Travel to Europe is opening up again, and Sicily is the place to go. From pristine beaches with crystal clear waters to vast mountain ranges with endless panoramas, Sicily is a breathtaking adventure that will leave you wanting more. The island of Sicily is located just below the tip of Italy's boot, and for many a traveler searching for that quintessential taste of traditional Italian life, Sicily is where you will find it. Sicily is dotted with charming fishing villages and mountain towns with incredible regional cuisine, architecture and centuries of history, all of which will make you feel like you are in another world. Jaw-dropping coastlines surround the island with pristine beaches and mesmerizing sunsets. Across the island, you will find no shortage of magnificent cathedrals and churches, as well as Roman and Greek ruins to explore. If you are a foodie, Sicily will not disappoint. From local markets and street food to family-run trattorias and gourmet dining experiences, Sicily's food scene is a diverse as its history, architecture and culture, having been the most conquered territory in the world. Whether you are seeking adventure or looking for leisure, Sicily is the perfect travel getaway for any type of holiday or vacation, and these are my 9 reasons why you should book your trip to Sicily right now. Travel Vouchers It is hard to pass up on a good deal, and Sicily is offering a travel deal that seems simply impossible to refuse! To stimulate its tourism industry following the impact from the coronavirus, Sicily is offering to pay for half of your flight and one third of your hotel cost in an attempt to attract tourists back to the spicy island paradise. These travel vouchers will be available on Sicily's tourist board site once Italy removes travel restrictions and once again opens its borders for tourism. Italy will be reopening flights from within the EU on June 3 and to international travelers on June 15. While there has not been an official date released on when the vouchers will be available, I would recommend checking regularly so you don't miss out! Beaches Let's get right to it, the beaches in Sicily are some of the most beautiful you will ever see. Whether you are looking for long stretches of golden sand with crystal clear waters or protected coves and nature preserves with waves in every shade of blue that you can imagine, Sicily covers it all. You could easily make a vacation out of traveling around the island from one breathtaking coastline and beach to the next. Authentic Whether you are visiting touristy Taormina or the tranquil beach town of San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily will deliver on that authentic taste of traditional Italian life. Visiting Sicily is like taking a step back into Old World Italy. Everything you imagine about Sicily's charm and authenticity is true: narrow cobblestone streets lined with iron balconies and colorful shutters, laundry hanging above on clothes lines fastened with clothes pins, and Sicilian Nonnas (grandmothers) sitting outside watching the time go by. Sunsets Spending your evening with an aperitivo watching a Sicilian sunset belongs on everyone's bucket list. The sunsets in Sicily are magnificent, with intense shades of yellow, pink and orange. Take my advice, find a rooftop bar to enjoy an evening cocktail and watch the sun go down...and, don't forget to take a picture! Food The food scene in Sicily is excellent. If you like fresh fish and seafood, well, this is going to be your jam! If not, you'll find plenty of pasta and local dishes that you simply can't find anywhere else. Each city and region has its own cuisine, so you will find that flavors and dishes change as you move around the island. In Palermo, expect to find some of Sicily's best and most unusual street food, some you'll absolutely want to try and others, well, let's just say you might need a cocktail or two before you muster up the courage to eat something like the popular lung, liver and trachea sandwich. I would, though, encourage you to try it...I did! And while in Palermo, don't miss the Ballarò and Capo markets, these will be some of the best open-air food markets you will ever visit in your life. It's definitely worth a walk through the long, winding streets of these two markets to see all of the beautiful colors of the fruits and the vegetables. If gourmet is your thing, Sicily has it. From the most elegantly presented seafood to meticulously twirled pastas, if you crave sophistication and flavor, you will not be disappointed. Head to Scopello to find some of my favorite gourmand experiences. If you are looking for family-run, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and trattorias where it's all about the charm and really, really good food, then you're in luck. These trattorias are everywhere and you almost always can't beat the view. You'll find these places down charming side streets or in piazzas. If you're on the coast, these restaurants will be perched in coves or on top of mountains and hillsides. And, don't forget about the beach clubs and cafes that line the coast. These are great places to eat lunch during the day with a cocktail on the beach. Wine Sicilian wines are some of the most unusual wines I have ever had. They are delicious, soft and truly complex in flavor, and they get this uniqueness from the rock, soil, minerality and arid climate. You'll find some of the most interesting wines around Taormina as the grape and flavor takes on the minerality of the rock and ash from neighboring volcano, Mt. Etna. You will pick up on a great smokiness to the wines, even in the whites! Mt. Etna If you are a thrill seeker, then head to Europe's highest volcano, Mt. Etna. Not only is Mt. Etna the highest volcano in Europe, it is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. If you are an adventure seeker and dare I say brave, then you can enjoy hiking around the volcano's four craters in the summer. In the winter, you can ski down the northern and southern sides of the volcano. Architecture and Ruins Being the most conquered territory in the world, Sicily benefits from a very diverse cultural influence on both its architecture and ruins. You'll find Greek and Roman ruins all across the island, as well as Byzantine, Spanish, Arabic and North African influences in its predominantly Baroque-style cathedrals and buildings. Roads Last but not least, getting around Sicily is easy. Contrary to what you might think, the highways and roads are quite nice, which makes getting around the island by car an enjoyable experience. Now, when it comes time to getting into those charming fishing villages like Castellammare del Golfo, that's another story. And, that's not because the roads are bad, it's because there are traffic limitation zones. If possible, make sure your hotel accommodations aren't in one of those areas and save yourself a headache, or make sure you time your arrival so that you can drive to your hotel. If you need more convincing other than these 9 reasons why you should book a trip to Sicily right now, check out my Sicily vlogs on Euro Trotter on YouTube. Subscribe to Euro Trotter on YouTube and follow the adventure on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @eurotrot Got a question, email me at mark@markfelice.com and visit my website for more European travel information at markfelice.com

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