Visit Sicily in February: Carnivals, Almond Blossom festival and Valentine’s Day romance
Visit Sicily in February and experience an island buzzing with energetic colourful events and activities.
Carnival fever: The Carnival of Sciacca (7-12 February) is the most popular carnival in Sicily, well worth a visit for its huge Mardi Gras parade. Join the throng clamouring for the distribution by ‘Peppe Nappa”, the King of the Carnival, of sweets, wine, and salami and then watch him go up in smoke at the end of the festivities.
Stay at Ninfea, a two-bedroom self-catering villa surrounded by acres of vineyards in the heart of Sicily’s greatest wine-producing area. Visit the thermal spa at Sciacca and the Greek ruins at Selinunte. The Valley of the Temples is also close by. One week in February starts at £1100 (sleeps 4) with www.soloSicily.com.
Other important Sicilian carnivals include Acireale in the east and Termini Imerese, a seafront town with Roman baths and aqueducts, on the island’s north coast.
Almond Blossom Festival: The annual Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore (1-10 February) is held in Agrigento against the backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage Valley of the Temples. Traditionally heralding the start of the planting season, the event has now become an international celebration, kicking off with a torchlit procession from the Temple of Concordia, and subsequently featuring traditional music, folk dancing and fireworks. Stay at Villa Elena, a stunning six- bedroom property situated on a hill-top surrounded by olive groves near Agrigento. The house has a vast split-level living-room, a bright modern kitchen with dining area and a games room. One week in February starts at £2810 (sleeps 12) with www.soloSicily.com Reduced prices available for lower occupancy.
A tower for two: Make it a special Valentine’s Day with a short break at the astonishingly pretty 16th century Badia Tower, just outside Marsala on west of the island. Set amidst lush gardens on the vast Badia Estate, the crenellated tower has its own private terrace and, inside, an alcoved double bedroom and a living room with kitchen area that is perfect for rustling up a romantic dinner for two.
Visit Venus Castle, built on the ruins of the ancient Temple of Venus at the nearby medieval town of Erice, 800 m above sea level and with the best views of the Egadi Islands. Enjoy fresh fish at one of Marsala’s many restaurants, relish the peace and solitude on the sandy beaches of San Vito lo Capo or venture further afield to explore the fascinating Greek sites at Selinunte and Segesta.
A three-night stay in the Badia Tower in February costs from £280 (sleeps 2) with www.soloSicily.com.
soloSicily – villas in sicily.
For further information, visit www.soloSicily.com or tel. 020 7097 1413.