Excursions in Sicily is a topic that BlogoItaliano has been picking up for a long time. The program of routes on the island is extremely rich, and the assortment that will be offered to you will largely depend on where your hotel is located: on the North or South coast. I asked Sveta, a guide from Palermo, to tell her which 5 excursions were most popular with her among travelers.
We knowingly at the very beginning mentioned that TOP list of excursions may vary significantly depending on the location of your hotel.
Sicily - the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, to get from one coast to another - a whole adventure. Therefore, according to Sveta’s view, one should regard it as a TOP-list of excursions on the north-west coast with a starting point from Palermo. Over time, we will also find a guide on the Southeast coast and ask him to make a similar list.
Once again I want to emphasize that the full list of excursions in Sicily in Russian is much wider than the one given in the article, and we will only discuss the most interesting trips. The full program of routes, current prices and possible dates can be clarified by Sveta on their own. Just in case, we brought her contacts under the article, she replies rather quickly.
Sightseeing tour of Palermo
The historical center of Palermo is considered to be the largest in Europe, so it will not work out to view it entirely as part of a short one-day excursion. A 4-hour route will be extremely busy anyway, but the traveler will have to choose which key elements he will focus on.
The first variation of this excursion includes the Holy Mountain Monte Pellegrino with its incredible history and views, then the beach area of Palermo Mondello Bay is one of the famous recreation areas of the European nobility and, in fact, a walk through the key places of the historical center. During it, we will see the famous Massimo Theater, the Cathedral of Palermo, the main square of the historic city center, the Palace of Senators and other main attractions of ancient Palermo.
Piazza Pretoria - one of the main squares of Palermo
The second route starts with the current Arab market, which has a history of more than 1000 years, then the Spanish quarter with its stunningly beautiful baroque churches will follow and, finally, we will go to Monreale - a huge Catholic complex - the pearl of Palermo.
Finally, the third route of a sightseeing tour of Palermo includes the Royal Palace with its Palatine Chapel and palm park, famous throughout Europe, visiting the excavations of the ancient period and the flea market - a real Mecca for lovers of antiques and unusual souvenirs.
Palatine Chapel in Palermo
Sicilian Mafia Cosa Nostra
What a trip to Sicily without a thematic tour dedicated to the Mafia. We learn the history of the mafia, digging all the way from the XII century: how and with what purposes it appeared and why it turned, in the end, into a huge gangster syndicate, whose influence spread far beyond Italy.
During the tour, we will certainly visit many places from our story so that you have a personal idea of the scale of the organization and its terrible heritage. This is also the place of the death of the famous fighter with the mafia - judges Paolo Borsellino along with the 5th policemen guarding him, and the world-famous prison Carcere dell'Ucciardone, in the bunker of which the trial of the mafia took place in the 90s, and, of course, Monument to the Fallen at the hands of the Mafia.
Was it possible, at the cost of numerous victims, to finally end the mafia in Sicily? We will definitely find out about this.
The mystical capital of Sicily
The religiosity of the Sicilians and their adherence to tradition is well known. But this coin has a downside. Many successive conquerors with their faiths, beliefs and traditions, stories of witches and ruthless inquisition, secret societies, mummies, haunted houses and witchcraft. Total not to list.
The idyllic landscapes of Sicily keep many secrets and remember a huge number of stories, from which blood runs cold, and treacherous goosebumps begin to run through the body. Some of them surprise with their cruelty, others with mysticism, and others force them to drop a tear of tenderness, marveling at the human readiness for self-sacrifice in the name of an idea or love.
The huge Catholic complex of Montreal - the pearl of Palermo
As part of this excursion, we take a new look at the streets of Palermo, visit its unusual museums and places with which the greatest number of mystical stories are associated.
Excursion to the market of Palermo
It would seem that this is special: the market - it is the market. Anywhere, but not in Palermo. Here is one of the main local attractions. Indeed, he is more than 1000 years old: having arisen even under the Arabs, he still lives according to his unwritten Muslim laws in the center of the Christian city.
We will go it far and wide, get acquainted with the recipes and secrets of many dishes, learn how to choose olive oil and learn about the features of Italian cuisine etiquette. In addition, there are several amazing baroque churches on the market that we will also visit. Finally, we will go into the alley of the famous Count Cagliostro - he is also from Palermo.
At the end of the tour, we will consolidate the knowledge gained about Sicilian cuisine and etiquette in one of the restaurants popular among representatives of the generic Italian nobility.
Mondello Bay - one of the famous recreation areas of the European nobility
Palermo tour at night
With sunset, life in Palermo comes to life: restaurants and night clubs, pubs and bars open the doors under the yellow light of night lights. Sitting at home in the evening is not Sicilian, and you will be convinced of this from your own experience: the city "buzzes" at least up to 3 nights.
After a tasty and satisfying dinner, we will go on a trip to interesting and unusual places of night Palermo, visit its most beautiful streets, squares and monuments, find out the mysterious and unusual stories associated with them.
Well, what a night walk without the incredibly delicious Sicilian street food and a glass of cool wine in one of the colorful local establishments.
How to book a tour
You can learn more about Sicily excursions, their cost and free dates by writing to Sveta - a guide from Palermo - by email email protected or through feedback form under this article. Sveta checks mail daily and tries to respond as quickly as possible.
A detailed personal review of the World based on the results of our acquaintance with her can be found here.
When planning a trip, especially if it falls on the period from May to October, Sveta is better to write well in advance, since many dates for excursions can be booked for several months.
Have a good trip!
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Photos by: domingo leiva, Luigi Strano, kristobalite, PROJean-Pierre Dalbéra, Mauro, PROHarvey Barrison.