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The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily

March 24, 2023
2023-03-24
The towns in Sicily are pretty diverse. You're probably thinking that since they're all on one island, they're a dime a dozen. They're beautiful and charming, sure, but once you've seen one, you've seen them all. And you got this from watching movies and TV series set in Sicily, right? Well, those things only show a few parts of the island. There's more to the cities and villages here than what you're familiar with. Case in point: places like Castiglione di Sicilia, Marzamemi, Montalbano Elicona, Ortigia, and Ferla. These are some of the most idyllic countryside towns in Sicily. They're worth checking out!

The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily


Castiglione di Sicilia

Perched atop a hill in Catania, Castiglione di Sicilia is a Medieval town that has hardly lost its old-world charms. From the dusty neutral-toned houses to the grand old churches, this place looks as if it never reached the 20th century. Let alone the 21st! It's here where you can enjoy the slow-paced lifestyle that the Sicilian countryside is known for. Not to mention the views of the surrounding sweeping landscapes too! As for what to see around here, Castiglione di Sicilia is home to two of the most notable and beautiful churches in Sicily. One is the imposing Church of Sant'Antonio in the center of the town and the other is the famous Madonna della Catena.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Salvo Curcuruto


Ferla

Part of what makes Sicily a great destination is the many influences that have shaped the island into what it is today. You can see it most clearly in Syracuse, specifically in the small town of Ferla. From Greek to Norman and even Byzantine, this place boasts a mix of different cultures, each more fascinating than the next. And yet, at its core, Ferla remains a large provincial town that stays true to the spirit of Sicily. A good example is the Necropolis of Pantalica, a collection of cemeteries within various rock formations on the hills of the tow. They're said to belong to the original Sicel tribe and have even been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Clemensfranz


Gangi

From its lively narrow streets to the fantastic view of Mount Etna on the horizon, you won't find a more quintessentially Sicilian town than Gangi. Located within the metropolitan city of Paleroma, the island's capital, this Medieval town bursts with historic beauty and Italian liveliness. The cobbled paths have mostly stayed the same since the 17th century, possibly even before. And within this countryside town are two palaces you definitely don't want to miss: Sgadari Palace and Buongiorno Palace. The former now houses an archeological museum worth exploring while the latter is an exceptional piece of Baroque design, both with its architecture and interior design.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Lovecchio Laura.


Marzamemi

Marzamemi is a fishing village known for its lively ports near the Ionian Sea. Though you won't see any of Sicily's best beaches around here, the coasts are still as picturesque as ever. And the entire town will charm your pants off too! With its humble taverns and bustling energy, Marzamemi is an archetypal port town in the Mediterranean. If you painted the sand-washed houses here in stark white, you'd sooner think you were on a Greek Island. It's here where you'll find Sicily's first tonnara (tuna factory), which used to produce some of the most delicious seafood on the island. It has since become an events place for the locals.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Stefano La Rosa


Montalbano Elicona

Even from a mile away, the first thing you'll notice about Montalbano Elicona is its stunning 13th-century castle. Built by Emperor Frederick II, it's one of the last few relics of the Norman-Swabian age in Sicily. The castle sits atop the highest hill in the area, overlooking the rest of the town with its imposing, old-world structure. From there, you can already tell that there's a lot to discover about this countryside commune. But what's actually surprising about it is how it has caught up with the modern world. Montalbano Elicona is a rural town, sure, but it's not so provincial with its progress to the 21st century.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Flickr.com/ Alessandro Grussu


Monterosso Almo

Monterosso Almo is the kind of countryside town in Sicily where it feels like time has stopped. Perched atop a mountain in Ragusa, it's not far-fetched to think that modern-day influences never made it to the narrow streets of this calm commune. Though, of course, you'll still find signs of 21st-century civilizations here. There are cars, computers, and more. You can even get wifi and public transport in some parts of the town too. But for the most part, it's Monterosso Almo's preservation of old-school Italian and Sicilian culture that has made the place a worthwhile destination.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Davide Mauro


Ortigia

Ortigia serves as the old district of Syracuse, one of the biggest cities in Sicily. With its labyrinth-like narrow paths and centuries-old structures, it's as if you traveled back in time when you go here. And it's this old-world appeal that evokes a cinematic charm to the place, making it one of the most romantic spots in Sicily. You and your special someone will have a marvelous time strolling through its hidden streets, indulging in the street Sicilian food, and basking in the glory of Syracuse's cathedral on Piazza del Duomo.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Flickr.com/ Erik Törner.


Sperlinga

Finally, there's Sperlinga, located at the heart of Sicily. Built around man-made caves from ancient times, you can already tell just how historic this place really is. In some parts of the commune, you're no longer sure whether the path you're walking on is man-made or Mother Nature. The town is so enthused with the Earth that the entire place looks straight out of a legend or folk tale! And that's precisely why it's worth visiting. You won't find any town in Sicily—or anywhere else, for that matter!—quite like Sperlinga.
The Most Idyllic Countryside Towns in Sicily
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ trolvag

Explore the most idyllic countryside towns in Sicily and get lost in all its provincial charms. These rural communes are what truly shows the exotic beauty and Mediterranean magic of the island. They're part of what makes Sicily such a great destination!



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