10 Things to Do in Sicily

October 4, 2012 in Italy by Karen Schweitzer

Taking a vacation is something that most people enjoy doing. It’s a chance to get away from the drudgery of everyday life and have a good time. Although there are a lot of places that you can go while on vacation, visiting the Old World is an attractive choice for some. An island called Sicily, near the southern tip of Italy, might be among the spots you’d choose to visit. Following are a few things to do in Sicily.

Get Some Exercise on Mt. Etna

Although Mt. Etna is known as an active volcano and is visible from much of the eastern coast of Sicily, and beyond, there are many activities you can take part in apart from merely watching the mountain’s splendor–which is terrific all by itself. During the winter months, Mt. Etna is alive with skiers plummeting down the slopes. In warmer months, those same slopes offer the chance to hike or take a ride on a mountain bike while exploring the countryside. You can also take a scenic train ride throughout the region.

See the Ancient Temples of Agrigento

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Sicily is the temples of Agrigento. They are among the most photographed and recognizable spots and one of the main reasons tourists flock to Sicily. Agrigento dominates a hillside on Sicily’s south coast. Formerly the Greek city of Akragas, founded in 581 BC, the modern city of Agrigento is where the original acropolis was built. The temples are in the southern part of the city, a short distance away.

Go to the La Pescheria Fish Market

In Catania there is a specialized extravaganza that takes place on a regular basis–the La Pescheria Fish Market, which is located in the Piazza del Dumo, on the Via Garibaldi. La Pescheria will thrill your senses. You will see and smell fresh pastries, cakes, cheeses, and breads. In addition, there are fresh fish, oysters, octopus, lobster, eels, crabs, and shellfish.

Eat Pasta alla Norma in Catania

Another reason to visit Catania is to experience the traditional dish of Pasta alla Norma. It is a delicious combination of tomatoes, ricotta cheese, and aubergine that will leave you wondering how you’ve gone through life thus far without having tasted this extraordinary meal. It may be worth the trip to Sicily all by itself.

Take in the Theatre of Taormina

One of the reason most tourists visit Sicily is to see the ancient ruins that seem to be everywhere. On Mt. Etna there is a wondrous example of ancient architecture that also offers a tremendous view of the surrounding countryside; the Theatre of Taormina. The Theatre is of Greek design, but dates from the time of the Romans. During the summer months, you can take in a musical performance during the evening that will thrill you.

Spend a Day at the Beach in San Vito lo Capo

If you’re in the mood to take a day or so off from visiting ancient ruins, you can spend some time on the beach in San Vito lo Capo. This small, intimate beach has a beautiful mountainous backdrop that will leave you breathless. The local fare is delicious, so make sure you sample it.

Explore the Ancient Ruins

The entire island is filled with ancient ruins dating back to the Greeks and Romans. It’s almost impossible to go very far in Sicily without running into an example of the architecture of the Greeks or Romans. Hiring a local guide will allow to see some of the ruins that are off the beaten path.

Stop at the Villa Casale del Romana

In the interior of Sicily is a small town called Piazza Armerina. In that village is the Villa Casale del Romana, which is famous for its mosaics. You can use this village as a base to visit a wide variety of ruins in the area, but spend a little time at the Villa Casale del Romana. You won’t be sorry.

Spend Some Time at Sicily’s National Parks

Another way to get away from the usual tourist haunts while you’re in Sicily is to spend some time at the National Parks that are situated throughout the island. It will be a chance to see some parts of the island that don’t have anything to do with ancient ruins. Instead you will be enjoying the scenic wonders and wildlife of Sicily.

Visit Medieval Erice

The village of Erice is a romantic town that dates from medieval times and is located on the top of Mt. Erice. While you’re there, you should make it a point to visit the Cathedral, and walk up to the Bell Tower. The view is among the most spectacular sights in Sicily.

Guest post from Payton Price. Payton writes for TermLifeInsurance.org.