There are destinations that fascinate you more than others. And often it happens when you least expect it.
Filicudi was a late summer surprise. A last minute trip with little research. And yet, just a few hours after our arrival, we found ourselves in perfect harmony with nature and the people of Filicudi. Being from Italy ourselves and speaking the same language does give you bit of an edge, but I believe that if you embrace the mentality of the locals, you bond with them regardless where you are from.
Like teenagers we took two mopeds for a spin and fell in love with few streets and its surroundings instantly.
To get there, we had taken a hydrofoil that took us from the port of Palermo on a journey past Alicudi, whose wild landscape we could observe through the windows. Just the view of Alicudi was enough to make us promise ourselves that one day we would like to discover this island, too.
Filicudi welcomed us with a handful of snow-white huts in the harbor and a slow pace that immediately set the stage for our Mediterranean daily routine. Obligatory stops: the granita “Da Nino sul mare”, one of the most popular beach bars on the island. And a hundred meters further on, we discovered the rental shop for mopeds and helmets on the right-hand side.
The morning started early to admire the wonder of dawn on this magical island from the terrace of the house we had rented. The sun rising from the water to color the horizon in different shades of pink. Then we walked down the grassy path to the road and shuttled to the port. We lingered among the plastic tables and chairs at Nino’s and enjoyed a brioche with ice cream and a pistachio granita. This bar is a kind of meeting place and landmark on Filicudi. For visitors, locals and regulars alike. People come for breakfast and stay for hours. It’s not uncommon to see a couple of guys with their laptops out doing some creative work here. Wiresless internet is very poor everywhere on Filicudi. Not at Da Nino.
In the late morning we walked along the shore until we reached the secluded rocks by the water. We often returned to Da Nino for a Spaghetto alle Vongole or a Tartar and then went on to Le Punte. We left our transportation at the side of the road and followed the path lined with Mediterranean scrub, small vineyards and dry stone walls, past sun loungers and parasols to occupy another part of the rocks.
Here we spent the afternoons between reading and swimming, until we went for an aperitif to the other side of the island, to Pecorini, to the bar La Sirena, where it is also fun to spend the night. Some rooms have a direct view of the water, and there are drinks downstairs in the bar.
Then we glided over the waves of Pecorini, admiring the boats on the roadstead and the purple sky, while music from an iPhone played in the background.
We now often sat under the pergola of La Sirena in the evening to eat one of the island’s typical dishes, spaghetti with clams, for example, or pasta with almond pesto, marinated anchovies and mixed fried seafood.
On some stretches going down the mountain, we preferred to switch off the engine, as the locals had advised us, because petrol is sometimes scarce so it is best not to put the pedal to the metal.
One of our favorite spots became the panoramic terrace of the quieter Hotel La Canna, which can also be recommended. And for a very authentic wood-fired pizza, we discovered the restaurant Il Boschetto.
On the last few evenings, after dinner, we simply went where the locals sent us and then danced with them until late into the night. Here a local is the best guide.
But what remains most memorable on Filicudi is this carefree life and the realization that you really don’t need much to be happy. Just an Italian summer on a lonely island in the southern Mediterranean.
The journey by ferry from the port of Palermo takes about 2.5 hours and costs about 50 euros round trip. On Filicudi you can either rent a vacation home or stay in a small hotel or B&B. We can recommend La Sirena on the western side and Hotel La Canna just above the harbor.
Drinks at Da Nino. Dinner at Le Punte. Pizza in the restaurant Il Broschetto.
Rent them directly at the harbour, it’s around 50 euro per day.
Around 1000 Euro per person for a week.
Hotel La Sirena
Pecorini a Mare
Filicudi / Sicily