Health-Conscious Dining, Travel, and Fitness Tips

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About HCS-TIPS | Index | Fine Arts and Craft | Travel & Dining | Wines | Health-Conscious Issues | Recommended Reading |
Travel and Dining:
Travel Tips
Travel Precautions
Travel in the USA
Travel in Europe
Elsewhere in World

Getting There
When to Travel
What to Read
Travel in Sicily
Palermo, the Itinerary
Excursions from Palermo


If you delight in viewing archeological treasures (Greek temples, Roman mosaics), beautiful landscape, fine art, magnificent churches, palaces, oratories- Byzantine, Moorish, Norman and Baroque- dining on wonderful food and wine, and meeting friendly people, move Sicily to the top of your list for vacation travel. And if you are someone who loves cooking, consider spending anywhere from a one-night stopover to two to five days at Anna Tasca Lanza's estate in Regaleali for cooking classes given personally by this warm, welcoming woman, an exceptional cook and author of several fine books on Sicilian cuisine.
To paraphrase Goethe's words from Italian Journey, if you haven't seen Sicily, you haven't seen Italy.

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Getting There:

Fly to Rome on your favorite carrier. Transfer to Al Italia, which has several daily flights to Palermo (a one hour flight). If you can take the time, consider spending a few days in Rome at the beginning or end of the trip. We spent twelve days (eleven nights) in Sicily and two and a half days (three nights) in Rome.

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When To Travel:

Sicily is a beautiful garden, in bloom in some fashion almost year round. Peak seasons are Spring and Fall. Summer, while delightful, can be very warm. Of course, the bonus for summer visitors is delicious fresh fruit. Of course, you can always cool off at the poolside or beaches, but touring can be a bit rough in the heat of day. If you're traveling independently, be sure to ask for an air-conditioned car.

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What to Read:

Mary Taylor Simeti, On Persephone's Island: A Sicilian Journey, Northpoint Press, 1986, highly personal, yet illuminating of the history, culture and life of the island.
Cadogan, Sicily, Cadogan Guides, 1998, one of the better guidebooks.
Green Michelin Guide, Sicily, better written than any Green Michelin we've ever used.
Anna Tasca Lanza, The Heart of Sicily, Clarkson Potter. A beautiful illustrated book containing reminiscences of life in Sicily, useful recipes for your kitchen from Anna's kitchen and insights into the culture.
Guiseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard. This novel, published in the 1950's and set in nineteenth century Sicily is a small masterpiece. It depicts politics, culture and aristocratic life with an artist's hand. A very special reading experience, it is available in paperback.

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Travel in Sicily:

You can rent a car and tour the island independently (the roads are excellent, if a bit narrow in places) or, treat yourself to a car, driver and guides (surprisingly reasonable). We arranged our itinerary from the United States with the assistance of the delightful Eleonora Ruggieri at Giovanni Ruggieri & Figli in Palermo. At our request, her office suggested an itinerary, made hotel reservations and provided cars, drivers and guides who met us in each locale. If you can swing it, it's a fabulous way to visit Sicily. One price covered all but the driver's meals and gratuities. Out of Palermo, Nuno, our driver would drop us off at day's end at our hotel while he set off for his pensione. Getting to know the drivers and the guides and learning about their lives, was a special way to come to know Sicily.
The Ruggieri family has been in the travel business for 3 generations, is extraordinarily knowledgeable and accommodating, English-speaking. We visited Eleonara at her Palermo office and made several last-minute changes to the itinerary.
Tel: 011-39-091-58-71-44
Fax: 011-39-588-464

If you're more comfortable working with a US travel agent who can assist you (and work with the Ruggieri agency, if you so desire), consider Dawn Bosco at Amelia International…
Tel: 800-742-4591 or 516-433-0696
Fax: 516-822-6220
Have a look at Amelia's website for other exciting destinations in the Mediterranean:

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