Friday, May 24, 2024

11 Amazing Traditional Villages of Sicily You Didn’t Know Existed. – Italy

Italy Sicily Erice village Castle

Sicily is and will always be one of the main touristic attractions of Italy. Even if the majority of the most beautiful travel destinations of Sicily are nowadays very popular and well-known worldwide, in this article we want to show you that there is still much to discover in this wonderful island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea! Visit some of the most amazing traditional villages of Sicily that are still unknown abroad, for you to have a unique and unforgettable travel experience in this beautiful land!

In recent years, Italian villages have often been indicated as alternative destinations to large cities of art. There are various types: historical villages, medieval villages, seaside villages and many others. The whole island of Sicily counts with an endless list of traditional villages which still look special and are sometimes hidden even to other Italians. You will love the traditional villages of Sicily!

Discover the most amazing unknown traditional villages of Sicily we selected for you in this article!

Castiglione di Sicilia, the Lion lying on the Rock.

In the Alcantara Valley in the province of Catania, Sicily, nature is fascinating! In this beautiful valley, you can find one of the spectacular traditional villages of Sicily, the village of Castiglione di Sicilia, a small village which stands in front of the giant Mount Etna, an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily, between the cities of Messina and Catania. Through the centuries, many peoples have passed from here and left a mark.

What’s special about this village?  

The traditional village Castiglione di Sicilia boasts a unique cultural and natural heritage, and it is often described, due to its suggestive location on a hill, as a lion lying on a rock. It is also known as the City of the Wine, being an obligatory stop on the beautiful itinerary of the Etna Wine Route. Stop at a Sicilian winery in Castiglione di Sicilia while on the Etna Wine Route and enjoy the local nectar!

Castroreale, the Village of the Jazz Festival.

Located just a few kilometers from Messina, Castroreale in Sicily, is a village of medieval origins and its ancient splendor still reverberates between its streets and walls, involving each visitor in a truly unforgettable medieval atmosphere. Since ancient times, the peoples of Castroreale have studied astrology and watched the stars. For this reason, still nowadays, one of the main attractions of Castroreale is its wonderful Planetarium, created by a local association as part of a masterful intervention to promote the area, with the aim of spreading science and astronomy.

 What’s special about this village?   

Every summer, usually at the beginning of August, an amazing local jazz festival takes place here, the Castroreale Milazzo Jazz Festival, where local and international jazz musicians meet for a unique music experience!

Italy Sicily Erice village Castle

The Medieval Village of Erice.

Erice, one of the most beautiful traditional villages of Sicily, is a medieval town protected by an ancient city wall that brings you back in time. Its name derives from Erix, son of Aphrodite killed by Heracles, and it is strategically located on Mount San Giuliano, 750 meters above sea level and only 15 kilometers away from the city of Trapani. Thanks to its geographical position, from here you can enjoy the most beautiful panoramas of the city of Trapani and the surrounding areas.

What’s special about this village?   

Erice is also famous for the folkloric Christmas market, where you can find handicraft traditional products such as rugs and ceramics, but also gastronomy delights. A very typical product you should not miss are the genovesi, short crust pastry sweets filled with cream which are still nowadays prepared one by one by the expert hands of local confectioners.

Ferla, the Village on the Sacred Way.

Located in the western part of the province of Syracuse, on the Iblei Mountains, within the Anapo valley, Ferla is one of the most traditional villages of Sicily. This small town in the Val di Noto, was rebuilt in baroque style in 1693 after being completely destroyed as the consequence of a big earthquake suffered by the area. The village is renowned for its beautiful churches, which are placed on the Sacred Way, via Vittorio Emanuele: an uninterrupted baroque path on a cross-shaped urban layout that was part of the post-earthquake reconstruction.

What’s special about this village?   

Many religious and traditional festivals, expressions of the local folklore, are celebrated in Ferla every year. Of particular importance is the Festival of the black truffle of Ferla, dedicated to one of the excellences of this territory, the scorzone, a special variety of the black truffle which has been recently rediscovered on the Iblei woods.

Gangi, a Traditional Village that Needs to be Repopulated.

Gangi is an ancient Sicilian village in the province of Palermo, located around 12 kilometers from the city. The village stands on a Hellenic settlement, perched on Monte Barone, from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view. Its historic center was completely rebuilt in 1300 following the destruction of 1299 in the Vespers war.

 What’s special about this village?   

The village of Gangi in Sicily joins the 1 euro house project! The apparently bizarre initiative consists of selling the dilapidated houses of the village for the modest and symbolic sum of 1 euro, with the commitment for the buyer to take care of the renovation. The village has already received many requests from all over the world, and gradually, it has regained its ancient splendor in addition to renovations made directly by the municipality of Gangi.

The Traditional Village of Geraci Siculo.

Geraci Siculo, one of the most religious traditional villages of Sicily, is located on the eastern edge of the province of Palermo. The village is perched on a rocky ridge at 1077 meters above sea level in a strategic position overlooking most of the island territory, from the slopes of Etna, to the highest mountains of the Madonie up to the Aeolian islands. Its territory has been inhabited since prehistoric times.

What’s special about this village?   

The inhabitants of the village of Geraci Siculo still retain many of their past traditions, which are an intangible heritage still imprinted in the culture of the locals. You will be amazed to see that the elderly women of Geraci, still today, spin the wool with the spindle on a spinning wheel for the realization of clothes and rugs.

Novara di Sicilia, the Stone Village of Sicily.

The nickname of Stone Village is self-explanatory when you visit the old town of Novara di Sicilia, one of the most beautiful traditional villages of Sicily. Not only the village is actually located on the stone, which has been molded during the centuries by the expert hands of the stonemasons, artists of the cutting and processing of stone that, since the 19th Century, have adorned the village with magnificent creations, but also many of the results of this historical process can be still admired today everywhere in the old town, and in particular on the portals of the old churches.

 What’s special about this village?   

The name of this village may lead to some confusion for an Italian, as Novara is also the name of a city located in the north of the country. Even the dialect spoken here has some remembrances of the dialects spoken in the north of Italy. The similarities between the two towns are not a coincidence: in the 11th Century, the Normans had conquered Sicily back, and the island had to be repopulated. For this reason, a colony of emigrants, moving from the Po Valley and Liguria, found home here and in some neighboring villages. Nowadays the local language is called Gallo-Italian dialect, proudly guarded as a sign of local identity and continuity of its tradition.

The UNESCO Village Palazzolo Acreide.

The name of this village, which can sound a little bit strange and difficult to pronounce, has both Latin and Greek roots, and can be literally translated as ‘the castle on the top’. This town of just over 8000 inhabitants in the province of Syracuse actually stands on one of the peaks of the Iblei Mountains and it is a Baroque jewel officially recognized by UNESCO.

What’s special about this village?   

Palazzolo Acreide offers an endless list of churches to visit and it is mostly famous for two traditional religious festivals dedicated to the two patrons Saint Sebastian and Saint Paul. In those festivals, which are also recognized as Intangible Inheritance of Local Interest as established by UNESCO, you will be able to enjoy, during the daytime various explosions of confetti that color the sky and the streets as rainbow snow, and when the sun goes down, some magnificent pyrotechnic and pyro musical shows.

Salemi: The Traditional Village of Bread and Stone

The small village of Salemi rises 442 meters above sea level, and it is located in the center of the province of Trapani, in the heart of the Valle del Belice. It stands among hills cultivated with vineyards and olive groves. In the historic center there are the ancient buildings built in the local campanella stone, better known as campanedda stone, a stone which is unique in the world, even registered in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage.

What’s special about this village?   

The village is actually famous for the smell of bread you can enjoy in its streets! It also has its own Museum of the Ritual Bread, where numerous special shaped breads are exhibited, most of which are usually made for various celebrations or intended for votive altars. The museum was created with the intent to show the importance and the traditions related to the bread. The use of bread baking for ritual purposes is an ancient art, attributable to the Hellenic period and closely connected to the celebration of the agrarian divinity Demeter who, according to mythology, taught man the art of baking.

Savoca, the Village of the Godfather

The name of this village seems to derive from the elderberry (savucu in the local dialect), a local plant which once proliferated spontaneously in the area. The plant is since ancient times the symbol of Savoca (you can even find an elderberry twig on the medieval coat-of-arms of the village). Today, arriving in the village of Savoca, you have the feeling to have gone back in time.

What’s special about this village?   

Savoca is a very religious village, and for this reason various religious festivals are held here every year. The most important is the festival of Saint Lucy, held every August, with a religious procession and a living representation in traditional clothes of some scenes of the martyrdom of the Saint.

Due to its extraordinary sceneries, Savoca has also been the set of numerous movies, including the famous The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola!

Troina. One of the Traditional Villages of Sicily you Should not miss.

Troina is a Sicilian village in the province of Enna on the border with the province of Messina, in a mountainous area, in the middle of a green land. The history of the village dates back to the Neolithic period as the ruins of a necropolis and several settlements were found on Mount Muganà. Due to its geographical position, it was an important military stronghold in the Greek and Roman periods, but also during the Arab dominations.

The historic center of Troina is composed of many narrow streets, which intertwine like a labyrinth.

What’s special about this village?   

Troina offers a very special and unique gastronomy, using flowers in its traditional popular bread: the symbol of the gastronomic identity of this village is undoubtedly the Vastedda cu Sammucu, a focaccia stuffed with salami and local cheeses, sprinkled with the white and fragrant flowers of the elderberry. The preparation of this extraordinary rustic focaccia is linked, given the flowering period of the elderberry, to the feast of the patron Saint Silverser, whose celebrations take place approximately at the end of May every year. In the village of Troina the most important traditions are linked to the festivities in honor of the patron Saint Silvester, where religious and popular costumes mix.

The list of unknown traditional villages of Sicily is endless, and it was a very difficult task to select the best ones. We are sure that visiting these unusual and unique travel destinations, you will enjoy the real soul of Sicily, and take a piece of Sicily with you back home!

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11 Amazing Traditional Villages of Sicily You Didn’t Know Existed. – Italy