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Sicily was chosen by the Gods of Olympus as the scene of their stories of love and hatred, of passion and revenge, of sudden wrath and deep compassion. Tourist attractions in Acitrezza And today it's still a land of fire and passion. Acireale photos. It's also a land of great beauty and contrast, not least the contrast between what the local politicians say they'll do with the money, and what eventually ends up getting built/maintained/improved. Acireale photos. In ancient times, Sicily was covered with extremely rich farmland, whose copious wheat harvests fed virtually the entire western part of the Roman Empire. Acireale photos Its thick forests were renowned, but the Romans plundered them to build their great naval fleets and the myriad wooden homes that fueled Nero's infamous fire. Discount hotels Catania Like much of southern Italy, Sicily has been the ground upon which the boots of Western civilization have trod. Trapani Hotels Acireale photos

Sicily, the largest of the Mediterranean islands, lies between southern Italy and North Africa. Enna photos The island can be seen as a "stepping stone" between Europe and Africa. Acireale photos. A beautiful, mountainous island, Sicily has been occupied by a series of migrants and invaders. These include the Greeks, Cathaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Angevins and Spaniards. In 1861 Sicily became part of Italy when Garibaldi united the Kingdom of Italy and the island. Acireale photos Eighty-five years later Sicily achieved "relative independence". This means that although Sicily belongs to Italy it is responsible for much of its own local affairs. Acireale photos. The island is divided into nine provinces: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani. Flats in Cefalu Throughout history islands have been invaded by foreign powers. Sciacca villas However, Sicily's rugged terrain has provided its people with a degree of protection as many of its towns and villages are high in the mountains.  

The little known Aeolian Islands just of the northern coast of Sicily are an undiscovered delight, particularly if you're looking for peace and quiet surrounded by the pleasures of nature. Acireale photos The sea is deep blue, warm and clear, ideal for underwater swimming and fishing, accompanied by flying-fish, swordfish, turtles, sea-horses and hammerfish. Acireale photos. The islands are bathed in a limpid clear light, setting off the black volcanic pumice stone. Houses to rent in Milazzo Vines are cultivated on the coastal strips and around the towns. Hostels in Erice On the island of Vulcano bathe in its warm sea-water, heated by underground volcanic springs. Acireale photos. The active volcano on Stromboli offers a spectacular opportunity to observe lava flows and frequent noisy minor eruptions. Hostels in Segesta

Palermo was founded by Phoenicians who sailed there from their native Carthage. Solunto Villa Rentals The Greeks colonized the whole island, leaving some of the most beautiful and best-preserved temples they ever built at Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta. Acireale photos. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Places of interest in Nebrodi Traces of the Roman period in Sicily can be found in the amphitheatres at Taormina and Siracusa, as well as in that city's Christian catacombs. But perhaps Rome's most lasting (and infamous) contribution to the island came in fostering the great land ownerships which eventually impoverished the peasantry and led, many centuries later, to the founding of secret societies aimed at destroying the fabulously wealthy landlords. Acireale photos. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Licata Accomodation

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