It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, the site of Mt. Etna's active volcanic summit, and the romanticized homeland of the Cosa Nostra. With pastoral landscapes and charming towns forever immortalized by Francis Ford Coppola in The Godfather, Sicily is a land of ancient Greek heritage, dramatic shorelines, and even snow-covered mountain slopes.
The island's most notable feature, however, is its decidedly independent spirit—a Sicilian identity and dialect that separate it from mainland Italy. It's a place where family comes first—and you'll feel right at home with yours in our gorgeous Sicily vacation rentals.
Where is Sicily?
Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Ionian Sea to the east, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, Sicily is the figurative stone that is kicked by Italy's famous "boot." Separated from the mainland by the Strait of Messina, Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands and one that is capped by the 10,922-foot summit of Mt. Etna—the tallest active volcano in Europe.
Things to Do in Sicily
Encompassing nearly 10,000 square miles and a population of more than five million people, Sicily contains nine regions - Agrigento, Catania, Caltanissetta, Enna, Messina, Ragusa, Siracusa, Trapani, and the regional capital of Palermo.
It is in the regional capital that your visit begins, in the city of Palermo on Sicily's northern coast. Among the city's most fascinating sights are the 12th-century Palermo Cathedral and the Catacombe dei Cappuccini—the catacombs of the Convent of Capuchin Friars, which display thousands of embalmed bodies in subterranean vaults. Take a ferry to the charming island of Lipari for a unique experience.
Head eastward to taste the wonderful wines of Alcamo and Marsala before taking a trip back through time in the southern region of Agrigento. Spend a day visiting the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the Temple of Concordia and other incredibly preserved ancient Greek structures. You'll also find some of the island's most pristine white sand beaches on the southern shores of Ragusa.
Sicily's eastern landscapes are dominated by the silhouette of Mt. Etna, a highly active volcano that is surrounded by natural parks and reserves. Take some time to explore Madonie and Nebrodi Regional Natural Parks, walk along the immense walls of the Valle del Bove, and ski the slopes of Mt. Etna at Rifugio Sapienza or Piano Provenzano—the mountain's two ski resorts.
Come and discover Sicily's historic ruins, majestic peaks, and azure seascapes—book your getaway at one of our Sicily vacation homes today!
Photo Credit: mariocutroneo via Flickr