Sicily Landmarks and Monuments
Sicily has a wealth of landmarks and monuments ranging from ancient archaeological parks to spectacular, protected coastal regions and lavish palaces. For those looking for a change of scenery from the island's sublime beaches, there is an abundance of options in all areas.
Sights specifically worth checking out on Sicily include the Syracuse Archaeological Park in the south-east, and both the Imperial Roman Villa and the Valley of the Temples, not far away to the west. Without question, Palermo has the best of the more modern landmarks.
Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi)
Address: Zona Archeologica, Via dei Templi, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 092 262 1611
Located in the south of Sicily, near the town of Agrigento, is a huge collection of Greek ruins known as the Valle dei Templi. Some of the temples and monuments here are well preserved and include massive columns amid extensive grounds. Although spread out, the walking trails in the Valley of the Temples serve as a particular highlight. Try to also visit at night when it's illuminated, and note that the Western Zone closes early from November to March.
Open hours: daily, April to October - 08:30 to 19:00; November to March - 08:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge, extra for museum
Syracuse Archaeological Park (Parco Archeologico)
Address: Via Del Teatro, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 093 166 206
The Parco Archeologico della Neapolis in Syracuse, south-eastern Sicily, is without question the top man-made landmark on the island. It contains a huge Greek amphitheatre that seats 15,000 people, along with a substantial Roman amphitheatre. The park is well laid out and stages an occasional play at the Greek amphitheatre. Be sure to check out the weird-shaped cavern known as the 'Orecchio di Dionigi'.
Open hours: daily, April to October - 09:00 to 18:00; November to March - 09:00 to 15:00
Imperial Roman Villa (Villa Romana Imperiale)
Address: Piazza Armerina, Casale, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 093 568 0036
This stunning Roman villa in southern Sicily displays a well-preserved set of Roman mosaics and is a worthy UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers a realistic look at the Roman way of life for the nobility and comes with dozens of rooms. Although parts of the walls and vaulted ceilings are all but lost, the real highlight is the exquisite floor mosaics.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 17:30
Monreale Cathedral (Cattedrale Monreale)
Address: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Monreale - Palermo, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 091 640 4413
Palermo's Monreale Cathedral is one of the top landmarks in the capital. This 12th-century behemoth sits on a hill overlooking the city just out of town and features a blend of Norman, Byzantine and Arab styles. The intricate mosaics on the vaulted ceiling and upper walls are the highlight, while the West and North doors are truly monumental.
Be sure to check out the nearby Benedictine abbey with its scores of carved stone columns.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 18:00
Mirto Palace (Palazzo Mirto)
Address: Via Merlo 2, Palermo, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 091 616 4751
Located just off the Piazza Marina in Palermo is the opulent Palazzo Mirto, an over-the-top Baroque beauty of a structure. Originally the home of the wealthy Lanza Filangeri family, the palace gives an olden-day insight into Palermo's high society folks. On touring this beautiful house you can't help but appreciate the lavish style of the living quarters. Be sure to get a snap of the façade from the front courtyard.
Open hours: daily, Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 19:00; Sunday - 09:00 to 13:00
Palace of the Normans (Palazzo dei Normanni)
Address: Piazza Indipendenza, Palermo, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 091 705 7003
Formerly serving Palermo as a medieval court, the fortress-like Palazzo dei Normanni now functions as the seat of Sicily's parliament and remains an important historical landmark known to date as far back as the 9th century. This palace is home to the breathtaking Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel) - a royal chapel famed for its Arab-Norman-Byzantine architecture and ornate mosaics. The Palazzo dei Normanni can be found close to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Piazza della Vittoria, residing on the Piazza Indipendenza.
Open hours: daily, Monday to Saturday - 08:30 to 12:00, 14:00 to 17:00; Sunday - 08:30 to 12:00
Monastero di San Benedetto
Address: Via Crociferi 11, 2 95124 Catania, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 095 715 2207
Dating back to 1334, the Monastery of Saint Benedict complex includes the UNESCO World Heritage site of Saint Benedict's Church as well as the MacS - Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia.
Open hours: tour: April to September, Friday to Wednesday - 10:00 to 19:00; October to March, Friday to Wednesday - 09:00 to 18:00
More information about Palermo Landmarks