Throughout its history, Sicily, situated between the routes that for thousands of years have intersected the Mediterranean, according to the language of myth used by Homer, has seen alternating periods and a lot of different rulers, from the Phoenicians and Greeks to the Romans, from the Byzantines to the Arabs, from the Normans to the Spanish: each of these peoples, enchanted by the resources of the place, has left to the island something that helped to create a varied and complex region.
The sites of the Landscape routes, which are proposed, are already part of the archaeological and cultural circuit of Sicily. The invitation is to go beyond the archaeological and historical traces and to discover the cultural landscape in its broadest sense, able to offer a lot of emotions, unique experiences made of images and atmospheres.
1) SANTA FLAVIA – SOLUNTO
On the slopes of Monte Catalfano, the ruins of the town of Solunto, founded by Phoenicians, they occupy a site of great beauty, with panoramic view on the sea. Not to be missed there is also the nearby bay of Sant’Elia, a natural breathtaking cove .
Archaeological area and Antiquarium of Solunto
The richest and most important Phoenician colony in Sicily and in the Mediterranean is Motya, a lovely little island, with a strategic geographical position, which has always been an ideal place for the exchange of goods. In addition to the significant archaeological finds, Mozia also offers a unique landscape. The shallow waters of the lagoon, create natural pools, with transparent and clear water, all around there are salt pans.
Isle of Mozia
Historical jetty Arini and Pugliese
On the slopes of Mount Barbaro, among the green hills of the hinterland of Castellammare del Golfo, there are the ruins of the ancient capital city of the Elymians, according to legend founded by refugees from Troy. The city, for historical reasons, in constant conflict with the nearby Selinunte, preserves a Doric temple that, solemn and isolated, still stands intact and, at the top of the mountain, there are the remains of a well preserved theatre dating back to the 3rd century BC. It is a unique landscape.
Segesta archaeological site
In the municipality of Castelvetrano there is the largest Archaeological Park of Europe. On the Acropolis and in the religious sites of the Malophoros and the Eastern Hill vestiges of a large intact urban city. The area documentsthe clash between the Greek and Phoenician culture. Today, in an incomparable atmosphere, there are colossal ruins of temples in the purest Doric style.
Archaeological Park of Selinunte and Cave di Cusa
5) SAMBUCA DI SICILIA – MOUNT ADRANON
On the top of Mount Adranon, just north of the modern town of Sambuca di Sicilia – elected one of the most beautiful village in Italy, there are scattered the ruins of the Greek town of Adranon, founded by the Selinuntinians in the 6th century BC. In a context with a particular charm, it is possible to admire the remains of the imposing walls (about 5 Km long) which enclose dwellings, workshops, cisterns, farms, necropolises, sacred areas and an Acropolis on the top of the mountain.
Archaeological area of Adranon
The Archaeological and landscape Park of the Valley of the temples in Agrigento, since 1997 a UNESCO World Heritage site, in an area of almost 1300 hectares , keeps beautiful and valuable evidence of the Greek and Roman city in a unique landscape.
Archaeological Park of the Valley of the temples
On the southeastern coast of Sicily, partly extended on the mainland and partly on the island of Ortigia ,there is located the city of Syracuse. Inside the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, there are the remains of the Greek and Roman civilization which are among the most important and best preserved in the Mediterranean. Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage site, too.
Archaeological area of Neapolis
Situated on a ledge stretching out to the Ionian coast, at the foot of Mount Tauro, Taormina is the most known place in Sicily. Spectacular because of its location, symbol of the city and one of the most famous monuments in the world, is the Greek Theatre. From the bleachers, carved on the hillside, it offers a view towards Giardini Naxos and the Etna.
Ancient Theatre Taormina
The ancient Tyndaris was one of the last Greek colonies in Sicily, founded by Syracuse in 396 BC, when the Roman expansion was already facing the Mediterranean. A visit to the excavations is particularly interesting both for the monumental aspect and for the many details that allow to observe some aspects of daily life of the ancient city.
Archaeological area Ancient theatre and Antiquarium of Tindari