For as long as travellers have loved Italy, Sicily has often been overlooked by the ‘big three’: Rome, Florence and Venice. That’s not to say that these cities aren’t incredible (they certainly are!), but Sicily has been slowly climbing the ranks in popularity. Found just off the toe of Italy’s boot, let’s deep dive into sensational Sicily and what to do on this Italian island.
Learn about its origins
Sicily has its own flag that depicts the ‘Trinacria’, a three-legged woman with Medusa’s head. Her three legs are said to represent the three corners of the triangle-shaped island, as well as the three mythological nymphs who created it. It officially became the Sicilian flag in 1943.
Uncover its archaeological gems
With former Greek and Roman influences, Sicily has retained some historic structures in good shape. Picture yourself wandering through the remains of the Valley of the Temples, including the practically intact Temple of Concordia. Taormina’s Teatro Greco features not just sensational views of Mount Etna and the sea but is still used to this day as a theatre for concerts, plays and film festivals.
Swim in three different seas
Being an island, the waters of the Mediterranean, Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas lap on its shores. Some beaches have golden sand while others are more pebbly; but whichever you choose, you’ll swim in crystal clear waters. Popular spots include Isola Bella (featured in HBO’s The White Lotus series) and Cefalu.
Eat, eat, eat
If a place has brioche and gelato as its traditional breakfast, you know you’re onto a winner! It’s the perfect start to the day, especially in summer. As you would expect, seafood is plentiful and served in a variety of fresh and cooked dishes. Arancini are a popular street food snack, found in a multitude of flavours (more so than on the mainland), and desserts (like cannoli and granita) are a favourite amongst locals and travellers alike! The island also has extremely fertile land so you can try local olives, grapes, eggplants and citrus fruits.
You can ski on Mount Etna!
While you may associate summer with Sicily, it is also a great destination to visit in winter. Take advantage of one of two ski resorts on Mount Etna, or for something a little different, there is a fantastic cross-country skiing track in the Messina province.