Top 5 places to visit on the island of Sicily

Fountain in Piazza Archimede, Syracuse, ©vic15/Flickr

Fountain in Piazza Archimede, Syracuse, ©vic15/Flickr

The island of Sicily is a wonderful holiday location where you can sunbathe on the beach but also soak up some Italian culture along the way. There are several attractions worth seeing and visiting in the region, which are mostly cultural and of course, spectacular. Set out on an exciting sightseeing tour and learn about the history and culture of the island. Try the many local specialties: the delicious dishes, citrus fruits and the wine. While you wander through the island don’t forget to keep your eyes open and enjoy the beautiful landscape. Just to give you some idea of the sight and attractions of Sicily, above we enlisted the top five places that are most visited on the island:

The city of Palermo

The city of Palermo is the regional capital of Sicily which always has been an important trade route joint on the Mediterranean. This beautiful city is basically a botanical melting pot as it is decorated with palm trees, banyan trees and prickly pears all over.

Capella Palatina, ©Effervescing Elephant/Flickr

Capella Palatina, ©Effervescing Elephant/Flickr

There are tons to see in Palermo: the church of La Martorana and its mosaics dating back to the 12th century, the Capella Palatina and the Monreale cathedral with its dazzling mosaics from the Norman-era. Take a look at the baroque style churches and palatial buildings downtown: go and see the Palazzo Riso art gallery and wander around the Kalsa area.

The city of Syracuse

Visit the wonderful city of Syracuse, the home of Archimedes, today a Renaissance city. Hundreds of visitors come and go over a year discovering the charms of the old town, the modern extension on the western side and Ortygia.

Fountain in Piazza Archimede, Syracuse, ©vic15/Flickr

Fountain in Piazza Archimede, Syracuse, ©vic15/Flickr

Some people fall in love with the city as much that they decide to buy their second home here. Syracuse also has lots of excellent sights and beauty to offer. Visit the Parco Archeologico and attend an Ancient Greek play. Admire the Duomo cathedral and the temple of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.

The great Greek temples

In the southern and western region of Sicily you will find the Greek temple complexes: Agrigento, Segesta and Selinunte. The most famous of the three is Agrigento, where you can visit the Valley of Temples, an archeological site spreading over a very large area.

Temple of Giunone at Valley of Temples, ©archer10 (Dennis)/Flickr

Temple of Giunone at Valley of Temples, ©archer10 (Dennis)/Flickr

Take a look at the phenomenal temples and ruins. The elegant Segesta lies very close to Palermo and boasts with the most impressive Greek ruin, a Doric temple from the 5th century. Selinunte does not have spectacular ruins however but charming atmosphere is given by its coastal position and its wild flowers.

Etna & Taormina

Etna is visited by a great number of tourists all year round. The most agglomerated season is between Easter and late autumn. Many people are drawn to this sometimes dangerous place.

Taormina, ©andrewmalone/Flickr

Taormina, ©andrewmalone/Flickr

As the volcano is still active we recommend that you take a guided tour lead by qualified personnel and not wander off towards the summit on your own. The cable car running from Rifugio Sapienza will take you quite close to it. The 18th century Taormina, also worth visiting, dominates the eastern coast of the island with its breathtaking position and blooming flowers in the winter.

Mosaics at Piazza Armerina

A few miles down from Piazza Armerina you will find Roman mosaics from the 19th century which are definitely worth visiting. The mosaic floor is very rich in colors and composition. The pictures depict hunting scenes, bikini-clad gymnasts and marine animals. Pay a visit and take delight!

Piazza Armerina, ©Verity Cridland/Flickr

Piazza Armerina, ©Verity Cridland/Flickr

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