Sicily – Territory
Sicily presents a great landscaping variety. The territory is mostly hilly and flat; the mountain ranges are not very high, while some single mountains are higher: Pizzo Carbonara, Monte Soro and the majestic Etna volcano, always coverd with snow (3343 mt.). Stromboli and Vulcano are others active Volcanoes in Eolie archipelago.
There are 4 FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) Blue Flags: Lipari -Vulcano, Ispica-Santa Maria del Focallo, Marina di Ragusa, Menfi. The most famous beaches are those of Punta Secca, Capo Passero, San Vito lo Capo (where Cous Cous Festival takes place in september) and Scopello both in the Natural Reserve “Lo Zingaro” and Capo d’Orlando beach next to Messina.
The region has beautiful golden coasts, like Lipari and San Vito lo Capo, and lots of ancients remains coming from those who lived there in the past: Greek, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Bourbons. City and Places in Sicily are a cabinet of architectural ancient marvels.
In Sicily, seven sites have been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco: Valley of the Temples, Aeolian Islands, Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, the eight Late Baroque centers of Val di Noto (Modica, Ragusa, Noto, Catania , Scicli, Militello in Val di Catania, Caltagirone and Palazzolo Acreide), Syracuse and Necropolis of Pantalica, Mount Etna and the sapling vine of Pantelleria.
NATIONAL PARKS IN SICILY:
The National Parks of Italy are natural areas of land, sea, river, or lake whose value is a well-preserved ecosystem. Thus their nature, together with their cultural, educational, or recreational values are protected by the Italian Government in order to be preserved for the future. Currently, in Italy there are 25 National Parks, covering an area of over 1,500,000 hectares (15,000 km²), about 6% of the Italian territory.
REGIONAL PARKS IN SICILY:
The Italian Regional Parks are land, river, lake, and sea areas facing the coast. Their value is being like a system including the nature of the places, art, and cultural traditions of the local inhabitants. The Italian Regional Parks are more than 150 and cover an area of approximately 1million and 500,000 hectares.
Alcantara Regional Park (Messina)
Nebrodi Regional Park
Etna Regional Park
Madonie Regional Park
Monti Sicani Regional Park
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN SICILY:
Marine Protected Areas or Marine Reserves are stretches of the sea where sport fishing, professional fishing, scuba diving, the entry with motorboats, motorcycles, cars are prohibited or limited. And the abandonment of waste on the beaches is severely punished. The typology of these areas varies according to the protection constraints. There are more than 25 Italian Marine Protected Areas, covering an area of approximately 222,442 hectares of sea.
Capo Gallo – Isola delle Femmine
UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS IN SICILY:
Unesco global Geoparks are natural areas of particular geo-mining interest representing the 4,600 million-year history of Planet Earth and the geological events that have shaped it. Geoparks’ mission is to increase knowledge about the value of geo-diversity and to promote the conservation, tourism, and the popularization of the geological heritage. More than 100 Geoparks (Global Geoparks) are recognized worldwide in 33 countries, of which 69 in Europe. In Italy, there are 10 Unesco Geoparks.
Rocca di Cerere Park
Madonie Regional Park
WWF NATURE RESERVES IN SICILY:
The WWF Oases are the first Italian network of protected areas managed by a private association. WWF activities in the Oases range from ecotourism to nature holidays, education, training, and environmental information programs. There are more than 100 WWF Oases in Italy, covering more than 30,000 hectares of land in 18 regions. They are visited by more than 500,000 people a year.
In the Province of Trapani:
Lake Preola and Gorghi Tondi
Saline di Trapani e Paceco
In other Provinces:
Capo Rama (Palermo)
Torre Salsa (Agrigento)
BLUE FLAGS IN SICILY:
Blue Flag is an International recognition reserved for lakes or seaside tourist resorts that comply with sustainable land management criteria. The Blue Flag is awarded annually by the non-governmental and non-profit organization “Foundation for Environmental Education” (FEE). Only the localities whose waters have been excellent in the previous season can apply. In 2020, more than 195 municipalities and over 407 Italian beaches have been awarded as “Blue Flag”.
In the Province of Agrigento:
Menfi – Lido Fiori Bertolino, Porto Palo Cipollazzo
In the Province of Messina:
Lipari – Stromboli: Ficogrande, Lipari: Acquacalda, Canneto, Vulcano: Acque termali, Gelso
Tusa – Spiaggia Lampare, Spiaggia Marina
In the Province of Ragusa:
Ispica – Ciriga, Santa Maria del Focallo
Pozzallo – Pietrenere, Raganzino
Ragusa – Marina di Ragusa
ORANGE FLAGS IN SICILY:
Orange Flag is a tourism-environmental quality mark awarded by the Italian Touring Club to small towns in the Italian inland (maximum 15,000 inhabitants) which stand out for their quality hospitality. The Orange Flag has been awarded to over 200 Italian municipalities.
In the Province of Palermo: