If you are planning a trip to Sicily this summer, you already have a pretty good idea of what cities, monuments and beaches you want to visit and what foods you want to try. But you probably do not know that Sicily has one of the most interesting collections of land artworks designed by some of the most important contemporary artists. In this article, we have collected a list of the most interesting land-art works created in Sicily. They were designed by artists such as Alberto Burri, served as film sets for international movies and have become a paradise for photographers and Instagrammers of all ages.
Burri’s Cretto in Gibellina is the largest piece of land art in the world.
In January 1968, a powerful earthquake shook the Belice Valley and destroyed six villages surrounding the Trapani countryside. Among them was Gibellina, a small town that was completely razed to the ground and rebuilt in the following years, just a few kilometres from the original town. The city commissioned the famous artist Alberto Burri to create a memorial work for the earthquake victims.
Burri visits the destroyed city and transforms it into a crack, filling the rubble with an even layer of concrete cut by the original city streets. Visiting the recently completed artwork is a unique experience, especially in summer when the light is stronger and walking through the cretto gives the impression of travelling in a parallel dimension. The work is located in Gibellina Vecchia, in the countryside of Trapani, just a few kilometres from Palermo.
The Andromeda Theatre by the shepherd-artist Lorenzo Reina
One of the most interesting site-specific works in Italy, a theatre en plein air built entirely of stone in the Sicani Mountains near the town of Santo Stefano di Quisquina.
The theatre is inspired by the sheepfolds of Sicilian shepherds and was created as a tribute to the Andromeda constellation. The seats, 108 stone cubes, represent the stars of the famous constellation and play with the sunlight, creating unique shadows and patterns of the day.
We recommend visiting in the afternoon to enjoy the landscape and especially the sunset, which offers fantastic perspectives of the theatre.
The pyramid of the 38th parallel, Land Art by Mauro Staccioli.
A land art piece you shouldn’t miss if you find yourself on the north coast of Sicily between Palermo and Messina is a gigantic, 30-metre-high pyramid made of dark metal that stands on a promontory above the Tyrrhenian Sea and from which you can see the Aeolian Islands. The clear geometry of the pyramid is visible from afar, but it’s difficult to grasp its size until you approach the work.
This is where the Rite of Light takes place, an incredible event that brings together many of the most famous and celebrated artists and designers from all over Europe every year.
The work is part of the Fiumara d’Arte open-air museum, a project of the patron Antonio Presti, who’s collected 12 works of Land Art for over 40 years, and which we recommend you visit.
The Labyrinth of Arianna, by the artist Italo Lanfredini
If you want to visit the works of Fiumara d’Arte, don’t miss the Labyrinth of Arianna, another Land Artwork of the park, created in 1990 by Italo Lanfredini in Castel di Lucio on the Nebrodi Mountains.
The recently restored labyrinth is a concentric path, a spiral, set on a plateau from which you can enjoy an incredible view of the Nebrodi Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The land art takes up the legend of Ariadne, a Greek princess who falls in love with Theseus and helps him overcome the Minotaur’s labyrinth thanks to a long thread.
Tre Piscine Cala del Cuore, Cove of the Heart by designer Giuseppe Gallo.
A red heart growing among the rocks in the most Mediterranean Sicily, on the blue of the sea and the blue of the sky. That’s the image you get when you visit Tre Piscine Cala del Cuore in Palermo. The project by designer Giuseppe Gallo is a simple red sign in the shape of a heart. A work of art with great impact, especially during the day when the red heart shines in the light.
The heart was created to raise awareness of respect for nature and the sea. It’s located in a beautiful rocky cove where you can sunbathe and swim in emerald green waters. Tre Piscine Cala del Cuore is located west of Capo Zafferano, between Bagheria and Santa Flavia.