Top 5 Must Do's in Sicily

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There are many beautiful places to see on this largest of all Mediterranean islands. To start you off here are five places that you must see while visiting Sicily.

Villa Romana del Casale

Located in Piazza Armerina, this 3rd century villa was buried in a landslide in the 12th century and rediscovered in the 19th century. It is now an open-air museum that showcases the largest collection of late Roman mosaics in the entire world. There are over forty mosaic floors as well as some of the most famous Roman mosaics adorning the walls.

Mount Etna

When you get to Catania, be sure to include a tour of Mount Etna, the oldest active volcano in the world and the tallest active volcano in Europe. The volcano is constantly erupting from its many vents located both at the summit and along the flanks. Mount Etna is popular for skiing and hiking, and its slopes include forests, waterfalls and craters. If you book a guided tour you can also enjoy stops in the various surrounding villages for tastes of Sicily.

Monreale Duomo

This Norman cathedral is located in Monreale. The exterior facade of brick and marble is attractive enough, but certainly does not prepare one for the glorious golden mosaics inside. Built in the 12th century, the interior of the cathedral is practically lined with gold in beautiful patterns. Don't forget to marvel at the bronze doors and take a look at the cloisters with their pretty gardens.

Catacombs of the Capuchins

The catacombs located below the Capuchin Monastery in Palermo have a remarkable preservative that has aided in mummifying the bodies buried within it. There are over 8,000 mummies, the oldest of which are around 500 years old. All are dressed in clothing in various states of decay. Be on the lookout for the toddler buried in 1920 who is so well preserved that she has been dubbed "Sleeping Beauty." Keep in mind that this site may not be suitable for children.

The Valley of the Temples

In Agrigento you can find the Valley of the Temples, dating back to the Grecian Era. Here you will find a span of Greek temples dedicated to Zeus, Hera, Heracles, Castor and Pollux, Hephaistos and more. There are also Byzantine cemeteries from the 4th century located in the area. If you choose not to do a guided tour, be sure to visit the Archaeological Museum of Agrigento for some background information. The temples are especially beautiful when lit up at night.

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August 25, 2009 change by tiffanymparker

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