63 Lovely Quotes About Sicily to Inspire You to Visit

Reading quotes about Sicily is a nice way to get excited about an upcoming Sicilian adventure. It could be the inspiration that you need to go ahead and book a ticket.

Sicily, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, has seduced travellers for centuries. It is characterised by its cerulean waters, its dreamy landscapes, and its rich cultural heritage. 

Reading quotes about Sicily, with a strong glass of limoncello in hand, allows you to reminisce and drift into a nostalgic daydream about your past trips to the region. Some of the best quotes about Sicily are enclosed here.

They conjure up dreamy visions of wandering through fragrant lemon groves, driving along coastal roads, and tucking into sumptuous servings of pasta in crowded piazzas. Meanwhile, live musicians play old Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra classics around you. Ah, Sicily. 

The Best Quotes About Sicily

Quotes about Sicily: Beautiful Taormina, Eastern Sicily
Quotes about Sicily: Beautiful Taormina, Eastern Sicily

Since ancient times, tales of Sicily’s beauty have spread far and wide. Centuries ago, the Romans and the Greeks were captivated by the island’s charm.

Countless poets from Homer to Virgil have sung Sicily’s praises. The following quotes about Sicily perfectly embody that. 

“Sicily is the pearl of this century… Since old times, travelers from the most faraway country… boast of its merits, praise its territory, rave about its extraordinary beauty, and highlight its strengths… because it brings together the best aspects from every other country.”

Al-Idrisi, Arabian Geographer 

“…On the sixth day, 

God accomplished His work

And, pleased with all the beauty

He had created,

He took the Earth in His hands,

And kissed it.

There, where He put His lips,

That’s Sicily.”

Renzo Barbera, Italian Businessman

The climate’s delicate; the air most sweet.

Fertile the isle, the temple much surpassing

The common praise it bears.”

William Shakespeare, Playwright

“Going to Sicily is better than going to the moon.”

Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez, Spanish Writer

“I was enchanted… the limpidity of the sky, the restless splendor of the sun, the beauty of the countryside, a certain excitement of the fantasy…which brought to mind the time when in the fields one encountered the divine.”

Jean Houel, French painter

“The purity of the outlines, the softness of everything, saggy of colors, the harmonious unity of the sky with the sea and the sea with the land … who saw them only once, he owns them for life.”

Goethe, German poet

“To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything!” 

Goethe, German poet

“I do not envy God’s paradise because I am so satisfied to live in Sicily”.

Federico II, King of Sicily, Emperor of the Roman Empire 

“And anyone who has once known this land can never be quite free from the nostalgia for it.”

D. H. Lawrence, Writer 

“Sicily is more beautiful than any woman” 

Truman Capote, Writer 

“The South of Italy and Sicily were a gift from the gods to the Greeks.”

Salvatore Furnari, Historian

“The loveliest region of Italy: a stunning orgy of colors, scents, and lights…a great delight”

Sigmund Freud, Neurologist

“Palermo was lovely. The most beautifully situated town in the world – it dreams away its life in the Conca d’Oro, the exquisite valley that lies between two seas. The lemon groves and the orange gardens were entirely perfect.”

Oscar Wilde, Writer 

“Syracuse is the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all.”

Cicero, Roman Orator

“Syracuse is the grandest of cities, a sojourn dear to the indomitable Ares.”

Pindar, Greek Poet

“I don’t have words to express how she has welcomed us: with fresh green mulberry trees, evergreen oleanders, lemon hedgerows, etcetera. In a public garden, there are broad beds of buttercups and anemones. The air is mild, warm, and aromatic. The wind balmy.”

Goethe, German poet 

“My memories of my childhood are wonderful memories. I feel that I was privileged because I grew up in a beautiful city. It is Catania” 

Luca Parmitano, Italian Astronaut 

Were a man to spend only one day in Sicily and ask, “What must one see?” I would answer him without hesitation, “Taormina.” It is only a landscape, but a landscape where you find everything on earth that seems made to seduce the eyes, the mind, and the imagination.”

Guy de Maupassant, French Writer

I was born in Messina, Sicily. I stayed there until I was 18 and finished my studies

Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Italian Actress

Quotes about the Rich Culture of Sicily 

Sicily is one of the most culturally diverse islands in the world. After all, Palermo is the most-conquered city on Earth.

Over the years, various civilizations have invaded the island and taken over. Each of them has left its everlasting mark on little Sicily.

They have greatly contributed to the culture, cuisine, and architecture that the island has today. There are few other places where you can see Arabian mosques, Greek theatres, and Roman sculptures contained in a small neighbourhood of one city. 

“Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow”

Plato, Greek Philosopher

“Sicily has suffered 13 foreign dominations from which she has taken both the best and the worst. The sequence of different cultures has made Sicily a fascinating place, quite unlike any other.”

Andrea Camilleri, Writer

“But you don’t come to Palermo to stay in minimalist hotels and eat avocado toast; you come to Palermo to be in Palermo, to drink espressos as dark and thick as crude oil, to eat tangles of toothsome spaghetti bathed in buttery sea urchins, to wander the streets at night, feeling perfectly charmed on one block, slightly concerned on the next. To get lost”

Matt Goulding, Author  

“Sicily is a blessed land. First, because of its geographic position in the Mediterranean. Second, for its history and all the different peoples who have settled there: Arabs, Greeks, Normans, the Swedes. That has made us different from others. We exaggerate, we overdo. We love Greek tragedy. We cry we fight, sometimes for nothing.”

Marcello Giordani, Italian Operatic Tenor

“All of Sicily is a dimension of the imagination.”

Leonardo Sciascia, Sicilian Writer

“In Sicilia abbiamo tutto. Ci manca il resto”
(In Sicily we have everything. We are missing the rest) 

Pino Caruso, Italian Actor 

“Sicily is an island lying outside time, where past events endure in an external present, a beach on which the tides of successive civilizations have heaped in disorder their assorted treasure.”

Vincent Cronin, The Golden Honeycomb

“Whatever may happen to the Sicilians, they comment on it with a joke.”

Cicero, Roman orator

Even More Quotes about Sicily

“Ho capito che la Sicilia è molto più complessa di quello che si può pensare: la paragonerei ad una cipolla dai molti strati.”
(Sicily is much more complex than you may think. It’s like an onion with its many layers) 

Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Writer

I like to collect aprons from different places I go. I first started when I was in Italy because I thought that would be really appropriate. I got a hand-stitched Italian apron from this woman in Sicily who put my name on it, and it said, ‘Sicily, Italy.’ So now I get one from everywhere I go

Britt Robertson, American Actress

The failure of Christianity in the areas west from Sicily was even greater, and was increased by the spread of Arab outlooks and influence to that area, and especially to Spain.

Caroll Quigley, American Historian

We built our fashion around three fundamental concepts: Sicily, tailoring, and tradition. Our dream is to create a style which is timeless, and to create clothes with such a strong personality that whoever sees them can instantly say without a shadow of a doubt: this is a Dolce & Gabbana.

Domenico Dolce, Italian Fashion Designer of Dolce & Gabbana

As the sun rose, the humid shadows of the night withdrew from the deserted slopes, leaving blue brushstrokes; the restored crops rustled and birds fluttered there in search of food. The sky gained depth and turned deep blue. Then it bleached, incandescent. The blazing sun dominated and electrocuted everything, inexorable. The birds, tired and blinded by the bright light, took refuge behind the stones; grasses and plants along the paths held back the scents and lowered the parched leaves. The thirsty shadows of the evening – long, clear, red – awakened insects, birds and country smells

Simonetta Agnello Hornby, Italian Writer

“All that nature has of great, all it has of pleasant, all it has of terrible, can be compared to Etna and Etna cannot be compared to anything.”

Dominique Vivant Denon, French Artist and Writer

In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns

Mario Puzo, American Author

I understand more than I speak. I speak more of a dialect; my mum’s from Naples and my dad’s from Sicily, so it comes out little a bit of a cocktail of the Italian language

Luke Pasqualino, British-Italian Actor

Student journeys which were important to me were Sicily, Greece, and Egypt, where I really saw these buildings, and that is where you’re able to grasp what things mean.

Ben Nicholson, English Abstract Painter

Frank Sinatra took me to a whole new planet. I worked with him until he passed away in ’98. He left me his ring. I never take it off. Now, when I go to Sicily, I don’t need a passport. I just flash my ring

Quincy Jones, American Record Producer

My grandfather was a chef for a Baron in Sicily before he came to America. I grew up with him. I used to do my homework at one end of the kitchen table while he cooked at the other end

Vincent Schiavelli, Italian American Actor

I rented a house in Favignana, off the coast of Sicily, in the mid or late ’90s. There was a revolving door of visiting friends and family – we played games, painted our faces, went swimming naked, cooked big meals, rode around on motorini, and had great cappuccinos

Amber Valletta, American Actress

But the travel worm had entered their brains, and it wouldn’t stop gnawing on them. Giovanni found, in the old habits of Catania, that unpleasant smell which after two or three years is found in a habit of fatigue. The walks around the course, the talks with friends, my God, again?

Vitaliano Brancati, Italian Novelist

And what do you want me to do? To see the elephant in Piazza del Duomo? (Catania) You guys are there

Federico De Roberto, Italian Writer

Quotes about Sicilian Cuisine 

Quotes about Sicily: Catania, Eastern Sicily
Quotes about Sicily: Catania, Eastern Sicily

Sicilian cuisine, with its prominent street food culture, proves that Italian food is far more than just pizza and pasta. Head into a quaint, family-run trattoria, order up a pasta alla Norma with a limoncello to wash it all down with.

You will soon understand what all the fuss is about. There are many dishes that are native to this region. You will be hard pushed to find them elsewhere in Italy.

“Food is more essential than clothes”

Sicilian proverb

“Everything is good fried, even the soles of shoes” 

Southern Italian proverb 

Sicilian food is exactly everything I love: the cuttlefish-stained pasta, street meat, inky wines, oily fishes. And for some reason, though I don’t speak Italian, I understand nearly every word in Sicily.”

Anthony Bourdain, Travel Writer and Famous Chef

that ubiquitous Sicilian starter of eggplant, capers, and various other vegetation, stewed into a sweet and savory jam that you will want to smear on everything. Everything around you screams Italy, but those flavors on the end of the fork? The sweet-and-sour tandem, the stain of saffron, the grains of rice: pure Africa.

Matt Goulding, American Writer

One of the biggest dishes in Sicily is couscous, and there’s always been a North African influence on Italian culture, culinary culture there.

Jonas Carpignano, Italian Film Director

I think that my interpretation of Italian was a lot more southern than what my husband cooks. You know, I grew up in Queens and in Brooklyn, and we – really, it’s more southern. It’s Naples and Sicily. It’s heavier. It’s over-spiced. And like most Americans, I thought spaghetti and meatballs was genius

Debi Mazar, American Actress

Palermo is dotted everywhere with frittura shacks- street carts and storefronts specializing in fried foods of all shapes and cardiac impacts. On the fringes of the Ballarò market are bars serving pane e panelle, fried wedges of mashed chickpeas combined with potato fritters and stuffed into a roll the size of a catcher’s mitt. This is how the vendors start their days; this is how you should start yours, too.

Matt Goulding, American Writer

Quotes About Sicilian People

Sicilian people, and people of Southern Italian descent in general, are among the friendliest people that you can encounter when you travel the Mediterranean. Sicilians themselves joke about how the country gets colder (both in temperature and friendliness), the further north you go.

Sicilians, welcoming and hospitable, outgoing and passionate, are in many ways comparable to Greeks. After all, Syracuse was a majorly important Greek city at one point. The best Sicily quotes that perfectly embody the characters of the local people are detailed below.

They’re authentic Italians, and honestly they’re the most open-minded, nicest people in the world and nothing can really offend them. That’s the way I think true Sicilians are

Vinny Guadagnino, American TV Personality

I come from a small village in Sicily. For all Italian people, family is very important. We don’t fight with our families.

Domenico Dolce, American Fashion Designer

My dad lives in Sicily, so I’m half Italian and half Irish – it’s a fiery combination.

Nico Marallegro, English Actor

Our first campaigns were shot in Sicily, like the one shot in Vucciria Sicilian historical market We enjoyed showing the faces and the characters that crowd that beautiful market every day.

Stefano Gabbana, Italian Fashion Designer of Dolce & Gabbana fame

All Sicilian expression, even the most violent, is really wish fulfillment: our sensuality is a hankering for oblivion, our shooting and knifing a hankering for death; our laziness, our spiced and drugged sherbets, a hankering for voluptuous immobility, that is, for death again; our meditative air is that of a void wanting to scrutinize the enigmas of nirvana.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Italian Writer

Sicilian Proverbs

Different regions of Italy all have their own unique proverbs, many of which have been used for generations. Sicily is no different in that regard.

While the national language is Italian, the Sicilian dialect features so many alternative words, colloquialisms and slang terms. It is almost another language in itself!

Several Sicilian proverbs are detailed below, along with their English translation.

  • E’ megghiu ‘n curnutu o su paisi..ca un minchiune unn’ègghiè – “A cuckold in his own town is better than an idiot anywhere else”

  • Cu avi na figghia nda fascia..nun pò diri a nuddu “bagascia” – “Those who still have a young daughter..cannot speak badly about other women!”

  • Cu nesci arrinesci – “Who leaves their own comfort zone – succeeds!”

  • Lu rispettu è misuratu, cu lu porta l’avi purtato – “Respect is measured: whoever pays it to others, will be respected”

  • Unni cari, u sceccu si suse – “Wherever the donkey falls, he stands up” (aka if you fall down, get back up again!)

  • Casa quantu stai e tirrinu quantu viri – “Home for as long as you need to be, and land as far as the eye can see”

  • Zoccu è datu da Diu, nun pò mancari – “What is given by God cannot be lacking”

  • Mancia di sanu e vivi di malatu – “Eat with gusto but drink in moderation”

  • Non c’è megghiu sarsa di la fami – “Hunger is the best sauce”

  • Cui multi cosi accumenza, nudda nni finisci – “Who starts many things, finishes nothing”

Parting Words

Do you have any other quotes about Sicily that you love? Alternatively, if you have any questions about travelling to this Mediterranean paradise and planning a trip to Italy or embarking on a Sicily itinerary of your own, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Buon viaggio! Melissa xo 


Alice Cooper is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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