Some of the first keen visitors to Sicily were the ancient Greeks. They loved the place so much that they stayed for centuries, founding a number of important settlements on the island. Since then Romans, Saracens (not the rugby team), Normans and modern tourists from all over the world have come to bask in the Sicilian sun and savour the island’s cuisine and pace of life.
Located at the ‘toe’ of the Italian mainland, the island is the football that is firmly placed between the cobalt Tyrrhenian Sea and the rest of the Mediterranean. With seven UNESCO Heritage Sites across the island amongst dozens of ruins, romantic buildings and even a live volcano, Sicily is a truly unique experience. Guided tours will take you around the villages, ruins and cities on the island where you’ll have ample time to explore and marvel at the sights and surroundings.
Arriving at the Sicilian capital of Palermo, you will be met with a metropolitan coastal city, where the past is never far from the charming restaurants and piazzas. Stroll along the marina or immerse yourself in the shopping opportunities found in and around the Via Roma, and be careful not to strain your neck too much from looking up at all the spires and churches that rise in numbers above the city. Heading out of the city to take in the rest of the island, you’ll never be short of things to do, see and taste. Visit the vineyards at Marsala for a taste of the local wine, before experiencing the UNESCO Heritage Sites of the Valley of Temples, the Villa Romana del Casale as well as the archaeological sites of Erice and Selinunte. After an evening, dining on delicious local food and a good night’s sleep, you can spend the next day exploring the beautiful east coast of Sicily. Cities like Taormina and Siracusa have attracted writers, musicians and artists for centuries and the picturesque beauty of these places may even invoke the muse of creativity in you. The east coast is also where you’ll find the old city of Catania. Explore the baroque architecture of the city, including the Piazza del Duomo and the Teatro Massimo Bellini, before heading to Catania’s neighbouring natural giant, Mount Etna. The tallest active volcano in the world, you can go on guided tours that will take you up the steep side and near to the jaw-dropping crater.
After a few days of exploring the island, you’ve more than earned the opportunity to kick back and just relax on one of the beautiful beaches that are found across Sicily, and remember, you’re never too far from a glass of wine or a restaurant serving delicious food on this beautiful island.
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