Small Medieval Village in Castelbuono

Headed to Sicily, I was obsessed with seeing old medieval architecture and eating all the food (pasta, arancini, gelato, etc). So while staying in Cefalu during the first part of our 2 week adventure, we ventured to Castelbuono, a city near Palermo.

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The village of Castelbuono is gorgeous. When you first arrive, there are large empty lots near the city where you can park your car for free (can you say a frugal spender’s dream)! It does seem sketchy but it is indeed safe and free – plenty of other tourists park there and I never heard of any problems.

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If you see this old looking structure that is kind of in a unique park, you’ve found the parking spot.

We immediately started our walk around the city with a pop in at this weird park, eating our homemade sandwich. You need energy when walking around for long periods of time and eating your own homemade sandwiches with tasty, fresh ingredients from Sicily isn’t a fail.

Once we ate, we went into the village and explored the castle.

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We didn’t go inside but we captured lots of photos of the outside (and touched it). It was magnificent. Felt like old stones and I got a vivid memory of old timey people.

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After that, we toured the village where we came to the main square that was full of shops and beautiful colors. There was some sort of early Easter celebrations going on as Sicily is majorly Catholic but it was quite cool to see and here the music.

To end our trip, we spent it getting lost. Our original plan was to walk around the town for a bit and then make our way to a little hiking path nearby but we never found it. We ultimately exhausted ourselves, looking for the path and getting lost in the medieval magic that was Castelbuono. I loved getting lost there.

Would you get lost here?

Top 3 Things To Do In Lagrasse

This summer, I was whisked off on an incredible 2.5 week journey (all expenses paid) to the South of France. Why was it all expenses paid you may ask? My boyfriend’s parents are super sweet and love my winning charm so they paid my way on the family outing. haha

Side note: What is charm? Do I have? I just try to get through situations and be polite. I’m not a feather ruffler.

Any ways, we were in the South of France and decided to make are way near Carcassonne to visit Lagrasse. If unfamiliar, it’s a commune in the Aude department in southern France. And let me tell you, it is freaking gorgeous (there’s a reason why it was named the most beautiful villages of France). It’s like what you’d think of when you think Belle in Beauty and The Beast.

The town is about maybe a 30 minute walk meaning you can literally power through the whole town in under half an hour – 45 minutes. I’m not sure why you’d want to do that because when on holiday, you should linger. Stroll, wander around (hence my blog name) and see what you may stumble across. But, if you must rush through to make your way to the next city, here are my top 3 things to do in Lagrasse.

Visit The Lagrasse Abbey

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The fee to enter is quite small (I believe about 3-4 euros a person) and you can tour this abbey on your own or join a small French or English tour group. Wander through the cloisters, see the monks in their natural habitat or explore the beautiful gardens that grow fresh thyme, basil and other herbs.

It’s serene and peaceful – the perfect place to listen in on conversations in French and learn a bit of history.

Shop Til You Drop!

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In this cute town, you’ll find leather shops, handmade soaps, handcrafted jewelry and small clothing boutiques. I ended up succumbing to the fresh leather smell wafting in this particular square, walking into the shop and buying a cute burgundy coin purse. It was totally worth the 8 euros. If leather isn’t your thing, let your senses guide you to beautifully vibrant ceramics shops, art stores, handmade crafts and more. Everything is great but be prepared to accidentally drop some cash.

Eat Everything Man

The pastries in France are fabulous but stop by for a tasty food break at La Cocotte Felee. The servers speak English and French so if you want to try your parlez vous go for it! Or just speak English and know that you’ll get what you want to eat. The salads are great but me, I always love a sweet treat. Profiteroles? Yes please!

Going to the South of France? Let me know what you enjoy most about your trip!