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olive table in open air market in Castel di Tusa

Open air market at Castel di Tusa

Castel Di Tusa

One of Sicily's many secrets

The Sicilian Cuisine

The island is blessed with a superb cuisine, the product of centuries of experimentation and external influences.

In season, fried peppers, pickled artichokes, sautéed mushrooms, tuna, assorted olives, calamari and octopus salad, zucchini, and eggplant (fried, pickled, stuffed) dominate the antipasto table. beautiful Sicilian dish of seafood and vegetablesUnique to Sicily, are several pasta dishes: pasta with fresh sardines and wild fennel, pasta with cauliflower and pasta with squid ink sauce are a few examples.

The island produces a cornucopia of delicious fruits and vegetables. Lemon, orange and olive groves dot the island. Grapes are grown in large quantity in the South West, where a number of world-class wines are produced. The wine connoisseur can visit this region and sample the unique quality of Sicilian wines.

More about Castel Di Tusa

Overview | Information | Daytrips | History

coastline at Castel di Tusa

Overview

CASTEL DI TUSA is the perfect destination for an extended vacation in Sicily and for exploring the intriguing history and unique culture of the largest island in the greater Mediterranean Sea. Best time to visit the island is in the Fall and Spring. You can use the destination as home base for exploring and savoring the history, culture, traditions, natural surroundings, and unmatched cuisine. [more]

sunset in Castel di Tusa

Weather, Getting There, Information

Sicily enjoys the Mediterranean climate, hot and humid during the summer, mild and drier during fall and spring (in the 70-80 range), and on the chilly side during the winter months.

There are daily flights to and from the Italian Peninsula, Germany, and Great Britain to the island’s three main airports. Palermo’s Punta Raisi airport... [more]

sea urchins in boxes on table fresh from sea

Day Trips

Day trips can be made to historical Greco-Roman ruins in Tyndaris, Taormina, Segesta, Selinunte, Piazza Armerina, Syracuse, and Agrigento.

Day trips, from nearby Cefalù and Milazzo, to the nearby volcanic Aeolian Islands... [more]

rock formation at seashore at Castel di Tusa

A Brief History of Sicily

People have lived on the island as far back as 10,000 years B.C.

The Sicanis, from the Iberian Peninsula, arrived in Sicily about 4,000 B.C., and settled primarily on the central and western parts of the island. The Sikels followed...[more]

Fresh seafood is available daily. Swordfish, tuna and other blue fish are in abundance. A variety of clams, mussels, and shrimps are also plentiful. One of the favorites of the locals is squid and its cousins cuttlefish and octopus.

pastry cake made in Castel di TusaThe Arabs introduced rice to the European continent through Sicily. They also are credited with inventing ice cream and sorbet. Prior to their arrival, Europeans got their sugar from beets. The Arabs changed all that with the introduction of sugar cane. Marzipan is also an Arab import, fully exploited by the many island confectioners.

sausages made in Castel di Tusa hanging in shopThere are two unique aspects of Sicilian cuisine. One, la cucina povera (the poor man’s cuisine) includes many pasta and vegetable dishes. The other, la cucina baroniale (French-inspired), offers a more elegant, and perhaps, richer fare. The local nobility imported chefs from France in the late 1800’s to elevate the local eating habits.

However, what separates Sicily from the rest of Italy is the street food: arancini (fried rice balls filled with meat ragout’ or cheese), pane e panelle (fried chickpea dumplings), sfincione (Sicilian pizza), lumache (snails), stigliole (intestines) and pane ‘ca meusa (spleen). The last three items are an acquired taste, for sure.

Local Restaurants

Castel di Tusa has seven excellent restaurants, five open all year. The price of a dinner ranges between $25-40. An individual pizza serving goes for about $ 10.

friendly staff in cafe in Castel di TusaThe town has also five cafes, providing among other offerings, freshly brewed espresso, fruit juices, and snack food.

coffee and pastryFor example Pino and Cristoforo Alfieri own the Porto Marino Snack Bar. They bake their pastry early every morning (cannoli, pizzette, cartocci, croissants), and they make their own artisan ice cream and a variety of granitas (lemon, almond, blackberry, strawberry, and boysenberry). Pino’s wife, Nunzia, will make you a plate of pasta utilizing the freshest ingredients.

 

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Cuisine

Weather, Getting There, Information

Day Trips

Brief History of Sicily