Sicily is one of those places that can’t be missed by those who are most passionate about Italy. Its colours, flavours and traditions are quite unique; it is rich in culture in the arts, music, literature and cuisine, with architecture dating from the Greeks to the Baroque. Below is a list of the must do things in Sicily, which is just a little taste of what there is to experience.
Before plunging ourselves into the must do things in Sicily, here is a little background. Sicily, triangular in shape, is the largest island on the Mediterranean Sea and can easily be reached with ferries to Sicily from several Italian ports. Once on the island, the best way to explore the territory is to rent a car and explore at your leisure so as not to miss the must do things in Sicily.
The must do things in Sicily
1. Tonnara di Favignana: if you visit the amazing island of Favignana, which offers the typical flavours of Sicily, sun, sea, relaxation and history, and is only 7 km off the western shore, be sure you take time to discover the old tuna fish factory. From the end of the 1800s until the 1970s, several inhabitants managed to support their families thanks to the work at the tuna factory. This jewel of industrial architecture has been abandoned for many years. Finally, in 2009 it was transformed into a museum dedicated to the tuna fishing practice.
2. Noto: Nearly at the most southern tip of Italy, visiting this particular town is well worth your time just to see the buildings which, built with local sandstone, turn gold in the sunlight. Noto and the other towns in the Val di Noto are recognized for their late Baroque style. More info on what to visit in Noto.
3. Cattedrale di Palermo: like every major Italian city, Palermo is home to a Cathedral worth admiration, although the Palermo Cathedral is quite different from those in other parts of Italy. Don’t miss the nativity scene during the Christmas season.
4. Valley of the Temples: this archaeological site, which sits at the foot of Agrigento and on a hill overlooking the sea, should not be missed during your stay in Sicily. It was built in 580 BC by the Greeks and, in 1997, become a member of the UNESCO Heritage Sites. It will be especially appreciated by those who are interested in ancient history and Greek mythology. It is best to visit the valley either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, not only to avoid the number of tourists, but to enjoy it without the burning Sicilian sun.
5. Saline di Trapani: interesting for adults and fun for children. This salt flats contain old Sicilian traditions and offer breath-taking views. The best time of day to visit is at sunset, you will understand why once there.
6. Eat a cannolo: The best among Italian pastry. Although Cannoli are sold all year long, they were originally made to celebrate the Carnival (Mardi Gras). Many legends surround the cannolo recipe. Some think it was invented by some cloistered nuns, while others believe that it has Arabic origins.
7. Pane e Panelle in Palermo: the most famous sandwich in Palermo. It means literally “bread with a pankake made of chickpeas”. This simple but amazing specialty is sold at the classic “Pannellaro” throughout the city, topped only with a little bit of salt and some lemon. It can be enjoyed both as a snack or as a proper meal.
8. Alcantara Gorge: Located in the Alcantara river park just below Mount Etna, this park has been witness to important geological events throughout history. Its gorges were created by the lava stemming from volcanic eruptions. The activities inside the park are many, including taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of the river to cool off from the hot Sicilian summers.
9. Selinunte: Selinunte was an ancient Greek city. The name Selinunte comes from the Greek word “selinon” which means wild parsley. This plant, in fact, still grows wild in the area today. A lesser known archaeological park than the Valley of the Temples, and perhaps for this reason more beautiful, where you can enjoy Greek Temples that stand practically on the water.
10. Taormina: it offers culture, vast stretches of beaches and nightlife for the young and young at heart. The most important historical site is the Roman-Greek Theatre. The Etna Vulcano can be admired from Taormina, as well as the Ionian sea.
11. Castelmola: once in the Taormina area, it is worth stopping to spend time at this delightful little town which lies atop a fortress, and from which you can admire an incredible panorama. Be sure to taste the typical specialty: the sweet almond wine.
Besides this list of must do things in Sicily, there are several other amazing places and traditions, so let yourself be carried away by its colors.
Did you know?
The Sicilian flag is s the fourth oldest flag in the world.