Island of Sicily is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Italy due to the rich historical heritage, awesome natural beauty and countless tourist attractions. The Mediterranean influence is very strong and can be felt with ease, particularly on its cuisine. Sicily is separated by mainland of Italy by the Strait of Messina, which was since centuries a geographical and cultural border.
The architectural style of the cities in the eastern part of Sicily was formed under the Baroque influence and received the name of "Sicilian Baroque". Any trip adviser to Sicily includes information about some of the most interesting tourist attractions located in cities on the eastern side such as Ragusa, Modica, Scicli, Ispica and Noto. Magnificent vestiges and remains of the Sicilian Baroque era are included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Other interesting towns with lots of Sicilian attractions are the capital city of Palermo, Taormina, nicknamed the "Pearl of Ionian Sea", Enna, Caltagirone, Trapani and Catania, with several wonderful Baroque palaces.
Attractions In Palermo
Palermo is an ancient city of Sicily, founded between the 8th and the 6th century B.C. The historical part of the city is a fusion of Arabic and Viking influences, reflected in the medieval buildings from the 11th and 12th centuries. Palazzo dei Normanni is perhaps the best sample of this style and is featured in any trip adviser to Sicily.
Attractions In Catania
Catania is situated in one of the most fertile areas in Sicily, on the half way between Messina and Syracuse, at the foothill of the active volcano Etna. Catania is the second largest city of Sicily and features some interesting attractions like Chiesa di San Nicola and the Benedictine Monastery, which is today residence of Facolta di Lettere e Filosofia (Faculty of Letters and Philosophy). Interesting points of interest are also Chiesa di San Giuliano, a symbol of Baroque architecture named Chiesa di S. Maria di Gesu, the Cathedral, founded in 1078, and Chapel of Saint Agata, dedicated to the patron saint of the city.
Great sites to visit are also Castello Ursino, built in 1239, which hosts the Picture Gallery, Belliniano museum, and the Roman Amphitheater from the era of emperor Augustus.
Attractions In Mount Etna
Mount Etna can be seen from almost anywhere in Sicily and perhaps the best gateway to climb it is the city of Taormina. Tourists who take ascensions are advised to wear warm clothes even in summer because the altitude and the cold wind make the environment very chilly.
Attractions In Taormina
Taormina is one of the most famous holiday resorts in Sicily, belongs to province of Messina and, together with the beautiful Aeolian Islands and the ancient city of Milazzo, is included in almost all tours in Sicily. This tourist site is a very popular travel destination amongst vacationers since the 19th century. There are beautiful beaches on the shores of Ionian Sea and can be booked quality accommodation in luxury hotels and rental properties alike.
Attractions In Messina
Messina is the third largest city in Sicily and the capital of province of Messina. It is located near the north-eastern corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina. As many other Sicilian cities, it features many tourist attractions included in any trip adviser to Sicily.
In the Middle Age, Messina has been the most important port of departure for European knights on their way to the Holy Land. In 1190 the kings Richard the "Lion Heart" of England and Philip II of France visited the city. Messina remained the second most important city of Sicily until the seventeenth century, when its position was challenged by Catania. In the history of the island were periods when Messina's economical and political power rivaled even with Palermo.
Annunziata dei Catalani, on Via Garibaldi, near Via Cesare Battisti, is one of the main attractions in Messina. Church Santa Maria Alemanna is located just at a few blocks from the train station, into a part of the city where usually vacationers don't go at all. Its construction was started probably around 1194, when emperor Henri VI arrived in Messina to ascend on the throne of Sicily.
The Cathedral, where Richard the "Lion Heart" was in visit in 1190 on the route to a crusade, was erected during the 12th century. Most of the present cathedral is actually a reconstruction, the original building being almost entirely destroyed by earthquakes.
Attractions In Cefalu
Cefalu is an ancient city in the province of Palermo, located on the northern coast and one of the major tourist destinations in Sicily. The main points of interest include the Roman baths, an old cathedral and splendid beaches.
Attractions In Enna
Enna is also a great Sicilian travel destination, the Holy Thursday from Enna being particularly stirring because of the three thousand of participants who marching in silence in and out of churches. In Enna can be found convenient accommodation and is a good place from where can be taken trips to attractions from the entire region.
Attractions In Ragusa
Ragusa is a very good location to start the exploration of the ancient city of Siracusa and temples from Agrigento.
Attractions In Agrigento
Temples in Agrigento are included in any tourist guide to Sicily. This place is one of the most important archeological sites in the world and was classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many remains of Greek temples, settled just outside of the city, from which the most spectacular are Temple of Hercules, Temple of Zeus and Temple of Concord.
Attractions In Siracusa
Siracusa was an ancient Greek town in Sicily. The Greeks arrived there in 734 BC and named the small island of Ortigia as Siracusa. They built various temples, such as Temple of Apollo, located in Piazza Pancali, and Temple of Athena. They built also the Arethusa Fountain (named after a legendary nymph) and the biggest theater in Sicily.
Syracuse is situated on the eastern coast of Sicily and is one of the main travel destinations due to the numerous attractions and historical heritage. The oldest part of Syracuse is on located on island of Ortigia. Ear of Dionysus, an artificial limestone cave, with an extremely good acoustic, is the third largest Roman amphitheatre in Italy! Tourists can enjoy there festivities dedicated to Santa Lucia, the patron saint of the city. Travelers interested in military constructions are advised to visit the Maniace Castle, built in the first half of the 13th century, named after the Byzantine general who defended in 1038 Ortigia by Arabs. In Piazza D'Armi are held many exhibitions and cultural events.
No visit in Syracuse is complete without a stroll in resort areas from Arenella and Fontane Bianche, flanked by the typical sandy beaches of the Ionian Sea. Syracuse and the entire province attract both Italian and international voyagers with quality services, awesome beaches, and valuable historical remains.
Attractions On Ustica Islands
Although Sicily is not known as a top destination for diving vacations, there is still a great site for this water sport - the Ustica Islands. Ustica Islands feature incredible aquatic sceneries and offer also a very relaxing environment for beach holidays in Sicily.
Ustica Islands feature two main tourist sites, Ustica and Linosa. Linosa is known as the less polluted area in Mediterranean Sea and provides a very natural and clean environment to vacationers. Ustica is worldwide popular due to the amazingly rich marine life, especially the Natural Marine Reserve attracting visitors who wish to observe some of the most interesting aquatic species.