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Mt Etna, the largest volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world, lies south of Taormina. Campo Bello di Mazara Car Hire You are permitted to climb up to 2900m. Acitrezza Map. A rope marks the spot where the volcano’s unpredictability makes it unsafe to go any further. Further south, the town of Syracuse was once a very powerful Greek city. Lampedusa weather forecast Check out the medieval buildings on the island of Ortigia which lies in the centre of town. Don’t miss the 5th century Teatro Greco – a masterpiece hewn out of rock with a seating capacity for 16,000 people. Agrigento Agriturismo The five Doric temples in the town of Agrigento are also well worth a visit. They are the most well preserved of Sicily’s Greek ruins and are truly spectacular. Acitrezza Map

Palermo was founded by Phoenicians who sailed there from their native Carthage. Palermo Agriturismo The Greeks colonized the whole island, leaving some of the most beautiful and best-preserved temples they ever built at Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta. Acitrezza Map. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Egadi Islands Hotels 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. Acitrezza Map. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Hotel Reservations Milazzo  

'To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not having seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the key to everything.' So said Goethe. Acitrezza Map. Tuscany might want a look in, and Rome might beg to differ, but Sicily, with a history of foreign occupation across the centuries, is certainly fascinating, with a real pot-pourri of culture, cuisine and architecture. Plus the odd volcano. Agrigento Holiday Flats

Over the centuries the Sicilians have valued a close family life with all its responsibilities. Acitrezza Map. In turn the Sicilian people have looked to themselves in the face of foreign occupation and imposed government. Messina Bed and Breakfast Partly in response to invasion and colonisation a purely Sicilian hierarchy emerged. Acitrezza Map This became known as the Sicilian Mafia organised upon what can roughly be translated as "respect", "dignity" and "silence".

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