Sights

The centre of action is Piazza Garibaldi, a handsome square dominated by the elegant 14th-century facade and Catalan-Gothic campanile of the Cattedrale di San Nicolò. Capped by a beautiful, painted wooden ceiling, its interior features a skilfully chiselled choir from the school of Antonello Gagini and a painting of St Bartholomew by 17th-century Tenebrist painter Jusepe de Ribera.

From the piazza, Via Salamone leads past crumbling Franco-Lombard palazzi to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, a 1767 reconstruction of a 13th-century church destroyed by a landslide in 1757. Highlights include a holy water font from the late 16th century and, at the back of the chancel, a magnificent marble polyptych (1512) by the Sicilian Renaissance sculptor Antonello Gagini. In the chapel to the left are two beautifully carved wooden altar frontals from the 18th century. Back outside, the terrace offers a view of the ruins of a Norman castle, perched on a rocky crag above town.

Sleeping

Nicosia has very limited accommodation. Your best bet is agriturismo Baglio San Pietro, situated near the town entrance (on the SS117 to Leonforte), a working farm with 10 comfortable, rustic-style rooms.

Eating

Nicosia's most famous edible is the heavenly nocattolo pastry, consisting of a shortbread crust topped with cinnamon-spiced almond paste and dusted in icing sugar.

Drinking & Nightlife

Nicosia offers a small handful of cafes and bars in the town centre.