7 good reasons to visit Sicily in 2018

There are 7 good reasons to spend your holiday in Sicily in 2018.

  • First: Sicily is perfect for different types of tourism.
  • Second: its sea and its beaches, which are the favourite destinations for those who want to relax and take a little tan.
  • Third: its Mediterranean climate.
  • Fourth: its cities.
  • Fifth: its culture.
  • Sixth: its natural heritage. If you are a “tourism-and-nature” guy, in Sicily you will certainly not miss the chance to go hiking over land and sea.
  • Last but not least: the Sicilian cuisine.

Top 7 things to do and see in the biggest island of the Mediterranean Sea:

1

A diverse territory, ideal for all types of tourism

The variety of the Sicilian territory is suitable for different types of tourism, which is not so obvious for other destinations.There are certainly other islands in the world with breathtaking beaches, but maybe there is nothing more (or almost nothing) worth to visit. Is it raining? Holiday is over.Fortunately, this is not the case of Sicily. The heterogeneity and the variety of the Sicilian territory let you combine different types of tourism. This is the first reason why you should choose Sicily as a destination for your holiday in 2018.

2

Sicily beaches

With a coastal length of 1.152 km, you can certainly imagine that in Sicily there is no shortage of beaches. They are wonderful and you can find different kinds. The sandy beaches, with golden or white sand, are ideal for those who look for a complete relax and for families with children. The pebble beaches and the cliffs are perfect for diving, snorkeling and fishing.There are equipped beaches, which are easily reachable by car or on foot. However, there are also several wild beaches, which are less known and uncontaminated.Many Sicilian beaches are simply wonderful: for instance, the Spiaggia dei Conigli (Rabbit Beach) in Lampedusa is considered one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Europe.

Talking about Sicily itself, Giardini Naxos, located near Taormina along the eastern coast of the island, is one of the favourite destinations of the national and international tourism.

Along the southern coast near Siracusa, there is a beach called Fontane Bianche, which is one of the most beautiful of the island. Going further to the south, we recommend you the seafront promenade of Marina di Ragusa and the nearby Nature reserve of Vendicari. Other famous beaches are Scala dei Turchi, near Agrigento, and eventually Cefalù and San Vito Lo Capo.

3

The Mediterranean climate

The Sicilian climate is typically Mediterranean. The temperature reaches 26°C, often even in April. Even in late summer, in the months of September and October, you can easily take a bath. This is possible because the temperature of the water is still pleasantly warm.

4

City tourism: discover the Sicilian cities

Starting from Palermo, passing from Syracuse, to arrive in Ragusa. The Sicilian experience begins in its cities. A small journey in the pulsating heart of Sicily.

The soul of Sicily lies in its coastal cities. They are an obligatory destination for those who are into history and architecture and for those who want to discover the character of Sicilian people.

Taormina - This is one of the most visited tourist destinations of the island. Famous for its Greek theatre, the wonderful coast, Giardini Naxos, the typical bars and restaurants, in 2006 UNESCO declared Taormina and Isola Bella World Heritage Site.

Catania - Catania, the second Sicilian city for number of inhabitants, lies at the foot of the volcano Etna, which is one of the most active in Europe and worldwide. From 2014 there have been different spectacular eruptions, the last of which took place on 28 February 2017. Fortunately, these natural events are considered not very dangerous by expert volcanologists. The atmosphere of Catania is very lively. In fact, people say that Catania is not made for sleeping. The whole area surrounding Piazza del Teatro, in the old town, is very beautiful indeed. The fish market of Catania is among the most traditional places in the city. It is worth a visit!

Siracusa - Cicero described Siracusa as the most beautiful city in Magna Graecia. In 2005 UNESCO made this statement its own and declared the city and the Necropolis of Pantalica World Heritage Site. Among the top 10 things to do in Siracusa there is undoubtedly a walk through the streets of the old town of Ortigia.

Ragusa - It is undoubtedly worth a visit to the Baroque city of Ragusa. Its wonderful old town, Ragusa Ibla, has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO (Val di Noto). Marina di Ragusa, with its seafront, is a very popular and organized seaside destination.

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Agrigento - In ancient times Agrigento was one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean Sea. The Valley of the Temples is still a vivid testimony of the influence of the Greek civilization in Sicily.

Trapani - The old town of Trapani is an architectural gem, and so is the near mountain village of Erice. But be careful: in Erice you may find fog even in August!

Palermo - The historical buildings of the Sicilian chief town, especially the Palazzo dei Normanni and the Cathedral, are an obliged stop if you are in Palermo. We recommend you to have also a walk in the district of “Quattro Canti” (Alberghiera, Capo, Cala and Kalsa). Since this area of the city is always exposed to the sun, it is also called the theatre of the sun. Palermo is a fascinating and lively city, especially in summer when it hosts several events.

5

Cultural tourism: World Heritage Sites in Sicily (UNESCO)

Baroque art, Roman buildings, cathedrals and Greek theatres. Sicily is a World Heritage Site. Take UNESCO’s word for it!

The historical and cultural importance of Sicily is also testified by the several UNESCO’s awards. Here is a list of the cultural and natural World Heritage Sites in Sicily.

  • Val di Noto: The Val di Noto includes an area of southeastern Sicily, which consists of seven cities: Ragusa Ibla, Noto, Modica, Palazzolo Acreide, Caltagirone, Scicli, Catania and Militello Val di Catania. In 2002 UNESCO declared the area World Heritage Site for the artistic value representative of the Baroque art in Europe.
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  • The Valley of the Temples (Agrigento): The Valley of the Temples is an open-air museum under the Sicilian sky. A jump in a very ancient past, when the Mediterranean Sea was Greek, centuries before the advent of Christianity. The most important building of this archeological area, which UNESCO declared World Heritage Site in 1997, is the famous Tempio della Concordia.
  • The Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale: UNESCO’s award testifies the Arab conquest of Sicily (827-902 A.D.) and the Norman domination (1061-1198 A.D.). Several buildings of Palermo are World Heritage Sites: Palazzo dei Normanni (Royal Palace), the cathedral, the churches of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio and San Cataldo, the Castello della Zisa. The Arab domination was a milestone of the historical evolution of Palermo, which at that time became the capital of the island.
  • Necropolis of Siracusa: The necropolis of Pantalica and Siracusa was declared World Heritage Site in 2005. It is not only an archaeological area of undoubted historical interest, but it is also a little natural paradise. If you are visiting the necropolis during a Sicilian sweltering summer day, you can cool down by swimming in its beautiful small lake
  • Villa Romana del Casale: the villa is located in the Sicilian inland, between Caltagirone and Caltanissetta. It is famous for its mosaics, still in perfect conditions, which show different life scenes of Roman times: not only hunting scenes, but also the famous mosaic showing the “Bikini Girls”.
6

Excursions and natural tourism

Are you keen on adventure and nature? Sicily is the perfect destination for your holiday. The island boasts two awards as UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites:

  • The first site is represented by the Eolian Islands, also known as Lipari Islands. They are seven: Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea. The archipelago is a paradise for those who love the sea and snorkeling. Among the most famous Eolian beaches there is Ficogrande in Stromboli. What makes this beach unique is its black volcanic sand. Both trekking and sea lovers will not be disappointed with Stromboli. It is possible to go hiking until the crater of the volcano. This is spectacular:www.scalatastromboli.it.
  • The second Natural Heritage Site in Sicily is Mount Etna. The highest volcano in Europe is active today as never before. The area surrounding the volcano is a wide naturalistic park of 59.000 hectares. There are a lot of itineraries and trails to go hiking. Those most adventurous lead up to the mouth of the volcano crater. The panoramic view from here is breathtaking. The naturalistic park of Mount Etna is a show of rare beauty. Do not miss it! Go Etna/

Etna - Video of the spectacular eruption of February 2017

Do you like the crystalline and uncontaminated sea? We suggest you to visit:

  • The Sicilian Islands, especially the Egadi Islands, the Pelagie Islands (Lampedusa and Linosa), Pantelleria and Ustica.
  • The nature reserves, especially Lo Zingaro, nearby San Vito Lo Capo, and Vendicari, close to Siracusa.
7

Sicilian cuisine

The Sicilian cuisine is typically Mediterranean. Since our tourists usually appreciate it a lot, we count it as one of the reasons that could push you to spend your holiday here. The typical Sicilian products are olives, citruses, especially oranges and lemons, pistachios, almonds, figs and mint. Obviously, several spices of the Mediterranean area are cultivated.

Sicilian culinary specialties

There are many specialties of our traditional cuisine. In the first place, talking about holidays, we can only put ice-cream, which seems to have been invented by Arabs when they ruled Sicily. As people say, they mixed up the snow of Etna with sugar and local fruit. The word “sorbetto”, meaning “sorbet”, comes probably from the Arabic “sherbet”.

The “granita” is another specialty to face the hot Sicilian summers at best. However, the most famous regional dessert is certainly the Sicilian cassata.

Other Sicilian culinary specialties are Couscous, Arancini and Ricotta, just to name a few. There are different typical wines, but the most famous is the Nero d’Avola. There are also fortified wines, such as Zibibbo and Marsala.


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