a weekend in the Madonie Mountains of Sicily

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We took this trip over a month ago, but somehow in the rush of Christmas and the new year, I haven’t had a chance to post the photos yet! Our weekend trip to the mountains was so beautiful, though, and we had a wonderful time with my mom, who was visiting for 10 days. I literally found my new favorite place in Sicily and really hope we get a chance to go back!

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The Madonie Mountains are in north-central Sicily, and they are particularly famous for the beautiful hilltop mountain towns (like the one in the first photo). I was reading The Stone Boudoir, a memoir about Sicily’s mountain towns including several in the Madonie Mountains. The hills literally were alive for me that weekend as I absorbed vistas, streets, and foods in real life and through the pages of my book.

We stayed in an agriturismo (farm stay) because we wanted to enjoy the fruits of the region. The Slow Food movement originated nearby, and our host proudly told us that all but a few of the things we ate were from “kilometer zero,” or were harvested/gathered 0 kilometers away. We loved that agriturismo, and so if you visit, be sure to check out Casale Magherita.

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A little fall foliage in December!

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We also visited one of the five most famous mountain towns in the region. This one was called Castelbuono and is the largest of the five. We explored the castle, wandered through the streets, and ate an amazing lunch at Ristorante Palazzaccio.

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View of Castelbuono from its castle.

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Lena and my mom admiring a huge presepe (Nativity scene).

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I really liked all the clean laundry, I guess…

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We sampled traditional Christmas sweet bread (panetonne) with a spread made fromย manna, the dried sap of the ash tree for which the region is also famous.

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Salute! Cheers!

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Even more wonderful (and challenging) than visiting a mountain town with two small children was an incredible and verrrrry long hike we took during our visit with an Italian outdoors group. Photos from the hike coming soon!

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7 Responses to a weekend in the Madonie Mountains of Sicily

  1. Carrie January 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    Beautiful photos, as always :)

    • Becca January 23, 2014 at 12:31 am #

      Thank you, Carrie. :-)

  2. Eden January 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    So pretty! I think I read that book… or one like it, where the a young American woman explores her family’s roots in that area.

    • Becca January 23, 2014 at 12:32 am #

      You gave it to us after you visited! It’s been sitting on my shelf for almost 2 years now. I was so glad to finally read it. Thank you for giving it to us!

  3. Sue Ricottilli July 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    My son leaves for Sigonella next week. I came across your blog learning more about Sicily. Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I have Pinterest boards for almost every place he’s been.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. the 10 Best Books I Read in 2013 - Becca Garber - February 6, 2014

    […] and this is the story of her love affair with the little mountain towns of Sicily, some of which I visited this winter, and others of which are just an hour away from us on the slopes of Mt. […]

  2. 6 Places in Sicily that are Worth the Trek {Over 1 Hour from Sigonella} - Becca Garber - July 14, 2014

    […] be honest, other than my own house, the Madonie Mountains are my favorite place in Sicily. We visited them in December when the air was crisp and cool, when the fall foliage was at its peak, and when the mountains were […]

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