‘Think about your physique is like butter on a sunny day’: Exploring Sicily's greatest yoga and co-working spots

I stretched out as gracefully as I might, wincing at my tight hamstrings. I used to be in a big, ethereal room with floor-to-ceiling home windows, mendacity alongside a few dozen different individuals. 

Some had been skilled yogis, whereas I felt like I used to be dusting down the cobwebs from my joints. However everybody was smiling, and there was a cheerful, light-hearted environment within the room.

The right mixture of yin yoga and Sicilian dinners

The day earlier than, I would taken a ferry from Malta, the place I dwell and work as a digital nomad, over to the south-east tip of Sicily. Plenty of individuals I met didn’t understand how shut Malta is to the Sicilian island, but it surely was simply 1.5 hours by boat. It was my first time in Sicily, ending up right here after successful Euronews Journey’s competitors to remain at an all-female co-living home.

However earlier than heading there, I made a decision to make a pitstop at Floripa Yoga & Kitesurf Home for a number of days of relaxation and leisure. Fortunately the ferry cease was solely ten minutes away and I used to be picked up by Floripa’s supervisor Giada, whose sprightly vitality managed to infuse some life into my sleep-deprived being.

Over the course of the following few days, I dove into Floripa’s pleasant environment like a desert-dweller consuming spring water. I cycled by means of countryside roads lined with lush greenery, indulged in probably the most unbelievable gelato, realized methods to make a conventional Sicilian meal from scratch, and ended the day with yin yoga – the proper approach to work up an urge for food for a delicious dinner. 

‘Floripa was designed to encourage strangers to turn out to be associates’

I had felt slightly nervous about what travelling in Sicily as a solo feminine could be like. However every thing about Floripa felt designed to encourage strangers to turn out to be associates. 

When everybody sits at one lengthy eating desk, it is unattainable to not get chatting and discover out what you’ve gotten in widespread. Particularly once you’ve simply come out of a refreshing yoga class collectively. From the sighs of loosening muscle tissues to the tinkling of bells and the deep hums of the primordial sound, ‘Aum’, the night yin yoga periods weren’t solely a holistic expertise but additionally an incredible dinner dialog starter. 

We shared large plates of courgette marinated in mint and lime juice, and spicy battered tofu with a tangy sauce on the facet.

When it was time to depart a few days later, my muscle tissues felt looser than after I’d arrived. It’s exhausting to not really feel a sure ease when there’s solar in your face, a sea breeze in your hair, meals from the earth in your stomach, and pleased individuals by your facet.

Catania is within the shadow of Europe’s largest lively volcano, Mount Etna

My subsequent cease was Catania, the second largest metropolis in Sicily. Constructed greater than 9,000 years in the past, Catania is called ‘the black metropolis.’ That is because of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and most lively volcano, colouring buildings with its soot and ash. 

I used to be keen to go to its magnificent Baroque palaces and church buildings, lots of which had been erected after the 1669 eruption within the metropolis centre and have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Websites.

Whereas in Catania, I stayed at Cummari, a co-living house for solo feminine travellers. It is not a lodge or perhaps a hostel, however a extra of ‘hometel,’ which seeks to offer you dwelling comforts whilst you’re on the highway. 

The house is so tastefully designed, from the deep turquoise foyer with gold accents (which gave me luxe speakeasy vibes) to the massive and ethereal rooms with French-style home windows that permit golden hour mild filter by means of the comfortable white curtains.

The home itself is a bit of historical past; constructed within the 1800s, it’s a historic Sicilian dwelling that used to belong to 4 sisters. Miche, Cummari’s founder, travelled the world as a digital nomad for a few years earlier than settling down in Sicily. This implies she has a means of intuiting what her friends want. 

Whether or not it’s the issues all of us overlook like a notepad and pen on the desk, or the issues we didn’t know we wanted, like a way of group. Cummari means ‘associates who turn out to be like household’ and that’s simply how I felt about my fellow friends. 

Throughout my keep, I wandered by means of Catania’s historic streets, stumbling upon summertime festivals, sampling scrumptious road meals (the pistachio croissants had been my favorite), obtained a therapeutic massage, and loved limitless glasses of wine (grown in Mt. Etna’s wealthy soils) and dialog with the opposite friends. 

I used to be additionally meant to hike up Mt Etna and see recent lava from a current eruption, however an damage saved me at sea degree. However as with so many issues now we have to overlook out on when travelling, it simply provides me an excuse to return.

4 days in Catania flew by and it was now time for me to maneuver on. As I used to be packing, I mirrored on all of the small touches that made Cummari so particular, from the placement being saved hidden so friends really feel protected to the fuzzy bathrobe that made me really feel like 1,000,000 bucks after my therapeutic massage, all of it felt very well-considered. 

I headed to the railway station deeply appreciative of the expertise, making a fast cease for a white chocolate croissant and lemonade earlier than boarding the prepare to Noto.

Noto: Tradition, artwork and wine in a single stunning bundle

Noto is an enthralling city in south-eastern Sicily, recognized for its beautiful early 18th-century buildings, broadly considered among the best specimens of Sicilian Baroque structure. I had come right here for the ‘Infiorata di Noto’, an annual competition the place recent flowers are used to create magnificent murals on the streets.

As we pulled into the one platform station, Noto appeared like a completely separate universe from Catania. Though the remainder of the city gave the impression to be empty, the historic centre was busy with vacationers and locals. In preparation for the flower competition, the primary road had been cordoned off and schoolchildren had been laying down dust – creating ‘canvases’ for the murals manufactured from flowers.

I had a prepare dwelling to catch in a number of hours, so I used to be torn between leaving early so I did not miss it and staying lengthy sufficient to see the ultimate flower preparations. It jogged my memory of the odd Sicilian time period ‘Annacarsi,’ which implies to rush up and dangle round on the identical time. It is an intriguing phenomenon that, to me, suggests we have to hold going forward whereas concurrently pausing to go searching. 

So, as I waited for the murals to take form, I sat in a wine bar and gazed about, soaking in all the colors, feeling extremely grateful for this Sicilian journey earlier than the time got here for me to hit the highway once more.