With its idyllic coastal towns, surrounding wall of mountains and picturesque beaches, it is unsurprising that tourists flock to northern Sicily throughout the year.
Home to Palermo, Sicily’s capital as well as some of the island’s most popular and alluring towns, such as Geraci Siculo, considered to be one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, northern Sicily is bursting with charm, character and history.
Since its foundation under the Phoenicians, the city of Palermo has witnessed an astonishing number of civilisations come and go, each having left its own individual mark. It is therefore unsurprising that Sicily’s capital features a wide range of historical points of interest such as the cathedral, Palace of the Normans, Massimo theatre, Politeama theatre and Pretoria Square, which can be visited either on foot or by car/bus. Alongside its historical charm, Palermo also features a wide range of restaurants, shops, bars, cafés and beaches, including Mondello for watersports, making it a fantastic location to spend a couple of days or longer holiday.
The charming town of Cefalù was once a Greek settlement originally built on La Rocca, a large rock that dominates over the town. It was subsequently built up around the base of the rock by King Roger II in the 12th century, giving a distinctive Norman influence throughout the town. Peppered with restaurants, bars, shops and points of historical interest, Cefalù is an ideal location for history enthusiasts or those simply wishing to immerse themselves in the Sicilian culture or relax on the beach. With its Norman buildings and cathedral, fishing port, colourful streets and alleyways that slope down towards the sea and long beach, Cefalù offers attractions for all.
This pretty hill town near the Madonie mountains was a thriving cultural centre in the 15th century. As its name suggests, Castelbuono boasts a 14th century castle which was built under Francesco I of Ventimiglia and believed to be a blend of Arabic and Norman styles. The castle houses a collection of paintings and religious artefacts which provide a fascinating insight into the history of the island. There are several points of historical interest and a maze of cobbled streets opening onto shady piazzas with street cafés.
The nearest town to Susafa in the Province of Palermo is Caltavuturo which is part of the Madonie National Park, with a remarkable variety of landscapes and local traditions. The landscape around Caltavuturo is green and fertile and winds through mountains, valleys and to the sea. The town itself has an ancient castle and a Cathedral in the old town dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul and the interior holds works of great artistic value. Visitors can sample the local products such as cheese, ricotta, oil, sausages and cured meats, rabbit and wild mushrooms and local crafts include the processing of laces, woven carpets, wood, wrought iron and glass. It is 40km to Madonie National Park and with a hire car possible to visit the villages of the Madonie including Polizzi Generosa along with Petralia Soprana, Castelbuono, Gangi and the beautiful Sperlinga.