Sicily is Italy’s largest island and is in the far south of the country, just across from the toe of the mainland. The island is home to many of my husband’s relatives – his parents came from there to live in London in 1959. We love going to visit his cousins, aunts and uncles there and try to explore a part of the island each time we go. Children are adored in Sicily so we’ve always found it a very family-friendly place to travel. There’s a lot to see on the island but with an area of 9,923 square miles linked by roads which sometimes disappear it’s a place which takes time to travel around – check out my post How to drive in Sicily to see what it’s really like to drive there.
Here are some great things to do in Sicily with kids.
Go to an agriturismo
These are farm restaurants which serve dishes using ingredients they’ve produced themselves. You never know what you’ll be served and there probably won’t be a menu but the food is likely to be delicious and it’s a good chance for kids to try some different foods. You can also stay at many agriturismos – read my post about our experience at an agriturismo: Staying on a farm in Sicily.
Visit a Greek temple
In Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta there are some wonderful ancient ruins to see – if your kids like the Percy Jackson books they should enjoy seeing these. Make sure you take some water with you because exploring temples is thirsty work and there may not be anywhere to buy a drink.
Spot the decorated horses
Look out for the traditional Sicilian decorated horses and carts which you can often see at popular tourist spots and on feast days. Kids love spotting these and tiny model horses and carts make great souvenirs.
Visit a volcano
Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. You can drive up to Rifugio Sapienza on the southern slopes and then take a cable car which carries you quite close to the top. From there you can take a Jeep to get even closer to the summit, if you’re brave enough. There’s a great adventure playground near the Rifugio Sapienza too.
Explore a castle
Sicily has been invaded and occupied countless times over the centuries because of its strategic location. This means that there are castles all over the place on the island including one perched on a crag at Mussomeli, where my in-laws live. You probably won’t find much in the way of signs or audio guides on offer but if your kids like castles they should find one they like in Sicily.
Take in a puppet show
The puppet theatre is a strong tradition in Sicily dating from the seventeenth century. The shows use large puppets (some are up to five feet tall) controlled by rods to re-enact traditional stories of Charlemagne and his paladins.
See some Roman mosaics
There’s a Roman villa at Piazza Armerina which has the most fabulous mosaics depicting everything from exotic animals to girls in bikinis. For centuries the villa was hidden by a mud slide which served to preserve the mosaics brilliantly.
Go on a food tour
Food tours are a great way to get to know a place, and Sicily has some wonderful food. We went on a fantastic food tour in Palermo, the island’s capital. You can read about it in my post Palermo street food tour .
Eat a gelato
Wherever you go in Sicily you won’t be far from a gelateria selling fresh and yummy home made ice-cream and sorbet. The only problem you’ll have is choosing which flavour to try.
Over to you
If you’ve ever been to Sicily, is there anything which you’d recommend doing there? If you haven’t been, is it somewhere which you’d like to explore?
Would love to visit Mt. Etna!
Helen @ Peakle Pie says
It looks beautiful, I must admit I have never thought of visiting Sicily before but now it is on my ‘bucket list’ of places to visit!
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Never been… as yet… maybe one day…
an agriturismo sound like a winner to me
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Jen Walshaw (@Mum_TheMadHouse) says
Itally is one of the few places in Europe I would love to take the kids too that we just haven’t managed. How wonderful to have relatives there
Sarah Ebner says
It really sounds a fantastic place to visit. I shall add it to the ever lengthening list!
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Always wanted to visit a volcano……..this sounds fantastic
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Emily @amummytoo says
Looks like a beautiful, serene place. I’d love to take the kids there.
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We took our family holiday these last year and loved it! Mount Etna was a must, Savocca – purely for the ice-cream and ambience, beaches but not in the midday heat and EtnaLand for a day of water park fun!
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Gretta Schifano says
They all sound great. I haven’t heard of Savocca so will try to check it out when we go next time, thank you.
Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says
Mmmm, gelato, yes please! It looks like a beautiful place to visit.
I’ve never been to Sicily but my grandma has and she brought this lovely miniature sculpture of a Sicilian house for me. These are all great things to do in Sicily for kids and adults alike.
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Sam @happyhomebird says
Oh I would love to go to Sicily one day. So far I’ve been a few places such as Sorrento, Capri and around Lake Garda. I adore Italy. My grandfather spoke Italian as he was there during the war – I feel a great love for the country. Off to dream now of the wonderful places you have mentioned….
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Gretta Schifano says
I’m sure you’d love it in Sicily if you’ve enjoyed your other trips to Italy. I hope you make it there one day.
Carole at Healthier Mummy says
It looks amazing. I’ve never been to Sicily and I think the children would love it. You’d sold it to me at that first incredible photo.
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Gretta Schifano says
I’m glad you like the photos – my husband took them.
Mummy of Two says
Wow that looks like an amazing place to visit!
Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Thank you for sharing this!
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Sarah Bailey says
Wow I have never been to Sicily, though would love to one day and I have to admit I would love to take in myself some of the things you mention. x
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VaiChin @Rambling Through Parenthood says
This sounds like it could be a fantastic adventure for the whole family.
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That all looks gorgeous but I’m especially interested in the Gelato x x
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Gretta Schifano says
Yep, gelato is the thing. So many flavours, so little time….
Kate Williams says
I haven’t been back to Italy since having kids but I would love to take them there, some great ideas here!
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I haven’t been to Sicily but would absolutely love to visit. We have been to Italy a number of times and are always so amazed by the response children get there – we literally had old grannies jumping in front of our pushchair to squeeze our baby’s cheeks!! Definitely hope to get to Sicily soon…even more so now!! 🙂
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Gretta Schifano says
Ah yes, the cheek-squeezing – my kids think it’s hilarious!
ninja Cat says
I would love to go here , great ideas.
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mellissa williams says
I have never been to Sicily but it looks a very interesting and beautiful place.
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