Italy has 44 UNESCO world heritage sites with six on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Sicily's world heritage sites include Baroque towns, archaeological sites, and volcanic islands. Sites are listed in the order in which they were inscribed by UNESCO starting with the Greek temples of Agrigento in 1997.
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is a large sacred area where monumental Greek temples were erected in the fourth and fifth centuries BC. They are some of the largest and best preserved Greek temples outside of Greece. There's also an excellent museum and the town itself is worth a visit, too. Agrigento is in southwestern Sicily.
Barumini, in southern Sardinia, is a good example of the Bronze age structures called nuraghi that are unique to the island of Sardinia. This large nuraghic complex also includes a village around the nuraghic tower. The area has been well excavated and Nuragic, Punic, and Roman artifacts have been found there and many of the artifacts can be seen in the Archeological Museum in Cagliari.
3. Villa Romana del CasaleVilla Romana del Casale is a luxurious Roman villa in southern Sicily dating from the fourth century BC. Every room is decorated with mosaics. The UNESCO site says, "It is especially noteworthy for the richness and quality of the mosaics which decorate almost every room; they are the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the Roman world."
4. Aeolian IslandsSicily's Aeolian Islands are volcanic islands that have been very important to scientists studying volcanoes. Lipari, the largest island, shows evidence of habitation since 4000 BC and was an importantt source of obsidian. Stromboli is the only island that still has an active volcano. The islands are a popular tourist destination in summer, with Lipari having the most hotels. One of the islands was the setting for the movie, Il Postino (compare prices). Sicily Map showing the islands.
The Baroque towns of the Val di Noto in southeastern Sicily were rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style following an earthquake in 1693. My favorite is Ragusa Ibla, an enchanting old town at the foot of Ragusa, the newer town. Find out more about Ragusa by clicking on the link above. Other Baroque towns include Noto, Modica, and Scicli.
Syracuse, on the coast in southeastern Sicily, was an important Greek colony. Syracuse has many Greek and Roman sites of interest, including a Greek theater and Roman arena. The Necropolis of Pantalica, also included in the UNESCO inscription, has over 5000 rock-cut tombs, dating as far back as the 13th century BC.