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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. Caltanissetta photos 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. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals. The Normans took over in 1061. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals They tore down almost all signs of Arab culture. Enna Accommodation 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. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals. It is to the Normans that we owe the most spectacular of Sicily's architectural treasures. Sicily Holiday Accommodation 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. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals. 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. Tourist Information office centre Eolie Aeolian Islands Eventually, in 1302, the French gave way to the Aragonese (part of the same dynasty which sponsored Christopher Columbus), who dominated until 1734. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals. The aristocracy created during this realm left their magnificent homes, such as Palermo's Palazzo Sclafani and Palazzo Chiaramonte, scattered all over the island. Ragusa photos 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. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals

Sicily is a mountainous island — an extension of the Apennine Mountains separated from the mainland by the Straits of Messina. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals There are many reasons to visit Sicily: water sports, beaches of rock and sand (including black sand), natural beauty, good food and friendly people. Hotel Reservations Nebrodi  

Tourism is an important earner of foreign currency. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals. There are many castles and churches in Sicily to attract the tourist and important towns such as Taormina and Cefalu thrive on the tourist industry. Camping and Caravan sites in Solunto Tours are available to visit Sicily's active volcanoes: Mount Etna, Europe's tallest volcano, and Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands. Cheap guesthouses Acireale Other places of interest are Madonie National Park, the Baroque towns of south-eastern Sicily, the Cathedral of Monreale, the Dorian Temple and Theatre at Segesta, the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina, the ancient town of Syracuse and the archaeological area of Agrigento. Camping and Caravan sites in Lipari

Palermo was founded by Phoenicians who sailed there from their native Carthage. Tourist attractions in Segesta The Greeks colonized the whole island, leaving some of the most beautiful and best-preserved temples they ever built at Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Solunto Tours and Excursions 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. Caltanissetta Villa Rentals. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Dive Sites and Diving Holidays Sicily

Caltanissetta Villa Rentals