What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily?
Sicily is an ancient and fascinating land, rich in history and traditions, which you can count on through the testimonies of its glorious past. This is a beautiful island, the land of the sun, with wild and uncontaminated landscapes, but always charming in its simplicity. Land of volcanoes and splendid coasts, Sicily will envelop you with the scent of oranges and lemons, and will enchant you with the goodness of its gastronomy, it is varied like the different cultures that have occurred over the centuries. Let’s find out which are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
You will be fascinated by the extraordinary “meltin pot” of cultures found in this land, creating an intense Mediterranean atmosphere that is breathed in the colorful historic centers, in the grandeur of the beautiful cities of art, in the small fishing villages and in the amazing archaeological sites. This wonderful island offers many destinations capable of calming your thirst for culture. Making a classification of tourist locations is a very difficult task, especially if we are forced to choose ten among the most beautiful places in a fabulous region like Sicily. TIPS ON SICILY!
Shall we start our list? This list is made up of some well-known cities and others that you probably never heard of and that are really worth visiting!
1) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? PALERMO
We started this sample of places in the capital of Sicily, the splendid Palermo. It is a city of ancient history where, strolling through the streets, you can appreciate and perceive the eclecticism of so many architectural styles, heredity of the glorious past of this island, the passage of Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs, embellished the city with churches, monuments and palaces of rare beauty. TIPS ON PALERMO!
Attractions in Palermo
The heart of Palermo is at the intersection of two main avenues, between Via Maqueda and the old Corso Vittorio Emanuele, where the Quattro Canti (“Four Corners”) originates, an octagonal square, where are four 17th century palaces adorned with magnificent statues representing the different seasons , also called Theater of the Sun, because the square allows you to enjoy the spectacle of the warmth of the Sicilian sun from sunrise to sunset. Here, you can find all the ancient monuments of the city, such as the Palatine Arabic-Norman Chapel from the years 1130-40, located in the sumptuous Norman Palace, today it hosts the Sicilian parliament and formerly the Royal Chapel of the Norman King of Sicily.
Palermo has a relevant artistic and architectural heritage that ranges from the remains of Punic walls to liberty-style villas, moving from Arab-Norman style residences, to Baroque churches and neoclassical theaters. In Palermo, you should visit the Cathedral, the Royal Palace or palaces: Normans, Montreal and Montepellegrino, also visit Piazza Bellini, where there are two beautiful churches, St Cataldus and the Church of Martorana. Golden tip: enjoy and take a tour of Street Food and Palermo History: Walking Tour!
2) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? CATANIA
Another city that you cannot miss is in the eastern part of Sicily, at the foot of the Etna Volcano, is Catania. This city offers its visitors a landscape that has been set up over the centuries by the earthquakes and lava flows that have occurred, and this continuous evolution due to natural phenomena has canceled most of the historical discoveries of the Greek and Roman times. Etna is very close to Catania, so another attraction that you should not miss is the Etna Volcano! Take the Mount Etna tour: cable car, jeep and walking tour to the summit!
Attractions in Catania
Today, however, you can admire the theaters and the Odeon, the thermal resorts: Terme dell’Indirizzo, Terme della Rotonda and Terme Achilliane. The symbol of Catania is U Liotru or The Elephant, which dates back to the Roman period or, according to others, that of the Carthaginians. The elephant with the trunk upwards throws water on itself at the fountain in Piazza Duomo (“Cathedral Square”).
Source: Go Places Pro
From the Byzantine-Norman period, Ursino Castle and the Cathedral of Saint Agatha remain, which contain, among others, the relics of the Saint who is the city’s patron. Via Crociferi is famous, where it is possible to admire the largest number of monuments in Sicilian baroque, among them the Church of St Julian and the Church of St Benedict, Biscari Palace, Villa Cerami, the Elephant Palace, to name just a small part . Local numbers arranged between Piazza Teatro Massimo, Piazza Duomo and Piazza Università fill the historic center making Catania the title of one of the most lively cities in Europe. TIPS ON CATANIA!
3) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? SYRACUSE
Facing the largest natural port in Sicily, with a coastline characterized by breathtaking panoramas, we find the splendid Siracusa. Located in the south eastern area of Sicily, founded around 730 BC, it quickly became one of the most important cultural centers of Magna Greece.
Attractions in Syracuse
The city, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site, is still able to offer millenary suggestions. This ancient Greek colony faces a spectacular closed natural port on the east of Ortiga Island, the oldest urban center, and one of the most exclusive goals of the international Jet set. It is really great how this city manages to unite such a large number of attractions, such as the Greek Amphitheater, the Ear of Dionysus in the Neopolis Park, the Aretusa Fountain, the Baroque Cathedral and the Maniace Castle on the Island of Ortigia. TIPS ON SYRACUSE?
Source: Epic Life Flashes
4) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? AGRIGENTO
Another UNESCO-certified treasure of humanity is the archeological area of Agrigento, home to Empedocle, Filino and Luigi Pirandello. Located to the west of the Girgenti Hills and to the east by the Atenea cliff, it presents a wonderful testimony for the rulers of the past. Immersed in the green of olive trees, almonds, citrus orchards and vineyards that extend towards the sea, is the famous Valley of the Temples which with its imposing and elegant monuments evokes the surreal atmosphere of 2500 years old, when the ancient Akagras Agrigentum was a center of power and culture. TIPS ON AGRIGENTO!
Attractions in Agrigento
Located on the south side of Sicily, it has more than 50 buildings including churches, monasteries and shrines that enrich the city’s roads. Passing through Porta da Ponte we arrive at Via Atenea, the old main street, where the nobles’ palaces and the shop windows serve as background in the long walks through Agrigento. In the Valley of the Temples, the splendor of Greek times mixes with the arid panorama modeled by the burning sun and sculpted by ancient secular olive trees. The large archaeological area has become a UNESCO heritage site and offers a unique spectacle to the world; among the main attractions is the Temple of Concordia, one of the most evocative of the time. How about an E-Scooter Tour through the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento? Click here to learn more!
Source: Drone Experience
5) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? SCALA DEI TURCHI
Less than 15 km from the Valley of the Temples we find the Scala dei Turchi (“Stair of the Turks”), a rocky wall that rises in the sea, along the coast of Realmonte. The particularity of this cliff is its wavy shape and intense white color. It appears to be on a glacier in the middle of Antarctica, but it is instead one of the warmest areas in Sicily. Its name probably derives from the fact that the Saracen pirates, defined Turks by the Sicilians even though they are Arabs, used it to get to this place for shelter since the area is less windy. If you are in Catania take a Tour of the Valley of the Temples and Turkish Steps from Catania, click here to find out more!
Attractions in Scala dei Turchi
A breathtaking spectacle, a very white rock, with veins, like those we can do with the fingers of a man in clay. The waves are far from sharp, rounded and winding and look almost like comfortable sofas, chairs in a modern lounge bar. I advise everyone to spend at least one day at sea in Scala dei Turchi, to enjoy the benefits of mud of marl, composed of clay and limestone, a real blessing for the skin.
6) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? PIAZZA ARMERINA
In the middle of the green hills, along the Catania-Palermo highway, we find this famous city in the province of Enna, Piazza Armerina. For those who want to make the most of Sicily, they must visit it and enjoy the most beautiful panorama of the region, in addition to its historical past since Roman times. TIPS ON PIAZZA ARMERINA!
Attractions in Piazza Armerina
The factor that most grabs the attention of the approximately 60,000 tourists who arrive at the Piazza every year is the celebrated Villa del Casale, which has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. It is a Roman employer town, rich in mosaics and history, beauty and past, dated between 3rd and 4th century AD. C. It is composed of four nuclei: the monumental entrance, the thermal complex, the central body (organized in peristyle around a quadrangular court) and an ovoid peristyle. If you are staying in Catania take a full day tour to Caltagirone and Piazza Armerina, click here to find out more!
7) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? NOTO
Splendid fruit of the Sicilian Baroque, Noto is among the most renowned cities in the Siracusan province. Noto was rebuilt in a completely new place after the earthquake. TIPS ON NOTO!
Attractions in Noto
The newer part, on the slope, offers a spectacle next to buildings and streets in Baroque style, to palaces of the nobility, to religious complexes such as the Cathedral of San Nicolò. The symbolic entrance to Noto is the beautiful Porta Ferdinandea, held in 1838 when the news of the arrival of Ferdinand II of Bourbon, King of the Two Sicilies, was received. The jewel of Noto’s civil architecture is the Palazzo Ducezio (Ducezio Palace), opposite the Cathedral and the characteristic and sinuous profile, built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Palazzo Ducezio registers around 1940 the addition of an elevation that enriches the building. Click here to learn more about Noto, Modica and Ragusa: the Baroque tour of Catania!
Source: Sky Drone
8) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? CALTAGIRONE
Almost in the center of Sicily we find Caltagirone, a baroque town famous for its beautiful ceramics produced for over 1,000 years.
Attractions in Caltagirone
The most fascinating point in the city is the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte (St Mary of the Mountain), where we can buy the most beautiful ceramics in all of Sicily. The panorama from the top of the staircase is breathtaking. The historic center of Caltagirone was recognized after the disastrous earthquake of 1693, and therefore offers visitors an all-Baroque beauty. Its rich architecture and the beauty of its facades are evident in churches such as that of Santa Maria del Monte, Saint James Apostle and in palaces such as the Capitanale Court and the Civic Museum.
9) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? SAN VITO LO CAPO
When thinking about Sicilian beauties, we cannot forget about its sea. Among all the fantastic beaches found along the western coast, one stands out particularly, San Vito Lo Capo Beach and the Cigano Nature Reserve. Dubbed “the Sicilian Caribbean”, the splendid beach of San Vito Lo Capo is located in a bay between spectacular mountains that seem to emerge from the sea. It is, in fact, a popular goal with local climbers and tourists.
Attractions in San Vito Lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo is a treasure and, at the same time, a tribute to the Mediterranean: white sand, emerald waters and an incredible view of the Cigano Nature Reserve. Reserva do Cigano was the first protected area in Sicily, created in 1981. It is a true natural paradise thanks to the great variety of flora and fauna that characterize its 1600 hectares. Target of tourists from all over the world, with white beaches that stretch for kilometers mainly with sandy bottom, where we also find small rocky “lagoons”. An open air wonder.
Source: Mariano Di Giovanni
10) What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? TAORMINA
Despite being a small town, Taormina is one of the most visited tourist locations in all of Italy. One of the most exciting destinations is the Greek Theater, situated in a spectacular location, set in the exuberant nature of this land. It is difficult for spectators, even today, to watch the performances without being enchanted by the beautiful panorama that one admires from the old audience. The gaze extends to the sea and reaches the coast of Calabria, the city of Syracuse and the top of the Etna Volcano. TIPS ON TAORMINA!
Attractions in Taormina
The history of Taormina began in the 4th century and its beauty is mainly represented by the presence of important monuments. Taormina is an ideal goal at any time of the year, thanks to the mild climate and the tourist offer oriented to fun, relaxation and “know-how-to-live”. A walk in the Greek Theater is recommended, in Vila Comunal, among the typical vegetation of the Mediterranean spot with a beautiful view of the precipice over the sea. Among the places that you cannot miss near Taormina, a place of honor is dedicated to the Giardini Naxos, Ilha Bella and Mazzarò. Click here to know more about Giardini Naxos: half-day boat trip to Taormina!
Source: Epic Life Flashes
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What are the 10 unmissable cities in Sicily? Finishing this text, I can only say to you how wonderful this land is, these ten places I mentioned are only part of this wonder, you still have a lot to know and discover in every corner of Sicily. The spirit of Sicily permeates the soul of the tourist who decides to visit it, Sicily enchants, captivates and captures the best of us.
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