Sicily: Places to Explore


  • 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 Polyphemus... Read more

  • Agrigento

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

  • 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 Maria del... Read more

  • 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 cobblestone streets... Read more

  • 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 Carthaginians... Read more

  • 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 Cefalù, a... Read more

  • 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 capital... Read more

  • 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 landmark... Read more

  • 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 are at... Read more

  • 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 pumice... Read more

  • Marsala

    The quiet seaside town of Marsala, together with the nearby island of Mozia, were once the main Carthaginian bases in Sicily: from them Carthage fought for supremacy over the island against Greece and... Read more

  • 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 changed... Read more

  • Monreale

  • Mount Etna

  • 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 almost every... Read more

  • 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 Panarea... Read more

  • 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 quite an... Read more

  • 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 grassy knolls... Read more

  • 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. Fossa delle... Read more

  • Segesta

  • Selinunte

  • 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 and soon... Read more

  • 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 water—is unforgettable... Read more

  • Taormina

    The medieval cliff-hanging 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 close... Read more


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