Sicily (Sizilia)

Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands and surrounded by three seas: To the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the east by the Ionian Sea and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea.

Sicily was occupied before Christ by the Greeks and Arabs, who left their diversity in culture, language and cuisine.

Sicily has a rich nature with oranges and lemons, almonds and wine. Despite this wealth, the population has always been poor in the city, and even today there is a large gap between the rich Italian north and the poor south.

The Strait of Messina separates Sicily from mainland Italy with Reggio Calabria.

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Experience Sicily

Capital Palermo

Palermo is the port city, cultural city and seat of government of the regional parliament.

In 2018, Palermo was named Italy’s cultural capital, which has helped the city to a beneficial change. Since then, there have been beautiful pedestrian areas that connect the historic markets and the most beautiful sights.

The most famous attraction is the Norman Palace with the Palatine Chapel and the largest opera house in Italy, the Teatro Massimo.

The most beautiful resorts

Taormina

The first and most famous holiday resort to this day is Taormina in eastern Sicily. It was already inhabited in antiquity, as evidenced by the Greek and Roman theatres.

Syracuse

Syracuse was once considered the most beautiful Greek city in Sicily. The Ortygia peninsula is so rich in historical finds and excavations that it takes a few days to explore it all.

Cefalù

Legends surround the city of myths and giants on the northern coast of Sicily, which are not enough for their beauty.

Catania

At the foot of Mount Etna is Catania, the second largest city in Sicily. It is located right by the sea and is very fertile due to the volcanic soil.

Baroque towns in Val di Noto

The towns of Caltagirone, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli. Almost completely destroyed after a terrible earthquake in 1693. Almost simultaneously, the villages in the Sicilian Baroque style have been rebuilt and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ancient excavation sites

If you are interested in the history of Europe, Sicily is in the right place. There’s so much to discover that a holiday isn’t enough.

Bones and commodities have been found in grottoes which date back to the 5th and 12th century b.c. Found pointing to old settlements.

Ebenfalls durch Funde konnte belegt werden, dass bereits im 12. Jh. b.c. Agriculture and livestock farming were carried out in small settlements.

Well-preserved Roman villas with detailed depictions of life on mosaic floors testify to high culture and vast Greek temples testify to the architectural skills of our ancestors.

Sicily’s most beautiful archaeological sites are located in

  • Syracuse-Neapolis Archaeological Park
  • The Greek Theatre of Taormina
  • The Roman villa of Casale near Piazza Armerina
  • Villa Romana del Tellaro
  • Pantalica (Syracuse Province)
  • The Valley of Temples at Agrigento (La Valle dei Templi)
  • Segesta
  • Selinunte

The most important surviving archaeological sites are from the Greeks and Romans. They preserve antiquity for us with their treasures and let us better understand life two to three thousand years ago and what has survived it to this day.

Volcanoes

Mount Etna was declared a World Heritage Site in 2013. It is constantly active and a dreamlike nature reserve for hiking on a volcano.

Other active volcanoes are located on the offshore islands of Vulcano and Stromboli.

Islands off Sicily

Sicily is surrounded by small islands, which are also of volcanic origin and each of which is a gem in itself.

To the northeast is the archipelago of the Liparian Islands, also called Aeoli after the god of wind with the islands of Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and the famous volcanic island of Stromboli.

To the west are the three Aegadian islands of Favignana, Isola di Levanzo and Marettimo. Near Trapani is the private island Mozia, officially known as the Isola San Pantaleo.

To the northwest is the island of Ustica and to the south Pantelleria, as well as the pelagic islands of Linosa and Lampedusa, which is closer to Tunisia than Sicily.

Sicily’s Coasts

Sicily has magnificent coastlines for a seaside holiday where sun is guaranteed almost at any time of year. Wild cliffs, white sandy beaches and natural parks offer the right holiday for every taste.

Our visitor guide

Arrival

Sicily has two international airports: Catania Fontanarossa and Falcone è Borsellino Palermo – Punta Raisi In addition, Trapani has an airport in the west.

You can fly to the islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa, all other islands are accessible by ship.

Motorway connections have been built between major cities, but not all are in good condition or not continuous. That is why there is only a partial obligation to pay tolls.

Highways connect:

  • Palermo-Messina (A20)
  • Palermo-Catania (A19)
  • Messina-Catania – Syracuse – Gela (A18)
  • Palermo – Mazara del Vallo (A29)

History

Sicily has been influenced by so many cultures that it fills entire history books. The Sicily we know today has almost always been under foreign rule and has adopted its cultures and habits, including culinary peculiarities. That is why we are experiencing a diversity of taste in Sicily like perhaps nowhere else.

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