Coast of Syracuse
Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its deep history.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8 Ways to Revel in the Cuisine, History & Natural Sights of Sicily

Discover the Mediterranean

As a unique alternative to the Italian mainland, Sicily’s points of interest range from vast, archaeological sites to postcard-worthy beaches. Seven of Italy’s 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (the most of any country) are found in Sicily. It’s a place steeped in history that has managed to preserve its cultural relevance while also adapting to the modern age.

A gem of the Mediterranean, these are some of the best things to see and do in Sicily.

Syracuse

Full of stunning ruins and archaeological attractions, Syracuse is often considered the best of Sicily. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic city center — Ortygia — is full of culture, nightlife and a bustling food market.

Don’t miss the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, which includes a Greek amphitheatre from the 5th century BC, where performances are still held (due to its excellent acoustics). Ancient finds from around Syracuse can also be found in the Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi, one of the most important archaeological museums in all of Italy.

Piazza ArmerinaVisit historic cathedrals and churches, gazing upon detailed frescoes and mosaics.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Piazza Armerina

Located in the center of the island, you’ll find gorgeous religious art and artifacts in the Piazza Armerina. Tours starting at the Domus Artis (a local arts organization) plot a route through the city, stopping at three notable churches used by knights and other religious pilgrims during Medieval times.

The city boasts a handful of other cathedrals and churches from the era, decorated with well-preserved mosaics and frescoes. Some of the most impressive mosaics lie within the walls of The Roman Villa of the Casale, a large historic complex which includes the remains of an ancient villa and public bath house.

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Roman theatreSit in an ancient Roman theatre and breathe in the history of the dramatic arts.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Taormina

With breathtaking views of Mt. Etna, Sicily’s active volcano, Taormina has been a highly sought after tourist destination for centuries. The city’s proximity to the coast and access to beautiful sandy beaches also provides many more hotel and resort options than other parts of the island. As a result, Taormina has an active bar, restaurant and nightlife scene.

Although it’s a very small section of the island, the city has a high concentration of attractions and things to do on your Sicily vacation. Ancient Roman theatres, landscaped gardens, Gothic palaces, medieval castles and historic churches are all found within a five mile radius.

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