Sicily, as many of its proud people will tell you, is more a
continent than an island. That mindset reflects a geography, a
history, and a people that place Sicily a figurative world apart
from the Italian mainland.
Separated from the toe of Italy's boot by the narrow Strait of
Messina, the largest island in the Mediterranean lies far closer to
Africa than to Rome. The triangular landmass, crowned by the
10,705-foot (3,263-m) active volcanic peak of Mount Etna, stretches
180 miles (290 km) west to east and 120 miles (193 km) north to
south, making it the nation's largest region. Positioned at the
very heart of the Mediterranean, and graced by an equitable climate
befitting its location, Sicily has literally seen the passing of
history's greatest explorers and conquerors. Traces of the
Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs,
Normans, French, and Spanish can still be found in its historic yet
also thriving cities of Palermo, Catania, Messina, and Taormina.
Their influence forged a resilient and proud people who still
consider themselves Sicilians first and only.
Sicily today is so much more than a living chronicle of history.
Its unspoiled landscapes invite endless exploration, whether on
foot or on wheels. Beautiful beaches and sparkling waters welcome
sunbathing, boating, and other water sports. Shopping districts
cater to the most cosmopolitan and varied of tastes. And casual
cafes and upscale restaurants alike welcome guests to taste a
cuisine that, like the rest of Sicily itself, seems familiar while
also standing boldly apart, in which the freshest seafood
imaginable, fresh produce, and dried grains and pastas intermingle
enticingly with sweet spices and fragrant herbs that with every
bite recall the romance of the ancient trade routes.
Sicily is, indeed, a world unto itself. And, as it has for so
many visitors in the past, it invites the traveller to settle in
and stay awhile rather than just passing through.
Districts (Provinces) & Towns of Sicily (Sicilia)
Agrigento | Caltanissetta | Catania | Enna | Messina | Palermo |
Ragusa | Syracuse | Trapani