Think of Sicily as more of a country than an island: deserving to be explored over time and not raced through... complex and many-layered, and worthy of an extended vacation. From the slopes of volcanic Mount Etna, to the harbors of Palermo and Messina, and to the rugged interior, Sicily welcomes exploration. Your WIMCO Villa Specialist can recommend things to do in Sicily, then make the reservations for you.
At nearly 11,000, Mt. Etna is the largest and highest volcano in Europe, it also one of the worlds most active. Catania and Taormina are the departure points for excursions around — but not always to the top of — Mt. Etna. Buses leave from Catania's train station in early morning. An alternative view of the volcano can be had from the Circumetnea railroad (Via Caronda 352, Catania) which runs near the volcano's base. The private railway travels Riposto and Catania almost circling Mt. Etna. The line offers some dramatic vistas of the volcano and goes through lava fields. The round-trip takes about five hours.
Located around Piazza San Domenico in Palermo, this market is a real Casbah. Morning is the best time to go to see the market as it is when it is most active. This is where you find locals buying their fruits, vegetables and fresh fish. The Vuccuria Market is must see for foodies.
The largest and most developed of the Aeolians, Lipari embraces you with its playfully pastel colored houses. From a historical point of view, Lipari is the most interesting of the Aeolian islands, though Summer visitors come mostly for the beaches. The main locality, called Lipari, is a charming town that boasts a largely reconstructed Norman-era church and the Eoliano Museum.
If your visit to Sicily takes you to Lipari, be sure to visit this magnificent museum of archaeological finds. Some finds date back as far back as 4000 BC.
There are many fine museums in Siracuse. The Archaeological Museum stands out as one of its finest. Exhibits range from the from Neolithic pottery to fine Greek statues and vases. Highlights include; Landolina Venus ï¿½ a headless, sturdy goddess of love who rises out of the sea; an elegant Greek statue of Hercules dating back to 300 BC and a fantastic fanged Gorgon That once adorned the cornice of the temple of Athena to ward off evildoers.
Commencing during the 5th century BC, the Doric Temple is one of Sicily's most impressive temples. The Temple was never completed, though what remains today is virtually intact. The walls and the roof never materialized. Plan you visit for sunset for there is an amphitheater near the top of the hill above the Doric Temple that has breathtaking views.
In the Valley of the Temples are not only the ruins of numerous temples, but also necropoli, houses, streets and everything else one would expect to find in an ancient city. There is a small amphitheatre, as well as several auditoria, and a fine archeological museum. Unfortunately, most of the temples at Agrigento are in ruins, with pieces strewn about, and several appear to have never even been completed. Part of the Temple of Juno, built around 450 BC, is still intact. Its style has been compared to that of the temples at Paestum, near Salerno. The Temple of Concord (named retroactively), built around 440 BC, is in far better condition, and at night the illuminated temple is a sight to behold. A number of telamons (large segmented stone columns in the form of human figures) have been preserved.
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