Gela, in southern Sicily, is an ancient town with a long history behind it which has undergone multiple changes thanks to which today can boast a beautiful artistic, cultural and religious heritage. To visit and discover Gela you will only need a few days, so better be prepared so as not to miss anything. Here what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening in Gela!
- 10 things to see in Gela in a weekend
- What to see in Gela in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Gela: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Gela
- Plan your stay in Gela: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Gela in a weekend
1 - Cathedral of Gela
The Cathedral of Gela, also known as the Mother Church, is obviously the most important and significant religious site in the town dedicated to Maria Ss. Assunta in Cielo. This structure is derived from the previous and primitive Church of Santa Maria de 'Platea, from which it kept the architectural style is neoclassical in perfect harmony with the other attractions of the historic center. Its exterior presents statues and columns, two religious inscriptions, a main entrance and two other secondary ones on the sides while inside there are large naves, a large organ, several artwork and gilded ornaments on the ceiling.
- it is located in the historic center, so it can be easily reached in a few minutes on foot - Get directions
- always open
2 - Church of Sant'Agostino
The Church of Sant'Agostino is the oldest church in Gela and the second most visited. It dates back to 1439 when it was built in honor of San Giuseppe with an adjoining convent. Like the previous Cathedral of Gela, also the Church of Sant'Agostino respects the neoclassical style which dominates the town, with its external façade above which stands a statue of San Giuseppe and even higher the belfry. Inside, however, there is only one nave, several columns, the marble stoup from 1541 and various 700th century paintings.
- it is located on the edge of the old town, but still very close to walk to the main points - Get directions
- always open
3 - Timoleontee walls of Caposoprano
The Timoleontee Walls are also known as the Greek fortifications of Gela and represent a very important archaeological site which testifies to the defensive strategy that encircled the entire hill on which the ancient Greek city of Gela stood, even if the latter was however entirely destroyed in 282 BC Currently the walls constitute a large park located between the modern area of Gela and the coast , after casual discovery by a farmer who had bought that land covered with sand dunes to make a vegetable garden and then realized that much more was hidden in the soil.
- they are located outside the historic center, in the locality of Caposoprano, almost at the Gela exit, reachable in 30 minutes on foot from the center or 10/15 minutes by car depending on where you are - Get directions
- open every day from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00
- € 4,00
4 - Church of San Giacomo
The Church of San Giacomo is not one of the main churches of Gela but certainly another artistic structure that is worth a quick visit. Its architecture is very simple, both indoors and out, but immediately gives visitors a positive, pleasant and artistic impact. Inside dominates modern art in a bright environment, while its exterior is defined as almost bare as the structure has been raised for several meters but little decorated and the few decorations present have been implemented in a very fine and delicate way to seem non-existent.
- in a very central position, therefore a few minutes walk from the other main sites of the historic center - Get directions
- always open
5 - Palazzo Pignatelli
Palazzo Pignatelli is one of the most historic buildings in Gela even if it has always been intended for public use. The palace is indeed the legacy left in Gela by the Pignatelli family and in particular by Anna Maria Pignatelli, princess of Roviano, who in 1842 appointed Cardinal Sforza as her only heir who helped her in the establishment of a boarding school for the religious and civil education of young people right in that building. Today the palace it houses the offices of the Gela employment center but occasionally hosts exhibitions and cultural events in its large atrium so, if you are in Gela, it is worth inquiring if there are currently exhibitions and so on!
- located in the historic center, can be reached in a few minutes on foot - Get directions
- open only Monday, Wednesday and Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00
6 - Former Palazzo Ducale
As the name suggests, the Palazzo Ducale has an important past linked to the history of Gela although, like many other historical and cultural buildings, currently it is used for the display of exhibitions and to host events of a social nature such as congresses, press conferences and musical evenings. This is certainly an aspect that creates discrepancy on the building, as it is defined by the visitors themselves as a work of art with great potential but inadequately exploited. An aspect to underline instead is the beautiful view from the top offering on the sea!
- it is situated on the edge of the old town, but easily accessible on foot - Get directions
- always open
7 - Acropolis of Gela
The Acropolis of Gela are also known as the Acropolis of Molino a Vento and constitute the area in which the very first town of Gela stood. Inside there are in fact the traces of an ancient village dating back to the ancient bronze age which at the time was made up of huts of which obviously the remains remain today together with countless stone tombs, archaic temples, several columns and a large audience. This village was later conquered by the Greeks from Rhodes and Crete commanded by Antifemo and Entimo who expanded throughout the area that is now occupied by the so-called Acropolis of Gela.
- it is a 5 minute walk from the historic center and a few minutes by car from the main areas of Gela - Get directions
- open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 00pm
8 - Federico II di Svevia promenade
The Lungomare Federico II di Svevia it is a very long and suggestive road that runs alongside all of Gela, allowing you to take a long walk and in the meantime admire the beautiful sea that bathes the beach of Gela. Along the way you will walk among palm trees and tourist facilities but unfortunately the structure itself leaves something to be desired as it is often neglected and not cared for as it deserves. However, despite this, it remains one of the most beautiful spots in the city. The beach of Gela is also very appreciated, where young and old can relax and swim.
- along the whole of Gela, you can "come out" on the seafront from any point in the town, for example from the historic center it takes just 5 minutes on foot - Get directions
- always open
9 - Regional Archaeological Museum
As Gela is a very ancient place, there could not be a museum that contains all its history. In fact, in the Regional Archaeological Museum 4200 exhibits including objects of various kinds in stone, ceramic, bronze and much more, all coming from the Acropolis of Gela and from the excavations of Caposoprano and dating from Prehistory to the Middle Ages with a majority from the Greek era. The museum is very large and to best accommodate the entire collection is arranged on two floors following a chronological order. The most prominent and most important pieces are certainly the Corinthian helmet, the Greek black and red figure pottery, the remains of the Greek merchant ship known as the "wreck of Gela", the architectural details from various temples and the extensive collection of Greek coins.
- a little out of the old town, but easily accessible in a few minutes by car or on foot - Get directions
- open every day from 9: 00 to 18: 30
- € 4,00
10 - Biviere di Gela nature reserve
Biviere di Gela is a very large lake near Gela in the north of which extends this beautiful nature reserve which hosts several species of birds and a large amount of Mediterranean plants. Among the plants present, thyme and rosemary dominate, while in spring many wild orchids also begin to grow. As for the animal species, on the other hand, the list is much longer but for example you can observe wigeons, pintails, shovelers, garganeys, pochards, ferruginous duck, herons (including white, red and gray), egrets, tufted squirts, hoopoes and hawks of swamp. The reserve is also very complete with services, such as parking at the entrance, equipped areas, tourist guides, well-trodden paths and equipment of various kinds.
- just outside Gela, reachable in 15 minutes by car - Get directions
- open every day from 8:30 to 13:30 and from 14:30 to 17:30
- € 5,00
What to see in Gela in one day: recommended itinerary
If you only have one day to visit Gela, then we recommend that you first of all avoid the natural reserve of Biviera di Gela which, among all the suggested attractions, is the one that requires the longest visit time and the former Palazzo Ducale as, as already said, it hosts offices and occasionally exhibitions and therefore there is a risk of taking time away from all other things. Another premise to do is the elongated extension of Gela, for which you may find yourself having to go back and forth between the various attractions in case you do not organize the tour in an optimal way.
- Morning: leave from the Timoleontee walls of Caposoprano immediately after having breakfast in the nearby Re Nero bar. After the walls and its park, start heading towards the historic center, stopping for a quick visit to the Church of San Giacomo, which does not take long and then go to the Lungomare Federico II di Svevia and enjoy the walk, until you reach the Athena Restaurant-Pizzeria to have your lunch.
- Afternoon: after lunch it is time to reach the historic center which is located shortly thereafter and visit in order the Cathedral of Gela, the Church of Sant'Agostino, the Regional Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis of Gela, so as to engage everything in the afternoon until it is time for dinner, for which we recommend the Disiù Bistrot Siciliano which is located shortly thereafter.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at Re Nero
- Walls Timoleontee di Caposoprano - opening hours: every day from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 - ticket price: full € 4,00 reduced € 2,00
- Church of San Giacomo - opening hours: always open - ticket price: free
- Lungomare Federico II di Svevia - opening hours: always open - ticket price: free
- Lunch at Athena Pizzeria-Restaurant
- Cathedral of Gela - opening hours: always open - ticket price: free
- Church of Sant'Agostino - opening hours: always open - ticket price: free
- Regional Archaeological Museum - opening hours: every day from 9:00 to 18:30 - ticket price: full € 4,00 reduced € 2,00
- Acropolis of Gela - opening hours from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00 - ticket price: free
- Dinner at Disiù Sicilian Bistrot
Where to eat in Gela: the best restaurants
- Rossini Risto Pub cuisine mainly based on fish with creative dishes and typical Sicilian dishes, it also boasts a great variety of wines
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Via Gioacchino Rossimi, 47 Get directions / tel: 3489167082
- Disiù Sicilian Bistrot Sicilian cuisine with refined dishes with traditional and authentic flavors, finely composed and decorated
Average price per person: € 25,00
Address and contacts: Vico Santa Lucia, 9 Get directions / tel: 3493732165
- Misery and Nobility osteria with a rustic atmosphere with Sicilian cuisine especially of meat using fresh and local ingredients
Average price per person: € 25,00
Address and contacts: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 291 Get directions / tel: 3494908582
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Gela
Although Gela is a small town, there is no shortage of places to spend a pleasant evening or all night. In fact, in Gela you can go wild and dance in one of its discos or enjoy a quieter atmosphere in which to sip something different until late at night.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Malibu: disco for those who love to dance and party all night until dawn / Address: Via dell'Agrifoglio Get directions / Facebook page
- Tanguera: restaurant-pizzeria with disco room to dance without having to move elsewhere / Address: Via dell'Avena Get directions / Facebook page
- Aeschylus Lab: place that offers different and unusual cocktails with pleasant background music / Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 136 Get directions / Facebook page
Plan your stay in Gela: info and useful tips
- the best and quickest way to reach Gela is by car thanks to the different roads that connect it to each direction, such as the state road 117 coming from Catania (1 hour and 30 minutes away), the state road 115 coming from Agrigento (1 hour and 11 minutes) and the E45 if you arrive from Modica (1 hour and 19 minutes away)
- Getting around: it is preferable to visit Gela on foot as the buses are never punctual and precise and the main attractions of the town are located at reasonable distances that can be traveled on foot following a precise order to rest between one point and another
- Where to park: the historic center of Gela is ZTL but outside and in the immediate vicinity of the main sites of the city there are the Caposoprano (Get directions) and Arena (Get directions) car parks, both for a fee but quite cheap
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 49,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Manfria (15 minutes by car), Caltagirone (41 minutes by car), Licata (39 minutes by car).