3 Unusual Sights To See In Sicily This Summer
While the island is part of Italy, Sicily has an atmosphere, cuisine and traditions all of its own. Besides having incredible scenery, beautiful beaches and delicious food, Sicily has some unusual and occasional weird visitor attractions to explore during a stay on the island. Three of these fascinating attractions are briefly described below.
1. Farm Cultural Park, Favara
The Farm Cultural Park has been dubbed “A place that makes you happy.” According to Atlas Obscura, Favara was previously a place of desolation, but a project that was started as an art gallery some years ago by Andrea Bartoli, has turned into a popular attraction, taking over an entire district in the centre of what was an almost abandoned town. The Farm Cultural Park still has a large art gallery, but since then a gift shop, two bars, a food stall, secret garden and a vintage clothes shop have been added. The project has now turned the almost deserted town into a popular art hub, attracting younger visitors and Friday and Saturday nights often include live music or a film screening.
2. Aleister Crowley's Abbey of Thelema, Cefalù
Aleister Crowley was an British occultist and mystic back in 1919. He had the idea to build a holy sanctuary for his followers, where they could live the Law of Thelema each day. “The Great Beast” as he was dubbed settled on a property in Cefalù on the coast of Sicily. Crowley was well-known for introducing drugs and sex into his sacramental rituals in a system he dubbed “Magick.” The Abbey of Thelema turned Crowley into a pop icon of esoterica. However, so many years before what was called the “Age of Aquarius” he was creating the occult temple on the island of Sicily which turned into a hippy destination.
The property faces the Mediterranean Sea and Crowley’s bedroom in the abbey was what he called “la chamber des cauchemars” (which translates as “the room of nightmares). The frescos in this room were created while Crowley was under the influence of psychoactive drugs and can still be seen today. While the abbey lies mostly in ruins, it is a fascinating destination to visit while staying in a traiditional hotel or one of the many luxurious villas to rent in Sicily.
3. Lavatoio Medievale, near Cefalù
This ancient wash house dates from medieval times and spans the River Cefalino, close to the villge of Gratteri, near Cefalù. Set in the Madonie mountains, the original structure was closer to the sea, but was demolished by locals in 1514. It was then rebuilt over the river, which at the time was said to have come from the tears of a nymph whose actions accidentally led to the death of her lover. The Lavatoio Medievale can be visited today and accessed via a stone staircase.
The river still flows into the pools and stone tanks, just as it did in ancient times, and exits via various tunnels which flow into the sea. The wash house was used by residents into the 20th century and in 1991, the building was restored. There is a plaque situated at the top of the stairs marked with the date 1655, and reads “Here flows Cefalino, healthier than any other river, purer than silver, colder than snow.”
Have fun exploring beautiful Sicily this summer and take in all the culture, cuisine and history this island has to offer.
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Latest update: July 2, 2020