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Palermo was founded by Phoenicians who sailed there from their native Carthage. Discount hotels Taormina 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 Trapani. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Houses to rent in Ragusa 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 Trapani. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Agritourism in Sciacca Booking Hotels Trapani

'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. Booking Hotels Trapani. 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. Palermo Accommodation 

Ironically, the earthquake that devastated the southeastern provinces in 1693 became the springboard for Sicily's most glorious period, the baroque. Discount hotels Erice 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. Cheap Cefalu Hotels 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 Trapani. 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. Milazzo Holiday Flats Sicily remained in Bourbon hands until 1861, when unification created the Kingdom of Italy.

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 Trapani 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 Trapani. The islands are bathed in a limpid clear light, setting off the black volcanic pumice stone. Sant Agata Militello lodging Vines are cultivated on the coastal strips and around the towns. Trapani Villa Rentals On the island of Vulcano bathe in its warm sea-water, heated by underground volcanic springs. Booking Hotels Trapani. The active volcano on Stromboli offers a spectacular opportunity to observe lava flows and frequent noisy minor eruptions. Catania Map

Booking Hotels Trapani