Santa Flavia // Sicily


This trip to Santa Flavia was fantastic. As it was just a one-day Saturday trip, we went in with the vaguest plan to hop off the train and just walk until we were inclined to stop. Sounds like a terrible idea, right? Well … agreed, usually, but it is actually the only way I would want to visit this place. There is no way to see everything there was to see by car.

We strolled by seaside walls covered in Italian love notes, around rock overhangs with surprise panorama views, and past unreal patios and backyards overlooking the sea. At the end of a quaint little dock there was a free library hosting both Italian and English books. This simultaneously gave me a pang for my beloved Chicago (which is full of free libraries) and filled me with happiness that one could end up in this small town.

After pouring over a few reading options, we embarked on a mission to the top of a windy road. The view from this trek was one I likened to a Pirates of the Caribbean long-pan shot. There were boats floating on the horizon, the water was the most incredible blue, and the far-off mountains covered in a thick fog completed the pirates-on-vacation vibe. I’m still waiting for Captain Jack Sparrow to invite me onto his sailboat, though. Rude.

Anyway, once reaching the abandoned lighthouse we were headed for, we did some serious exploring. The lighthouse itself was eerie and cool and covered in many years of hideous graffiti. Ugly by itself, but in combination with the scenery and complete deficiency of people, it was really awesome.

Once it became obvious that breaking into the lighthouse was a bad idea, we blindly followed a rather treacherous set of stairs down the bleached white mountain. Much to our delight, they led to the most beautiful hidden cove I have ever laid eyes on. I’m talking about the kind you see in a Nicholas Sparks romdram, complete with a mysterious cave and sea urchins. Beyond these details, I hesitate to describe the place for fear of not translating how peaceful and truly perfect it was. I will just direct you to pictures instead.

After taking a nice dip, we made the long stroll back. Naturally, we stopped a multitude of times to sun ourselves on beaches filled with locals and eat some (always) well-deserved gelato. And just like that, we were on our way back to Palermo. As always, I'd say it was quite the adventure.