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The island of Sicily truly has everything; historical and archaeological sites in abundance, glorious scenery, delicious food & wine and beautiful beaches.
Sicily is a land of contrasts, as continuous invasions over the centuries have created a curious mix of cultures, traditions and cuisine. In the east of the island you still feel very much in Italy, and few places in the world can beat Taormina’s superb position perched on a cliff above the sea with Mount Etna in the background. The west, however, has a distinctly North African influence, is less visited and still a little rough around the edges.
Sicily also has the finest Greek temples outside Greece, superb Roman and Byzantine mosaics, astonishing Norman cathedrals and flamboyant baroque cities, all set in dramatically beautiful countryside.
If you are looking for something a little unusual then look no further than the stunning Aeolian Islands; a volcanic archipelago lying just off the north east coast and perfect for a few days relaxation.
Read our blog: Top 10 things to do in Sicily.
Where to stay
This part of the island is known both for its natural beauty, with lovely sandy beaches and natur
Stunning views of Europe's largest active volcano, often capped with snow, sweeping sea vistas th
To see more of this fascinating island, take a drive towards the west and back in t
The four elements come together in this unique volcanic archipelago of 7 islands off the north ea
Places to see in Sicily
Visit the archaeological site with one of the largest Greek theatres of the ancient world, the Roman amphitheatre and museum. Time to explore the historic centre of Ortigia with its maze of narrow streets.
Palermo and Cefalù
Visit the vibrant and eclectic city of Palermo with important Arab-Norman monuments and a touch of local colour in the typical “il Capo” market. Then drive to Cefalù with its stunning Byzantine mosaics.
Temples of Agrigento & Piazza Armerina
This amazing archaeological park, a UNESCO world heritage site, contains six Greek temples from the 5th and 6th centuries BC. The Roman Villa at Piazza Armerina is famous for its wonderfully preserved mosaics including the famous women exercising in their ‘bikinis'.
Lipari and Vulcano
By boat from Milazzo to Lipari where there is free time for visiting the old town. Sail around the island to see the 'needles' and the Horse Cave. At Vulcano there will be a chance to swim int he warm sulphurous sea water, enjoy the beach and have lunch (optional).
Food & Drink
Sicilian cuisine has been strongly influenced by the many cultures that have passed through the island. For example, the north African influence of cous cous with fish and the many desserts with honey, almonds and raisins. Dishes are flavoured with the abundant herbs that grow in the warm climate of Sicily such as rosemary, basil, parsley and oregano.
Try Sicily's local cheap fast food, arancine, which are fried rice balls with lots of different fillings. Famous pasta dishes include pesto all Trapanese with almonds and tomatoes or pasta alla Norma with aubergines.
The modern method of making ice cream was invented in Sicily and so gelato is fundamental to everyday life. Another ‘must’ are the cannoli, a cripsy pastry filled with fresh ricotta cheese and served at breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Vines have been cultivated here for centuries and there are now many varieties of grapes producing white and red wines. Try Nero d’Avola, Cerasuolo di Vittoria or Bianco d’Alcamo.
The unique and unforgettable backdrop of the Greek Theatre in Taormina is the setting for the Taormina Arte festival, a series of music and dance performances. Taormina Film Fest held in June is world-renowned.
The Greek Theatre Festival is held in Syracuse during May and June when classical Greek tragedies are performed in the amphitheatre at sunset. Infiorata di Noto takes place on a weekend in May when the streets of the pretty town of Noto are covered in flower petals creating open air works of art.
Most towns and villages in Sicily hold their own festivals to celebrate their local food and wine. Piana degli Albanesi near Palermo holds a cannoli festival the last week of May where you can sample all sorts of tasty cakes and La Sagra del Mare is celebrated in Marzara del Vallo near Marsala in the 3rd week of August when huge frying pans are used to cook up fishy feasts.