Easily one of the most charming, adorable, and instagrammable places in all of Sicily. Marzamemi is one of our favorite little gems, tucked away on the south-east coast of Sicily. It is a tiny fishing village, but filled with Sicilian seaside charm. From the painted terracotta pots to the antique wooden boats and turquoise painted chairs, this village will fill your eye and heart with joy.
Marzamemi is located in the province of Syracuse. It is quite tiny so half of a day is usually enough to explore it, try some seafood and take amazing Mediterranean vacation photos here. It’s quite close to two beautiful towns - Noto and Ortigia, so combining it with either of these towns makes it a perfect day trip.
Tip: If you are visiting in the summer months, plan Marzamemi in the early morning or before lunch so you can get your pictures uninterrupted, without tourists. Then have a delicious lunch and head to Noto or Ortigia for the afternoon & sunset.
Known for its delicious and fresh seafood, you can’t go wrong dining at any of the adorably decorated restaurants. If you enjoy seafood and want to venture into some traditional Sicilian dishes, we recommend you try the pasta with squid ink (Pasta al Nero di Seppia) or the fresh swordfish (Pesce Spada). All of the fish is caught daily here in the Mediterranean making any seafood dish extraordinary. If you aren’t a big seafood fan, that’s okay. You can still find many of the traditional pasta dishes such as Carbonara and Pasta alla Norma, and they will be equally as scrumptious.
Let’s not forget about dessert and coffee, after all you’re in Italy. After lunch, take a stroll through the piazza and enjoy the vintage atmosphere outside one of the cute cafes. In the piazza, you can sit in the center of it all and enjoy a traditional espresso and a refreshing granita. Granita is an Italian dessert that is almost impossible to describe until you try it. It’s lighter than gelato, a sorbet-like frozen dessert. It comes in many traditional Sicilian flavors such as pistachio, lemon or almond (all are delicious!). If you’re in the mood for something a little stronger, order an Aperol Spritz cocktail. This drink is simply made from Prosecco, soda water and Aperol. It is not too sweet, amazingly refreshing on a hot summer day. It is a little bitter at first; if you have never tried Aperol prepare for a taste you have never tried before. However, this drink is a traditional Italian staple and is worth a try. Regardless of where you eat or what you order, you will be blown away by the beauty of Marzamemi and simply at peace with the atmosphere of the village from the view in the middle of the piazza.
Marzamemi has plenty of souvenir and boutique shops. On the weekends there will be typical vendors waiting to sell you scarves, sunglasses and handbags. If you are looking for souvenirs, this is a great place to visit as there won’t be an overwhelming amount of shops filled with the same kinds of knick knacks. Marzamemi isn’t a huge shopping town, simply because it is an old fishing village so most of the small space is dedicated to storing the boats and the fish that was caught that day.
How to get here?
If you are staying in Catania, visiting the charming fishing village of Marzamemi is a total must. It is about an hour and a half drive from Catania, but it is an easy open highway drive. There are no highway tolls, however always keep some change on you for parking. Due to the small size of the village, we don’t really recommend you planning your Sicily vacation solely around Marzamemi, but definitely check out this quaint little town and take some amazing pictures.
If you are coming from Palermo, we recommend you book your overnight stay in Noto or Ortigia (as it’s quite a distance from Palermo) and spend a half day in Marzamemi, checking both places out while you are on the east coast of the island.
Words by: Megan Sheets
Photography by: Niki Csanyi