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SICILY
Vacations and Sightseeing

Basic information
Official languageItalian
CapitalPalermo
Area25.710 km²
Populationapp. 4,840,876  (2021)
Currencyeuro  (EUR)
Web.it
Code.ITA
Tel.+39

Popular destinations ITALY

CampaniaLombardySardinia
SicilyTuscanyUmbria
Veneto

Vacations and Sightseeing

Sicily is an island often visited by both Italian and many foreign tourists. It has both beautiful beaches and remains of ancient cultures. Here are some of the most beautiful sights.

Palermo is Sicily's capital and largest city and is perhaps best compared to a rough, unpolished diamond. You will find this vibrant city alternately chaotic and dusty, yet always interesting. The historic setting of this former capital of kings and emirs is largely baroque with some beautiful gems of medieval architecture. The Norman Palace, with its Byzantine chapel (a Monreale in miniature), is built on Phoenician walls. There are a number of monasteries and castles, and a beautiful cathedral, as well as art galleries and a good archaeological museum.

Monreale is not far from Palermo. The city is especially known for its beautiful 12th-century cathedral. The church was built in 1172 by William II of Sicily. Norman and Arabic elements are clearly recognisable in the building. Mosaics from the 12th-13th century, including the immense 7m x 13m Christ Pantocrator, cover most of the interior of the church. The total area of the mosaics is 6000 m2. Next to the church is a Benedictine monastery with a beautiful garden.

Agrigento is known as the "Valley of the Temples" and is a large archaeological site. There are also beautiful olive groves and almond orchards. Agrigento has a number of ancient Greek temples, including the Temple of Concord, one of the two most complete in Sicily. The other is that of Segesta. This is the best preserved ancient Doric temple in the whole of Greece. The temple, including the ancient amphitheatre, is located in a beautiful position.

Taormina is the most famous seaside resort in Sicily, full of restaurants and shops, and beaches nearby. This town is located on a mountain overlooking the Ionian coast. The history side is omnipresent here. The Greek amphitheatre, with its famous panoramic view of Mount Etna and the coast, is used for concerts and plays. The medieval walls enclose the old town. There are several castles, including the one in Castelmola overlooking Taormina. A visit to Etna is a long day trip and for nature lovers, the Alcantara Gorge is also attractive.


Sources

Scholten, J. / Sicilië: met de Egadische en Eolische eilanden
Van Reemst

Bausenhardt, H. / Sicilië
Van Reemst

Haan-van de Wiel, W.H. de / Sicilië
Gottmer

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated February 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info