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Sicily: Where History Meets Volcanoes

Updated: Jun 10


Volcano Etna - Sicily

Sicily: The jewel of the Mediterranean


Welcome, dreamers and adventurers, to our cozy corner of the internet. Today, we're taking you on a journey to Sicily, the jewel of the Mediterranean.


Located in the southern part of Italy, it is a paradise for lovers of history, culture, and nature. It is toe of the boot-shaped peninsula of Italy.


Legend has it that Bacchus, the god of wine and fertility, was conceived in a cave in Sicily.


Vito Corleone, the most illustrious mafioso in fiction, is from there. The one in real life – capo di tutti capi – too.



The island has been touched by many civilizations. From the Phoenicians, Arabs, and Greeks to the Byzantines, each has left its mark! Sicily is a treasure trove of diverse architecture and well-preserved Greco-Roman treasures.


It contrasts imposing monuments and the unmistakable colors of the Mediterranean.


This cultural diversity is reflected in its architecture. Admire imposing monuments such as the Temple of Apollo in Syracuse, the Castle of Erice, and the Cathedral of Palermo.


But Sicily isn't just about history and culture. It's also beautiful beaches like Taormina, Cefalù, and Agrigento. Not to mention the most active volcano in Europe, Etna.



The Historic Cities and Treasures of Sicily


Sicily

The historic cities are like open-air museums! Each tells their own unique story of the island. Each offers a unique experience.


The capital of Sicily, Palermo, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. The city houses historical and cultural attractions. Visit Palermo Cathedral, Cappella Palatina, and the Royal Palace of Palermo.


The influences of different civilizations are present. The Palazzo Reale was built by the Arabs and renovated by the Norman kings who resided there.


Admire the Duomo, founded in 1184 on a basilic, with an architecture unlike any other Italian cathedral. Walk to Piazza Pretoria, a baroque square with a beautiful fountain.


Vila Pescador is charming with its old houses. It is located on one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Sicily.


Taormina is well-known for its beautiful beaches, mild climate, and historic architecture.

The city is home to the Greek Theater of Taormina, one of the best-preserved ancient theaters in the world. At the top of Mount Taurus, it offers a magnificent view of the Ionian Sea and the majestic volcano Etna.


The theater hosts an arts festival with classical and modern music concerts In June and August. At the foot of the hill, along a winding and stunning road (scene from 007 – The Spy Who Loved Me), beautiful beaches like Isolabella.


One of the oldest cities in Sicily, Syracuse was founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC. Stop by the Temple of Apollo, the Teatro Greco, and the Orecchio di Dionisio.


Agrigento is home to the Valley of the Temples. It is an archaeological site housing some of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world.


A vibrant and cosmopolitan city, Catania was founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC. Discover the Catania Cathedral, Ursino Castle, and Piazza del Duomo.


It's hard to choose between them. If you have time, visit them all!!


The beaches of Sicily


Sicily beaches

Sicily's beaches are a paradise for sun and sea lovers. With white sand, crystal clear waters, and a warm climate, the beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world.

Some of the most popular beaches:

  • San Vito lo Capo: fine white sand, crystal clear waters, and panoramic views of Monte Cofano.

  • Cefalù is one of the most popular beaches in Sicily. Well- known for its scenic location, with Mount Etna in the background.

  • Isola Bella: This beach is a small island off the coast of Taormina and is a delight!!

Sicily is also home to many other lesser-known beaches that are equally beautiful. With so many options, you will easily find the perfect beach to relax and soak up the sun.


I always like alternating a day of culture and history with a day at the beach and sun!


Etna Volcano


It is the highest volcano in Europe, with an altitude of 3,329 meters. Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has erupted more than 200 times since the 10th century BC. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013.


Even in activity, it deserves a visit. Climb to the top by 4x4 or cable car. Ignore the smell of sulfur and the incandescent ash! Walk over the various layers of lava solidified over the centuries, enjoy the landscape... and feel like you're walking through hell!!


When you get down, have a wine to relax.


The Gastronomy


Sicily's cuisine has Italian, Greek, and Arabic influences. The mix of flavors and ingredients creates delicious and varied cuisine! A delight for the senses.


As a starter, order a Caponata, a roasted eggplant salad, capers, olives, onion and vinegar. As a main, order Arancini, fried rice balls stuffed with meat, cheese, or vegetables.

For your main dish, go for the Sfincione: an open pizza with onion, garlic, tomato, cheese and anchovies. For dessert, enjoy the Cannoli, fried donuts filled with sweet ricotta.


All this is washed down with a local wine like Nero d'avola.


Continue your Italian escape in Puglia. Both Sicily and Puglia boast mouthwatering food and ancient wonders, but Sicily's fiery spirit shines through volcanic landscapes, while Puglia charms with its whitewashed coastal towns


Travel tips


When to go to Sicily


The best time to visit is during spring or autumn when the weather is mild. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters can be cold and rainy.


Where to stay


Make 2 points as a base to explore the entire island. Taormina, for sure, and another point could be Palermo or Cefalu. Find the perfect hotel for your trip at Hotels.com.



How to get around


You can access the island by plane, train, or car. The nearest international airport is Palermo Falcone Borsellino Airport.


The best way to get around the island is by car. This will give you more flexibility to explore. Compare prices and book your car here.


Read our post on how to rent a car to explore the world!


After a week of Dolce Vita in Otranto, we headed to Sicily, stopping in Calabria. If you have time, I recommend it!!



Conclusion


Sicily is a piece of paradise on Earth. It's a place where you can relax on the beach, explore history and culture, and try the most delicious cuisine in the world. If you are looking for an unforgettable trip, Sicily is the perfect destination.


Buckle up, and let's start this adventure together! Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Let's make every moment count. Have a perfect trip!

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