Sicily is the largest island in Italy and in the Mediterranean, a surprising land rich in history and traditions, where art and culture are intertwined with wonderful natural beauty. From the sea to the mountains passing through the countryside, volcanoes and fishing villages, there are so many reasons to visit Sicily. As Frederick of Swabia, king of Sicily, exclaimed “I do not envy God for Heaven, because I am happy to live in Sicily”. In this article we will go to anticipate which are the stages not to be missed during a trip to Sicily.
A Tour of Western Sicily
One of the most valuable areas of the island is the north-west, where we find Palermo, the capital of Sicily and one of the most important cities in the region, Trapani, with its enchanting sea and the naturalistic areas of the surroundings and Marsala, the city del vino, custodian of one of the most evocative stretches of coast in the area. Not to be missed are the islands, including Pantelleria, Favignana and Lampedusa, real Caribbean paradises of Southern Italy, but also archaeological sites such as Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento, up to the enchanting historic villages of Cefalù, Sciacca and Erice.
Palermo, from the Norman to the Arab style, from the Greek to the Spanish testimonies, the regional capital is a melting pot of cultures and a place of lively local markets. Here you can visit the wonderful alleys and monuments of the historic center. Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples are a popular destination thanks to its perfectly preserved archaeological park, the largest in the world.
A tour of western Sicily cannot fail to include the Egadi islands, an archipelago of enormous scenic interest, with particularly renowned islands such as Favignana, Lampedusa and Pantelleria. Lampedusa does not need many presentations, in fact it is one of the most evocative and appreciated islands in Italy, a real paradise for lovers of the sea and nature, boasts a splendid sea and beautiful beaches, such as Isola dei Conigli, ranked among the most beautiful in the world. The island of Pantelleria, on the other hand, is an oasis of peace and tranquility, with its crystal-clear sea and the surrounding nature of the Mediterranean coastline.
A Tour of Eastern Sicily
Eastern Sicily is also an extremely suggestive and fascinating area, where you can visit cities such as Messina, Catania and Syracuse, or Taormina with its immense archaeological and historical heritage. Do not miss the scenic beauty of Etna, the coastal areas of Capo Passero and the Isola delle Correnti, the natural reserve of Vendicari and Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Messina is a city of great charm, one of the arrival points for those arriving in Sicily by ferry. Of the city you must absolutely see the historic center and Piazza Duomo, the astronomical clock, and the beautiful fountain of Orion. In Catania, you must absolutely visit the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, the Baroque monuments, the Bellini Garden, the Landing Museum, and the mysterious undergrounds of Catania. And we must not forget to also make an excursion to Etna, for a bit of trekking on the crater with a specialized guide. Do not miss the area of Syracuse and the island of Ortigia, an extraordinary city of art with one of the largest archaeological areas in the Mediterranean. Noto, however, is the undisputed capital of Sicilian Baroque, with an artistic heritage of exceptional churches.