Since my parents live in Sicily for part of the year, visiting them is an important reason for me to visit Sicily. When I was in college I would return twice a year: Christmas and summers.
Then I got married and my trips became an annual thing.
Once we started having kids the trips became less frequent. The last time we visited was two years ago when we took the whole family. We made many stops: Rome, Naples, Capri, Venice, Pisa.
This past July, my daughter and I returned. Since we had already done “The BIG Trip,” we just planned to hang out at my parents’ house, go to the beach and take a few day trips. While we were there, it dawned on me that Sicily is like Super Walmart: one stop shopping! Over the next 3 Tuesdays I will share my list of 3 Reasons to Visit Sicily on your next trip to Italy (or even on your first trip!)
Why Visit Sicily: Reason #1
In case you don’t know, Sicily is the triangular shaped island “football” that the “boot” of Italy is perpetually kicking. Its location in the smack-dab-middle of the Mediterranean sea made it a desirable location for people groups to possess. Whoever was in control of this island had a good hand on the Mediterranean rim in general.
Over the centuries Sicily was conquered by a myriad of civilizations. In roughly chronological order (and just hitting the highlights) there were the Sicanians, Mycenaens, Minoans, Hittites, Sikels, Elymians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Chalcidians, Carthaginians, Romans (after the Punic Wars), Vandals, Ostrogoths, Arabs, Normans, and Spanish. You can imagine the influence all these peoples brought to Sicily! Below are just a few of my favorites.
Some of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world can be found in Sicily. Agrigento, Segesta and Selinunte, are on the western side of the island. In July, we took a two hour drive to Agrigento to visit the temples there.
The amphitheaters’ acoustics are so good that they are often still in use today with a little doctoring up of the seating. A few of my favorites are in Taormina, Catania and Siracusa but there are more if you just can’t get enough!
Although they are museums today, these castles remind me of how grateful I am to live in my modest little house. My three picks: Catania’s Castello Ursino, Aci Castello’s Norman Castle and Admiral Lord Nelson’s Castle in Maniace.
This island has history’s fingerprints all over it! Even if you are not a history buff, it’s amazing to see structures still standing after CENTURIES! Simply amazing!