It’s no secret that Sicily is among the most magical of places to vacation, renowned for its rocky volcanic coastline and glistening golden beaches, its crumbling ancient ruins and breathtaking Baroque architecture, not to mention its revered culinary scene and abundance of sweet local delicacies. Bookstores and online platforms overflow with travel tips and guides to the island’s best-kept secrets, but nothing can beat the recommendations of a trusted, singularly tasteful friend.
Designer Lucilla Bonaccorsi, the daughter of Sicilian nobleman Lucio Bonaccorsi and the fashion designer Luisa Beccaria, is one such person. Although she was born and raised in Milan, Lucilla spent her holidays at Castelluccio, her family’s 18th-century castle near the Sicilian city of Noto, where she and her four siblings frolicked among its olive and orange groves and almond trees. The Arcadian romanticism of her childhood vacations, as well as the modern urbanism of Milan, London, New York and Paris, combine in Bonaccorsi’s fresh yet timeless designs for her mother’s brand, where she heads up the ready-to-wear team.
Sicily and its endlessly enchanting cities, towns, villages and nature reserves remain a source of delight and inspiration for Bonaccorsi, who married at Castelluccio in 2017. Here, she shares her recommendations for exceptional eating, essential shopping, and a restorative wellness retreat, alongside her cultural highlights, in what we believe to be the ultimate companion to the storied island.
In Noto: La Manna by the sea (at the Lido di Noto), and Caffè Sicilia for the best artisanal granita and cannoli.
In Siracusa: Carnezzeria at the fish market in Ortigia. Or I Rizzari, about 15 minutes from Siracusa in a small village called Brucoli. It has a fantastic terrace by the sea, with views of Etna, and the best fish. The cook (and owner) is a fisherman, so there is always something fresh and delicious! Ask for a table near the sea.
In Marzamemi: La Cialoma, a typical Sicilian spot with blue wooden chairs and lace tablecloths. You can eat facing the square in the evening, or on the terrace out back by the sea. The aubergine cannoli are a must — with honey, cheese and a touch of chocolate.
In Palazzolo Acreide: Pasticceria Corsino for the best arancini (rice balls).
In Scicli: Le Gioie, a typical trattoria.
Scicli: For typical Sicilian ceramics.
Modica: For the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, where you can buy artisanal chocolate in different flavors. La Cedrata and Aranciata are also a must, both very special kinds of nougat.
Marzamemi: For Adelfio or Campisi, where you can buy Sicilian products (bottarga, tuna, sauces).
Noto: For the Santagatha concept store.
In Ortigia: The Duomo is in one of my favorite squares. The Greek theater there is still the same. They put on tragedies from May through July, sensational.
In Noto: Visit Palazzo Castelluccio and the Cathedral.
In Modica: Duomo di San Giorgio, which is full of staircases!
In Scicli: A crib town nestled in the rocks.
The San Corrado Hotel in Noto.
Oasi di Vendicari: Go walking in the natural reserve and see its flamingos! Keep going until you arrive at the ancient and beautiful Tonnara (stone ruins by the sea).