Sicilian Food & Traditions

What to see in Sicily: 5 sites you can’t miss

Sicily is the largest island of the Mediterranean area and it is definitely worth visiting it far and wide at least once in a lifetime. Its vast territory satisfies the preferences of any traveler: from trekking and nature passionate, to sea lovers, to gourmets eager to try delicious dishes, to art and culture enthusiasts. So, how to decide what to see in Sicily? It is difficult to sum it up in a few lines, impossible indeed, but we can try. Here are the main places to see in Sicily.

What to see in Sicily: our suggestions

1. Palermo: art and food tradition

Palermo, the capital city of Sicily, amazes at any corner. Its original name has a Phoenician foundation: “Zyz” which means “flower”. The historical center is definitely to visit on foot, immersing yourself in its Arab-Normann beauties. Since 2015 seven incredible buildings have been listed in the Unesco World Heritage site, all worth being visited. Among these, the marvelous Palatine Chapel (Cappella Palatina in Italian), a jewel of the Normann art, and the majestic Cathedral.

What to see in Sicily: Palermo
Cathedral of Palermo

Do not forget to visit Monreale, not far from the center of Palermo. Here you can’t miss the visit of the Cathedral: the golden mosaics will amaze you. If you want to complete the Unesco Arab-Normann itinerary, you can visit the last site of the path, the Cathedral of Cefalù.

If you love the street-art we suggest you to stop at the market of Ballarò, one of the typical markets of the multicultural Palermo and truly one of the many open-air museums. Finally, we dare you to resist to the street food of Palermo: arancine, pane and panelle, sfincioni and cannoli with ricotta are just some of the delicacies you can enjoy around the streets of the city.

2.Siracusa: the places of Baroque Sicily

Ortigia, the ancient area of Siracusa dating back to the greek age, is another of the places to visit in Sicily; if you love art but you don’t want to miss also the see and the nature this is the right place for you. Close to the Duomo of Siracusa,in the little baroque Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia you will impressed by the presence of a Caravaggio painting, the Burial of St. Lucy.

what to see in Sicily: Siracusa
The beautiful Piazza Duomo in Ortigia – Siracusa

If you are enthusiastic about archeology you definitely must go to the Archaeological Park of the Neapolis: marvel among the others at the amazing Greek Theater, the Latomie, and the Ear of Dionysus.

Driving approximately 20 minutes from the center, you can arrive in what can be considered an earthly paradise; we are talking about the Marine Protected area of ​​Plemmirio.

Noto, a city close to Siracusa, is one of the Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, Unesco World Heritage site, and for sure one of the places to visit in Sicily. We are sure that it will amaze and conquer you. A must-see is the Cathedral of Noto with the frescoes of the Russian painter Oleg Supereko. Don’t forget to put your eyes to the top! The balconies of the buildings of Corso Vittorio Emanuele amaze for charm and opulence.

3. Agrigento: archaeology and relax

Lovers of archaeology, Agrigento is the place for you! It is definitely one of the places you must visit in Sicily. The Valley of the Temples, one of the best-preserved archaeological parks of the island, will marvel you.

Summertime is the ideal season to go the Turkish Steps (Scala Dei Turchi in Italian); this characteristic white rocky cliff, stands between two white beaches of fine sand. Located approximately 20 minutes far drive from Agrigento, it is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing day and an incredible landscape.

4.Milazzo: a view of the Aeolian Islands.

Of ancient origins, in the province of Messina, Milazzo is the ideal destination especially for those passionate of the sea and nature. The Pool of Venus (Piscina di Venere in Italian), a natural rocky lake, is in fact a beautiful place where you can enjoy a breathtaking view. You can only get there walking after a short nature trail accessible to anyone. So, remember to wear hiking shoes.

In front of Milazzo, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, there are the Aeolian Islands, another wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lipari and Salina are the largest and the most popular; also Vulcano and Stromboli are also worth visiting. The thermal mud of Vulcano has excellent beneficial properties; instead, in Stromboli there is the homonymous volcano, still active. If you prefer silence and tranquility you can opt for Filicudi and Alicudi, ideal places to enjoy long trekking, fully immersed in nature.

5. The Riviera dei Ciclopi and “a’ Muntagna”

The Faraglioni of Acitrezza

One last idea of what to see in Sicily, could be the Riviera dei Ciclopi, which takes its name from the myth of the Cyclops, Giants mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey. This area includes the coast of the towns of Aci Castello, Aci Trezza and Acireale in the province of Catania.

In Aci Trezza, the village of the novel of Verga “I Malavoglia” is strictly linked to the legend of the cyclops Polyphemus who threw lava stones to Ulysses, giving life to the so-called Faraglioni, the islands of the Cyclops. Located in front of the picturesque seaside, they represent an attraction in the beautiful days of spring and summer. You can enjoy them even more by tasting an arancino or a cipollina, some of the typical street food specialties of Catania.

If you are nearby, especially during the Carnival period, it is worth a visit to Acireale, also to taste a delicious almond or pistachio granita with brioche!

In Acireale and in the neighboring villages is widespread the processing of the lava stone, due to the proximity to the highest active volcano in Europe: Etna. Called by the Sicilians “a Muntagna“, is the favorite destination of many adventurers keen on trekking. The Southside is the most touristic one, and is characterized by the presence of the cable car; the Northside is the less crowed and the most interesting in naturalistic terms. Why not discover them with us?

Our tours Good Morning Etna and Etna, Wine, and Alcantara, available throughout the year, are the perfect match between nature and food tradition; our professional naturalistic guides will lead you and let you discover all the secrets and beauties of our amazing volcano. At the end of the excursion, you will have a restoring lunch break with typical Sicilian products and a wine tasting of delicious Etna DOC wines.

If you are interested in doing a tour in one of the most beautiful places of Sicily, visit our website Sicily Day by Day to find out all our excursions!