Vacations in Italy are often about relaxing on beaches and touring monuments, but most visitors are also eager to do a little shopping along the way. Whether it be a souvenir or a regional delicacy the island of Sicily offers much in the way of shopping.
A beautiful and rugged island, Sicily is located on the southern tip of Italy, seperated from Calabria by the Strait of Messina. In the summer months the weather in Sicily is hot and the island offers much to see and do. The region of Sicilia is known for its rich and unique culture; its wealth of literature, architecture, cuisine, music and arts. The island is also home to many important and influential Italians.
The local economy is largely based on agriculture and the island's vineyards and lemon and orange orchards are world famous. Sicily's rural countryside and small fishing villages attract visitors from all over who come to see its naturally beautiful landscapes. The region also holds many important archeological sites, like the Valley of the Temples and the Necropolis of Pantalica, that should not be missed.
Sicily has been famous for decades for its fertile soil, which produces numerous quality agricultural products. The region is also noted for its wines and cuisine. In Sicily you will also find many rich regional desserts and sweets, including pastries and ice cream. The cannoli is one of Sicily's most famous desserts, it is made of fried dough shaped like a tube that is filled with a sweet crema usually made from ricotta cheese. If you are stopping in Sicily make sure to pencil in a time to try a cannoli in its birthplace.
Some other regional treats include biscotti ennesi, biancomangiare, braccilatte, buccellato, pignoli, ciarduna, bruccellati, sesame cookies, pignolata and cuccia. While shopping for sweets don't forget to check out Sicily's famous cheeses, usually made from sheep's or cow's milk like caciocavallo and pecorino.
Shopping in Sicily is best done outdoors. The outdoor markets on the island are an experience in and of themselves. Visitors can purchase plenty of quality handicraft items, ceramics, artifacts and antiques; generally at lower prices than in traditional stores.
Sicily boasts several flea markets, two of which are famous throughout Italy. In Masculucia there is a good flea market held every second week in the Piazza Trinità, where among other things visitors can purchase beautiful ceramic food moulds. On the third Saturday and last Sunday of every month a market is held in Giardini Naxos. Here visitors can purchase many types of antique items and locally made handicrafts. These items are generally sold at low prices making them perfect for souveniers. Children also love the markets because of their painted carts and traditional marionettes.
Shopping in Agrigento
Agrigento is a large city in Sicily famous for its archaeological site, the Valley of the Temples. Due to the fact that the city is a large draw for tourists there are many shops to be found within it. There are a few places in the city where one can browse through high quality clothing items, shoes, accessories, jewelry and handbags. Be sure to add leather to your shopping list if visiting Agrigento, the region is famous for it. Also look out for the high quality Sicilian food products like cheese, olive oil and wine.
Shopping in Palermo
Palermo is the kind of city that seems to always be pulsating with life. The capital of Sicily, Palermo is a large city that offers decent shopping options. If you are interested in high end designer merchandise then Palermo is the best place in the region to go. There are also plenty of lower end, inexpensive clothing and accessories to be found in the city. If fashion is your thing make sure to stop by the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
Also on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele one will find L'Isola Saporito, known for its wide selection of food products including locally made sauces, marmalade, olive oil and plenty of Sicilian wine. Palermo is also a good place to shop for ceramic items and other handicrafts for gifts and souvenirs. There are plenty of good art stores in the city where visitors can find items in all price ranges.
While in town you may also want to check out the pizzo-free shop, made up of a group of local shop owners that refuse to pay the Mafia protection money. The locals of the city support these merchants by shopping in their stores extensively.
Shopping in Ragusa
Ragusa is an impressive town known for its beautiful architecture and rich culture and history. Deemed a World Heritage Site, Ragusa attracts many visitors every year. The shopping options in the city are varied and the majority of stores can be found on the Corso Italia and Via Roma.
Both of these streets are lined with dozens of shops selling clothes, jewelry, bags, accessories and leather products. Those who are interested in purchasing typical Sicilian products and souvenirs can visit the Via XXV April located in Ragula Ibla. This area is perfect for those interested in electronic items and gadgets.
If indoor shopping is your thing then look no further than Le Massarie, a shopping center located on Via A Grandi on the road that leads to the marina, or the large Centro Commerciale Ibleo, located on Viale delle Americhe.
There are also plenty of open air food markets in Ragusa usually held every day but Sunday in varying locations. The main market is held in the Selvaggio quarter close to the football stadium on every Wednesday.
Come to Sicily to marvel at its natural beauty and stunning architecture, but don't forget to take a little piece home with you. Whether you are interested in clothing, food, wine, leather, or crafts, Sicily's shopping districts have something to offer you.
Shopping outlet in Sicily
Clothes, Sports shops, Accessories, Shoe shops, House & Home, Gastronomy, Lingerie shops
*All shops closed on Sundays unless otherwise indicated
Via Aldo Moro, 12
Mon-Sat 930-1 \ 4-8 Sundays 10-1 \ 5-8
A grand assortment by a master of apparel. You'll find accessories, and shoes for mom and children of 0-11 years. Articles are of the previous season, and in Janurary and July, expect a discounts of 75%!
Via Pietro Nenni, 15
Mon-Saturday 9-1 \ 4-8
Highway A19, exit Casteldaccia
An oil mill who directy sells extra-virgin olive oil and organic oil from the farm. You may purchase oil from 5 liters.