One of my favourite activities living in Sicily is to go to the beach. Or how they call it here the lido.

South of Catania, there is entire spread of different lido’s which are under different concessions. Do not expect a beautiful road to drive through, though. The road is full of bumps, holes, trash and construction fences. But once you park your car and enter the venue – you change your perspective. Nice long lungomare, sandy beaches and the view on Etna vulcano while swimming in the Ionian sea. Love and hate is the Sicily.

If I could recommend, it would be Lido Arcobaleno. They have the most friendly staff, great restaurant – excellent grilled fish!, and just most protective baywatch guard.

It’s only negative side is that is a bit too close to the Catania port so the sea is less clear. But you get to see ships and admire their logistics.

The other Lido to recommend is Capanello and Excelsior. A bit more clear sea water but always busy, And the restaurant is actually a canteen – so not that much attractive.

At Lido Cucaracha, there is an African bar that in the evening turns into disco. I am not sure how the people in the nearby bungalows sleep, but I guess they get used to it during the day from the noise of the airplanes. The Fontanarossa Airport is just behind.

Sea time is the best time for trying the shells. I have gone this time with the red sea shells. It is a true aphrodisiac. 🙂

Sicily is the home of granita. This ancient tradition in sweet delicacies has its roots in the Middle Ages, when the “nivaroli” would gather snow in winter on Mount Etna or Nebrodi mountains and store it all year round in “neviere” (holes lined with stone or brick – you can see some perfectly preserved examples in Buccheri) and then carry it to the seashore in the warmer months.

The snow was grated and used, together with lemon juice or fruit syrups, in the preparation of tasty and refreshing sorbets and ice creams to be enjoyed in summer. The rattata (“grattata”) evolved over time, and the snow, then used only as a coolant, was replaced by water and honey with sugar, making the mixture deliciously creamy. This unmistakable mixture, refreshing, sweet and rich in flavour, is now known worldwide as Granita Siciliana.

Considered by the Sicilians as a moment of togetherness and social interaction, the granita is a ritual in every sense: not only in summer but all year round, at breakfast, lunch, in the afternoon, or even at dinner, the granita is served with a hot brioche, or as in the past, with a fragrant freshly baked bread roll. To fully enjoy Sicilian granita (which is entirely different from Roman “grattachecca”, sorbet or “cremolata”), the ideal way is to spend at least 30 minutes relaxing, comfortably seated at the tables of an open-air bar, admiring the architectural beauty, reading a newspaper or simply chatting with friends.

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