Discover this beguiling Italian island, a rich center of Mediterranean culture and home to some of Europe’s most enchanting vistas.
At some point during its history, Sicily has been occupied by almost every major Mediterranean civilization. The area continues to serve as an important crossroad between Africa and Europe. This largest of Italy’s islands has landscape with a mesmerizing combination of crystal clear seas, rumbling volcanoes, lush vegetation and ancient ruins. Dive, swim, hike and climb across Sicily and its offshore islands. Sample the region’s unique and delicious cuisine as you travel from town to town.
Sicily’s capital, Palermo, is an intriguing mix of architectural styles and cultures. The city has been ruled by Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Normans, each of which has left its mark on the city. Today, Palermo’s streets are filled with a pleasing jumble of Roman, Byzantine and Arab-Norman architecture. Walk through the infamously chaotic streets, enjoying the bustling atmosphere of its outdoor markets and public squares.
Taormina is one of Sicily’s most enchanting towns. From its magnificent mountainside setting, the town offers stunning views of the Ionian Sea and the peak of Mount Etna. Wander down the busy main street lined with upscale shops or explore Teatro Greco, a gorgeous Greek theater constructed in the 3rd century B.C. Discover lovely medieval churches throughout the town and trek along the hiking paths extending into the surrounding hillsides.
Venture to the UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands, located off Sicily’s northeastern coast. This archipelago of seven islands draws outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities to hike active volcanoes, swim in deep blue waters and snorkel over underwater fumaroles. Relax on the black-sand beaches of the small island of Vulcano, join well-heeled visitors spending their summers on Panarea or escape the crowds on remote Alicudi.
Sicily is served by three main airports: Palermo, Catania and Trapani. You’ll have no trouble reaching the region’s cities and coastal resorts by bus and train, but a car or motorbike is generally necessary if you want to explore more remote areas.