Places of Interest in Sicily

This magical island has a diverse and interesting history that has left behind fascinating places to visit. Sicily has countless historic towns and cities where you can sightsee, dine and shop till you drop, before retiring to the stunning coastline or back to your villa. Brush up on your ancient Greek and Roman history, stroll through glimmering Baroque streets or simply relax in a piazza at a newly discovered town. Below are a few of our favourite spots.

Marzamemi Journey south along Sicily’s eastern coastline and you will eventually reach the pretty seaside town of Marzamemi. Life here revolves around the charming square, Piazza Regina Margherita. Adorned with colourful tables and chairs, with walls coated in vines and vivid plants, it’s a lovely setting for lunch. Originally an important Arabic settlement famed for its tonnara (tuna producing plant), the legacy lives on in the tinned and smoked fish delights you’ll find for sale throughout the village. You can also enjoy excellent seafood in the restaurants that overlook the sea.

Modica The beautiful town of Modica belongs to the Val di Noto UNESCO world heritage site of the south east of Sicily. Formed around a deep gorge, stunning Baroque buildings seem to pile on top of one another here, with the highest reachable by winding staircases - not for the faint hearted! The town is famed for the art of Aztec chocolate making, introduced by the Spaniards who once ruled Sicily. Visit the oldest chocolate shop on the island, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, where you can taste a wide variety of interesting flavours, such as cardamom, lemon and nutmeg. For those with less of a sweet tooth, Modica also has charming cafes, souvenir shops and the majestic Duomo San Giorgio.

Noto Like many of Sicily’s late Baroque towns in the south east, Noto was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 and rebuilt as the elegant centre we know today. A UNESCO world heritage site, you’ll find rows of attractive honey coloured buildings, enticing gelato shops and cafes that spill out into the streets. Corso Vittoria Emanuele, Noto’s main thoroughfare, houses several impressive sites including the magnificent Cathedral di Noto. Also on this road are several grand palazzi and churches, often open to visitors. For 1 weekend each May, artists transform the town for the Infiorata festival. During this spectacle, a beautiful mural made of flower petals flows down a central street, marking the arrival of spring.

Ragusa Split into 2 distinct sections, Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla, it is the latter, older part that visitors flock to. This fascinating Baroque town in the south east has many stunning landmarks that are conveniently signposted. There’s the Basilica di San Giorgio with its characteristic blue dome, that sits atop a staircase of around 200 steps. Elegant buildings appear to tumble down the sides of the gorge the UNESCO town sits in, with intricate palazzi and houses sitting side by side. Foodies won’t be disappointed either. There are 3 Michelin starred restaurants in Ragusa, as well as plentiful cafes to recharge in.

Scicli The lesser known of the beautiful UNESCO Baroque towns in the south east, Scicli is a delight to wander through. You’ll see elegant palazzi with balconies of stone gargoyles and artistic flourishes, as well as little craft shops and cafes. The town is built in a ravine and is best viewed from the abandoned church of San Matteo, perched high above the winding streets. The climb up the steps will be worth the effort! Inspector Montalbano fans with a keen eye may recognize the town hall as the fictional police station from the hit detective series, as well as many of the characterful streets used during filming.

Taormina This jaw droppingly beautiful town sits on a hilltop in the north east of the island. Long regarded as a holiday hotspot, the distinctive setting has attracted the likes of Oscar Wilde, Cary Grant and Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few. A rapid cable car journey allows visitors up to Taormina, brimming with local craft shops, plentiful restaurants and bars. The star of the show is the spectacular Teatro Greco. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, it hosts a glamorous film festival each year, as well as the occasional concert. Walk up to this enormous ancient site and enjoy panoramic views of the sea, Mount Etna and beaches below – don’t forget your camera! Once you’ve finished admiring the medieval architecture and exploring the winding streets, relax at one of the superb beaches below the town, such as Isola Bella.

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