If you are planning to visit Italy for spring or summer holidays, Sicily can offer a great variety of things to do. Besides the beautiful beaches, this stunning island is also known for its art and history. Maybe you are tired of the same old holiday suggestions, that is why we wrote down a list of 5 must-see unusual places in Sicily:
1. Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte
Almost in heart of Sicily is located Caltagirone, a baroque city mostly known for its incredible ceramics. The most enchanting place in the city is certainly the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte characterised by beautifully decorated tiles. From the top of the staircase visitors can admire a breathtaking view of the city.
2. Valley of the Temples
In the south east of the Island there is Agrigento, mostly known for the Valley of the Temples. This must be an unmissable destination of your trip, since it is listed among Unesco world heritage sites since 1997. This valley gathers one of the biggest treasures of Greek architecture in the world. The Doric temples were constructed in sandstone tuff and are incredibly well preserved. The colour of the temples goes from yellow to pink at sunset. From July to September the valley can be visited also by night!
3. Favignana beach
Well, this is not actually an “unusual” place, but certainly is worth a visit during summertime. The beach of Favignana is located in the Egadi archipelago and can be reached from the port of Trapani by ferry in about 30 minutes. In Favignana, the biggest Island of the archipelago, you will find Cala Rossa (red bay) which actually is not red at all (maybe the name derives from the Punic wars which took place here), on the contrary here the sea shows all its magnificent shades of blue.
4. Cappella Palatina (Palermo)
Palermo is the main city of the Island. After the Arab domination, the city was conquered by the Normans. In this period (in 1113 ) the Normans added the enchanting Cappella Palatina to the Palazzo dei Normanni building, which was originally constructed by the Arabs, and today houses the Sicilian Regional Assembly. The Chapel represents one of the most important artistic and historical expressions of the coexistence of Arabic and Norman cultures. Check out the incredible Byzantines mosaics and the wooden ceiling.
5. Saline di Trapani
This natural reserve is known since the Norman nomination. During the Spanish domination this area reached splendour, but at the start of the 20th century, because of the two world wars, it started to be neglected. Today the salt marshes host many endemic plant species and surely worth a visit especially at sunset when the salt acquires oranges and golden shades.
Sicily is a beautiful place! Get off the beaten track and check out some of the more unusual sights 🙂