Discovering Sicily: Must-See Sights and Hidden Treasures
Updated: Oct 30
When most people think of Sicily, they picture beautiful beaches, stunning coastlines, and the rich flavours of Italian cuisine. While these are certainly highlights of this enchanting island, there's much more to discover beneath the surface. Sicily is a treasure trove of unique and offbeat attractions that often go unnoticed by mainstream tourists. If you're looking for a different approach to exploring this beautiful island, here are seven sights to include in your Sicilian adventure:
Valley of the Temples in Agrigento: While this UNESCO World Heritage site is relatively well-known, what makes it unique is visiting at night. The Valley of the Temples offers night tours where the ancient Greek temples are illuminated, creating an otherworldly ambience that sets the stage for a memorable evening.
Valley of the Temples at night
Scala dei Turchi: This stunning natural wonder, located near Agrigento, is a pure white marlstone cliff sculpted by wind and water into smooth, undulating shapes. It's a great spot for sunset viewing or just an unusual place to sunbathe and swim, with its bizarre yet beautiful terrain.
Scala dei Turchi
Catacombs of the Capuchins (Catacombe dei Cappuccini) in Palermo: Explore the eerie underground world of the Catacombs of the Capuchins, where you can find mummies of Capuchin monks, nobility, and common people. The perfectly preserved corpses are dressed in their finest attire and arranged in lifelike poses, making for a unique and slightly macabre experience.
Taormina: located on the eastern coast of Sicily, is a picturesque town with stunning sea and Mount Etna views. It boasts a well-preserved ancient Greek amphitheatre, the Teatro Greco, and a charming old town with winding cobblestone streets, boutique shops, and cafes. Taormina's rich history is reflected in landmarks like the Palazzo Corvaja, and it offers a delectable taste of Sicilian cuisine, including fresh seafood and citrus-infused dishes. Its vibrant cultural events and beautiful beaches, such as Isola Bella, make Taormina a delightful destination for both relaxation and exploration.
Sea view from Taormina
Villa Palagonia in Bagheria: Known for its eccentric architecture, Villa Palagonia is a Baroque masterpiece filled with whimsical, grotesque statues that adorn its gardens and terraces. This place exudes an air of eccentricity and quirkiness that is sure to pique your curiosity.
Gorgeous Baroque Villa Palagonia and its gardens
Mount Etna: Mount Etna, or "Mongibello" in Sicilian, is an awe-inspiring natural wonder that dominates the Sicilian landscape. This active stratovolcano not only offers a dramatic backdrop to many Sicilian towns, including Taormina, but it's also a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers. Visitors can explore its diverse landscapes, including lush forests, lunar-like craters, and the barren lava fields produced by past eruptions.
You can take guided tours to the summit to witness volcanic activity, enjoy panoramic views of Sicily, and learn about the geological and historical significance of this iconic volcano. Mount Etna is not only a geological wonder but also a symbol of Sicily's unique natural beauty and its intriguing, ever-changing landscape.
The majestic landscape of Mount Etna
Aeolian Islands: a stunning volcanic archipelago off the northern coast of Sicily. These islands are known for their natural beauty, clear waters, and diverse landscapes. You can explore the volcanic craters, relax on pristine beaches, and experience the unique culture and cuisine of each island, making it an excellent alternative destination in Sicily.
Aeolian color palette
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