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The Arab civilization in Sicily


The Arab civilization in Sicily

The Arab civilization in Sicily left an indelible mark on the island's history, significantly impacting Sicilian society across various aspects such as language, architecture, agriculture, art, and even cuisine. The rich Arab cultural heritage is still visible across the island and continues to influence Sicily to this day.


In the 9th century, Arab troops landed on the northern coast, led by the Aghlabid Asad ibn al-Furat. After a series of battles and sieges, the Arabs managed to conquer Palermo in 831, establishing a lasting presence in Sicily. The conquest of the island continued for several decades, with cities like Syracuse, Messina, and Taormina falling under Arab rule.


Once their presence was consolidated, the Emirate of Sicily was proclaimed, governed by a succession of Islamic dynasties for over 200 years. During this period, Arab culture spread throughout the island, with Arabic becoming the official language and Islam practiced by most of the population. Arabs also introduced new irrigation and farming techniques, enhancing the production of fruits, vegetables, and cereals, helping to transform the island into a thriving agricultural hub.


Arab innovations were not limited to agriculture; new weaving techniques were introduced, and the art of ceramics reached new levels of mastery. Silk production became a successful industry in Sicily, thanks to the knowledge and skills of Arab artisans.


One of the major contributions of the Arabs in Sicily was architecture. They built magnificent Moorish-style buildings, like the Palermo Cathedral, the Zisa, the Cuba Castle, and the Martorana. These buildings feature unique architecture, with horseshoe arches, mosaics, ceramics, and engraved bricks. Arab architecture had a lasting influence on the island, with Moorish elements found in later constructions, such as those from the Norman and Swabian periods.


Sicilian cities under Arab rule became important centers of trade and cultural exchange. Palermo, in particular, emerged as one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the Mediterranean. During the Arab period, the island became a commercial crossroads between the Byzantine Empire, North Africa, and the Arab world, facilitating the exchange of ideas and knowledge between different cultures.


Arab culture also influenced Sicilian cuisine, bringing new spices like cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and mint. Arabs introduced new cooking techniques, such as frying, boiling, and slow cooking, combining with local culinary traditions to create unique and delicious dishes. Moreover, Arabs introduced new ingredients like rice, saffron, eggplant, and pistachio, which became integral parts of Sicilian cuisine.


Today, many typical dishes of Sicilian cuisine have Arab roots, such as couscous, caponata, and almond paste sweets. Ice cream and sorbet, two beloved Sicilian treats, are said to have been invented by the Arabs, who used snow from the Sicilian mountains and fruit juice to create refreshing desserts.


Arab art also had a significant impact on Sicily, with the creation of magnificent mosaics and the decoration of buildings with intricate geometric and vegetal motifs. Arab artists were known for their skill in creating mosaics with glass and ceramic tiles, which were used to decorate walls, ceilings, and floors. Some of the finest examples of Arab art in Sicily are found in the Palatine Chapel in Palermo and the Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, also known as the Martorana.


The Arab civilization in Sicily also impacted the island's social and administrative organization. Arabs introduced a centralized system of government, with the emir ruling the island through a series of local governors called "walis". The Arab administration was efficient and well-organized, with a taxation system based on land ownership and agricultural production. Arabs also developed a system of justice based on Islamic law, which remained in place even after the Norman conquest of the island.

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During the period of the Emirate of Sicily, the island was divided into three main districts: Val di Mazara, Val Demone, and Val di Noto. Each of these valleys had its own administration and a network of fortresses to protect the territory.


The Arabs made significant contributions to the urban development of the island, founding new cities and improving the organization of existing ones. Among the cities founded by the Arabs are Caltagirone, Noto, Mazara del Vallo, and Sciacca. Moreover, the Arabs established the system of districts (Arabic: harat) in larger cities like Palermo and Syracuse, creating a local governance system that lasted until the 19th century.


One of the major innovations introduced by the Arabs in Sicily was the irrigation system, known as qanat, which involved a series of underground tunnels used to transport water from sources to cultivated areas. This irrigation system greatly improved Sicilian agriculture, enabling the cultivation of citrus fruits, cotton, sugarcane, and other crops. The introduction of sugarcane in Sicily had a lasting impact on the island's economy, as Sicily became one of the main sugar producers in the Mediterranean.

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The Arabs also brought their literary and scientific traditions to Sicily. During the Arab period, Sicily became a center of study and cultural exchange between the Islamic world and Christian Europe. Sicilian scholars translated Arabic texts into Latin and Greek, aiding in the spread of knowledge in medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. Among the most renowned scholars of the time were Al-Idrisi, an Arab geographer and cartographer, and Ibn Sab'in, a Muslim philosopher and theologian.


Arab musical and poetic traditions also had a significant influence on Sicilian culture. Arab poetry, known as muwashshahat, spread throughout Sicily and influenced Sicilian poetry, giving rise to the 13th-century Sicilian School of poetry. This school was the foundation of Italian poetry and was a major source of inspiration for poets like Dante Alighieri and Petrarch.


In terms of architecture, the Arabs developed a distinctive Moorish style that combined elements of Islamic, Byzantine, and Persian art. This style is evident in numerous buildings in Sicily, including the Cathedral of Monreale, the Zisa Palace, and the Norman Palace in Palermo. Some distinctive features of Moorish architecture include geometric and floral motifs, carved stucco, hemispherical domes, and the presence of internal courtyards with fountains.


The Arabs were also masters in the art of mosaics and ceramics, which greatly influenced Sicilian art. An example of this influence is found in the Martorana Church in Palermo, where Arab and Byzantine mosaics blend harmoniously.


The Arab presence in Sicily also impacted the Sicilian language, which absorbed many Arabic words into its lexicon. Examples of Sicilian words of Arabic origin include "zagara" (citrus blossoms), "cassata" (a typical Sicilian dessert), and "mafia" (a term used to describe a criminal organization).


The Arab legacy in Sicily extends to the religious sphere as well. During the Emirate period, Arabs built many mosques across the island, some of which were later converted into Christian churches after the Norman conquest. However, some architectural elements of the original mosques are still visible in these churches, such as horseshoe arches and domes.


The end of the Emirate of Sicily was marked by the Norman conquest of the island, which began in 1061 and concluded in 1091. Yet, the Arab legacy in Sicily did not vanish with the end of Muslim rule. The Normans were influenced by Arab culture and adopted many of their artistic and architectural traditions and techniques.


In conclusion, the Arab civilization had a profound and enduring impact on the history, culture, and identity of Sicily. The legacy of this period is still reflected today in the language, architecture, art, cuisine, and traditions of the island. Exploring the Arab influence in Sicily offers a unique opportunity to delve into a rich and fascinating culture that has left an indelible mark on this Mediterranean jewel.

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With the arrival of the Arabs in Sicily, there was indeed a significant change in the system of governance. The administration of the Emirate of Sicily was based on a centralized system, with an Emir governing the island and delegating power to various local governors. This system was efficient and promoted political and social stability on the island.


The Arabs were also great innovators in science and medicine. During their rule, Sicily became a center for study and the exchange of knowledge between the East and the West. Sicilians thus had the opportunity to access the works of philosophers and scientists like Avicenna, Al-Razi, and Al-Kindi. Furthermore, Arab medicine had a lasting impact on European medicine through the translation of Arabic medical works into Latin.


The Arab culture also brought with it a great passion for poetry and literature, reflected in the literary output of the time. Arab poets and writers such as Ibn Hamdis and Abu Tammam helped create a literary tradition in Sicily that was passed on to subsequent generations.


Art and craftsmanship were another important aspect of Arab culture in Sicily. The Arabs were masters in the art of metalworking, stone, and woodcraft. Their skill is reflected in the decorations of many Sicilian buildings from the era, such as the intricate details on wooden doors and stone engravings.


Arab architecture in Sicily also influenced urban planning. Sicilian cities of the time were characterized by narrow winding streets and compact residential architecture. This layout of streets and houses was typical of Arab cities and reflected the need to create shade and coolness during hot summer days.


During the Arab period, Sicily was a place of religious and cultural tolerance. Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together in peace, and this coexistence contributed to creating an environment where different cultures could interact and influence each other.


After the Norman conquest of Sicily in 1072, Arab culture continued to have a significant influence on the island. The Normans adopted many Arab practices and traditions, reflected in the Norman architecture and art of the time, which features many Arab elements.


Despite subsequent conquests of Sicily by other powers, such as the Swabians and the Angevins, the Arab legacy on the island has remained imprinted in its history and culture. Today, Sicily is a fascinating destination for visitors wishing to discover the island's Arab history and culture and admire the examples of Moorish architecture and art that still survive.


The Arab heritage of Sicily extends beyond the borders of Palermo. Other Sicilian cities, such as Mazara del Vallo, Marsala, and Agrigento, also retain traces of the Arab presence. In Mazara del Vallo, for example, the Casbah Quarter, with its narrow streets and clustered houses, is a living testament to the ancient Arab presence in the city.


The Sicilian language also carries traces of Arab influence. Numerous Sicilian words derive from Arabic, such as "zibibbo" (from Arabic "zabib," meaning raisin), "cassata" (from Arabic "qashatah," meaning sweet), and "mafia" (from Arabic "ma'fih," meaning lawlessness or lack of authority).


Furthermore, Sicilian folk traditions have been influenced by Arab culture. One of these is the feast of Santa Rosalia in Palermo, which celebrates the city's patron saint. The procession accompanying the feast is marked by dances and songs that date back to the Arab era.

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Indeed, the Sicilian tradition of the "Pupi," the celebrated marionette theaters, has roots in Arab culture, which used puppets to narrate stories and legends. This form of storytelling was a way to preserve and transmit historical narratives and cultural values, and the Sicilian "Opera dei Pupi" is a famous traditional puppet theater that was proclaimed by UNESCO as part of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


The music and folk songs of Sicily, such as the "tarantella" and the "tammurriata," are also influenced by Arab culture. The rhythmic patterns and some of the instruments used in these musical traditions show the influence of the Arab world, which has a long history of musical development. Typical Sicilian musical instruments like the tambourine (tamburello) and the bagpipe (zampogna) bear the mark of this Eastern influence, showcasing the blend of cultures that characterizes the island's history.


Furthermore, the very landscape of Sicily has been shaped by the Arab presence. The Arabs introduced new plants and agricultural techniques to the island, such as the cultivation of citrus fruits and date palms, which to this day are emblematic of the Sicilian landscape. Their sophisticated irrigation systems, including the qanat system, allowed for the transformation of the island into a fertile garden, contributing to the rich agricultural heritage of Sicily.

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Here is a list of places of Arab origin to visit in Sicily, along with descriptions and detailed information. However, it's recommended to verify opening hours and prices on the official websites or by contacting the places directly before your visit, as this information may change over time.


1. Palazzo della Zisa (Palermo): Palazzo della Zisa is an example of Arab-Norman architecture located in Palermo. Built in the 12th century as a summer residence for the Norman kings of Sicily, Zisa is famous for its fountain, the Mosaico di Mārānā, and interiors decorated with stuccoes and mosaics. - Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 9:00 - 19:00 - Prices: Full - €6, Reduced - €3


2. Castello della Cuba (Palermo): Castello della Cuba is an Arab-Norman palace located in Palermo. Built in the 12th century as a royal residence by the Norman sovereigns of Sicily, the palace is an example of Moorish architecture and features original frescoes and decorations.

- Opening hours: Closed to the public

- Prices: Not visitable


3. Chiesa della Martorana (Palermo): The Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, also known as Martorana, is a Catholic place of worship located in the historic center of Palermo. The church, from the Arab-Norman period, is famous for its Byzantine mosaics and Moorish architecture.

- Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:30 - 17:00; Sunday, 14:00 - 17:00

- Prices: Full - €2, Reduced - €1


4. Quartiere della Kalsa (Palermo): The Kalsa Quarter, located in the historic center of Palermo, was founded by the Arabs in the 9th century. The district still retains traces of Arab urban planning, with narrow, labyrinthine alleys. Main points of interest include the Church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo and the Abatellis Museum.

- Opening hours: Free access to the neighborhood

- Prices: Free


5. Quartiere Casbah (Mazara del Vallo): The Casbah Quarter of Mazara del Vallo is a historical area of the city that preserves traces of the Arab settlement. The district is characterized by narrow alleys and typical Arab houses.

- Opening hours: Free access to the neighborhood

- Prices: Free


6. Torre di San Nicola (Monreale, Palermo): The Torre di San Nicola, located in Monreale near Palermo, is an Arab-origin watchtower dating back to the 11th century. The tower offers panoramic views of the city and the coast.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Monreale for opening hours

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours


7. Torre dell'Elefante (Caltagirone): The Torre dell'Elefante is an Arab-origin tower located in Caltagirone. Built in the 10th century, it is part of the city walls. The structure is characterized by Moorish architecture with an arched entrance.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Caltagirone for opening hours

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours


8. Quartiere Rabato (Agrigento): The Rabato Quarter of Agrigento is a historical area that preserves traces of the Arab settlement. The district is characterized by narrow alleys and typical Arab houses.

- Opening hours: Free access to the neighborhood

- Prices: Free


9. Complesso monumentale di San Giovanni degli Eremiti (Palermo): The monumental complex of San Giovanni degli Eremiti in Palermo is an example of Arab-Norman architecture. The complex, which includes a church and a convent, was built in the 6th century and later modified in the Norman era. Its red domes and Moorish architecture make it an interesting place to visit.

- Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 9:00 - 19:00

- Prices: Full - €6, Reduced - €3


10. Maredolce Castle (Palermo): The Maredolce Castle, located in Palermo, was built during the Emirate period of Sicily in the 12th century. The structure, once an Arab royal residence, offers a panoramic view of the city of Palermo.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Palermo for opening hours.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours.


Qanat of Palermo: The Qanat of Palermo are a system of underground tunnels dug by the Arabs for the city's water supply. These tunnels are a unique example of Arab hydraulic engineering in Sicily.

- Opening hours: It is recommended to consult local guided tours for opening hours.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours.


Iblean Baths (Scicli): The Iblean Baths, located in Scicli, are an ancient Arab thermal complex from the 10th century. The structure includes a hammam, a channel system, and several rooms for bathing and relaxation.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Scicli for opening hours.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours.


Mosque of Mazara del Vallo: The Mosque of Mazara del Vallo is an ancient Islamic place of worship located in the town of Mazara del Vallo. It is no longer active as a mosque, but its historical and cultural heritage makes it an interesting attraction.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Mazara del Vallo for opening hours.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours.


Arab Quarter of Noto: The Arab Quarter of Noto is a historical area characterized by narrow streets and typical Arab houses. You can stroll through the streets and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the past.

- Opening hours: Free access to the neighborhood.

- Prices: Free.


Church of San Cataldo (Palermo): The Church of San Cataldo is a religious building located in Palermo, characterized by architecture that combines Arab and Norman elements. The church has three red domes, a symbol of the Arab influence on its structure.

- Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9:30-17:30, Sun 9:30-12:30.

- Prices: Free entry, voluntary donations appreciated.


Ajutamicristo Palace (Palermo): The Ajutamicristo Palace is a historical palace located in Palermo. Built in the 12th century, the palace shows Arab influences in its architecture, such as geometric decorations and horseshoe arches.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Palermo for opening hours.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours.


Amenano Fountain (Catania): The Amenano Fountain in Catania is a 19th-century fountain inspired by Arab architecture. The fountain is fed by the water of the underground river Amenano, which flows under the city and dates back to the Arab period.

- Opening hours: Free access to the fountain.

- Prices: Free.


Baglio of Scopello (Scopello): The Baglio of Scopello is an ancient settlement located in the town of Scopello, in the province of Trapani. The Baglio retains traces of Arab influence in its structure and the arrangement of its houses.

- Opening hours: Free access to the Baglio.

- Prices: Free.


Mazzarò Tower (Taormina): The Mazzarò Tower is a watchtower located in Taormina, built during the Arab-Norman period. The tower served as a defense against pirate attacks and as an observation point to monitor the coast.

- Opening hours: Exterior visits always possible, for possible interior visits contact the Municipality of Taormina.

- Prices: Free for exterior visits.


Castellaccio of Lauria (Palermo): The Castellaccio of Lauria is a ruined castle located near Palermo. Built in the 12th century, the castle features traces of Arab and Norman architecture. Even though it is in ruins, Castellaccio offers a panoramic view of the city of Palermo and the coast.

- Opening hours: Free access to the site.

- Prices: Free.


Platamone Palace (Trapani): The Platamone Palace, located in the historic center of Trapani, is a historical building that features elements of Arab and Norman architecture. The palace is characterized by an internal courtyard with a well and horseshoe arches.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Trapani for opening hours.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours.


Church of San Pancrazio (Taormina): The Church of San Pancrazio in Taormina is a religious building of Arab-Norman origin. The church was built on the ruins of a Greek temple and features architectural elements that show Arab influence, such as horseshoe arches.

- Opening hours: Consult the parish of San Pancrazio for opening hours.

- Prices: Free entry, voluntary donations appreciated.


Baths of Cefalà Diana (Cefalà Diana, Palermo): The Baths of Cefalà Diana is an ancient hammam located in Cefalà Diana, near Palermo. The building dates back to the 11th century and features Arab architectural characteristics, such as horseshoe arches and barrel vaults. The hammam has recently been restored and offers a unique experience to better understand the Arab culture in Sicily.

- Opening hours: Consult the Municipality of Cefalà Diana for opening hours.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours


Aparo Palace (Palermo): The Aparo Palace in Palermo is a historical building dating back to the Arab-Norman period. The palace features elements of Arab and Norman architecture, including horseshoe arches and carved bricks. Today, the palace houses government offices and is not always open to the public.

- Opening hours: Contact the Municipality of Palermo for visit information.

- Prices: Variable depending on guided tours.


Tower of San Nicolò (Marsala): The Tower of San Nicolò in Marsala is a watchtower dating back to the Arab-Norman period. The tower served as a defense against pirate attacks and as an observation point to monitor the coast. The structure offers a panoramic view of the city of Marsala and the sea.

- Opening hours: Free access to the site.

- Prices: Free.


Church of Sant'Onofrio (Trapani): The Church of Sant'Onofrio in Trapani is a religious building of Arab-Norman origin. The church features architectural elements that show Arab influence, such as horseshoe arches and cross vaults. The interior of the church is rich in frescoes and works of art that date back to various historical periods.

- Opening hours: Consult the parish of Sant'Onofrio for opening hours.

- Prices: Free entry, voluntary donations appreciated.


Admiral's Bridge (Palermo): The Admiral's Bridge is an ancient bridge located in Palermo, dating back to the 11th century, built under the government of the Arab-Norman admiral George of Antioch. The bridge crosses the Oreto River and represents an example of Arab engineering in Sicily. The site is open to the public and offers an overview of the history and architecture of the time.

- Opening hours: Free access to the site.

- Prices: Free.


Nubia Tower (Paceco, Trapani): The Nubia Tower is a watchtower located in Paceco, near Trapani, dating back to the Arab-Norman period. The tower was part of a coastal defense system and served as an observation point to monitor the coast. Although it is not possible to access the inside, the tower offers a panoramic view of the surrounding lagoon and the salt pans.

- Opening hours: Exterior visits always possible.

- Prices: Free for exterior visits.


Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (Palermo): The Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, also known as La Martorana, is a church in Palermo that dates back to the Arab-Norman period. The church features elements of Arab and Norman architecture, including mosaics and horseshoe arches. The interior of the church is rich with artworks and mosaics from various historical periods, including the famous dome depicting Christ Pantocrator.

- Opening hours: Consult the parish of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio for opening hours.

- Prices: Free entry, voluntary donations appreciated.


Calatubo Castle (Alcamo, Trapani): Calatubo Castle is an ancient castle located in Alcamo, in the province of Trapani. Dating back to the Arab-Norman period, the castle is an example of military architecture from that era. Although in ruins, the castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and coast. It is possible to explore the castle's ruins and discover its fascinating history.

- Opening hours: Free access to the site.

- Prices: Free.


San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi Complex (Palermo): The San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi Complex is an ancient hospital and church in Palermo, dating back to the Arab-Norman period. The complex was founded by Roger II of Sicily as a care place for lepers and the poor. The church within the complex still retains traces of Arab architecture and decorations.

- Opening hours: For opening hours and visits, it is advisable to contact the Parish of San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi.

- Prices: Free entry, voluntary donations appreciated.


Ligny Tower (Trapani): Ligny Tower is a watchtower located in Trapani, dating back to the Arab-Norman period. The tower was built as part of the island's coastal defense system and offers panoramic views of the sea and the city of Trapani. Today, the tower houses the Museum of Prehistory and the Sea, which exhibits archaeological and historical finds from the region.

- Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00-13:00 and 16:00-19:00.

- Prices: Free entry.


Arab Bath of Cefalù (Cefalù, Palermo): The Arab Bath of Cefalù is an ancient hammam located in the city of Cefalù, dating back to the Arab period in Sicily. This public bath was built using Arab construction techniques, and today you can admire the remains of the pools, the water heating rooms, and the channeling systems.

- Opening hours: Free access to the site.

- Prices: Free.


Saracen Tower of Capo Rama (Terrasini, Palermo): The Saracen Tower of Capo Rama is a watchtower located in Terrasini, in the province of Palermo. Built during the Arab-Norman period, the tower was part of the island's coastal defense system. Today, the tower is set within the Capo Rama Oriented Nature Reserve, offering a panoramic view of the coast and surrounding sea.

- Opening hours: Free access to the tower within the Capo Rama Oriented Nature Reserve.

- Prices: Free entry to the tower, there may be an entrance fee for the Capo Rama Oriented Nature Reserve.


Chapel of San Biagio (Ciminna, Palermo): The Chapel of San Biagio in Ciminna, in the province of Palermo, is a small religious building dating back to the Arab-Norman period. The chapel retains traces of Arab architecture and decorations and offers an example of the fusion between Arab and Norman cultures present in Sicily.

- Opening hours: For opening hours and visits, it is advisable to contact the Parish of San Biagio in Ciminna.

- Prices: Free entry, voluntary donations appreciated.


Castle of San Nicola l'Arena (Trabia, Palermo): The Castle of San Nicola l'Arena is located in the town of Trabia, in the province of Palermo. Built during the Arab-Norman period, the castle served as a fortress and noble residence. Today, the castle has been transformed into a museum displaying historical and archaeological finds from the region.

- Opening hours: For opening hours and visits, it is advisable to contact the Castle of San Nicola l'Arena.

- Prices: Please contact the castle for information on admission prices.


Torre Alba (Favignana, Trapani): Torre Alba is located on the island of Favignana, in the province of Trapani. Built during the Arab-Norman period, the tower was part of the island's coastal defense system. The tower offers a panoramic view of the coast and surrounding sea and is located within


Necropolis of Pantalica (Syracuse): The Necropolis of Pantalica, located in the province of Syracuse, is an archaeological site of Arab origin that includes over 5,000 tombs carved into the rock. The site offers a dive into the history and Arab culture of Sicily and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage along with the city of Syracuse.

- Opening hours: Free access to the Necropolis of Pantalica.

- Prices: Free entry to the archaeological site.


Castelluccio of Noto (Noto): The Castelluccio of Noto is an archaeological site located in the province of Syracuse, near the city of Noto. Dating back to the Arab-Norman period, Castelluccio was a fortified settlement that served as an administrative and defense center. Today, visitors can explore the ruins and enjoy the view of the surrounding valley.

- Opening hours: Free access to the archaeological site of Castelluccio of Noto.

- Prices: Free entry to the site.


Torre Muzza (Palermo): The Torre Muzza is located in the city of Palermo and dates back to the Arab period of Sicily. Once part of the coastal defense system, the tower was later incorporated into a noble palace. The tower is not open to the public but can be admired from the outside.

- Opening hours: Only visible from the outside.

- Prices: No cost, as it is not open for internal visits.


Torre di Mezzo (Mazara del Vallo): The Torre di Mezzo is located in Mazara del Vallo, in the province of Trapani. This coastal watchtower dates back to the Arab-Norman period and served to protect the city and the harbor from possible attacks. The tower can be admired from the outside and offers a panoramic view of the coast.

- Opening hours: Only visible from the outside.

- Prices: No cost, as it is not open for internal visits.


Torre di Camastra (Camastra): The Torre di Camastra is situated in the municipality of Camastra, in the province of Agrigento. This watchtower dates back to the Arab-Norman period and served as a control and defense point for the surrounding territory. The tower can be visited externally and offers a panoramic view of the Sicilian countryside.

- Opening hours: Only visible from the outside.

- Prices: No cost, as it is not open for internal visits.


Archaeological Park of Santa Venera al Pozzo (Aci Catena): The Archaeological Park of Santa Venera al Pozzo is located in the municipality of Aci Catena, in the province of Catania. The archaeological site includes remains of structures dating back to the Arab period, including a water channeling system and a water mill.

- Opening hours: Guided tours by reservation.

- Prices: Contact the site for information on the costs of guided tours.


Torre di Mariano (Marianopoli): The Torre di Mariano is located in the municipality of Marianopoli, in the province of Caltanissetta. The tower, dating back to the Arab-Norman period, served as a lookout and defense point for the surrounding territory. The tower is externally visitable.

- Opening hours: Only visible from the outside.

- Prices: No cost, as it is not open for internal visits.


It's important to emphasize that despite the presence of numerous places of Arab origin in Sicily, many of them are not open to the public or are only accessible on certain occasions or through guided tours by reservation. Therefore, it is always advisable to check opening hours and visitation modes before going to these places.


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