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Sicily Tourism And Travel Guide
7° C / 44.7° F
March to September
6 to 7 Days
Palermo International Airport (32 kms)
Messina Centrale railway station (1.4 kms)
One of the 20 regions of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea is the autonomous island of Sicily. The land of Sicily has been conquered by many in the past and these rulers have left their marks on the island, in terms of the architecture of structures, roads and food. The Italian island is easy to reach via air, rail, road and by sea as well. Due to the region being in the middle of the sea, the climate of the island is influenced by the water around it; summers are hot and mucky while winters are pleasant and not too intense.
Tourism in Sicily is popular due to the place exhibiting immense amount of history. The most prominent landmark of the island is Mount Etna, which is the largest active Volcano in Europe and can be visited as well. Our travel guide to Sicily will tell you more about the different places to visit and things to do when you are in Sicily. Don’t fret, just browse through and plan up your trip.
How to Reach
Sicily has three main airports located in the capital city making it possible to reach the island by air, depending on where you are coming from. The Palermo Airport is located at a distance of 32 km from the city center, the Catania Fontanarossa Airport is situated at a distance of 7.3 km from the main city of Catania and the third airport, Trapani Airport is located at a distance of 18.4 km from the main part of the city. Major airlines ply from these cities to different destinations in Italy as well as European countries.
Italian roads are some of the best motorable roads to travel on, especially the ones in Sicily. Primarily, you can take the A1, A3 or the A14 to get to the port of Villa San Giovanni and from there onwards you can take a ferry to Messina in Sicily.
Sicily is well connected by rail; there is an intercity train, the Eurostar and the speed train. You can take a speed train to either Rome or Naples and take another train from there to the port in Villa San Giovanni or take a regular train from any city in Italy to the same port. The train then goes sits on a train ferry that takes it to Sicily. The railway station in Messina is 1.4 km from the center of the city.
Sicily has three ports namely The Port of Palermo, The Port of Catania and The Port of Termini Imerese, which is close to Palermo. You can reach either of these ports depending on where you are coming from. The port in the capital city of Palermo is 3.1 km away from the center of the city.
It is best to get around the city by travelling in a bus, train or bicycling your way across town. The train services within the island are not that great and run late most of the time, but the bus is a great option if you want to roam around sightseeing. Cabs are available at all times as well but are expensive.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Spring is the best season to visit Sicily with temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 22°C (71.6°F). The weather is pleasant and absolutely beautiful during this time with May seeing more of an increase in temperature.
Summers in Sicily are quite hot due to the Scirocco winds that blow from the Mediterranean Sea. Temperatures during this time range from 18°C (64.4°F) to 28°C (82.4°F) with sea temperatures rising as well, making it a perfect time for swimming by the beaches.
The months of the autumn season see temperatures that range from 18°C (64°F) to 26°C (79°F) that are accompanied by a lot of rains. This is also a great time to visit due to the pleasant climate and the beautiful colours of trees and leaves in the region.
Winters in Sicily are moderate and comfortable. Temperatures in this season range from 8°C (46.4°F) to 14°C (57°F) and sometimes drop even lower in January and February, which are the coldest months of the year in this region.
Things to Do
Climb Mount Etna:
An active volcano in Sicily called Mount Etna is located in Catania and is the largest active volcano in the whole of Europe. Climbing all the way to the top is very exciting and thrilling at the same time. Pump your adrenaline by going on this climb.
Visit a Nature Reserve:
The nature reserve in Trapani known as Riserva Naturale Orientata dello Zingaro, is filled with a variety of diverse flora and fauna which will appeal to a nature enthusiast. The area also has a museum that you can check out and the only way to explore the place is to walk.
Walk Through the Catacombs of Palermo:
The catacombs of Palermo are one of the most renowned places to go to in Sicily as well as Italy. The catacombs have racks of corpses that are embalmed and preserved. This is a site to witness and a must do in the capital city of Palermo.
View the Ruins in Selinunte:
Located in the southwestern coasts of Sicily are the ruins of Selinunte, a thriving city in the past that was conquered by Carthaginians. Apart from the archeological ruins, the region is blessed with magnificent views of golden beaches accompanied by pleasant winds throughout the year.
Visit a Village:
The small hilltop of Erice located in the province of Trapani is a medieval village following traditions and cultures from the medieval times. The village is quaint and absolutely worth a visit if you are looking for some peace and quiet from all the touristy places.
Sicily is the food capital of Italy and gorging on some delicious mouthwatering dishes is something one must do on their visit here. Street food is popular in Palermo with a variety of dishes to choose from, most of which are non vegetarian in nature. Panelle or chickpea fritters are some vegetarian fast food items you can find in this region. Pane Cunzato are open top sandwiches overflowing with meat, cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, cheese and basically whatever else you’d like on it. You can find this dish in Lingua Village on the lovely Salina Island. A great vegetarian dish in Sicily is the Busiate alla Trapanese found in the city of Trapani. Made with farm fresh tomatoes, garlic, almonds, basil and served with busiate, it is an authentic dish of Sicily that one must try. Other than this, desserts are a specialty in Sicily. World famous desserts like Cannolis and Cassatta Sicilianacan be found almost anywhere in Sicily.
No holiday is complete without going on a shopping spree. A good place to shop for some antiques and crafts in Sicily is a market located in the southern part of Etna in between Nicolosi and Catania. Here you can get traditional craft items, ceramics, wooden puppets and antiques from the old world. If you want to shop for some organic produce, Palermo is the place. Take back some good Sicilian wine or some flavorful cheese as a gift for a beloved back home. If you are keen on buying clothes and accessories at a boutique, there is Sicilia Outlet Village where you can find items like bags, shoes, clothes from world renowned brands. Other notable shopping places are La Casa Eoliana in the Aeolian Islands of Lipari, Parisi Taorminia in the town of Taormina and many more outlets to shop from throughout the island.