Sicily: Need to know
Published 25/06/2011 | 05:00
Thomas went to Sicily with Topflight (01-240 1700; topflight.ie). A seven-night B&B package with the operator starts from Â¤699.
Aerlingus (0818 365 000; aerlingus.com) flies from Dublin to Catania between May and October from Â¤98 one way.
Dropping anchor at the four-star Hellenia Yachting Club for a week costs Â¤999pps B&B with Topflight.
Keep your eye out for the weekly Sicilian folklore dinner evenings (0039 09425 17370; hellenia yachtinghotel.com).
There's not much room for hotels on Castelmola, but Villa Sonia with stunning Etna views is well worth the climb: Â¤90pps B&B (0039 094 228 082; hotelvillasonia.com).
A Sicilian fairytale setting overlooking the Ionian coast, the dapper Villa Diodoro is tucked into the prime real estate of Taormino's old town. Â¤112pps B&B (0039 094 223 391; hotelvilladio doro.com).
FIVE GREAT THINGS TO DO
•Channel your inner gangster by taking a 'Godfather' tour of Sicily. Visit the villages and bars from the trilogy. Why not pick up a bottle of Il Principe di Corleone vino while you're at it? (Â¤40; taormina.it).
•Take in some Sicilian life in Catania. A true volcanic city under a constant powdering of black ash, hit Via Etnea for swanky stores or check out the lively markets off Piazza Duomo (comune.catania.it).
•Visit a vineyard on the foothills of Mount Etna. The native davolo nero grape is divine and Mugo winery in Santa Venerina is as good as it gets (tastings Â¤11; murgo.it).
•Sicilian cuisine is a dream, particularly for vegetarians and seafood lovers. Look out for the Addio Pizzo sign in restaurants: it means they say no to corruption (addiopizzo.org).
•Explore the Alcantara gorges near Taormina. Another feat of mamma natura, the canyon is also located next to a farmers' market (have a cactus liquor for the road).