Spiaggia at Isola Bella, Taormina

Spiaggia at Isola Bella, Taormina (Anna Delange)

The beaches of Sicily are well known to most Europeans, but when most Americans think of Italian beaches, it is not Sicily that they are thinking of. It is typically the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre – the picturesque colorful villages that adorn the seaside cliffs.

Sicily is full of charming towns all across this Mediterranean island. On top of the beautiful varying architecture, you may find east to west, the beaches all vary depending on where you are on the island. You may find beautiful white sands, large rocks or small pebble beaches. The differing materials that make up those beaches also create exquisite views and varying shades of blues thanks to the beautiful Ionian Sea. Being stationed in Sigonella gives a unique opportunity for you to experience some beautiful beaches without having to hop on a plane.

Living on the eastern side of Sicily, we are obviously closest to the Catania beaches, and if you moved onto the economy, you might live by the rocky beaches in the Acis or the sandy beaches of South Beach. No matter where you live, you definitely need to at least experience the beaches that are just a little over an hour away from Sigonella Naval Base.

One of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily is Fontane Bianche. Fontane is an easy drive away just past Siracusa and there are options for a relaxing lido, beach area where you pay, or trekking your beach supplies and setting up at one of the free spiagge – a typically free beach locale – that is in the area.

There are a couple of lidos in the area. I have been to Lido Sayonara and loved how even when it was mid-season it was still a relaxing time, and the beaches were well taken care of. The water itself is shallow for a good portion making it great for families to take their children too. You can also easily swim to the right for deeper portions. The best part of summer here? Although it does get hot, the water warms up quickly too! The spiagge definitely fill up so you will want to get there early if you want to stake your claim to a spot. If you are open to driving just a bit further, maybe look into the San Lorenzo area and experience Lido San Lorenzo!

Lido San Lorenzo

Lido San Lorenzo (Anna Delange)

If you aren’t up to traveling that far south, don’t worry there are closer options. Catania, Aci Castello and Taormina all have similar options of free beaches or the paid lidos. Catania is full of sandy beaches and definitely full of numerous options that you can choose from spiaggias and lidos. Aci Castello will be home to your rockier beaches, which also means beautiful waters and fish to see while snorkeling. Taormina typically has pebble beaches; my personal recommendation is to definitely head there before tourist season is in full swing to beat the crowds in this small town that tourists love to flock to.

Head on out and experience these amazing beaches while you have this opportunity. Just note tourism is huge for the island. They definitely work off the tourist seasons, so unfortunately some lidos will only be open from June to September, but spiagge are always open year-round! The island is what you make out of it, and you are bound to find your own favorite beach on this not-so-little island of paradise. Buona Estate!

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