The extensive culture of Italy unfurls from the bordering city of Aosta down to the jewel at the end of the boot in the rich seaside towns of Sicily. History traces back a manifold of invaders, interlopers, and wanderers that have influenced the varied architecture, education, and legacy of Italy. The merging of these varied ethnicities has resulted in slight differences in languages, customs, and traditions, especially between the idyllic island of Sicily and its mainland.
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Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Speaking Sicilian vs Speaking Italian
Although the Sicilian language isn’t commonly used today except for in the more remote villages of Sicily, it is still blended in with formal Italian in the larger cities. Small Sicilian words are spliced into everyday speech and lingo depending on a person’s heritage. Sicilian incorporates a blend of words rooted from Arabic, Hebrew, Byzantine, and Norman, unlike Italian that sounds more like a blend of Spanish and French. Most Italians find full-blown Sicilian incredibly hard to understand and to be a total departure from traditional Italian. There are also minor differences in sentence structure, as well as a different accent.
Ways of Life
Italy shares a plethora of traditions and customs that envelope the entire country but Sicily has had a few slight tweaks and differences that set it apart. For instance, the classic mafia is still alive and well in this part of Italy. They still play a role in local government, real estate, and other dealings in certain communities. Traditional elements are ingrained in Sicily as well, religious festivals occur often in cities and you will find that families are incredibly close-knit. Sicilians are also very laid back and relaxed in most areas, you’ll find many shops and restaurants close between 1pm and 4pm most days of the week for long lunches and people take their time dining and spending time with one another.
Sicilian Cuisine vs Italian Cuisine
Although they are still masters of pizza and pasta, they are more commonly known for their produce and seafood. Tuna and swordfish are island staples and they are well known for their lunch-time delicacy, the arancino. This morsel is a fried rice croquette filled with a variety of meats, and veggies thrown in the mix. Sicilians also coined the creation of cannolis, and are well-known for their delicious granita dessert. As opposed to incorporating the more expensive beef option for protein in dishes, they often use lamb, pork, and horse which may seem unusual but is an incredibly popular ingredient throughout Sicily.
Italy is noted for its colourful and culture-rich cities, rolling hillsides and vineyards, beautiful coasts and beaches. Yet Sicily possesses some truly unique landscapes and terrain that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. The island sits on the active boundary where the Eurasian and African tectonic plate meets, spurring a cluster of dormant and active volcanoes in and around it. Mt. Etna is one of the crown jewels of Sicily, remaining highly active throughout the year. There are also a number of volcanic islands encircling the mainland, a litany of pebble beaches, and lava rock coastlines around the perimeter of the island.
Sicily has retained a distinct history, leading to its broad range of architecture, particular cuisine, and amalgamation of traditions. Sicily was a crossroad for so many cultures, it is hard to find another place that has been impacted by Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Romans, British, and French. All of these groups have left vestiges of their time in Sicily such as Norman palaces, Roman ruins, and Greek temples. Scattered across the beautiful island you will be able to find the pieces of a vast history of visitors and conquerors. All of these influences come together to form the unparalleled culture, society, and people that remain truly unique, even to their own country.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.