To say that Sicily has a lot of ancient monuments and buildings means to say nothing. There is a great number of them belonging to different epochs been built by the Greeks, the Arabs, the Romans, the Normans and other European nations. Few of the ancient buildings and monuments there are of great value for the whole mankind. The most valuable are listed in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
The choice of all these ancient monuments is great and it was very difficult to make a list of the most valuable ones. Nevertheless the UNESCO organization included the most outstanding ones.
- The Eolia or Lipary islands which have been formed as a result of volcanic activity in this region.
- The remains of the ancient city of Acragant (the Valley of Temples) in the province of Agrigento.
- The ancient Roman Villa del Cassale with the unique wall-paintings in the province of Enna.
- The block of ancient Greek buildings in Siracusa.
- The region of “Val di Noto” in the province of Catania and Raguza which is known as “the Republic of the Sicilian Baroque”.
Each of these objects is recognized as a part of the world heritage by UNESCO. Each has its own inimitable features which make it unique.
Eolia islands compile a unique archipelago near the coast of the Messina province which has been the centre of studying volcanic activity in Europe for the last two centuries. There are active volcanoes on the three isles of the archipelago. For example, on one of the islands called Stromboli the eruption occurs every quarter of an hour. Eolia islands belong to the main tourist route on Sicily.
The Valley of Temples is the pearl of the Agrigento province. There are nine cult buildings of the ancient Greeks there. The most famous are the Temple of Consent which equally with Hephaestus Temple in Athens is considered to be the best of well-preserved Hellenistic Temples in the world.
Villa del Cassale is an architectural masterpiece of the epoch of the Roman Empire. It is situated in the province of Enna in Piazza Armerina. Villa is an example of peculiar luxury. In the past it was a residence of one of the Roman Emperors.
A number of unique Greek buildings in Syracuse (the Necropolis, the Prince’s Palace) dated the 13th - 7th centuries B. C. proves the famous phrase of Cicero that “Syracuse is the greatest city of Greece and the most wonderful of all”.
The region of Val di Noto appeared after the earthquake at the end of the 17th century. Completely ruined eight towns and cities were rebuilt from bottom up in an inimitable style of the Sicilian baroque. Among them there are such cities as Caltagirone, Miltello, Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palatsollo, Ragusa and Scicli.