Cassander van Eerd, project director at Clogwork Orange, on why the Mediterranean gem is becoming an increasingly popular incentive hotspot
“Being home to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, and the birthplace of the Italian mafia and backdrop for the Godfather films, gives Sicily a real sense of mystery and makes for a very appealing incentive destination.
I’ve recently been on a site inspection to the island ahead of delivering an incentive for a client there next May. Sicily is somewhere not many people have been, which makes it ideal for a short-haul destination that’s a bit different.
I’d recommend flying into Catania, which is the nicer side of the island, and finding a base in the Taormina region. Mount Etna is a must and there are so many different ways you can do it – jeeps, walking or quads, depending on the group.
Another great activity you can do is tubing, where you float down the Alcantara river gorge on large inflatable inner tubes.
SicilyEvents is a great DMC for recommending unique activities such as stopping in a cave for a cool granita – a Sicilian speciality made with fresh fruit and ice – or a Chic-nique, where a Michelin-starred picnic is served in the lava fields with live chef stations and entertainment.
The food in Sicily is pretty stunning and relatively good value for money. There are lots of great traditional trattorias that you can stop off at for an authentic local lunch. You can also do a lot of activities with Godfather theme, such as visiting the Godfather villa and getting a tour from the owner, and touring other locations that feature in the films.
The hotels are quite pricey in Sicily compared to other Mediterranean destinations – Belmond has two nice properties there, and for the trip next May, we are using the Hilton Giardini Naxos, which is a beach resort, so has a bit more space than some of the properties in Taormina on the hillside.
To get the best experience of Sicily, I’d recommend three nights and four days, but you could do it in three days.”
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