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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. Eolie Aeolian Islands Accomodation And today it's still a land of fire and passion. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. 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. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. In ancient times, Sicily was covered with extremely rich farmland, whose copious wheat harvests fed virtually the entire western part of the Roman Empire. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando 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. Last minute accommodation Noto Like much of southern Italy, Sicily has been the ground upon which the boots of Western civilization have trod. Solunto Holiday Flats Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando

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. Agritourism in Pozzallo 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. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. The Normans took over in 1061. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando They tore down almost all signs of Arab culture. Pozzallo Bed and Breakfast 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. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. It is to the Normans that we owe the most spectacular of Sicily's architectural treasures. Lampedusa Villa Rentals From the cathedrals of Cefalů, 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. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. 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. Licata Agriturismo Eventually, in 1302, the French gave way to the Aragonese (part of the same dynasty which sponsored Christopher Columbus), who dominated until 1734. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. The aristocracy created during this realm left their magnificent homes, such as Palermo's Palazzo Sclafani and Palazzo Chiaramonte, scattered all over the island. Discount hotels Pozzallo 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.  

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and occupies a strategic position at the toe of Italy. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando The island has long been a magnet for invaders - all of whom have left their mark. Farmstay accommodation Sicily Greek temples, Roman ruins, Norman castles and Byzantine domes. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. Visiting these relics of the past, swimming off the island’s beautiful golden beaches, marvelling at Mt Etna – Europe’s largest live volcano – and sampling first-rate seafood are all part of the Sicilian experience. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. City of Catania. Acitrezza Agriturismo Situated at the mountain slope of Etna and to the center of a fertile lowland cultivated to citrus fruit, it was occupied from the Cartaginesi versus 700 B.C. Diving Centres Dive Sites and Schools Trapani Then it was under the dominion of Siracusa and conquered from Dionigi and from the Cartaginesi then, finally by the Romans in the 263 B.C. Discount cheap lodging Trapani Subsequently conquered from the Normanni was destroyed in 1693 from a terrible earthquake. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. We find it again today, like commercial heart of the Isle with its splendid and attractive baroque.

Ironically, the earthquake that devastated the southeastern provinces in 1693 became the springboard for Sicily's most glorious period, the baroque. Caltanissetta apartments It gleams in the cities and towns of Palermo, Catania, Siracusa, Ragusa, Noto, Comiso, Scicli and dozens more, all of which had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Self catering accommodation Catania After the Aragonese, Sicily passed briefly into the hands of the Austrians, to be willingly rescued in 1734 by the Bourbons of Spain, whose throne was actually located in Naples. Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando. During one forced exile in Palermo, the Bourbon king Ferdinand's wife Maria Carolina (sister of Marie Antoinette) built La Favorita. , A magnificent refuge in which to hide from the subjects she thoroughly loathed. Tourist Information office centre Licata Sicily remained in Bourbon hands until 1861, when unification created the Kingdom of Italy.

Booking Hotels Capo D Orlando