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Things to do in San Vito Lo Capo: discover sicilian smells and tastes

Ciao a tutti! 
We’re super excited to have the chance to tell you all about San Vito lo Capo, and in particular we’d like to highlight some of the delicious smells, tastes and aromas from this corner of Sicily, so what are we waiting for – let’s get started!

A jewel in the sun

Situated on the north east coast of Sicily, the beautiful stretch of long sandy beach defines San Vito lo Capo as a go-to destination for a relaxing holiday.  Our charming seaside fishing village is ideal for lazy days on the beach, walks in the nearby nature reserves or days trips out to the beautiful small towns of the surrounding countryside. Sitting within a lush garden and enjoying a stunning backdrop of mountains and greenery, our beautiful hotel with its relaxing, spacious terrace occupies a unique position overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Things to do in San Vito Lo Capo: discover sicilian smells and tastes - Albergo Auralba

Although known for its white sandy beach there’s even more to this jewel of Sicily than sun, sea, and sand – this very special part of the island also has a rich and varied heritage of gastronomy, wine making and extra virgin olive oil production.  The gentle undulating hills of this area, together with a rich and fertile soil and almost year round sunshine, are the perfect setting for vineyards and olive groves.  Sicilian grapes like Catarratto, Grillo or Perricone are grown here to produce some of the best crisp whites and full bodied reds Sicily has to offer, and olives are harvested and pressed to obtain a very rich and intense extra virgin olive oil.

So if you fancy yourself as a bit of foodie or enjoy the odd glass of wine or two, then this is definitely the place for you! Now let us guide you through a typical day of food and wine, all to be enjoyed during your stay in this particular part of our beautiful island.

Rise and shine

Typically Sicilians will choose a light and sweet breakfast accompanied by a simple, strong and bitter caffè, which we invite you to enjoy on our sunny terrace. With things to suit both sweet and savoury tastes, there’s nothing better than our delicious breakfast of locally sourced produce and homemade cakes to start your day. So take your time, enjoy the morning and gently ease yourself into the Sicilian way of life.

What’s for lunch?

While you will be spoilt for choice of what to eat during your stay here, the rich and colourful Arab influence on our cuisine can be found in one very special and unique dish: cous cous – undoubtedly the star of the show! Deliciously combining the north African heritage of this area with the fishing history of the town, cous cous is very famous in this corner of Sicily and can be easily found in any of the many restaurants and eateries. It’s so famous in fact that every year, in September, San Vito lo Capo hosts the ‘Cous Cous Fest’ an international competition where chefs from around the world compete to produce the best dish. Traditionally the light and fluffy cous cous is served with a spicy fish soup made with the bountiful local seafood and here you can sample many delicious variations – alternatively served with meat or vegetables accompanied by a mouthwatering broth – while enjoying some live music or any of the different entertainment you can find here during the festival.

cous cous fest 2019 - san vito lo capo - albergo auralba
Foto dal sito ufficiale del Cous Cous Fest

Always time to take a break

Whether you’ve been soaking up the sun down on the beach, enjoying the fresh air of the mountains or exploring the picturesque towns and villages, there’s always time for a little pit stop so what better way to cool down than with a delicate little bowl of refreshing granita – frozen ice or cream mixed with any number of different flavours such as lemon, almond or pistachio. Alternatively, small little cakes and pastries filled with fresh cream, chocolate or topped with fruit fill the windows of the local coffee bars. And for those with an even sweeter tooth now is the time to go for that most famous of Sicilian cakes, cannoli – sweet ricotta cream in a crunchy pastry shell decorated with cherries, candied orange or chocolate chips – all enjoyed or course with another caffè!

Things to do in San Vito Lo Capo: discover sicilian smells and tastes - Albergo Auralba

Aperitivo time

Sicilians like nothing better than to get together at the end of the day to enjoy an aperitivo – the pre-dinner drink accompanied by nibbles and snacks which can be so varied and filling it’s almost  a dinner in itself!

Our “Aperitivo di tonnara“ offers you the chance to try a variety of small tuna dishes. In bygone days, in the nearby “Tonnara del secco”, huge tuna were landed by the local fishermen to then be turned into many varied delicacies. While the large scale fishing is now no more, those fishermen can still be seen at the harbour chatting away while mending their nets in the sun.

aperitivi vista mare - Albergo auralba San Vito Lo capo

And if fish is not your thing then let’s not forget that our sunshine and rich soil produce the freshest, tastiest vegetables and the best meat and dairy products which all go into our “Aperitivo di terra”. Through a selection of artisan producers we aim to bring you the highlights of this region such as fresh and aged sheep’s cheese, cured meats, mortadella, artisan hams and salami, all presented on our beautiful panoramic terrace – the perfect place to watch the sun go down.

… and to drink?

No aperitivo is complete of course without the accompanying glass of something in hand (usually alcoholic!) and as this area produces some of the best grapes on the island, we suggest a glass of something red, white or rose.

We will be very happy to guide you through the discovery of small Sicilian artisan wine producers  whether it’s to accompany your aperitivo or a fully curated wine tasting on our terrace. We can also help organise a visit to one of the many excellent wine producers between Marsala and Palermo, where you’ll be able to learn more about their wine production with a tour of the vineyard and cellar followed by a guided tasting.

And so onto dinner

With the wine and conversation in full flow now your thoughts might be turning to dinner and as no day in Sicily is complete without pasta appearing at least once on the menu, there’s only one dish to try: busiate with Trapanese pesto. The long curly strips of homemade busiate pasta, typical of this area, are usually served with a rich tomato, garlic and almond pesto, all finished off  with a light drizzle of fresh olive oil.  Every grandmother here is very proud to prepare and share with their family this tasty Sicilian dish and for the visitor, no trip here is complete without it – it’s a must!

To round off your meal and finish the day on a smooth and mellow note, a glass of fine marsala wine is what’s in order now. Coming from the nearby costal town of Marsala, this sweet fortified wine dates back to the late 1700s and is a popular after-dinner drink, to be enjoyed on its own or with a small almond biscotti.

Well, thank you for joining us on our little day in San Vito lo Capo, it’s been our pleasure to offer you to just some of our recommendations and we’d be delighted to tell you more. With so much to enjoy in this beautiful (and bountiful!) part of Sicily, why not join us for anything from a short break to a longer stay and take advantage of all that this very special part of our island has to offer. We very much look forward to welcoming you and hope to see you soon, until then…

Ciao e buona giornata!

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