Sicily is not only the largest island in the Mediterranean, but also a region of breathtaking beauty. There are many things to do, see and even eat during a holiday there and you need to choose your options well. If you are about to take your first holiday on the island and are looking for some ideas on where to go, here is our suggestion for a 7-day tour of Sicily.

The first advice we give you is to rent a car. This way you can reduce your travelling time and easily reach every point on the island.


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Catania and Taormina

The first stop we recommend is Catania, on the east coast. Its historic centre, blackened with lava stone, is a clear example of Norman and Baroque architecture
Don’t miss, during your stay in the city, a stroll along Via Etnea and the fish market, one of the most memorable and characteristic places in Catania. The heart of the city is Piazza del Duomo, home to the Elephant Fountain and the Cathedral dedicated to Saint Agatha. Another place not to be missed is the Benedictine Monastery – now the seat of the University and an important museum – and the Ursino Castle. If you want some fresh air, you will find it in the gardens of Villa Bellini from which, on sunny days, you can see Mount Etna.

Taormina, which is only a few kilometres away, is also well worth a visit. From Mount Tauro, high above the sea, one can admire a panorama that steals the heart and reaches as far as the Messina Strait. Among the most iconic sites are the Ancient Greek Theatre, which hosts important international festivals and concerts, and – during the summer period – Isola Bella. The latter is a small island bathed in crystal-clear water, facing the large beach of Mazzarò.
Some boat tours can be booked that will allow you to admire the Bay of Naxos, the Blue Grotto and the Shell Grotto.

However, one cannot leave Taormina before tasting a delicious almond granita. Whether it is at breakfast, or at any time of day, it does not matter. The important thing is that it is accompanied by a brioche con il tuppo: one of the best is from the Bam Bar.

Siracusa and Ortigia

Syracuse, with its adjacent island of Ortigia connected to the mainland by two bridges and which hosts the historic centre, it’s absolutely magnificent.
We recomend not to miss Piazza Duomo at sunset:when the sun goes down, the white marble of the square is painted red. The square is also home to the Cathedral, which includes a Greek temple, and the nearby traditional market. We recommend the last one for sampling some local specialities such as scacce, delicious baked flatbreads filled with various fillings, such as aubergine, tomato, sausage and more.
Maniace Castle, on the other hand, is the right place for landscape lovers.: indeed, from here you can admire the beautiful bay.

In Syracuse, don’t miss visiting the Ear of Dionysius, an artificial cave carved into the hill of Teminite, known for its powerful acoustic effects.


Noto is the birthplace of the Sicilian Baroque. The Church of Santa Chiara and the Convento delle Benedettine are just a few examples. Don’t limit yourself to just look at the façade but go inside: you will find numerous decorations, putti and stuccoes that will leave you speechless. Moreover, from the highest bell tower you can admire a wonderful panorama of the entire city.
The Cathedral of San Nicolò is also not to be missed: this 18th century Baroque marvel leaves all visitors stunned and is definitely worth a visit.

Among the historical buildings, we suggest Palazzo Nicolaci, an imposing structure, recognisable by its rich façade. The interior has been restored: here you can admire the tea room decorated with oriental motifs or the ballroom with ‘trompe l’oeil’ decorations. In the middle of the ceiling is the allegory of the Chariot of Apollo chasing the Dawn.

There is also one of the best pastry shops in the region in Noto: Caffè Sicilia. You can taste delicious cannoli and biancomangiare here.


If you love the sea, Marzamemi is the place for you. This small fishing village a few kilometres from Noto is truly enchanting.
The village developed in ancient times around the tonnara (tuna fishery), and even today one can admire the stone houses and colourful boats, anchored at the pier, that make it so picturesque. At the centre of the small village is Piazza Regina Margherita, with its well-known bakery.

There are also excellent fish restaurants in Marzamemi where you can try some local specialities such as rice and fish arancini or prawns from Mazara del Vallo.


Valley of the Temples

In the south-western part of the island is the so-called Valley of the Temples, near Agrigento. This is an archaeological site on a hill overlooking the sea, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with eight Doric temples inside. Indeed, Sicily is home to a lot of ancient Greek architecture, and the Valley of the Temples is the most shining example. Don’t miss a visit to the Garden of Kolymbetra and the Temple of Concordia.

The Zingaro and Scopello Nature Reserve

On the Trapani coast is one of the most beautiful places in Italy for those who love wild beaches: the Zingaro Reserve. Seven kilometres of nature, with fascinating coastlines and incredible landscapes, hiking trails and enchanting secluded bays. Among the most beautiful are: Cala Berretta, Cala Marinella, Cala Varo and Punta della Capreria.

Among the highlights of the area is San Vito Lo Capo, with its famous postcard-like beaches and Arab-Norman towers. Scopello, on the other hand, is a seaside village where an ancient tuna fishery can still be found.


Palermo will be the last unmissable stop on this tour. Here you will find art and architectural treasures and many popular traditions. Every street corner may surprise you with a church, a garden, a mural or a historic building to visit.Then there is the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, known as Martorana, and the Church of San Cataldo, right next to it, recognisable by its three red domes.
Don’t miss the Ballarò and Vucciria markets: here you can get into the heart – or belly – of Palermo.

This is where you can sample some of the best street food specialities: the arancina, which in Palermo (as opposed to Catania) is feminine, or rather ‘fimmina’, the sfincione and the delicious ‘pane e panelle’.

After so many delights, we recommend a stroll along the waterfront, perhaps rewarding yourself with a cool aperitif. It is impossible not to notice the famous mural dedicated to Judges Falcone and Borsellino.

The charme of Sicily is not just about places, but also about the atmosphere: it’s impossible not to get involved here. And you, have you already planned your ‘on the road’ itinerary?

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