Picture a tropical island -- gentle waves spilling onto sandy shores, sunshine gleaming off a sparkling sea and volcanoes spurting steam in the distance. Add to that image: lush, rolling hills, topped by ruins from antiquity. And then you need to imagine the rich tastes of fresh seafood, decadent pastas, sweet wines and desserts. When night falls, the calm atmosphere transforms into a sizzling party in places like Mondello Lido and Palermo's market area. This is Sicily -- a balmy, laid-back refuge with an Italian mentality, especially seen in its cuisine and zeal for life. You'll find this large, triangular island at the toe of Italy's boot, surrounded by the Tyrrhenian, Mediterranean and Ionian seas.
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The best time to visit Sicily is from May to June or September to October. These late spring and early fall months afford hospitable temperatures in the 70s, which are ideal for temple gazing, beach lazing or hiking. As such, these are the most popular times to visit, as well as the most expensive. If you plan a July or August vacation, you'll contend with fewer crowds, fewer open businesses and high temperatures that can reach the triple digits, according to Sherman's Travel. Still, if you can take the heat, you can find deals. Winter sees 50-degree temperatures; you can find greatly reduced hotel rates, but sea swimming is out.
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
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