Today I want to bring you my itinerary for 7 days in Sicily. One week in this part of Italy is an ideal amount of time to see the highlights and explore some of the most famous towns and cities on the coast and in the interior. From amazing food to ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, and an active volcano, there are lots of fun things to do on the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve included a map, too.

7 Days in Sicily

7 Days in Sicily

My other half and I have booked a trip to Italy to spend 7 days in Sicily starting in Palermo. He’s been here before, so he’s playing tour guide.

He’s planned a great Sicily road trip itinerary for us, and we’re looking forward to spending a week seeing some of the best places on the island. After our amazing trip to Rome and Naples, we can’t wait to explore another part of Italy together.

Sicily is known for everything from the excellent street food markets in Palermo to the volcanic activity on Mount Etna, the amazing beaches on the coast, and the stunning views in Taormina.

Taormina beach in Sicily

Add to that great local wine and historic architecture that ranges from ancient Greek to Baroque, and there’s a lot to love about this place.

I hope this itinerary helps you plan a trip of your own. You can adjust it to fit your interests and travel style, but if you’re like me it will give you a solid overview of what you can do in this part of Italy with one week Sicily.

Oh, and if you’re asking yourself “is 7 days enough in Sicily?”, you’ll get a feel for the answer as you read this post. While you can’t see all of Sicily in a week, you’ll be able to explore a lot of the most popular places on the island.

Fontana Pretoria, Palermo

Day 1 in Sicily: Palermo

After an early flight from London, we arrive in Palermo and take the airport bus to the heart of the city. It’s a scenic walk from the stop to our hotel, I Mori di Porta Nuova.

Right next to one of the historic city gates, this place is a sweet boutique hotel with pretty rooms (ours has a balcony!) and a beautiful rooftop terrace. It offers great value for money, too. You can book your room here.

Palermo hotel terrace

After getting settled in, we start our trip with a quick bite at a roadside stand called Nino u Ballerino. This place sells cheap and cheerful snacks, and my fried eggplant sandwich tastes amazing with a sprinkle of salt.

It’s a great introduction to Sicily’s food scene, which focuses on simplicity and letting local produce shine.

Speaking of which, the next item on our itinerary is a street food tour of Palermo with a local guide. We meet him at the buzzing Capo market, where the locals are dancing to live music in the streets.

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Capo Market, Palermo

For the next 3 hours, he guides us around the city as he introduces us to its food scene.

We tuck into everything from golden arancine rice balls with pistachio filling to a cone of fried seafood with red prawns, calamari, and small “fish fries”.

We also taste fried tuna balls with pistachio and wild fennel (yes, there’s a lot of fried food here), Sicilian caponata, and chickpea fritters called panelle.

Palermo restaurant

But the real local delicacy here is an offal sandwich filled with spleen. It tastes just like mushrooms, and it’s delicious with some cheese sprinkled on top.

In between bites, our guide takes us through the city and points out highlights like the eye-catching Quattro Canti intersection. We also see the Fontana Pretoria fountain and the Chiesa di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria church in Piazza Pretoria.

We round out our street food tour of Palermo with cannoli. They’re classic Sicilian sweets, and we’ve been looking forward to trying them. They’re every bit as delicious as we’d hoped.

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Food tour done, we continue the first of our 7 days in Sicily with a walk along the port. Marina, the largest musical dancing fountain in Italy, is here. As we stroll around it, we take in the buzzing waterfront scene with its contemporary bars and restaurants.

When the sun starts to sink, we head up to a famous rooftop bar in Palermo called Seven. The highest roof garden in Palermo, it has spectacular views of the city skyline and the mountains in the background.

It’s the perfect place to enjoy aperitivo as the sunset makes magic in the sky.

Palermo rooftop bar

From Seven we walk over to have dinner at a restaurant called Stuzzicando. This intimate neighborhood place is set on a side street in the city center.

Stuzzicando serves classics like pasta and pizza, and it has a great atmosphere. It’s a nice place to end the first day of our week in Sicily.

Day 2 in Sicily: Palermo, Cefalu, and Taormina

When morning comes, we continue our itinerary for 7 days in Sicily with breakfast on the rooftop at I Mori di Porta Nuova. It’s sunny out, and the food is delicious (and included with our room rate). We can’t think of a better way to start our day.

Palermo Cathedral

After checking out of the hotel, we do some sightseeing in Palermo. We’re right by the cathedral on Via Vittorio Emanuele, so we pop in for a quick visit.

One of the most architecturally significant buildings in Sicily, the Normans built Palermo Cathedral on top of a mosque in 1184. It’s amazing to see the historic interiors and marvel at the history.

From the cathedral it’s a short walk through the Villa Bonanno park to the Palazzo dei Normanni (Norman Palace).

Norman Palace, Palermo

Once the seat of the kings of Sicily, this huge place is home to tranquil gardens and a stunning historic carriage that makes me want to channel my inner Disney princess.

But the real treat is the Cappella Palatina. This 12th-century chapel features everything from stunning Byzantine mosaics to Norman and Arab design elements. It’s a unique representation of Sicily’s rich cultural history.

We spend time admiring the chapel before walking through the historic rooms and soaking up the scene in the grand loggia.

Cappella Palatina, Palermo

Leaving the Palazzo dei Normanni, we make our way to the Ballaro market. Set on a narrow street in the city center, this place is buzzing with vendors selling everything from fresh fish to ripe tomatoes and fried eggplant.

We walk all the way through it, then settle in at a little table behind one of the stalls to eat lunch. Soon we’re tucking into a feast of eggplant, panelle, grilled artichokes, and a plump spinach arancina.

After lunch we continue our Sicily itinerary with some more sightseeing. We pop into the small Chiesa San Cataldo, which dates back to 1154 and serves as a notable example of Arab-Norman architecture.

Chiesa San Cataldo

Not far from the church we sit outside for a coffee at the famous Casa Stagnitta. Our food tour guide had recommended the day before, and we’re excited to try it. The place offers an impressive selection of coffee drinks and sweet treats.

After coffee we walk down Via Maqueda and through an antiques market before picking up our bags at I Mori di Porta Nuova. From the hotel we make our way towards the waterfront to get our rental car.

On the way we pass by the famous Teatro Massimo theater, which featured in the last of The Godfather movies (all of which we watched before our trip).

Teatro Massimo, Palermo


Once in our trusty vehicle, we hit the road and drive to the next stop on our itinerary: Cefalu. Given we have 7 days in Sicily with a car, we’re excited to be able to see some of the coastal areas between Palermo and the other major stops we’ve planned.

Cefalu is a coastal city in northern Sicily. It’s famous for its 12th-century Norman cathedral, which features Byzantine mosaics and imposing towers.

Our visit to Cefalu is a quick one, but we manage to walk along the beach, take in the waterfront restaurants, and see some of the historic streets in town. It’s a beautiful place, and we wish we could stay longer.

Cefalu beach in Sicily


But Taormina calls, and we want to arrive before dark. After driving through what feels like a million tunnels and paying several road tolls, we wind our way up to the top, top, top of the famous town on the east coast of Sicily.

We arrive at Hotel Villa Ducale just before dark, and I manage to get a few photos of the amazing views as the lights twinkle in the distance.

We’re welcomed by some of the friendliest staff we’ve encountered on our travels. They show us to our room, which has a balcony overlooking Taormina and the neighboring town of Giardini Naxos. We love it already.

Taormina view at night

We’ve booked dinner at the hotel, and our window table in the dining room has more sweeping views. We tuck into smoked fish starters and rich pasta mains as we watch blue hour fade into night outside. It’s the perfect way to end our second day in Sicily.

Day 3 in Sicily: Taormina

The next morning our 7 days in Sicily continue with a full day in Taormina. Given this is one of the most visited places on the island, we can’t wait to see what it has in store.

After a big buffet breakfast with a view at Hotel Villa Ducale (it’s included with our room rate), we walk down a zig-zagging staircase near the Castello di Mola castle and Chiesa Madonna della Rocca chapel to get to the heart of town.

Taormina gate

Taormina is the stuff of Italian fairy tales, with historic city gates and a long street lined with high-end shops and restaurants. Everywhere there are peek-a-boo views of the Mediterranean Sea, and gardens and ancient ruins dotted throughout.

We start our day with a stroll through the Villa Comunale di Taormina. The garden is peaceful, and it’s fun to take in the views of the beaches from the walls.

From there we walk down stairways punctuated with viewpoints to get to the beach. The famous Isola Bella is here, and we’re excited to take our shoes off and walk on the pebbles across the watery straight to get to the presqu’ile.

Isola Bella, Sicily

We spend time soaking up the sun before walking the short distance to the cable car to get back to the center of Taormina. We shop at a local ceramics place called Manago Ceramiche Siciliane and explore some of the side streets when we arrive.

Soon we get hungry, so we tuck into lunch at an outdoor table on the steps at Trattoria Tutti Cca. We can’t decide whether my gnocchi with red prawns and pistachios is better than his classic Pasta alla Norma, but they’re both delicious.

After lunch we meander. We walk down Corso Umberto between Porta Catania and Porta Messina, window shop, and check out the San Domenico Palace Four Seasons hotel where the second season of White Lotus was filmed.

Taormina restaurant

We also explore the Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient Greek amphitheater built in the 3rd century BC. The ruins are impressive, and it’s inspiring to think that both the Greeks and the Romans were here.

When we need a rest, we stop for a classic Sicilian granita at Bam Bar. This place also featured in White Lotus, and we sit at an outdoor table to enjoy raspberry shave ice with cream and sweet brioche. It’s a nice indulgence on a warm day.

We can’t help following it up with another treat. We walk over to Don Diego, a gelato place near one of the town’s historic gates. It’s our first gelato of the trip, and it’s delicious.

Corso Umberto, Taormina

After an afternoon rest at Hotel Villa Ducale, we walk back into town for aperitivo on the sweeping terrace at Grand Hotel Timeo.

Our cocktails are impressive. His is served in a smoke-filled glass dome, and mine comes with a foam pyramid on top. Add to that delicious nibbles and complimentary canapes, and this is the perfect place to be at sunset in Sicily.

When we’re done with our drinks, we head to dinner at Tischi Toschi. This family-run restaurant in Taormina is set on a side street, and its rustic interior and high ceilings welcome us in.

Aperitivo in Sicily

It’s all about local cuisine here, and we love everything from the pastas to the seafood.

Afterwards we take advantage of the complimentary shuttle to Hotel Villa Ducale to get back to our room without walking up the city stairs (although we could use some exercise to burn off all the calories!).

Either way, it’s a great end to the third of our 7 days in Sicily.

Taormina street in Italy

Day 4 in Sicily: Mount Etna and Taormina

The next morning we wake up early and enjoy breakfast with a view before getting picked up from the hotel for a tour of Mount Etna.

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Our guide drives us down through Taormina and Giardini Naxos before working his way up to the volcano. It’s amazing how the landscape changes from seaside to vineyards to mountain terrain so quickly.

Before we get to our final destination, we stop for a quick break at a lodge in the woods to have a coffee and use the restrooms. It’s quiet and cool here, and the chalet makes us feel like we’re in the Alps.

Mount Etna

Not far from the lodge we arrive at a trailhead. Our guide takes us on a walk along the Monti Sartorius trail. We’re excited to hike over the pebbly lava on Mount Etna.

From relatively flat terrain with local flora and fauna to the 7 craters formed during the 1865 eruption, we experience a range of topography while our guide tells us about the volcano and its history.

It’s amazing to be hiking on an active volcano, and unique to see the area around it.

Mount Etna hikers

After the hike we drive over to a local winery called Emilio Sciacca. This part of Sicily is famous for its wines, and we’re excited to sip them at the source.

We tuck into a sizeable three-course lunch in the tasting room, where a range of natural rose, orange, white, and almond wines is paired with the food.

We enjoy everything from an antipasti platter to fava bean pasta and cannoli while we’re here. It’s a great way to experience local produce and get a feel for the terroir.

Mount Etna winery


After lunch the tour continues as we head back to Taormina. We arrive at Hotel Villa Ducale in the late afternoon and spend time enjoying the views from our balcony.

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When evening comes, we walk down to the town center for drinks at a rooftop bar called Sky in Hotel Continental. It has sweeping views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos, and we get a front-row seat for aperitivo and cocktails.

Afterwards we head to dinner at Osteria Rosso di Vino. This local place is tucked away on a side street, and we sit at an outdoor table in the small courtyard.

Taormina rooftop bar

We tuck into delicious local cuisine, including divine tempura anchovies, seafood carpaccio, and a whole fresh fish. The food is excellent and the service spot-on, and it ends up being one of our favorite meals of the trip.

Day 5 in Sicily: Siracusa

The next morning we enjoy an early breakfast before checking out of our room at Hotel Villa Ducale and continuing our itinerary for 7 days in Sicily with a drive to Siracusa (Syracuse).

This city on the east coast of Sicily is known for its ancient Greek and Roman ruins and the stunning island of Ortigia. We start with the former.

Parco Archeologico della Neapolis

The Parco Archeologico della Neapolis in Siracusa is one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Italy, and we spend an hour taking it in.

From the Greek theater to the Anfiteatro Romano and a unique limestone quarry, we’re awed by the history here.

After seeing the ruins it’s a short drive to Ortigia. We park in one of the big lots and check into Gran Bretagna Boutique Hotel. Our room is huge by European standards, and we have a little balcony. It’s in a great location for sightseeing, too.

Ortigia street in Sicily

Once we’re settled in, we stumble upon a local restaurant called Trattoria del Buongustaio for lunch. At first we’re worried it’s a bit touristy, but we enjoy our meal of traditional pastas at an outdoor table.

After lunch we spend the afternoon walking all over Ortigia. This place is full of history, from a cathedral that was built on top of a Greek temple to the hulking Castello Maniace castle on the sea.

We tour the Galleria Regionale di Palazzo Bellomo to get a feel for the local history, walk through the narrow streets, soak up the scene in Piazza Duomo, and take in the fountains and views from the waterfront.

Piazza Duomo, Ortigia

This place is thoroughly charming, and we’re glad we’ve come. It’s one of our favorite stops on our itinerary.

After an obligatory gelato at a place called Don Peppinu, we walk over to the waterfront for aperitivo at one of the many bars with views. It’s called Sorelle, and we enjoy cocktails and snacks as the sun starts to set.

Afterwards we want to try more Sicilian wine, so we head to a local wine bar that gets good reviews. Enoteca Solaria has a rustic atmosphere and we settle in at an outdoor table to sip a glass of Etna’s finest.

Ortigia waterfront

We chase it up with dinner at a local restaurant called Trattoria La Pigna. We’re surrounded by tables of locals here, and we find they’ve all called ahead to order dishes that aren’t on the menu. We keep that in mind for next time.

We still tuck into delicious pasta dishes from the menu as we marvel at all we’ve seen and done on the fifth day of our trip to Sicily.

Day 6 in Sicily: Siracusa, Noto, and Ragusa

The next morning we enjoy delicious cappuccinos at the breakfast buffet at Gran Bretagna Boutique Hotel (as with the other places we’ve stayed, the morning meal is included in our room rate).

Street in Ortigia

Afterwards we check out of our room and drive across the bridge into the main part of Siracusa to see one last thing: a Caravaggio.

The famous artist painted the Burial of Saint Lucy while he was in Siracusa in 1608, and it’s in its original location in the Basilica of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro.

Located in the Borgata area, the church is a short drive from Ortigia. We make a quick stop inside to admire it, then hop back in the car for the next leg of our 7-day Sicily itinerary: Noto.

Noto church


The drive to Noto takes us through the interior of Sicily for the first time since we arrived. The countryside is idyllic, with peaceful farmland on either side of the narrow roads.

We arrive in Noto mid-morning and park in a lot in the historic center. This place is known for its Baroque architecture because it was re-built after a major earthquake in 1693.

After stopping for a quick coffee at Caffe Sicilia, we go into the cathedral and walk around the streets to take in the stunning architecture.

Noto Cathedral

The heart of the city is small and walkable, and we enjoy seeing everything from the historic Porta Reale o Ferdinandea gate to the impressive Baroque palazzi.

On our stroll we stumble upon a place called Panifico Maidda, which serves ancient-grain bread sfincione. They look so good we can’t help but stop to taste them, and it’s well worth it.

The bread alone is delicious, and the toppings take these fluffy Sicilian pizzas to the next level.

Porta Reale o Ferdinandea, Noto, Italy


Back in the car, we drive through more beautiful countryside to get to a hilltop town called Ragusa. Also built in the Baroque style, this place is known for food. We’ve eaten so well up until now that our expectations are high.

We park in a lot in Ragusa Ibla and walk over to check into our room at A.D. 1768 Boutique Hotel. This place has all kinds of style, from the leafy interior courtyard to the painted ceilings and the cool guest lounge. Our room even featured in the Financial Times.

After getting settled, we head out to explore Ragusa. First we wander through the Giardino Ibleo garden, a peaceful place with great views over the surrounding area.

Giardino Ibleo in Ragusa

From there we stop for lunch at a little place called Osteria Del Pane Cunzato, which serves panini made from ancient grain bread and cannoli made from cow’s milk ricotta (in other parts of Sicily it’s made from sheep’s milk).

Both are delicious, and we love the husband-and-wife team that owns the place. The meal proves why Ragusa is known for food as much as it is for Baroque architecture.

Speaking of architecture, we spend the afternoon walking around to take in everything from the 15th-century city gate to the stunning cathedral. Along the way we pop into local shops and soak up more views.

Ragusa hotel courtyard

When aperitivo o’clock rolls around, we have cocktails at Officina 31. Our gin and tonics are made with local Sicilian gin, and they go down a treat with views of the cathedral.

From there we head to Enoteca Il Barocco, a local food shop with a strong aperitivo game. We sit outside and enjoy Sicilian wine as we watch the world go by.

When it’s time for dinner, we walk over to Camuri. This place is known for serving traditional Sicilian cuisine with a contemporary flair.

Ragusa Cathedral

Our tasting menus include a stand-out pasta dish with anchovies that once again proves Ragusa deserves its reputation as a culinary hub.

Day 7 in Sicily: Wine Tasting, Avola, and Catania

The next morning we wake up early and enjoy an amazing breakfast at A.D. 1768 Boutique Hotel (as with the others, it’s included in our room rate). The Sicilian eggs are divine, and they set us up well for the day ahead.

Wine Tasting

It’s the last of our 7 days in Sicily, and we’re starting it with a wine tasting we’ve booked at Zisola Estate. We drive back to Noto and pull into the winery just in time for our tour.

Winery in Sicily

We’re welcomed by the friendly resident dogs before we’re taken through the vineyards and around the wine-making facilities by a host.

Afterwards we sit down for a tasting. We learn all about the local terroir as we sip a flight of Nero d’Avola, Catarratto, Petit Verdot, and other varieties. It’s a great way to learn about Sicilian wine at the source, and we pick up a couple bottles to take home with us on our way out.


At the recommendation of our host at the winery, we stop in the seaside town of Avola for lunch. Osciale Street Food is a little waterfront restaurant with outdoor seating and delicious sandwiches.

Avola beach in Sicily

We order at the window and tuck into tuna panini as we soak up the Sicilian sun. They’re as delicious as we’ve heard, and we’re glad we’ve made a detour to try them.


From Avola we continue our Sicily road trip with a drive to Catania. This city is known for everything from its ancient history to its buzzing port. We park in a lot by the train station and walk into the city center to do some sightseeing.

We hit up the Giardino Bellini gardens and the Roman amphitheater before making our way down Via Alessandro Manzoni to get to the Fontana dell’Elefante (Elephant Fountain) and the cathedral.

Catania street

We pop into the latter, standing in awe of the interior even after all the churches we’ve seen on our trip.

Outside we walk through the fish market by the Giardino Pacini as we make our way over to the Castello Ursino castle. Its hulking form is impressive, and we feel a real sense of history as we walk around it.

From the castle we dive even deeper into Catania’s history. We visit the Teatro Romano di Catania, which dates back to ancient times. It’s hidden behind a row of buildings, and it’s inspiring to see it when we enter.

Teatro Romano di Catania

After leaving the ruins we wave to the famous Porta Garibaldi gate before settling in for a drink at BarnAut. This cool place near the castle has good cocktails and great atmosphere.

From BarnAut we go to Scirocco for a quick street food dinner before walking back to the car via Palazzo Biscari. We wish we had time to see the port, the monastery, and the other palazzi, but we’ll have to save them for another visit.

We drop off the car at Catania airport and board our flight to London wanting to stay longer and see other parts of Sicily. We’ve had an amazing trip, and we know there’s more of the island to discover. We’re already planning our next visit.

Porta Garibaldi, Catania

One Week in Sicily

I hope you’ve found my itinerary for one week in Sicily helpful for understanding how you can spend your time in this part of Italy. It’s an amazing place, and 7 days is enough time to see a lot of the highlights.

Sicily Itinerary Map

As promised, I’ve created an interactive Google map of our Sicily itinerary. You can see it here. I hope it helps you plan a great trip to the island!

Taormina view in Sicily

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7 Days in Sicily

2 Comments on Lady’s Exciting Itinerary for 7 Days in Sicily

  1. Off to Scicily for Hubby Birthday in June thank you so much seems a perfect Itinerary Lynda&Kevin thans

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