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Visit South-East Sicily

The shape and character of the south-east of Sicily is different from much of Sicily because of a natural disaster that took place in 1693, when an earthquake shook the region and destroyed many of the towns.

The towns were rebuilt in the High Baroque architectural style, and are now considered to be masterpieces of the style

The importance of the architecture in these towns has been recognised and they are together inscribed as the Val-di-Noto UNESCO World Heritage Site - the towns listed are: Caltagirone, Catania, Militello (in Val di Catania), Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli.

Inland from here the town of Paterno has a well known castle.

To the east of the region (south of Lentini) is popular Syracuse, one of the most important towns in Sicily and a former centre of the Ancient Greek world (and the adjacent resort at Cassibile).

Syracuse falls in two sections of interest to visitors - the region around Neapolis, where the ancient monuments are situated (including the largest Greek Theatre in the world); and the heart of Syracuse old town at Ortigia (an island just south of the modern city), where again a great deal of important baroque architecture can be seen.

One of the most important monuments in Ortiga is Syracuse Cathedral which incorporates the remains of a Greek temple.

Countryside

As well as enjoying the towns and baroque architecture be sure to find time to explore the countryside of this region of Sicily, especially the Mont Iblei region north of Akrai.

Inland you can visit the town at Aidone and the important monuments at nearby Morgantina. close to the south-eastern tip of Sicily is the town and prehistoric cave complex at Ispica.

One particular highlight is the Necropolis at Pantalica, where thousands of tombs were carved into the rock faces along a gorge over an extended period dating back to the 12th century BC. The site is so important that is inscribed as a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site.

There are several small villages to discover eg Buccheri, Monterosso Almo and Giarratana, and also Akrai where some important and very early Greek ruins can be seen. It is the scenery, the views across the countryside and mountains, the rocky cactus-dotted landscapes that are the highlight of your visit.

See also:

Map of South-East Sicily and places to visit

South-East Sicily places to visit

Aidone

Aidone

Aidone is home to a number of Baroque churches.

>> Aidone guide
Akrai

Akrai

Akrai is home to an ancient Greek settlement.

>> Akrai guide
Cassibile

Cassibile

Cassibile is a popular for its canyon rock pools.

>> Cassibile guide
Centuripe

Centuripe

Centuripe is a pretty hill town with fantastic views over Mount Etna.

>> Centuripe guide
Ispica

Ispica

Ispica is a hilltown and home to Sicano castle carved into the rock.

>> Ispica guide
Lentini

Lentini

Lentini is a quiet town with a few interesting monuments.

>> Lentini guide
Modica

Modica

Modica is a stunning Baroque town.

>> Modica guide
Morgantina

Morgantina

Morgantina is home to an important archaelogical site.

>> Morgantina guide
Noto

Noto

Noto is one of the top Baroque towns in Sicily.

>> Noto guide
Palazzolo-Acreide

Palazzolo-Acreide

Palazzolo Acreide is one of the most beautiful villages of Sicily.

>> Palazzolo-Acreide guide
Paterno

Paterno

Paterno is home to an impressive Norman castle.

>> Paterno guide
Ragusa

Ragusa

Ragusa is a beautiful Baroque town.

>> Ragusa guide
Scicli

Scicli

Scicli is a beautiful Baroque town.

>> Scicli guide
Syracuse

Syracuse

Syracuse is famous for its old town on Ortigia island but its mainland side is an attractive city with Roman ruins

>> Syracuse guide
Syracuse - Ortigia Island

Syracuse - Ortigia Island

Ortigia is the fabulous old town of Syracuse.

>> Syracuse - Ortigia Island guide
Syracuse Cathedral

Syracuse Cathedral

Syracuse cathedral is a 7th century cathedral which incorporates the remains of a Greek temple.

>> Syracuse Cathedral guide
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