Vieste in Puglia on the Gargano. Vieste in Puglia on the Gargano.

The Gargano is considered the spur of the boot of Italy , a karst promontory that extends towards the Adriatic Sea and the Balkan coasts to which in prehistoric times it was probably connected, a mountainous territory dominated by Monte Calvo (1056 meters) with basins , caverns and grottoes, two large lagoons (Lake Lesina and Lake Varano) separated from each other by Mount Elio.

The geographical boundaries of the Gargano towards the land are well delimited by the Candelaro river and the plain below, with steep slopes, in an independence that has allowed the area to be preserved in its natural state, maintaining the ancient traditions and becoming one of the main tourist areas in Italy and pride of Puglia .

The Gargano promontory is a corner of the Mediterranean where nature is the absolute protagonist , an ancient and sacred reality that fascinates with its traditions and stuns with the colors and scents of its landscapes.Its green lung, within the Gargano National Park , is the Umbra Forest (from shady in Latin, nothing to do with the other Italian region), 11 thousand hectares of natural area with beeches, yews, Aleppo pines and other monumental trees of hundreds of years, populated by Gargano roe deer, fallow deer, mouflons and 170 nesting species of birds, including many birds of prey.

Map of the Gargano in Puglia.
Map of the Gargano in Puglia.

In addition to being a fantastic natural place, the Gargano has always been an area of ​​profound sacredness .

Just think of Monte Sant'Angelo, where the sanctuary dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo stands , who according to legend appeared around 490 AD with the desire to choose a cave as his own earthly home.Or San Giovanni Rotondo, where thousands of devotees and pilgrims have venerated the figure of Padre Pio while alive and now pay homage to his tomb and the cell where he lived and prayed; to the many sanctuaries and abbeys along the Via Sacra Langobardorum , which connected the pilgrimage across the Via Francigena to the Holy Land.

A lot of mountains but also a lot of sea , with towns and villages of whitewashed houses stretched out on the Adriatic, between golden beaches and rocky cliffs: Vieste and the great stack of Pizzomunno, Rodi Garganico , the bay of Pugnochiuso , Peschici , San Menaio, the bay of the Zagare with the stacks of Mergoli, Mattinata and many other splendid places that emerge among olive groves and pine forests.

Beaches of the Gargano

Rodi Garganico in Puglia in the Gargano.
The Apulian town of Rodi Garganico.

The wonderful coast of the Gargano , in the northernmost part of Puglia, is made up of 150km of enchanting bays and jagged cliffs , where there is no shortage of picturesque villages overlooking the sea. Here everyone can find the beach that best suits their taste and needs, you just have to choose it among the many jewels of nature available.

The northernmost stretch of coastline, the one that runs along the brackish lakes of Lesina and Varano , has fine sand and is perhaps the most suitable for families with small children, quite quiet.Continuing on, you reach Rodi Garganico , in a strip of coast that is still flat but already allows a glimpse of the heights of the Gargano National Park which slopes down towards the sea. The ancient fishing village dominates the beach, which has received the Blue Flag several times for the quality of its sea , but also for its accessibility, respect for the environment and the services offered.

Peschici in the Gargano, Puglia.
Peschici is one of the most popular and popular places in the Gargano.

In Vico del Gargano , in the bay of San Menaio , you can find a wide beach with fine sand, equipped with bathing establishments and restaurants that allow you to taste the very good Apulian cuisine just a few steps from the waves.

The enchanting Peschici , perched on its promontory, is a short distance away and offers several sandy beaches of various sizes, also with bathing establishments for the numerous nearby accommodation facilities.

There are many bays between Peschici and Vieste , not difficult to reach, where among the pines and cliffs it is easy to find small hotels, campsites and kiosks of all kinds: Zaiana, Calalunga, Manacore and Manaccora are the most fascinating and popular.

Pugnochiuso Resort in the Gargano.
The beach of Pugnochiuso, one of the most beautiful in the Gargano.

Along this stretch of coast the landscape is characterized by traditional trabucchi , the fishing structures built in wood that stretch out over the sea with nets, which today we try to safeguard and enhance because they are an important part of the historical, landscape and cultural heritage of the Gargano community. , especially in the territory of Vieste, the most visited place by tourism in this territory of Southern Italy.

In Vieste, tourists, but also local inhabitants, flock to the medieval-style historic center built on the promontory of Punta San Francesco , while in the port there is a continuous coming and going of boats that take you to visit the many coastal caves in the surroundings .But the most famous image of Vieste is that of the Pizzomunno beach, with its stack of over twenty meters . Other equally spectacular beaches are the bay of San Felice, with its arch in the rock overlooking the sea ; the Bay of Campi, in front of which there is a desert island; Pugnochiuso , splendid but with various resorts that make it always crowded; Gattarella, magnificent and luxuriant, also crowded with people for the remarkable accommodation facilities.

Baia delle Zagare, Gargano, Puglia.
The Bay of Zagare.

Continuing to descend towards the south, the territory of Mattinata offers one of the most precious treasures of the coastal Gargano : the Baia delle Zagare , an extraordinary beach of about 1km between the inlets overlooking the sea, with two beautiful stacks right in front.

Also suggestive is the Vignanotica beach , known as Baia dei Gabbiani , between the limestone walls of the cliff on which there are caves; if you arrive at the beach but you have nothing with you to protect yourself from the sun, some establishments can rent you umbrellas.

Continuing along the coast there is Manfredonia , a town of over 50 thousand inhabitants with a well-equipped tourist port on the gulf of the same name, which has a very long sandy beach. A visit to the city allows you to admire the Swabian-Angevin castle and many religious and civil buildings of particular architectural interest.

What to see in the Gargano

The beautiful peninsula of Gargano in Puglia , an important tourist destination, has many places of interest to see , from the natural areas that have been part of the national park since 1991 to the coast with fine sandy beaches, rocky coasts and caves, to the many villages of low houses. and white with narrow and winding streets.


Vieste is a picturesque town located on the extreme eastern part of the Gargano , of ancient origins which was a Greek colony, a Roman municipality and in the Byzantine-medieval period, a bishop's seat with the construction of the beautiful Cathedral .

In 1065 it was conquered by the Normans and in 1240 Frederick II had the castle built on the top of the small promontory, from where it dominates the town, the beaches and the beautiful hills rich in vegetation.Nearby are the numerous early Christian necropolises , the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Merino and the beach of Pizzomunno , a famous seaside resort not far away.

Closed fist

The beach of Pugnochiuso in Gargano.
The beach of Pugnochiuso in Gargano.

Pugnochiuso , on the bay of the same name on the eastern coast of the Gargano, is a seaside resort in the district of Vieste, overlooking a crystalline sea among forests of beech, pine and olive trees, with a well-equipped holiday center where you can practice any activity between sea and nature.


Peschici is a fairytale town overlooking the sea , with the ancient part of the town consisting of houses with a domed roof of oriental origin and a castle of medieval origin that was part of the defensive constructions of the Swabians.

Along the road that leads to the bay below, with the most modern part of the town where the tourist port and the golden beach are located, there are caves dug into the rock still inhabited today, in a truly suggestive landscape.

Rodi Garganico

Rodi Garganico in Puglia.
Rodi Garganico in Puglia.

On a rocky promontory among olive and citrus trees, Rodi Garganico is a picturesque seaside resort with ancient maritime traditions. In 1538 it had the first Capuchin convent of the Gargano , which still today crowns the town full of historical memories.

Noteworthy is the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Libera, which owes its origin to the sacred icon stolen by the Venetians in 1453 in Constantinople.

San Nicandro Garganico

San Nicandro Garganico is one of the most populous municipalities of the Gargano promontory , in an area a little more inland than the coast at about 224 meters above sea level, characterized by two hundred cisterns for collecting rainwater.

In a dominant position stands the castle of medieval Norman-Swabian origin , which later became the Della Marra feudal lords, with square towers at the corners to which circular bastions were added over the centuries.Nearby there are some important caves of karst origin and on the coast Torre Mileto, a town that takes its name from the medieval watchtower between the lakes of Lesina and Varano, the closest point to the Tremiti Islands .

Lesina and Varano lakes

Marina di Lesina, on the lake in Puglia.
The enchanting Marina di Lesina, on the lake in Puglia.

Lake Lesina has an area of ​​51kmq and is separated from the sea by a coastal strip of about one kilometer, with which it communicates through two channels. It is renowned for its eel fishing and archaeological finds from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages have come to light along its banks.

Also the lake of Varano , of about 36kmq is separated from the sea by a thin strip of sandy dunes and connected by two navigable canals. It is a lake full of fish fed by underwater springs and on its banks it is thought that the ancient Dauna city of Uria rose, mentioned by many important Latin authors, which is believed to have been submerged by the lake following an earthquake.

Monte Sant'Angelo

Monte Sant'Angelo in the province of Foggia.
Monte Sant'Angelo in the province of Foggia.

Monte Sant'Angelo is one of the most religious places in Puglia and also among the highest towns, at 796 meters above sea level. It is famous for the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo , built around the mid-6th century following the miraculous apparition, with a characteristic octagonal bell tower and bronze doors cast in Constantinople in the 11th century.

Another unique thirteenth-century monument, in front of the bell tower, is the Tomb of Rotari . The castle with the imposing pentagonal tower was built towards the middle of the 11th century by Roberto il Guiscardo, founder of the Kingdom of Sicily, and later restored and embellished by Frederick II.Other works of architectural interest are the Romanesque church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the church of San Benedetto with the adjoining monastery, the medieval abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano and the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

Umbra Forest

Umbra forest in the Gargano National Park.
Umbra forest in the Gargano National Park.

The Umbra Forest : about 12 thousand hectares of forest in the central-eastern part of the Gargano , crossed by 23km of roads, a dense network of footpaths for lovers of woods and trekking, along paths of interesting naturalistic value.

In this area grow beeches, maples, firs, Turkey oaks, while descending towards the sea the Mediterranean scrub prevails with pines, cypresses, mastic trees, lime trees, holm oaks. Among the fauna, roe deer, fallow deer, red deer and many other animal species prevail, especially birds.

San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo is a destination for pilgrimages from all over the world , its religious history begins with the arrival of Padre Pio of Pietralcina at the Convent of the Capuchins. Much of the tourist flow is due to devotion to the saint and is concentrated in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and in the crypt where his remains are found, but in the area there are many other churches and buildings of medieval origin and from more eras. recent.


Manfredonia in Puglia.
The coastal town of Manfredonia.

Manfredonia is a seaside town founded in 1256 by King Manfredi , it has an excellent port and beautiful beaches that develop along the coast.

Among its monuments, the Angevin Castle and the church of San Domenico are noteworthy, but in the surroundings you must not miss the ancient town of Siponto , as well as for the beautiful beaches also for the archaeological area, for the Romanesque churches of Santa Maria Maggiore in Siponto (with a crypt from the 10th century) and San Leonardo di Siponto.

What to see near the Gargano

Tremiti Islands.
The Tremiti Islands.

About 25km from the northern coast of the Gargano are the Tremiti Islands , an archipelago consisting of the islands of San Nicola, San Domino, Capraia, the inaccessible rocks of Cretaccio and La Vecchia and the island of Pianosa, about twenty kilometers from the others. islands.

They can be reached from the main ports of the Gargano such as Manfredonia, Vieste, Peschici and Rodi Garganico with boats and hydrofoils (absolutely without cars), but the times and frequencies are different according to the seasons, certainly more frequent in summer.

San Severo is an interesting wine center of the Tavoliere a short distance from the innermost municipalities of the Gargano peninsula, with a medieval historic center surrounded by more modern districts.

Lucera in the province of Foggia.
Lucera in the province of Foggia.

About twenty kilometers further south is Lucera, a city dear to Frederick II of Swabia . Here you can see the gothic Cathedral Basilica of 1302, the Swabian Castle of the 13th century, the Roman Amphitheater among the oldest in southern Italy and a Greco-Roman monument of the 1st century BC very similar to that of Pompeii , as well as many others. churches and historic buildings.

Another 20km to the south-east is Foggia, the provincial capital and Capitanata , with the Romanesque Cathedral rebuilt in Baroque style in the 1700s, the ancient medieval gate and the Arch of Frederick, the Church of the Crosses and the Church of San Francesco Saverio and interesting museums.


 The Salentini do not like to define themselves generically Pugliesi. In fact, Salento can be considered a culturally autonomous region from the rest of Puglia, a sort of "Puglia in Puglia" with its own history, its own culture and its own language that are still maintained with indissoluble strength.

There are many characteristics that make this land unique: from the Lecce Baroque that characterizes the buildings, to the expanses of centuries-old olive trees that grow twisted on a particular, extremely red soil; for the different dialects spoken in restricted areas, which remind us of the passage of ancient peoples such as the Messapi and the Greeks and for the ancient popular festivals that animate the summer nights . But above all for the sea that laps its coasts, of a crystalline blue color and a unique quality in the Mediterranean .

Salento, the area of ​​peninsular Italy that more than any other has suffered from classical Greek culture, is made up of a dense network of villages (in fact Lecce is the richest province of municipalities) which preserve rich treasures inside, from Baroque palaces to frescoed churches, from enchanted and immaculate sceneries to a cuisine made up of poor elements, coming from local crops or from the sea, but equally rich in taste and flavors.A rich land, typically Mediterranean , swept by the strong north wind alternating with the hot and humid sirocco, dazzled by the sun, which make the climate extremely liveable throughout the year .

Santa Cesarea Terme in Salento, Puglia.
Santa Cesarea Terme in Salento, Puglia.

The various tourist facilities of Salento offer travelers of all budgets comfortable and welcoming accommodation, from campsites to hotels, from villages to splendid inland farms, and equally various culinary solutions.

There may be almost infinite ways to travel this enchanted territory , which at any moment is able to surprise the traveler.It is a bit as if the Salento Peninsula had a very special natural father and mother : the sea and the land, the countryside. The sea, that Mediterranean so rich in all the history we can imagine, caresses its coasts and creeps into every ravine from the Adriatic to the Ionian.

From the landing of Aeneas to the pirate raids over which the countless coastal towers watched , the sea has always been the main interpreter of the historical events of Salento, with a coast that alternates long sandy stretches with rocks, cliffs and sea caves .

The Salento hinterland is a treasure chest that holds incalculable beauties, art, traditions and culture . The countryside is particularly characterized by the numerous centuries-old olive trees, but the vegetation is rich in many other crops: figs, almond trees, prickly pears, vines, etc.Each of the many towns of Salento preserves its historic center with streets, squares, castles and palaces that testify to a millenary culture. The stone is not only the yellow and brittle of the noblest buildings, the Lecce stone , but also the very hard stone with which the typical dry stone walls are made that separate the small land of the peasants and their ancient buildings: pajare and furnieddhi.

Beaches of Salento

The Grotta della Poesia in Roca Vecchia, near San Foca.
The Grotta della Poesia in Roca Vecchia, near San Foca.

Salento, the extreme edge of Puglia , is bathed by the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea, with about 200 kilometers of very varied coastline , from white beaches of fine sand to the suggestive cliffs full of caves on a crystal clear sea, framed by olive groves, fragrant scrub Mediterranean and pine forests.

Starting from Lecce, the capital of the Salento peninsula, you can appreciate the nearby marinas of Torre Chianca, Frigole and San Cataldo , on the Adriatic coast and easily reachable from the city in just over ten kilometers.Continuing along the Adriatic coast you will find San Foca and the bay of Torre dell'Orso , with almost a kilometer of beach dominated by the sixteenth-century coastal tower, where the stacks of the Due Sorelle are reflected in the sea of ​​the Canale d'Otranto.

The beach of Porto Miggiano in Salento.
The beach of Porto Miggiano in Salento.

The rocky coast continues up to Porto Badisco , halfway between Otranto - where you can visit Punta Palascìa, the easternmost point of Italy - and Santa Cesarea Terme , a natural inlet like a fjord set between the rocky ridges and famous for its thermal baths and the cove of Porto Miggiano , where the towers of Sant'Emiliano and Minervino stand out.

Also not to be missed in this section is Baia dei Turchi , a few kilometers north of Otranto, which owes its name to the landing of the Ottoman army in 1480, during the siege of the city.

The bay is part of the protected Oasis of the Alimini Lakes , one freshwater and one salty, which form one of the most important ecosystems in Puglia, with a magical beach of wild dunes and white sand with sediments of volcanic origin.

The southern Adriatic coast continues with a coastline of breathtaking cliffs passing through Castro Marina - with the great Grotta Zinzulusa - Marina di Marittima and Marina di Andrano , Tricase Porto , Marina di Novaglie, il Ciolo - characterized by the bridge more than 20 meters high between the fjord overlooking the sea, a destination for passionate climbers - until reaching Santa Maria di Leuca , where around 30 sea caves open along the coast, of great environmental and naturalistic interest.

The Maldives of Salento

The Maldives of Salento in Pescoluse.
The Maldives of Salento in Pescoluse.

Going up from the Ionian coast you meet the inlet of the San Gregorio bay , from Torre Vado onwards the beautiful beaches of fine sand that characterize this stretch of Capo di Leuca overlooking the Ionian Sea.

The must is the beach of Pescoluse , “the Maldives of Salento” , a stretch of a few kilometers of almost tropical beach, with fine white sand, crystal clear waters and very shallow waters, where the dunes emerge between reeds and palm trees.The Ionian side continues with Torre Pali , also this marina of Salve, and Torre San Giovanni , the main marina of Ugento. Up to Gallipoli , with the beaches of Baia Verde and Lido Pizzo, there is an alternation of marinas and seaside resorts that vary between uncrowded sandy coves and rocky cliffs.

Porto Cesareo in Salento, Puglia.
Porto Cesareo in Salento, Puglia.

Santa Maria al Bagno and Santa Caterina are the marinas of Nardò dominated by the Torre dell'Alto, an Aragonese fortress that was part of the coastal defense system.

Beyond its promontory is Porto Selvaggio , a nature reserve of over a thousand hectares where nature is the absolute protagonist, continuing the ascent of the Ionian side of Salento to the localities of Sant'Isidoro , Porto Cesareo and Torre Lapillo .

In Punta Prosciutto there are still long Caribbean beaches of fine and white sand, high dunes and expanses of Mediterranean scrub in a protected marine area that reaches Torre Colimena , with the suggestive Salina dei Monaci where pink flamingos reign.


The village of Castelbuono extends gently between valleys and hills a few kilometers from the Tyrrhenian Sea , immersed in the luxuriant landscape of the Madonie . The fortune of the town is due to the Ventimiglia family who settled there in 1316 building the castle , still today the fulcrum and symbol of Castelbuono. 

Today used as a Civic Museum , it hosts in the space in front, in August, “l'Aruccata di li Ventimiglia” , a costume party that commemorates the family of the same name.

Today used as a Civic Museum , it hosts in the space in front, in August, “l'Aruccata di li Ventimiglia” , a costume party that commemorates the family of the same name.

 Castelbuono with its oak and ash woods.

The urban expansion has found an important element in the axis that connects the castle to Piazza Margherita , the heart of the town, where there is a sixteenth-century fountain and the church called Matrice Vecchia.

The castle.

The castle is imposing with its square plan and corner towers and inside the Palatine Chapel is decorated with stuccoes executed in 1683 by the brothers Giuseppe and Giacomo Serpotta as well as the silver urn that contains the relics of the patron saint of Castelbuono, Sant ' Anna .

The church.

Built in the 14th-15th century on the site of a pagan temple and dedicated to the Assumption , with four naves, the church is characterized on the outside by a beautiful Renaissance portico and a massive bell tower.

Inside, the grandiose polyptych of 1520 attributed to Pietro Ruzzolone and the numerous frescoes including the fourteenth-century ones depicting the Consecration of the Virgins are to be admired .

The Naturalistic Museum.

The Francesco Minà Palumbo Naturalistic Museum is housed in the former convent of Santa Venera and boasts important collections including minerals, fossils and a herbarium that collects the entire spontaneous flora of the Madonie .

Continuing on Via Umberto I you arrive at the church called Matrice Nuova , built in the seventeenth century and rebuilt following the damage of the earthquake of the early nineteenth century and rich in stucco.

From here you go up towards the late medieval church of San Francesco, remodelled in the 18th century, to arrive at the 16th century church of the Capuchin convent, inside which there are precious wooden sculptures and paintings from the 17th century.

The church dates back to the 14th century. The restorations have brought to light some elements of a previous construction of the thirteenth century. 

The building has undergone several alterations over time and currently mixes the Roman-Gothic, Catalan Gothic and Composite-Chiaramonte styles.

Finally, the adjoining library contains important ancient texts such as a collection of local natural history, with 500 tables depicting plants and birds.


Kakkabe (horse head) was the name that the Carthaginians gave to the city due to its extraordinary strategic position. 

The social and cultural life of Caccamo subsequently ended up coinciding with that of its fortress, which was never conquered and which obviously influenced the general urban layout of the town.

The castle is the largest in all of Sicily, with its massive crenellated bastions and imposing watchtowers refined by well-restored loggias, single and mullioned windows.

Founded in the Norman age, today it is a fascinating labyrinth of tunnels and walkways, with several buildings juxtaposed on different levels of the overhanging rock.

Caccamo, the fortress-city.

Of great interest are the stables, the prisons, the theater and the famous "Room of Conspiracy", in memory of the revolt of the Barons against King William I in 1160.

From the sixteenth century onwards, the construction of numerous churches by baronial families earned the village the title of "most religious city".

Churches and Cathedrals.

The Mother Church, dedicated to St. George, is famous for three precious Flemish canvases housed in the sacristy: the "Ascent to Calvary" by Simone di Wobreck (1582), the "Madonna and Child" by Matthias Stomer (1641) and an allegory of “Five Senses” by Jan van Houbracken from the 17th century.

In the church of San Benedetto alla Badia , the rich interior with its white stuccoes and gold decorations is surprising. 


Noteworthy are the volutes of the majolica floor that converge in the centre on a ship in the midst of the waves, an allegory of sin.

The church of the Annunziata is delimited by two bell towers while the interior, in the shape of a Latin cross, is surmounted by a large octagonal dome and also contains a Flemish painting by Guglielmo Borremans.

Piazza San Domenico.

Piazza San Domenico is dominated by the bulk of Santa Maria degli Angeli, annexed to the Dominican convent. The interior is covered with a wooden trussed ceiling decorated with scenes from the life of Dominican saints and houses the marble statue of the "Virgin and Child" by Antonello Gagini.

There are two traditional festivals to remember: on March 19 for San Giuseppe a staircase of lighted candles is set up and a retina, a parade of mules dressed in celebration, takes place in mid-August, while the spectacular historical re-enactment takes place in mid-August called " La Castellana " .

The protagonist, chosen among the girls of Caccamo , opens a parade in historical clothes , followed by a court dance and the performances of flag-wavers and trumpeters.


There is a Sicily known to all, that of the crystalline sea, the sunsets of fire, the millenary temples and the food among the best in Italy. 

Then there is a Sicily on which mass tourism has not yet turned the spotlight: it is that of the inland villages and the villages on the coast that still live on fishing and artisan traditions. 

It is the Sicily of the clothes hanging in the sun, of the houses with balconies overlooking the sea, of the alleys and stairways, of the children playing in the street and of the elderly standing at the doorstep. 

Places where there is little to do, life goes by slowly and the little joys of everyday life are appreciated.


The most beautiful villages in Sicilia.

Sicily is a very large island and only part of it is explored by tourists. With the exception of Etna and a few other naturalistic areas of attraction, the mountain areas are almost completely ignored; the same fate also happened to many fishing villages that have not become famous seaside resorts. 

Visiting these villages is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the most authentic soul of Sicily, breathe healthy air deeply, taste genuine goodness prepared with local ingredients and discover a warm hospitality. 

Wherever you go, north, south, west or east, there is a small town in Sicily that deserves to be explored.

Our list of the 15 most beautiful villages in Sicily will take you to the must-see places mentioned in all tourist guides and pearls still unexplored. You can admire artistic masterpieces of international appeal or dedicate yourself to the art of dolce far niente, join groups of tourists armed with selfie sticks or take refuge in an oasis of peace all to yourself. 


Erice is not the Sicily you would expect: this enchanting town perched on a hill 751 meters high will surprise you with its medieval beauty that recalls a village in Central Italy, but is deeply Sicilian in its origins and atmosphere. 

Founded in ancient times, it was for centuries the center of the cult dedicated to Venus (Aphrodite for the Greeks), the goddess of fertility and the protector of sailors; the temple dedicated to her is now a luxury hotel. 

The town can be reached with a fascinating cable car ride from the center of Trapani and is wonderful to visit even in winter. 

The top for a couple's holiday in Sicily is Cefalù, an enchanting village along the northern coast of the island (province of Palermo) where romantic views abound at every corner. 

Its narrow beach bordered by a row of characteristic pastel-colored houses behind which stands an imposing fortress is one of the best-known images of Sicily. 

It is the ideal place to let your gaze get lost on the horizon, to admire the sky that turns pink at sunset and to enjoy the sea breeze from a terrace overlooking the sea. But it is also a city rich in history and artistic masterpieces, including a splendid Arab-Norman Cathedral declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. 


/b>is an unmissable stop for all art lovers: this town in the Syracusan hinterland is universally considered the capital of the Baroque in

The origin of its fame is a tragic event, the earthquake that devastated the south-eastern part of the island in the seventeenth century. 

Like many other cities, Noto was razed to the ground and rebuilt according to the elegant and opulent taste of the time. 

Its stately homes, fountains, arches and other splendid buildings in the historic center built with local white stone, characterized by sinuous shapes, convexities that create artistic chiaroscuro and sumptuous decorations are exceptional photographic subjects. 


One of the greediest villages in Sicily is Modica (province of Ragusa), the home of quality chocolate. 

A museum is dedicated to this local delicacy where you can learn about its history, ingredients and processing stages; the other themed attraction is the historic Dolceria Bonajuto, the oldest chocolate shop in Sicily. 

In addition to taste, Modica will also satisfy your sight: it is a multi-layered city, located at the confluence of two rivers, a particular to see. 

Its houses leaning against each other are built using natural cavities in the rock and create a truly spectacular overall effect. 

Modica is also an unmissable stop on any literary tour of Sicily.



The town of Sciacca concentrates the different souls of Sicily: the splendor of the baroque palaces, the fascinating chaos of the Arab medinas, the colors and smells of the fishermen's boats, the bars with outdoor tables where you can happily laze for hours. 

It is a characteristic amphitheater-shaped town in the province of Agrigento, halfway between the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. 

Perfect as a base to visit some of the most famous attractions along the south coast of Sicily or as a stop to break a long drive.


The small village of Marzamemi rises in a very particular point, where the Ionian Sea meets the Mediterranean Sea (province of Syracuse). 

With such a position, with a profound symbolic meaning, it was inevitable that this quiet fishing village would become a tourist destination with a strong appeal. 

You can easily find traces of a not so distant past in which fishing was the only important economic activity in the boats and in the artisan workshops for processing swordfish and tuna scattered around the village. 

To these have been added the restaurants for tourists, charming b & bs and other services for an exclusive and not exactly cheap tourism. Fortunately, the charm of Marzamemi is still intact. 

Isola delle Femmine.

 Among the seaside villages of Sicily, one of the most beautiful is located a short distance from the chaotic city of Palermo. 

It is Isola delle Femmine , once a quiet fishing village and today a well-known but still quiet seaside destination, ideal for those who want to enjoy the sea and nature without the frills of worldliness. 

The attractions of the village are its characteristic harbor, perfect for walks in the early morning or at sunset, and the islet that rises in front of the main beach, home to a reserve of the Italian Bird Protection League. 

 Punta Secca.

A scene by Inspector Montalbano set in Punta Secca Punta Secca is perhaps not among the most beautiful villages in Sicily but it has become one of those that everyone wants to see. Is it very old? 

Does it arise in a particular position? 

Does it have any noteworthy cultural attractions? No: it is the seaside village of Inspector Montalbano. 

The elegant white villa overlooking the beach which is the home of the protagonist in the famous television series is located here, in Punta Secca (a hamlet of Santa Croce Camerina, province of Ragusa). 

You can also sleep in it if you want: it is a luxury b & b. Or you can admire it from the outside and then take an example from the character played by Luca Zingaretti: take a nice swim and treat yourself to a succulent fish-based lunch in the chalet restaurant, renamed “Enzo a Mare” in the television series. 

Aci Trezza.

Aci Trezza is a village along the eastern coast of Sicily (province of Catania) which over the centuries has been a source of inspiration for famous poets, writers and directors. 

Its symbolic attraction are eight stacks of dark lava rock that emerge from a sea of ​​a splendid blue color. 

According to the Homeric myth they are the boulders thrown by the Cyclops against the fleeing ships of Ulysses. Centuries later, it was Giovanni Verga who set one of his most famous works in this fishing village and later still Luchino Visconti came here to shoot the most important scenes of his film "La Terra Trema" inspired by Verga's masterpiece. 

Although today a very popular seaside resort, especially among those who love diving, Aci Trezza has not changed much from the quiet town taken up in the 1940s by Visconti's cameras. 


 For some it is the pearl of the Madonie (a mountainous ridge in northern Sicily), for others Gangi deserves the nickname of "town of belvedere". Located in the hinterland of the province of Palermo about 120 km from the capital, it is a classic medieval village that rises on the slopes of a mountain and is enclosed by a wall. What makes it unique is its particular position on Monte Barone, facing Etna. From whichever side you turn your gaze you will be presented with a magnificent view that can be the gigantic Mount Etna, the cascade of roofs of the historic center or a very green valley. To fall madly in love with Gangi, follow the Via degli Odori, a sensory itinerary in the historic center that allows you to get drunk with the scent of 30 different aromatic and medicinal plants. 

Petralia Soprana. 

Another jewel of the Madonie is Petralia Soprana, a medieval town that rises to over 1100 meters high. 

From a distance it looks like a Norman stronghold, but once you enter the historic center you will find elegant stone buildings expertly adorned by the skilled craftsmen of the area. 

Immersed in unspoiled nature and rich in architectural and artistic treasures, it has strangely escaped the attention of mass tourism. 

Take advantage of it to experience hours of total relaxation: just stroll through the cobbled streets of the historic center and breathe pure air, you don't need anything else to be happy! 

In the nearby hamlet of Raffo there is a huge rock salt mine from which the famous Sicilian salt is still extracted today. 


The name of Milazzo is known to many travelers who, in love with the beautiful sea, regularly choose Sicily as their holiday destination, yet this village on the north coast (province of Messina) never falls into the list of Sicilian places to see: for everyone it is only the port for the Aeolian Islands. 

Reverse the trend and stop in Milazzo for half a day or more. Start your visit from the Castle : it is actually a fortified citadel that extends over 7 hectares and represents one of the most important fortified complexes in Europe. 

Perched on top of a rocky spur overlooking the Milazzo peninsula, it is an exceptional vantage point from which to admire a splendid view of the sea. 

A few kilometers away is another attraction not to be missed: the Sanctuary of Sant'Antonio da Padova, a building with a pink facade built close to a splendid bay. 

Continue on foot and you will immerse yourself in a nature trail that is a riot of colors and scents. 


Nestled in a valley formed by two rivers, it is located just 10 km from enchanting beaches of fine sand bordered by dunes and Mediterranean shrubs. Blue sea, green but also culture: the center of Menfi is full of beautiful buildings, historic churches and towers that recall the distant times when Sicily had to defend itself from pirates. From here in a short time you can reach some of the top attractions of Sicily such as the Valley of the Temples, the archaeological sites of Segesta and Selinunte, the Zingaro reserve and the village of Erice.

This tiny village of 30 inhabitants on the island of Stromboli (Aeolian archipelago) can only be reached by sea: no road or path connects it to the other two villages on the island. It is nothing more than a handful of houses in typical Aeolian style overlooking the sea or the volcano (the lucky ones have both views!).

Where there is very little to do besides the ecstatic contemplation of nature; there are essential services, two restaurants and a few rooms for rent for tourists who want an experience of total peace. No cars, goods are transported by boat and on donkeys. A true paradise for those seeking tranquility!


If few tourists reach Ginostra, even fewer venture to Sperlinga , a village located in the province of Enna , one of the least visited by tourists. It is worth abandoning the most popular itineraries to see something unique and discover an authentic corner of Sicily.

Obtained from a large sandstone, the village of Sperlinga is characterized by numerous caves and houses that look like a natural cavity in the rock; some caves have been preserved as evidence of peasant living conditions. 

There is also a castle carved out of the rock: it is very old (dates back to the 11th century) and is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. 

In addition to admiring a very special village, in Sperlinga it is possible to take splendid walks in the woods of the area and enjoy genuine food prepared according to ancient recipes and with simple local ingredients.


Previous PostOlder Posts
Mi Ping en follow us in feedly