Epic Day Trip: The Aegadian Island of Levanzo, Sicily

I’m now going to tell you about Levanzo. You won’t believe me, nor will you trust your eyes when looking at the photos. But I was there, and all this happened, and you just need to do what I tell you after the jump to experience it yourself. Don’t forget to take me along with you, though. I have got to get back there.

Levanzo

According to my off-season timetable for Ustica Lines, we took the 9.20AM boat from Trapani to Levanzo. It takes about a half hour. When you disembark, you’re going to see the Arcobaleno (Rainbow) bar directly in front of you, above you. This is the view from that bar:

Levanzo

WOW, right? Yeah, we didn’t go there, and I’ll tell you why: A loud, smallish tour group got off the boat along with us, and that’s where they all went for a coffee. So, we went up to the road and took a left, to the bar that you see up in the first picture there jutting out over the water. It’s called the Bar Romano. Go there. We paid 2.40 euro for our coffees and had the entire deck to ourselves. And, the bar lady was really nice. And, they had a dog sleeping in the entrance. Love.

The smallish tour group took off in a Range Rover, presumably to visit the Grotta del Genovese, which I’ve since learned is totally famous and has cave paintings. We decided to take off on foot to see what we could discover.  We walked down the road in front of these homes:

Levanzo

And rounded the corner you see in this picture:

Levanzo

Followed the road cut into this hillside:

Levanzo

Which had this view:

Levanzo

Cut down a kind-of path on our right, and followed it until we came to this copse:

Levanzo

At the end of which was this view:

Levanzo

At which point we were so overwhelmed by the almost surreal beauty and solitude we were experiencing, we decided to rest for a moment.

(Let me just say here that while I kind of feel like a heel for not knowing about the totally famous Grotta with the cave paintings, the time we had walking alone down a dusty road with a beautiful view, pausing to wonder about certain types of plants and being surprised and delighted by what was around every bend, was one of the most magical things I’ve ever experienced in my life.)

We had been walking for quite some time and were getting hungry, so we headed back toward town in search of food. Little did we know, we were about to have lunch in paradise:

Ristorante Paradiso

That’s right – Ristorante Paradiso. Fantastic view, no menu, cheap as hell and the most incredibly delicious seafood I’ve ever had the privilege of eating.

Ristorante Paradiso

See those meatballs on the left? We thought they were meatballs, until Mr. Pants bit into one and GASPED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL who really had gotten a pony for Christmas. They were made of fish, and were so good that after we finished the plate of anitpasti we asked for another plate of fishballs. Oh, yes we did.

The guy asked what we wanted next, and we asked him what he had. He said he had some small fish, and made a line just above his wrist with his other hand to indicate their size. Bring it on, I said, so we each got one of these:

Ristorante Paradiso

Then a lady came out and asked us if we wanted anything else. Again: What do you have? She started listing fruits, and mentioned espresso. No, no darling: What other kinds of fishy delights are you hiding from us back there in the kitchen?

“But you’ve already had your main dish,” she chastised.

“We want more,” I replied.

And out came these treasures:

Ristorante Paradiso

I lack the words to describe how good they were, so I will simply tell you that they made you forget you’ve ever eaten fried calamari anywhere else.

We sat in awe of the meal we had just had for a while, and I translated for Mr. Pants an amusing thing I heard from the other two occupied tables: Both of them, strangers to each other, had said to the owner that they had been waiting since last year to return to Levanzo and have more of those fishballs.

“Damn right, they did,” replied Mr. Pants.

We finally asked for the bill, and the man asked us to recount what we had. He waved away the second plate of fishballs in his calculations, and congratulated us on having a second main dish. He took a drag on his cigarette, looked up for a moment and gave us our total: 30 euro. For six plates of the most exquisite seafood I’ve ever eaten. SOLD.

We waddled back to wait for the return boat at 2.50PM; photos from this will come in a different post.

I’m sure August is jumping on Levanzo; the sizes of the bars and the number of tables at Ristorante Paradiso are a good indication. But on this magical day we had the place to ourselves, and I don’t think either of us will ever be the same again.

26 thoughts on “Epic Day Trip: The Aegadian Island of Levanzo, Sicily

  1. I ended up reading this post 4 times- I am completely engrossed by this island and I want to visit!! It helps that there’s good food on it…
    Grazie la dritta!!

  2. Okay… i don’t like seafood (very little) but i decided that is not important. I will go there, and i will eat fish balls! LOL!

    Beautiful, beautiful photos again and don’t feel bad about missing the grotta. It goes without saying that wherever a tour group is going, you should go the opposite direction.😀

  3. I have four Sicilian cookbooks in the house, and as soon as I finish typing this I’m going to find those fishballs. I just wish I could also get some fried calamari like that.

  4. NO WORDS…… no words…… kind of like Janny Bannanny at the end of my weekend wedding… no words….

  5. Absolutely beautiful – the walk through nature and all of that amazing food. Love receiving Miss Expatria emails, and seeing all of the magical moments in your wonderful life! *hugs*

  6. It really looks like a great place to go. Really like your comments and the food looks delicious. Your pictures really gives a feel to the place and makes me want to discover it. Thanks for sharing

  7. You know you’ve written well when your readers can visualize themselves sitting at the cafe, eating the dishes and enjoying the view with you while they are still in their own homes.

  8. Excellent post, Christine, educational, entertaining and enlightening… you write with clarity and an obvious passion. It is an area that so many, would be, blog authors over-look… and I find your photographs uplifting.

    Clearly, next time that I’m visiting Lorenso, I will have to make sure to invite you.

  9. My dear!

    You took me there! I agree it was completely magical and I will never be the same! You have a wonderful way with words…

    I’m the kind of person who likes a good adventure away from the loud crowd too… and to be captivated by the scenes just around the corner.

    I loved our restaurant adventure and I know you will never be the same! Thanks for writing about it and taking ME with you.

  10. Christine, Lorenzo is SO Beautiful! The pictures are stunning. I went through the pictures and your post several times in order to take it all in. Truly you are the internet’s prime enabler of travel addiction. I would dearly love to visit Lorenzo. Thank you for allowing me to take a mind’s-eye vacation through your pictures and description. Thanks!

  11. The Aegadian island of Lorenzo, Sicily is very beautiful. Eventhough I’ve never been, the pictures made me imagine myself there. The island seems very peaceful. I will add the island to my list of places to visit before I die. Thanks for sharing.

  12. i was there a week later. Stayed two nights we loved it so much. Your photos are good but it is hard to capture the magic of the place with a camera. Sitting in the same restaurant watching the light change on Favignana as the sun sets….you missed it!!

  13. Instead of saying Miss Expatriot “missed it”… as a photographer, and one who delights in skies… the lighting is never the same two days in a row. For that matter, two minutes in a row! My photos prove that. In one sitting I can capture many different effects in the sky and lighting because it constantly changes. I’m happy you had a beautiful view… and yes it is difficult to capture the “magic” of being there…. but no need to insult anyone. 🙂

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  17. Went to Trapani with a friend a week ago. Thanks God I found this post earlier, so we visited Levanzo and the restaurant as well. It was amazing, and one of the greatest experiences ever. Thank you!

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