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16 Things To Know Before You Go To Sicily


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Denise Sam


Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is a captivating destination that offers a rich blend of history, culture, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re planning a leisurely beach vacation, a food and wine tour, or an exploration of ancient ruins, Sicily has something to offer every traveler.

However, before you set off on your Sicilian adventure, it’s important to know a few things that will help you make the most of your trip. From local customs and etiquette to must-visit attractions and hidden gems, this guide will provide you with the essential information you need to ensure a memorable experience in Sicily.

So grab a cannoli, sit back, and get ready to discover the top 16 things you should know before you go to Sicily.

Sicily offers a rich historical heritage.

From ancient Greek ruins to medieval castles and Baroque architecture, Sicily is a treasure trove of historical sites. Don’t miss the iconic Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and the stunning Greek Theater in Taormina.

The cuisine in Sicily is a food lover’s paradise.

Sicilian cuisine is renowned for its vibrant flavors and diverse influences. Indulge in delectable dishes like arancini, cannoli, and pasta alla Norma. Don’t forget to pair your meals with delicious local wines, such as Nero d’Avola and Marsala.

The vibrant street markets are a must-visit.

Exploring the lively street markets of Sicily is a sensory delight. Experience the bustling atmosphere, sample the fresh produce, and haggle for souvenirs. The markets of Palermo and Catania are particularly famous for their vibrant energy.

The stunning beaches will leave you in awe.

Sicily boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. From the crystal-clear waters of San Vito Lo Capo to the black sand beaches of Cefalù, there’s a beach to suit every preference. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Mount Etna is a majestic sight to behold.

As one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Etna is an iconic landmark in Sicily. Take a guided tour to explore the volcanic landscapes, hike its trails, and witness the awe-inspiring eruptions.

Sicily is home to charming coastal towns.

Discover picturesque towns like Taormina, Syracuse, and Cefalù, each with its own unique charm. Explore their quaint streets, visit historical sites, and savor the laid-back coastal vibes.

The Sicilian people are warm and welcoming.

Sicilians are known for their hospitality and friendly nature. Immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with the locals, and embrace their warmth. You might even get invited to a traditional Sicilian gathering!

The iconic Godfather film was partly shot in Sicily.

Movie buffs will be thrilled to know that parts of the classic film, The Godfather, were filmed in Sicily. Visit towns like Savoca and Forza d’Agrò to see the locations featured in this cinematic masterpiece.

The Sicilian carnival is a fantastic celebration.

If you have the chance to visit Sicily during carnival season, don’t miss the vibrant festivities. Join in the parades, marvel at the intricate costumes, and immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere.

Driving can be an adventure in Sicily.

Sicilian driving can be somewhat chaotic, with narrow streets and diverse road manners. Be prepared for adventurous driving experiences, but also take the opportunity to explore the picturesque countryside and hidden gems.

Sicily is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

With its diverse landscapes, Sicily offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities. From hiking in the Madonie Mountains to snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Aeolian Islands, adventure awaits at every turn.

The Greek influence is evident in Sicily.

Sicily has a strong Greek heritage, and you’ll find Greek influences throughout the island. Visit the ancient Greek theaters, temples, and archaeological sites to immerse yourself in this rich cultural legacy.

The weather in Sicily is generally mild and pleasant.

Sicily enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with long, hot summers and mild winters. Prepare for warm temperatures during the peak tourist season and pack accordingly to make the most of your visit.

Don’t miss the stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Sicily is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the archaeological area of Agrigento and the late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto. Explore these remarkable sites to delve into the island’s fascinating history.

The charming Aeolian Islands are worth a visit.

Located just off the northeastern coast of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands offer a peaceful and picturesque retreat. Enjoy their volcanic landscapes, soak in natural hot springs, and indulge in the fresh seafood delicacies.

Sicily offers a diverse range of accommodation options.

Whether you prefer luxury resorts, charming boutique hotels, or cozy bed and breakfasts, Sicily has something to suit every taste and budget. Enjoy the renowned Sicilian hospitality and make your stay unforgettable.


Visiting Sicily is an unforgettable experience that offers a mix of rich history, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality. By being aware of these 16 key things before you go, you can enhance your trip and make the most of your time on this enchanting island.

From exploring ancient ruins and indulging in mouthwatering street food to discovering charming coastal towns and immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture, Sicily has something to offer every traveler.

So pack your bags, brush up on a few Italian phrases, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Sicily!


1. When is the best time to visit Sicily?

The best time to visit Sicily is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) seasons when the weather is pleasant, the tourist crowds are smaller, and the prices are more affordable.

2. Do I need a visa to visit Sicily?

If you are a citizen of the European Union or a citizen of certain countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, you do not need a visa to visit Sicily for tourism purposes. However, it is always recommended to check the visa requirements based on your nationality prior to your trip.

3. What are the must-visit attractions in Sicily?

Sicily is home to numerous must-visit attractions, including the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Mount Etna, the cities of Palermo and Taormina, the archaeological site of Syracuse, and the stunning beaches of Cefalù and San Vito Lo Capo.

4. Is it safe to travel to Sicily?

Sicily is generally a safe destination for travelers. However, like any other place, it is advised to take necessary precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas or late at night.

5. What should I try from the Sicilian cuisine?

When in Sicily, make sure to try traditional dishes like arancini (fried rice balls), cannoli (sweet pastries filled with ricotta), pasta alla Norma (pasta with eggplant and tomato sauce), and granita (a refreshing semi-frozen dessert).