In Sicily, Greek ruins and Byzantine artwork stand proudly amid relics of the Roman Empire. The landscape is equally eclectic, with regimented rows of vineyards and restless volcanoes which periodically alter the island’s topography. This diversity is down to its position in the heart of the Mediterranean; a position that’s seen Sicily become a true melting-pot of ancient civilisations.
Palermo, Sicily’s capital, is a microcosm of the influences that have shaped the island. You can see symbols of Phoenician, Arab and Norman presence everywhere among its swaying palms and banyan trees. Be sure you make time to visit the church of La Martorana and the Capella Palatina.
Likewise, the towering temples of Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta. These Greek structures rival anything across the Ionian Sea, and provide yet another reason to explore the island’s dramatic coastline.
Spring arrives early in Sicily and the countryside is awash with wild flowers from the end of February. Its southerly setting, on the same latitude as North Africa, means its warm season covers much of the year. You can still soak up the sun and swim in the sea well into autumn here.
The teeming waters around the island serve up a vast array of seafood, while the sheer variety of fresh produce is simply mouth-watering. The terroir of Sicily also makes it an excellent wine growing island, so enjoying a glass of Nero d’Avola in the chequerboard piazzas of Catania is fully recommended.
When to go
The window for enjoying Sicily in the sun stretches from late February until October.