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Shopping in Sicily, Italy
Sicily is not all about Mount Etna or its touristy sites. Believe me, it's also about shopping. Shopping with a difference. She doesn't boasts of mega malls, or big malls for that matter, but personalized shopping. Small, sometimes quaint looking shops which boast of local art and produce can be found easily, especially in the bigger, well-known cities.

Palermo, the city-port of Sicily is a good place to start as any. Known for its painted pottery and copper or tin products, Via Calderai, situated in the historical centre, promises to offer something for everyone. Palermo's culture and tradition can probably be seen in the famous puppets or locally termed 'pupi. Take a stroll along Corso Vittorio Emanuele to view the puppets of the famous puppet makers, Cuticchio, Mancuso and Greco workshops. Who knows, you may witness a marionette in the making. Remember to note the weights of these puppets before buying one. It averages 15kgs.

Another famous product of Sicily is the Sicilian Carretto or known as the Sicilian Cart. Although you will find other provinces also specializing in this artwork, Palermo's color of yellow and red will stand out. Often known for its traditional fruit tarts, you may want to sample the Cassata, a mouth-watering tart filled with ricotta. They guarantee you an instant sugar-fix. When shopping in Palermo, just bear in mind, most shops are closed on Monday and Sunday. Normal shopping hours are from 9am to 1pm and from 4 to 7 or 7:30pm, from Monday to Friday. Shops normally open till 8pm on Saturday.

Sicily's climatic and soil conditions favor sprawling vineyards in this region, the best known produce of which is Marsala. This sweet dessert wine is produced Marsala, a sleepy port-town of the province of Trapani, in the Northern West Coast.

Look for the famed candlelabras, usually baroque style, made in Catania as each piece is uniquely made of wood and hand-painted. Visit Caltagirone for its famous pottery. In fact, you'll find pottery everywhere in this quaint town. Take a breathtaking climb on the Scala di Santa Maria del Monte and you will understand the obsession with pottery. Made from lava stones, the pottering technique seems to be handed down by the Arabs. Sample local dried fruits, quality olive oil and red wine when passing by Mount Etna. If you are unable to resist famous Italian fashion names, visit Corso Italia when in Catania.

When travelling in the south of Sicily, do not miss Siracusa (Syracuse). Rich for its Greek history and culture, one of their famed craft is the papyrus, or paper. Some shops offer visitors an insight into paper making. Of course, the wines of Siracusa are also a must-buy.
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Sicily holiday rentals and Vacation Rentals Italy.
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