(Photo by roberto)
Caption: It doesn’t get much better than a Sicilian beach!
Sicily is the Mediterranean Sea’s largest island, and it’s a rare gem of an island to see. Filled with can’t-miss ruins from the many cultures that have inhabited its shores for centuries, Sicily is an art and history buff’s dreamland. The island is also home to some beautiful and unspoiled landscapes sure to please any nature enthusiast. There’s even an active volcano! Think Sicily is only famous because of its ties to the Italian mafia? Fuhgeddaboutit! Sightseeing Sicily will show you a glorious land filled with friendly people and plenty of action… all of it legal!
- Agrigento: Those fascinated by ancient Greece will be blown away by the ruins found at Agrigento. Sicily was once ruled by the Greeks, and the Agrigento ruins are some of the best in the world. Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an Italian national monument. Here, ancient Greece enthusiasts will be spoiled by the vast array of Grecian art and architecture, most of which remains in pristine condition.
- Etna: Geology and nature enthusiasts will definitely want to trek Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano. Etna is so tall that people say that you can see her from the moon, but since I haven’t been to the moon, I can’t confirm that! I can say, however, that you have to see Etna, and if you’re a hiker, you have to traverse one of the many nature paths that surround it for breathtaking views of Sicily. Keep in mind that it’s still active, however, so trek with a qualified guide!
- Palermo: Sicily’s capital, Palermo, played an important role in the history of the Mediterranean trade routes. It has been inhabited by the Arabs, Byzantine, Greeks, Normans, Phoenicians, Romans, and Spaniards. Its numerous historical marketplaces, including the Ballar il Capo, Borgo Vecchio, and the Vucciria, are reflective of Sicilian lifestyle today yet demonstrative of Sicily’s trade route past. Palermo is also home to some incredible art museums and Baroque architecture.
- Piazza Armerina: Italy = piazza! If you’re a regular reader of mine, you know the drill. No discussion of anything Italy is complete without a discussion of a piazza, and Sicily’s Piazza Armerina is a straight-up must-see! With historical arts, architecture, and artifacts dating from between the 4th century B.C. and 12th century A.D., Piazza Armerina demonstrates Roman, Norman, and Gothic beauty in its numerous buildings and mosaics.
- Siracusa: It’s Syracuse in English, but I’m not talking New York. Siracusa is one of Sicily’s most historic cities. It was founded by the Greeks way back in the 730s B.C. It, much like Agrigento, is home to some of the best Grecian ruins you will see on earth. It also was home to and the birthplace of Archimedes, the famous ancient Greek engineer and mathematician (the guy we can thank for nearly failing high school… or maybe that’s just me!).
- Sicilian Beaches: You’ve been wandering through numerous can’t-miss sites that make Sicily the unique and wonderful island that it is. Now, it’s time to take a load off at one its many astounding beaches. Mediterranean beaches are known throughout the world to be some of the best, and Sicily doesn’t disappoint with its coastline. After you’ve wandered ancient ruins and marketplaces until you’re ready to drop, kick back, relax, and take a dip in the crystal-blue waters at the more-than-600-mile span of Sicilian beaches!
As you can see, there’s a lot to see when it comes to sightseeing Sicily – that’s a tongue-twister! This Mediterranean island often gets the short end of the tourism stick because of its reputation of being linked to the mafia – or people visit Sicily primarily because of its link to the mafia, rather than its rich history in some of the world’s greatest ancient cultures. If you want to go to Sicily to try to hook up with the Godfather, fine, that’s your business… just make certain you check out all of the island’s amazing can’t-miss sites while you’re there!