The richness of the beauty in Sicily is not only confined to the archeological site or to the museums. That beauty actually manifests itself in a more tangible way in that patrimony enclosed in the small villages where time seems to have stopped.
Sicily, thanks to its very strategical position, has many villages perched on hilltops, in order to defend themselves from the enemies that the island has witnessed over the course of the years.
Come with us to discover some of the most beautiful villages of Sicily! They are part of the circuit “Italy’s best villages”, the less renowned are still very interesting to discover.
Petralia Soprana has been declared the “Most beautiful village in Italy” in November 2018. This charming hamlet, hosting a bit more than 1000 inhabitants, is located in the natural reserve of Madonie, nearby Palermo. The Arabs, when they conquered it, named it Batraliah (from Batra, “stone” and Liah “high”) and at a later time the Normans who renamed it Petra Heliae (Stone of Elijah) after the prophet Elijah.
Perched on a hilltop at 1150 m, Petralia Soprana looks like a stone nestled on a plateau of calcareous rock. There are 3 belvedere that offer an incredible panorama that goes from Etna to the coast of Termini Imerese. We suggest you to visit the main church dedicated to Saint Peter and Paul.
Situated in the province of Enna, Sperlinga it is among the most beautiful hamlets in Sicily. It is name it is due to the fact that the city was built excavating a great sandstone which is characterized by the presence of several caves. The castle of Sperlinga, among the most beautiful in Europe, it is a rare testimony of a rock castle, partly excavated in the rock around the 1000 a.C.
The most relevant event in Sperlinga is the Festival of the Tortone, it started in 1982 on the occasion of the 7th centenary if the Sicilian Vespers, during which take place a reenactment of life at the castle. The Tortone is a cake made with flour, olive oil and sugar.
Gangi is a village situated nearby Palermo and from here you can cherish an incredible view on Mount Etna. The hamlet was built on top of an ancient Hellenic settlement and it’s been rebuilt around 1300 following its destruction during the Vespers war.
From the incredible belvedere of the main square, it is possible to cherish the valley below and all of its small roofs, from the one in Piazza San Paolo you will be able to see the majestic Mount Etna. The hamlet of Gangi is dominated by the castle which is situated at over 1000 m and which is as of today private property, hence not accessible.
Erice definitely charms each and every of its visitors thanks to the breathtaking view from the Aegadian islands to the Stagnone Natural Reserve. The hamlet originated in the Hellenic-Phoenician period, it is perched on top of Mount Erice and it is characterized by its tiny streets that allow the passage of one person at the time. The castle of Erice is known as the Venus Castle. It was built by the Normans as a fortress on top of the remains of an ancient Venus temple.
Erice has two sides: a sunny and luminous one, the one of the summer days when the light of the sunset envelops the streets and it is possible to see far away the valley and the sea, and another side; gloomier in winter, when the city is hidden behind the clouds and there is the fog.
You have the impression of being in a magical place outside the realm of time and reality.
SAN MARCO D’ALUNZIO
This hamlet is situated on the tippy top of Mount Castro and overlooks Cefalù until the Aeolian Islands. San Marco d’Alunzio is characterized by 22 churches, 4 museums and a Greek temple. It is also possible to visit on the highest part of town the ancient remains of the Norman castle of San Marco. The red marble stones tell a story of the people and civilizations that succeeded over the centuries.
Despite the various efforts to conquer the ancient city, it has always managed to resist thanks to its privileged position, from which it was easy to spot any approaching enemy. If you are looking for a quiet place, you have definitely found it!
The island of Sicily is rich of incredible villages and with Sicilying it is easy to organize the perfect tour.
Contact us to have more information!