An Introduction to Sicily, Italy
Strategically located at the heart of the Mediterranean, Sicily is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. The island’s history is distinct from that of peninsular Italy, making it a melting pot of traditions and cultures, where some of the western world’s greatest civilizations have left their mark, from Ancient Greeks to Arabs. Well-preserved archeological sites, cathedrals, buildings, and a diverse natural landscape with stunning beaches and active volcanoes render Sicily a magical holiday destination.
Must See & Do in Sicily
Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, is a great spot to visit during your stay on the island. The must-sees in the city are the Norman Palace and the Palermo Cathedral.
One of the most popular destinations in Sicily is Taormina, nicknamed “the Pearl of Sicily”. Amazing is the Greek Theatre and the view the city offers on the Etna volcano and Isola Bella. The best spot to enjoy the panorama? The Madonna della Rocca Church.
The Etna volcano is one of the island’s main attractions. If you are up for some sporty activities, climb up and go see the Etna crater. It will be an unforgettable experience!
Cefalù is a popular touristy spot in Sicily, and rightly so: sandy beaches, medieval alleys, and the old port render Cefalù picturesque!
On the east coast of Sicily, there is the town of Syracuse. The Archaeological Park in the city is undoubtedly one of the region’s main attractions: the Roman amphitheater and the Greek Theater are truly fascinating! The Greek Theater is so well-preserved that still houses plays and concerts. If you would like to have an immersive experience during your holiday, you really should go to a show.
Sicily is known for its superb cuisine and craftsmanship. There are lots of cooking courses and crafts workshops in Sicily!
Unmissable in Sicily is The Valley of the Temples, next to the city of Agrigento. This is Sicily’s best-known archaeological site. The two best-preserved are the temple of Concorde and the temple of Hera.
Sicily is not only a great place to see ancient greek and roman sites. This Italian region is the place to be to discover the amazing baroque architecture. The Baroque towns of Noto, Modica, and Ragusa are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Sicily is more than sightseeing. Beaches and islands make the region perfect if you are looking for relaxation or outdoor activities.
The Aegadian Islands in western Sicily are ideal if you like long walks, bicycle riding, and swimming in beautiful coves. If you decide to visit the island Favignana, don’t miss Cala Rossa, a gorgeous cove surrounded by huge rocks and crystal-clear water.
In northern Sicily, you will find another set of islands, the Aeolian Islands. This volcanic archipelago is made of seven main islands, and the best known are Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, and Stromboli. Each island has its own characteristics: Lipari offers the best beaches, Salina the best hiking trails, and Stromboli a continuously active volcano.
Secret Gems of Sicily
Scala dei Turchi is a natural wonder you should not miss visiting. It is a giant white limestone cliff famous for its particular shape. As the name suggests, it looks like steps have been carved into the rock by the centuries of erosion processes. Turquoise waters and fine sand beaches surround the giant cliff. If you are looking for an extra special spot for a beach day or watching the sunset, you should visit the Scala dei Turchi.
Food & Drink of Sicily
Flavorful ingredients and influences from different culinary traditions make Sicily a paradise for everyone who loves food.
Street food is a must in Sicily. The specialties to absolutely try are the famous arancini (or arancine, depending on the city you are in), a fried ball of rice with a filling of mozzarella cheese, and ragù sauce.
Eggplants are one of the main ingredients of Sicilian cuisine. One classic way to cook eggplants is caponata, a mixed veggies side dish pan-fried with sugar and vinegar. The Parmigiana di Melanzane and Pasta alla Norma are other popular ways to eat eggplants.
Pistachios are another must in Sicilian cuisine. Delicious are the pistachios from Bronte, used to make pasta dishes as well as desserts.
Citruses cultivated in Sicily have an amazing flavor: lemons are widely used, from sweets to main dishes.
If you like seafood, try Spaghetti with Ricci di mare (sea urchins), and Pasta con le Sarde (with sardines, fennel, pine nuts, and raisins).
To refresh your palate, the granita siciliana is the best way. This sugary iced treat is delicious, and you won’t find it elsewhere in Italy.
Sicily is also famous for the sweet wines, in particular the Marsala, the Moscato Passito di Pantelleria, and the Malvasia di Lipari.