A September song

I was recently asked via twitter about what there is to be done in September in Sicily. The truth is just as many things as you can do at any time of the year, it probably is a good month to visit the island as the holiday ‘high season’ is well and truly over and if the weather holds it is so much more pleasant compared to the stifling heat of August. Feel free to do all the same things as you would in the summer but perhaps with cooler weather and less confusion.

If it is still warm you could have the beach to yourself, even if you will find many of the small bars and restaurants will close up after the summer. This is easily resolved with a trip to the supermarket where you can buy a bread roll with whatever your heart desires, perhaps a selection of cheeses, a beer or a small bottle of wine, what more can you ask for than a five-star picnic at the beach?

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The choice of beaches in Sicily is really endless, heck it’s an island which means 360º of coastline. From Mondello beach in the north with it’s white sandy beaches near the Capo Gallo Nature reserve, in the south the Scala dei Turchi or ‘the Turkish steps’ rock formation near Realmonte in the province of Agrigento it is a little out-of-the-way but it is worth it, the Riserva Naturale Belice-Menfi with its beach and dune area in the province of Trapani in western Sicily and snorkeling or swimming through the rocky inlets near Acitrezza’s Isole dei Ciclopi below Catania on the eastern coast.

For those who are interested in trekking, wildlife and archeological sites, September is a perfect time of the year to visit the likes of the Etna regional park, Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples and the Zingaro Natural reserve. The hunting season starts in mid September so don’t be alarmed if you hear gunshots, hunting is prohibited in parks and reserves so you are perfectly safe.

Sicilian beaches

If the weather gets all stormy on you there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy from museums, wine tasting and eating. There are still plenty of festa’s and sagras (food and religious festivals) to experience the best thing to do is keep an eye out in the local press. Sicily in September is famous for wild mushrooms (particularly porcini) and fichi d’india fruit which are widely consumed throughout the year, the refreshing rains perforate their prickly cactus exterior adding flavor to their pip filled flesh.

Lights for the festa in Paese

I’m generally allergic to archeological and ceramic museums as it’s easy to overload on them in Sicily, there are literally hundreds of these types of museums here.

Some wonderfully fascinating museums which spark my interest include: The Museo Interdisciplinare Regionale Agostino Pepoli di Trapani with many elements grouped together it gives you a general taste of  Sicily’s history and art from coral jewelry, religious artifacts to ancient Greek bronze sculptures.

If you are tired of medieval churches the Galleria di Arte Moderno (Palermo) gives you a selection of artwork from the Neoclassical and Romantic periods, it also hosts regular exhibitions of contemporary Sicilian artists.


A September song

The Museo Regionale di Palazzo Abatellis (Palermo) has some of Sicily’s most famous artworks, sculptures, ceramics, decorative arts and jewelry including works from Antonello da Messina and Antonello Gagini.

The Museo Regionale di Palazzo D’Aumale at Terrasini, Palermo offers a variety of Sicilian archeology, natural science and includes a collection dedicated to the once common and elaborately decorated Sicilian cart.

Antiques at Taormina

I think if you are going to visit Sicily you need to experience the dying art of Sicilian marionette puppets which once proliferated the island in the period before modern cinema as a form of popular entertainment and told stories of epic battles and heroes from Sicilian history. You can even adopt a puppet and help it’s restoration at The Museo Internazionale delle Marionette Antonio Pasqualino.

So far from being an end to the summer, autumn in Sicily is the beginning to a new season filled with ever more feasts and experiences.

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10 thoughts on “A September song

  1. This is a great piece…..it makes me want to see all these places…..and its so true that autumn in Sicily is much better than summer to go exploring for the weather would be so much fresher and comfortable.

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  2. Just returned from a wonderful week in southern Sicily. The sea was warm and the beaches empty. There was no need to book a table and the roads were not too tricky – most of the time

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  3. Such a pleasure to read – I am actually hoping to spend a bit of time in Sicily next September, so this was a pretty exciting post for me. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I have a bit of a thing for those Sicilian puppets, I’d love to see them in person one day. Maybe next trip to Sicily when my mother in law visits next year (she’s from Salina). x
    PS seems I have to ‘log in’ to comment, I’ll hope this works x

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    1. Pupi Siciliani are so unique, my son always want me to buy the cheap touristy variety so he can play. Thanks for commenting. You should take the time to visit your mother in law Salina is beautiful for vacations…

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  5. Having just returned from a visit t Sicily (my fifth) I can vouch for everything you say about September being a great month to visit. Palermo was still incredibly humid, but one copes with liberal helpings of limone icecream. Was bowled over by the Serpotta Stuccoes in the L’Oratorio del SS. Rosario in S. Cita and the La compagnia del SS. Rosario in S. Domenico where we had the place ro ourselves! I couldn’t believe that so few people are aware of these amazing places. Spent a few days spent on the coast at Cefalu after Palermo which meant we got some slightly cooler weather, although still in the high 20s. Hired car and driver at Cefalu for a day in the Madonie National Park to visit the mountain villages where we bought delicious cheese and wine – and had a fantastic wild mushroom risotto there – and took a trip to the Aeolian islands Lipari and Volcano. Beach was great on the one day I managed to stop sightseeing and just relax.
    Love all your articles as Sicily is my favourite place in Italy.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. Yes visiting the major cities in September you will have the feeling like everything is left to you, especially over the last years of the economic crisis there are less and less tourists around. I hope you will continue to read my blog. All the best.

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