What to do in Sicily, Italy

Sun-soaked, historic and beautiful, Sicily is an extraordinary place to visit. Often overlooked for Italy’s more northern attractions, a visit to Sicily is like discovering a well-kept and delightful secret. From the remarkable archeological ruins to its pristine Mediterranean beaches and world-class snorkeling, Sicily is the perfect place to visit for a real Italian vacation.

Nestled at the bottom of Italy, being perpetually kicked by Italy’s boot, the island of Sicily has had a varied and fascinating past. It is very much a part of Italy, but it has its own culture, unique to the island. Conquered by the Greeks, Germanic tribes, Goths, Arabs, Normans, the Spanish and eventually the Italian, every culture has left its mark on this picturesque island of lemon groves.

Isola Bella, Sicily, Italy
Isola Bella, Sicily, Italy | Source

History in Sicily, Italy

For history buffs, Sicily is home to some of the most fascinating ancient ruins in the entire region. The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento dates back to the days of the Greek Empire. The site is one of the best-preserved Greek ruins in all of the Mediterranean, and was declared a UNESCO world Heritage Site in 1997. The valley contains the remains of seven Doric temples, and there are still excavations going on discovering more of the area’s fascinating history.

Natural Wonders of Sicily

For nature lovers, a walk along the deserted beach of the Vendicari Reserve is like a stroll through paradise. Nestled along the southeast coast of Sicily, you can watch the flamingos play in the lagoons, you can climb the sand dunes, you can breathe in the fresh sea air scented by the nearby bushes of rosemary and thyme, and you can even swim in the rocky coves.

Mount Etna, the famous volcano in Sicily, Italy
Mount Etna, the famous volcano in Sicily, Italy | Source

Sicily’s most famous landmark is, of course, Mount Etna, and no visit would be complete without a trip to one of the world’s most famous volcanoes. You can hike up, drive up, take a cable car, arrange a tour, or do some wine tasting. Visit the lower part of the mountain, rich with fertile vineyards, orange groves and chestnut forests. Then travel up the mountain to look into the Sylvester Craters, and around at the panoramic view of the entire island.

Forza D Argo. Photo by: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho (flickr)
Forza D Argo. Photo by: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho (flickr)

Macabre catacombs in Sicily, Italy

Traditional Sicilian VIllages

You can also experience a little of Sicily’s more modern, and more notorious, history by visiting the towns of Forza D’Agro and Savoca, both of which served as a backdrop in The Godfather. They are traditional old Sicilian villages, with cobblestone streets and charming town squares completely inaccessible by car.

Finally, for a really unique and utterly macabre visit in Sicily, check out the Capuchin catacombs in Palermo. It’s an underground maze, where the remains of about 8,000 people are dressed up, and on display. The corpses were embalmed, dressed in their best clothing, and staged around the halls in various poses. It is completely creepy and totally fascinating.

Whether you plan to enjoy the untouched natural beauty, or explore the extremes from odd burial rituals to powerful volcanoes, a visit to Sicily is unlike a visit anywhere else in the world, and promises to bring you incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences. And when you're looking for women's travel clothes for your trip, check out Best-Travel-Clothes.com.

Explore Sicily, Italy

show route and directions
A markerAgrigento, Sicily -
92100 Agrigento, Italy
[get directions]

B markerMount Etna, Sicily -
Mt Etna, 95012 Castiglione di Sicilia Catania, Italy
[get directions]

C markerSavoca, Sicily -
98038 Savoca Messina, Italy
[get directions]

D markerCapuchin, Sicily -
Capuchin Catacombs, Via Cipressi, 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
[get directions]

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Comments 22 comments

LULU SUE1987 profile image

LULU SUE1987 5 years ago

Italy is definitely on the top of my bucket list.


Nan Mynatt profile image

Nan Mynatt 5 years ago from Illinois

I hope to visit Sicily, Italy someday. I live in a city that is mostly Italians from Sicily.


Gina 5 years ago

A small town with lots to offer!


happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi LULU SUE1987, Nan Mynatt and Gina! Thank you for dropping by. Italy has indeed lots to offer and will always remain one of my favorite travel destinations.


njsherry 5 years ago

Hi, I was wondering if you have traveled to all of the places you write about. I really like the picture of the beach in this hub :)


andrewwilliams63 profile image

andrewwilliams63 5 years ago

Thanks for this, heading to Italy in a couple of weeks..


Jangaplanet profile image

Jangaplanet 5 years ago

I'm visiting my relatives in Rome in a few days. But i'll first make a stop a couple of days in Sicily Messina and two days in Palermo and the remaining weeks in Rome. I love this post and if i get the chance I will definetely try to see the catacombs in Palermo!


TourItalyNow profile image

TourItalyNow 5 years ago from Norwalk, CT, USA

Nothing beats Italy vacations... and Sicily is a place MORE PEOPLE need to visit!


happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

njsherry - Yes, I do! The beach in Sicily is indeed a sight. :-)

andrewwilliam and Jangaplanet - Thanks for dropping by. Hope you had fun!

TourItalyNow - I can't agree more!


myspainholidays 5 years ago

In my opinion sun-soaked, historic and beautiful, Sicily is an extraordinary place to visit. From the remarkable archaeological ruins to its pristine Mediterranean beaches and world-class snorkeling, Sicily is the perfect place to visit for a real Italian vacation.

http://www.myspainholidays.com/


freecampingaussie profile image

freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

I enjoyed reading this thanks .We are planning a trip to Europe next year , I have been to a few places but not here . Your hub makes me want to explore Sicily !


happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi myspainholidays and freecampingaussie!

I'm glad you enjoyed this. I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip to Sicily. Go and explore - it's simply beautiful


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 4 years ago from Texas, USA

Nice article on Sicily, I hope to visit there someday.


Travel Blogs profile image

Travel Blogs 4 years ago from The world

We chose Palermo for a 3 month stay and are on our last 2 weeks now. What a blast! We are going to miss Palermo (we just sun bathed on our terrace yesterday .. it was so so sunny)

Wish I could have seen couple of your tips at the beginning of our stay!


Theocharis V profile image

Theocharis V 4 years ago from Piraeus, Greece

loved it. Sicily is one place that I really want to go.Great hub.


happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 4 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Thanks, everybody! Sicily is a wonderful place. @Travel blogs - I'm envious of that sunny terrace! (-:


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 4 years ago from Texas, USA

I want to visit Italy, after reading your article I will have to add Sicily to my travel list too. Good article


happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 4 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi Coolmon - Thanks! If you're like me, that's a long list, but Sicily definitely deserves a spot on it! (-:


abbyw1989 profile image

abbyw1989 4 years ago from Ireland

Beautiful article, thanks so much for sharing - I've always wanted to visit Sicily


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi happyexplorer. Just returned from 2 weeks in Italy, 10 days of it in Sicily. It was amazing. Wish I had read your Hub before going. We visited many of the sites in your Hub; Taormina & Isola Bella, Palermo, Mt. Etna, the beaches of the southeast, Agrigento, etc... Excellent Hub.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago

What a fabulous article. Great information and detail. I love your ideas and suggestions. Voted up for useful and awesome


Jonn Christie 90 profile image

Jonn Christie 90 2 years ago from Australia

What a beautiful place is Sicily i would love to go there it looks amazing the food must be great and the people so friendly and down to earth what a great hub thanks for sharing.

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