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The Must-Visit Museums In Sicily
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The Must-Visit Museums In Sicily

Picture of Barbara Boda
Updated: 18 October 2016
Sicily, otherwise known as the “stone next to the boot,” possesses an immense Greek and Roman heritage. With what feels like eternal sunshine and stunning seaside views, Sicily is a major travel hotspot year round. Exhibiting the region’s rich cultural history, these are the must-visit museums in Sicily.

The Capuchin Catacombs

One of Palermo’s more macabre historical sites, the Capuchin Catacombs originally served as the resting place for Capuchin monks, and later for wealthy citizens. The temperature and humidity of the region helped perserve the bodies after they were treated for burial, so visitors can catch a relatively clear glimpse of their remains. The last bodies buried in the catacombs are from 1920s; most famously Rosalia Lombardo, who was two years old when she died and whose body stayed remarkably intact due to a special embalming procedure.

Piazza Cappuccini, 1 Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Valley of Temples / Photo By Author
Valley of Temples / Photo By Author

International Documentary Center of Mafia

The International Documentary Center of Mafia and the No Mafia Moviment (CIDMA) opened in 2000 in the village of Corleone. This notorious village has been trying to get rid of its ill-fated reputation for local mob activity. The museum is dedicated to all those who were assassinated by the mafia. The rooms of the museum explain how the mafia worked, complete with some rather brave on-site photographs.

Via G Valenti 7, Corleone, Sicily, Italy +39 340 402 5601

At Syracuse / Photo By Author
At Syracuse / Photo By Author

Galleria Regionale della Sicilia

Housed in a Gothic Catalan building, the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia displays some of Sicily’s greatest treasures. Amongst the most famous works in the collection are Triumph of Death, painted by an unknown artist, Messina’s world-famous Virgin Annunciate, alongside sculptures and rich, lacquered works of furniture.

Via Alloro 4 Palermo, Sicily, Italy + 39 091 6230011

A day on the piazza / Photo By Author
A day on the piazza / Photo By Author

Archaeological Museum “Pietro Griffo” Agrigento, Valley of Temples

Agrigento is known for its rich Greek and Roman heritage, so visitors can’t miss the Archaeological Museum or the Valley of Temples. The temples are dedicated to the gods, from Zeus to Aesculap and Demeter, and you can walk on an agora under the hot Sicilian sun. The most impressive remains are the gargantuan telamoni, or giants, as tall as columns that held up the temples. It has been an UNESCO World heritage site since 1998, and has inspired poets and authors like Goethe, Ariosto, Dumas since the Middle Ages.

Contrada San Nicola, 12, Agrigento, Sicily,Italy +39 360 397 930

Palermo / Photo By Author
Palermo / Photo By Author

Museo Regionale di Arte Mediovale e Moderna, Syracuse

Exhibiting a range of priceless historical and modern works of art, Palazzo Bellomo invites you to admire the likes of Messina and Caravaggio. Although Messina’s Annunciation has suffered damages, the details are still exquisite, as is The Burial of St. Lucy, painted by Caravaggio. Medieval and Renaissance sculptures are also in the collection.

Via Capodieci 14–16, Ortigia, Siracusa, Italy +39-0931-69-511