Kultur und Geschichte
Etna, the greatest active volcano in Europe, is on Sicily's eastern coast and is one of the fundamental stops for those wanting to discover this region. Its spectacular eruptions have created unique landscapes over the centuries.
Visitors interested in breathtaking landscapes can choose from among the protected reserves in Etna's natural parks. The Madonie and the Nebrodi parks, as well as the volcanic paradise of Pantelleria, are sprinkled with enchanting oases like that of "Pertusa di Notaro" ("Cold Cavity"), a grotto noted for the extremely fresh air that passes through i), and dammusi, the old stone houses typical of the island.
Valle del Bove (Valley of the Oxen), the walls of which reach up to 1000 mt; the Grotta del Gelo (Ice Cave), the only existing perpetual glacier at these latitudes; and the Gole dell’Alcantara (Alcantara River Park), a thick network of rocky channels of cold water - these gorges are just some of the wonders you can admire when visiting this natural paradise.
The many islands that "orbit" Sicily are all very charming, but above all the Aeolian Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, deserve to be mentioned. The archipelago comprises seven islands - Lipari, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea – as well as a series of islets and rocks of smaller dimension. The history of the Aeolian Islands are clearly bound to the Volcanoes, the “artists” of these splendid natural masterpieces; here you can plunge into the deep blue of the sea, make excursions to visit the many caves scattered along the coasts, relax on the small beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters and enjoy the delicious local food and fish dishes.
Another world treasure certified by UNESCO is the archeological area of Agrigento, one of the most important towns of Magna Graecia. The famous Valley of the Temples - surrounded by green olive groves, almond trees, citrus orchards and vineyards that stretch out to the sea with all its imposing and elegant monuments - fantastically evokes an atmosphere of 2500 years ago, when the ancient Akagras Agrigentum was a center of power and learning.
On Sicily's southeastern coast stands Syracuse, joint UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Necropolis of Pantalica since 2005.
This ancient Greek colony fronts an evocative natural port that is blocked on its east by Ortygia, the oldest urban center here. Every corner and cranny of the city offers precious archaeological testimonies that recall the splendor of Magna Graecia.
Sicily is rich in UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Two other must-sees are the Late Baroque cities of the Noto Valley, and the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina.
"If someone should spend just one day in Sicily and ask: What should I visit? I would answer without hesitating... Taormina... This small village is only a landscape, yet a landscape where you can find everything to seduce your eyes, your spirit, your imagination." This is how the famous French writer Guy de Maupassant described Taormina, hitting on the essence of this little jewel midway between Messina and Catania.