Shabby Chic Scicli, Sicilia

May 25, 2010

Can you say that five times, fast?

Pronounced chic-ly, Scicli is not at all chic, though I suppose you could call it shabby chic. It’s got that vintage, distressed look—complete with a baroque voluptuousness, flakey paint, and mottled sandstone walls.

Windows in Scicli, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Go if you like out-of-the-way little gems.

It was a Moorish town a millennium ago, later a Norman one, and was rebuilt in the Baroque style after the 1693 quake. Then Time forgot little Scicli until it was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002. It is slowly waking up from a long torpid slumber.

Church in Scicil, Sicily, Copyright Jann Huizenga

It has its share of ogres, meant to keep foreigners and evil spirits at bay.

Ogres in Scicli, Sicily, Copyright Jann Huizenga

Hike up to the decaying Church of San Matteo if you dare. You’ll be amply rewarded with stunning views: a sapphire sea on your left and a town that looks like a stage set at your feet.

Church of San Matteo, Scicli, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Enrico Guglioto of Pomodoro restaurant, Scicli, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga


The best place in town for lunch is Pomodoro, owned by Enrico Gugliotto (pictured here) and his brother Giuseppe (in the kitchen). It’s about a five minute walk from the baroque heart of Scicli (Corso Garibaldi 46, closed Tuesday, 0932.931.444).

And check out the gorgeous Scicli cemetery if you’re into stone cherubs and angels. It’s just outside of town.


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Readers, can you help me? Will you consider voting for my Sicily photograph in the Islands poll? Here’s the link. The link will bring you to a photo I shot of a Sicilian woman in Capo Passero (in the extreme southeast corner of Sicily). You can vote by clicking on *My Favorite* underneath the photo. (I could win a photography course and you could win a camera!) GRAZIE MILLE! (To see thumbnails of all 22 photos in the competition, click this link.)

7 comments to Shabby Chic Scicli, Sicilia

  • I just love this post, so I’ve included it in my top 10 posts on

  • Alex

    Ieri io e i meie amici siamo andati a Marina di Ragusa per un aperitivo e pizza. è una bella localita. Molto simile a San Leone (una città marina vicino Agrigento.) Ancora non sono andato à Ibla….Però quando verrò à Ibla mi piacerebbe tanto vedere la tua casa! Anche noi abbiamo una casa che vorremmo ristrutturare. E siamo sempre alla ricerca di idee. Saremo felici di portarti in giro per la Valle dei Templi, se verrai a farci visita. My wife has an extensive knowledge of the historical significance of the area and we’re always happy to spread the knowledge. I am still learning how to write in Italian…A dopo. Ciao.

    • Jann

      Ciao Alex–fammi sapere quando vieni a Ibla! Complimenti on your written Italian. It looks perfetto to me!!!! May the forza be with you on your Sicilian home remodel!

  • catherine Billups

    I love Scicli and Pomodoro is a wonderful little restaurant. The brothers are delightful, the food is delicious and the wine list is just right.

  • Karen

    I tried to click on the link to vote for your photos, but it’s not working for me. Nothing comes up enabling me to click.
    Hope you can fix it.

    • Jann

      Karen–thanks so much for trying! Who knows what the glitch could be, but it seems to work now.

  • Wow. That really looks like a city lost in time. Great post and great pictures.

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