Located in the central Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is the land of rolling hills, vineyards, cypresses, citrus trees, and sometimes rugged terrain. Sicily is home to stunning beaches and Mount Etna. It is also famous for its unique Sicilian Baroque architecture. Read on to discover The 10 Best Places To Visit in Sicily.
Quick Facts about Sicily
- Sicily is one of the 20 regions of Italy.
- It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Sicily is home to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Mount Etna’s elevation is 3,326 meters or 10,912 feet. The volcano is located between Messina and Catania.
- Sicily’s largest cities are Palermo, Catania, Messina, and Syracuse.
- Sicily is the third largest producer of wine in Italy among all 20 regions. The most known wines produced in Sicily are fortified Marsala wines.
10 Best Places To Visit in Sicily
Sicily has an extremely rich history including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, and Norman periods. It’s famous for unique Sicilian Baroque architecture, the archaeological sites, Mount Etna, and much more! Sicily is known for its sunny climate, gorgeous scenery, and beautiful beaches. There are so many things to explore! Discover the 10 Best Places To Visit in Sicily!
Ragusa is a unique historical town in Sicily. Located on a hilltop, it’s famous for its unusual geographical layout and stunning Sicilian Baroque architecture. Ragusa is divided into two towns: Ragusa Ibla (lower old town) and Ragusa Superiore (upper town). These two parts of Ragusa are separated by a deep ravine crossed by 4 bridges.
The main sights in Ragusa Ibla are the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Church of Santa Maria delle Scale (“St. Mary of the Stairs”), the church of San Giuseppe, the church of Santa Maria dell’ Itria. The major sight in Ragusa Superiore is the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista.
Modica is located in the province of Ragusa, in Sicily. Modica is known for its spectacular Baroque architecture and is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other 7 towns in the Val di Noto in Sicily for its Baroque art. Modica is also famous for its locally produced chocolate. The Cioccolato di Modica is a traditional chocolate of Modica, produced using an ancient recipe. The chocolate is manually ground, giving it a unique grain texture.
The main sights and landmarks in Modica include the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the Baroque church of San Pietro, the Castle of the Counts of Modica.
Noto is a spectacular Baroque city in the province of Syracuse in Sicily. The city is located at the foot of the Iblean Mountains. Noto is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other 7 towns in the Val di Noto in Sicily.
Noto is famous for its numerous historical architecture, mostly built in the 18th century.
The main sights in Noto are Noto Cathedral, Noto Town Hall, the church of St. Charles Borromeo, the church of San Domenico, the Church of San Francesco all’Immacolata, Church of the Carmine, the Villadorata palace, among many others. Noto’s architecture is one of the most spectacular examples of a traditional Sicilian Baroque style.
Savoca is a traditional Sicilian village in the province of Messina in Sicily, located east of Palermo. This beautiful town is famous for appearing in the movie The Godfather. This includes Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone met his future bride’s father and the Church of San Nicolò, where Michael Corleone and Apollonia get married.
In the square near Bar Vitelli, there is a steel sculpture of The Godfather movie director, Francis Ford Coppola. The statue was created by artist Nino Ucchino.
Main historical sights in Savoca include the Church of San Nicolo, Porta della Città di Savoca or City Gate to Savoca, The convent and the church of the Capuchins, Church of Santa Maria in Cielo Assunta (Chiesa Madre or mother church of Savoca), the church of San Michele, and the Castle of Pentefur.
Another location where many scenes from the Godfather movie were filmed is Forza d’Agrò.
5. Forza d’Agrò
Forza d’Agrò is a small town in Sicily, not far from Savoca. It’s located in the Valle d’Agrò (the valley of Agrò), on the eastern slope of the Peloritani mountains, in the province of Messina in Sicily.
The town is famous for its typical Sicilian houses and architecture, largely untouched by modernization. The winding medieval lanes are paved with stone. The traditional setting of Forza d’Agrò makes it a perfect place for filming movies. Not surprisingly, many parts of The Godfather movies have been filmed in Forza d’Agrò. Several scenes were also filmed in the nearby town of Savoca.
The main landmarks of the town are the Cathedral Santissima Annunziata, the church of the Santissima Trinità, the Augustinian Convent, the Arco Durazzesco, and the Church of San Francesco.
Taormina is one of the most famous cities in Sicily. This hilltop town perched above the sea is famous for spectacular medieval architecture, its stunning location by the sea, and the view of Mount Etna. Taormina has a rich historical, cultural, and architectural heritage which made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sicily.
Everywhere you turn in Taormina are stunning views of the surrounding towns, the Bay of Naxos, or the dramatic view of the Mount Etna.
One of the main landmarks in Taormina is the Greek Theater (the Teatro Greco) – the ancient theater of Taormina. Another famous theater in Taormina is Odeon, located in the old Roman town.
Main landmarks in Taormina include 10th century Palazzo Corvajo, 13th-century Cathedral dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Bari, Baroque fountain, Piazza del Duomo, Piazza IX Aprile, Casa Cipolla, the Church of San Domenico, the Anglican Church of Saint George, Giardini della Villa Comunale (municipal gardens).
Castelmola is a stunning hilltop town in Sicily, Italy. It’s located just a short distance from Taormina. Castelmola is worth visiting because of its spectacular mountain top location, great restaurants, and friendly atmosphere.
The town is known for its panoramic views, winding streets, a castle, historical buildings, great food, and shops with ceramic displays.
Castelmola was originally built to protect Taormina from attacks. You can observe the remains of the Castello di Mola at the top of the town.
Main sights in Castelmola include Piazza Sant’Antonio, Castello di Mola, Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari, the Campanile, the church of San Giorgio, the chapel of Madonna della Scala.
Palermo is the capital of Sicily, and one of the biggest cities on the island. It has a rich historical and cultural heritage. Palermo is over 2,700 years old.
Major sights in Palermo include the Palermo Cathedral, the Palatine Chapel (the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily), The Martorana (Co-Cathedral of St. Mary of the Admiral), the Church of San Cataldo (built in the Arab-Norman architectural style), the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, and many more.
Palermo is home to a number of impressive palaces and castles, such as the Norman Palace, the Zisa (castle), Palazzo Natoli (an 18th-century Baroque palace), and the Chinese Palace, among others.
9. San Lorenzo Beach
Sicily has many beautiful beaches. San Lorenzo Beach (Spiaggia di San Lorenzo) is located on the coast of the Ionian sea, in the southeast of Sicily. The water is crystal clear, with a stunning sandy beach.
The beach is located very close to some of the most interesting and fascinating towns in Sicily, such as Noto, Modica, and Ragusa.
Bronte is a small town in Sicily. The main historical sights include Church of the Annunziata, Collegio Capizzi, and Castello Nelson which was originally an abbey dating back to the 12th century,
One of the main industries of this town is pistachio nuts. Expo del Pistacchio di Bronte is a Pistachio Festival held in Bronte. It is a spectacular event that features all kinds of products with pistachios as an ingredient.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Sicily is the land of vineyards.
In fact, Sicily is the third largest producer of wine in Italy among all 20 regions of Italy. The most known wines produced in Sicily are fortified Marsala wines. Other notable local Sicilian wines are Malvasia, Novello, Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Moscato di Pantelleria (Zibibbo).
Sicily is also famous for its liqueurs, such as Amaro Averna and locally produced limoncello.