Saturday, 18 October 2014

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A Flavourful Tour of Sicily's Ragusa Province

Although Sicily is perhaps not the first place that comes to mind when it comes to fine food, it can definitely stand its ground against the more famous and renowned regions of Italy. If you're booking a stay in one of the fabulous villas in Sicily and you're planning an itinerary, you should seriously consider a few days of exploration of the Ragusa province - it will provide a gastronomic agenda that won't leave you disappointed.

Bounties From the Sea

You can thank Ragusa's location in the southeastern corner of the island for its array of succulent, traditional dishes that make full use of the bounty from the sea. If you're staying in any one of the wonderful villas in Sicily, you won't have to venture too far to find the bustling waterfront, with fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. Ragusa has an excellent array of dining places, serving all sorts of delicious seafood delights. One particularly notable restaurant is a quaint little place called Trattoria da Carmelo, where you can enjoy a meal of fresh seafood and pasta overlooking the Mediterranean. But that is only one delightful option; there are a number of other dining places along the waterfront strip, each one with its own unique way of bringing out the local flavours. Try them all if you have time!

A Haven for the Sweet Tooth

Those booking a stay in any of the villas in Sicily will quickly discover that chocolate and chocolate-flavoured concoctions are commonly found throughout the island. But there are certain towns where chocolate is not just created and enjoyed - it is celebrated. The Baroque town of Modica - popularly referred to as the 'town of a hundred churches' (we'll leave it up to you to count them!) - is one such place. Simply wandering along its streets and alleys is a heady experience, as the whole town is redolent with the fragrance of chocolate. There are many speciality chocolatiers here that have perfected the art of transforming chocolate into a diversity of scrumptious creations - forget those international candy or chocolate brands, as none of them can hold a candle to the signature creations of any shop in this town! Don't pass up the opportunity to sample the most amazing hot chocolate you'll ever taste while you're here.

Cheesy Get-away

And by cheesy, we don't mean tacky or overly cloying - we're referring to the real cheese! If you're staying at one of the villas in Sicily near the province of Ragusa, you won't have to look far or hard to sample its traditional cheese. The province - and each of its towns - has its own special cheeses, renowned throughout the country. For example, the cheese called 'Caciocavallo Ragusano' is an intense, yet delicately flavoured one, which was first created 500 years ago. This cheese is ripened in caves (only in the town of Ragusa) and it's a must to visit these sites to witness the fascinating process of creating this fine cheese. The island has many other local cheeses and, accompanied by a good bottle of local red wine, it's an unforgettable adventure trying to sample each and every one!

Helen Forbes is from Essential Italy, a company specialising in Italian holiday villas, apartments and hotels. If you're looking for the perfect villas in Sicily we can help. Our handpicked accommodation offers distinctive Italian qualities, great comfort and convenience.

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