Spending the Holidays in Sicily

With its rich multi-cultural heritage, the Italian island of Sicily has long been a favorite vacation spot for sightseers and those interested in discovering the archeological and artistic treasures that since ancient times have made it the ‘gateway to the Mediterranean.’ Read here to discover the top 10 reasons why a holiday to Sicily has the best to offer for any enthusiastic traveler with a taste of the exotic.

Among the principal attractions, in the summer the sunny sandy beaches and resorts of the Agrigento coast have always been a popular destination for beach-lovers and nature-seekers; the many beautifully restored Sicilian villas available for rent around the island – their style marked by the influence of Greek, Roman, Arabic and Medieval/Renaissance-era architectural and artistic elements – will make a Sicily holiday unforgettable and also an ideal choice for trips with the whole family.

The experience is of course complemented by the culinary delights of the Island, whose recipes retain many of the cross-cultural traditional elements of bygone centuries. Food-lovers are encouraged to try the sword-fish courses, the many pasta dishes (Pasta alle sarde [sardines], Pasta alla norma with eggplant, Spaghetti alla Siracusana with fresh anchovies) and the game dishes, cold cuts and cheese varieties found in the mountainous regions.

Ensconced in a breath-taking panorama dotted with ancient Greco-Roman ruins and beautifully preserved restored temples and amphitheaters (such as those found in the ‘Valley of the Temples’) Agrigento and Taormina are also excellent locations to visit for students or history buffs, along with the archaeological Park of Segesta, with its Doric Temples and monuments adorned with intricate mosaics, which any art history student is sure to appreciate.

For nature enthusiasts, the four regional parks- Etna, Nebrodi, Park of Alcantara, and Madonie – are true natural wonders transformed by the rich volcanic soil into habitat where one can revel in the variety and splendor of rare and exotic plants, luscious forests and diverse fauna.

Those with a taste for adventure must absolutely consider embarking on guided volcano-trekking tours and explore the many hiking trails which render testimony to the diversity of the natural habitat that co-exists side to side with the volcanic activity of the region. Trekking on Mount Etna among the lava fumes is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that few will ever forget, and the curious and surreal rock formations of the Park of Alcantara- which runs along a river lined with high columns and walls formed by sedimentary rock – are a unique sight to behold that will make your photo-album the envy of friends and relatives.