Today I’m bringing you another one of Mary Johnson’s articles on Italy that she’s kindly contributing to my blog whenever she has special gems to share with us all. This time the spotlight is on Sicily and 5 of the places that should be very high on your list to visit!
Are you planning to visit Italy? Headed to Sicily on vacation? Good choice! The island is packed with amazing activities, historical sites, lots of culture and tasty food that will keep you happy and entertained, without a doubt. Because there are so many options of things to see and do in Sicily, I have compiled a list of my top 5 hottest spots in Sicily. Here we go!
This picturesque village is perched on a mountain overlooking the Ionian coast of Sicily. Besides boasting some of Sicily’s best villas to rent, Taormina is a magical place full of fantastic restaurants, shops, and clean and beautiful beaches nearby. Of course, the historical side is ubiquitous. The ancient Greek amphitheatre, Teatro Greco, offers a panoramic view of the coast and Mount Etna towering behind. It is still used for both concerts and plays, so make sure to check the calendar before you go for upcoming events. I definitely recommend taking a day trip to Mount Etna, it is close and if you love nature you should not miss a visit to Europe’s most active volcano.
Get Baroque in Southeast Sicily
You should definitely check out Siracusa and Piazza Armerina on the southeast side of the island. However, I recommend staying in nearby Ragusa or Noto. Their churches and palaces are in the unique Sicilian Baroque style architecture. There are stunning and unique to 18th-century Sicilian art. The landscapes are also breathtaking. Take a trip up to the Hyblaean mountain towns as you will encounter architecture similar to what you would find in Malta. The beaches are world-class in this area as well. I particularly recommend a day or two at the Vendicari Nature Reserve.
On the west side of the island, perched on a hill above Trapani, you will find Erice. From its Punic walls and castle to its medieval streets, Erice is definitely a magical town. You may even think you’ve stepped into a time machine when you wander down these little pedestrian-only alleyways. If you happen to be there for the Good Friday procession, you are in for an atmosphere unlike anywhere in the country. Make sure to try the local pastries, “genovesi”, that are the pride of the town. After tasting them, you’ll understand why!
Cefalù is often referred to as the Taormina of western Sicily. There is a breathtaking Norman cathedral whose design will blow you off your feet. It is right on the sea, so the salty air winds throughout the streets for a truly magical experience. There is also an ancient Sicanian temple and the ruins of a castle on the rocky cliff that lays above the town itself. The streets are narrow, like in Erice, and you will find all sorts of interesting boutiques and shops. the public beach is very well-maintained as well. If you’re staying in Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, Cefalù is just an hour away by car. So it makes a great option for a relaxing, peaceful, and gorgeous day trip away from chaotic Palermo.
Featured Image: Cefalu’ at Dawn