Sicilia Off The Beaten Path

  • Small boats around Ganzirri lake
    Small boats around Ganzirri lake
    by lichinga
  • Favignana
    Favignana
    by caputomaru
  • FIAT 500
    FIAT 500
    by caputomaru

Sicilia Off The Beaten Path

  • The International Puppet Museum

    Palermo Off The Beaten Path

    We were not able to find a puppet show to attend and so this became the next best thing. This is a remarkable exhibit of a preserved "popular tradition". There are hundreds of marionettes & hand puppets of Italian and other venues both recent and ancient one as well as colorful backdrops, stages, etc. There are puppets of other continents such as...

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  • Vucciria

    Palermo Off The Beaten Path

    We wandered around the market for a while but it was near the end of the morning so traders were starting to pack up. Compared with the little shops we had used in Cefalu, the quality of fruit and vegetables was excellent and the prices were cheap.

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  • Cattacombe dei Cappuccini

    Palermo Off The Beaten Path

    The Capuchin Catacombs is something to se if you are interested in mumified or emlamed bodies and the art. It was scary to visit at first and those who have a weak stomach are suggested not to go. Macabre, and yet awesome, this most unusual site represents a custom that was deeply rooted in the traditions of Palermo's wealthy society. One of the...

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  • Corleone

    Palermo Off The Beaten Path

    With all the money that the European Union has poured into Sicily, it is now easy to speed around the island on good, modern roads. But when old Cliffie lived there, aging Fiat buses were trundling along narrow hillside roads on their slow journeys into the interior. Sweltering in the Sicilian heat, keeping a watchful eye on the dark-suited men...

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  • Monreale

    Palermo Off The Beaten Path

    Should I say Monreale is 'off the beaten path'? I hope not, as Monreale's Cathedral is the most important single masterpiece anybody should visit while in Palermo. Monreale is just 15 km away from Palermo, on the hill above the city, it can be reached very easily by urban bus. I'm very sorry I have no printed pictures of the interiors, which are...

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  • Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro

    Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro (The Zingaro Nature Reserve) is a real paradise of nature. It's a protected area spread along a spectacular section of coast on the eastern side of the Golfo di Castellamare, where high wall rock, diving into the blue sea, alternate with 7 km string of coves with many stunning beaches. The altitude of its peaks goes...

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  • Santa Margerita Belice

    Santa Margherita Belice is where writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa spent his summer time. The Gattopardo (The Leopard) his novel, is one of my favourite book. Through the story of Prince Tancredi the writer recreates the fascinating atmosphere of Palermo, and Sicily in general, at the time of the princes and barons. Now you can there find ruines...

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  • Cimitero Vincolato in Palazzolo Acreide

    Palazzolo Acreide is town with long history in Siracusa province. It begins with settlements of Siculians and becomes more developed in Antiquity when Akrai was founded in 664 BC on a plateau over the river Anapo in Iblean mountains. It is now one of the Unesco sites.We didn't look for archeological site this time but we stoped to see this amazing...

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  • Salita Lucio Marineo, Vizzini

    That colorful flight of steps is located in Vizzini city centre, right next to the remarkable Town Hall at centrally located Piazza Umberto I. Some source said they were completed in 1996; like those of Caltagirone the steps are decorated with majolica tiles. If you take a closer look these are mostly floral patterns, but also scenes from daily...

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  • Vizzini, small and charming

    If we weren't missed the sign for Caltagirone we'd probably give that place a miss but I am glad we didn't - we landed with the car directly at its charming core, the Piazza Umberto I. Vizzini is town nestled on the ridge of Iblean Mountains in Catania province, very old place indeed. History tells it was first established in Greek times, when its...

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  • Scala dei turchi. Amazing place.

    One of the most beautifull places we have been. Not crowed as it is not very advertised in Sicily. In fact we went there because a very gentle lady told us about it in a restaurant. When we reached that area, we almost desisted because it was not easy at all to find that village..finally we did it, and it was really, really worthy. Check this link...

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  • Don't always believe Guide books

    I think it's a bit too late for Carla to get any use of my experience since I am writing several weeks after her planned trip, but someone else might be interested.I've climbed Etna on October 16 starting from Catania on a public bus going to Rifugio Sapienza via Nicolosi. The bus leaves daily at 8-15 from the Catania train station and you must...

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  • Levanzo

    Levanzo is the smallest of the three main Egadi Islands. Those who stop over here must love the sea deeply, but they must love land as well. They must be fond of living the nature, of walking or riding a mule along paths winding steeply up to the mountain, they most love people. Outside, in the only road that crosses the land, at Cala Dogana,...

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  • Scopello

    The small and quaint village of Scopello perches on a ridge a couple of hundred metres above the coastline. It consists of a little more than Piazza Fontana - a paved square and a fountain - and a couple of alleys running off it. On one side of the square sits the gateway and enclosed courtyard of the village's 18th century baglio (manor house),...

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  • San Vito Lo Capo

    The promontory of San Vito Lo Capo shares its name with the beach and the fishing village which developed around an old Saracen fortress, later turned into shrine dedicated to San Vito. San Vito Lo Capo is a charming coastal town in north-western Sicily, located in a valley between spectacular mountains. Extending below Monte Cofano, a high pointed...

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  • Capo D'Orlando - uninvaded by tourists

    It is easy to get around by train in Sicily, but check the timetables. Your idea of Trapani is a good one. Ferry service goes to the 3 Egadi islands. (not sure about public transport). A better and easier alternative might be Taormina. Train fron Palermo Airport (Falcone - Borsellini) to Palermo and then take the Palermo Messina line. If you want...

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  • Scala dei Turchi

    The landscape here is among the most stunning with the waters of a crystalline sea on one side and white cliffs on the other. A unique rock formation known as the Scala dei Turchi (Turkish Steps) is a wonderful natural amphitheatre created by erosion, overlooking the sea along the coast of Realmonte in the province of Agrigento. It is made up of...

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  • So many little places to discover

    If you will be so patient as to tune yourself in the right mood, then your eyes will be able to see beyond the veil of official tours, well-known monuments and well-kept churches.... and you will enter the world of real Sicily. So many places that are not evident, though completely reachable.

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  • Etna Nord - Piano Provenzana

    as you leave Linguaglossa, you pass some solitary houses,farms, a restaurant, and finally the two chalets, Ragabo and Brunek Rifugii ( 3 hour solid uphill walk) on a good winding road. . from there you can organise your treks in fantastic serroundings. the ancient and recent lava flows cut through the forests mercilessly and you find tracks running...

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  • Nebrodi Park

    The Nebrodi Park is one of the vastest in Italy. It is a protected park where one can trek for days on end, without unneccessary dangers ( and abit of common sense). i was there in december, and it was fantastic for walking ( weather wasnt that good). the tracks are clear, unless you venture off them, which becomes tricky. i did not see many views...

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  • The road to Mt Etna

    We took the coast road from Cefalu Capo d'Orlando, then the mountain road up to Randazzo, a small city at the base of Etna. We met some folks who took the road up the mountain from Lingualossa and were preparing a hike through the snow closer to the top of the mountain.Beautiful scenery, lots of swithcbacks.

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  • TINDARI

    Tindari is a little village on a hill overhanging the coast, 55km west of Messina, 180 east of PalermoThere are three attractions in Tindari:1- View of sands banks2- Archeological Site 3- Sanctuary(the order depends on your cultural preference)Sand Banks and lakes: the Faithful want to see in the shape of the banks an image of Mary with her hands...

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  • Delight in the Beauty of Women

    The picture is of the Fountain of Diana (Artemis) in Siracusa, which was built in honor of the Roman Goddess Diana (Greek name Artemis), goddess of the Moon, the Hunt, protector of children. The fountain really honors ALL WOMAN and reflects the beauty of the woman's body. Can you tell that I taught mythology for all those years?CLICK TO ENLARGE so...

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  • Mazara del Vallo

    You might consider Mazara as a place to stay if you are in the area to see Selinunte. It is a fishing town with a lively harbour full of working boats, and a strong Tunisian influence. It's not much to look at, but unlike many towns I visited, it was full of life even on a winter weekday evening.It has only one hotel, the Hopps, on the seafront,...

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  • Lost in Favara

    Driving through the back roads of Sicily can be an adventure, but that is why you are there. . . isn't it? As we drove from Agrigento en-route to the birthplace of grandparents, Campobella di Licata, we realized that the road signs, when we could find them, were not exactly precise. Much of the area was very dry and dusty. I was certain that any...

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  • Marettimo Island

    I put Marettimo in the Off the beaten Path section even if it's absolutely a Must see activity ; ) for Sicily. Maybe its charme depends from the fact that many prefer going to Favignana, which is bigger and more crowded.Marettimo is the most remote island of the Egadi group, 1 hour and a half away from Trapany. In Marettimo there are no hotels, and...

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  • The salt sets of Trapani

    The Saline is one of the most fascinating place I saw in Sicily. They're situated in western Sicily, 15 km south of Trapani. You can easily reach them.Salines are sort of huge tubs where sea water is pumped and where salt is obtained through the evaporation of sea water. he salt produced in trapani is one of the best Mediterranean sea salt...

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  • Campobella di Licata - My Ancestral Home

    Campobella di Licata is a small town of about 11,000 people in southern Sicily. It also happens to be the birth place of my maternal and fraternal grandparents. In fact the parish priest from the Mother Church (San Giovanni Battista) was able to retrieve their baptismal records from 1883 and 1885 (amazingly they were on a shelf within arms length...

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  • Eraclea minoa : dig and dip!

    On the way between Agrigento and Schiacca lies a true pearl : Ereclea Minoa.First there is an archeological site. Not that dug up yet so it may not be as impressive as Agrigento or Segesta as there is no temple or anything still standing up. But worth a quick visit. It will probably be a major site someday as digging activities continue.But just...

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  • Beach at San Vito lo Capo

    As most foreign tourists will go for the beaches at Cefalu or Taormina, sicilians and italians on holidays will go to San Vito lo Capo. It's a small town west of Palermo (quite a ride though) and it's as lovely as it gets. Really more of a day-trip beach resort (no huge hotels), it's not overly expensive and the restaurant are fairly decent. If...

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  • Anyone for a drink?

    Marsala, the name conjures up a red sweet wine and me, in my ignorance, thought this town might have something going for it. For us, it was definitely a negative and I would have been far happier spending extra time at Selinunte which just happened to be our next stop.It is fair to suggest that I didn't get to the ruins of Lilybaecum where the...

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  • Some true Sicilian Beachlife!

    This very photogenic beach we found just outside the village of Scopello, at the site of a former tuna processing plant. We didn't know what to do first once we arrived: whether to take lots of pictures of this place, or to have a dip in the unbelievable clear, blue sea....

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  • Piazza Armerina

    It's quite amazing. Here you are in your typical Italian hilltop town, complete with duomo, cobblestones, views over the surrounding countryside and there's no-one there. Drive 5kms to the Roman Villa and you're lucky to get a car parking spot.Meanwhile, back in Piazza Armerina we almost had the place to ourselves. There are a couple of carparks...

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  • Chiesa di S. Anna

    If you're into ruins, here is a happening one. After a quick glance one cannot help but notice that something's missing, i.e. a roof!The main doors are chained and padlocked but you can still peep through the gap and see rubble, dust and chunks of debris lying around, reminiscent of a bombed building from the last great war.It's located just down...

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  • Linguaglossa

    This is a pathetic attempt to put more pictures in my site. I have no idea why this village exists, what there is to see there, why the ribbons are hanging everywhere.Actually, the latter is the reason I took the shot because every town we went through had them hanging and I wanted to find out what was the reason. Sadly, I never did.So, here is a...

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  • Ceramics, ceramics and more bloody...

    CALTAGIRONE We weaved our way upwards on the less popular but more scenic route to the city of ceramics. Knowing nought beforehand save that there was a notable staircase there. The problem with getting to any town in Sicily is that the attractions are hard to find and the signs are appallingly bad and very misleading. The green ones on the...

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  • Caltagirone II

    It was a bonus. As we crested the highest point, an open space with a water feature and, further on, a splendid ceramic tiled rotunda of Islamic inspiration left us feeling fully justified with our choice. The zigzag paths had other lovely features and views and you could do worse than spend half an hour here with the locals who also seem to enjoy...

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  • Motto S. Anastasia

    The reason I visited here was that it was nearby to our accommodation, I had a couple of hours to spare and I was curious what those things were sticking up in the distance.Turns out it was the remains of an old Norman castle, one of eight in the area strategically located so they were in sight of one another for signalling purposes. The one in...

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  • Necropolis

    So, you've heard about the necropolis at Pantelica and off you go following the brown and white signs. Unlucky, chances are you'll never get there. Had I not pulled up twice to ask I wouldn't have either. Just to give you some idea of why I was getting lost so much, here are the last three signs directing you to the necropolis at Pantelica down a...

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  • Caccamo

    I can't remember where I got tipped off about Caccamo (probably VT) but when I dipped into the SIcily Tourist Information site on the net I got lots more. Thankfully enough to whet my appetite.The drive to get to Caccamo is picturesque to say the least. Every twist brings on a new perspective as you rise above the endless coastal towns and ascend...

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  • Stromboli Island (aeolian islands)

    Stromboli is the only island on the 7 that has a real active volcano: Stromboli. On the island there are 3 villages, 400 inhabitants and plenty of black beaches. There are a few cobbled little lanes but no roads so to speak of. The mainharbour is at Scari, where normally people start their ascent to the volcano

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  • Vulcano Island (aeolian islands)

    Vulcano is a little island only 10 minutes away by hydrofoil from Lipari and it’s also a lot less touristic. We went there to hike the rim of the caldera of an extinct volcano and to admire the thousands of fumaroles that blow their sulphuric gases from what’s left of the crater. However, near where the hydrofoil docks, there are natural mud baths...

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  • Lipari Island (aeolian islands)

    Lipari is the main island of the group. The main town is the beautiful twin town of Marina Lunga and Marina Corta: the two parts are divided by a rock where an impressive castle stands. The houses are painted in pastel colours and in the 2 harbours there are lots of fishermen’s boats, stray dogs roam the little alleys, the squares have bars with...

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  • HOME OF THE GODFATHER

    IF YOU GET A CHANCE, CHECK OUT TH CITY OF CORLEONE IN NORTHERN SICIY. VISIT THE CURCH WHERE SCENES FROM THE GODFATHER WERE FILMED. THEN HAVE LUNCH AT THE CORLEONE WINERY WHERE YOU CAN COOL OFF AT THE POOL AND PICK UP SOME MAFIA WINE FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY BACK HOME.

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  • The Godfather and the Greeks

    Visit the greek ruins of Agrigento, about an hour and a half west of Catania. This way you won´t have to go to Greece to see some ruins. Also visit Corleone, as in Corleone from the Godfather series. That is, if you can find it on a map. If you make it, visit the church where they filmed a scene, and find the local winery for a great 3 course...

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Sicilia Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Sicilia off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Sicilia sightseeing.
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