Sicily: Places to Explore

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  • Acireale

    Acireale sits amid a clutter of rocky pinnacles and lush lemon groves. The craggy coast is known as the Riviera dei Ciclopi, after the legend narrated in the Odyssey in which the blinded Cyclops...

  • Agrigento

    Agrigento owes its fame almost exclusively to its ancient Greek temples—though it was also the birthplace of playwright Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936).

  • Caltagirone

    Built over three hills, this charming Baroque town is a center of Sicily's ceramics industry. Here you can find majolica balustrades, tile-decorated windowsills, and the monumental Scala Santa...

  • Castelmola

    Although many believe that Taormina has the most spectacular views, tiny Castelmola, floating 1,800 feet above sea level, takes the word "scenic" to a whole new level—literally. Along the...

  • Catania

    The chief wonder of Catania, Sicily's second city, is that it's there at all. Its successive populations were deported by one Greek tyrant, sold into slavery by another, and driven out by the...

  • Cefalù

    The coast between Palermo and Messina is dotted with charming villages. Tindari (which dates back to the early-Christian era) and Laghetti di Maranello are two that are worth a stop, but it's...

  • Enna

    Deep in Sicily's interior, the fortress city of Enna (altitude 2,844 feet) commands exceptional views of the surrounding rolling plains, and, in the distance, Mt. Etna. It's the highest provincial...

  • Erice

    Perched 2,450 feet above sea level, Erice is an enchanting medieval mountaintop aerie of palaces, fountains, and cobblestone streets. Shaped like an equilateral triangle, the town was the ancient...

  • Filicudi

    Just a dot in the sea, Filicudi is famous for its unusual volcanic rock formations and the enchanting Grotta del Bue Marino (Grotto of the Sea Ox). The crumbled remains of a prehistoric village...

  • Lipari

    The largest and most developed of the Aeolians, Lipari welcomes you with distinctive pastel-color houses. Fields of spiky agaves dot the northernmost tip of the island, Acquacalda, indented with...

  • Marsala

    Marsala is readily associated with the world-famous, richly colored fortified wine named after it, and your main reason for stopping will likely be to visit some of the many wineries in the area....

  • Messina

    Messina's ancient history lists a series of disasters, but the city nevertheless managed to develop a fine university and a thriving cultural environment. At 5:20 am on December 28, 1908, Messina...

  • Monreale

    Only a short drive from Palermo, the sleepy town of Monreale is well worth the effort just to see the spectacular gold mosaics inside the Duomo. Try to arrive early in the morning or later in the...

  • Mt. Etna

    The first time you see Mt. Etna, whether she's trailing clouds of smoke or emitting fiery streaks of lava, is certain to be unforgettable. The best-known symbol of Sicily and one of the world's...

  • Palermo

    Once the intellectual capital of southern Europe, Palermo has always been at the crossroads of civilization. Favorably situated on a crescent bay at the foot of Monte Pellegrino, it's attracted...

  • Panarea

    Panarea has some of the most dramatic scenery of the islands: wild caves carved out of the rock and dazzling flora. The exceptionally clear water and the richness of life on the sea floor make...

  • Piazza Armerina

    A quick look around the fanciful town of Piazza Armerina is rewarding—it has a provincial warmth, and the crumbling yellow-stone architecture with Sicily's trademark bulbous balconies creates...

  • Ragusa

    Ragusa and Modica are the two chief cities in Sicily's smallest and sleepiest province, and the centers of a region known as Iblea. The dry, rocky, gentle countryside filled with canyons and...

  • Salina

    The second largest of the Aeolians, Salina is also the most fertile—which accounts for its excellent Malvasia dessert wine. Salina is the archipelago’s lushest and highest island, too—Mt....

  • Segesta

    Segesta is the site of one of Sicily's most impressive temples, constructed on the side of a windswept barren hill overlooking a valley of giant fennel. Virtually intact today, the temple is...

  • Selinunte

    Numerous Greek temple ruins perch on a plateau overlooking an expanse of the Mediterranean at Selinunte (or Selinus). Selinunte is named after a local variety of wild parsley (Apium graveolens or...

  • Siracusa

    Siracusa, known to English speakers as Syracuse, is a wonder to behold. One of the great ancient capitals of Western civilization, the city was founded in 734 BC by Greek colonists from Corinth...

  • Stromboli

    This northernmost of the Aeolians consists entirely of the cone of an active volcano. The view from the sea—especially at night, as an endless stream of glowing red-hot lava flows into the...

  • Taormina

    The medieval cliffside town of Taormina is overrun with tourists, yet its natural beauty is still hard to dispute. The view of the sea and Mt. Etna from its jagged cactus-covered cliffs is as...

  • Trapani

    On Sicily’s west coast, Trapani is said to have been formed when the goddess Demeter, searching for her kidnapped daughter Persephone, dropped her sickle in despair; it fell here, forming the...

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