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Traveling Italian

Posted On August 3, 2023 By Louis

Best things to do in San Vito Lo Capo

San Vito Lo Capo is a popular seaside town in Sicily's North West, between Trapani to the Northwest and Palermo to the East. The town was established in the 1800’s and is in a valley encircled by mountains. One of the known things to do in San Vito Lo Capo is rock climbing and the town is overlooked by a popular mountain Monte Monaco whilst to the south a natural reserve Riserva naturale dello Zingaro. If you don’t feel like rock climbing it is also known for its amazing beach where you can relax and admire its turquoise waters.

Here are the top things to do in San Vito Lo Capo

Explore the history of the town’s historical sites

  • There are quite a few sites in town such as the 15th-century Sanctuary of Saint Vito Martyr that is placed in the town centre. This was the first chapel for the martyr in the 4th century, and in later years built as a fortress-like church to protect it from pirates. It is a remarkable site to visit and has free entrance. It has artefacts and also a tomb to look at. Most recently Camillo Camilliani added the watchtower in 1600. Camillo was a renowned architect of watchtowers and other coastal fortifications in Sicily.
  • Close by about a 15 -20 minute walk is Faro di Capo San Vito. This is a lighthouse that is still working and built-in 1859 during the House of Bourbon period.
  • To the east of the town is Torre dell'Usciere. This is another watch tower designed by Camillo Camilliani built in 1883 to add to the others and protect the town from pirates.
  • Tonnara del Secco tuna factory is another place to go. It is an abandoned factory from the 15th century. It was bought by aristocrat Cav. Vito Foderà in 1865 who had other properties. He later died in 1911 and passed it on to his son and brother, who had no interest and in 1914 ceased operations. The fishery was then repurchased in 1929 but after a few bad seasons and increases in labour costs, it permanently closed in 1965.

Eat at the annual Cous Cous Festival

Every September is an annual Cous Cous Festival held in September. This all started in 1988 when chefs from around the world gathered in San Vito Lo Capo to face off against each other at this worldwide championship. It is a celebration of couscous a humble ingredient from the Mediterranean area bringing history people and cultures together. You can expect to see qualifying heats during the occasion, DJs, music, cooking shows, concerts and finally the championship. This is not to be missed if you are around during the month. Make sure to book tickets.

Relax at the beach

San Vito Lo Capo beach is probably the best in the whole of Sicily and one of the main attractions for tourists coming to the town. The water is a magnificent turquoise in colour with small fish swimming around, the sand is clean and soft and the beach has amazing views of the surroundings. There is plenty of space to relax, however, I personally like to rent a couple of chairs and an umbrella from the local stands. Sit back relax and enjoy! Close by there is plenty of restaurants to go to for lunch or an ice cream.

Try the local food in San Vito Lo Capo

This small town is home to some of the top restaurants in Sicily. Being a coastal town it specialises in fish and seafood but San Vito Lo Capo is known for its Couscous, hence the festival. It has many Michelin-reviewed restaurants that include starred venues like Profumi del Cous Cous and Gna' Sara. If you don’t mind a drive down the road is a must-try Mirko's that is halfway to Palermo. Don’t forget to check the opening times.

Go Rockclimbing & Hiking

There are around 1200 routes to go rock climbing in San Vito Lo Capo, with grades ranging from beginner to pro. When it comes to bolts, the routes are well-bolted and as of 2020, you aren't allowed to bolt new routes. The closest to go is Monte Monaco to the southeast of the town and Scogliera di Salinella to the southwest. If you aren’t that into rock climbing you can also hike them. Both of these are challenging but fun things to do in San Vito Lo Capo.

Visit by Castellammare del Golfo by Boat

Book a boat tour and enjoy the the Sicilian north coast from the ocean. You can stop off at intimate coves in the Zingaro Reserve, Scopello and uncover secret beaches along the way. Go for a swim wherever you stop off or just bathe in ocean. The waters are usually pristine and snorkeling is very popular in San Vito Lo Capo so make sure to pack some great or most boat companies can provide either for free or charge a small fee.

Useful tips when visiting San Vito Lo Capo

  • San Vito Lo Capo is a popular tourist destination with trendy Michelin-starred restaurants. It is best to book your reservations in advance, especially during peak season, as the town is small and reservations can fill up quickly.
  • The sun in San Vito Lo Capo can be very intense in the summer, so it is important to protect yourself from its harmful rays. You can do this by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. If you have sensitive skin, bring a higher SPF sunscreen from home.
  • San Vito Lo Capo is a pedestrian-friendly town that is best explored on foot. The narrow streets and winding alleyways are a delight to wander through, and there are so many historical sites and attractions to see that you'll never run out of things to do. So if you're planning on doing a lot of walking and sightseeing, be sure to pack comfortable shoes and plenty of water.
  • A local tour guide can give you a unique perspective on San Vito Lo Capo's history. They can share stories and legends that you may not find in a guidebook, and they can answer your questions about the city's rich past. This is a great way to learn about the hidden gems of San Vito Lo Capo and to get a sense of the local culture.
  • The midday and afternoon sun in San Vito Lo Capo can be very strong in the summer, so it is best to visit outdoor attractions in the early morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler and the crowds are smaller. You can also jump into the ocean!

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