We spent three weeks in Sicily in 2004, arriving in Catania on May 1 and proceeding north to Giardini Naxos, which is conveniently located for various excursions, including one to Mount Etna. Since temperatures were somewhat cooler at this time of the year that we had expected, we changed our travel plans, which had foreseen some days on the Eoalian islands, and instead continued south to Siracusa. We visited Noto, Íspica, Mòdica, Ragusa and Donnafugata before we continued to Agrigento and Sciacca. Another highlight of our tour around Sicily was Selinunte with the temples and the nearby Cave di Cusa. After a few days in Marsala and trips on the Via del Sale to Mozia and Trapani, and to Erice, we proceeded to another historic site, Segesta, and also visited Monreale on the same day before arriving in the capital Palermo. Our next stop, Cefalù, was the right place to relax after some busy days of sightseeing and extended city walks and finally flounder around in the sea. Needless to say that we wouldn't spend all day on the beach but also explore the surroundings, including the river art project, the historic Cáccamo and the capital of artichokes, Cerda. Soon our vacation would be over and we had to head back to Catania. On the route we enjoyed the stunning view from Enna, the mosaics at Piazza Armerina and also briefly visited Leonforte. We arrived in Catania just in time to see both the rush hour and the fish market, and spent the rest of our last holiday exploring the sights and nice places in Catania. In the early morning of May 22, we had to say goodbye to Sicily and returned to Vienna.

You will find a very similar photo gallery at Andrea's site.

Giardini Naxos

Taormina

Zafferana Etnea

Mount Etna

Castelmola

Messina

Tindari

Siracusa

Noto

Íspica

Mòdica

Ragusa

Donnafugata

Agrigento

Aragona

They are not as spectacular as Mount Etna, but at least you can easily take a look into the crater of the vulcanelli. Gases from volcanic activity form these small clay volcanoes, usually only a few centimeters high and bubbling.

Eraclea Minoa

Sciacca

Selinunte

Cave di Cusa

The temples in Selinunte were built from stones cut in the Cave di Cusa, also known as Rocche di Cusa. What makes this quarry special is that it was abandoned rather hastily, and the stone cutters left columns at various levels of completion behind, giving an insight into the cutting process.

Gibellina vecchia

In 1968 the town of Gibellina was destroyed by an earthquake. The new town of Gibellina was built at some distance, but the remains of the old town were preserved in the Cretto, a concrete labyrinth built by the artist Alberto Burri to remember the victims of the disaster.

Marsala

Marsala is famous for the wine produced from grapes in the Trapani-Marsala area and nearby islands (D. O. C. stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and is categorized by the minimum time required for the wine to mature: Fine (one year), Superiore (two years), Superiore Riserva (four years), Vergine (five years) and finally, Vergine Riserva (ten years). Several winerys offer guided tours where you can visit the cellars ("cantine"), learn about the history of Marsala wine and the production process and of course taste delicious Marsala wines. The friendly staff at Cantine Florio was most helpful and arranged an English language tour for us, as we were the only foreign visitors that day.

Mozia - Via del Sale

Windmills and salt plains characterize the Via del Sale, the salt road around Mozia in the lagoon of Stagnone. The windmills are no longer in active use but salt production from sea water has been resumed.

Trapani

Erice

Situated on a mountain 750 meters above sea level, the medieval town of Erice overlooks the western edge of Sicily. The historic ensemble with the dome, the castles and town walls and narrow paths attracts large numbers of tourists, even during the off-peak season. The high humidity in Erice accounts for frequent mist and a lusk vegetation, with moss-covered trees.

Segesta

Monreale

Monreale is a town south of Palermo, overlooking the Conca d'Oro and famous for its cathedral with its mix of styles and the large mosaics, covering more than 6000 square meters. The nearby cloister with 228 twin columns and a Moorish fountain is definitely worth a visit, too.

Palermo

Cefalù

Cefalù, a traditional fishing village at the foot of a graggy limestone mountain, is now also the primary summer resort on the Northern coast of Sicily. Narrow roads and the cathedral, initiated by Roger II at the point where the shipwrecked king landed, and the picturesque silhouette of the Cefalù bay combine with fine beaches, an abundant choice of restaurants and cafes and only off season a relaxing atmosphere also.

Fiumara d'Arte

Initiated by Antonio Presti, Fiumara d'Arte (River Art) is an amazing collection of contemporary sculptures, which have been placed along the Tusa river, between Castel di Tusa and Santo Stefano di Camastra. Both the open-air art exhibition and the scenic tour from the coast to mountain villages situated up to 950 meters above sea level make Fiumara d'Arte well worth seeing.

Cáccamo

Termini Imerese

Cerda

Enna

Piazza Armerina

Piazza Armerina is most famous for the Villa Romana del Casale with its large collection of well-preserved mosaics. The Villa Romana del Casale is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unfortunately the site has been covered with ugly plastic roofs, which provide little protection from the heat but cast shadows on the mosaics; a cloudy day would therefore be just perfect for a visit to the villa.

Leonforte

Catania

Links

If you want to know more about some of the places we have been to in Sicily, check out the links below:





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