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Sicily, the largest of the Mediterranean islands, lies between southern Italy and North Africa. Hotel Reservations Sciacca The island can be seen as a "stepping stone" between Europe and Africa. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. 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. Booking Hotels Nebrodi 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. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. The island is divided into nine provinces: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani. Diving Centres Dive Sites and Schools Taormina Throughout history islands have been invaded by foreign powers. Milazzo Bed and Breakfast 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. Booking Hotels Nebrodi

Palermo was founded by Phoenicians who sailed there from their native Carthage. Calendar of events in Lampedusa The Greeks colonized the whole island, leaving some of the most beautiful and best-preserved temples they ever built at Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Erice 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. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Car Hire Noto  

The Aeolian Islands off the coast at Milazzo are well worth a visit. Booking Hotels Nebrodi Mentioned in Homerís Odyssey and thought to be the home of Aeolus (the god of the wind) by the ancient Greeks, they offer spectacular volcanic scenery and fine beaches. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. The island of Lipari is the most developed. Hotels Agrigento Sample some of the islandís sweet white Malvasia wine while here. Head for Taormina Ė Sicilyís most picturesque town. Ustica Agriturismo Its magnificent setting on a terrace of Monte Tauro overlooking the sea and its views of Mt Etna have long made it a top tourist destination. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. The town was an important centre for trade and art through successive Roman, Norman, Spanish and French rules. Cheap guesthouses Solunto

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. Booking Hotels Nebrodi The sea is deep blue, warm and clear, ideal for underwater swimming and fishing, accompanied by flying-fish, swordfish, turtles, sea-horses and hammerfish. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. The islands are bathed in a limpid clear light, setting off the black volcanic pumice stone. Caltanissetta lodging Vines are cultivated on the coastal strips and around the towns. Lampedusa apartments On the island of Vulcano bathe in its warm sea-water, heated by underground volcanic springs. Booking Hotels Nebrodi. The active volcano on Stromboli offers a spectacular opportunity to observe lava flows and frequent noisy minor eruptions. Taormina Accomodation

Booking Hotels Nebrodi