Europe Travel  --  Inspire

Sicily Sensory Journey

Location: Sicily Italy

Sicily. Sensory overload. A journey of the senses bursting with color, taste and joy. I couldn’t bring myself to write another itinerary post. I really wanted to share more deeply about this island; a vast, diverse, astounding scene with overpowering pull. Come with me on a Sicily Sensory Journey.

Scopello Tower near our Airbnb

Where Am I

We spent three weeks in Western Sicily. In February. Western Sicily is less traveled than other parts of the island and February is a very low tourism month. I recommend both for this reason. Our senses were treated to a wonderful self guided tour, and we nearly had the place to ourselves. I can’t image trying to enjoy this place in July with thousands of other people. February and March were perfect for a Sicily Sensory Journey.

Western Sicily

Sights and Colors

Green is not what I was expecting. But in February green is the color. Green, blue and gold. Come August the island will be brown and dangerously dry. In fact in the past few years climate change has increased the frequency of devastating wildfires. But in February and March it’s lush. The mountains look like they are blanketed in green velvet. The fields are full of glossy green trees laden with yellow lemons and oranges. Silvery green olive trees cover miles and miles of the island. The Mediterranean sea tempts you with it’s turquoise shimmer, but it’s too chilly this time of year. Enjoy watching it crash into the gray and white rocky coast.

Green in Scopello
Blue and White near Agrigento
Green and Blue Scopello
Green Scopello

Golden ruins from ancient civilizations create a contrast to all the green…the surprising history of this island going back thousands of years is still present and accessible in dozens of preserved ruins, medieval towns, and ancient settlements. Most all of it built from local alabaster limestone aged to flaxen by sun, rain, wind and years. The stories it holds in its depths fire the imagination.

Golden Ruins
Ancient road Ericce
Golden Shadows at Castelvetrano
Mosaic at Segesta

In the shops, a rainbow of colorful Sicilian ceramics, popular with visitors and locals, shout out in motifs of fruit, vegetables and ancient faces amidst a riot of primary colors.

Sicilian Ceramics in Agrigento
Color punch in Parrini

As February melted into March we were rewarded with wildflowers of every hue; orange, yellow, purple, pink and blue. Their little heads bobbing in the wind in a joyful dance of spring, as if saying welcome. Welcome to our Sicily Sensory Journey.

Apricot blooms Scopello
A riot of orange in Segesta
Cows enjoying spring in Scopello
A burst of color in Agrigento


Italian drivers are, in a word, insane. But in February traffic is low and I can only imagine how the sound of vehicles in the summer changes the ambiance. Our little Airbnb near the Northwest corner of Sicily sat over looking the sea on a dirt road at the end of a bluff. Most days we didn’t hear or see another human. Just nature; wind, rain, birds. Occasionally a dog barking off in the distance. The sound of silence. A treat for the senses, when we live our lives in such busy and noisy times.


Sicily was a lovely place to search out birds, as we walked the peaceful trails and unpopulated towns. From lying in bed in our cozy cottage bedroom to standing on top of windswept mountains we listened to new-to-us birdsong, a part of this little piece of paradise called western Sicily.

European Robin (Merlin App)
European Siren (Merlin App)
Eurasian Kestrel (Merlin App)
Rose Ringed Parakeet (Merlin App)

Tastes and Smells

Close your eyes and breath deep. The smells of Sicily might startle you; fishmonger aroma is surprisingly fresh and salty; any beach, of course smells of the sea but also of something sparkling and clean. The ancient sites smell of earth and secrets. And of course the agriculture smells of citrus, artichoke, new sprung grasses and something deep and peppery. Sicily Sensory Journey. Makes you smile.

Zingaro Nature Reserve
Local Harvest
Ancient Olive Tree
Ancient Church

Of course there is the food and the wine – this is not Italy…it’s Sicily and it’s not exactly the same. Yes you will indulge in pasta and pizza. Sicilian food is always made with the freshest and most in-season ingredients, sourced close to the plate. Home cooks and chefs alike are resolute in their commitment to local and seasonal components. All the many tastes of Sicily are changing with the calendar, creating a sensory dance on your pallet. During our visit we fell hard for the local and seasonal sardines, tuna and squid. We ate olives and citrus everyday. We reveled in local ingredients like pistachio, ricotta, tomatoes and fresh-made pasta from local wheat. Food and culture are so closely entwined in Sicily, and a major ingredient of the Sicily Sensory Journey.

Grilled Vegetables
Wine at Sunset
Fresh Octopus in the market
Coffee and Blue Skies

Sicily Sensory Journey

It’s easy to find hundreds of blog posts and travel articles about what you should do and see when you visit Sicily. And you should absolutely visit Sicily. I know I will visit again. For your planning purposes, let’s consider instead of a whirlwind tour, a slow travel, off-season and sensory tour. It’s the perfect place to find yourself – away from the hustle and bustle, stress and chaos of the world we live in. The colors, the sounds, the smells, and of course the tastes of Sicily. Unforgettable.

Roman Amphitheater Segesta
Local and Fresh

Come for the history, beauty and food. But come for a Sicily Sensory Journey.

See last week’s post Tasting Sicily – Surprising and Delicious.

Thank you for reading my post Sicily Sensory Journey. I hope you will continue to follow us as we travel next to Rome, Spain and Greece. Grazie.

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  • Reply galatia savva

    I really love your style of writing! and yes, lets all strive to also enjoy slows sensory, off season travel too! Its amazing how much the soul needs peace sometimes. I often find myself overstimulated going to a super busy destination and pressured to see/do/document every single thing!

    March 23, 2024 at 4:05 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you. I agree so much!

      March 23, 2024 at 8:30 am
  • Reply Sonia

    This is a great reminder of our recent October trip to Sicily. We loved Western Sicily, especially after we stepped out of larger cities such as Palermo. You’ve captured the sights and sounds wonderfully.

    March 23, 2024 at 5:03 am
  • Reply Linda (LD Holland)

    We absolutely did find Sicily bursting with colour and taste. It was a delightful surprise and we liked Sicily far more than we expected to. We will have to go back in spring for the flowers.

    March 23, 2024 at 8:33 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you Linda. We loved it.

      March 23, 2024 at 8:43 am
  • Reply Alina

    I had no idea it gets this green in Sicily! That looks like perfect spring weather, I loved the picture with the bright blooms! In my mind Sicily was always a summer destination, but your post has made me reconsider best time to visit!

    March 23, 2024 at 10:35 am
    • Reply Laureen

      It was really wonderful.

      March 23, 2024 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Sara Essop

    It sounds as though February really is an ideal time to visit Sicily. I would love to feel as though I have the place to myself instead of wrestling with crowds.

    March 23, 2024 at 12:25 pm
  • Reply Terri

    I had the same reaction to Sicily after my 12 day walking holiday on the island … sensory overload. I have told everyone to go see Sicily! Great post.

    March 23, 2024 at 1:48 pm
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