My Sicilian Adventure

We were thrilled to invite our brand ambassador, Claire Sweeney to join us in Sicily to discover the things she loved the most about the island, as well as her favourite features of a Just You holiday…

It’s been quite a busy time of late, so when I was asked to head to Sicily, I jumped at the chance as I love the fact that I can just leave all my responsibilities at the airport from the minute I check-in.


I didn’t really know much about the island, except of course its use as a filming location for The Godfather and the drama TV series, The White Lotus, so it was pretty much a blank canvas with something new waiting to be unwrapped each day.

Simone, our Holiday Director took control of everything, she was absolutely fantastic and I didn’t need to worry about anything, she’s a safe pair of hands!

When I discovered we would be visiting Cefalù and Taormina, I was thrilled as they both feature in the TV drama – so I made the most of the time we had at the beach and in the square. While I realise I probably spend far too much time in cafés and restaurants, sitting down with a coffee in a piazza in Cefalù was by far one of the prime spots to watch the world go by, and enjoy a little sunshine.

And there’s plenty of history too. I found our visit to the Greco-Roman Theatre in Taormina absolutely fascinating, picturing the intense scenes of gladiator battles and performances all those centuries ago.


Unsurprisingly, it’s the day we spent in Taormina that has been the standout on this tour for me – the streets, the shops, the restaurants, the bars – just seeing all these places and recalling the scenes in which they featured as backdrops in The White Lotus was so much fun, and Sicily certainly has that movie star quality so I can understand why the location managers chose the island. It did become rather like a treasure hunt, collecting scenes as it were!

When we visited Monreale Cathedral in Palermo, it was such a lovely moment to watch a Bride arrive in the square outside, ready to head into the church to get married. It’s not something you get to see very often, and being able to witness a part of Italian culture here feels quite special. And of course, weddings are huge here, and it’s not unusual for crowds to gather and offer cheers and well wishes, it was a real pinch-me moment to be part of the excitement and celebrations.

The Valley of The Temples in Agrigento was wonderful, and one of the island’s major attractions as it’s such an impressive example of well-preserved Greek art and architecture. Another step-back-in-time encounter, it makes you question what life was really like back then and ponder how much times have changed or even still influenced today by those former civilisations.


The Discover Sicily itinerary really does catapult you into such an array of experiences from ancient Roman and Greek treasures, to the stripped back simplicity of time at the beach, or a stop off for gelato.

But while this might be something you could just as easily enjoy back home, when you’re on holiday, there is something much more charming about it. I for one, feel so much more in the moment, soaking up the atmosphere, and taking nothing for granted like you might when you’re back at home. And of course, there are the new people you meet along the way to share it all with which can’t be underestimated.

It was never something that was really on my radar, but I have fallen in love with Sicily and am so glad that I’ve discovered it. It’s so beautiful, the architecture, the history, the people, the food – everything about it is just brilliant.


I’ve always thought that I’d ticked off a lot of Europe in the past, but it’s always different on a Just You tour. You seem to find things you never knew were there or existed since you last visited, or simply see things with different eyes, so I would say never write off something that you think you’ve done before, there’s always something new to unwrap.

I’d love to venture further afield next and do a bit of long-haul travel with Just You – Vietnam, Argentina, Chile and Brazil all look pretty spectacular, but we’ll see what’s next!


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