The British Museum has opened the first exhibition in the UK to explore over 4000 years of history in Sicily. The largest island in the Mediterranean has always been a meeting point of different populations who influenced its art and its culture.
The 200 artifacts are only few examples of Sicilian art. You’d be better read this list carefully to get some inspiration for your next trip to Sicily. Sicilians are probably the proudest islanders ever, then British come, so apologies if the selection does not include all the Sicilian art heritage.
The Valle dei Templi in Agrigento
The archeological site is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece architecture and the area itself has been listed UNESCO Heritage Site. The site, which includes seven temples, is located on a ridge outside the town of Agrigento, from which you can have a breath-taking view.
Known as the capital of Baroque art, it is clear why it earned this title. Noto, located in a upland landscape position, was reborn after the earthquake that struck the city in 1693. Surprisingly, this tragic event encouraged a great rebuilding. Three majestic buildings overlook Piazza Municipio: the cathedral with its sumptuous staircase, Ducrezio Palace (the current town hall), and Church of San Francesco d’Assisi. Wandering on Corso Vittorio Emanuele more churches and palaces will be revealed.
Founded by ancient Greek Corinthias, the city has its historic centre on Ortigia island and an important archeological site. Piazza Duomo and the Cathedral are the highlights of the centre. Once a holy temple dedicated to goddess Athena, the Cathedral was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best known by the British audience for being part of the set of Inspector Montalbano TV series, this small town is located in the south east of the island. The town hall is the set of police commissioner’s office and its Baroque historic centre was listed UNESCO’s World Heritage Site alongside seven other cities in the Val di Noto.
Consisting of two urban centres, Modica Alta (Upper Modica) and Modica Bassa (Lower Modica), the city lies among three valleys. This results in breath-taking views, especially from Piazza Belvedere and the Cathedral of San Giorgio. Yes, it’s about Baroque art again, but how can you get bored of it?
In the past it seems that every population conquered this city: Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. Highlights of Palermo are probably Cappella Palatina in Palazzo dei Normanni and the Cathedral where you can admire stunning Byzantine mosaics. A stroll along the city will reveal you more masterpieces, like Zisa, the Arab-Norman castle, and Santa Maria dello Spasimo, an en-plain-air church (without roof).