A few thousand years ago, in the 8 and 9th centuries BC, Southern coastal Italy was colonized by the Greeks. Called Magna Graecia, which is Latin for Greater Greece, these new rulers constructed enormous temples and theaters, many of which still stand all over Southern Italy and Sicily.
Temple of Segesta
Segesta is a hilltop town in Western Sicily, not far from Trapani. This Greek Doric temple is thought to have been constructed in the 4th century BC and is in remarkable condition. Historians now think that this temple was never completed because a roof wasn’t added, and there are no traces of the usual decorations found on temples of this era.
Temple of Concordia, Agrigento
The Valley of the Temples in Southern Sicily, near the city of Agrigento, is truly an archaeological wonder. The Temple of Concordia is the largest and best-preserved Doric temple in Sicily and generally accepted as one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world. Concordia was the Roman goddess of harmony and this temple dedicated to her was constructed in 420 BC.
Ancient Theatre of Taormina
The drama views are just the beginning of the astounding Greek theater in Taormina. Perched high above the sea in the far corner of the town, this centuries-old theater is still used today for film screenings and live concerts.
Built primarily in the 12th century, Palermo’s main cathedral is a historical and architectural mish-mash, much like the city it represents. A prime example of the Arab Norman style that is protected by UNESCO, it features elements of Western, Byzantine and Islamic cultures. The exterior is Gothic in style and inside is the Cathedral Treasury, with jewels and garments once worn by Sicily’s former kings and queens.