Sicily is an ideal destination for those who want to spend a full immersion holiday made of art, history and culture. It is a place unique in the world.
Let’s go and discover the beautiful cities and small towns of western Sicily, we will be fascinated!
Palermo, the main city of the Island, embodies all the artistic, historical and cultural wealth of the civilizations that have crossed it: Greek, Punic, Roman, Arab, Norman and Swabian.
The Cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin and there is already an evidence of the cultures stratification: the Catalan Gothic façade and the apse with Arab Norman decorations; inside, there are royal remains, Roger II and Frederick II, along with the relics of Santa Rosalia, who is Palermo’s saint protector.
The Cathedral Treasure is exposed in the Sacristy: sacred vestments from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, monstrance, chalices and precious golden crowns taken from Queen Constance of Aragon’s grave are an example of medieval jewelry.To absolutely visit Museo Diocesano and Orto Botanico.
Walking straight on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street of Palermo that connects the two beautiful Porta Nuova and Porta Felice, you get to the Quattro Canti, an octagonal square that intersects the main roads.
Not far away from Quattro Canti there is the spectacular fountain in Piazza Pretoria: gods, nymphs, monsters and allegories.
A mandatory stop in Piazza Bellini is the church Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio called La Martorana. This is an example of an Arab-style church with Byzantine frescoes. Besides it, there is the splendid San Cataldo church.
Now let’s go to Piazza Indipendenza and admire the Palatine Chapel’s mosaics. This beauty itself motivates our trip to Palermo. The chapel is inside the government building, the Palazzo dei Normanni; it was the Sicilian Royal Residence once, and now it is a UNESCO heritage site. Let’s not miss the oldest side of the building in the Torre Pisana, where there are King Roger’s rooms and the Astronomical Observatory.
Palermo is the capital of street food: bread, panelle, croquettes, sfincione, arancini, and pane cà meusa are just a few examples of the many salted “Sicilian pleasure”; then you should try brioche with ice cream and delicious pastries that you certainly already know.
Let’s go to Segesta, in Trapani’s province: particularly beautiful is the monumental Doric temple and the theater, that has in the background a spectacular scenery of the sea and the hills.
Let’s keep a whole day for Erice and Trapani.
Erice is in the national circuit of the “most beautiful villages of Sicily in Italy“: its symbol is the Castello Fortezza di Venere, where there is a great view of the valley; in town, we find many medieval churches and monasteries and the beautiful Duomo dell’Assunta. There, we enjoy the typical almond pastries and the famous genovesi freshly baked.
Now let’s go to Trapani that we can reach by taking the cable car.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele, via Torrearsa, and Via Garibaldi represent the elegant city center closed to traffic.
It is a succession of historic palaces and great artistic churches, such as the Cathedral with a beautiful Baroque façade, the Chiesa del Purgatorio, where the Trapani Mysteries of Sacred Groups are kept, that characterize the Good Friday procession.
Outside the old town there is the Santuario dell’Annunziata, from the fourteen century; from the same age there is also the convento dei Carmelitani, where the Regional Museum “A. Pepoli ” is as well. There, sculptures, jewelry and Trapani coral work of art are exposed.
Here let’s enjoy the couscous with fish, meat or vegetables. Or the Trapani busiate.
We cannot miss the parco archeologico di Selinunte, which retains a large number of temples.
It is impressive for its scenery and for its cultural importance.
The path always exerts great fascination: in addition to the temples of Concord, Juno, Heracles, and Zeus, we can continue the tour to the nearby Byzantine necropolis, with the monumental grave of Theron and the catacombs of the caves Fragapane.
Let’s close the tour sweetly: let’s eat the gelato pecorino, a delicate ice cream made from ricotta cheese that has a typical taste of the area, very unique.