Sicily Car Hire
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Camping and Caravan sites in Trapani 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 villas. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Places of interest in Segesta 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 villas. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Hotel Reservations Licata
As elsewhere in the Roman Empire, the Romans were replaced by the Vandals and the Ostrogoths, who demolished far more than they built (one rare example is the villa of Piazza Armerina) and were swept away by the Byzantines. Booking Hotels Catania The Arabs who followed them moved the capitol from Siracusa to Palermo, renamed most of the existing towns, and planted the first carobs, date-palms, citrus trees, jasmines and melons. Acitrezza villas. The Normans took over in 1061. Acitrezza villas They tore down almost all signs of Arab culture. Panarea Hotels They brought the island to a new level of prosperity and planted a different kind of seed, still visible today in the blonde and red tresses of many Sicilians. Acitrezza villas. It is to the Normans that we owe the most spectacular of Sicily's architectural treasures. Ragusa Car Hire From the cathedrals of Cefalý, Messina and Monreale to Palermo's Zisa and Cuba, the churches of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, San Cataldo and the Martorana. Under the realm of Frederick II, the Swabian king, Sicily became one of the centers of the Western world, and perhaps it is not surprising that the principal architectural endeavors of this era. These lasted only from 1220 to 1250, were of a military nature, such as the castles in Siracusa, Catania and Salemi. Acitrezza villas. When Frederick died in 1250, his successor Manfred was murdered by the ruthless Charles of Anjou, whose French allies streamed into the island and established a new aristocracy so despised that it led to the popular uprising called the Sicilian Vespers. Cheap guesthouses Licata Eventually, in 1302, the French gave way to the Aragonese (part of the same dynasty which sponsored Christopher Columbus), who dominated until 1734. Acitrezza villas. The aristocracy created during this realm left their magnificent homes, such as Palermo's Palazzo Sclafani and Palazzo Chiaramonte, scattered all over the island. Tourist Information office centre Lampedusa The Aragonese clergy, while wielding the heavy arm of the Inquisition, effectively conspired to keep almost all artistic traces of the Renaissance out of the island.
For touring the island can be roughly divided into the north-shore and south-shore areas. Panarea Villa Rentals The north shore has reefs, olive groves, secluded coves and countless seaside resorts including Cefalu, a gorgeous Arab-Norman city with good beaches. Acitrezza villas. West of center of the north coast is Palermo the ancient capital and the islandís largest city. Be sure to visit the central market and 12th-century Monreale Cathedral which is 6 mi/8 km west of town (it has impressive biblical mosaics). Hotels Nebrodi About 50 mi/80 km west of Palermo lies the ancient village of Erice atop a mountain: It still has remains of a temple dedicated to Venus. Acitrezza villas. The southern coast has an even milder climate so thereís swimming most of the year (although it can get cold there between November and March). Palermo Accomodation
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. Car Hire Lampedusa And today it's still a land of fire and passion. Acitrezza villas. 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. Acitrezza villas. In ancient times, Sicily was covered with extremely rich farmland, whose copious wheat harvests fed virtually the entire western part of the Roman Empire. Acitrezza villas 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 Siracusa Syracuse Like much of southern Italy, Sicily has been the ground upon which the boots of Western civilization have trod. Ustica Car Hire