A large town situated on the coast of south-west Sicily, Sciacca is a popular destination best known as a coastal town and resort and with beaches popular with water-sport enthusiasts. It is also the oldest of the spa resorts to be found on the island of Sicily.
Sciacca is a walled town, with the original 14th century walls subsequently rebuilt and reinforced in the 16th century. There are three original gateways that pass through the walls to access the town, also dating from the 16th century: the Palermo Gate is in the baroque style and has columns decorated with a large eagle; the Porta San Salvatore which gives access to the Piazza Carmine; and the Porta San Calogero.
The town itself also has several important monuments, perhaps most notably its churches. Two of the most important are found inside the Porta San Salvatore: the Church of Santa Margherita (14th century, renovated 16th century) with its Catalan style entrance and baroque interior, and the Church of Carmine. Other churches to note as you explore Sciacca include the 15th century Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, the Church of the Spasimo, the Church of San Michele, in Noceto Square and containing numerous important artifacts; and the Church of “Santa Maria delle Giummare with its two towers.
Another Catalan style building in Sciacca is the 15th century Steripinto Palace, then head into Piazza Scandallato, home to the Town Hall which has a terrace overlooking the lower city and the harbor and a courtyard with arcades. The cathedral in Sciacca dates originally from the 12th century but was rebuilt in the 17th century - note the decorative statues on the facade then enter to see some important works of art from the 15-16th centuries including a statue of the Madonna by Laurana and a sculpture by Gagini.
Pass along the Via Castello to see the ruins of Luna Castle and its towers, dating from 1380 and built by the Luna family. There is also a so-called 'Old Castle' (now in ruins); the 15th century Empire style Palazzo San Giacomo Tagliavia; the neo-classical Bertolino-Tommasi Palace; and two medieval towers called the Bell Tower (16th century) and the Torre del Pardo (15th century).
Places to visit near Sciacca
A couple of recommended side-trips from Sciacca include the town at Caltabellotta; the island of Ferdinandea (a volcanic island little more than 100 years old); and Cronio Mountain to see the Cave of Daedalus.