Photos That'll Make You Want to Book a Trip to Sicily Now

Lipari town is the main commercial hub of the alluring, volcanic Aeolian Islands
Lipari town is the main commercial hub of the alluring, volcanic Aeolian Islands | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Gillian McGuire
13 September 2021

Sicily is a destination so rich in culture, cuisine and terrain that sometimes words fail to convey just how amazing it really is. From deep turquoise waters to ancient Greek temples, delicious street food, and elaborately decorated pastries, these photos will have you booking your trip to this diverse island of Italy.

If these photos leave you yearning to visit, you can now travel to Sicily with Culture Trip – we’ve put together an itinerary to make your eyes pop and your mouth water, and it’s led by a Local Insider to ensure you get the most authentic experience possible during your time on the island.

Fans of Salvo Montalbano from the series of books (and television series) by Andrea Camilleri will recognise this dramatic spot between Realmonte and Porto Empedocle in southern Sicily.

The white cliffs of Scala dei Turchi | © Roberto Lo Savio / Alamy Stock Photo

You’ll find brightly decorated carts pulled by equally fancy horses during religious and folk festivals all over Sicily.

Festival cart of city patron, Santa Rosalia, in front of Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo | © Angus McComiskey / Alamy Stock Photo

Italian beaches are divided into beach clubs called stabilimenti where you pay a small entrance fee and can rent a sun lounger and umbrella and free beaches called spiaggia libera.

Mazzaro Beach in Taormina | © Angus McComiskey / Alamy Stock Photo

Arancini are the perfect snack. This deep-fried mix of rice, meat, peas and tomato sauce can be found at just about any cafe in Sicily.

Arancini are ubiquitous throughout Sicily | © Brent Hofacker / Alamy Stock Photo

Take the cable car down from Taormina or walk across the narrow sandy path to this spectacular nature reserve.

Isola Bella in Taormina | © Roberto Lo Savio / Alamy Stock Photo

This ancient Greek theatre is on the edge of the modern town of Syracuse and is still used for performances today.

The Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina | © Matthias Scholz / Alamy Stock Photo

These richly decorated carts, known as caretto, are a symbol of Sicily. Originally a means of transportation, today they are more works of art than a practical vehicle.

A traditional Sicilian cart in Cefalu | © Stefano Paterna / Alamy Stock Photo

Prickly pear fruit is known as fiche d’India in Italian. You will find it in gelato and granita flavours and painted on colourful ceramics.

Ripe prickly pears, a Sicilian delicacy | © Rachael Rowe / Alamy Stock Photo

In Noto, the main cathedral is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and offers a prime example of a style of architecture called Sicilian baroque.

Noto Cathedral at sunset | © Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the best things about visiting Sicily in summer is undoubtedly a breakfast of icy granita (fruit- or nut-based shaved ice), best enjoyed alongside a sweet brioche.

Icy granita is common across Sicily in summer | © Prochasson Frederic / Alamy Stock Photo

Around the salt pans near the town of Trapani, you will find picture-perfect restaurants with stunning views.

Infersa windmill on the coast between Marsala and Trapani | © ClickAlps / mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Lipari is the busiest of the Aeolian Islands, with a lively port area and a scenic shopping district.

Lipari town hums with activity during summer | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

These richly decorated bags called coffa are handcrafted and make a wonderful souvenir.

A Sicilian coffa in a traditional shop in Palermo | © Jorge Tutor / Alamy Stock Photo

Small religious shrines can be found all over the island of Sicily.

A small shrine on the wall in Cefalu | © Konrad Zelazowski / agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

The green island of Salina, part of the Aeolian archipelago, is filled with vineyards growing the malvasia grape.

The lighthouse of Punta Lingua on the island of Salina | © Roberto La Rosa / Alamy Stock Photo

The far-flung island of Lampedusa is home to some of the best beaches in Sicily (and the world).

Rabbit Beach on Lampedusa is a globally renowned spot | © Roberto Nistri / Alamy Stock Photo

The secret to a good cannolo (the singular form of cannoli) is a pile of empty shells behind the pastry case. Yours is only filled with a sweetened ricotta cream after you order.

Traditional Sicilian cannoli filled with creamy ricotta | © TRAVELSCAPES / Alamy Stock Photo

The chaotic city of Palermo is filled with spectacular palazzos. Make sure to peek inside the hidden courtyards.

Interior of Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo | © Angus McComiskey / Alamy Stock Photo

Beat the summer heat by doing what the Sicilians do and stay up well after the sun sets.

Street food stalls stay open late in Palermo | © Palermo, Italy / Alamy Stock Photo

The island of Panarea has a low-key jet-set scene. The barefoot person dancing next to you probably owns the super-yacht you spied in the harbour.

Cala Junco on Panarea, Aeolian Islands | © Ellen Rooney / Alamy Stock Photo

Known as testa di moro, you will spot these ceramic sculptures all over Sicily. They are inspired by a legend about a tempestuous love affair.

Testa di moro ceramics in Castelbuono | © Stefano Paterna / Alamy Stock Photo

The beautiful town of Ragusa is part of a group of Unesco-listed towns in southeast Sicily. The town is split into two sections. Climb up to Ibla for a view of the jumble of ochre buildings below.

Ragusa is a striking hilltop town in southeastern Sicily | © Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo

The island of Stromboli offers a unique opportunity to climb to the summit of an active volcano. For a more sedate view of the light show, you can also book a sunset cruise.

An eruption of the Stromboli volcano | © Giulio Ercolani / Alamy Stock Photo

Indulge your sweet tooth with a slice of cassata a Sicilian pastry that comprises layers of sponge cake, sweetened ricotta, chocolate chips, candied fruits and marzipan.

Cassata Siciliana, a traditional Sicilian dessert | © REDA &CO srl / Alamy Stock Photo

The trinacria is a symbol of Sicily that dates to Roman times. It depicts the head of Medusa, three bent legs and three wheat stalks and is said to evoke the triangular shape of the island.

The trinacria is an ancient symbol of Sicily | © Melvyn Longhurst / Alamy Stock Photo

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