Home Europe Where Next? These Are the Top 5 Sicilian Destinations to Visit This Summer

Where Next? These Are the Top 5 Sicilian Destinations to Visit This Summer

by ElenaSergeeva

Magnificent architecture, bustling outdoor markets, a rich and varied cuisine, and scenic archaeological sites scattered all around – Sicily was famous long before The White Lotus brought it to our TV screens.  

Beauty lies in all corners of this spectacular Mediterranean island below the tip of Italy’s boot. The Sicilian Isle has been luring big-name travelers since the days of the 18th century Grand Tour of Europe. Its staggering natural beauty, exquisite landscapes, and abundance of sunshine has inspired artists, painters, and writers for centuries, from Richard Wagner, Cervantes, and Ernest Hemingway to Oscar Wilde, Goethe, and D. H. Lawrence, to name just a handful.

We’ve rounded up the top five most beautiful and bountiful destinations in the balmy island of Sicily to add to your Italian itinerary.

Top 5 Sicilian Destinations to Visit This Summer


Surrounded by mountains on Sicily’s northwestern coast, at the edge of Europe, Palermo is a feast for the senses – all of them. You can spend hours, if not days, wandering around the maze-like markets, Gothic palazzos, and mosaic-tiled churches of the flamboyant, vibrant, and sun-soaked capital of Sicily. The city’s idiosyncrasies appeal to travelers of all stripes, from history buffs, families, and honeymooners to backpackers, and high-profile vacationers.

Sicily’s largest city, Palermo offers scenic whimsy from every corner. Its top tourist attraction is the stunning Palatine Chapel, the finest example of Romanesque art in Sicily, located within the Norman Palace.

A feast of geometric patterns, maiolica cupolas, and ziggurat crenellations, Palermo’s striking gold-stone cathedral is a masterpiece of Sicily’s unique Arab-Norman architectural style. Head to its rooftop to see the city’s orange-brick skyline tumbling down toward the marvelously azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. 


On Sicily’s northern coast, about 40 miles east of Palermo, the historic coastal town of Cefalù was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its marvelous Arab-Norman architecture. The town begins at the bottom of an enormous cliff called La Rocca, and winds its way down to a crescent-shaped sandy beach lined with delightful restaurants and ice cream shops. 

Arguably the most beautiful town in Sicily, Cefalù is made up of a maze of cobblestoned streets weaving between candy-colored stone buildings radiating out from a truly, TRULY magnificent 12th-century cathedral. Set on a hilltop above the town, the mosaic-adorned cathedral of Cefalù is one of the most precious jewels in Sicily’s crown, only equaled in beauty by Palermo’s Palatine Chapel. 

Enjoy the view of the golden-brick cathedral’s soaring twin pyramid towers standing out against the cloudless sky over a morning cappuccino or an evening glass of local Nero d’Avola wine in Cefalù’s main piazza del Duomo. 


Taormina’s geography alone secures its spot on this list. Known as the St. Tropez of Sicily, this glamorous hilltop town on the eastern coast of the island is a popular destination for the rich and famous, fashionistas and Hollywood A Listers.

The best-known view, immortalized in paintings for centuries, is from its impressively preserved, horseshoe-shaped open-air amphitheater, built in the 3rd century B.C. by the Greeks and rebuilt by the Romans a century later. It is still used today as a venue for classical operas, ballets, concerts, and recitals.

When you’re done exploring, you can take a seat at a café and take in the most spectacular views of the Bay of Naxos down below, while lingering over an artisanal granita, having an espresso, or sipping on a glass of local wine.


Copyright: Antonio Sessa (Unsplash)

The western-most city in Sicily, Marsala is a place where old and new mesh easily. This pleasant, relaxed, seaside town boasts a bourgeois city center and a host of beautiful beaches lapped by crystalline Mediterranean waters that stay warm even into the fall.

Must-see attractions in Marsala include the partially reconstructed remains of a Carthaginian liburna sunk off the Aegadian Islands during the First Punic War, and piazza della Repubblica, dominated by the imposing Duomo, dedicated to Marsala’s patron saint, Thomas Becket of Canterbury.

World-renowned for its Sherry-like dessert wine, Marsala is known as the birthplace of some of the world’s most celebrated wines, and deserves to be on every oenophile’s holiday wish list, too. 


No visit to Sicily would be complete without visiting the historic coastal city of Siracusa, a true gem on the south-eastern coast of the island, overlooking the transparent cobalt-emerald waters of the Ionian Sea. 

Once one of the premiere cities in the ancient world, bigger even than Athens, Corinth, and Carthage, today Siracusa is a hodge-podge of ancient Greek ruins, gleaming white churches, and grand piazzas paved in pearlescent stones.

Siracusa’s most beautiful corner is the adjoining Ortigia island, listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. Home to a wealth of ancient Greek treasures and a 7th-century cathedral built around the columns of an ancient temple of Minerva, its amazingly preserved old town feels practically untouched by the modern age.

Ahhh, Sicily – Italy’s beloved island makes you feel so lucky to be alive! If you want to have a spot to base yourself for exploration, a private holiday home might do the trick. A self-catering villa or apartment offers the comfort of a private home paired with dream-come-true amenities and more privacy and freedom than a traditional hotel. This is especially important now, after Covid-19.

Choose from ultra-luxe villas with private swimming pool to alluring, well-located holiday homes with direct beach access, available to rent right now through Select Sicily, a vacation rental company that owns a fleet of the most exclusive holiday rentals in the island. Head over to Selectsicilyvillas.com to browse the properties they currently have listed, and to find your perfect match.

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