ITALY, MEDITERRANEAN PHOTO GALLERY, TRAVEL

Pictures of Sicily – Visit Sicily

pictures-of-sicily-visit-sicily

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.

Wedding in Taormina
Crashing a wedding in Taormina. Who said I wasn’t invited… the doors were open. Reminded me of the Godfather…

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.

Church of San Nicolo in Savoca, Sicily.
Church of San Nicolo in Savoca, Sicily. This is the church used in The Godfather films where Michael Corleone was married.

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.

Local tours Taormina
There are numerous tours around Sicily from loads of different companies

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.

Fontana dell'Elefante
You can’t miss the Fontana dell’Elefante in Catania
Sicilian chocolate brioche
Sicilians start their day with a Chocolate Brioche, which is gelato in a soft bread brioche

 

 

 

 

 

Central Market Catania
Delicious Sicilian tomatoes sell for $.25 a pound at the main Catania Market.
The Fish Market in Catania buzzes with activity in the morning.
The Fish Market in Catania buzzes every morning. Get there early to see all the action.
Santa Agata Duomo in Catania
Santa Agata Duomo is the main Cathedral in Catania
Cathedral S Agata service
I caught some major ‘Bishop-ing’ going on inside Catania’s Cathedral.
Porta Uzeda Catania
Porta Uzeda, Catania – The morning is the best time to visit some towns and villages when there are fewer people.
Garibaldi statue in Catania
Garibaldi statue greets you in Catania

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.

Steel Sculpture to Francis Ford Coppola
This Steel Sculpture was dedicated to Francis Ford Coppola, and San Nicolo Cathedral is perched in the background
Bar Vitelli Savoca, Italy
The famous bar from the Godfather Films – Bar Vitelli
Church of San Nicolo in Savoca, Sicily
Michael Corleone from The Godfather film was married in the Church of San Nicolo in Savoca
Michael Corleone and Apollonia The Godfather
Michael Corleone and Apollonia from The Godfather film
Corleone Family Tree
The Corleone Family Tree from The Godfather is displayed in the Godfather museum in Savoca
Marlon Brandon in The Godfather
Marlon Brandon in The Godfather

I loved all the paraphernalia from The Godfather films, and visiting Savoca was a really cool experience.

Inviting little gateway in Savoca
Inviting little gateway in Savoca

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.

Amfitheatre in Taormina Sicily
The magnificent Amphitheater in Taormina, Sicily
Taormina Walled Entrance
The walled entrance to Taormina.

Taormina Gardens

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.

Old Style Telephone Taormina
Old Style Telephone Taormina

It’s a land where sometimes technology doesn’t matter. Frankly, the cats don’t mind either…

Cat in Taormina

Taormina Cathedral

You’ll find lots of tourists and tour groups hanging around the Cathedral Square in Taormina .

Taormina Coastline

You can see for miles in any direction from Taormina. From there, you take the speedy funicular to Mazzaro to reach the sea.

Funicular from Taormina to Mazzaro on the sea

I prefer the mornings in Taormina. It was quieter and easier to navigate the town.

Empty streets of Taormina in the morning
Not a creature was stirring, except for some pigeons
Taormina in the morning
…And this woman who was getting home from a wedding the night before.

 

Structures within Botanical Garden Taormina
Unique structures within the Botanical Gardens of Taormina

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

Isola Bella Mazzaro

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.

Bay area of Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay
Bay area of 4* Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay
Pristeen waters in Mazzaro Sicily
Pristeen waters in Mazzaro Sicily
Lounge area Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay Mazzaro Sicily
Lounge area at the Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay Mazzaro Sicily

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.

Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay Exterior Mazzaro Sicily
Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay Exterior Mazzaro Sicily

Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay

Alex is the man to go to if you want an excursion to see Isola Bella and the Grotta Azzurra.

Looking up from the Funicular of Mazzaro to Taormina
Looking up from the Funicular of Mazzaro to Taormina

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.

Swimming area at Hotel Kalura Cefalu
Swimming at Hotel Kalura Cefalu

The waters around Cefalu, on the northern side of Sicily, are extremely clear with beautiful rocks jutting out of them.

Hotel Kalura Cefalu seaview terrace
Hotel Kalura Cefalu seaview terrace
Duomo of Cefalu, Sicily
Duomo of Cefalu, Sicily

The Cathedral of Cefalu is in a Norman/Romanesque style and is one of the UNESCO Heritage sites. It dates from 1131.

In traditional Sicilian style, you can guy fruits and vegetables from mobile Api trucks.
You can still buy fruits and vegetables from mobile Api trucks.
The Trinacria symbol of Sicily
This 3-legged Trinacria symbol represents Sicily
The ancient aqueducts of Cefalu, Sicily
The ancient aqueducts of Cefalu, Sicily
Temple of Diana in Cefalu, Sicily
The Temple of Diana peers over Cefalu

Cefalu is a place where the past is still in the present. A fisherman is fixing some netting.

Belt maker in Italy
Belt maker in Sicily

You can still buy traditionally-made handicrafts in Sicily. It feels like a step back in time.

Sicilian Wines

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.

Sicilian Grillo Wine

Nero D'Avola DOC
Nero D’Avola DOC

Contadi Castaldi Brut

Anemos Etna Bianco
Delicious white wine from Etna – Anemos Etna Bianco

Cooking Class Red & White Hysteria Taormina
Why not take a cooking class at the Red & White Hosteria

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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Life On The Mediterranean

US expat living the life on the Mediterranean in the South of France. I regularly travel to Spain, Italy, Greece and other intriguing locations around the Mediterranean. Former Hyatt Corp Marketing Manager, student accommodation director and hotel photoshoot art director.

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