in Siracusa you can eat well. If you travel around Sicily you can see many food markets offering fresh fruits, vegetables,  meat, fish and many other things ( I’m not talking here about restaurants- not yet). However, after the famous food market in Palermo, the  one in Siracusa for me was the most interesting one. The variety of different types of foods, the sourrandings- just next to the ancient ruins of the temple of Apollo, its location- Ortigia, which is the oldest part of the city, and looks a bit like Venice, all this makes this place very unusual. The truth is, you can buy there anything you want, and it’s fresh, fish is straight from the sea, vegetables are straight from the field/ garden, the same for fruits, spices and wine. People here know how to eat, and what’s good for them. I agree, you see many places offering take away/fast food, but this can be also very misleading.  In one of those places, just next to the food market I have had the best slice of pizza ever!  When I travel I always ask when the local people eat, and the last time when I asked the same question in Sicily, I was told, that local people eat at home. There is something about it. Not everyone can afford to eat in a restaurant, in many places local people wouldn’t eat what we tourists do 😀 also Sicilians are very attached to the traditional foods,  so they would shop at the market,  like the one I’m about to show you.

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Fish is very important part of the daily menu in Sicily, and that’s why I decided to start from the fish part of the food market in Siracusa. The selection is overwhelming,  prices very approachable,  and if you have possibility to cook- like we did, then you should definitely try some of it. It’s worth it!

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The seafood selection is fantastic,  and everything is straight from the sea. Just look at the picture below, where as you can easily figure out, these fresh oysters are served together with some wine. Yummy! If it’s good, no need for a fancy restaurant 🙂

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For me the vegetable part was the most beautiful one. I simply couldn’t take my eyes off from all these shapes, colors, flavours and the smell of fresh peaches, apples, herbs and nuts.

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Look at these walnuts.  Nothing special about them right?!

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And here just to show you how giantic they are! I bought some and can’t wait to try them 🙂

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Below the most yummy pistachios I’ve ever tried- and there is a pasta recipe on the way, yes!!

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Spices- you cannot simply walk away from those stands. I stocked up for the next year or so 😀

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You might wonder if we managed to try any of these foods and the answer is YES. We found a little salumeria place, kind of shop serving brunch and lunch. It’s called Fratelli Burgio and it has a huge selection of local cheese, meat, caponata, olive oil, pasta, bread and many other things.

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We went there twice and frankly if we stayed for another night, I’m sure we would go back there once again. Every morning they organise a kind of stand with the cheese and the meat selection. They can fix you a sandwich with whatever you like or you can order something from the little menu. That cheese below for example is ricotta baked in the oven. I tried it and it was delicious!

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Here you can see another kind of cheese, called scamorza. I like the smoked one.

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Below caponata and fresh olives…

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And here you can see what we ordered for lunch. This is a selection of cheese and meat with some veggies on a side. People were asking us if they could take a picture of it. My boyfriend wanted to charge everyone 5 EUR per picture 😀 He was joking of course!

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Here you can see the same thing but for 5 people. This time it was me asking if I could take a picture of it!! They took their revenge and asked for 5 EUR too 😀

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I wanted to show you something very typical for Sicily- ice cream in a brioche.  It’s an ince cream sandwich, and the portion is enormous.  I don’t know how my boyfriend managed to have it after that big dinner, but it only confirms how good it is 😀

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Driving in Sicily

For some of you this part of this post might be the most funny one, however all this is very true and I would recommend to take it seriously.  First of all if you can rent a car just go for it, because it makes things so much easier when comes to travelling in Sicily. Car rental is not very expensive and cars are in very good shape. You will have to pay a fee for additional driver- in Hertz 14 EUR per day. Now, if you are not very comfortable behind the wheel better make sure you are with someone who is. For many reasons, but mainly because the usual rules you are used to do not exist here. Driving in Sicily is a mess. A mess. On the road you will come across with at least 4 or 5 combinations,  which are a norm here, but you are going to be very much far from considering them as a norm. People drive very slowly, and prepare yourself for that. Even on the highway you see cars moving with the max speed of 50/60 km! Another thing when they take over another car they do not accelerate. Better be careful with that one. Most drivers tent to get closer to the centre of the road or they drive literally on the emergency lane! People usually try to force the priority and they stop at the very last moment,  still hoping that you would let them go, which I would do if you do not feel like taking the risk. Once you know all  these things you can relax and enjoy the view while you drive 😀

Shopping and accommodation

Italy is great for shopping. In Sicily you will find all the most famous brands, outlets and the discounts are great too. Palermo is really good if you’re into fashion, as they have Max Mara, Stefanel, Marella, Tod’s and many other brands. When I go bavk home I will update this post and give you the link to the biggest outlet in Sicily, where you can get everything you want for really good money. As for accommodation this year we were staying mostly in B&B places and also we made a few bookings through Airbnb.  I will post these places here as well.

Time to go, today the last day on the beach 🙂 big thank you to all of you and see you in Luxembourg!

28 thoughts on “Siracusa- the best food ever and a few general tips on how to survive in Sicily

  1. I’m sicilian living in France, (we are neighbours 🙂 and I find very nice to make a leap in Ortigia, as this summer I went in Sicily but not in that wonderful place that I simply love. And it’s true what you say, sicilians love cooking at home local food or, I add, going to the right restaurants (there are so many), surely not to the so-called turistic restaurants peddling junk food for italian food, that it’s a crime. All the food pics of your post are beautiful, I think you found the right places, you know? 😉
    P.S.:I ate ice-cream brioche every day for breakfast this summer…

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  2. What a beautiful food tour for us! I can’t believe I haven’t been to Sicily. Must remedy that soon. All of your photos are just delicious looking. And ice cream in a brioche? You have just made my heart skip a beat!

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    • Oh you have to go! It’s absolutely beautiful down there, not expensive at all and the weather is always great- I always go in September 🙂 let me know if you need any info. And yes, it’s crazy isn’t it- that ice cream thing, but it’s yummy, also because this brioche has a lovely vanilla taste,it’s heaven!

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  3. OMG Marta!!!!
    Your pictures are amazing. I feel like I am right there with you. #creepy 🙂
    Next time, please, pretty please with a cherry on top take me with you.
    Such a great post to help finish off my epically long day. Thank YOU! 🙂

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  4. OMG!!! This post is fantastic 🙂
    Like you, I love love love that farmer market; the produce is fascinating. I wouldn’t be able to leave the market so easily if I were there.

    Also, I am so surprised that Sicilians have ice cream in a brioche bun because Thais have coconut ice-cream in the similar way, but with sweet sticky rice as well. 🙂

    So glad you shared this post with all of us.

    Btw, what is that produce (pic between eggplant & pepper) called?

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    • Pang darling are you well?:-) oh I wish I could see the food market where you are now! That thing you were asking about it’s a sort of plum- fruit which I haven’t tried yet, but it grows everywhere down there, I have pictures of the whole plant- I think it’s a sort of cactus. It’s very popular in Sicily. Will email you at some point this weekend, xx

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    • Thank you, that’s so kind of you to say it 😀 I took 850 pictures in total and here I posted maybe 80 haha so just imagine the rest of it!! Was looking at them again yesterday thinking how to convince my boyfriend that we have to go back next year once again 😀

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  5. Reblogged this on Friscobutterfly's Blog and commented:
    Inspired to make magic in my kitchen today. I’m a total foodie. When I’m not being a mom and reading children books to my kids, I’m reading cookbooks, food magazines, and watching cooking shows. I love this post, because it’s none of those things, but is everything I love about food. Reading this post made me escape to a far away country where I felt like a tourist, smelling, and tasting beautiful food. Love the pictures! They inspired me to get in my kitchen today ☺

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  6. Oh my, think I just died and went to heaven. Would book me a ticket right now if I could. That seafood, those pistachios, that cheese, those veggies, that ice-cream in a brioche. Hello mumma! Next time we visit the Yaks family in the UK, a trip to Siracusa is number one on my ‘to go list on the continent’. 🙂

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