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Sicily

This autonomous region of Italy is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; Sicily has a rich culture, referring to all arts: music, cuisine, literature and architecture, being the country of some very influential people in history. The favorite tourist destinations include two major cities, Catania and Palermo, the famous Mount Etna, the numerous beaches, the old town of Taormina and also related smaller islands. Sicily has become, in time, one favorite destination for tourists.


UNESCO has declared many regions, places or buildings all over the world as World Heritage Sites, and it also included Sicily, for some major attractions: the archeological park Valle dei Templi of Agrigento, Villa Romana del Casale of Piazza Armerina, The Aeolian Islands, the Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, and Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica.

Also called “God’s Kitchen”, Sicily is extremely renowned for its traditional cuisine and wines. What makes the Sicilian cuisine so special it’s the healthy food, most of the traditional ingredient being lots of vegetables and fruits, onions, beans, seafood and its famous ricotta cheese.

This is actually used to prepare sweet Sicilian treats, ice creams and pastries, but also the buccelatto cake, a traditional cake which is supposed to be as large as possible to endure plenty of good luck. Other famous Sicilian sweet include cassata (a sponge cake moistened with fruit juices and layered with ricotta cheese), or cuccia (a traditional Sicilian dish made of boiled wheat berries, eaten on Saint Lucy’s feast day).

Over time, Sicily was associated with many arts. Great names have been since then related to this wonderful island, making it gain even more popularity: the Greek philosopher Archimedes, Empedocles, Luigi Pirandello, or Julius Evola. Among other artistic traditions, Sicily is the famous land of terra cota, its art being inherited from the Sicanians, the Phoenicians and then from the Greeks. Other artistic traditional elements of Sicily are the lively puppet shows, the decorated horse carts, and all the medieval style reflected in many Sicilian artworks.
Whether you already have planned your itinerary when visiting Sicily, or you are more of a spontaneous traveler, there are some places in Sicily that must be absolutely seen.

Palermo

PalermoPalermo is Sicily’s regional capital, and also the largest city in the island. Its beauty is unique and ravishing, being often compared a rough, uncut jewel. This is the city of many churches and cathedral, the most important being the Palermo Cathedral, characterized by various eclectic architectural styles.

The capital is mainly Baroque, and practically filled with medieval pieces of architecture, as well as monasteries, castles, art galleries and archeological museums.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna is also known as “the beautiful mountain” by the Sicilians and is the most active volcano in the world. Its fertile soils encourage agriculture and wine making, but are also a source of legends and myths, since the Sicilians consider it a sacred mountain. Its upper regions, covered with snow at least four months a year, are a worthy place to visit.

Syracuse

One of the most important cities of the ancient Greece, this city was very much loved by Archimedes or Plato. It wasn’t only the most important city, but the most beautiful too. Its old city, named Ortega, is one fascinating destination to follow, as it holds real treasures, like the ruins of an ancient temple around which the current cathedral was built.

Taormina

TaorminaTaormina is a popular tourist destination since the 19th century, due to its beautiful beaches which open in the Ionian Sea, a remarkable warm and high in salt water.

Nowadays, Taormina is one great resort, filled with shops, restaurants, bars, historical sites, while its beaches continue to attract lots of tourist each year. Go to the Greek amphitheatre to see the panoramic view of Mount Etna, but also to enjoy all the historical vestiges available.

The Valley of the Temples

Also called Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples is a large archeological site, and it includes several ancient Greek temples. This is also the place where an almond blossom festival takes place, each year, in late February, as an ode to the traditional and historical, much valued folklore.



Tags: sicily, sicilian, visiting sicily, italy travel, italy vacation, tour italy, vacations istaly, travel to sicily


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