Let’s take a tour together through shopping and craftsmanship in Sicily

Shop handcrafts in Sicily are so easy to find. They are the guardians of old traditions past by from father to son. The obsidian handling, for instance, is a very special work craft that is still practiced nowadays in Lipari, within the Aeolian Islands and in Pantelleria island.

Collana in ossidiana by pantelleria.eu

Collana in ossidiana by pantelleria.eu

In Trapani and surroundings, there is a beautiful coral: artisans are busy making jewelry and peculiar shaped objects out of this gemstone, carrying on centuries of old traditions. You can see this coral at the Pepoli museum in all its glory.

In Sciacca, in the province of Agrigento, gold is red, too!

working the coral in Sciacca

working the coral in Sciacca

Techniques for modeling a changing material such as the Mediterranean coral have been handed down to the new generations over-time, and the craftsmen from Sciacca today interpret beautifully such traditions.

They manage to combine creativity and contemporary taste.

The pupi siciliani, sicilian puppets depicting the Charlemagne cycle knights, are the protagonists in the Opera dei Pupi, inscribed in the UNESCO heritage as a Verbal and Intangible World Heritage.

Teatro dei Pupi - Ph. I. Mannarano

Teatro dei Pupi – Ph. I. Mannarano

These puppets are very common in Palermo, Catania and Siracusa.

The refined pottery from Caltagirone, near Catania, is very well placed in Sicilian art crafts. It is also very well connected to the Sicilian town because of the origin of its name (Qal’at al Ghiran in Arabic means “vases fortress”). There are lots of shops along the narrow streets that offer beautiful vases, plates, tiles, ornaments, statues, chandeliers, and more.

Ceramica di Caltagirone - Ph. Luigi Strano

Caltagirone pottery – Ph. Luigi Strano

Let’s keep shopping: the Erice carpets. Women weaving in their homes and creating real masterpieces were so many in the past. Nowadays, very few of them are active, indeed this ancient and fascinating art is not yet lost.

tappeti di Erice

Erice carpets

In Santo Stefano di Camastra and in the other towns on the coast from Palermo to Messina, we can find famous pottery. Sicilian pottery is very well known worldwide.

caramica Santo Stefano di Camastra - ph. Filippo Maione

pottery in  Santo Stefano di Camastra – ph. Filippo Maione

How nice to stroll down this lovely village, walking through its crowded streets full of colorful shops. All around you, blithe streets, fountains and walls decorated with beautiful Majolica tiles.
Don’t miss the interesting Sicilian Ceramics collection belonging to the Museum of Ceramics on display at Palazzo Trabia.

Santo Stefano di Camastra - ph. Fabio Cavasenna

Santo Stefano di Camastra – ph. Fabio Cavasenna

Not far away from the Palermo Cathedral you can find the flee Market, on a walking distance from anywhere in the center. It is an indoors market, where each craftsman shows and sells his or her merchandise within a tin shop. This market preserves a real treasure: antique pieces of furniture and objects, interesting vintage ones, and modern art. The products are either all local or come from the rest of Italy. On Sunday another flee Market is open in Piazza Marina.

La coppola, il tipico copricapo siciliano rivive attraverso molte piccole botteghe.

La coppola

Besides crafts, there are local culture products inherited from a long time, that can also satisfy those who are careful to fashion and new trends. In big cities like Palermo and Catania, there are several malls and many trendy shops downtown; the main streets for shopping are: via Libertà and via Ruggero in Palermo, via Etnea and via Italia in Catania.

Sicilia Outlet Village is an outlet where purchases are affordable. It is in Dittaino, near Enna, right in the heart of Sicily. You take the A19 Palermo – Catania and spend your time among 140 stores selling national and international brands.

Sicilia Outlet Village - ph paeseitaliapress.it

Sicilia Outlet Village – ph paeseitaliapress.it

Now, let’s talk about the most appreciated topic: food and wine. Besides the delicious street food, like arancino and Italian-ice, great for take-away, there are also the cassata and cannoli, Modica’s cioccolata, Monreale’s cookies, genovesi di Erice, martorana’s fruit, Prickly pear’s mustard, Bronte’s pistachio, Castelbuono’s cookies, Castelvetrano’s brown bread, and much more.

pane nero Castelvetrano

Castelvetrano’s brown bread – ph Alessandro Spoto

Boutique di formaggi a Ragusa ph. sicilyroutes

Cheese shop in Ragusa – ph. sicilyroutes

Sicilian wines are very good. Their traditional flavors can transfer the soul of the island.

Slow food in Sicily