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the ten most lovely websites in Sicily

The most important of the Italian islands is extremely wealthy: baroque facades in Noto or Syracuse, vestiges of Greece in Agrigento, majestic Etna and the volcanic archipelago of the Aeolian Islands, not forgetting the limpid coves of the Zingaro reserve. Our collection of the necessities in Sicily.

Palermo

View of downtown Palermo. Adobe Inventory / Kavalenkava

The capital of Sicily is step by step altering. Pedestrian streets and squares are multiplying, markets, equivalent to Ballarò or Capo, supply scrumptious avenue meals experiences with out town shedding its soul. Palermo stays a patchwork of implausible decrepit palaces, numerous church buildings, together with the unmissable Palatine Chapel and the Martorana, elegant viewpoints and up-and-coming working-class neighborhoods just like the Kalsa.

To do : climb to the gorgeous city of Monreale, within the heights of Palermo, for its twelfth century cathedral lined with golden mosaics, an absolute masterpiece of Arab-Norman structure.

Cefalu

The seaside of the city of Cefalù. ERIC MARTIN / Le Figaro Journal

70 km east of Palermo, this small postcard seaside resort nestles below a formidable rock, La Rocca, alongside a fairly seaside of golden sand, the place colourful boats wait to set sail (in summer season , you’ll not be alone). Cefalù is residence to a fortress-like Norman cathedral positioned in the primary sq.. You need to get misplaced within the steep streets, lined with baroque palaces adjoining fishermen’s homes the place laundry hangs, admire the views of the ocean, dive into the crystal clear water and revel in an ice cream on the previous port.

To do : the Rocca promenade with good strolling sneakers to admire Cefalù from above.

The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento

Agrigento is residence to 12 historical Greek temples. Adobe Inventory / afinoocchiaro

Situated on the southern coast of Sicily, Agrigento is residence to an archaeological treasure: twelve Greek temples constructed between the 6th and 2nd centuries BC. Standing on a promontory going through the ocean, coated with almond timber, agaves and euphorbia, the temples are very nicely preserved for some, such because the temple of Juno, that of Harmony and that of Hercules, whereas others have just a few columns. The fantastic thing about the positioning, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, is exclusive, particularly within the early morning earlier than the arrival of the vacationer coaches.

To do : a dip within the Scala dei Turchi, an immaculate white limestone cliff, contrasting with the turquoise of the ocean, a couple of kilometers from Agrigento.

Baroque cities

Dawn over Ragusa. THOMAS GOISQUE / Le Figaro Journal

Within the south-east of Sicily, a number of cities shock with their Baroque structure of nice homogeneity, as all have been rebuilt within the 18th century after a devastating earthquake. With its richly adorned limestone buildings, Noto, nicknamed the “backyard of stone”, is likely one of the best examples. As for Raguse, it transports the customer to a different period. Perched on a rocky outcrop, Modica additionally deserves for its lovely church buildings weathered by the solar.

To do : a detour by way of Scicli, nestled in a valley, simply as lovely as its neighbors however much less touristy.

Zingaro Nature Reserve

The Zingaro reserve is likely one of the wildest in Sicily. Adobe Inventory / e55evu

To the west of Palermo, between the villages of Scopello and San Vito Lo Capo, this 1700 hectare reserve covers 7 km of shoreline. Reputed to be one of many wildest websites in Sicily, the reserve is residence to a particularly wealthy flora and plenty of species of birds. Among the many many paths, the one which runs alongside the ocean results in enchanting coves. If these closest to Scopello are sometimes crowded, you simply should get away from them to search out paradise.

To do : uncover the Tonnara di Scopello, as soon as a excessive place for tuna fishing, reworked into an open-air museum, positioned in a cove of nice magnificence.

Syracuse

Syracuse from the ocean. Adobe Inventory / funkyfrogstock

The birthplace of Archimedes deserves first a go to to its historic heart, Ortigia, positioned on an islet linked to the mainland by a bridge. You need to stroll by its slim streets, to the stays of the Temple of Apollo, admiring the ornate facades of the Baroque palaces, essentially the most lovely of that are on the Piazza del Duomo. Within the new city, the archaeological park of Neapolis and its very good Roman amphitheater are unmissable.

To do : a bucolic stroll between the troglodyte tombs of the necropolis of Pantalica, surrounded by inexperienced gorges and deep ravines.

Aeolian Islands

The view of Vulcano Island from Lipari. Adobe Inventory / jiduha

Situated off the northern coast of Sicily, these 7 legendary islands have one thing to fulfill all wishes. Divers can be attracted by the Greco-Roman wrecks of Filicudi whereas its neighbor Lipari will seduce vacationers seeking silence and wild magnificence. Hikers could have enjoyable on the steep paths of Salina and can regain their energy by tasting the native wine of Malvasia. In Vulcano, thermal lovers will immerse themselves within the sulphurous mud baths, as a result of all of the islands are volcanic even when Stromboli is the one lively volcano.

To do : aboard a ship, admire at evening the explosions of Stromboli mirrored within the slack sea.

Trapani and Paceco Salt Pans Nature Reserve

The final lively saltworks in Sicily. LAURENT FABRE / Le Figaro Journal

Between Trapani and Marsala are among the final lively saltworks in Sicily, exploited since Phoenician occasions. This territory of 1000 hectares is made up of basins with altering colours relying on their salinity. The extraordinary blue sky brings out the whiteness of the heaps of salt shimmering like snow within the solar. The WWF runs excursions of the positioning, residence to many egrets and an informative salt museum housed in an previous mill.

To do : take the ferry to the small island of San Pantaleo, residence to the stays of town of Mozia, an historical Phoenician colony.

Etna

In Taormina, the primary rays of solar on Etna. ERIC MARTIN / Le Figaro Journal

Lively for greater than 500,000 years, the very best volcano in Europe dominates the east coast of Sicily at an altitude of 3350 meters. You possibly can really feel its rumblings and observe its eruptive surges from Catania or Taormina. If many volcanologists take heed to its breath, skilled hikers or curious vacationers can climb it. A cable automotive drops off at an altitude of 2500 m the place it’s then potential to proceed in 4×4 or on foot as much as 2800 m with no information or to the summit with an skilled information.

To do : do a wine tasting in a well-known wine property on the slopes of Etna.

Alcantara Gorge

The Alcantara Gorge, north of Taormina. Adobe Inventory / XtravaganT

Situated lower than 20 km north of Taormina, this canyon was carved out by quite a few lava flows, cooled by the passage of the icy waters of the Alcantara River over 1000’s of years. This phenomenon has fashioned slim partitions, a number of tens of meters excessive, and concretions with dreamlike shapes. Essentially the most well-known and imposing gorge is positioned at Fondaco Motta, stretching 6 km lengthy of which solely the primary 3 are simply traversable.

To do : strive physique rafting outfitted with snorkeling gear and a helmet. Assured sensations.

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