Sicily

Sicily
Trapani, Sicily

These travel notes are related to our trip to southern Italy, eastern Sicily and Etna.

About Sicily

ericeSicily is one of Italy’s regions and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its territory is almost 26 thousand square kilometres (ten thousand square miles) and is similar to the size of such countries as North Macedonia and Albania. Almost five million people live in Sicily, which is about 8% of all Italian population.

Unlike nowadays, Sicily has been very rich and powerful region. During ancient times, Greeks had significant settlements in Sicily; many may know such names as Syracuse and Archimedes who lived there before was killed by Romans.

turkish steps
Scala dei Turchi

Later on, Romans annexed Sicily and it was Roman province for a while. After Greeks and Romans, the island was ruled by many other great powers – Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Normans and finally it became the Kingdom of Sicily in 1130. Finally, in 17 March 1861, after Italian unification, Sicily became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Agrigento and Scala dei Turchi

Town Agrigento is located in the south-west of Sicily. It is widely known and attracts many tourists because of ancient Greek temples located there. The main site in Agrigento is Valley of the Temples. Seven Greek temples were built there in 5th century and this site is listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.

trapani streetAnother site near Agrigento, about ten kilometres to the west, is located beautiful coastal object Scala dei Turchi – Stair of the Turks. I really recommend leaving car somewhere in nearby parking space and spending at least a couple of hours there. White coloured cliffs and the sea makes perfect place for relaxation. It could be a bit windy there though.

Trapani

Trapani is a coastal city in the north-west of the island. City is not that well known as a touristic place and mostly relays on fishing and nearby salt production, however it was nice to walk on city streets and along the coast. There are many nice cafes where you may find delicious food.

Trapani has its own airport, which serves more than 1.5 million passengers per year. Although majority flights from Trapani airport are to other Italian destination, you can fly from there to such destinations as Prague in Czech Republic, Karlsruhe in Germany and Amsterdam in Netherlands. This airport could be a good alternative to Palermo international airport if you wish to visit west and south of the island.

Erice

erice
Erice, Sicily

If we can say that trip to Sicily was like a cake, town Erice would be a cherry on the top of that cake. It is located not far from Trapani, although getting there may take some time as it lies high on the hills, overlooking Province of Trapani.

We arrived at Erice early in the morning and all around was fog. The first difficulty we had was finding a parking space. Streets of Erice are very steep and narrow and actually there is that much choice for parking at all.

After this was sorted, we continued moving uphill by foot. Walking through foggy narrow streets, we reached the top of the hill and after a while, when fog started settling down, the view we experienced was unexpectedly stunning.

This was the last place we visited before going to Palermo airport and it was really worth visiting it.