Sicily – Palermo and Catania

Use Preste e Commande buses to get from / to the airport in Palermo – €6.10 from the city centre.
The buses leave in the centre of Palermo from either Piazza G Cesare near the Train Station, or Politeama (square adjacent to Piazza Struzo) where the bus stop is outside Prada.

You need to use SAIS buses from Palermo to Catania €14.50, and then ETNA transporte/ Intabus €5 to get to Taormina.

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Very good and reasonable prices for coffee and icecreams are at Mazzara chain of coffee shops in city.

Visit the Duomo during the day, plus oratorio Santa Cita is beautiful inside.

Supercinema Excelsior is the shopping centre near Chiesa / Piazza San Domenico – sorry got name totally wrong when I wrote it down. 🙂
Lunch time go to:
Le Terrazze di Camillo Benso (on 3rd floor, but as soon as you get to top of escalators/ or out of lift and left and back on yourself)
Via Lucifora II
Mon – Sun 11-3pm
Thurs – Sar 7-9pm
Best buffet in town = All you can eat buffet for € 9 (or a quick single plate of food for €4, or a plate made to order not from lunch menu for €6)

Dinner time: (ie. thorough dining area on 3rd floor and walk down steps at far end on right, which will take you to the terrace area)
Le Terrazze di Cavour
address: Via Cavour, 3rd floor
tel: 091 6119957
Great terrace area with very pretty night views over the city – and all you have to buy is drink(s) for €5-7 and you can eat as much of antipasti buffet as you want = though get there for 7:30pm/ 8pm when they open otherwise large groups arrive later and they finish the food (it is not restocked once it is over later in evening).

note: the different addresses due to two entrances but this is the same place on 3rd floor of the shopping mall.

*one word of warning: do not walk along dimmly light streets at night, and do not venture near the NW of Palermo near to Catherdral and Puerta Nova at night (though strongly recommend visiting during the day)

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Pasticceria Etna, Corso Umberto 112 (on left before you walk down steps to get to the Communal Gardens – which are beautiful with lovely views over Taormina) = great praline almonds

Pasticcerria D’Amore, Via Costantino Patricio No.28 = lovely Sicilian Cannoli

Pizza Mania, Via San Pancrazio = best pizzas in town, and they have the best prices (€3.50 for a slice, or €6-7 for a pizza of 8 slices)

La Cucina di Riccobono, Via Costantino Patricio No 24 = they do lovely things for lunch, or roast chicken with a lemon gravy or pizza in the evening. = though if you want anything like prawns (€9), squid (€7) or lobster (€25) done then you need to order the day before. Also, nice antipasti in cabinets on right when you walk in – €1.90 per 100g.

Da Cristina Murabito, Via Strabone 2 = nice aranchi (rice balls with cheese/ spinach/ tomato) and yummy pasta norma (with aubergine/ eggplant) or al forno (with ragu/ bolognese sauce) – plus they do amazing lasagne and foccacia
Notes: walk down to Piazza Duomo, and have the cathedral on your left and fountain behind you and you will see the sign for Da Cristina above steps which you need to descend and it is at bottom on left (get there early for lunch around 12pm, as it is popular also with tours and cruise groups and they finish all the nice stuff!)
Water from fountain is drinkable (have double checked with a few locals) – it saves you buying small bottles of mineral water at €1.20 each, and you will see tourists and locals filling up.

*One word of warning: do not eat in Piazza Duomo or in any public area as it is against the law and you can get fined on the spot.*

In Taormina, there is a supermarket, near Porta Catania, which is on Via Apollo Arcageta No 19 – it is called Punto by Simply Ltd.

Whilst in Taormina, you can walk down stairs (20mins) to get to Isola Bella – a beautiful beach and nature reserve park.

Also, from the main bus station in Taormina you can get buses for € 4.80 return to Alcantara Gorges (Gole Alcantara).

About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
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