Sicily trip planner
Planning a trip to Sicily: The island at the center of the world
The largest island in the Mediterranean is a land of superlatives. Where else can you find the world's...
- Best-preserved Greek temple (at Agrigento)
- Largest Greek theater (at Siracusa)
- Most extensive Roman mosaics (at Piazza Armerina)
- Most active volcano (Stromboli)
- Trendiest Italian resort for the original jet-set (Taormina)
- Most infamous criminal organization (the Mafia)
- Original ice cream (snows from Mt. Etna flavored with lemon juice or almond milk)
- Arguably best-known Greek myth (Rape of Persephone, near Enna)
- Least-known—but easily accessbile—prehistoric cave paintings (on the tiny island of Levanzo)
- Most chaotic captial in Italy, full of glittering mosaics, Arab-influenced churches, and vibrant street maarkets (Palermo)
Sicily is a triangle of tangled, rich history at the tip of Italy's boot, the largest island in the Mediterranean and only nominally considered part of Italy at all.
It's a lush landscape of fertile valleys and imposing mountains, genteel resort towns and fantastic ancient ruins, glittering medieval mosaics and baroque cathedrals.
Sicily is an endless spectacle of pagan festivals, puppet shows, seafaring lore, colorful folklore, intense food and wine, Mafia corruption, welcoming people, rumbling volcanoes, and a richly layered culture born from 2,500 years of ever-changing rule by Greek city-states, Saracen Emirs, Norman kings, Spanish viceroys, and Italian nationalists (the latter only since 1860).
Sicily's culture is one of the most enigmatic and difficult to fathom in Italy—Sicilian dialect is so far from common Italian that some consider it a distinct language—but this only serves to make the region one of the most fun to explore, and it secrets the most rewarding to discover.
Best of all, everything from decent hotel rooms to memorable meals comes at one-third the price of Rome or Venice.
No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to this island that sums up the best and the worst of Italy amid citrus groves, almond trees, and the hot Mediterranean sun.
Top Sicily sections
Palermo - Sicily's capital city mixes Arab-Norman churches with gently decaying baroque palaces, bustling street markets with rococo interiors. It's a chaotic, tumble-down, slightly seedy mess of a city, full of life and amazing sights (though perhaps not everyone's favorite place to visit)... » more
Southeast Sicily - My favorite corner of the island, from the baroque stage set of Noto to the half-abandoned medieval Ragusa, and especially Siracusa, a city with ancient Greek sights, one of the best archaeology museums in Italy, and a lovely ancient city center... » more
Western Sicily - Ancient Greek ruins litter Western Sicily—from the world's best preserved 5th century BC temples at Agrigento to the gorgeously sited Greek theater of Segesta to the seaside ruins of Selinute. Then there are the beautiful hilltown of Erice, the mosaicked cathedral of Monreale, and the sweet wines of Marsala... » more
- Sicily history
- Sicilian cuisine
- Sicily travel bookshelf
- Itinerary: Ten perfect days in Sicily
Also useful: www.bestofsicily.com
Hotels in Sicily
This material was last updated September 2012. All information was accurate at the time.
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Copyright © 2008–2012 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett