Sicily's wild and empty interior is a beautiful, uncompromising land; a timeless landscape of silent, sunburnt peaks, grey stone villages and forgotten valleys. Traditions live on and life is lived at a gentle, rural pace. It's an area that encourages simple pleasures – long lunches of earthy country food, meanders through hilltop towns, quiet contemplation over undulating vistas. It’s also an area of surprising natural diversity – one minute you’re driving through rolling hills reminiscent of Tuscany, the next through pockets of eucalypt bush akin to Australia.
Scattered across these landscapes are the legacies of many cultures and countless generations – windswept Greek shrines, sunbaked Norman churches and frescoed flourishes of the baroque. It’s in Villa Romana del Casale that you’ll find the world’s most important Roman mosaics; in tiny Morgantina, a Hellenic statue that caused a modern tug-of-war; and in Caltagirone, some of Italy’s most coveted ceramics. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Central Sicily.