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Sicily in 10 Moves

1 A walk through the streets of Palermo

Kalsa, Castellammare, “Capo” popular market, Albergheria and the opera houses: these are the districts in the historical centre of Palermo, the very heart of the city still living and beating, a melting pot of tradition and culture. Squares, “palazzi”, churches and markets are a concert of sounds, a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors of “street food”.

2 Performances in the ancient Greek theatres

Taormina, Syracuse, Segesta: the magic of theatrical performances is still staged within the splendid scenery which hosted it thousands of years ago.

3 Zingaro Nature Reserve and San Vito Lo Capo

A backdrop of rugged mountains, clear turquoise water and a wonderful diversity of plant life (both terrestrial and marine): this is the Zingaro Natural Reserve. It lies at the north tip of San Vito Lo Capo, jutting out into the Tyrrhenian Sea and overlooking Castellammare Gulf. In September it hosts Couscous Festival.

4 Sicilian archipelagos

The fan of Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the fleet of Egadi Islands off the west coast, the wonderful Ustica facing Palermo. And also Pantelleria, Lampedusa and Linosa, closer to Africa than to Sicily. It is difficult to choose among these splendid islands, where culture, tradition and nature are harmoniously blended.

5 The Mattanza in Favignana

From May to June you might witness the fishing event of the Mattanza and join the fishers in their boats and watch them catching the tuna at close hand – you will need a strong stomach though. This is no ordinary fishing expedition: the fishers organise their boats and nets in a complex formation designed to channel the tuna into a series of enclosures which culminate in the camera della morte (chambers of death). Once enough tuna are imprisoned, the fishers close in and the mattanza begins.

6 Mount Etna and the Gole dell’Alcantara

Mount Etna is Sicily’s most spectacular landmark. It is considered a constant presence by the locals, and it contributes to the economy of the territory, whose soil is fertilized by rich lava flows. Walnuts and fruit trees, pistachios and vineyards flourish on its slopes and base. Up north, Alcantara’s Gorges are the ideal setting for lovers of water sports. It is possible to practice rafting, canyoning, to paddle with a canoe or more simply…enjoying a relaxing cool bath.

7 Bagli, Masserie and Dammusi

These are the symbols of Sicilan high-quality guest farms. They are ancient rural structures completely renovated offering their guest relaxing holidays immersed in a rustic setting. While the words “baglio” and “masseria” mean farmhouse, the former being more common in the East, the latter in the heart of Sicily and in the South-east, a “dammuso” is a vaulted rural house built with lava blocks, topped by nice white domes, mainly to be found set in Pantelleria.

8 Baroque Tour

Eastern Sicily towns are referred to as the “flowers of Sicilian Baroque”, bloomed from the ruins of the tremendous earthquake in 1693. Noto as well as Modica, Scicli, Ragusa-Ibla, Palazzolo, Acreide and Caltagirone are worth a stopover and a visit both for their enchanting natural scenery and their splendid buildings. Light limestone, black lava blocks and wrought iron have been moulded by architects, sculptors and stone-masons in order to create a timeless landscape.

9 Pantani di Vendicari Nature Reserve

It is an authentic paradise for lovers of bird watching. An oasis of silence and peace where the only traces of human presences are a Swabian tower and a “tonnara” from XVIII century. A long sandy beach with a thick Mediterranean vegetation is perfect for a walk immersed in nature.

10 The Valley of Temples in Agrigento, and Selinunte

The breathtaking view over the Valley of Temples in Agrigento (the ancient Akragas) and Selinunte has been preserved almost intact over the centuries. Now, as in the past, those magnificent sacred buildings look towards the seaside surrounded by a magical atmosphere.

Ballarò street market in Palermo

Performans at the Greek Theatre in Syracuse

View of Zingaro Nature Riserve

The astonishing Mattanza ritual

Suggestive view of Etna in winter

The Alcantara Gorges

View of Ragusa Ibla

The Temple of Concordia - Valley of Temples, Agrigento

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