Sicily Travel Guide

A free online travel guide to Sicily, with sightseeing ideas and practical tips.

Contents

Practical tips and safety

  1. Practical Tips for Trips to Sicily
  2. A Dozen Safety Tips for a Holiday in Sicily
  3. Single Woman in Italy? The Sicilian Housewife’s Guide to Italian Men

Things to do in Sicily by activity

  1. Artistic things to do on holidays in Sicily
  2. Ancient History things to do on holidays in Sicily
  3. Medieval things to do on holidays in Sicily
  4. Baroque things to do on holidays in Sicily
  5. Things to do with children on holidays in Sicily
  6. The best beaches in Sicily
  7. Nature loving things to do on holidays in Sicily
  8. Sporty things to do on holidays in Sicily
  9. Religious things to do on holidays in Sicily
  10. Some totally weird things to do on holidays in Sicily

Sightseeing by place

Sicily is a place where you can

  • taste the biblical food manna (in Castelbuono)
  • have a spleen sandwich (Palermo)
  • swim with turtles (Lampedusa)
  • walk into the crater of Europe’s largest volcano (Etna)
  • see a cathedral which has a passage of the Koran carved into its wall (Palermo)
  • buy cactus fruits in a street market founded by North Africans over 1,000 years ago (Il Capo)
  • visit a church crypt (in Gangi) where they have mummified every priest since medieval times and propped him up against the wall
  • walk around a bank vault containing the most precious collection of coins in the world (Siracusa)
  • attend mass in an underground cathedral carved entirely out of salt (in Realmonte)
  • meet a real life knight in shining armour (Caccamo)

Food

  1. The history of Sicilian cuisine in 13 invasions
  2. Foodie things to do on holiday in Sicily

Sicily taster photo gallery

28 thoughts on “Sicily Travel Guide

  1. Great info Would Menfi be a good place to use as a vase to see and relax for four days before going to rest in Taormina, a p,ace we love?

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  2. We are 7 friends (3 couples+one) who come from across the USA and Australia. We plan to arrive Palermo 10/17 and depart from there 10/24 and 10/26. Enjoy seeing some “big” sights, but also eating local, staying out of real touristy places and experiencing the country. We plan to rent 2 cars at the airport and drive ourselves. Our initial plan was Cefalu 2-3 nights (explore environs) or CastelBuono (3 nights) w Funghi Fest (?), then see Piazza Amerina on our way to Mandranova (3-4 nights) see Agrigento, Selinunte, Marsala, Erice, Segesta, etc. For the last 2-3 nights, we want to be close to or in Palermo both for sightseeing and ease of departure. We are a group that likes to hang out with each other and not spend all our time in the car. Does this itinerary make sense, or are there adjustments that would improve it? Many thanks, Godmother, you may be the answer to our Prayers! Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the plan sounds great, so long as you are all well organised and will get up early and pack in the action so you can fit it all in! You have picked out some of the best places on the island so I think you will have a great time!

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  3. “Godmother,” which do you think is the better option for us, Cefalu or Castelbuono? We prefer to stay in only a few places and not change “hotels” more than 3 times. Thanks for reassurances on our itinerary, it really sets our mind at ease. Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cefalù is definitely the place to stay if you want lively nightlife on your doorstep and a lovely beach. It is really full of foreign tourists but they only enhance its great atmosphere. Castelbuono is a much more peaceful place in the mountains and a real hub for foodies. Foreigners are rare as it is more of a Sicilian food enthusiasts gathering place. Cefalù is better connected to other places by train and road, and it would be my personal preference as a base.

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  4. I am taking my first trip to Sicily this coming spring to see where both sets of my grandparents were born. Is there anything you can recommend to do in Sciacca? Thanks!

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      1. Thanks! I am REALLY looking forward to it! I have an aunt there I haven’t seen since I was 5, and cousins and uncles I have never met, I think reading your book helped to prep me for what to expect! Lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for the information, its extremely helpful. I know you mentioned not to visit in August but this was our only opportunity. We leave this coming Sunday from Luxembourg. Should we be completely worried we will be there in August?

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    1. Don’t worry. The time when everything is truly closed is ferragosto, and that has passed now. More and more places do stay open in August so you should be fine, especially if you stick to the more touristy places to stay and eat.
      Have a lovely holiday!

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  6. An exceptional blog – really helpful in planning our holiday in Sicily (before tackling Naples en route onwards in Italy).
    The more I read the longer the holiday in Sicily becomes. I am retired so I do not need to rush back to work! I will not drive + therefore need to find other ways of getting around. I find that organised tours do not give me enough time to experience places, churches, architecture and works of art. What I have been thinking about is using private drivers – 1. for a number of day trips from Palermo + 2. to get me to Siracusa from Palermo. With your experience could you possibly point me in the right direction? I am in my 70’s + use a walking stick – is the train from Palermo to Siracusa ok for me? One last question: which is a safe area in which to find a self-catering apartment? I expect to stay in Palermo for 2 weeks. Sorry to burden you with all of this. Paula

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am very glad you’re enjoying my blog 😀

      I think a private driver would be expensive, and for the distance from Palermo to Siracusa, very much so. The coach is very good, and cheaper than the train. However, if you’re someone like me who wants to be able to move around and use the toilet whenever you wish, then you may prefer the slower train. Sicilians complain their trains are antiquated, but I am English and find them quite modern looking!!

      I would suggest asking your hotels to suggest private drivers whom they know. Always get an all-in price in writing up front.

      I recommend triptipp.com for self catering accommodation in the Palermo area. Lots of their apartments are located outside the town centre, near beaches and in more tranquil neighbourhoods. This site is run by German friends of mine and I know their apartments are clean and nice – if you have any issues just let me know.
      The website has brilliant information on all public transport and allows you to plan the trip to the minutest detail. It’s all very German!!!

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  7. Hi

    I only discovered this site recently, absolutely love it, very witty and very helpful.

    I was hoping you would be able to assist me please…..

    I very recently decided to give up my job and come to Sicilia, I had never been to Sicilia before and I don’t know anyone here…but I decided to seize the moment now my three children have flown the nest. So, mi sono in Marsala per tre mesi…. I am then hoping to relocate to a different part of the island. I love Marsala and it is the right place for me to be at the moment, as it affords me the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture, study the language, io parlo un po d’italiano (although I am studying hard as not many people here to speak English) In September I am thinking of moving somewhere perhaps a little more lively than Marsala, also where people speak a little more English.

    I was hoping you may be able to advise we where to go next. I have a back injury so walking long distances can prove very difficult, therefore I would ideally like to be within a 20-30 min walk to a nice sandy beach, the local supermarkets, cafes and restaurants – somewhere where it is safe to walk alone in the early evening. At present I am renting through Airbnb, but I’m thinking it may be cheaper to rent direct, rather than go through a third party. Could you please recommend a site where I could find reasonably priced properties

    I was also hoping you could advise me how to go about finding a local Italian language class, and also how much it is likely to cost?

    Sorry to bother you with all the above, but any help you can give would be very much appreciated.

    Grazie
    Ciao
    S

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you will have a great time!
      I recommend you go to either Taormina, Siracusa or Cefalù.
      These are lively places with plenty of language schools, movement of people and opportunities for you to build yourself a social life at any age.

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      1. Grazie mille for getting back to me so quickly. I will definitely look for an apartment in one of these locations. Do you know of any good property agencies I could use?

        Grazie tante,
        Ciao
        S 🙂

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  8. Hi 🙂 Can you tell me where would be an ideal location for a short 4-5 stay in December? I’m looking for good food, some ruins/historical sites and a little nightlife. I will be travelling with my sister and husband, we live in Latvia so looking to escape to somewhere a little warmer for that time of year..Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would suggest either Sciacca, a nice town with an interesting centre which is close enough to visit the amazing ancient Greek city of Agrigento.
      Or Siracusa, which has its own Greek town with a theatre, other history and fabulous restaurants. It is also close enough to Etna to visit the volcano for a day trip.
      Have a lovely holiday!

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  9. Hello
    This site is a wealth of knowledge.
    I was wondering if some questions could be answered.
    We are travelling to Palermo, Cefalu, San Vito Lo Capo & Teromina.
    We will be renting a car.
    Will we encounter any Toll Bridges, or toll stops on our route to these destinations?
    What would the cost be per person at these points be or an estimate.
    Thanks kindly for your help.⚘⚘
    Patricia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It depends which roads you take but there are very few toll roads and they cost very little. You definitely don’t need to be working out a budget for them.

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  10. Re-Typing my message. Did not connect.
    We will be driving to Teremni Imerse.
    Is there any establishment there that I can ask information regarding my Grandfather’s birth certificate. I will have it with me.
    Baptized 1901 in Teremni trying to locate the Church.
    Thanks kindly
    Patricia

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    1. I am not an expert on this, but I believe many churches still have records of births from the past. For more recent births, everything is registered in the council office (comune) in the ufficio anagrafe. I personally would start there.
      There are LOTS of churches in Termini and some are derelict, but when you get there the locals will be able to help you find it.
      Talk to everyone you meet, tell them his name and tell them the name of other family members you know of. Termini Imerese js quite a big town, but Sicilians are such good networkers they will help you.
      Good luck.

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  11. Wow! I am coming to Sicily for three weeks in Oct/Nov with my adult daughter and have just stumbled across your blog while trying to find out about the public holiday at the beginning of Nov which Is mucking up out plans a bit! We don’t really celebrate All saints/All souls/Halloween in Australia so I wasn’t switched on but now I get it. Looking forward to getting your book and exploring your blog before we arrive!

    Liked by 1 person

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