Sicily: sights and interesting places

Sightseeing in Sicily

This article presents the ranking of the top sights of Sicily in 2022 with photos and descriptions. The best sights of Sicily are reflected on the map. You will also learn what to see and where to go in Sicily first on your own and with children. Informative and interesting excursions in Sicily are available in the project Experts.Turister.Ru .

Sicily is a picturesque Italian island, washed by three seas and shrouded in many legends. There are so many iconic places on the island that it’s hardly possible to explore them in one trip.

The ranking of the most important attractions of Sicily is headed by the volcano Etna, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe. Other active volcanoes are Stromboli and Vulcano, which are located north of Sicily. You can get to the volcanic islands as part of the tour.

A must-see is the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. In the vast area there are ruins of Greek temples such as the Temple of Zeus the Olympic with the figure of Atlanta, the Temple of Hercules, the temples of Concordia, Juno, Castor and Pollux.

Sicily’s nature delights with a saturation of colors and liveliness. The place of tourist attraction is the Turkish Steps (Scala dei Turki). Snow-white rocks combined with a rich blue sky create an incredible landscape. Another unique natural attraction with a poetic name is the Cyclopes coast. According to legend, this is where Odysseus took away the eye of Cyclops, who started throwing stones into the water, which became the basis for the unusual relief of the coast.

A place of unique natural beauty is the Alcantara gorge with waterfalls. The canyon owes its formation to the volcano Etna.

Etna

In the archaeological park “Neapolis” in the city of Syracuse there is the legendary cave “Ear of Dionysius”, a walk through which will be remembered for a long time.

The ancient town of Erice is situated on the top of the mountain. The picturesque scenery lies not only in the location of Erice, but also in the “frozen time”: the look of the city does not change over the centuries. Many tourists head to Erice to experience the spirit and national flavor of Sicily.

One of the most visited and non-trivial attractions is the Capuchin catacombs in Palermo. The funerary catacombs hold the remains of several thousand of the city’s dignitaries, forming the largest and most popular display of mummies. The Pantalica Necropolis also attracts many tourists for its historical importance – thousands of tombs dating back to the 13th century B.C. have been carved into the rock.

The architecture of the island is refined and monumental. Centuries-old temples and cathedrals attract hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world. Some of the most important in the history, religion, architecture and culture of the island are the Cathedral of Palermo, the Palatine Chapel and the Cathedral of Monreale, erected in the XII century.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Villa del Casale, whose uniqueness lies in the perfectly preserved mosaics from the 4th century A.D., is on the list of must-see landmark historical sites.

The residence of the Sicilian kings was the Norman Palace, the first building of which dates back to the Phoenician era. The most famous surviving part of the palace is the Palatine Chapel.

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Here are the top 30 places of interest in Sicily

The active volcano Etna is located in the east of the island of Sicily, on the coast, near the town of Messina.

In Italy, churches are practically at every turn, but the complex near Agrigento is incomparable. Sicilian City.

The Grand Opera House is another famous attraction of Palermo. The theater, the building of which was built.

Alcantara Gorge is one of the most popular geological parks in Italy. Many tourists call it.

Monreale Cathedral is a significant and widely known architectural landmark of the island of Sicily.

It is another famous monument of Palermo, combining a variety of architectural styles. Built in 1143.

Sightseeing in Sicily on a map

  • Regional Info
  • Weather in Sicily
  • Attractions (37)
  • Beaches (11)
  • Temples, Cathedrals, Mosques (44)
  • Restaurants and Cafes (34)
  • Museums (18)
  • Theaters (5)
  • Castles, Palaces (13)
  • Train stations (2)
  • Airports (4)
  • Amusement Parks (12)
  • Fountains (4)
  • Parks (5)
  • Stores and malls (1)
  • Markets (3)
  • Squares (5)
  • Galleries (1)
  • Natural reservations (1)
  • Mountains (2)
  • Tourist Offices (1)
  • Volcanoes (1)
  • Zoos (1)
  • Festivals, Holidays, Shows (1)

The attractions of Sicily’s cities are varied in number and content. Every street in every little community is steeped in the spirit of history, and the architecture of Sicily works like a time machine and allows you to step back in time for a moment.

To visit all the interesting cities such as Palermo, Catania, Syracuse, Trapani, Taormina, Marsala, Noto, Ragusa, Caltagirone, Agrigento, Cefalù and dozens of others in one trip will be quite difficult, if not impossible. Whichever part of the island you find yourself in, it is definitely worth visiting the most important, iconic and popular attractions.

The main attractions of Palermo are primarily the palaces and residences of kings and local nobles, such as Palazzo Normanni, Palazzo Cube and Palazzo Cisa, Villa Palagonia. Numerous cathedrals of Palermo fascinate by the subtlety and elegance of architecture. The Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady, the Church of Martorana, the Cathedral of Monreale are worth seeing first of all.

The museums of Palermo present both classic exhibitions, such as the Archaeological Museum, the Art Museum and the Regional Gallery of Sicily, as well as very non-trivial and fascinating ones, as in the Capuchin Catacombs. The cultural program can be enriched by a visit to one of the ancient theaters of Palermo, Massimo or Politeama.

Palermo Cathedral

Palermo Cathedral © Irina Dementieva

The gem of the city is the huge fountain “Pretoria” (fountain of shame), spread in the heart of the historic center. The botanical garden of Palermo, whose beauty is known far beyond the island, is definitely worth a visit.

About 35 km from Palermo there is a small town called Corleone which gave its name to the “Godfather”. The town has a rich and complex history, which you can learn on a tour at the Mafia Museum.

One of the most popular destinations in Sicily is Catania, the main attraction of which is the volcano Etna, at the foot of which stretches the largest amusement park on the island, “Etnaland”.

The Elephant Fountain is one of the most photographed objects in the city. It is located in the very historical heart of the city on Gathering Square, along with the city gates, the town hall and the Cathedral of St. Agatha. Among the largest monuments of the city’s archaeology that every traveler must see are the Ursino fortress, the Roman amphitheater and Palazzo Biscari. If you have the opportunity and time, it is worth checking out the repertoire and visiting the Bellini Theater.

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The religious buildings of past centuries, such as the Church of St. Benedict, the Benedictine monastery and the collegiate basilica, have a special place in the architecture of the city and are perfectly preserved for future generations, but the Church of St. Nicholas, which was never completed, is not.

The city of Taormina is also a favorite tourist destination, with its picturesque nature and landscape. The most beautiful “postcard” views are of Isola Bella, Capo Taormina, Sant’Andrea and Sant’Alessio. To get in touch with history, you can go to the ancient Greek theater, built in the III – II century BC or visit the ruins of the ancient Roman period Naumahia.

Greek and Roman theaters are also preserved in the city of Syracuse, which is also interesting and unique with its later architecture. In contrast to the classical cathedral of Syracuse, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Tears (Church of the Weeping Madonna) is unique and the only architectural masterpiece of its kind in the world.

The ancient seaside town of Cefalù is chosen by tourists for a beach holiday, which can be varied by visiting the leading sights – the Cathedral of Cefalù, the Mandralisca Museum, the Temple of Diana. The most recognizable landmark of the municipality is the rock “La Rocca”.

If you can, it is worth visiting a unique natural landmark – the pink lake Isola Lunga, which is located between Trapani and Marsala. You can learn about the salt extraction process at the Trapani Saltworks and Salt Museum.

Valley of temples in Agrigento

The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento © Irina Dementieva

Holidays in Sicily with children

Undoubtedly, holidays in Sicily will appeal to children of all ages. Sandy beaches, bright nature, unusual landscapes will capture the attention of the little traveler and will remain in memory for a long time. To surprise and entertain your baby, you can take him to one of the amusement parks or water parks of Sicily. Taking into account the location of the main children’s attractions, you can plan the most suitable itinerary.

The largest amusement park is Etnaland. The park includes a water park and a theme park with rides for children of different ages. Etnaland is on the must-see list if you vacation with children.

A large water park “Aqua Verde” can also be visited in picturesque Cefalù. The water park “Conte” in Sommantino has good opportunities for water entertainment. More modest water parks are “Monreale” near Palermo, “Europark Roccella” in San Cataldo and “Aretusa” in Meli.

You can also visit the water parks “Scivolandia” in Agrigento province, “Acquasplash” in Campobello di Mazzara and “Toy Park Beach” in Palermo. A huge disadvantage is only the seasonality of the open water parks – from June to September.

All children are interested in the animal world. If you are traveling with a child, missing a visit to the zoo would be an unfortunate omission. In Sicily you can visit several places whose inhabitants will captivate the attention of children – the Parco d’Orleans Nature Reserve of Palermo, the Sicilian Biopark.

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School-age children will surely enjoy a visit to the Museo Di Zoologia P. Doderlein in Palermo, with its unique collection of fish, insects, birds and other fauna. There is also a museum of fauna in the Natural Park of Nebrodi in the municipality of Mistretta.

The INAF Palermo Astronomical Observatory is located in Palermo. There are many programs aimed specifically at little visitors, but if the child does not know the language, you can just admire the stars through the telescopes at the planetarium.

Inquisitive children in Sicily can be taken to one of the museums, whose collections are sure to interest children. Catania has a museum and theater “Pupi Fratelli Napoli” with a large collection of marionettes. Several thousand traditional puppets are also part of the collection of the Puppet Museum in Palermo.

In Erice there is the Museum of Miniatures, where you can look at reduced copies of the streets of the municipality, and in Catania there is a park-museum “Sicily in miniature”. The open-air park allows children to experience the main attractions of Sicily in one go.

A relatively small chocolate museum is located in Modica. Children can see artfully carved figures and a chocolate map of Italy.

Sicily’s amusement parks have many attractions for children of all ages. Avventura Madonie, Parcallario and Nebrodi Adventure Parks are located in natural areas and are just right for sports, outdoor walks, outdoor activities and family fun.

Private guides in Sicily

Russian private guides will help you to get acquainted with Sicily in more detail. On the project Experts.Turister.Ru there are 6 registered Russian guides in Sicily.

Sightseeing in Sicily

The Volcano Etna Taormina Greek theater Noto Gorge Alcantara Cefalù Cathedral Piazza Armerina Volcano Island

This site contains Sicilian sights – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to questions: what to see in Sicily, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Sicily.

Volcano Etna

Volcano Etna (photo)

Mighty and formidable volcano Etna, home of giants, Cyclops and the Olympic gods, has existed for over 500 thousand years and still attracts many fans of extreme holidays.

On average, Etna volcano erupts every three months, and every 150 years lava flows wipe out some nearby settlement. But this in no way scares the native Sicilians, who quite densely inhabit the slopes of Etna, because the lava ash is extremely fertile soil.

One legend says that there are giants languishing in the bowels of Etna. Having lost the war with the Olympic Gods, they are chained together, and are waiting for the moment to break free and avenge their titan brothers. On the volcano itself lives the god Hephaestus.

Climbing Etna is possible from either side. There are cable cars, daily buses, or guided tours by off-road buses. It is also possible to hike, but in this case, it is better to hire a guide.

Coordinates: 37.75443000,14.99210400

Taormina

Taormina (photo)

Taormina is an ancient town located on the Sicilian coast, between Catania and Messina. It reports to the administrative center in Messina. Nearby is the island of Isola Bella. The population of Taormina is 10,863 inhabitants.

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After the destruction of the port city of Naxos in 403 B.C., the Greek settlement of Tavromenion was formed on the shores of the Ionian Sea. Then, in 394 BC, King Dionysius the Elder settled the Siculians (the ancient people of the island of Sicily). In 290 BC, the evil tyrant Tyndarion ruled this city. In 210 B.C. Taormina surrendered to the Romans and gradually fell into decline.

After the beautiful wide beaches and the ruins of the city, as well as the Roman odeon and the Greek theater, attracted the attention of European intellectuals, Taormina became one of the popular resorts of Sicily. Nowadays, international prizes are awarded every year as well as music, theater and dance festivals.

Coordinates : 37.850000,15.28333300

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Greek theater

Greek theater (photo)

The theater in Taormina is an ancient structure built in the III century BC. The stage with good acoustics and the grandstands, with a capacity of 10,000 spectators, are still intact and are still used for different events.

The building has been excellently preserved, despite the fact that no restoration work was carried out after the Romans had converted it for gladiatorial fights in the first century AD and until the 19th century. Today the building is in excellent condition and is used for various film festivals, concerts and other events.

Coordinates : 37.85238600,15.29223300

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Noto (photo)

Noto and seven other towns in the area were completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1693 and rebuilt in the early 18th century in late Baroque style. Subsequently the original buildings were carefully preserved and the towns retained their historic appearance. In recent decades the Noto area began to develop tourism and organic farming.

Eight towns in southeastern Sicily – Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli – were rebuilt in or near their former locations after the 1693 earthquake. It was an ambitious complex of joint measures, successfully implemented at a high architectural and artistic level. Built in the late Baroque style, these towns showed innovative methods of planning and building for their time.

32 km from Syracuse, it is known as the “capital of the Baroque” and has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

Alcantara Gorge

Alcantara Gorge (photo)

The deep gorge of Alcantara and the river of the same name that flows in its valley, is the most interesting natural monument in Sicily. The gorge itself for its natural architectural beauty is sometimes called an unwrought baroque.

The gorge was formed because of the activity of the volcano Mojo, a side crater of Etna. More than 2,000 years ago it erupted so violently that the lava split the rock and poured into the gorge. Later, water rushed there as well, which polished the solidified lava and gave it a bizarre, folded shape.

You can admire the gorge from a special viewing platform, to which tourists rises a special elevator. The cost of such a tour is 3 euros.

Coordinates: 37.87797000, 15.17696200

Cefalù Cathedral

Cefalu Cathedral in Sicily (photo)

The Cathedral of Cefalù is the cathedral of the diocese of Cefalù, belonging to the metropolitan province of Palermo, island of Sicily. According to legend, it was built by Roger II, the founder and first king of the Kingdom of Sicily, on the site of a miraculous rescue from a storm.

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The cathedral is located at the foot of the rock with the same name (La Rocca), which is also the symbol of Cefalù.

Cefalù Cathedral was built on the site of an ancient settlement. Construction began in 1131 and was completed in 1267.

The architecture of the cathedral has a distinctly Norman style and pristine, as the cathedral practically avoided the later additions and reconstructions so common in these places. Only in the XV century a portico was added to the lower part of the facade, which blended in quite organically. The facade itself is notable for its two Norman towers that make the temple reminiscent of a knight’s castle.

Inside, the cathedral is a Latin cross and has a gallery of ancient columns. Experts say that Cefalù Cathedral combines typical features of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. Its walls are decorated with unique mosaics of the Byzantine school, dating back to 1145.

Coordinates : 38.03967500,14.02336100

Piazza Armerina

Piazza Armerina (photo)

Piazza Armerina is a commune in the province of Enna of the island of Sicily. It is located in the middle of the island, away from the sea, on the slopes of the Erea Mountains, not far from Mount Enna. The town, located at an altitude of 700 to 880 meters above sea level, is surrounded by mostly deciduous and eucalyptus forests. Piazza Armerina is often visited by fans of continental travel. Its elevation is a peculiarity – some places offer amazing views of the whole of Sicily.

Many people come here just to admire the panoramic views of almost the entire island. Local places of interest such as the Villa Romana de Casale, the town’s main cathedral, the 14th century Spinelli Castle, and many more.

Coordinates: 37.38333300,14.36666700

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Island of Vulcano

Vulcano Island (photo)

The island of Vulcano is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea near the coast of Sicily. The name of the island comes from the ancient Roman god of smith Vulcano. It was believed that the pipes of his giant forge reached the surface of the earth here.

Vulcano is the southernmost of the Aeolian or Leparian Islands, owing its appearance to incessant volcanic activity. In fact, the island is an amalgamation of several volcanoes, one of which Fossa is still active. The last major eruption of Fossa occurred in 1888, but the volcano periodically demonstrates its vitality by emitting jets of steam and sulfurous gases called fumaroles.

Once the main occupation of the local population was to collect the sulfur that came to the surface after the eruption. Today, most people work in the tourism industry. People come to the island for the beautiful clean water, unusual scenery, excursions to the volcano crater and the famous sulfur mud baths. The island is also famous for the malvasia from the vineyards growing on its volcanic slopes.

Coordinates: 38.39091700,14.97433800

The most popular attractions in Sicily with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Sicily on our website.

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