What to visit in Sicily

Museums, monuments, history and spectacular scenery


Ragusa – Donnafugata Castle
The name, of Arab origin, it might seem, a lady ran away from some husband or father tyrant, it is actually a transcription of Ayn as Jafat (Source of Health) that “Sicilian” becomes Ronnafuata and then the actual name. The castle, located near Santa Croce Camerina, has more recent origins date back to the mid-seventeenth century, when the estate of Donnafugata was acquired by Vincenzo Arezzo La Rocca. The style of construction, as a result of continuous remodeling, is not well defined. Externally, a neo-Gothic Venetian loggia dominates the central part of the main facade. Following the intervention of the town of Ragusa, visitors are given the opportunity to visit the rooms of the first floor. E ‘can also admire the beautiful park of eight hectares around the villa, where you can see the Coffee-house and an unusual maze.
Agrigento – The Valley of the Temples
And ‘the most popular attraction of Agrigento, a large archaeological site containing the remains of various Doric temples ascend to the fifth century. C .. Agrigento is one of the sites UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valley of Temples includes:

The Temple of Concord
Built around 430 BC, it is the most well-preserved temple of the Doric temples of the greek world because this house became the home of the Cathedral of Agrigento. For this reason, it was saved from destruction that befell the other temples because of Christian fanaticism.
The Temple of Juno
Built in the fifth century. C. and burned by the Carthaginians in 406, was the temple where they were celebrating weddings. And ‘identical in size to the Temple of Concord. The view from the Valley of the Temples, is simply spectacular.
The temple of Heracles
The oldest temple in Agrigento, dedicated to the god Heracles. The ruins clearly show that the temple was destroyed by an earthquake. To the south of the Temple of Hercules stands the Temple of Theron, a real impressive tomb.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus
This temple remains only massive ruins, it was one of the largest buildings of Greek architecture. It was built in 480. C. in honor of Zeus, after the great victory against the Carthaginians.
The Temple of Castor (Castor and Pollux)
And it is the emblem of Agrigento, built to honor the Spartans and the two sons of Jupiter.
The Temple of Aesculapius (Asciepio)
Away from the city, it was often visited as a place of pilgrimage.
The Temple of Vulcan
It dates from the fifth century and is the most ruined temple. Sacrificing The altar it was used to great sacrifices. It was possible to sacrifice up to 100 oxen at a time.
Trapani – Pepoli Museum
Via Pepoli at the eastern end of the city is the former convent of the Carmelites, known as the Annunziata. The former convent of the Annunciation hosts the Pepoli National Museum which, for the richness and variety of its collections, is considered one of the most important museums of Sicily. The ground floor is devoted to sculpture. The first floor houses the art gallery, which collects many precious paintings, the most notable are: the Pieta of the Neapolitan Roberto Oderisio (XIVsecolo) and a beautiful Madonna and Child with Angels by Pastura (1478 to 1509). Do not miss the artistic creations in coral (necklaces, sacred furnishings and depictions of the Nativity), which testify to the artistic quality achieved by the artisans of Trapani. The local pottery is represented by some beautiful tiled panels depicting the Mattanza and a view of Trapani (seventeenth century).
Syracuse – Neapolis Archaeological Park
This park covers about 240,000 square meters of land and houses within it a large number of monuments of Greek and Roman times, such as: the Roman Amphitheatre, the Greek Theatre, the Latomie of Paradise and Altar of Hieron. Inside you can admire the theater greek, built around the 5th century BC , It was excavated in the rock of the hill Temenite. It is the largest in Sicily, and is also one of the world’s major greek: every year the most famous Greek tragedies are represented in this magical place so rich in history.
Enna – Villa Romana del Casale (Piazza Armerina)
The impressive Roman villa, now UNESCO World Heritage Site, was probably built in the late third century and early fourth century. C., perhaps by a member of the imperial family. The Villa was only partially uncovered in the late eighteenth century. The large complex (about 3500 square meters) consists of various levels. The highest east is occupied by the great basilica, the private apartments, and the Hall of the Great Hunt; the middle level is occupied by the Peristyle, the guest rooms, the entrance, the Peristyle and the elliptical triclinium, while the lowest is in the west dedicated to the thermal baths. What it makes the villa unique are its floors, mainly made up of mosaics fortunately survived in excellent condition. Most of them are polychrome and depict a wide range of topics. Mythological scenes, special occasions, circus games, parties in honor of the gods and a vintage, alternate with geometric decoration incorporating medallions and stars, all embellished with a wonderful range of colors. The mosaics are arranged in front of the entrance of each room, which allows visitors to see the scenes of the best angle, that is, entering the rooms.
Caltanissetta – The Museum
It collects artifacts found in the territory of Caltanissetta, both belonging to the natives that the Hellenistic civilization. It contains most of the finds of the prehistoric period but also finds from excavations carried out in the 50s, including vessels and tools from the Bronze Age and the first examples of Sicilian ceramics.
Palermo – Norman Palace
The Norman Palace, is one of the most important monuments of Palermo for its artistic value and the historical events of which he was the protagonist. Built by the Arabs in the ninth century, they made it their fortified residence, using the remains of a stronghold first Punic and Roman. In Norman times it was expanded, renovated, with four towers and was embellished in many environments with several masterpieces of painting, sculpture and architecture. Roger II made it his sumptuous mansion, built a chapel in the center, the Palatine Chapel, and called on Arab and Byzantine artists to decorate it. The splendor that characterized for many years the home of the real Sicily, met, with the end of the Swabian dynasty, a sharp drop and then the building fell for a long time in a state of almost total abandonment, with the exception of the palace chapel and the Ruggero Room. A risollevarne the fates were in 1555 the Spanish viceroys, who decided to ask yourself again the seat of their power and then started a decisive restoration and transformation. In 1921, on the initiative of the Ministry of Education, this gave rise to major restoration work, to restore the old parts to their original condition. They were found environments considered hitherto legendary: the room of treasures, found in a tower, the political prisons, enclosed by imposing walls lit only by narrow slits and the hall of Armigeri, harsh environment of intonation military.
Messina – Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands, also known as the Lipari Islands are an archipelago of volcanic origin, belonging Aeolian arc. They include two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, as well as various phenomena of secondary volcanism. E ‘consists of seven islands scattered along the northeastern coast of Sicily, they are scattered as to form a large y Vulcano is the lower extremity and Alicudi and Stromboli the two points respectively to the west and to the east. The islands take their name from the god Aeolus, king of the winds. According to Greek mythology, Aeolus took refuge on these islands and gave them his name. The Aeolian Islands have always exerted an immense fascination for travelers who have reached, were in fact defined the “seven pearls of the Mediterranean”. In 2000, the Aeolian Islands have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, both as a biosphere reserve, and as a cultural heritage. The seven islands are arranged in the shape of Y-lying, with the shaft pointing towards the West and are:
– Panarea: the smallest but also the most popular with young people, it offers a pretty good nightlife.
– Volcano: famous for the natural pond of hot mud.
– Lipari: the largest, called the white mountain because it is made from pumice stone.
– Salina: the island that has fascinated Massimo Troisi, where it was filmed the movie “Il Postino”, famous for its capers and the production of Malvasia also called nectar of the gods.
– Stromboli: dominated by the imposing volcano, looks like a huge giant black plumed. In the she crater terrace you can see the vents that often expel lava shreds. It is of moderate activity which magma flows down the slope of Sciara del Fuoco, but offers a unique spectacle. Alicudi and Filicudi are the oldest, both with extraordinary beauty as they are the most pristine, where you can enjoy unique landscapes.
Catania – Etna
Etna, the “Bishop-Gebel” (“the mountain par excellence” for the Arabs) is a volcano where the interaction between the primal forces and forms of plant life that have taken place in space and time, has determined the evolution of an incredible variety of environments and natural landscapes. The ancients already knew the volcanic nature of Etna; Pindar and Aeschylus describe how wonderful the eruption of 475 BC In the historical eruptions have been reported many, one of the most important was that of 396 BC that came down to the sea. But the beauty of the Park of Etna is not only the grandeur of eruptions and lava flows. Around this volcano it extends a unique environment, rich sounds, scents and colors. An enchanting landscape, protected by a natural park that stretches from the summit of the volcano to the upper belt of Etna villages. It ‘was divided into four zones with different levels of protection: Zones A, B, C and D.