Sicily, or the ‘stone next to the boot’ is a lovely island with an immense Greek and Roman heritage. With almost an eternal sunshine and warm sea even in November, it is a very attractive place for many visitors. Check out the top 6 attractions to see when visiting the largest island in the Mediterranean.
1、Palermo（Mercato di Ballarò）
The capital of Sicily, this beautiful town boasts many imposing sites which are well worth a visit. Founded by the Phoenicians, then taken over by Carthage, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, Arab rule, and so on, Palermo has been a hub of different civilizations and mentalities throughout the centuries.
If you want to experience a real local life, just go to Mercato di Ballarò where you can still buy meat or vegetables directly from the farmers or fish so fresh that it was swimming in the sea just hours earlier.
2、Valley of the Temples
Just outside of Agrigento, in the Valley of the Temples, you will have the opportunity to see the largest archeological site of the world. With remains from eight temples built between the 5th and 6th century BC, Valley of Temples hosts also the Temple of Concordia, one of the most excellently preserved Greek ruins in existence that inspired the six column design of the UNESCO symbol. Measuring about 1,300 hectares, the park is the largest archaeological site in the world.
Located less than 40km south of Syracuse, Noto boasts one of Sicily’s most beautiful historic centres. The pièce de résistance is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, an elegantly manicured walkway flanked by thrilling baroque palazzi and churches. Stunning at any time of the day, it is especially fabulous in the early evening when the lovely red-gold buildings seem to glow with a soft inner light.
Old Noto was completely destroyed in the extremely violent earthquake that struck Eastern Sicily in 1693, a quake that heavily damaged Catania and Syracuse also. The present site of Noto was rebuilt from scratch, and almost entirely in the Baroque style, the prevailing style of building in Sicily at the time.
Want to climb the largest active volcano in Europe? Although Ancient Greeks thought Mount Etna was home to the Cyclops, it has become one of the major destinations for tourists to the province of Catania. In the winter, visitors can ski down its peaks, while in summer they can hike the woods.
Not feeling that active? You can also see the views from 3000m via one of the cable cars. There are bus services that leave from Catania and a railway line to Riposto.
This picturesque town lies on a rocky hillside and is accessible by car or bus: the road leads up on a steep and narrow serpentine hill which can sometimes be quite tricky to navigate.
Not by accident do I describe this town as ‘picturesque’ – many famous painters were inspired by the beautiful Greek theater here, such as Klimt, Longsdail and Csontváry. But not only that, Taormina became a mountain retreat for many artists, poets and writers such as D.H. Lawrence. It is well worth a visit if you long for a small town offering a little peace and quiet yet also wish to catch a glimpse of the rich historical heritage which Sicily has to offer.
Situated on the eastern coast of Sicily and lying at the foot of Mount Etna, this town offers a lot for everyone: history and modern life go hand-in-hand. Due to a huge volcanic eruption in 1669, which lasted for four months, most of the old town was destroyed. After this calamity, it took a long time to rebuild everything, but thanks to the stamina and determination of the locals, Catania is in bloom once more.
Don’t miss the cathedral, the town hall and the Elephant well, as well as the beautiful gardens of Via Bellini.