Sicily: Your next Italian dream destination
"Without Sicily, Italy creates no image in the soul: here is the key to everything." - Goethe
There is something for everyone in Sicily; the largest island of the Mediterranean is a historical and cultural gem just waiting to be explored.
If you’re planning a holiday to Italy, then Sicily needs to be at the very top of your travel list.
Full of wonderful historical sites
Nicknamed “the Pearl of Sicily” Taormina is regarded as being one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It houses the remarkable Greco-Roman amphitheatre, which offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Etna. The spellbinding city of Syracuse, whose historic heart is located on the island of Ortigia, contains a UNESCO protected archaeological park with relics dating back to Greek and Roman times, such as the Temple of Athena (5th century BC), a Roman amphitheatre, a fort and much more.
Stunning natural surroundings
Home to the Greek legend of the Cyclops, Europe's largest volcano and one of the world’s most active, Mount Etna dominates the skyline of Catania. At over 3,300 metres high, Etna and its slopes are part of the national park, Parco Naturale dell'Etna. Within the Syracuse Archaeological Park, you will find the ‘Ear of Dionysius’, a limestone cave carved out of the Temenites hill. Legend has it, Dionysius held prisoners in the cave as the acoustics allowed him to hear their whispered secrets.
Glorious food and wine
Sicily is a food lovers paradise; its unique cuisine has been influenced by Greek colonists, Arab settlers and many other cultures. Due to its variety of fresh seafood and vegetables, Sicily produces many stunning regional dishes, such as ‘pasta con de sarde’ or Pasta with Sardines and ‘Arancini’, deep fried rice balls. However, arguably its most famous dish is a dessert called Cannoli, which are tubes of deep-fried pastry filled with cream and dusted with powdered sugar or crushed nuts. Accompany this classic sweet treat with a glass of Marsala, Sicily’s renowned fortified wine. The Etna region produces some of Italy’s best wine due to its fertile, volcanic ground.
A fascinating capital
The dynamic capital of Sicily, Palermo, has a historic landmark which represents the Italian region’s influences over the years. Palermo Cathedral was built in 1185 and has a multitude of styles, such as Moorish, Gothic and Baroque. At one point, the church became a mosque when the island was conquered by the Saracens. You will also find the Norman Palace or Palazzo dei Normanni, the oldest royal residence building in Europe.
The perfect place for relaxation
Sicily also has 1,000km of coastline and an abundance of beaches to suit all tastes. Giardini Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily, is a small, laid-back seaside resort on the coast of the Ionian Sea; it’s one of many places to unwind. All year round, Sicily experiences a pleasant climate, making it the perfect destination to visit at any time of the year.
Plan your Sicilian adventure, visit www.belfasttelegraphtravel.co.uk
Belfast Telegraph Digital