Dip into Palazzolo's history
Aside from its churches, Palazzolo boasts a collection of small palaces, or palazzi. Each has its own distinct character, with The Palace Ca Fileno featuring a collection of rare 17th-century frescoes. Another, located on Via Machiavelli, has been transformed into the House Museum of poet and anthropologist Antonino Uccello. Other major highlights include a hillside archaeological park which features a Greek theatre, catacombs and a collection of unusual sculptures.
Head To The Beach
Palazzolo in Sicily is close to an array of beaches, with the bustling resort of Fontane Bianche about an hour’s drive away. With a strip of pleasing white sands and a collection of restaurants and bars, this Syracuse resort will give you plenty to smile about.
The Cassibile Nature Reserve, with its natural pools, rocks and canyon is another nearby attraction. Within the boundaries of the reserve is the UNESCO-listed Pantalica Necropolis, a collection of tombs dating back from the seventh and 13th centuries BC – a fascinating spot for history enthusiasts to explore.
Discover a Bronze-Age cemetery
Drive for around an hour-and-a-half from Palazzolo to take in the splendour of the Riserva Naturale Pantalica. This is one of the most impressive UNESCO-listed sites in Sicily and offers an exciting mix of outstanding natural beauty and archaeological interest.
In the midst of the greenery is an unusual rocky cemetery dating back to the late Bronze Age, with thousands of graves dug into the walls of the Anapo canyon. Two caves can be found within the reserve as well, and are just waiting to be explored. Aside from the abundance of flora, you’re also likely to see foxes, porcupines and birds such as the peregrine falcon and buzzard.
Try tongue-tingling tastes
You’ll find Palazzolo has a good selection of restaurants serving fresh and authentic Sicilian dishes. The pizzas are fresh and flavoursome, the fish dishes mouth-watering and simply prepared.
Caponata is one of Sicily’s most famous dishes and is made from aubergines, pine nuts, raisins and vinegar. It’s usually served at room temperature as an antipasto. Pasta alla Norma is another hearty local dish featuring pasta with tomatoes, garlic, aubergines, garlic and ricotta salata. It derives its name from a 19th-century opera.
For desert, Cassata is a must-try if you have a sweet tooth and is made from a sponge cake layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruit. The sponge is usually moistened by soaking in fruit juices or liqueur.
Visit Syracuse and Noto
Drive for an hour to explore Syracuse, a historic town renowned for its monuments, art and architecture. The oldest part of town, Ortygia, is linked to the mainland by three bridges and will transport you to a bygone era.
There’s a charming market, which will give you a local flavour with stalls selling fresh local produce, arts and crafts. History buffs must check out the Greek Temple of Apollo and Fountain of Arethusa. Nearby Noto is also worth a look – at every turn you’ll be treated to baroque architecture, shady piazzas and pretty churches. Time spent at the cathedral, Dominca Church and Villadorata Palace is highly recommended.
Offering an authentic Sicilian experience with plenty of scope for adventure and exploration, Palazzolo has plenty to offer. Whether you’re after some downtime on the beach or want to enjoy the beauty and history of this charming Italian island, there’s lots of exciting day-trip options. Add to this an appealing culture and tempting cuisine, and a holiday here really is the real deal.