- Sicily Family holidays
The largest island in the Mediterranean is famously 'kicked' by the boot of Italy, and although the two are only about two miles apart at their closest point, plans to bridge the Strait of Messina and allow vehicles to drive directly from the mainland on to Sicily have not yet come to fruition. You can make the crossing by ferry though, and unusually this method is used to take trains on to the island as well, meaning despite having no direct land link, it is actually able to connect to rail routes on the mainland.
You might hope for hot weather during family holidays on Sicily, but the prospect of an air temperature of 49°C could be a step too far for even the hardiest of sun-seekers. This is reputedly the highest temperature recorded on the island, but it is only an unofficial record, and you'll usually find conditions rather more bearable at around 30°C on the hottest days. This is still very warm for young children, but if you are travelling either side of the peak season it means you should still get good weather, and even in winter you can find days comfortably into double figures.
A choice of cheese
Cheese has a special place in the hearts of many families, and if your little ones are dairy fanatics, cheap family holidays on Sicily are bound to please them. Sicily is famous for its cheeses, including distinctively flavoured recipes produced from cow's milk, and also cheese from sheep's milk, which provides an alternative experience for you and your children. Look out for Caciocavallo and Pecorino, and try to make sure you get a locally produced version rather than one that has been bought in from the mainland or elsewhere.
If dairy isn't your thing, there are still some great snacks to be enjoyed during family holidays on Sicily, particularly if you like baked goods. Braccilatte are a must if you have a sweet tooth, and these are a kind of local variation on a doughnut, a true taste of Sicily. A doughy snack might sound quite heavy on a hot day, but once you take a bite out of your first Braccilatte with the Mediterranean sun beaming down on you and the surf crashing against the nearby beach, you may find you feel as though your holiday is complete.
Why Sicily is so great for families
Sicilians have a great amount of affection for children and go out of their way to make sure that kids are made to feel just as welcome as their parents. Family holidays in Sicily usually involve lots of time at the nearest beach, indulging in a few of the delicious local delicacies and checking out some of the island's excellent family-orientated attractions. All of this, combined with an agreeable climate and Sicilians' relaxed way of life, means that burnt-out families can leave their worries at home and make the most of this spectacular destination.