6 Reasons Why You Should Explore Sicily Now
By Simone Girner
In Palermo e una Cipolla, Roberto Alajmo argues that the Sicilian city is like an onion whose layers are peeled to reveal yet more layers. The same could be said of Sicily as a whole. Here are some of the main things to consider when planning a trip to this incredibly varied destination, home to everything from Greek temples to glorious seaside escapes.
1. Sicily is big
“Two weeks only in Sicily?!” was a question I heard a lot before I left on my trip. The truth is, I easily could have spent another two. The driving distances are significant: from the east to the west coast, it takes about five hours, and that’s along the highway, when what you really want to do is meander along some of the world’s most glorious country roads. Another thing to consider is the sheer range of experiences offered in Sicily. Here are some highlights:
Best for: history, culture, Sicilian life
Travelers who really want to understand the history and culture have to visit this high-energy, urban mess of a city, with fantastic food, art, and architecture. There’s nothing organized or high-end about it, but if you have a sense of adventure, it’s one of those glorious places where you can just blend in and feel like a local (Palermo gets a fraction of the tourist groups of Syracuse or Taormina).
Southeast and southern coast
Best for: bucolic countryside, Baroque towns
This area contains many of Sicily’s most famous sights, including the late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto, the mosaic-covered Villa Romana del Casale, ceramics town Caltagirone, and the temples and Greek architecture of Syracuse and Agrigento. It’s a massive place, so it’s best to be based in one spot and to rent a car and take day trips. Of course, the coastline fronting the Ionian Sea is glorious.
Taormina & Mount Etna