New Year's Eve is coming: what about experiencing it on the most amazing island in Italy? Get ready to spend New Year's Eve in Sicily at its best.
New Year's Eve is just around the corner: Italians are preparing to welcome the New Year by celebrating with loved ones or planning a trip to some fascinating destination.
In Sicily, the arrival of New Year's Eve unleashes a festive atmosphere in the air, with the desire to get together and kick off religious and worldly traditions to exchange good wishes in merriment. Music, cultural events and performances will frame a new year ahead.
If you are thinking of spending your New Year's Eve in Sicily, here are some suggestions by Visit Italy to choose the right destination.
Why New Year's Eve in Sicily will be an unforgettable experience
Gathering with friends and family is definitely the one thing that unites Sicilians deeply. Year-end festivities are the perfect moment to celebrate togetherness and wish each other prosperity, wealth and health. If you find yourself in the midst of a celebration in Sicily, whether with friends or at an organized dinner party, you will personally feel that feeling of euphoria.
As throughout Italy, the king of celebrations is the big New Year's Eve dinner. In Sicily, the table set for the evening of December 31 offers dishes for all tastes: appetizers of cold cuts and cheeses, fried vegetables, gratinated cardi, meat or fish dishes. And then orange salads, lentils and cotechino, foods believed to be useful to ingratiate the new year with much prosperity.
Before the stroke of midnight, in Sicily it's all a buzz of laughter, cackling and good humor. Some people organize card games with a lot of participants, some others prepare fireworks or the cutting of cassata and panettone, and those who during dinner at a club throw themselves into one last dance, before uncorking a bottle of spumante.
If you think New Year's Eve in Sicily is for you, all you have to do is think about where to go and what to do, choosing from the dozens of locations ready to welcome you.
Food and wine tourism, a big draw for travelers
Among the many attractions that Sicily offers to those who visit it, the richness of its gastronomy definitely takes the center stage. For several years, a large part of Italian and foreign visitors have been choosing this magnificent island to also enjoy the delicacies of its cuisine. In particular, choosing to spend their New Year's Eve in Sicily this year can only be a winning choice to satisfy their culinary tastes.
The list of famous dishes and typical products in Sicily is almost endless, in addition to being distinguished geographically by province. Palermo is the kingdom of fried and street food, sfincione and pani ca meusa or Martorana fruit. In Catania, pistachio is a DOP excellence, along with pasta alla norma and minne di Sant'Agata. And then everywhere in Sicily it is possible to taste DOC wines, such as Cerasuolo di Vittoria or Marsala, as well as extra-virgin olive oil of absolute value. You are definitely spoiled for choice.
We at Visit Italy invite you to discover this food and wine paradise: experiential tourism routes in Sicily are growing fast, with more and more quality tastings and winery tours. We also suggest you try a stay one of the many agritourisms scattered around the island, for an unforgettable New Year's vacation among cuisine, local traditions and good company.
9. A New Year's Eve on the seaside: the Sicilian islands
The idea of spending the last days of the year in a seaside place may seem like an unusual choice. However, precisely because of the mild climate that characterizes Sicily at this time of the year, opting for a trip to one of the beautiful Sicilian islands will give you great satisfaction.
There are three main archipelagos: the Aeolian, Egadi and Pelagie Islands. Amongst the nineteen inhabited Sicilian islands you’ll find a wide variety of travel options. If you already imagine waiting for midnight with your group of friends while admiring the beauty of unspoiled nature, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, look at the map and choose one of the enchantingly named islands: Panarea, Levanzo, Marettimo, Lampedusa, Favignana, Pantelleria or Vulcano.
Do you already feel the magic of a New Year's Eve in the middle of the Mediterranean? You won't regret it.
8. The art treasures of Agrigento for a legendary New Year's Eve
Southern Sicily is probably the least known one to the general public of tourists coming to the island. But once you've discovered the wonders of this area, you'll just have to enjoy the sensations you'll experience at every moment. Especially if you choose New Year's Eve to start the new year amid the myths and legends of Magna Graecia.
It’s here that for 2,500 years the Valley of the Temples has made Agrigento a timeless place, where ancient history has stopped to bear witness to its glories. The world's largest archaeological park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, is a gem of history, art and architecture facing a very long coastline, not surprisingly called the Coast of Myth.
If you want your New Year's Eve in Sicily to be a truly unforgettable experience, coming to visit Agrigento and the wonders of its province will make you travel back in time. Your biggest wish will be to celebrate the end of the year by toasting together with ancient Greeks, Arabs and Romans.
New Year's Eve events in the Sicilian facilities
If your passion for Sicily and travel should not lack maximum comfort and a range of exclusive services, you can satisfy all your needs by choosing from one of the wonderful luxury resorts throughout Sicily.
What better way to celebrate the New Year in Sicily by combining beauty, gastronomy, art and a first-class accommodation for complete and total relaxation. You will thus be able to greet the New Year by toasting together in an elegant atmosphere full of euphoria.
Together with your loved ones you can enjoy the best services related to wellness, with swimming pools and spas, massage area, gym and sports equipment, besides guided tours to the nearest tourist sites.
In all Sicilian provinces there are 5-star hotels, boutique hotels and top resorts that attract exceptional tourists from all over the world. What are you waiting for?
6. Markets and fairs in the characteristic Sicilian villages
If during your travels you are looking for the authenticity of a place, discovering its essence by talking to the locals and adapting to their way of life, the small Sicilian villages are what Visit Italy recommends you to choose. In each of Sicily's nine provinces you’ll find villages and small towns ready to surprise you with their everyday life, made up of simple things linked to tradition.
You could book a bed and breakfast in the centre of an inland Sicilian village, for example, to find yourself in the midst of a slower pace of life, in contact with nature and agricultural production. It will be a New Year's Eve of “proximity" for an experiential tourism that appeals to those who really like to travel.
The welcoming spirit typical of Sicilians will make it easy for you to enter their homes, their places of production and craft stores. It will take you on long walks to quietly discover those traditional markets that are still there, where the lure of past times and tourism mingle in a rare balance without distorting their essence.
5. Siracusa, Ragusa and baroque Sicily
On this tour to find your destination to New Year's Eve in Sicily, it’s necessary to mention that Baroque part of the island that has remained perfectly preserved: Syracuse and Ragusa, with their villages and small towns will enchant you with their typical atmosphere reminding of a glorious past.
In Syracuse people will celebrate the stroke of midnight with a big concert in Piazza Duomo, located right on the marvelous Island of Ortigia, with baroque churches and noble palaces of rare beauty. Here you can experience the last moments of the year together with a festive crowd in one of the most evocative places in Italy.
Ragusa, divided into old and new city after an ancient earthquake, is ideal for those who like to take their time visiting churches and cathedrals, for a tourism that combines art, architecture and religion.
Between the two big cities, Noto Modica and Marzamemi are just some of the most characteristic villages to visit during the days before or after your New Year's Eve. Charming places that will amaze you with the deliciousness of their typical products and the ability of the people to make you feel at home with a smile.
4. A New Year's Eve in nature in the mountains of Sicily
Another way to say goodbye in the best way possible to the year that is going away is to enjoy experiences in contact with nature. Lovers of sports, trekking and long nature walks have only to choose from the dozens of locations in Sicily that allow this type of tourism.
Sicily has several mountain ranges of rare beauty that few travellers really know about. The Nebrodi Park, for example, is the largest protected area in Sicily: it stretches along the province of Messina but is also easily accessible from Palermo and Catania. Here you will find yourself immersed in a natural paradise of forests, rocks, lakes and waterfalls with long trails in the middle of the green to leave you breathless.
And then you’ll find the Madonie, Monti Sicani, Peloritani and Iblei Mountains watching us from above. If your passion is outdoor movement, maybe in search of protected flora and fauna in the midst of unspoiled greenery, a naturalistic trip for New Year's Eve in Sicily is your best choice.
3. Taormina and the double New Year's Eve in Messina
Coming back to the most popular places in Sicily for mass tourism, Taormina is the queen of north-eastern Sicily which welcomes millions of tourists every year. Its unique charm, with its Greek theatre and wonderful views overlooking the sea will make you want to go back on various occasions. Why maybe not on New Year's Eve?
Taormina again this year offers its citizens and visitors the spectacle of the concert in Piazza IX Aprile, the most elegant "living room" of the city. Together they’ll toast to the coming year while singing, dancing and celebrating with that typical Sicilian euphoria which comes out on big occasions.
Another suggestive place where to uncork the champagne at midnight is certainly Messina, with its suggestive gulf and the golden Virgin who observes the festivities from above. In fact, here you can observe the "double New Year's Eve". It’s one of the most incredible fireworks displays in Italy, for the simple fact that from Messina you can watch both the fireworks thrown into the air from the Sicilian and Calabrian coasts at the same time.
2. New Year's Eve in Catania: in Catania the most varied choice
Usually called "the Milan of the South" for its industrial fervor and capacity for innovation, Catania could be the perfect candidate for your New Year's Eve in Sicily.
Rich in an immense cultural, historical and religious heritage, this city is a treasure to discover at any time of the year. Each traveller can decide to experience "their own Catania" choosing among art, gastronomy, daily life inside the traditional markets, religious celebrations or cultural events.
In the last day of the year, music in Catania plays a major role, with the traditional concert at the Teatro Massimo Bellini featuring internationally renowned conductors and musicians. Then in Piazza Duomo the crowd will greet the coming New Year with a big concert followed by fireworks displays.
But the offer does not end there. The amount of organized events, big dinners in hotels and restaurants, dance parties and disco nights is so vast that you just have to dive in and enjoy the explosion of joy of celebrating in Sicily.
1. New Year's Eve in Palermo between prestigious villas and live concerts
We conclude our journey among New Year's Eve destinations in Sicily with the island's capital: Palermo.
We can define this city as a small compendium of Sicilian culture. Here history has seen a succession of rulers who have forged its identity and way of life: Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragons, Spaniards - from the union of these cultures it arised an explosive mix of art, architecture, collective rituals and gastronomy that is unparalleled in Europe and the world.
Spending New Year's Eve in Palermo is a perfect opportunity to experience enchanting atmospheres in the streets: strolling through the typical markets of Vucciria, Ballarò or Capo, sneaking into some small church hidden amidst the hubbub of street vendors, and then tasting the best food in the narrow streets around the city centre. You’ll take advantage of the good weather that usually kisses the city in these weeks, having an unparalleled feeling of euphoria and trepidation while waiting for the end of the year.
Palermo is preparing to celebrate New Year's Eve with the usual concerts in the squares of its city, particularly in Piazza Castelnuovo where the famous Politeama Theater towers. At the Teatro Massimo, the temple of opera, the grand concert will kick off on Dec. 31, having this year as its theme the symphonies of Johann Strauss.
In addition to parties in hotels and clubs throughout the city, in Palermo there’s the possibility of attending dinners organized at ancient noble villas. These are splendid examples of Louis XVI-style residences such as the house-museum of Villa Adriana owned by the Bordonaro family or the Art Nouveau-style villino Florio. These are truly exclusive events that can take you back to the splendour of the 18th century, when Palermo thrived on aristocratic wealth now lost.
Looking forward to the New Year in Sicily will surely be an experience you won’t regret. You will be enraptured by the amount of colours, scents and engaging situations so that the future will look more optimistic and exciting.
Best wishes from the editorial staff of Visit Italy!