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.

Cathedral of Palermo

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.

Principal City: Palermo
Tourist Board: Sicily

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