10 famous Sicily landmarks to discover during your holiday

Posted on Apr 21, 2016 by Alastair McClymont

Blog > 10 famous Sicily landmarks to discover during your holiday

We've put together a list of 10 of Sicily's most famous landmarks, all waiting to be visited during your Sicily holiday.

Sicily is an island of immense history and heritage, showcasing landmarks dating back thousands of years and a myriad of architectural styles which resonate throughout a collection of fascinating and picturesque towns and cities. Given the island's vast array of impressive buildings, structures and ruins, it can be difficult to decide which ones to prioritize over the others during Sicily holidays.

We've scrolled through countless churches, temples, theatres and cathedrals with the intention of selecting our top 10 landmarks in Sicily. We think we've put together quite the list for holidaymakers to mull over, and we hope you get to visit one or two of these beautiful Sicilian masterpieces one day in the future on a holiday to Sicily.


1. San Giuseppe Church, Ragusa

Recognised for its distinctive three bells and its Spanish style, San Giuseppe Church, location in Piazza Pola in Ragusa, is a must for anybody exploring the south-east of Sicily. The church is one of the highlights of this old town, and is particularly impressive at night when it is lit up in a golden hue. 


2. Duomo of Acireale

A stunning Roman Catholic cathedral built in the 17th century and located in the heart of beautiful Acireale. The cathedral has stood in some form since the 1500s, gradually being enlarged over the years, while also surviving the infamous 1693 Sicily earthquake which devastated much of the island.

Image credit: milosk50 | Shutterstock


3. Juno Temple, Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and arguably one of the most fascinating attractions on the entire island of Sicily. The complex is recognised as the largest archaeological site in the world, spanning 1,300 hectares and home to seven primary temples. It is Juno Temple that is often one of the most memorable for visitors, with its distinctive towering columns glistening in the sunshine.

Image credit: silky | Shutterstock


4. Temple of Venus, Segesta

Among the best preserved ancient Greek temples on the island of Sicily and perhaps in the whole world, Segesta's iconic temple was built before 430 BC and sits at over 60 metres long and 26 metres wide, comprising 36 columns. The temple's remote and rustic location adds to its impact as one of Sicily's most intriguing landmarks.

Image credit: Sofia Kozlova | Shutterstock


5. Ancient theatre of Taormina

Boasting remarkable views of the sweeping Sicilian coastline and the towering peak of Mount Etna in the distance, Taormina makes our list for a multitude of reasons. The theatre's detailed architecture and large viewing area are breath-taking, so much so that performances are still held at this theatre, thousands of years after its first.

Image credit: vvoe | Shutterstock


6. Palermo Cathedral

Palermo's cathedral has a colourful and diverse history, something reflected in the several influences which comprise the complex's present day appearance. The cathedral has previously served as an ancient temple, a mosque and a Christian church, and has been commonly altered to reflect numerous architectural styles, from its Catalonian Gothic gargoyles to its very Italian cupola.

Image credit: vvoe | Shutterstock


7. Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica

Gazing across the historical rooftops of Modica Alta, The Cathedral of San Giorgio is one of the icons of this impressive city. Modica is recognised for its immense Baroque architecture, something wonderfully showcased by the cathedral in question. Climb up the flights of stairs to the foot of the building where you can best admire its inspiring facade.


8. Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Noto

Noto's cathedral's history began in the early 18th century as part of the rebuilding of Sicily after the island experienced a devastating earthquake in 1693. It is constructed in the Sicilian Baroque style and is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra. The cathedral has had a somewhat tumultuous history, most recently in 1996 when the cathedral dome collapsed. It has since been rebuilt and was reopened to the public in 2007.

Image credit: luigi nifosi | Shutterstock


9. Massimo Theatre, Palermo

This grand opera house is one of the proudest monuments in Palermo, famed as being the largest opera house in Italy and the third-largest in Europe. Inside, the theatre is renowed for its superb acoustics, while outside, the building's grand architecture is well worthy of a place on your camera.

Image credit: Elisa Locci | Shutterstock


10. The Windmills of Mozia

Located on a tiny island off of the west coast of Sicily, Mozia is an island of immense history and heritage, of which its windmills are at the forefront. There are many archaeological sites on the island, and Mozia is among the most important Phoenician settlements in the Mediterranean. The windmills are the main draw for holiday makers though, serving as one of the most photogenic scenes in Sicily.

Image credit: luigi nifosi | Shutterstock


If the history, culture and architecture of Sicily has you fascinated, take a look at our great range of accommodation across the island, ensuring you'll have an equally impressive place to stay during your Sicily holiday.


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