Day Trips in Sicily
SAMBUCA DI SICILIA
The Most Beautiful Village in Sicily
46km from Verdura Resort
With Renaissance palaces, Baroque churches and a romantic 19th-century theatre, it’s little wonder Sambuca di Sicilia is often dubbed ‘The Most Beautiful Village in Sicily’. Perched upon the slopes of a hill in the Belice Valley, the charming enclave bursts with Arabesque charm. Spend the afternoon meandering around Sambuca di Sicilia’s ancient Saracen alleys, bask in the beauty of the striking Church of St. Caterina d’Alessandria and be sure to taste the local cheese, vastedda, from the Belice Valley.
SANTA MARGHERITA DI BELICE
A literary inspiration
41km from Verdura Resort
Just half an hour’s drive from Verdura Resort, the enchanting 16th-century town of Santa Margherita di Belice exudes Sicilian grandeur. The elegant Gattopardo Villa is home to striking fountains and a mesmerising garden, while the Palazzo Filangeri di Cutò served as the inspiration for author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel Il Gattopardo. Recent archaeological digs revealed Roman, Greek and Byzantine findings, making Santa Margherita di Belice ripe for discovery. Step back in time at the Museum of Memory in the remains of the village’s ancient Mother Church.
THE VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES, AGRIGENTO
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
50km from Verdura Resort
“The most beautiful city inhabited by mortals” is what legendary Greek poet Pindar wrote as he recalled his adopted city Akragas, now Agrigento. Founded in 581 BC, the vast Valley of the Temples at Agrigento boasts immaculately preserved Doric temples surrounded by leafy almond trees and centuries-old olive groves. It’s a captivating archaeological site that immerses you in ancient Greek civilisation. From Asclepius to Zeus, each commanding temple is dedicated to the gods, their striking pillars piercing blue Sicilian skies. For history lovers, The Valley of the Temples is a must-visit.
A marvel on a mountain
20km from Verdura Resort
Framed by three dizzying peaks, Monte San Pellegrino, Monte Castello and the Gogàla cliff, Caltabellotta is a scenic medieval town, blessed with breathtaking views across Sicily. It’s a delight to wander through the winding streets of this tiny labyrinthine enclave as well as take in the beauty of Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, which houses Antonio Ferraro’s terracotta sculpture, La Deposizione, created in 1552. Scale Caltabellotta’s heights to the ruined Norman castle where you’ll be rewarded with a panorama of 21 villages sprinkled on the horizon.
MAZARA DEL VALLO
A vibrant coastal commune
57km from Verdura Resort
Overlooking the Strait of Sicily at the island’s westernmost tip, Mazara del Vallo is a lively port town with gorgeous Baroque architecture and great restaurants and cafés. One of Italy’s main fishing centres, Mazara del Vallo is steeped in history, founded by the Phoenicians, who used it as a stopover en route to Spain. Make time to explore Mazara del Vallo’s Casbah – an alluring Arab quarter with traditional taverns – and the atmospheric Basil Cathedral of the Santissimo Salvatore, located on the Piazza della Repubblica. Mazara del Vallo is a dynamic destination where art, ethnicity and culture collide.
A historic port of call
75km from Verdura Resort
Famed for its iconic namesake wine, Marsala is a charismatic port town soaked in antiquity. It’s where Garibaldi and his 1,000 men landed on 11th May 1860 to begin their unification of Italy. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians and Arabs have all left their mark here. In the heart of Marsala, the Duomo – dedicated to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th century – grandly occupies Piazza della Repubblica. Uncover Marsala’s rich maritime past by visiting the Baglio Anselmi Archaeological Museum where you’ll find a Phoenician boat from the First Punic War.
Sicily’s intoxicating capital
90km from Verdura Resort
Palermo’s history and artistic heritage make this city a world in itself. As Sicily’s capital at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Palermo’s been a melting pot of civilisations for centuries. Marvel at the scintillating mosaics of Palazzo dei Normanni, Europe’s oldest royal palace. Admire the Annunziata, Antonello da Messina’s most famous work at the opulent Palazzo Abatellis. Lose yourself in the catacombs of the Convento dei Cappuccini. At night, get carried away at the bustle of the markets, wandering around Baroque facades before enjoying a performance at Teatro Massimo, Italy’s largest opera house.
Home to carnivals and spas
10km from Verdura Resort
Tumbling down a scenic hillside, hugging Sicily’s southern coastline, Sciacca is just a 20-minute drive from Verdura Resort. Its natural thermal spas and colourful annual carnival make it an outstanding destination for a day trip. Sciacca’s historic city centre is home to 16th-century ramparts and Norman churches. Perch at a café on Piazza Angelo Scandaliato and drink in the views of the sea and the fishing port below from this charming square, before shopping for Sciacca’s famed local ceramics and handicrafts.
The footprint of the gods
80km from Verdura Resort
According to legend, Segesta was founded by the Elymians, descendants of the Trojans. Built on the slopes of Monte Barbaro in the shadow of Castellammare del Golfo, the ancient Greek temple site was one of the most important centres in the Mediterranean. Segesta’s magnificent Doric temple is one of the world’s best preserved with intact columns, while the 4,000-seat amphitheatre on Monte Barbaro’s peak slopes down towards the shimmering sea. Each summer, Greek plays – unmissable cultural spectacles – are staged here.
Archaeology on an awesome scale
35km from Verdura Resort
Built in 650 BC by the Greeks, Selinunte is the largest archaeological park in Europe. Occupying a stretch of Sicily’s south-western coast, the imposing site is dominated by seven temples, sanctuaries and mysterious caves; truly a land of myths and legends. What’s more, Selinunte is fringed with golden sandy beaches and crystal clear sea, perfect for unfurling your towel and spending an afternoon in the sun after exploring the area’s amazing ruins.