Now, look. I’m not going to pull your chain here and say Sicily is one of the greatest places I’ve ever been to like I’ve done for most of the other places listed on this website. Sicily is rough around the edges. It’s harsh and the people stare at you and you wonder if the mafia still exists and if they’re watching you, for most moments you’re there. You curse the Godfather movies for glamorizing the place and wish they hadn’t influenced you so much to go there. But then you get to see a place like Ortigia in Siracusa, a little island connected by a single road in the south-eastern corner of Sicily. And you get to go to the Aeolian Islands. But first, you have to catch a car ferry from Regio Calabria to Messina. That is, assuming you’ve rented a car. Word-from-the-wise though… I wouldn’t want to cruise around Sicily without one. There’s a free hot-tip for you.

Once in Messina, Lorna and I decided to stay in Taormina, where we camped with the car and a small tent at a place called Camping Paradise. It was nothing special, and again, a bit rough, and extremely hot (about 35 degrees celcius in August). Luckily they have a private beach though.

Other than the beach though, I’d recommend staying in a hotel if you’re going to stay in Taormina. There’s some nice restaurants and beaches. It’s a nicer part of Sicily.

I was starting to regret coming to Sicily though, until we starting driving for a few hours and accidentally stumbled across an amazing ancient town called Ortigia in Siracusa.

Ortigia is basically an island, connected by a single road in the south-eastern part of Sicily. If it’s summer, I’d definitely recommend a visit. Although there’s no sandy beaches and the whole town looms over the ocean on cliffs, you can still swim in the ocean by climbing down at certain points

We stayed at this nice little apartment called Artemide Bed and Breakfast run by a nice young lady called Mary. All there was to do was explore the town (which was founded by the Corinthians in 734 B.C.) and swim in the amazing beaches by climbing down the rock faces.

Just remember though, I told you that Sicily buy valtrex in the uk is a little rough around the edges. Whilst swimming in the local water-hole, my wallet was stolen from inside my shoe that was resting on a rock above where I swam, covered by my towel. I still love the place though. And as much as I like the sandy beaches of Australia, I somehow found a soft-spot the the particular swimming hole appearing in these photos.

Ortigia is quite pretty at night, where you can still visit the various restaurants, shops and churches. But I’d keep to the main-streets, if I were you.

As for the rest of Sicily… things seemed edgy and… I’m going to say it again… rough. But other than Taormina and Ortigia in Siracusa, we got to go to one of the greatest places ever… the kind of place you will never forget going to and a place you can’t really access unless you go through Sicily… The Aeolian Islands.

But I’m going to give Lipari, one of the seven islands we visited, its own write-up.

Rob Kaay is an Australian author & musician.

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157624973823158″]

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157624973820676″]