If you go to Sicily, you have lots of opportunities. You can visit beautiful landscapes, go for a city trip. Swim at a beach, try water sports or visit historical and cultural places. Whatever your decision may be, you are sure to get unforgettable experiences for your life.
In this story, you can read about places on the mainland. It is worth mooring in their neighborhood to explore them on your own. Besides cultural sight and Antique treasures also wonders of nature will expect you in Sicily. Etna is Europe’s highest active volcano. Beyond the tourist attractions, it is also the colorful and rich local culture, the unique cuisine and wines that make Sicily a favorite destination of travelers.
This article discusses the topic in the following bullet points:
- Best place to stay in Sicily: Port cities
- What to see in Sicily: Sights outside the cities
- Best place to stay in Sicily: Recommended by the UNESCO
When you reach the shores decorated with bays, you can decide to look for a busy port city, seek a calmer town, visit nature or explore the islands around Sicily. No matter how you decide, you’ll get unforgettable experiences.
If you want a busy port city, your best options are Messina, Palermo, and Catania. These cities are the furthest away on the island, thus providing us with great variability and beauty.
Messina is called the gate of Sicily because you also arrive here first if you come from Italy. Though it has a wonderful location, it didn’t become a tourist center. The city still has many opportunities, you can explore it during the day, try local dishes and you can spend the night in various wine bars and clubs.
Palermo is in the western part of the island, on the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea, It is the largest port city in Sicily. We suggest port Marina Villa Igiea for stop or rest. The port with a sandy bottom is as deep as 5 meters and has 379 fix places. It is only used for sailing tourism and receives yachts only up to 65 meters in length.
The city with a flourishing port offers many programs to tourists. The city has a lot to explore for those who are interested. Besides local gastronomy, you can also try quality delicious street food that is available in a wide variety. If you like a busy life, then this city is a perfect choice for you, where you also find a super nightlife.
When you walk in the city, you can find the church La Martorana. It’s not very attractive from outside, but it’s beautiful inside, decorated with Byzantine golden mosaics dating from the 12ht century. You can find Europe’s third oldest opera house that has been operating since 1897 also in this city. You can visit this theatre in guided groups, tours last for half an hour.
Those wishing to see unusual things should visit the catacomb of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. This is one of the city’s most bizarre sights, where on sides of the tangled channels you see coffins and above them naturally mummified corpses in clothes. This was not arranged for torture, but to obey the command of the local abbot in the 16th century. The aim was to make monks remember they must die and also to make them prepare for death. This leisure time with 8,000 mummies is only recommended for those with strong nerves.
Catania that is the second largest city of the island is located in the east on the coast of the Ionian Sea. The city is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage list due to its unique Dome-square. Visitors unanimously agree that the city has a vivid atmosphere and it is full of life. Etna that stands close to the city gives a breathtaking view. The city is full of sights, so use the days to discover the city, while you can spend the nights at pubs and bars. It is worth knowing that Catania has been Sicily’s entertainment center.
It is worth visiting the main square of the city Piazza del Duomo that has been standing here since the end of the 17th century.
Here you can find several historical buildings, e.g. Porta Uzedát, the cathedral as well as the Elephant well. Of course, you can not only see sights on the main square but everywhere in the city. San Placido is one of the most beautiful churches of the city, you shouldn’t miss it. Lovers of castles will also find their subjects of adoration here. You can find the Ursino-castle built of lava stone in this city and it has been standing there since 1239. Its original place was on the coast, but when a volcano erupted in 1669, the coastline moved towards the east and now the castle is in the middle of a residential area.
If you have finished exploring the busy cities, don’t worry, because you still have the chance to visit beautiful and interesting places.
This city lies on a plateau, from where you get an excellent view to the sea. But this is not the main reason to visit the city, but because of the ancient Greek ruins, which are one of the most exquisite ones among ancient Greek ruins that are not in Greece. These buildings are in the Valley of Temples and some are in quite a good condition (Concordia) because they were turned into Christian churches in 597. Also, Hera’s temple can be found here.
The town of Erice is famous for the bakery products made there as well as some sights in its neighborhood. Major sights preferred by tourists are here, e.g. Pepoli, and Venus castle. When you look at the fantastic castles on mountain peaks and in the forest, you’ll understand the reason for their popularity. When you leave the town, Balio-garden is worth visiting.
Cefalu is in the north of Sicily. If you go in the direction of the mountain peak next to the town, you can find the ruins of the Arabic castle that may be added on your list of favorite castles with its special atmosphere and view. When you walk in the town, you can find famous cathedrals, wonderful beaches , and spas built by Romans.
If you want to give up civilization for a while, Nebrodi-mountains is strongly recommended to you. When you look around the landscape, it reminds you of fairy tales and you get a feeling as if you were in not in Sicily, because of lavish nature and also because it snows as much as in Switzerland. You are recommended to take a camera with charged batteries with you so that you can take some memories home with you of this unique place.
The UNESCO’s world heritage list contains many sights from all over the world and you find some of these in Sicily.
One of them that could join the list some years ago is Etna. This is an active volcano, yet it also means the home of many people. The reason why people keep staying is that volcanic soil is so excellent for fruit and wine production.
The city of Palermo that is one of the largest cities of Sicily is also on this list. Many peoples have lived here in history (Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans). As a result of that Palermo’s architecture is rich in great buildings. The city was mainly listed due to its churches, but you can also find botanical gardens here and also Italy’s most important museum of archaeology that has a really superb and fantastic collection.
Villa Romana del Casale
The Roman Villa Romana del Casale in the heart of the island is a giant and complicated villa and palace in one. The town of Piazza Armerina is not far from it. The reason for its listing is that it has a collection of Roman mosaics from the 4th century, which is the world’s richest collection of such treasures.
Val di Noto
Eight old towns of Val di Noto, Caltagirone, Scicli, Ragusa, Noto, Catania, Modica, Militello in Val di Catania and Palazzolo Acreide joined the list in 2002 because these towns preserve the memories of Europe’s Baroque art. If you are a lover of baroque art, you’ll feel like in heaven here, but of course, others are also welcome to visit these wonderful towns.
Going to south-east Sicily you can find a very special sight, that is Pantalica necropolis. You can find about 5,000 burial vaults in the rock here, most of them are not accessible. This places used to serve as a burial place between the 13th and 7th centuries b.C. It is frequently visited by curious tourists. A road was built there for easier transportation and the place was admitted on the list in 2005.
What about watching the sunrise from Etna or gazing at the stars with your aperitif in a bar, while a saxophone player plays the music of The Godfather? Sicily has inspired many foreign artists and writers and this is no chance, as it is really beautiful. There are many treasures to be discovered on the island because it offers you lots of beauties. All ages will find the programs for sure that suit them best on Sicily. Don’t hesitate, but choose this Mediterranean paradise as your target destination!
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