Top things to do in Gela, Italy
Gela is a quirky little Sicilian city with a lot of character. You may not even find Gela on a list of top tourist cities in Sicily, but there are a lot more things to do in Gela than even most locals realize. Besides just the main attractions there are interesting things to be discovered around every corner. The city is quite walkable and if you ever need to catch your breath just stop for a refreshing gelato.
1. The column of Gela
The symbol of Gela. I totally love it. It’s funny because in Agrigento they have the valley of temples (which is amazing) but I’ve heard that originally there were actually more temples in Gela! Unfortunately they were destroyed and quite possibly used to construct the Chiesa Madre. Personally I find it nice that there is just one single Doric column to represent Gela.
Note: Unfortunately, the column is currently off-limits to the public due to wild dogs on the site. Hopefully this will change in the near future, but for now the column can still be admired from a distance.
2. The Museum
The archeological museum of Gela houses a fantastic collection of ancient Greek vases (the best in the world according to some guidebooks) and other relics that have been found near Gela. Regular admission is €4 and only €2 for students and seniors.
Bonus: The same ticket grants you admission to the ancient Greek fortifications on the other side of town.
Future bonus: A new museum is in the works to house an ancient Greek ship.
3. The Chiesa Madre
The Mother Church is the most important church in Gela and was constructed in 1760. The outside is pretty nice, but the real beauty is when you go inside. Photos are welcome so if you’re anything like me you’ll love getting shots of the beautiful white interior. Be sure to walk around the outside of the church to see it from different perspectives.
4. The Boardwalk
The new boardwalk in Gela is the perfect place to go for a casual stroll in the evening or in the afternoon after you’ve had a big lunch. Along the boardwalk you’ll find beach volleyball courts, a well-worn basketball hoop, and restaurants where you can grab a fresh drink. There are plans to expand the boardwalk even further and it is a great place for people watching.
5. The Wings of Mazinger Z
Mazinger Z is a japanese manga series from the 70s. Gela recently spent €350K on building these “Ali di Mazinga.” They were built as part of a celebration of the first world conference on peace held in Gela in 424 B.C. Basically…nobody in Gela knows why we spent so much on these wings, but obviously if they cost €350K we should all go spend some time admiring them.
Tips for your trip:
-Eat some cannoli while you’re in town because they’re amazing.
-Try arancini as well (you can find them at Play Time, or at other snack bars).
-If you have a car you should drive 10 minutes to visit the “Torre di Manfria” (Tower of Manfria) which is pretty cool.
-Don’t eat the oranges from the trees in the city. I did once out of curiosity, but they’re really no good (sour) because they are wild.
-Wear good walking shoes, Gela is set on a hill.