There is so much to do and see when you travel to Sicily, and one of the most breathtaking places to visit in this area, is the Aeolian Islands.
From the beautiful north Sicilian town of Milazzo, take the ferry to the stunning Aeolian Island of Salina.
The island of Salina is Dominique Rizzo’s top pick for her food and wine tour destination as it has its own natural water supply, local fishing industry, vegetable farms and caper vine orchards as well as natural salt from the salt-lake on Lingua and wildflowers used at the beauty spa. Travel to and from the island is by ferry, getting around the island is by foot, scooter or bus. The combination of zero food miles, traditional farming practices caring for the land, and low carbon emissions make Salina a gem of a place to visit. It’s where local chefs cook sensational dishes from seasonal local ingredients.
Salina enchanted the great Italian actor Massimo Troisi so much so that he set his film “Il Postino” on the island in the remote village of Pollara. When you arrive on Salina at the port of Santa Marina, you feel instantly relaxed and captivated by the magic of this wonderful Mediterranean island where the houses are painted in the palest shade pink with brightly coloured doors and deep magenta bougainvillea and the spaghetti vongole is to die for.
Where to Stay
Hotel Signum Spa in Malfa is one of those places you dream of staying in with its opulent spa centre, reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman bath houses. The rooms are filled with Salina’s own unique antiques and art. It evokes an atmosphere of rest and relaxation. Book in for a spa and unwind in the magnificent copper bath to the rejuvenating effect of the locally-grown capers, orange flowers, fresh lime, herbs, almond milk and lemon ingredients.
Getting around Salina
It’s easy and laidback. Take a bus from village to village, hire a scooter, quad bike or mini-Fiat, or hike through the hills and caper and grape vine orchards.
Wandering around the beautiful town of Santa Maria through the narrow, sometimes steep pedestrian passageways that run from the water’s edge up to the hills is a must. Linger to take in the views and look from Salina across the water to the other islands – Lipari, Stromboli. Walk down to the market square at the port where the ferries arrive from Sicily, walk along the water’s edge with the colourful fishing boats. Head back to the narrow, cobble-stone main street with its irresistible boutiques featuring gorgeous cool linen Italian made clothes, leather accessories and fine linens and tableware.
What to eat on the Aeolian Islands
Head to Lingua, walk, take a bus or go by car, to this tiny costal village where you can sit right on the waterfront, chatting and enjoying the view. In this hidden gem, you can experience one of the island’s most famous dishes, the “pane cunzato” at famous Da Alfredo’s and granita, real granita that is, traditionally made with fresh fruits or ground almonds and pistachio nuts. In Santa Maria, eat the freshest of seafood, the freshest locally-picked ingredients prepared by their Michelin chef specialising in tantalising seafood and pasta dishes.