Santa Flavia is a small cozy town near Palermo. There is very little information about him on the Internet, and few choose him as a vacation spot. And this is the first plus of this place.
I recommend my article ” How to plan a vacation in Sicily “
Santa Flavia is real Sicily, as it is. Life here is unhurried, it takes its course, no fuss and haste, which sometimes seems that life here simply stopped many, many years ago. They also dry clothes on the streets, the doors to the houses are not closed, you can easily look behind the curtains and see how they live – on the ground floor, right behind the door, the dining room – with a large table, a refrigerator and a pair of cupboards. At about 7-8 o’clock in the evening, a large Italian family gathers for dinner at the table.
A little earlier, before dinner, at 6 o’clock, all the men gathered somewhere in the square and played cards, and the kids, mostly boys, ride bicycles. Very often you can see cars with open windows, it is not clear what this is connected with. Either there is no crime at all, or the cars are so old that nobody needs. Or maybe the mafia is just watching everything? By the way, it is not customary to talk about the mafia in Sicily, it is believed that it has not existed for a long time … And Sicilians are offended when Sicily is associated only with the mafia, because this is not the only thing that characterizes Sicily.
From Palermo to Santa Flavia
Getting from Palermo to Santa Flavia is simpler and cheaper by train. Trains run every hour (on weekends – once every two hours), a ticket costs 2.5 euros. Travel about 20-25 minutes. You need to exit at the station of the same name S. Flavia-Solunto-Porticello. Also, it is possible to get to Santa Flavia from the airport by private transfer , especially if you are, for example, with children, or a large company.
Where to stay in Santa Flavia
Since Santa Flavia is not the most tourist destination in Sicily, the choice of accommodation here is small and is represented mainly by guest houses and B&B, for example, B&B Sicilio , where we stayed, and were completely satisfied. When we left for Catania for one night, and settled there in a hotel, which was an order of magnitude more expensive, we could not wait to get back to our B&B Sicilio. I won’t describe in detail all the advantages of this place of residence, if someone gets interested, you can write your question in the comments, I will answer with pleasure.
The price for accommodation in Santa Flavia starts from 38 euros per night for a double room. Most likely, this price will include breakfast, as well as free cancellation.
In Santa Flavia there is only one hotel Domina Coral Bay Sicilia Zagarella 4 * , costing from 113 euros per night with breakfast. The disadvantage of this hotel is that it is geographically remote from the same Porticello promenade, where the main restaurants are located.
Santa Flavia Restaurants
The choice of restaurants in Santa Flavia is basically normal – from cafes to expensive fish restaurants on the waterfront. The restaurants on the waterfront are probably oriented more towards tourists, but local ones, as almost no one knows English (yes, by the way, you are going to Santa Flavia, learn Italian, or take a phrase book with you ). Restaurants and cafes in the city are mainly visited only by locals. I’ll tell you about some places we visited.
I Piscaturi – fish restaurant on the Porticello seafront. For some reason, we wanted to get into this restaurant, having read rave reviews on the Internet. One thing turned out to be true – the restaurant is expensive. But the food there was so tasteless! Edible, yes (although not everything seemed to put some stale fish pickled in oil and lemon in the salad to discourage this stale), but it’s tasteless! This was one of several places where they tried to deceive us. Namely: the price of beer in the invoice was 2 times higher than stated on the menu. Minimal knowledge of Italian helped – we didn’t pay anything extra, but there was an unpleasant aftertaste and disappointment.
Next to this restaurant there is another – Gambero Rosso, a restaurant a little cheaper than the first. It is also deceived (the first time we ordered a set menu, we were not informed of one or two dishes included in the price, the second time they tried to include a second salad in the bill), but the food here is very tasty, especially mussels, in any their manifestation – mussel soup, mussel salad, pasta with mussels and other seafood. Feels like the seafood was all fresh. But the service suffers – the waiters are rude, in general, customer focus – not their hobby.
Al Panfilo – an ordinary cafe for locals, the food is average, for a snack is quite normal. Service also suffers, they brazenly did not give change. I did not want to swear, so I just left a bad review about them on tripadvisor.
There is an article about Sicilian cuisine , read it, you will like it 🙂
And finally, Pub Babilonia in Santa Flavia, right at the railway crossing. They were here for the first time by accident, after they arrived from Etna for 12 hours, and just took a few panini after 11 pm. The manager talked with us, then we realized that most likely he was the boss there, because on our next visits we found out that he has his own farm for growing vegetables, that he sells them at the market in Palermo, but they are also being prepared products in this establishment. Cheese and other products are also brought from his friend’s farm. What surprised us for the first time – that they didn’t even try to cheat on us.
Naturally, the next day we came to have dinner there. There wasn’t any position in the menu, he suggested a replacement not from the menu. The food was very tasty, made as if at home, rather than in a restaurant. In addition, they brought us an antipasti sample, and, surprisingly, they were not included in the bill. Of course, they were all rewarded for this.
They also had dinner for the third time, also tasted real farm ricotta, tasted various bruschettas, and received a melon dessert as a compliment. In general, this place is number one for us in Santa Flavia. I sincerely recommend it.
How to get to Catania.
Getting to Catania is, in principle, possible. The first option is from Palermo. To do this, you need to get to Palermo by train for 2.5 euros, and from Palermo either by bus or by train. The train takes about 3 hours. Ticket price from 13.5 euros. But you need to check the schedule. Especially not to stay in Palermo on the way back at night, when the trains to Santa Flavia no longer go. The second option is from Santa Flavia by train with a change in Termini Imerese. If the train is not late, the journey will also take about 3 hours, but if there is a delay, then get ready to spend several hours in Termini waiting for the next train, especially on weekends. Ticket price from 12.8 euros.
I already wrote about prices in Sicily .
What to do in Santa Flavia.
First of all, beaches . The beaches are all public, wild, a lot of people gather on weekends. Of all the beaches, I recommend Kafara, or Spiaggia Mongerbino. It offers stunning views, but it’s far from the center of Santa Flavia. Sant’Elia beach is a little closer, but it is very small and mainly suitable for children, as the sea is very shallow, and to swim normally it is necessary to swim away. Another beach that we were on – on the way to Il Castello di Solanto, it’s wild, it’s not very easy to find it, and I honestly don’t even remember what it is called and how to get to it))
Secondly, it’s convenient to travel from Santa Flavia to Palermo , 25 minutes and you are in a large tourist city, with all the ensuing consequences – both positive and negative.
Thirdly, you can order excursions, the guide will pick you up in Palermo, or by agreement in Santa Flavia.
Fourth, from Santa Flavia you can visit the ruins of Solunt, they are located high on the mountain and are the ruins of the Greco-Roman era. And from there, a bewitching view of the entire coast opens. Read more about this and other sights of the island in the article ” Best Sicilian Sights “.
Fifth, from Santa Flavia you can walk to the large city of Bagheria, just walk along the streets, or visit the Villa Palagonia, which turns out to be very famous. It is also called a villa of monsters, and was built in the early 18th century. Since we did not go there, unfortunately, there is nothing to tell and show me to you.
On this, perhaps, my story is over. I wish you a bright journey! And if you have any questions, Wellcome benvenuti in the comments!)
And finally, a few more photos of Santa Flavia