A day in Castellamare Del Golfo involves seeing the sea a lot. It’s quite romantic!
It’s in the Trapani region, which is in the Mediterranean but looking out in the direction of the Atlantic. I think it gets extra wind for that reason – there’s something about this side of Sicily that feels more adventurous and audacious than the other coastlines.
The walls of the buildings are mostly made of Sicilian tufa, a sort of soft porous sandstone that the wind sculpts into swirly shapes. It’s ideal for tough plants to cling to, though some people give them a helping hand with cleverly camouflaged planters artfully cemented on.
We bought some roasted almonds and crunchy roasted chick peas from this stall.
The Sicilian members of the family refused to consider buying oranges because it was summer, when they’re not in season; there would be no chance on earth they could taste up to the usual Sicilian standard!
We walked around the town and found some nice side streets, including one with an ice cream cafe.
The shops were interesting but not the kind of places I would buy from. Castellamare del Golfo is one of the few places in Sicily that feel a bit posh and expensive.
Most of Sicily is beautiful and full of history and culture, but it comes across as down to earth, and never takes itself too seriously. Something about Castellamare feels as if it wants to make sure you are aware of how many rich people live there.
We had a seafood lunch in a restaurant overlooking the water, which was quite nerve-rackingly overpriced.
The only thing I really wanted was a table cloth for 125 euros. Hubby agreed with me we can find cheaper bits of material for him to spill his tomato ragu’ onto.
This is where to go for the world’s most costly tablecloth.
Further down the road we spotted this enticing sign. These are some of Sicily’s greatest hits in the “junk food and naughty snacks” category….
….Which obviously makes them ideal for an eating challenge. Clearly not everyone in Castellamare is too posh!
Arancine are Sicilian rice balls, which contain a heart of meaty tomatoey ragu, or sometimes cheese or possibly salmon, wrapped in sticky risotto rice, rolled in breadcrumbs and then fried.
This cafe announces its own special invention on the door, the “Atomic bomb extra spicy MAXI arancina”. A normal arancina is about the size of a tennis ball and basically once you have finished one, you don’t need anything else to eat for three days. So goodness knows what a MAXI arancina looks like, because if you manage to eat all of it, you get it free.
And Sicilians don’t really like giving things away free, so I have a hunch it could be the size of a football!