We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Guide to Sicily for Families

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

88%
Found this guide helpful

Active volcanoes, mud baths, colorful markets, ancient theaters, salt mills, a fine tradition of crafts, and 2,000-year-old bikini-clad athletes are among the treats that Sicily has in store for families! Activities on offer here are incredibly varied, from the wild outdoors to sophisticated arts, meaning that as a family destination, this island is sure to enchant year round.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

8 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

La Vucciria

Flea & Street Markets

International Puppet Museum Antonio Pasqualino

Speciality Museums

Spiaggia di Mondello

Beaches

Catacombe dei Cappuccini

Cemeteries, Historic Sites

Isole dello Stagnone, Sicilia

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Villa Romana del Casale

Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Ear of Dionysius (Orecchio di Dionisio)

Caverns & Caves

Monte Etna

Geologic Formations, Volcanoes, Mountains

Terme di Vulcano

Hot Springs & Geysers

Judy E's City Tips

  • The tip is generally included in the price of the meal. Some choose to round the bill up and leave a bit extra.
  • Family travel around Sicily is best by car. The major airports are good places to rent a car and roads generally have good signage, with directions for major sights.
  • Sicily is more off the tourist route than Rome, Florence, and Venice. Dress more conservatively in churches (no shorts, bare midriffs, minis, etc).
  • Ask about food for kids, "cibo per bambini." When they yearn for the familiar, French fries (patate frite), pizza, and other recognizable dishes are widely available.
  • Train service is limited; more areas are served by bus lines.
  • If you are looking for art supplies on your trip, look for a "cartoleria" (stationery shop), which often sells pens, crayons, paints, and a variety of paper.
  • Nothing beats sailing around the islands! Ferries are the least expensive sea transportation — or, consider chartering your own boat with a skipper.
  • Arrival by ferry from Naples or Salerno is part of the fun.
  • La Vucciria
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    What's to eat in Sicily? Typical food here offers incredible variety and is delicious. Some dishes will be familiar, but many tastes, colors, and shapes will be new. So where to begin? The best place, in my opinion, is at an outdoor market, where you can explore many food specialties in one go. A stroll through Vucciria Market — Palermo's most famous — is an entertaining morning activity for all ages, and you can snack as you go. Today the market is smaller than it used to be and does cater to tourists, but as such, it a manageable one-stop shop for families.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Visit food markets in the morning. Most close by 1 or 2pm.
    • Gather food for a picnic here, and enjoy it at the beach.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #111 of 418 things to do in Palermo
    • Very ordinary and not much to see 11/10/2018
    • A tiny, quite insignificant market - at least during the day 08/10/2018
    • La Vucciria
    Address:
    Via Coltellieri 46
    90133, Palermo, Sicily
    Italy
  • International Puppet Museum Antonio Pasqualino
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    Inspire your own storytelling with the puppets and marionettes on display at this museum. The use of puppets spans ancient to modern times, and this museum features a beautifully-crafted international collection.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Note: This is not an interactive museum, but a place to examine the intriguing designs applied to international puppets in a unique collection.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #53 of 418 things to do in Palermo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Treasure 10/08/2018
    • Visit to museum 27/07/2018
    • International Puppet Museum Antonio Pasqualino
    Address:
    Piazzetta Antonio Pasqualino
    90100, Palermo, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 091 328060
    Hours:
    Sun - Mon
    10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Spiaggia di Mondello
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    Fancy a swim and some relaxation time on the beach? In Palermo, many locals head to Mondello, a beautiful strip of sand and long stretch of shallow aqua-colored water, which makes for a scenic backdrop and a safer space for younger children to explore. Beach clubs (stabilmenti) rent chairs and umbrellas, and there are plenty of places to eat, too.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • The beach gets crowded in the summer, especially on weekends. If you want to secure a place, arrive early in the morning.
    • Bring sunscreen, towels and beachwear.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Mondello
    • Lovely sandy beach, not as over-crowded as some 09/10/2018
    • Great sand, warm sea 08/10/2018
    • Spiaggia di Mondello
    Address:
    Viale Regina Elena
    Mondello, Palermo, Sicily
    Italy
  • Catacombe dei Cappuccini
    Cemeteries, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    While a visit to the Cappucini (Capuchin) catacombs isn't for everyone, it will certainly appeal to kids ready for the thrills and chills of seeing real mummies. Corpses were placed in these catacombs during the 17th-19th centuries, and the result is some 8,000 unusual mummies that were preserved by the atmospheric conditions.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    Tips
    • This is a religious sight, meaning conduct is the same as for visiting a church. Dress conservatively.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #43 of 418 things to do in Palermo
    • Interesting place! 15/10/2018
    • Slightly boring 14/10/2018
    • Catacombe dei Cappuccini
    Address:
    Piazza Cappuccini 1
    90129, Palermo, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 091 212117
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 12:00 AM
    3:00 PM - 12:30 AM
    Other:
  • Isole dello Stagnone, Sicilia
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    A windmill in Sicily? At first glance, this windmill might seem more at home in the landscape of Holland, but structures like this were once an important part of salt production in the area. There is a small museum on the premises to visit and interesting demonstrations showing how the process used to work, plus the journey there alongside the sea salt marshes is interesting in itself!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Inquire in advance about demonstrations of the windmill or salt harvesting. Though explanations will be in Italian, you can still learn a lot by observing the process.
    • Buy some salt here as a souvenir from the trip. Back home, compare it to the table salt that you ordinarily use!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #340 of 4,363 things to do in Sicily
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A real gem, enjoy the sunset! 17/05/2017
    • Very romantic place 16/10/2014
    • Isole dello Stagnone, Sicilia
    Address:
    Vicolo Stagnone 196
    91025, Sicily
    Italy
  • Villa Romana del Casale
    Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    Villa Romana del Casale features the most unusual sports-themed mosaics that you're ever likely to encounter. Known informally as the 'Bikini Mosaics,' these 2,000-year-old scenes depict a variety of ancient athletes in action, including 10 young women playing the same kinds of sports and games that we play today. Other scenes show the capture of wild animals for the circus and the Labors of Hercules.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Before you go: Read the "Labors of Hercules" together, which can be found in most mythology books sold in museum shops and bookstores.
    • How many sports/games can you identify?
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 47 things to do in Piazza Armerina
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing mosaics, best we’ve ever seen. 14/10/2018
    • Beautiful mosaics 14/10/2018
    • Villa Romana del Casale
    Address:
    Strada Provinciale 90
    Piazza Armerina, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 0935 684148
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Ear of Dionysius (Orecchio di Dionisio)
    Caverns & Caves
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    Nature provides the entertainment at Orecchio di Dionisio (the Ear of Dionysius), which dates back to the 5th-century BC, when Sicily was Greek and Dionysisus ruled. Visit this limestone S-shaped cave, talk, and then simply listen to the echoes. Dionysius I, the tyrant of Syracuse, held political prisoners here and then eavesdropped on their conversations!

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Budding Thespians will want to visit the nearby Greek Theater of Syracuse.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 121 things to do in Syracuse
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • History! 14/10/2018
    • Amazing!! 13/10/2018
    • Ear of Dionysius (Orecchio di Dionisio)
    Address:
    Parco Archeologico della Neapolis
    Syracuse, Sicily
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 0931 66206
    Other:
  • Monte Etna
    Geologic Formations, Volcanoes, Mountains
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    Marvel at one of the world's most active volcanoes, and one of the largest in Europe, Mt. Etna. More than twice the size of Mt. Vesuvius near Naples, Etna is impressive in any season. If summer's in the air, enjoy a gentle hike on its slopes, or if visiting in the winter, whizz down on anything from sleds and snowboards to trays or cardboard-box panels.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Hikers: Hike in the morning. Wear sturdy shoes that offer ankle support for uneven terrain. Dress in layers, wear a jacket for wind and sunglasses for glare.
    • Have gear handy in case of rain or snow.
    • If the volcano happens to be erupting, you can watch the spectacle from a number of vantage points in Sicily, well out of harm's way.
    • The winter atmosphere is festive and lively. Wood cabins rent equipment and serve refreshments.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 158 things to do in Catania
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best as a coach visit. 16/10/2018
    • Incredible volcano in a very populated area 15/10/2018
    • Monte Etna
  • Terme di Vulcano
    Hot Springs & Geysers
    See more photos
    Judy E Says:

    Have fun in the mud on the volcanic island of Vulcano. One of the Aeolian Islands, Vulcano was one of the legendary workshops of Hephaestus, the Greek blacksmith god (Vulcan, for the Romans), and is best known nowadays for its bubbling and belching mud flows. Great for soaking sore muscles in particular, this is the one time you can actively encourage the kids and anyone else to go play in the mud! (Beaches are nearby for swimming, and very handy for rinsing off!)

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Bring an old bathing suit to wear and avoid getting mud on clothes. The mud is grayish and heavier in weight than water, so it may stain or stretch fabric.
    • Wear practical shoes that can be rinsed off easily. Inexpensive rubber thongs and sandals are fine, but don't wear them directly in the wet mud or the suction may pull them apart!
    • The beach is nearby to rinse off, but the sulphur smell may linger on the skin for a day or so. Be prepared to smell like a rotten egg!
    • This is an inexpensive, casual outdoor experience, not an elegant spa, so bring your own supplies.
    • Ferries operate year-round between Milazzo in eastern Sicily and Vulcano. The trip itself is enjoyable and takes 1-2 hours each way.
    • Read myths about Hephaestus, the Greek blacksmith god, or his Roman counterpart, Vulcan. "Metamorphoses" by Ovid was written in Ancient times and is highly entertaining.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 11 things to do in Isola Vulcano
    • Stinky but just do it 12/10/2018
    • Diamond geyser in the mud 21/09/2018
    • Terme di Vulcano
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo