Sicily is the name both of the largest island in Italy and of the entire territory of the Sicilian Region, which also includes the Aeolian archipelago, that of the Egadi and that of the Pelagie, as well as the islands of Ustica and Pantelleria and the small archipelagos of the Stagnone and the Cyclops. The 1,500 kilometers of coastline make seaside tourism important in the Sicilian islands, which can also boast other beauties, both natural, such as hilly and mountain woods, and cultural, such as archaeological sites such as Morgantina, Segesta, Selinunte, Valle dei Templi, Villa del Farmhouse and city of art, full of churches, theaters, castles, palaces. The flourishing agriculture and agri-food products, the parks and the natural reserves, the folklore, the dry Mediterranean climate, with hot and very long summers, complete the picture of the characteristic Sicilian qualities.
The island of Sicily, the largest in the whole Mediterranean, has an almost triangular shape, at the north-east vertex we find Capo Peloro (or Punta del Faro), at the north-west summit Capo Boeo and south-east Capo I will pass. It is bathed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Sicilian Sea and the Ionian Sea; the coastal strip is also constituted by the Strait of Messina, the Channel of Sicily and the Channel of Malta.
Sicily (autonomous region with a special statute) is divided into six free municipal consortia (Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Enna, Ragusa, Syracuse, Trapani) and three metropolitan cities (Palermo, Catania and Messina). The ports of all the islands that compose it, both industrial, commercial, and of other types or small ports, are in total 126. The most important are the ports of Messina, Palermo, Catania, Augusta, Trapani, Milazzo, Gela, Porto Empedocle (Agrigento) and the ports of Pozzallo, Cefalù and San Vito Lo Capo.
As for rail connections with the rest of Italy, there are long-distance trains from Rome, Naples and Milan to Palermo, Messina and Syracuse. In addition, the airports are Catania-Fontanarossa "Vincenzo Bellini" Airport, Palermo-Punta Raisi "Falcone e Borsellino" Airport (Cinisi), Trapani-Birgi "Vincenzo Florio" Airport, Comiso "Pio La Airport Tower"; smaller ones of Pantelleria and Lampedusa.
The most beautiful and famous beaches are the Palermo one of Mondello, the Playa of Catania, La Scala dei Turchi and the beach of San Leone near Agrigento, the Syracusan one of Fontane Bianche. But the most spectacular sandy coasts are those of the smaller islands.
The seven sites of the region with the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site are the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, the Valley of the Temples Park in Agrigento, the Aeolian Islands, the late Baroque cities of the Val di Noto, Syracuse and the Necropolis of Pantalica, Mount Etna, the Arab-Norman Palermo, the cathedral of Cefalù and the cathedral of Monreale. Two oral and intangible heritages of humanity are also Sicilian, L'opera dei pupi and the cultivation method of Zibibbo (name of both the vine and the sweet wine) of Pantelleria.
Viticulture is very developed. Among the native vines stand out Nero d'Avola and Frappato (D.O.C.G. Cerasuolo di Vittoria), Nerello mascalese, Bianco d'Alcamo, Inzolia. Several liters of oil are also produced locally. In fact, the production of olives is abundant, as well as wheat, fruit, vegetables and legumes. The most popular breeding is that of sheep, goats and horses. Fishing is mainly that of swordfish, tuna, sardines, anchovies, mackerel and other blue fish. Fish farms consist mainly of sea bass, sea bream, tuna and shellfish.
The gastronomy is extremely varied. In the Palermo area, you should try the panelle, crocché, bread with spleen, frittola with offal, stigghiola with gut, pizza sfincione. Typical Messina dishes are stocco fish, arancini, pidone and focaccia. In the Trapani area an excellent couscous is cooked, based on fish. The typical Sicilian sweets are without a doubt the cannoli and the cassata, without forgetting, however, the granita.
There is always at least one lido in Sicily in the rankings of the most beautiful beaches. With this top ten that brings together all the best of the best of the Sicilian coasts, you will find out why.
The complete list of Sicilian beaches (19 in total) where there is greater attention to the sea, the environment and bathing services, rewarded with the Blue Flag.
To go to Sicily it is not compulsory to go to the Calabrian shore closest to the island: there are maritime connections from various Italian ports to Messina, Palermo, Catania, Aeolian Islands.
There are daily ferries that cross the seas on the line from Naples to Palermo and vice versa; below there are useful details to get a precise idea of the route and to book.
To get to Palermo there is the opportunity to travel by ship starting from various Italian port cities: why limit yourself to crossing the Strait of Messina?
From ancient Greece, to Sicilian-Norman art and the Liberty style passing through Caravaggio: these and other stops can be made in Messina ... Let's see them.