Sciacca Mini Guide
Where is Sciaccia?
Sciaccia is a spa town on the south west coast of Sicily. It overlooks the sea and is dominated by Mount San Calogero to the east. It is the oldest bath resort in Sicily and was founded in the 7th century.
How can I get There?
The Trenitalia train service will take you there from Italy
and you can use the AST bus service to get around Sicily. From further afield, you will find yourself at Trapani-Birgi Airport
(90 km away) or Palermo Airport
(120 km) – from these airports you can take a train or bus to Sciaccia or even better, hire a car to explore the area.
What is There to see in the Town?
You can visit the Cathedral of Maria SS del Sorcosso, it was originally built in the 12th century but was rebuilt in 1685 after the island’s earthquake. You can also see the Palazzo Tagliavia, an 11th century neo-gothic palace and the Castle of Counts Lun.
What can I do There?
Head for the beaches at San Marco and Contrado Sobareto and sunbathe or take a swim. Try out the Thermal and Mud Baths, they are the known to be the best in the Mediterranean. To see where the original baths were, go to the resort of Grande Albergo delle Stufe – this is where the original thermae started in the caves there.
What Should I eat?
Seafood! Try the pasta with sardines at Al Faro Restaurant – it is a favourite local dish. Buy some tinned anchovies to take home, they are a speciality of the town and a major export. You must also visit a pasticceria and sample some of the sweet treats on offer.
Where can I Stay?
The Melquart Hotel is a modern hotel in the heart of Sciaccia and close to the harbour and main square. It has minimalist rooms with free Wi-Fi and a stylish bar for your evening cocktail. Discounts are available at local restaurants for all guests.
Outside the Town
There is a lot to see in the local area, visit Eraclea Minoa just for the location – Greek ruins next to a pine forest and backed by a beach. Caltabellotta is well worth a visit, it is a hilltop village with tunnels and an interesting church.
Are There any Special Events?
The carnival takes place just before the beginning of Lent in February. It features a parade of bizarre and gaudy papier mache figures.
Sciacca still has much evidence of its medieval past; from the old city walls with the well preserved gates to the grid pattern of the old medieval streets. If you’ve hired a car there you’ll find it easy to explore the city and the old fishing port which is a lively centre of activity when the fishing boats arrive with the day’s catch.
Another place of note worth visiting is the Duomo which dates from the 12th century but which was rebuilt in the 17th century after a damaging earthquake.