SICILY TRAVEL GUIDE

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Sicily
INTRODUCTION:

This guide devoted to Sicily aims at facilitating the organization of travellers’ itineraries around the region and providing information on all the unmissable sites on the island and further useful information.

Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea and covers everything you could want for a complete holiday, embracing history, culture, art and a spectacular sea, a combination you´ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else but Sicily, a land that leaves visitors more in awe with every step they take.

Besides the main island of Sicily there are also many other much smaller islands: the fabulous Aeolian Islands, the Aegadian islands, Pelagie, Pantelleria and Ustica. Sicily is becoming continually more accessible as an international tourist destination thanks to more and more airlines flying to the island. Although not long ago organizing a trip to the island was not an easy task because of the limited number of flights, nowadays, fortunately, there are plenty of options for travellers coming from all over the world to enjoy this special place.

The increase in accessibility together with the investment stimulated to improve and increase accommodation in the region has led to a gradual growth of the tourism industry in Sicily in recent years. 

This was certainly anticipated and since the wonders of this island were first discovered, more and more travellers were sure to grow interested in seeing them for themselves.

HISTORY:


The island´s name derives form the first people that inhabited the region: the “siculos” and “sicanos”.

Because of its strategic central position in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily  directly experienced some of the most important events in history and the many invasions it underwent left an historical and cultural heritage that has contributed to this unique setting.

Sicily is the combination of the many civilizations that peopled and dominated it: it is the history of the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Muslims, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Spanish... and today Sicily still reflects this multiculturalism in the singular personality of the Sicilian people.

The historical symbol that best represents the island is no doubt the Valle dei Tempi, spectacular archaeological buildings situated in the province of Agrigento, to the south of the island, whose construction began in approximately 580 BC. This area, of undeniable historical interest, includes an archaeological park as well as more vestiges located in the acropolis and other places scattered in the city. The acropolis of the Valley of the Temples is one of the symbols of the island and no doubt one of the must-see destinationsfor travellers to Sicily.
 Together with the Syracuse it is  one of the places that attest to the importance of the Greek power over the island.

INTERESTING DATA:


When talking about the tourist destinations of the island we need to highlight, among others, Taormina, Syracuse, Caltagirone, Cefalù , Piazza Armerina, Acireale, Trapani, Ragusa and the beautiful Palermo.

The most adventurous visitors might like to climb the slopes of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, that gives  unsurpassed views of its practically continuous eruptions of lava.

Those with a little more time to explore should visit the main towns and get to know the island´s unique personality, that, although geographically speaking is part of Italy, has managed to maintain distinct from any of the regions of the transalpine country.

The small islands already mentioned which form part of Sicily are places of special beauty which can be reached by means of ferries linking to the main island.

The Aeolian islands boast some of the most precious and exclusive places of  Sicilian geography: the pretty Lipari, the tranquil and serene Salina, the elegant Panarea or the volcanic Stromboli made famous by Roberto Rossellini in the scenes of his most celebrated films. Signs on the island indicate the places he and Ingrid Bergman visited during their stay on the island.

There are a few experiences that can be compared to a nighttime swim enjoying the sight of an active volcano and its incandescent magma.

Sicily is an encyclopaedia of history, culture, art, gastronomy and cultural traditions including the “Opera dei Pupi”. This is a puppet theatre in which the characters are the knights of Charlemagne’s army and is one of the most important popular traditions in Sicily.

The excellent gastronomy of the island reveals traces of all the people that occupied it and so is rich in variety. Its exquisite sweets are a benchmark throughout Italy and there are few cities in the country which do not have a prestigious Sicilian confectioners.

As you´ve already seen there are endless reasons to pay a visit to Sicily, this land which will never cease to surprise you. We also suggest you look at the Divino Italy website dedicated to Villas in Italy but also more specifically to hotels and  Villas in SicilyIf you want to book a house next to the beach, you can also visit Vacation Homes Sicily which is a nice site with many properties in the island. 

As last recommendation you could also visit DivinoVillas website where you will find many private villas for rent in sicily.

We hope this guide will help to awaken an interest in Sicily amongst those who have not yet decided on their next holiday destination, and equally be useful to those who are planning upcoming trips to the island.

 
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