The Best Places to Visit During Your Holidays in Sicily, Italy
Of all the treasures found in Italy, the southern Island of Sicily encompasses the best of Mediterranean culture, art, architecture and ancient history. With its millennia-old folklore inherited and diffused by the ancient civilizations that settled in the island since the time of Troy and even earlier, Sicily is unique in its own way as a primary centre of maritime activity and the central gateway to the Mediterranean since ancient times. To enjoy the best of your holidays to Sicily, Italy it is important to consider that each region and individual town has its own ‘micro-history’, so to speak, and its own folklore which make the island a melting pot of different traditions- reason why it is such an exceptional place to visit.
The beautiful towns of the Val di Noto in the South Eastern part of the Island- Ragusa, Noto, Modica, Caltagirone and Scicli especially- provide an exceptional atmosphere of calm solitude and mystique characterized by narrow streets adorned with medieval Sicilian-style baroque buildings and ornate churches built for the most part out of limestone (a result of the natural geologic changes, earthquakes and sedimentation that took place along the historical time period). The unique panorama and landscape of the Val di Noto has made this region a protected UNESCO world heritage site (out of the 7 present in Sicily). This region is popular for its famous wine, the Moscato di Noto- first produced in Noto- and other tasty wines such as the Etna Rosso DOC and of course the Nero D’Avola, a specialty found all over Sicily- it provides therefore a great opportunity for some of the best wine-tasting as well as gastronomic excursions in the island and is a highly recommended stop along your holiday itinerary in Sicily, Italy.
For those who choose Sicily, Italy for holidays to enjoy nature and the open country, Sicily’s 4 regional parks (Etna, Madonie, Nebrodi, Alcantara- all UNESCO world heritage sites) and their 76 regional nature reserves need no introduction. Visitors who come to Sicily, Italy on a nature-trekking holiday will have the opportunity to explore the mixed variety of colourful landscapes and the hundreds of protected rare plants, trees, flowers and species of wildlife that are all endemic to the specific region: from Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, hundreds of various owls and butterflies to buzzards, foxes, hedgehogs, wild cats and a great variety of Sea birds found also along the splendid beaches that line peaceful and solitary nature reserves like Zingaro and Vendicari.
Archaeological monuments, theatres and temples abound in Sicily since the time of the Greek, Roman and Arab invasions. The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is another designated UNESCO protected site, holding one of the best collections of preserved architectural wonders from the time of the Greeks and the Romans and dating to the 6th Century B.C. A visit to the area is mandatory for students or art and ancient history buffs who want to make the best out of their holidays in Sicily with the kids, Italy, and complement their excursions with a hands-on approach to study in detail some of the most spectacular and best-preserved ancient monuments in the whole of Europe. Just look at the Doric architecture of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Concordia, Hercules and Juno and you will be amazed at the architectural skills used to make these temples and ruins stand the test of time since the time of the Trojan refugee Aeneas and going back to the foundation of the Roman Empire. Complement your visit with a look at the Villa Romana del Casale (3RD-4TH Century B.C.) in the locality of Mont Mangone. This multi-storied Roman Villa is filled with the best preserved and ornate, intricate mosaics illustrating Roman life and history, considered one of the top collections in the world.