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Sicily Culture & history

Our most recommended Sicily Culture & history

Agrigento: Valley of the Temples Entrance Ticket & Pemcards

1. Agrigento: Valley of the Temples Entrance Ticket & Pemcards

Take a stirring journey through the archaeological ruins at Agrigento with a skip-the-line entry to the Valley of the Temples. Immortalize your visit with Pemcards -- a digital photo that you can send as a real postcard to anywhere in the world.Discover the immense artistic and archaeological heritage of Sicily as you explore the site which extends over approximately 1,300 hectares. Learn about a millenary history that began in the 6th-century BC with the foundation of the ancient Greek colony of Akragas.See the terraced levels of the site that used to be a center of the public life of the ancient Greco-Romans and marvel at the aqueducts. Walkthrough the core of the archaeological site of Agrigento, passing magnificent temples such as the Temple to Zeus, Tempio della Concordia, and Tempio di Eracle.Lastly, admire the gymnasium, an ancient location for athletic, educational, and recreational activities.

Palermo: Street Food and History Walking Tour

2. Palermo: Street Food and History Walking Tour

Embark on a walking tour through the center of Palermo and feel like you are visiting an open-air museum. Marvel at a range of different architectural styles and see the Capo street markets that are a true mix of culture, customs, and food traditions. Taste five local food specialties and a drink to wash them down tastefully. Blend a historical and foodie walking tour into one. See and learn about historical landmarks, including Opera dei Pupi (traditional puppet theater), Piazza Beati Paoli, the Cathedral, the Quattro Canti, and the Pretoria fountain en route. Walk through the bustling Capo Street Market, offering a wide selection of local meats, seafood, produce & Sicilian bites. Then, taste some local specialties from Palermo. Tuck into some sfincione (dough topped with onion, bread crumbs, tomato, and oregano), panelle (fried chickpea flour), crocché (potato croquettes), arancine (rice croquettes stuffed with meat or butter), and cannolo (crunchy shell with sweet-cheese). Refresh yourself with a drink, to close off your tour in style.

Agrigento: Valley of the Temples & Gardens Private Tour

3. Agrigento: Valley of the Temples & Gardens Private Tour

The guided tour of the oldest and most characteristic area of Agrigento, known as the Valley of the Temples, will take you to travel back in time among the Doric temples of the Hellenic period, visiting one of the largest and most spectacular archaeological areas in the world. We start immediately by visiting the Temple of Hera Lacinia or Juno erected 120 meters high in 450 BC. on the hill of the Rupe Atenea with Doric columns; the temple in which he used to celebrate the wedding is dedicated to Juno because inside it was kept a painting that probably depicted the goddess protector of women and fertility. A few steps away we find one of the symbols of Agrigento, the majestic Temple of Concordia, the second best preserved temple in the world after the Parthenon in Athens. Dating back to 430 BC. today it is in an excellent state of conservation thanks to the transformation of the temple into a Christian church. In the front part of the temple we can admire the suggestive bronze statue of Icarus, donated by the famous Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj, representing the fall of Icarus who disobeying his father and flying too close to the sun, burned his wax wings and fell into the Mediterranean. We continue the guided tour exploring the oldest of the Doric temples of Agrigento, the Temple of Hercules or Heracles for the Greeks, which owes its name to a bronze statue of Hercules, the strongest and most valiant of the Gods, inside the temple . During the visit you will see prickly pear trees and breathtaking panoramic views over the valley. We then arrive at the Temple of Jupiter or Zeus, originally one of the largest temples of classical antiquity which over time was damaged due to earthquakes and therefore used as a quarry for the construction of the Porto Empedocle pier. Among the ruins of the temple we will see the reconstruction of one of the Telamons over 7 meters high, stone sculptures of giants placed outside the temple to protect the divinity, which with its majesty gives us an idea of the beauty of the temples originally. After a few steps the guided tour continues to the Temple of the Dioscuri, of which only a corner with four columns remains but which despite the few remains that have come down to the present day has become one of the most representative monuments of Agrigento. The guided tour ends by admiring the Kolymbetra Garden from the outside, an extensive citrus grove of orange and lemon trees where nature and silence make it a heavenly place in total harmony with the temples that surround it.

Agrigento: Valley of the Temples Skip The Line & Guided Tour

4. Agrigento: Valley of the Temples Skip The Line & Guided Tour

Come to Agrigento and discover one of Sicily's most famous historical attractions, for its well-preserved Doric temples dedicated to Greek divinities, the famous Valley of the Temples. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Archaeological Park is located on a plateau close to the Strait of Sicily.  Follow your guide to explore this site where time seems to stand still, preserving an unprecedented historical charm. Start the tour from the temple of Hera, continuing on the sacred way to the remains of the surrounding wall. Inside the Valley, see 12 temples as well as some fortifications, the Lower and Upper Agora, an Olympian, and a Bouleuterion. Source of inspiration for poets, philosophers, and painters, it is one of the most emblematic parks in Sicily. Admire Doric temples from the Hellenic period, that correspond to the ancient Akragas, the original monumental nucleus of the city of Agrigento. Move onward to the Temple of Concord, the remains of the early Christian Necropolis, the Temple of Heracles, and the remains of the Temple of Zeus.

From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Half-Day Trip

5. From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Half-Day Trip

Escape the hustle and bustle of Palermo city center on a half-day tour to Monreale and Cefalù. Marvel at a Norman cathedral on the slopes of Monte Caputo, and learn the Greek and Medieval history of one of Sicily’s most beautiful towns. Following a pick-up from your hotel or the port of Palermo, transfer to Monreale where you will have approximately 1-hour to tour the Duomo. An official audio guide is included to learn the history of the 12th-century building, considered one of the greatest landmarks of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in the south of Italy. Then, drive along the north coast of Sicily, on route to the beautiful town of Cefalù. Sit back and relax on the 1.5-hour journey, and on arrival go to the 12th-century Duomo. See traces of the Middle Ages at the Osterio Magno. Get panoramic views from the Porta Terra. Discover Greek and Arabic pottery in the Mandralisca Museum, and walk down some curving stone steps to a picturesque cluster of 16th-century wash basins at the Lavatoio.

Agrigento: Valley of the Temples E-Scooter Tour

6. Agrigento: Valley of the Temples E-Scooter Tour

Explore the Valley of the Temples on an exclusive tour by modern electric scooters, which are ecological and easy to drive. Visit the entire archaeological area along the Via Sacra, admiring the ancient temples and many other interesting places along the way. Choose from a 1 or 2-hour tour to suit your schedule.  In addition, you will ride along green routes, specially designed so that you can experience the beautiful nature of the surrounding countryside, dotted with almond trees and ancient olive groves. Here you can explore ancient Roman roads such as Cardo I, the remains of the ancient Greek theater, and the ruins of the necropolis. On your adventurous experience, you will see the the Temple of Hera Lacinia, ancient fortifications and tombs, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Hercules Victor, and Girgentana goats.

Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

7. Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

On this informative tour, follow in the footsteps of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Discover the beautiful medieval villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agrò nestled on 2 beautiful hills where Francis Ford Coppola shot the famous movies. Explore the splendid hidden corners of Sicily as you go off the beaten path. Visit St. Lucy Church where Michael married Apollonia and the Cathedral of Forza d'Agrò where another wedding scene was shot. Enjoy a drink or lemon granita at Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone asked Mr. Vitelli if he could marry his daughter. Then, explore the beautiful Castello Degli Schiavi.

Syracuse: Ortygia Walking Tour

8. Syracuse: Ortygia Walking Tour

Embark on a walking tour crossing the picturesque streets of the old part of Syracuse and discovering the traces left by all the different people who governed Sicily. You will meet your guide at the ancient Greek Apollo Temple where you will be given a short introduction to the history of the town. After a short walk, you will reach Cathedral Square and be surprised by the magnificent bright limestone buildings: the town hall, Palazzo Beneventano, the bishop's palace, and St. Lucy's Church, but most of all the Cathedral itself. It is the only church still in use today which many years ago was a pagan temple, and you should not miss the opportunity to visit its interiors (optional visit, admission fee not included). The tour then continues to Aretusa Fountain near the sea. The myth of Aretusa was told by Ovidius and in its clear fresh water grows papyrus which was probably brought here when Archimedes lived in town. The way back leads through the Jewish Quarter to Via Maestranza, the street where the nobility of the town had their pompous homes. On Archimedes Square, the neoclassical Fountain of Diana remembers once more the glorious past of Syracuse. The tour will end at the local fish and fruit market where you can take a breath of local life, colors, and scents.

Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

9. Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

Explore ancient Syracuse on a 3-hour guided tour and learn about early Greek history through architecture and religious practices. The evidence of Syracuse as capital of the Mediterranean is ever-present, and seen in the glory of its Cathedral, the ancient Temple of Athena, the Greek Theater and the Roman Amphitheater. Admire the beauty of the Cathedral of Syracuse, which incorporates the pagan Temple of Athena. Learn about its various architectural styles from your guide. Continue to the Archeological Park to see the Paradise Latomia and the Ear of Dionysos. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea from the Greek Theater.

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

10. Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

Learn the ancient history of Sicily on a full-day sightseeing tour that takes you to the archaeological park of Neapolis where you can visit classical monuments of Greek and Roman Syracuse at your own pace on a self-guided tour. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in Catania, transfer to the ruins of Syracuse, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walk, discover many old Roman streets, as well as monuments such as the Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks. Near the Greek Theatre, you will see the latomie, including the limestone cave known as the “Ear of Dyonisius,” as well as the Christian Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari. Admire the Amphitheatre of the Roman imperial age, and more. Then, continue to Ortygia Island to experience the historic heart of Syracuse. Located at the park’s eastern end, and separated by a narrow channel, Ortygia is filled with Greek temples, Christian churches, and Arabian streets. Visit the Arethusa fountain and Piazza del Duomo, where the baroque palaces, such as Beneventano del Bosco Palace and Senate Palace are among the most beautiful in Sicily. After lunch (own expense), go to the small town of Noto, noted for its unique style of Sicilian Baroque architecture, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Wander the open-air museum and beautiful Corso Vittorio Emanuele to admire the many palaces and churches that, grouped together, are known as the “Stone Garden.”

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What people are saying about Sicily

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,323 reviews

This tour may be listed as a street food tour first, but it truly is a balanced blend of the history and the food of Palermo. I really appreciated this mix and it helped my family and myself get oriented with Palermo. 10/10 would recommend!

This was a great half day trip from Palermo. Monreale had great views over the cities and a lovely church. Cefalu was beautiful on the water. It was during the holidays/off season, so my was closed, but it was fun to visit.

it was a pleasant experience, and the guide was kind and provided many interesting details about the history of the city and how some words are formed.

Overall nice trup across several beautiful cities.

Very knowledgeable! Nice, Funny, good pace of tour