The pearl of this century!Al-Idrisi
The well-known Arabian Geographer Al-Idrisi described Sicily this way. Neurologist Sigmund Freud also described it as:
The loveliest region of Italy: a stunning orgy of colours, scents, and lights … a great delight.Sigmund Freud
Therefore, we will provide you with the best things to do in Sicily, Italy.
Officially referred to as Regione Siciliana, Sicily is famous for its stunning beaches and coastal walks. Besides, it has charming villages and towns, snow-capped mountains, and three active volcanoes. Sicily is also known for its cultural richness, architecture, and delicious cuisine. Further, it has numerous archaeological sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There are several famous Sicilian figures. If you are a fashionista, you may know Domenico Dolce, the Sicilian fashion designer. He is one-half of the iconic luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana (D & G). Furthermore, the well-known Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes was born in Sicily’s province of Syracuse. Keep reading this article to know the best things to do in Sicily.
Sicily on the Map
Marcello Giordani, an Italian Operatic Tenor, once said:
Sicily is a blessed land. First, because of its geographic position in the Mediterranean. Second, for its history and all the different peoples who have settled there: Arabs, Greeks, Normans, the Swedes. That has made us different from others.Giordani
In the heart of the Mediterranean Sea off the toe of Italy’s boot, Sicily is the largest island in Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. It is located between Italy in the north and Tunisia in the southeast. The Strait of Messina separates Sicily from mainland Italy. However, the Strait of Sicily separates Sicily and Tunisia.
How to Get to Sicily, Italy
You can travel to Sicily by car, bus, train, plane, ferry, and ship. If you take the train to Sicily, you will enjoy the breathtaking landscapes. When crossing the sea, the train will be disassembled and embarked on a ferry where you can enjoy the dolphins that swim along the ferry.
If you are a sea lover, travel to Sicily by ferry or ship. It is possible to travel with your own vehicle on ferries. Flying is another way to reach Sicily. You can take the plane to Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO) or Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (CTA).
How Many Provinces in Sicily?
Italy has 20 regions, including Sicily which is divided into nine provinces:
- Palermo (the regional capital of Sicily).
- Catania (in the east of Sicily).
- Messina (in the east of Sicily).
- Ragusa (in the east of Sicily).
- Syracuse (in the east of Sicily).
- Enna (in the centre of Sicily).
- Caltanissetta (in the centre of Sicily).
- Trapani (in the west of Sicily).
- Agrigento (in the west of Sicily).
100 Adventurous Things to do in Sicily
With nine provinces, Sicily is one of the five Italian autonomous regions. This Mediterranean paradise has fascinating landscapes, iconic beaches, astounding mountain ranges, stunning villages, Baroque architecture, rich cultural heritage, and more.
In Sicily, you have numerous activities, like kayaking, snorkelling, diving, hiking, and monitoring the migratory birds in natural reserves. In the following lines, explore the best things to do in Sicily.
A. Things to do in Sicily’s Palermo
“Palermo was lovely. The most beautifully situated town in the world – it dreams away its life in the Conca d’Oro, the exquisite valley that lies between two seas. The lemon groves and the orange gardens were entirely perfect.”Oscar Wilde, the great Writer
Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is a province located in the northern middle of Sicily at the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has astonishing beaches, kid-friendly areas, ancient museums, beautiful gardens, historical churches, and stunning parks. The following is a list of the places you must visit in Palermo.
1. Norman Palace of Palermo
Among the top things to do in Sicily’s province of Palermo is to visit the Norman Palace of Palermo (Palazzo dei Normanni) or the Royal Palace. This fascinating palace is a perfect example of the Arab-Norman-Byzantine architectural style that appeared in the 12th century.
Explore the great modern art exhibitions and the beautiful rooms of the ancient Norman and Spanish kings. Appreciate the Palatine Chapel with its golden mosaics, the marble floor and walls, and the elaborately fretted wooden roof. Also, enjoy the enchanting views of the botanical gardens that surround the palace.
Entrance is available from Monday to Saturday from 8: 30 am to 4: 30 pm. On Sundays and holidays, entry is open from 8: 30 am to 12: 30 pm.
Tickets on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and holidays cost €19.00 per adult and €11 per 14 to 17-year-old child. You will visit the Palatine Chapel, Royal Apartments, Re Ruggero Room, Neo-Gothic Chapel, Pisan Tower, Royal Gardens, exhibition, and Punic Walls.
However, tickets cost €15.50 per adult and €9.00 per 14 to 17-year-old child on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On these days, you will visit the Palatine Chapel, Royal Gardens, exhibition, and Punic Walls only.
2. Zisa Garden
Zisa Garden (Giardino della Zisa) is another wonderful destination of Arab-Norman Palermo. Relaxing there is one of the top things to do in Sicily. Appreciate the ornamental pool, the cascades, and the fountains it has.
Zisa Garden houses Zisa Palace, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale. It is a Mediaeval Moorish palace with a Sicilian-Norman-Arab style. Explore its rooms which are full of Islamic art pieces and artefacts from the Mediterranean era.
3. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale
Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale are located on the northern coast of Sicily. In this area, explore the cathedrals of Cefalú and Monreale, three other churches, two palaces, a cathedral, and a bridge and appreciate their excellent architectural style.
This series of nine religious and civil structures shows an example of a social-cultural syncretism between Islam, Western, and Byzantine cultures in Sicily. This interchange developed new concepts of decoration and structure that spread through the Mediterranean region.
4. Palermo Cathedral
Visiting Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo) on Sicily’s north coast is among the top things to do in Sicily. It is officially known as Santa Maria Assunta or Saint Mary of the Assumption. Classified as a UNESCO Heritage site, it is one of the Arab-Norman monuments in Sicily.
Having a long history of restorations, additions, and alterations, Palermo Cathedral is characterised by Moorish, Gothic, Norman, Baroque, and Neoclassical architectural styles. Appreciate its impressive facade, fabulous interior, and stunning small cupolas.
On any Sicilian itinerary, stopping at Cefalù is worth a try. It is a charming small fishing town known for its mediaeval alleys, colourful pier-moored boats, and sandy beach. In this old town, stroll through its narrow streets and try the classic Sicilian food at one of its many restaurants. Do not forget to try their delicious ice cream or order the delicious brioche con gelato, ice cream in a brioche bun.
Cefalù Norman Cathedral
When you are in Cefalù, do not miss out on visiting the Cefalù Norman cathedral, the city’s most important building. It is among the UNESCO World Heritage site: Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale.
Appreciate this 12th-century fortress-like structure that has an Arab, Norman, and Byzantine architectural style. Walk through its cloisters and explore its soaring twin Towers with their mullioned windows. Also, discover its treasury and elaborate Byzantine Mosaics.
La Rocca di Cefalù
If you are into hiking, hike up the Salita Saraceni staircase to the top of La Rocca di Cefalù. Overlooking Cefalù, this rocky crag offers splendid views of the town and the sea. With a small entry fee, explore the castle’s ruins at the top.
Temple of Diana
While you climb to the archaeological area La Rocca di Cefalù, have a picnic at the Temple of Diana (Tempio di Diana). It is considered the oldest structure in Sicily. In ancient times, it was a sacred place. Then, the Greeks converted it into a temple. This temple is secluded from the bustling town and offers spectacular views.
During mediaeval times, Lavatoio Cefalù is built over the River Cefalino. It is a washhouse with rectangular stone pools. Walk down Via Vittorio Emanuele avenue and explore where and how the Sicilians used to wash their clothes.
Beach of Cefalù
Among the best things to do in Cefalù is to relax on the fabulous white sandy Beach of Cefalù (Spiaggia di Cefalù) and admire its heavenly views. Enjoy swimming or fishing in a boat in its crystal clear blue water. You can also go on a wonderful boat excursion to explore the grottos accessible only by water or see the town from a different view.
6. Capuchin Catacombs
Another tourist attraction in Palermo is Capuchin Catacombs. It is a museum with the largest collection of mummified and partially-skeletonised remains in Europe. Discover the ancient sacred Sicilian tradition of mummification found in the Palermitan aristocratic families.
7. Massimo Theatre
Visiting Massimo Theatre (Teatro Massimo), also called Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, is also among the top things to do in Sicily. It is Italy’s biggest opera house and Europe’s third. Known for its perfect acoustics, it is an opera house and opera company with a fascinating neoclassical-style exterior.
8. Church of San Giuseppe dei Teatini
Another fantastic destination in Palermo is Church of San Giuseppe dei Teatini (Chiesa di San Giuseppe dei Teatini). It is one of the most wonderful churches in Sicily. This 17th-century church is a remarkable example of the Sicilian Baroque architectural style.
You will get impressed by the church’s elegant dome and outstanding stuccoed Baroque-styled interior. Appreciate the beautiful frescoes in the nave and the fantastic two aisles divided by unique marble columns of variable heights.
9. Ballarò Market
Shopping at Ballarò Market is one of the best things to do in Sicily. This local market is one of the oldest and most lively in Palermo. It is a traditional street market that sells fresh fish, seafood, meat, fruits, and vegetables. From there, enjoy some exciting flavours and buy your essential needs.
10. Praetorian Fountain
The Praetorian Fountain (Fontana Pretoria) is also one of the major landmarks you should visit in Sicily. It is located in Piazza Pretoria in the heart of the historic centre of Palermo on the west flank of the Santa Caterina Church. It is said that the nuns, at this time, called Fontana Pretoria the Fountain of Shame because its statues of mythological figures are nude.
Besides the mythological figures, the fountain represents the Twelve Olympians as well as the animal heads, each with a water spout from their mouth. Representing the rivers of Palermo, these animal heads circle the entire fountain. A long 90-wood-column arbour surrounds the fountain and its 48 marble statues.
This monumental fountain becomes marvellous when it is lit up at night. Visiting this stunning landmark in the morning is also fantastic, as you will enjoy the marble gleaming on a bright sunny day. The price ranges from $31.47 to $879.22, which may vary according to the selected tour and the group size. Booking in advance is recommended.
11. Foro Italico
Visiting Foro Italico is also one of the best things to do in Sicily. It is a beautiful lawn along the seafront of Palermo. Vice-King Marco Antonio Colonna created a walking path that became a fantastic tourist attraction in this area. While walking along the trail or relaxing in front of the sea, enjoy the clear blue water and the vast green spaces.
12. Porta Felice
Taking selfies in front of Porta Felice is also one of the best things to do in Sicily. It is a monumental city gate at the water-side entrance of Cassaro, the most ancient street in Foro Italico. Admire the imposing look of Porta Felice with its excellent Renaissance Baroque style.
13. Porta Nuova
Another monumental city gate in Palermo is Porta Nuova. It is at the entrance of Cassaro but from Corso Calatafimi, the way to Monreale. Porta Nuova is near Palazzo dei Normanni. With its Baroque style, the gate has two facades. One facade has triumphal arches, and the other has four telamons of Moors.
14. Zafferano Cape
Located on the northern coast of Sicily, visiting the Zafferano Cape (Capo Zafferano) with its breathtaking views is one of the most adventurous things to do in Sicily. Enjoy hiking the stunning mountains surrounding the cape. Besides, snorkelling and swimming are great activities there.
Capo Zafferano Lighthouse
Capo Zafferano Lighthouse is a notable place on the cape. It is considered the eastern entrance to the port of Palermo and is located under a steep ridge. It consists of an octagonal white tower, a balcony with a white lantern, and a grey metallic lantern dome.
Seaside Villa Capo Zafferano
Seaside Villa Capo Zafferano is another stunning place near the cape. Relaxing at this villa is one of the top things to do in Sicily. Overlooking Capo Zafferano, the villa with its modern architecture is located on a rocky slope on the northern coast of Sicily. Sunbathe and enjoy the fascinating views of the sea and the nearby mountains in this fascinating villa.
15. Blue Arch
Walking across the Blue Arch (Arco Azzurro) is one of the top exciting things to do in Sicily. This iconic tourist attraction is located northeast of Aspra in Palermo, Sicily. It is a natural rocky arch that connects two mountains in the sea, giving an astonishing view. Are you ready to cross it?
16. Parco Piersanti Mattarella
To relax and stroll in a tranquil place, head to the Piersanti Mattarella Park (Parco Piersanti Mattarella), also known as English Garden (Giardino Inglese). Enjoy wandering around this English-style city garden. Also, admire the monuments, sculptures, trees, and the ornamental pool with fountains. Having a picnic in the Piersanti Mattarella Park is one of the best things to do in Sicily.
17. Riserva Naturale di Capo Gallo
Suppose you want to relax while enjoying the magnificent views of nature. In that case, Riserva Naturale di Capo Gallo is the right place for you. Enjoy the fantastic cliffs, the splendid caves and the wonderful habitats for the falcons, the owls and the buzzards.
If you are a scientific researcher, visiting this natural reserve is one of the top things to do in Sicily. It has become a scientific destination for all researchers worldwide since it hosts species of phytogeographic interest or faunal value.
18. Area Archeologica di Solunto
Also, among the best things to do in Sicily is to explore the remains of the Hellenistic Roman town of Solunto. This archaeological site has a small archaeological museum, ancient pottery, sculpture, glassware, and domestic utensils that you can explore.
19. Sicani Mountains
Climbing Sicani Mountains (Monti Sicani) is also one of the best things to do in Sicily. It is a mountain chain in central-southern Sicily between Agrigento and Palermo. From the top of one mountain, enjoy the charming landscape and the sun rays passing through the clouds to the top of the greenery and the other mountains. On the mountains, you can explore some mammals, many reptiles and numerous species of rare birds.
Mountain of Roses
In this area, hiking the Mountain of Roses (Monte delle Rose) is one of the most entertaining things to do in Sicily. It is on the border of Palermo and Agrigento and is known for its various herbs.
20. Mount Pellegrino
Mount Pellegrino is the most beautiful promontory, as the German poet, Goethe, described. When hiking this granite-covered mountain, enjoy the fantastic panoramic views of the city, the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea, and the great surrounding mountains.
21. La Favorita Park
At the foot of Mount Pellegrino, La Favorita Park (Parco della Favorita), also known as Real Tenuta della Favorita, has the vastest green area in Palermo. Located in the Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Pellegrino, enjoy taking a tour between citrus, walnuts, and olive trees in the park. If you are into hunting, there is a hunting reserve in the park where you can hunt woodcocks and rabbits. Exercising, strolling, and breathing fresh air are also some great activities you can do in the park.
22. Fossa della Garofala
In addition, strolling in Fossa della Garofala is one of the top things to do in Sicily. It is located in Viale delle Scienze, a narrow valley full of cultural heritage. Relax on the lush green vegetation in this quiet place and enjoy the picturesque landscape.
23. Palermo Botanical Garden
Are you a lover of plants? Want to have a peaceful mind in a quiet place? Relaxing at Palermo Botanical Garden (L’Orto Botanica di Palermo) is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily. It has around 12,000 species of spectacular plants.
Explore the Aquarium, a large round pool that consists of three concentric rings. Each ring is divided into eight wedges, and each wedge is home to various aquatic plants. You will also be fascinated by the small ponds and the informally arranged plants in the lagoon.
If you are a researcher, L’Orto Botanico di Palermo is also a research and educational institution for the Department of Botany at the University of Palermo. You can explore the Caldarium and the Tepidarium which house plants from warm and temperate zones, respectively. You can also explore its greenhouses, biological and geographical zones, herbarium, experimental and research zones, and flora gene banks.
24. Castello a Mare
One of the best things to do in Sicily is to visit Castello a Mare or Castellammare. It is an ancient fortress at the entrance of Palermo port. Appreciate its fortified gate, the Norman keep, and the remains of a Renaissance star-shaped defence. Not all the remains are open to the public.
25. Vucciria Market
In the heart of the old city, Vucciria Market (Mercato della Vucciria) is the oldest market in Palermo. Purchasing everyday needs and affordable souvenirs from there is one of the best things to do in Sicily. It is an open-air street market with vegetables, fruits, seafood, and meat stalls. There are also stalls of bric-a-brac, old photos, postcards, hats, and more. If you are hungry, the market has areas for street food where you can sit and eat.
26. AcquaPark Monreale
Are you and your kids fond of water and water games? Visiting AcquaPark Monreale is one of the top things to do in Sicily with kids. You have endless choices of water play areas, such as water slides, swimming pools, waterfalls and water playgrounds There are also areas for sunbathing. If you feel hungry after playing, you can have lunch in the on-site restaurant or pizzeria.
27. Toy Park Beach
Like AcquaPark Monreale, Toy Park Beach is a beautiful amusement park in Mondello, Palermo. Having fun there is among the top things to do in Sicily with kids. Your kids will enjoy the water slides, the swimming pools, the 6D cinema, the merry-go-round, and many other games.
28. Mondello Beach
Only 12 km north of Palermo, Mondello Beach (Spiaggia di Mondello) is one of the most beautiful and best beaches in Sicily. Offering stunning vistas of a long-curved white sandy bay, appreciate the calm and clear water of Mondello Beach and its historic seaside village.
Enjoy many beach sports, such as beach tennis, paddle boarding and beach volleyball. The beach is surrounded by many restaurants and small shops where you can drink a cup of coffee and get a sandwich. Swimming and staying on the beach, as well as using the toilets and the showers, are free. However, you have to pay if you want to have a chair and a parasol.
B. Things to do in Sicily’s Catania
Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily after Palermo. On Sicily’s east coast, it is an ancient port city at the foot of Mount Etna, the biggest volcano in Europe. It is the first economic and industrial hub, famous for its petrochemical industry and sulphur extraction. Catania has several fantastic mountains and marine reserves. In the following lines, we list the top things to do in Sicily’s Catania.
29. Mount Etna
On Sicily’s east coast, Mount Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe, at 3,326 metres high (10,912 feet). The last eruption period of this stratovolcano started in February 2021. Due to the explosions at the crater, the highest part of the volcano is closed to tourists. Go hiking safely in the lower parts of the volcano. Hiking Mount Etna is one of the top exciting things to do in Sicily.
30. Via Etnea
If you are into shopping, head to Via Etnea, Catania’s monumental shopping street. Connecting Piazza Duomo and Villa Bellini, it is around 3 km2 long and is lined with shops, cafés, and restaurants. You can visit this thoroughfare in the morning or evening and enjoy it to the full! From here, you can head up to many other attractions, including Monastero dei Benedettini, Ursino Castello, Piazza Università, Piazza Stesicoro, and several churches.
Taking a guided walking or segway tour around Via Etnea is among the most exciting things to do in Sicily. Appreciate the historical grand buildings and monuments and walk through the shops and restaurants there. Also, enjoy the magical views of Mount Etna, framed by the beautiful cityscape.
31. Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo is at the southern end of Via Etnea. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the central and most beautiful square in Catania. Strolling along the streets of Piazza del Duomo is among the top things to do in Sicily.
Appreciate the surrounding historic Baroque-style buildings, including the grand Cattedrale di Sant’Agata. Also, enjoy the three-day annual festival of Saint Agatha, Catania’s most important religious festival, which begins on 3 February and ends on 5 February each year.
32. Basilica Cattedrale Sant’Agata V.M.
Visiting Basilica Cattedrale Sant’Agata V.M, or Catania Cathedral, is also among the top things to do in Sicily. Dedicated to Saint Agatha, it is a majestic building in the heart of the city with a Baroque-style facade. It has a dome and a more than 90-metre-high bell tower that is the third-largest in Italy.
Its parvise is also fascinating. To access it, walk through a marble facade that culminates with wrought iron. What separates the parvise from the cathedral square is a white stone balustrade. Along it, you will be impressed by the five wonderful giant Carrara marble statues of saints.
In addition, the cathedral has three levels with granite Corinthian columns. Many fascinating marble statues decorate these orders. Over the gate, there are marble statues of Saint Agatha. Further, there are statues of Saint Euplius on the right and statues of Saint Birillus on the left.
Basilica Cattedrale Sant’Agata V.M. also has a giant main wooden door. The door has 32 sculpted plaques which represent the life and martyrdom of Saint Agatha, the papal coats of arms, and some symbols of Christianity. When you enter the cathedral, you will be fascinated by the spectacular decorations. So prepare your camera and take loads of astonishing photos.
Inside the cathedral is a Latin cross-ground plan with two aisles and a nave. In the southern aisle, visit the baptistry, a canvas of Saint Febronia of Nisibis, and the tomb of the composer Vincenzo Bellini. Between the southern aisle and the nave, admire the notable Chapel of St. Agatha and the Baroque monument of Bishop Pietro Galletti.
In the northern aisle, enjoy several beautiful 17th-century paintings of saints. Also, explore the Chapel of the Holy Crucifix at the end of the transept in the north. This chapel has the tombs of the Aragonese branch of Sicily’s members, including King Frederick III, King Louis, Queen Constance, and John, Duke of Randazzo.
The decorative 12th-century apse will impress you. It has a late 16th-century choir, mediaeval mullioned windows, and several beautiful statues.
33. Palace of Chierici
Facing Piazza del Duomo is the Palace of the Seminary of the Clerics (Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici). It is also known as the Palace of Chierici (Palazzo dei Chierici). Visiting it is one of the best things to do in Sicily. Located beside the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, Palazzo dei Chierici is a monumental, imposing building with a black and white facade. Appreciate the elaborately decorated large window frames and the Baroque-style balconies.
34. Palace of Elephants
On Piazza del Duomo’s north side is the Palace of Elephents (Palazzo degli Elefanti). This historic building houses the city’s Town Hall. That’s why it is also known as the Town Hall. At the entrance, you will find a staircase opening with four wonderful porticoes. On the second floor, exploring a series of large religious and historical oil paintings is one of the best things to do in Sicily.
35. Fountain of Elephant
Located between Palazzo dei Chierici and Palazzo degli Elefanti, appreciate the stunning Fountain of Elephant (Fontana dell’Elefante), the symbol of Catania. This fountain includes a smiley black-lava stone statue of an elephant surmounted by an Egyptian obelisk marked with hieroglyphs. Exploring it is among the most exciting things to do in Sicily.
36. La Pescheria
Behind Piazza del Duomo is a bustling, colourful seafood market called La Pescheria (Piscaria in Sicilian). It is one of Sicily’s largest fish markets that retains and preserves ancient folklore. Besides the fish stalls, there are stalls for fruits, citrus fruits, and Catania’s typical products.
In this old market fish, you will find various fish species. The experts in the fish market will tell you how to pick the best fish and prepare it. You must try some tasty seafood dishes at one of the several seafood restaurants surrounding the fish market.
37. University Square
Bisected by Via Etnea, University Square (Piazza dell’Universita) is in the historic centre of Catania north of Piazza del Duomo. Relaxing at this city square is among the top things to do in Sicily. Enjoy the beautiful Baroque-style buildings there and admire the stunning university building with its glorious arched courtyard. At night, the university is lit up, creating a magical atmosphere.
38. Villa Bellini
A short walk from Catania’s main thoroughfare, Via Etnea, will lead you to Villa Bellini, also known as Giardino Bellini. Relaxing there is among the best things to do in Sicily. This city’s central park is one of Italy’s most exquisite public gardens. It is named after Vincenzo Bellini, the local-born composer.
Villa Bellini is known for its botanical variety because it contains over 100 species of plants and flowers. It also has a vast area of greenery and several hilltop viewpoints where you can look at Catania and Mount Etna. Escape the noise of the hectic city life and unwind in such a serene place. You can enjoy strolling in the scenic walkways in the shade of towering palm trees and fig trees.
39. Teatro Massimo Bellini
If you are into musical performances, head to Teatro Massimo Bellini! Also named after the Catanian composer Vincenzo Bellini, it is a remarkable opera house located in Piazza Vincenzo Bellini, Catania. Going there is one of the top things to do in Sicily.
Once you go there, you will get impressed by the spectacular neo-Baroque-style facade. Inside it, you will appreciate the ornate and stuccoed marble foyer, along with the painted ceiling that depicts scenes from Bellini’s famous operas. You will also admire the red-plush interior with the four tiers and the main floor seating that has 1200 seats. There is also a fantastic statue of Bellini between its central arches.
40. Ursino Castle
From Via Etnea, you can head to Ursino Castle (Catello Ursino) or Castello Svevo di Catania. It is one of the significant landmarks in Sicily and a symbol of authority and imperial power. Emperor Frederick II ordered to build it to fortify the east coast of Sicily between 1239 and 1250. Snooping around this 13th-century castle is one of the top things to do in Sicily.
The devastating eruption of Mount Etna in 1669 caused the lava to flow to the south of the castle, creating a new strip of land. Consequently, the castle was locked entirely and no longer surrounded by sea. What actually survives from Frederick’s time are the castle’s north-side rooms.
This castle turned into a prison in the 16th century. The prisoners wrote inscriptions and scrawled graffiti on the walls. Despite the several renovations of the castle, these inscriptions and graffiti are still visible on the ground floor.
From 1934 till now, this royal castle houses a gallery of local art. Explore some unusual artworks and paintings attributed to local artists, including El Greco. It also includes Greek and Roman artefacts and colossal classical sculptures. You will be amazed by the remarkable mosaics and the beautiful ceramics there.
Ursino Castle has also become home to the Museo Civico (Civic Museum). In the museum, appreciate the valuable archaeological collections of the Benedictine monastery. These priceless collections belong to the Biscaris, Catania’s most important aristocratic family. Also, explore some findings of Baron Asmundo-Zappalà, donated by him to the castle.
41. Benedictine Monastery
From Via Etnea, you can also visit Benedictine Monastery (Monastero dei Bendettini), one of the biggest Benedictine monasteries in Europe. This late Sicilian Baroque-style building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can explore Catania’s human and historical events of Catania. Visiting it is one of the top things to do in Sicily.
42. Aci Trezza
Also, among the top things to do in Sicily is to visit Aci Trezza, a popular spot for Italians on vacations. It is a Sicilian town with a seaside resort on the coast of the Ionian Sea. Relax on its rocky beaches and appreciate the wonderful views of the black volcanic sand and crystal clear blue water. You will find three prominent sea stacks on its coast.
Casa del Nespolo Museum
In the heart of Aci Trezza, explore the old house Casa del Nespolo Museum with its photos, posters, and materials from the “I Malavoglia” movie. In the museum, La stanza dei Malavoglia (Malavoglia’s room) exhibits the furnishings and materials of the sailors that inhabited Aci Trezza in the 19th century.
43. Storico dello Sbarco Museum
Are you interested in exploring the history of World War II? Visiting the three-floor Museo Storico dello Sbarco is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily. It is part of the Le Ciminiere museum complex that represents the allied landings in Sicily. Offering multimedia exhibits, it narrates the events that took place in Sicily from 10 July to 8 September 1943.
44. Amphitheatre of Catania
Visiting the Roman Amphitheatre of Catania in Piazza Stesicoro is also among the most exciting things to do in Sicily. Adorned by statues and columns, the amphitheatre was built with lava rocks in an elliptical shape and covered with marble.
The cavea, the audience and orchestra space, was built with limestone blocks partially covered with marble. It was separated by two corridors and divided into sections by small lava stone ladders. The arches were constructed with large rectangular red bricks.
The ruins of the amphitheatre are now used as foundations for some buildings near the square, such as Villa Cerami, Palazzo Tezzano, and the church of San Biagio.
C. Things to do in Sicily’s Messina
Messina, another province in Sicily, is the 13th largest city in Italy. It is most famous for the Strait of Messina, which connects Sicily’s east with Calabria’s west in Southern Italy. Here are some beautiful places you should visit in Messina, Sicily.
Were a man to spend only one day in Sicily and ask, “What must one see?” I would answer him without hesitation, “Taormina.” It is only a landscape, but a landscape where you find everything on earth that seems made to seduce the eyes, the mind, and the imagination.Guy de Maupassant, French Writer
One of the best things to do in Sicily is to visit Taormina, a hilltop town on Sicily’s east coast. With magnificent views of Etna, Catania, and Isola Bella, it offers plenty of unique places where you can visit and enjoy.
Ancient Theatre of Taormina
Taormina is most known for the remarkable Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina (Teatro Antico di Taormina). It is the most spectacular ancient venue for the annual arts festival, Taormina Arte. From there, take in the astonishing views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea.
Taormina is also famous for its notable small island Isola Bella (Ìsula Bedda in Sicilian). You will find a narrow path that connects the mainland beach and the island that is surrounded by sea caves. Relaxing on the island’s stunning rocky beach and enjoying the enchanting views along the coast of Taormina is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily.
Located in the bay north of Isola Bella, Mazzarò Beach (Baia di Mazzarò) is a must-visit spot on the east coast of Sicily. It is one of Sicily’s most elegant and sought-after pebble beaches. It has free public areas and private beach clubs.
On the beach, rent a deck chair and a parasol and relax. Relaxing there is one of the most beautiful things to do in Sicily. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the blue water, the yellow beach and the greenery around the area.
You can also take a boat tour along the coastline to explore the hidden gems. Some boat tours will stop in the middle for snorkelling and having lunch at a seaside restaurant.
From Mazzarò Beach, take a boat trip to explore well-known caves, such as the Blue Grotta (Grotta Azzurra), a beautiful cave on the isle of Capri. You will enjoy the splendid views of the sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and creating a blue reflection on the seawater. The seawater then shines and illuminates the cave. That is why exploring it is one of the fun things to do in Sicily.
Piazza IX Aprile
Piazza IX Aprile is the main square of Taormina. Going to this picturesque tourist attraction is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily. This bustling square offers open-air cafes where you can drink coffee while listening to live music. There are also open-air shops to buy all your needs. The views of the shoreline and the old architecture along the streets are sparkling, especially in the evening.
Madonna della Rocca
Visiting Madonna della Rocca, literally “Mary of the rock”, is also one of the top things to do in Sicily. This historic chapel was built into a rocky hillside overlooking Taormina. To reach it, walk up the steps and enjoy the magical views along the road.
Since the steps to the church are long, there is a restaurant and a pop-up cafe where you can relax and get a cup of coffee. When you enter the church, you will get impressed by its stunning cosy interior and rocky roof. You will also enjoy the mesmerising views of the city and the coast.
46. Riserva Naturale Orientata Laguna di Capo Peloro
Among the top things to do in Sicily’s Messina province is to relax at Riserva Naturale Orientata Laguna di Capo Peloro. This astonishing natural reserve is ideal for picnicking and having fun with your family.
Also known as Punta del Faro, Capo Peloro is a cape in northeastern Sicily with more than 400 aquatic species and a lighthouse in the Strait of Messina. Take a boat trip and enjoy the incredible landscape of the lagoon.
47. Acquario Comunale
If you love fish and other water creatures and plants, visiting Acquario Comunale in Villa Mazzini is one of the fun things to do in Sicily. With 22 tanks and eight aquariums, explore around 70 species of fish, shellfish, reptiles, mussels, and endemic creatures. Do not miss out on visiting the marine fauna museum attached to the Municipal Aquarium.
48. Pantano Piccolo
Another must-visit tourist attraction in Sicily is Pantano Piccolo. It consists of two sparkling lakes with a beautiful landscape. Strolling along the lakes with your companions is one of the top things to do in Sicily. Alternatively, taking a boat trip and watching different species of migratory birds are also fascinating.
49. Windsurf Club Messina
Do you like windsurfing? Having fun in Windsurf Club Messina is one of the top amusing things to do in Sicily. In this social club, enjoy many activities, such as windsurfing, stand-up paddle (SUP) and sailing a boat or a catamaran. If you are a professional or still a beginner, you will enjoy the companions in the club!
50. Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo in Messina is among the must-visit destinations in Sicily. It is always full of tourists and has many attractions and souvenir shops. Additionally, it is overlooked by the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica, its bell tower with the self-propelled astronomical clock and the Fountain of Orion.
Piazza del Duomo is home to Messina’s Cathedral (Duomo di Messina). Visiting this unique cathedral is one of the top things to do in Sicily. Its history traces the entire history of Messina because it has been destroyed several times over the centuries by earthquakes and wars and reconstructed.
Appreciate the cathedral’s spectacular perimeter walls and its Gothic portals. Also, explore the Treasury of the Cathedral. The Treasury is a collection of sacred furnishings, reliquaries and vestments; many of which were made by Messina’s silversmith masters.
Do not miss out on exploring the most important piece of the treasury, the Golden Manta, made by the Florentine goldsmith and architect Innocenzo Mangani with the help of Messina’s silversmith Giovan Gregorio Juvarra in 1659. You will also find other pieces, including a pine cone in rock crystal from the 10th century and silver-enamelled reliquaries of San Marziano, San Nicola and San Paolo.
Bell Tower and Astronomical Clock (Orologio Astronomico)
In addition, Piazza del Duomo is home to the beautiful 197-foot bell tower of Messina’s Cathedral. The bell tower has the world’s largest and most complex astronomical clock, Orologio Astronomico. Going there is one of the top exciting things to do in Sicily. At noon, the clock comes to life. Both tourists and locals gather to watch the spectacular show. It is recommended to come early to find a place on the benches.
During the 12-minute show, you will see mechanical and bronze statues striking the hour and replaying allegorical scenes. You will also listen to bells chiming, roosters crowing and lions roaring. After the show, get inside the bell tower and climb the staircase to closely see the complex internal mechanism of gears and weights that makes the statues move. From the top of the bell tower, you will enjoy the astonishing views of the city as well as the strait between Sicily and Italy.
Another must-see tourist attraction in Piazza del Duomo is Orion Fountain (Fontana di Orione) or Montorsoli’s Fountain. Fontana di Orione has a pyramid-shaped centre with mythological statues. The base represents four rivers: the Nile, the Ebro, the Tiber, and the Camaro. The latter provides the fountain with water.
Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli constructed Fontana di Orione to celebrate the completion of the first aqueduct in Messina. He was Michelangelo Buonarroti’s collaborator and one of his students. Using some of Michelangelo’s ideas, Montorsoli created one of the most beautiful fountains of the European Renaissance with the assistance of Messina’s scientist Francesco Maurolico. Enjoying this masterpiece is one of the top things to do in Sicily.
51. Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani
Among the best things to do in Sicily is Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani. It is one of the best examples of Sicilian-Norman architecture, along with other cultural elements, including Arab, Byzantine and Roman. Due to a catastrophic earthquake, the church is now located three metres below the reconstructed street level.
52. Lake of Ganzirri
If you are into fishing, the Lake of Ganzirri (Lago di Ganzirri) is your perfect destination. The lake is fed by rainwater, groundwater and several small streams. Therefore, you will find diverse fishes in the lake. Exploring the wildlife in the area is also one of the top exciting things to do in Sicily.
Enjoy the charming landscape of the fish jumping out of the lake’s clear blue water. Walking along the lake on a sunny day while watching fishermen is also fantastic. After a long day, relax at one of the surrounding restaurants and try one of their fish recipes.
53. Pilone di Torre Faro
Near the Lake of Ganzirri is a 232-metre-high Sicilian tower called Pilone di Torre Faro. Going there is among the top things to do in Sicily. It is one of two free-standing steel towers: one in Calabria and the other in Sicily. Each pylon consists of a cross-shaped base, a crossbar with four conductors and a V-shaped structure at the top with two additional conductors and ground wires.
54. Interdisciplinary Regional Museum of Messina
The Interdisciplinary Regional Museum of Messina (Museo Regionale Interdisciplinare di Messina) on Messina’s northern coast is one of the lesser-known attractions in Sicily. Visiting it is among the top fun things to do in Sicily. This brilliant art museum takes you through Messina’s history. You will be impressed by the extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, decorative art and archaeology.
D. Things to do in Sicily’s Province of Ragusa
Ragusa is another Sicilian province known as the city of two halves. Located in the southeast of Sicily, it has numerous Sicilian-Baroque-style buildings, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Here is a list of the top things to do in Sicily’s Ragusa.
Modica is a fascinating ancient town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southeastern Sicily. It is famous for its Baroque-style buildings, such as the Cathedral of St. George, the Museum of Casa Natale Salvatore Quasimodo and the Archaeological Museum of Museo Civico Franco Libero Belgiorno.
Chocolate Museum of Modica
For centuries, Modica has been the European Capital of chocolate, the city of chocolate, the centre of chocolatiers and the centre of specialised chocolate production. That is why the Chocolate Museum of Modica (Museo del Cioccolato di Modica) was created to protect and maintain the centuries-old chocolate tradition.
If you are a chocolate addict, don’t miss out on visiting this chocolate cultural heritage museum in Palazzo della Cultura. Visiting is one of the fun things to do in Sicily. In the museum, you will be impressed by the numerous chocolate sculptures. Also, take an explanatory tour to learn the steps of processing Modica chocolate. The chocolate of Modica has several flavours: vanilla, cinnamon, citrus fruits, coffee, chilli, or carob. Which one would you taste first?
56. Punta Cirica o Cozzo Ciriga
If you want to relax on an outstanding beach, go to Punta Cirica at once. Having fun there is among the fun things to do in Sicily with your kids. Enjoy the tranquil blue water and the beautiful landscape. Swimming with your kids in Punta Cirica is also a perfect choice. Additionally, there are unique caves and arches on the shingle beach that you can explore with your little kids.
57. Riserva Naturale Foce del Fiume Irminio
Among the top free things to do in Sicily is to visit Riserva Naturale Foce del Fiume Irminio. Also known as Marina di Ragusa, it is a beautiful wildlife reserve in Sicily. Enjoy sunbathing on the beach of the river or swimming in the clear water.
58. Riserva Naturale Speciale Biologica “Macchia Foresta Fiume Irminio”
Another beautiful tourist attraction in Ragusa is Macchia Foresta Fiume Irminio. Visiting this wildlife reserve is among the most exciting things to do in Sicily. Explore many species of animals and migratory birds. Also, explore the Mediterranean scrub, the sea lily, the radish, the juniper and more. On the beach, there are small cliffs sloping down to the water, enabling you to reach the river that is full of dwarf palms, thyme, and agave.
59. Riserva Naturale Orientata Pino d’Aleppo
There is another natural reserve in Ragusa called Riserva Naturale Orientata Pino d’Aleppo on the Ippari River. The primary purpose of this Natural Oriented Reserve of Aleppo Pine is to protect the Aleppo Pine and reestablish the pine forests that were degraded.
Besides Aleppo Pine, it has other species of astounding plants. There are also different species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Exploring these wonderful destinations is one of the best things to do in Sicily.
60. Lago di Santa Rosalia
The only lake in Ragusa, Sicily, is Lago di Santa Rosalia. Visiting it is among the fun things to do in Sicily. It is a breathtaking artificial lake created after building the dam for agricultural use and recreational fishing. Enjoy its charming blue water that is surrounded by spectacular hills, bushes and green trees.
61. Palazzo Spadaro di Scicli
Also, among the top things to do in Sicily is to visit the wonderful Palazzo Spadaro di Scicli which belongs to the Spadaro family. Its Sicilian Baroque-style facade perfectly integrates with its Liberty-style interior.
The main staircase leading to the palace is divided into two parts: one for the noble with sophisticated paintings and decorations and the other for the family and the servants with simple paintings. The palace has eight balconies with railings curved downwards so women wearing luxurious clothes of the time could look out. There are also numerous rooms decorated with marvellous paintings and frescoes.
62. Antica Farmacia Cartia
If you fancy exploring what a pharmacy looked like in 19th-century Sicily, head to the Antica Farmacia Cartia in Ragusa. Exploring this ancient pharmacy with its wonderful Baroque-style facade is one of the top adventurous things to do in Sicily. The pharmacy contains glass jars, glass syringes, labelled ceramic pots and original aspirin. Part of this unique experience is the smell of the old medicine. Entry is available with small fees.
63. Ragusa Ibla
Ragusa Ibla, or just Ibla, is the ancient city of Ragusa and one of Italy’s most important cities. It has several artistic and archaeological riches dating back thousands of years. That is why it was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.
Ragusa Ibla is home to several charming 17th-century Baroque-style palaces and churches. It is also famous for its stunning cultural attractions, including the Duomo di San Giorgio and Giardino Ibleo. Enjoy walking along its streets while appreciating the ancient Baroque architecture.
Ambling along the tree-lined paths of Hyblean Gardens (Giardini Iblei) is one of the relaxing things to do in Sicily. Located in the ancient centre of Ragusa Ibla, these public gardens are the oldest among Ragusa’s four main gardens.
Appreciate the vast green spaces and the stunning view of the fountain. Also, admire the magnificent landscapes of the Hyblaean Mountains and the Irminio River Valley. After a long day of walking, relax at one of the old stone benches in the gardens.
Palazzo Arezzo di Trifiletti
If you are into visiting a noble palace of an aristocratic family, just head to Palazzo Arezzo di Trifiletti where you can see how the Arezzo family lived in the 19th century. The palace is located in Ragusa’s historical centre opposite Piazza del Duomo and Duomo di San Giorgio.
Snooping around the palace is one of the best things to do in Sicily. Explore its fabulous ballroom with its ancient Neapolitan majolica, made from 18th and 19th-century frescoes. Enjoy the stunning views of the Duomo di San Giorgio from its windows. Booking in advance is recommended.
E. Things to do in Sicily’s Syracuse
On Sicily’s southeastern coast lies the Province of Syracuse, where you can enjoy its unique magnificent attractions. Founded in 734 BC, it was one of the biggest Greek cities in the ancient era. It is known for its rich Greek and Roman history, architecture, culture, and amphitheatres. It is also known to be the birthplace of the pre-eminent engineer Archimedes. In Syracuse, visiting the following splendid spots is among the top things to do in Sicily.
64. Island of Ortigia
The greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all.Cicero
Cicero described the Island of Ortigia or Città Vecchia this way. Located on the southeastern coast of Sicily, the island is separated from Syracuse by a narrow channel. What connects it to mainland Sicily are some bridges.
Visiting the Island of Ortigia is one of the top things to do in Sicily. It is a popular tourist attraction in Syracuse where you can shop, have fun, explore historical landmarks and admire the environmental destinations. As the historical centre of Syracuse, it is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Fountain of Arethusa
On the Island of Ortigia, there is a spectacular fountain called the Fountain of Arethusa or Arethusa Spring. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the fountain, adorned with papyrus and populated with ducks and fish. Cicero also described it as follows:
An amazingly great source, full of fish, and so are the waves of the sea would flood if it was not protected by a massive stone wall.Cicero
On the Island of Ortigia, visiting the Bellomo Museum is also one of the top things to do in Sicily. Appreciate its outstanding mediaeval and modern art collection, including paintings, sculptures, and other art crafts. Also, find the most famous painting, the Annunciation, by Antonello.
Doric Temple of Apollo
Another must-see tourist attraction on the island is the remains of the Doric Temple of Apollo. Doric Temple of Apollo is the first Doric temple of its kind in Sicily. It is made of clay with an amazing hexastyle facade and a continuous colonnade around the perimeter.
If you feel hungry, stop in Piazza Duomo and have lunch in a relaxing cafe. A symbol of Baroque architecture, it is known for its sand-coloured monuments that reflect Sicilian warmth.
With its semi-elliptical shape, Piazza Duomo includes the facades of the Baroque Cathedral of Syracuse and the Church of Saint Lucia. You can see the Temple of Athena’s Doric columns along the outer walls of the cathedral.
65. Archaeological Park of Néapolis
You should split your visit to Syracuse into two parts. The first part is to explore the fascinating Island of Ortigia while the second is to visit the Archaeological Park of Néapolis (Parco Archeologico della Néapolis). Located in the heart of Syracuse, it has essential ruins of the old Greek-Roman city of Syracuse. It also includes the ancient Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Altar of Hieron, the Ear of Dionysius, many caves and other Roman relics.
Ear of Dionysius
In the archaeological park, you will find the Ear of Dionysius (Orecchio di Dionisio). Similar in shape to the human ear, the acoustic effects inside this artificial limestone grotto are exceptional. Voices and small sounds can resonate through the cave up to 16 times. It also amplifies the quietest sounds, i.e. tearing a piece of paper. You can hear the amplified sound through an over-70-feet-high opening at the top of the cave.
66. Latomia del Paradiso
Near the Ear of Dionysius is Latomia del Paradiso. Going there is one of the most impressive things to do in Sicily. It is an archaeological site where you can appreciate the old ruins and explore the hidden gems of this natural quarry with its numerous cliffs, caverns and fissures. Enjoy strolling along the scenic paths while hearing the wonderful singing of birds and smelling the amazing scents of flowers.
67. Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi
Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi is an archaeological museum with an archaeological park. Explore its wonderful wide range of collections of ancient Greek-Sicilian coins. Also, see the iconic statue of Venus Anadyomene that portrays Venus rising from the sea.
Enjoy a big collection of prehistoric, Greek and Roman artefacts and statues. If you are a fan of old pottery, there is an excellent collection of Greek pottery in the museum. You can also explore the rocks and fossils that testify to various animals.
68. Tecnoparco Museo di Archimede
Visiting Tecnoparco Museo di Archimede is one of the top adventurous things to do in Sicily. From water pumps to catapults and machinery used once to defend the city, this open-air science and technology museum is dedicated to the Greek mathematician Archimedes, who was born in Sicily.
In the museum, find out more about Archemides’ life and explore replicas of his technological innovations. You can also play a virtual reality game by going to a siege in an ancient setting and using the tool invented by Archimedes to defend the place.
69. Museo Archimede e Leonardo – Siracusa
Another museum that represents replicas of Archimedes’ inventions is the museum of Leonardo Da Vinci and Archimedes in Syracuse, Sicily. It also includes replicas of the scientific inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. Visiting this museum is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily with kids. You and your kids will have an educational experience as you are allowed to try the instruments by yourselves. Your kids will also have fun since all the information is written in a way suitable for kids.
70. Syracuse Museum of Puppets
Also, among the top exciting things to do in Sicily with kids is to visit the Syracuse Museum of Puppets. It exhibits puppets and masks from all over the world, thus allowing you and your kids to know more about other cultures. Enjoy the fun puppet shows with your kids at the museum. Your kids can also participate in the museums’ summer camps or workshops. They will have fun and build their confidence.
71. Museo del Papiro
If you fancy discovering ancient history, especially that of ancient Egypt, the Museo del Papiro or Corrado Basile Papyrus Museum is the right place for you! The museum was named after Corrado Basile who was interested in how high-quality papyrus pages were made in ancient Egypt.
Visiting this museum is one of the top things to do in Sicily. It houses papyrus artefacts, including sandals, ropes, mats, and containers. You will also find papyrus boats that were used in Ethiopia and Chad one day.
72. Spiaggia Pineta del Gelsomineto
One of the most delightful things to do in Sicily is to relax at one of Sicily’s most beautiful beaches, Pineta del Gelsomineto, also called Marchesa di Cassibile. While sitting on the beautiful golden beach in the shade of the trees, appreciate the crystal clear blue water and the scenic rocky cliffs. There are no facilities there, so make sure to take your umbrella, food and drink.
Next to the beach, there are marine abrasion caves and inlets where you can take amazing underwater photos and sunbathe in a tranquil place. There is also a beautiful pine forest next to the beach where you can stop and enjoy barbecuing for lunch.
F. Things to do in Sicily’s Enna
Enna is among the provinces of Sicily. It is located in the centre of Sicily, thus having no access to the sea. It has many incredible tourist attractions and visiting them is among the top things to do in Sicily. The following list includes some attractions you should visit in Enna.
73. Nicoletti Lake
Relaxing at the beautiful artificial Nicoletti Lake is among the best things to do in Sicily’s Enna. Enjoy the outstanding hills and greenery that surround the lake. You can also swim and try a wide range of water sports. If you are hungry, have a delicious snack in the on-site bar.
74. Riserva Naturale Speciale Lago di Pergusa
Love strolling and taking photos? Just head to Pergusa Lake Natural Reserve where you can find fascinating natural attractions! Visiting this natural reserve is one of the best things to do in Sicily. It is your best choice to relax in a tranquil place.
Near the Pergusa Lake Natural Reserve is Cozzo Matrice. Going to this Demeter-dedicated archaeological site is among the top things to do in Sicily. Explore the necropolis and the ruins of the fantastic ancient temple in the area.
75. Erean Mountains
On Erean Mountains (Monti Erei), enjoy the charming views of the lake surrounded by breathtaking green spaces between a group of mountains. You can also find some migratory birds, such as gulls and moorhens.
Mount Altesina is the highest summit of Monti Erei, feeding the mainspring of the River Dittaino. It encompasses ilex trees, oaks, phillyrea, and more on its summit. Lying in a strategic place, explore many archaeological findings in Mount Altesina, such as Norman ruins, ancient caves, 1st-millennium-BC settlements, and more. These findings are in the Museo Archeologico di Palazzo Varisano in Enna.
76. Riserva Naturale Orientata Rossomanno-Grottascura-Bellia
Also, one of the top things to do in Sicily’s Enna is to visit Riserva Naturale Orientata Rossomanno-Grottascura-Bellia. Enjoy many activities in this protected natural reserve, like hiking, scouting and trekking. If you are an animal lover, meet countless species of animals and birds. This nature reserve is also home to numerous plants.
77. Museo Archeologico di Aidone
Additionally, visit Museo Archeologico di Aidone and explore its finds of the Morgantina excavations displayed over its two floors. Explore the museum’s statuettes, sculptures, jewellery, vases, pots and more. Snapping a selfie with the well-known statue of Morgantina in this museum is one of the top things to do in Sicily.
78. Area Archeologica di Morgantina
If you visited the Museo Archeologico di Aidone, now it is time to visit the Area Archeologica di Morgantina. All the objects of the Museo Archeologico di Aidone were excavated from the archaeological area of Morgantina. You can buy one combined ticket to visit both attractions.
Visiting the open-air museum of Morgantina is among the top things to do in Sicily’s province of Enna. Explore the ruins of a pre-Roman village and imagine the day-to-day life in this ancient village. Do not forget to take some memorable photos. The area also has a must-visit two-kilometre ridge known as Serra Orlando and a hill called Cittadella.
79. Museo Etno Antropologico e dell’Emigrazione Valguarnerese
If you fancy snooping around an entire generation of Valguarneresi, just head to the Museo Etno Antropologico e dell’Emigrazione Valguarnerese! The Valguarneresi were the people who lived in the Valguarnera Caropepe commune in Enna. They were forced to live a difficult life full of hard work.
Explore the tools and objects used by the Valguarneresi in their daily life. On the first floor, around 2000 various Valguarneresi objects formed the history of Valguarnera Caropepe. The second floor exhibits photos of Valguarneresi immigrants.
80. Regional Museum of Enna Interdisciplinary
Exploring the Regional Museum of Enna Interdisciplinary is one of the top free things to do in Sicily. It contains impressive statuettes, many jars and pots, incredible ceramic artefacts, and archaeological remains.
81. Porta di Janniscuru
One of the things to do in Sicily is to visit Porta di Janniscuru. There were original gates built on the southwestern slopes at the entrance of the city of Enna to defend this ancient Mediaeval city. Porta di Janniscuru is the only monumental gate left of this defensive system. Having an imposing appearance, Porta di Janniscuru is a massive gate with a round arch. From this historical landmark, you can see ancient caves which are not accessible nowadays.
82. Duomo di Enna
With a beautiful interior, one of the top things to do in Sicily is to visit Enna Cathedral with its coffered ceiling and three apses. The central apse is covered with Baroque stucco. The left apse has an old Gothic style with ribbed vaults, while the right apse has the Madonna of the Visitation, covered with Baroque-style multicoloured marble.
83. Cathedral of Piazza Armerina
Another must-visit cathedral in Enna is La Cathedral of the Holy Mary of Victories, commonly known as the Cathedral of Piazza Armerina. Located in Piazza Armerina in the highest part of the town, it was built on the ruins of the former Mother Church. You will get impressed by its Renaissance-Baroque style. Its facade is divided into two pilasters by a large window. On the facade’s right, you can see the remains of the original bell tower.
G. Things to do in Sicily’s Caltanissetta
Caltanissetta is another province in the southern part of Sicily. It includes many marvellous environmental areas. The main river of Caltanissetta is the River Salso, also known as Imera Meridionale or Himera. We will provide you with a list of the best things to do in Sicily’s Caltanissetta.
84. Biviere di Gela Lake
Visiting Biviere di Gela lake is one of the top things to do in Sicily. With its unique views, it is Sicily’s largest coastal lake. It is also one of the Northern European birds’ most important wintering areas. Throughout the year, the lake is visited by almost 200 species of birds.
Alongside the lake, explore different species of plants. Also, discover some reptiles, amphibians and mammals around the lake. Migratory birds from Africa arrive in spring. However, you will find different species of ducks in winter.
Besides monitoring plant and animal species, there are many activities you can do there, like environmental education, research and surveillance. With the help of guided tours, explore the different phases of wildlife and the characteristics of each plant.
85. EuroPark Roccella
Similar to AcquaPark Monreale in Palermo, EuroPark Roccella is a water park in Caltanissetta. Visiting this exciting park is one of the most adventurous things to do in Sicily with kids. Enjoy lots of fun water sports, exciting games, amazing concerts and regularly-hosted music shows.
If you are a football player, there is a soccer field where you can enjoy playing a match. Play at the beach volleyball court in the park if you are interested in volleyball. Have fun in the lawn area, enjoy swimming in the indoor and outdoor pools and much more.
Your kids will have fun in the kids club and the lawn area, too. They will also enjoy going down the mini slides and swimming in the animation pool. At the end of a long day, you can relax and eat in the on-site pizzeria.
86. Museo Tripisciano
If you fancy the works of Tripisciano, visiting Museo Tripisciano is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily. Located in Palazzo Moncada in Largo Paolo Barile in Caltanissetta, it is dedicated to nearly half of Michele Tripisciano’s all works. Tripisciano Museum consists of four rooms with 71 pieces, most of which are made of plaster.
Sala dell’Orfeo (Orfeo Room) has a marble statue of Orfeo on a pedestal, along with other non-religious works, while Sala del Belli has preparatory sketches for the marble statue of Belli in Rome. Sala dell’Angelo contains a plaster statue of the Angle with the cross, along with other religious works. Sala degli oratori (Hall of Speakers) has the plaster statues of two speakers, Paolo and Ortensio, along with other plaster busts.
87. Museo Mineralogico di Caltanissetta
Are you interested in minerals, fossils, and the technology of sulphur mining? The Museo Mineralogico di Caltanissetta, also known as Sebastiano Mottura Mineralogical, Paleontological and Sulphur Museum, is your next destination. Visiting it is one of the top things to do in Sicily. In the past, this museum was part of the school founded by Mottura. Nowadays, you can explore a wide range of minerals, precious stones, geological maps, documents on mining activities, mining instruments and much more.
88. Museo Diocesano “Speciale”
Known as the Sacred Art Museum of Caltanissetta or the Diocesan Museum of Caltanissetta, exploring the Museo Diocesano “Speciale” is one of the top things to do in Sicily. Dedicated to memorising its founder, Monsignor Giovanni Speciale, the museum consists of 10 rooms with a wide range of collections and two corridors. It also has nine large canvases by Vincenzo Roggeri, all in oil on canvas.
In the museum, explore the valuable works of sacred art, such as paintings, fabrics, furnishings and sculptures. Also, find some beautiful works by Fra Felice da Sambuca. Additionally, appreciate the fascinating wooden sculptures by Giuseppe Frattallone.
89. Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Capodarso E Valle dell’Imera Meridionale
Visiting R.N.O. Monte Capodarso and Valle dell’Imera Meridionale is one of the top things to do in Sicily. Located between Enna and Caltanissetta, this 1000-hectare nature reserve encompasses the Capodarso River with its Gorges of Capodarso.
Explore the Cave of Meraviglie (Wonders) and its many unexplored cavities in this naturalistic location. Also, explore the remains of a Hellenic indigenous area with an ancient mysterious rock-carved staircase. The nature reserve is open from 9 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm.
H. Things to do in Sicily’s Trapani
Another province in Sicily is Trapani. It borders the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Strait of Sicily to the west. Trapani has a number of rivers and lakes. Here are some of the best things to do in Sicily’s Trapani.
90. Cala Rossa
Located on the northeastern corner of Favignana, the Sicilian island, Cala Rossa (Red Cove) is a popular summer resort in Sicily and one of its best beaches. Taking a boat trip with your companions along its coast is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily. You will enjoy the beautiful views of the clear blue water and the wonderful rocky bay during this excursion.
91. Giardini del Balio
Visiting Giardini del Balio is among the fun things to do in Sicily with kids. Your kids will play and have fun in the playground. You can relax on the bench and appreciate the stunning landscape in these beautiful gardens. Strolling the garden’s paths is also exciting. You will enjoy the green spaces while taking in some fresh air.
92. Mafia Museum
To delve into the history of the Mafia, Mafia Museum (Museo della Mafia) is your perfect choice. The museum is divided into two parts. In the first part, get into a cabin of two persons and watch a video about the Mafia. In the second part, read newspaper events related to the Mafia.
93. San Vito Lo Capo
In northwestern Sicily, there is a small seaside town called San Vito Lo Capo. The water is clear blue, and the beach is white and sandy. Mount Monaco overlooks this fabulous beach. In this beautiful town, many buildings are influenced by Arab-Norman architecture. You can explore the 15th-century fortress-like Santuario di San Vito, the circular Torrazzo watchtower and the small Santa Crescenzia Chapel.
Baia Santa Margherita
If you are a sea lover, Baia Santa Margherita is a must-visit destination in San Vito Lo Capo. This Sicilian little paradise offers you breathtaking views of the clear blue water and the sandy and rocky beaches. Besides swimming, strolling, relaxing and sunbathing are great activities you can do on the beach.
Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro
Among the most delightful things to do in Sicily is to visit Sicily’s first natural reserve, Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, in San Vito Lo Capo. Unwind and enjoy the heavenly views of the blue water, the white sandy beach, the mountain chain, the cliffs and the little bays. Umbrellas are not allowed on the beach. So make sure you wear suitable sunscreen.
If you are into hiking, bring your hiking shoes and get ready for your next adventure. You will find rare and endemic plants and many species of animals and prey birds in this reserve.
The reserve also has archaeological areas, including Grotta dell’Uzzo, where 10,000-year-old human remains and tools were found. Additionally, there are a lot of museums, picnic areas, shelters and other amenities.
94. Museum Of Optical Illusions
Also, one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily is to explore Italy’s first museum dedicated to optical illusions. Although it is small, the Museum of Optical Illusions (MOOI) will thrill and entertain you by deceiving your senses. You will have fun and enjoy to the full! Make sure you include this visit in your Sicily itinerary.
I. Things to do in Sicily’s Agrigento
On the southwestern coast lies Agrigento, another Sicilian province. It has many beautiful natural spots, ancient temples and architectural structures. In the following lines, you will know plenty of things to do in Sicily’s Agrigento.
95. Licata City
Exploring the city of Licata is among the best things to do in Sicily. At the mouth of the River Salso on the south coast of Sicily, Licata is a commercial harbour that ships sulphur and asphalt. This major seaport city has many unique attractions that you should not miss. Stroll its streets and appreciate the spectacular historical buildings.
San Giacomo Lighthouse
In the heart of Licata City, there is an active lighthouse called San Giacomo Lighthouse. This impressive 37-metre white cylindrical tower has five windows, a balcony, a lantern and a grey metallic lantern dome. Besides its lighting functions, it is a symbol of Licata since its light illuminates a distance of up to 38 km.
Necropolis of Monte Petrulla
Another must-see destination in Licata is the necropolis of Monte Petrulla (Petrulla Mountain). It is a monumental necropolis of artificial caves carved into the rock. Enjoy its unique architecture, the incredible landscape, and the beautiful smell of the weeds that immerse you in the history of this city.
One of the must-visit mountains in Licata city is Monte Sant’Angelo. At this mountain, explore the remains of a Greek city.
On the top of Monte Sant’Angelo, there is Castel Sant’Angelo or Forte Sant’Angelo. The fortress represents military architecture in a Sicilian-Baroque style. It was built as a watchtower and then expanded into a fortress. The area houses a necropolis, ancient monuments and archaeological finds.
The Grangela Well is also a beautiful must-visit place in the city of Licata. It is an ancient hydraulic structure created in the pre-Hellenic era. The people of the time dug the Grangela Well in the rock near the main square of Licata and used the water that flowed into it.
96. Valley of the Temples
Located on a ridge overlooking Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples is a UNESCO archaeological site. It is an example of Greater Greece’s art and architecture. Exploring the valley is one of the greatest things to do in Sicily.
Tomb of Theron
In the Valley of the Temples, find the pyramid-shaped Tomb of Theron. Further, explore the ruins of seven Doric-style temples: the Temples of Juno, Concordia, Olympian Zeus, Heracles, Castor and Pollux, Hephaestus, and Asclepius.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Visiting the Temple of Olympian Zeus (Tempio di Zeus Olimpio), also known as Tempio di Giove Olimpico, is one of the best things to do in Sicily. It stands with other major Greek temples in the Valley of the Temples.
With a Doric architectural style, this colossal ancient Greek temple has seven semi-columns on its short sides and 14 on its long sides. Between the columns, it was adorned by colossal telmons (atlases) with bearded and shaven faces. Although it was never completed, its ruins form the largest constructed Doric temple ever.
Temple of Concordia
The Temple of Concordia (Tempio della Concordia) is another wonderful attraction in the Valley of the Temples. It is considered one of the best-preserved Doric temples outside Greece and the best in Sicily. You will enjoy the breathtaking landscape of the surrounding hills.
This ancient Doric-style temple was built in the 5th century B.C. on a crepidoma of four steps (a part of the ancient Greek buildings’ structure). It has six-metre-high six columns on its short sides and 13 on its long sides. Appreciate the wonderful carving of twenty flutes and harmonious entasis on the columns.
Temple of Hera Lacinia
Near the Temple of Concordia is the Temple of Hera Lacinia (Tempio di Juno Lacinia), also known as Temple D. It was built in the middle of the 5th century. This archaic Doric-style temple was on the highest rocky spur at the Valley of the Temples’ easternmost point.
Like the Temple of Concordia, the majestic Temple of Hera Lacinia has 13 columns on its long sides and six on its short sides. Only the northern colonnade is completely preserved with its architrave (lintels or beams that rest on the capitals of columns) and part of its frieze (wide central section part of an entablature). Unfortunately, on the other three sides of the colonnades, there are four missing and nine severely damaged columns.
Since the 18th century, the temple has been restored using anastylosis. This process is to use the original architectural elements to the greatest possible degree and combine them with modern materials.
Kolymbethra Garden (Jardin de la Kolymbethra) is another must-see destination in the Valley of Temples. Visiting this archaeological and agricultural tourist attraction is one of the most exciting things to do in Sicily. In a guided tour, explore the areas of orange trees and the centuries-old olive trees. Then, visit the archaeological finds and the hypogea, the ancient Greek underground chambers.
97. Museo Archeologico Regionale Pietro Griffo
The Regional Archaeological Museum of Pietro Griffo is also one of the significant and most visited archaeological museums in Sicily. It is named after the archaeologist Pietro Griffo. Explore some Greek artefacts excavated from the surrounding area of the Valley of the Temples.
98. Stair of the Turks
Driving about 15 minutes from the Valley of the Temples, you will find the Stair of the Turks (Scala Dei Turchi). It is located between the coast of Realmonte and Porto Empedocle in southern Sicily. Enjoy the incredible views of the brilliant white rocky cliff and the clear azure sea.
99. Farm Cultural Park
Located half an hour from the Valley of the Temples, visiting the Farm Cultural Park is one of the exciting things to do in Sicily. This cultural centre in Favara is home to three art galleries and several exhibition spaces with contemporary architecture, permanent art installations and temporary painting exhibits.
The park also comprises seven courtyards attached to small gardens and buildings, creating a contemporary art centre. It has offered many opportunities that engaged artists from around the world to give this historical centre a new identity and bring it back to life.
Enjoy reading in its libraries or learning new languages in one of its language labs. There are also spaces for meetings. Don’t miss out on the several cultural events organised in it throughout the year, such as musical events, book launches, festivals, competitions among architects and workshops for adults and children.
100. Marzipan – Museo della Mandorla Siciliana
In a restored Favara mansion, there is an almond museum called the Museo della Mandorla Siciliana. It is a must-visit museum as it shows the importance of almonds to Sicily. In the museum, try the delicious fresh almond milk. Suppose you have a passion for cooking, book cooking classes in the museum’s well-equipped kitchen before you arrive. You can also buy gourmet food from the on-site shop.
101. Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Gerlando
Another great tourist attraction in Sicily is Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Gerlando, also known as Agrigento Cathedral and Duomo di Agrigento. Visiting it is among the top things to do in Sicily. Get impressed by the facade of this cathedral and its unique Romanesque architectural style.
102. Strada degli Scrittori
Do you love reading Antonio Russello, Andrea Camilleri, Pier Maria Rosso di San Secondo, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, and other Sicilian writers? Strada degli Scrittori (the Road of the Writers) is the right place for you. Going there is among the best things to do in Sicily.
Discover the most significant authors who have inspired hundreds of thousands of people. Combining culture and tourism, Strada degli Scrittori has an itinerary for each Sicilian writer that retraces the places lived and loved by them and those described in their novels.
What Food is Sicily Famous for?
1. Sfincione: Sicily Pizza
If you love eating pizza, why not try the delicious Sicilian pizza? It is also known as sfincione, sfinciuni in Sicilian, which means sponge. It is sometimes called Focaccia which means flat-leavened oven-baked Italian bread with toppings.
Sfincione is a thick Sicilian-style pizza coated with crisp breadcrumbs and topped with anchovies, herbs, onions, tomatoes, and cheese. The Sicilian provinces of Palermo, Catania, Siracusa and Messina have diverse versions of this pizza since each has its own local culture and traditions.
2. Pasta alla Norma
Pasta alla Norma is one of the familiar vegetarian pasta dishes in Catania, Sicily. Served with gusto, it is made of tomato, garlic, basil and aubergine and topped with salted ricotta. Trying it is one of the top things to do in Sicily.
3. Busiate alla Trapanese
Like Pasta alla Norma, Busiate alla Trapanese is another delicious pasta dish in Trapani, Sicily. It is made of fresh tomato, almonds, basil, garlic, and Pecorino cheese, served with busiate, a long twisty fresh pasta, and topped with breadcrumbs and grilled aubergine.
4. Pasta con le Sarde
Unlike Pasta alla Norma and Busiate alla Trapanese, Pasta con le Sarde is bucatini, a type of spaghetti, served with sardines, salted anchovy, wild fennel, saffron, raisins and pine nuts. This combination offers an authentic taste of Sicily and reflects Sicily’s diverse past.
Walked a lot in Sicily’s streets and felt hungry? Enjoy one of the must-try Sicilian dishes, Arancini. Coated with golden bread crumbs and deep-fried, Arancini is a ball of creamy risotto stuffed with meat, mozzarella, caper pesto, Alla Norma (aubergine, tomato, and ricotta) or other delicious stuffing, depending on where you are in Sicily.
6. Brioche Buns
In Sicily, breakfast contains a fresh brioche bun, one of the famous street food in Palermo.
In the scorching heat of summer, try Brioche Con Gelato, the traditional Sicilian Gelato served in sweet brioche buns. The gelato may also be served in cones. The flavour is your choice; It could be pistachio, chocolate or hazelnut.
Another iconic Sicilian breakfast is a warm brioche bun with a bowl of frozen granita, sorbet-like ice. Granita comes with a flavour of your choice, whether with fruit or coffee.
7. Sicilian Desserts
Sicily has many famous desserts and sweet dishes. Trying them is among the top things to do in Sicily.
One of the most well-known Sicilian desserts is Cannoli, commonly known as Cannoli Siciliani. It is a tube-shaped fried Italian pastry filled with creamy sweetened ricotta and studded with chocolate chips and dried fruit.
Cassata is another Sicilian sweet dessert covered with marzipan. It is made of sponge cake moistened with chocolate, citrus fruits and sweetened ricotta.
Other Sicilian desserts are Frutta Martorana. It is marzipan sweets moulded in brightly-coloured fruit shapes and Semifreddo alle mandorle, a Sicilian almond parfait.
Which sweet dish will you try first?
Sicily is mountainous, with a Mediterranean climate along the coasts and a continental climate on the hills. The hottest months are July and August, while the coldest is February and March.
Summers are dry and hot and can be scorching, with a temperature fluctuating between 22°C (71°F) and 32°C (89°F). Sicily is subject to Sirocco, a hot wind from Africa, which can raise the temperature to 40/45°C (104/113°F).
Winters in Sicily are mild and wet. The temperature fluctuates between 5°C (71°F) and 17°C (89°F). Sirocco can raise the temperature to 20°C (68°F).
What is the Best Time to Visit Sicily?
The ideal time to visit Sicily is in spring and autumn. You can also travel to Sicily in May, June, September or October for sightseeing. The best time to visit Sicily beaches is in September and October.
What to Pack for Sicily, Italy
If you travel in summer, pack cotton or linen short and long-sleeve t-shirts, trousers, shorts, comfy shoes, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and a hat. However, if you travel in winter, pack a lightweight sweater, jumpers, trousers, an umbrella, boots and comfy shoes.
For women, bring a light scarf with you since some churches require covered shoulders and knees. Additionally, Sicilian women wear heels in almost all circumstances. So consider bringing heels to wear at night and a beautiful leather bag. For men, consider getting sporty shoes to wear at night.
Don’t forget to bring your hygiene products because most hotels do not provide these items. Also, bring hiking boots with you to climb mountainous areas. In addition, pack a beach towel to sunbathe and enjoy the beaches.
18 Facts About Sicily
Still curious about the loveliest region of Italy? Let’s learn more about Italy’s southernmost region! Here are some interesting Sicily facts!
1. The Biggest Island in the Mediterranean Sea
With a land area of over 25,000 km², Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
2. The Old Name of Sicily
The old name of Sicily was Trinacria. It originated from the Greek word Τρινακρία, which means three headlands or capes: Peloro in the northeast, Passero in the south and Lilbeo in the west.
3. What is the Geography of Sicily?
More than 85% (over four-fifths) of the island is hills and mountains. Hills cover around 62% of Sicily, and that’s why it has been cultivated over time for its fertility. Moreover, 24% of Sicily is mountainous since many mountain ranges are on the island, like Mount Etna, Madonie, Nebrodi and Hyblaean Mountains.
4. What is Sicily Surrounded With?
Three different seas surround Sicily: the Tyrrhenian Sea in the north, the Mediterranean Sea in the south and the Ionian Sea in the east.
5. How Wide is the Water Between Italy and Sicily?
The Strait of Messina separates Sicily and mainland Italy. Its narrowest point is just three km wide (around one and a half miles), which means there is just three km of water between Sicily and Italy.
6. The Population of Sicily
Today, the population in Sicily is around 5,029,615 people (8.3% of Italy).
7. The National Animal of Sicily
Native to Italy is the Italian wolf, also known as the Apennine wolf. It is a grey wolf that inhabits the Apennine Mountains and the Western Alps.
8. The Official Language of Sicily
Italian is the official language of Sicily.
9. Sicilian Language
However, the residents off the beaten path in Sicily still speak the Sicilian language.
10. Different Dialects in Sicily
There are around nine local dialects in Sicily that are distinct to towns, villages, quarters or areas.
11. Other Spoken Languages in Sicily
12. The Flag of Sicily
From the upper hoist-side corner, Sicily’s flag is divided diagonally into two triangles: red (the upper triangle) and yellow (the lower triangle). In the centre, the Sicilian Triskelion or Triscele features the head of Medusa and three wrapping legs. In 1282, Triskelion was first adopted by the Sicilian Vespers, a successful rebellion on Sicily. Now, it has become the official flag of the autonomous region of Sicily.
What Does the Sicilian Flag Symbolise?
Triskelion represents the extreme fertility of Sicily’s land. It represents the three capes: Peloro in the northeast, Passero in the south and Lilbeo in the west. The red colour represents Palermo and symbolises lava. However, the yellow colour represents Corleone, one of Sicily’s most important agricultural centres. Thus, it symbolises wheat. Palermo and Corleone are the two founding cities of the confederation against the Angevin Empire.
13. Did Sicily Ever Rule Itself?
Yes, Sicily was independent and was once the Kingdom of Sicily.
14. Who Ruled Sicily?
Sicily was part of many different civilisations and was ruled by many empires. The empires that ruled Sicily include:
- the Greeks (Syracuse was the second-biggest city in the Ancient Greek Empire),
- the Romans (Syracuse was the capital of the Byzantine Empire),
- the Arabs (the Emirate of Sicily was an Islamic kingdom),
- the Normans,
- the Vandals,
- the Ostrogoths,
- the French,
- and the Italians.
15. Where Did the Reunification of Italy Start From?
The reunification of Italy started in Sicily. It was the first territory to merge with other kingdoms. In 1816, it merged with the Kingdom of Naples.
16. Greek Ruins in Sicily
There are plenty of well-preserved Greek ruins all over Sicily. The Valley of the Temples, with its eight Greek temples, is one of the most impressive Greek sites in Sicily. There are also nine Greek archaeological sites on the island.
17. A Novel Set in Sicily
Giuseppe Tomasi Lampedusa’s The Leopard is one of the most famous Italian novels. It is set in Sicily in the 1860s at the time of the unification of Italy.
18. Where Does the Sonnet Originate From?
Originating in Sicily, the sonnet is derived from “sonetto”, an Italian word meaning little poem. Most associated with William Shakespeare’s works, it is a popular form of poetry with 14 lines that follow a specific rhyme scheme.
Who wrote the first sonnet and why?
In Palermo, one of the Sicilian schools of court poets, Giacomo da Lentini, invented the sonnet in the 1230s (the 13th century). Unlike Shakespeare, who wrote sonnets to commemorate his beloved for all eternity, da Lentini wrote sonnets to express courtly love.
Sicily has suffered 13 foreign dominations from which she has taken both the best and the worst. The sequence of different cultures has made Sicily a fascinating place, quite unlike any other.Andrea Camilleri, Writer
So why don’t you consider travelling to Sicily to relax, enjoy its stunning landscapes and discover its cultural treasures? Now, after you know the top things to do in Sicily, tell us which place you would visit first.
Enjoy your stay in Sicily, Italy!