Sicily, Italy is a stunning island with very diverse landscapes, architecture and cultures. It’s the largest island in the Mediterranean, just off the south coast of Italy. The Strait of Messina separates Sicily from mainland Italy .
Throughout history, Sicily has welcomed, or not, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Spanish, the Normans, the Arabs… you name it. And she proudly displays a delicious mix of all these cultures. You will find magnificent archeology, unique architecture and vast natural wonders. I traveled around for 3 weeks, and sometimes pictures of Sicily say more than words. While I didn’t have a set itinerary, you might find this Sicily Itinerary helpful.
Pictures of Sicily
Here is a sample of images of Sicily including Catania, Taormina, Savoca, Mazzaro and Cefalu. These are some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen, outside of the Amalfi Coast. I’m often sucked in by scraggy rocks jutting out of the water and traditional village life as it still exists. Show me crystal waters I can dive into, and stunning, mountainous landscape with the Mediterranean Sea in sight. Who can resist a picturesque, hilltop village with gravity-defying structures? Sicily is just amazing.
Visit Sicily – what you need to know
Before you visit Sicily, review my Things to see and do in Catania. I compiled some good information about visiting Taormina: Taormina. How to get to there and when to visit. And while you are there, you must visit the Aeolian Islands off of Sicily. The islands are easy to get to via ferry and well worth it to see the active volcanoes and islands themselves. You can also take an organized tour to see the best of Sicily. And last, but not least, why not take a Sicilian Cooking course? These classes dig into the heart and soul of Sicilian cuisine, cooking and traditions.
Pictures of Sicily – Catania Photos
Catania is your arrival point on the east side of Sicily. It’s a lovely city worth spending a few days and it’s very easy to walk around. Here are some of the images of Catania you’ll be sure to see.
Pictures of Sicily – Savoca Photos
Savoca might not mean much to you by name, but it is where they filmed The Godfather movies. Savoca has a museum dedicated to the trilogy, and you can’t but help feel the presence of Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan. I took an organized tour from Taormina and it was truly a magical experience.
I loved all the paraphernalia from The Godfather films, and visiting Savoca was a really cool experience.
Pictures of Sicily – Taormina Photos
Sicily is hilly and mountainous, and there are seven UNESCO World Heritage Site there. Some of these include Mount Etna, the Aeolian Islands, and the Cathedral in Cefalu. Then there are the ancient archeological sites of the Valley of the Temples, Erice, Selinunte, and the famous amphitheater of Taormina to see. Taormina is a quick trip from Catania and it can be quite busy depending on the time of year.
Sicily is a mix of hills and mountains with lots of lovely little villages nestled seaside.
There’s even a restaurant dedicated to Bruschetta. Any kind you can dream of.
It’s a land where sometimes technology doesn’t matter. Frankly, the cats don’t mind either…
You’ll find lots of tourists and tour groups hanging around the Cathedral Square in Taormina .
You can see for miles in any direction from Taormina. From there, you take the speedy funicular to Mazzaro to reach the sea.
I prefer the mornings in Taormina. It was quieter and easier to navigate the town.
The Botanical Gardens in Taormina are a must see. An English woman designed and maintained the gardens, and the buildings within are quite unique.
Pictures of Sicily – Mazzaro Photos
When you take the funicular from Taormina down to the sea, you find the small village of Mazzaro. Isola Bella is the main attraction of Mazzaro. It’s a small island you can reach on foot by following a slim strip of sand. It’s great for snorkeling and boating around, or just exploring its rocky edges. The beaches are lovely and Mazzaro is quite a small resort area with a few hotels and restaurants.
I spent a few days lounging around the Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay Hotel in Mazzaro. The 4* hotel is lovely and it’s a great place for lunch or for taking a boat excursion even if you are not staying at the hotel.
Alex is the man to go to if you want an excursion to see Isola Bella and the Grotta Azzurra.
Pictures of Sicily – Cefalu Photos
Cefalu, Sicily is a little over 40 miles east of Palermo on Sicily’s north coast. There are lovely beaches, historic monuments and a taste of life as it was a long time ago.
The waters around Cefalu, on the northern side of Sicily, are extremely clear with beautiful rocks jutting out of them.
The Cathedral of Cefalu is in a Norman/Romanesque style and is one of the UNESCO Heritage sites. It dates from 1131.
Cefalu is a place where the past is still in the present. A fisherman is fixing some netting.
You can still buy traditionally-made handicrafts in Sicily. It feels like a step back in time.
Sicily produces a lot of wine and you can buy Sicilian wine all over the world. The rich terrain nurtures some super, earthy wines that you should try while you are there. Some of the most common Sicilian white wines are: Grillo, which is a lovely, light white wine; and Insolia, which is like a Chardonnay. For red wines, there are Nero d’Avola and Primativo, which I compare to a Pinot Noir. Then there are the sweeter, dessert wines of Moscato and Malvasia. I’m not a wine connoisseur. I drink what I like and like what I drink.
Have you been to Sicily? What were your thoughts? I still want to visit the Scala dei Turchi and the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento. Have you been? What do you think?
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