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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Islands made for cruising. Sicily for food and wine.


Palermo market


Snapshots of the world's best island cruising destinations.

By Roderick Eime

Sicily is one the best Mediterranean island destinations, even if you don't consider it a gastronomic attraction. You'll enjoy fabulous food with lashings of rich history and culture against a stunning natural backdrop. Strolling through any of the local food and produce markets is an experience in itself as you are confronted with beautifully presented fish, fruit, vegetables and even packaged delights. Sicilians love their food and wine and you'll find their passion translates into the many restaurants, cafes and bars.

Acclaimed food and wine author, Sally Hammond, author of "Just a Little Italian" explains why she loves Sicily.

"Sicily has been over-run and colonised by many nations over its long history. Ancient Greeks and Romans, Goths, Vikings, Turks, Spanish and North Africans have all had a hand in the mixing pot which now constitutes Sicilian cuisine.

"So in western Sicily you'll see signs announcing couscous is being served that day, in the south, it's almond granita (a flaky ice) and a sort of brioche for breakfast, and some of the best chocolate, while everywhere there are food markets that would be at home in the Middle East.

"In the countryside expect to see prickly pear laden with red fruit on the roadside and olive and orange groves. Sicily is a fragrant, colourful, absolutely delicious island."

Palermo and Messina are the popular ports, but cruises also stop at Catania. Well serviced by all the major cruise lines like MSC, Costa Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and NCL.

Official tourism site: www.italia.it/en/discover-italy/sicily.html

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