Sicily is the largest Italian island, with more than enough beauty, charm and history to keep visitors dreaming of when they can come back next. It is full of notable archaeological sites due to its history of being inhabited by a number of civilizations, including Roman, Byzantine, Spanish, Greek, Arab and Norman.
When planning your trip to Sicily, it is helpful to keep in mind just how hot and crowded it will be during your visit, especially in order to maximize the time you will comfortably be able to explore the sites. High season in Sicily is during the summer months, so for more comfortable temperatures and fewer people, it is recommended to visit during the spring and fall.
The most convenient way to get to the island is by plane. There are three main airports,located in Palermo, Catania and Trapani Birgi. Since Sicily is quite a big island, it is best to fly into and stay in the part of the island where you’d like to explore. For accommodation, on websites like for example Wishsicily there are many villas including villas with private pools, which are available to rent even for short periods of time. It is very common to choose this option for accommodation because it is surprisingly affordable and you get the peace and quiet of a private residence in a location of your choosing.
Every visitor, especially the history buffs, will be rewarded with plenty of existing historical sites to explore and appreciate.
Here are 5 sites that are worth seeing in Sicily:
1. Valledei Templi in Agrigento
The Valle dei Templi, or Valley of Temples, is home to a number of important temples, including those dedicated to Juno, Hercules, and Concordia. This site is a highlight of southern Sicily, as it is one of the best-preserved Greek buildings. The city of Agrigento was once one of Magna Graecia’s most important cities.
2. Greek temple and theater of Segesta
In Segesta, a city founded by the Elymians and located near Trapani, you’ll find both the Greek temple and theater. The Temple is perfectly perched on a hill with stunning views that reach the sea.
3. Ruins of Syracuse
Philosopher Cicero once described Syracuse as, “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”. For quite some time,the city was once the most important Greek colony and today you can find well-kept ruins to explore and let your imagination wander.
4. Ancient Greek theater in Taormina
Along the eastern part of Sicily is the magical town of Taormina. The city’s main attraction is the ancient Greek theater, which draws a number of visitors from all over the world each year. It first started hosting performances in the 3rd Century BC and grew to host Roman extravaganzas. Now, it is one of the most breathtaking spots to catch a view of Mount Etna and beyond.
5. Temples of Selinunte
Selinunte is Europe’s largest archaeological site that includes five Doric temples. Originally there were five temples and an acropolis, but only one has been reconstructed while the others are fragmented. There are 36remaining columns as well as the amphitheater nearby.
These are only a small selection of the many other historical sites Sicily has to offer. There is also the Villa Imperiale del Casale and Eraclea Minoa, just to name a couple more.
Featured Image: Scott Wylie