A charming town sandwiched between Messina and Catania on the eastern coast of the island, its roots stretch back to Greco-Roman times where it was seen as a key settlement for people wanting to escape the big city. Arguably the best sight in Taormina is its Greco-Roman amphitheatre which is in remarkably good condition today. Live performances occasionally take place here in summer.
Further south from Taormina, going past Catania, the former Ancient Greek city has seen its popularity with foreign visitors explode of late. The Parco Archeologico is where you can explore most of the sights which still stand from Ancient Greek times including the 5th century BC theatre. The Duomo, the local cathedral, is another building sure to amaze you with its beauty.
Sicily’s capital and largest city, Palermo tends to oscillate between bustling and sleepy in the space of just a few hours. While here, you might like to visit the Capella Palatina, La Matorana church, Palazzo Riso contemporary art gallery or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, see the myriad of plant life that exists here including, surprisingly, palm trees!
Just a few miles away from Taormina towards the Agrigento region, this site is a must-see for anyone who wants a little insight into Sicily during the Roman Empire. At Piazza Armerina, the Roman-era Villa del Casale is the main attraction, where you can see some extraordinary mosaics made during the era, inviting you to take a photo or two.
One of the largest active volcanoes in Europe, Etna is one of the most outstanding spots of natural beauty in Sicily. When it lies dormant, it’s safe to approach, but you can see it in the background if near Catania, Messina or any other town in the north-eastern part of the island. Unsurprisingly, Etna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town itself is marvellous for walking around, but if you ever get the chance to visit, there’s one sight you must see – the Valley of the Temples. The Valley has the remains of six Doric temples which are begging to be explored (with a tour guide, of course), while there are a number of fancy restaurants in town where you head for dinner afterwards.
(Photo credits: Main photo by sinanyuzakli via Flickr – Body photo via inghamsitaly.co.uk)