|Roaming the streets of Scicli with my friend Julie in my Etoile Isabel Marant kaftan, HM Home basket bag and ASOS espadrilles.|
After resigning from Red I decided to take some time off and go to Sicily, in Italy where my husband has a house and to enjoy some family and friends time. Whilst out there I've received so many tweets and comments asking for travel tips on the island, that together with my friend and photographer Julie Adams (who together with writer Emma Scott has an online magazine dedicated to all things Italian called "An affair with Italy"), we decided to join forces and put together a post dedicated to all the wonderful things we've done, seen and ate whilst in Sicily- all documented with Julie's beautiful photos from our holiday together: "The An Affair with Italy travel directory is a user friendly treasure box of information, on where to stay, eat, drink, shop and play in Italy from those in the know and those you want to know about."
Visit www.anaffairwithitaly.com and click on travel directory to create your FREE account.
|With Julie in Marzamemi, outside my favourite restaurant called La Cialoma|
WHERE TO STAY
Well... I'm a little biased, but on this occasion I will recommend my husband's property in Scicli 130km south of Catania in the region of Ragusa and close to historic towns Modica and Noto (click from map). Some of you might have heard of this old town that looks like the setting of a Dolce and Gabbana add campaign, as it was here that the TV series "Inspector Montalbano" was filmed.
Click here for more info on where to stay in Sicily
|The tiny up-hill cobbled street to our house|
|My sister Vittoria and my god daughter Vivienne Rose posing in Scicli in their best outfits|
WHERE TO SLEEP
"Il Borghetto", Scicli
When my husband's family bought the property shortly before our wedding, it was nothing but ruins and stones, but since my husband's refurb it's become a beautiful three houses property with a communal garden that is just perfect to stay at with friends. What I love about it is that everyone gets their own self catering house, but there is a lemon and orange trees garden at the centre that everyone has access to from a private gate, where kids can play, you can relax and at night throw a BBQ party (we celebrated two birthday whilst out there!). A word of warning: not practical with small children (Greta and my nephew Eugenio only just made it) as the house is on top of a hill with no direct car access.
Click here for more photos of the houses
|Door accessing two of the three houses|
|My bedroom - love the traditional "bamboo and plaster" celling|
|Lemon trees outside our kitchen window|
|My bathroom was my favourite part of the house|
WHERE TO EAT
La Cialoma, Marzamemi
We went to a lot of delicious restaurants but this post is the edited version of what you can find on An Affair with Italy's travel directory, and just a few selected spots I favoured. If you are staying in the region I would recommend early dinner at La Cialoma, in Marzamemi a small fishing village with a simple but wonderfully characteristic square where La Cialoma is set. You can either eat on the square side (kids love it because they can run around and there are no cars) or on the sea side (perfect for a romantic dinner). The menu is delicious and the place in itself magical.
Click here for more info on La Cialoma and other restaurants in the area
|Taverna "La Cialoma"|
|I love the crockery at the restaurant|
|My sister Sara and my nephew Eugenio|
|The yummy menu cover|
|The view at sunset from our sea front table|
|The tables on the square side|
WHERE TO BEACH
Agua beach resort, Siracusa
This beach is my favourite despite the 30min drive from Scicli. White sand, crystal clear waters, hot showers, luxury palm tree "ombrelloni" that you can rent for the day and a yummy restaurant in the shade. With the kids it was just perfect: the water is shallow and they have a large grassed area playground. We drove here in the morning and stayed all day, sometimes going to one of the towns near by for early dinner.
Click here for more info on Agua beach resort
|The palm tree "ombrelloni" that you can rent for the day|
|Italian beach style|
|No filters needed...|
|At sunset showered and ready to go for dinner at La Cialoma|
WHERE TO VISIT
If you want to do a little bit of culture, I would recommend a half day trip to Ortigia, the old town of Siracusa. Head over late afternoon, roam around the streets, have an apertivo (or Cannolo) in the main piazza and stay for dinner. Don't forget to shop for the super chic Ortigia beauty products! (I always have an Ortigia Orange Blossom something in my bathroom)
Click here for more tips on Ortigia
|The main Piazza|
|Remains of a Greek temple|
|Details from Ortigia|
|Julie's daughter Madeleine Pixie with her "gelato"|
WHAT I WORE
In my suitcase...
I packed a suitcases of easy, versatile pieces - the sort of things you throw on and always make you feel put together: little white dresses, denim shorts and stripy T-shirts, a colourful maxi, one piece swimsuits and even a white jumpsuit that I wore bare foot on my husband's birthday night. I only packed flats and lots of fun clutches that gave my evening looks a little bit extra.
|One of my best buys this summer my ASOS lace espadrilles|
Shop my suitcase...
Ok maybe not exactly the same things, most of the items I packed are old favourites but a few are still in store, click on the blue link in the caption to be directed to similar buys I've found for you... can't say I'm not trying!
|In my J.Crew silk maxi dress, Z for Accessorize necklaces and clutch having Spritz on the terrace|
|In an old French Connection crochet dress and my grandmothers Capri sandals from the 60's|
|With Greta in our matching stripy stripe T-shirts and my MiH Phoebe shorts|
|In my Dolce Gabbana polka dot balconette swimsuit and Ray-Ban|
|Wearing my Top Shop white jumpsuit|
|In a white dress I bought on the beach - Click here for similar ones|
For more tips on Sicily and Italy visit www.anaffairwithitaly.com Travel Directory