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Sicily, the largest of the Mediterranean islands, lies between southern Italy and North Africa. Giarre Accommodation The island can be seen as a "stepping stone" between Europe and Africa. Cheap flats in Erice. 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. Cheap flats in Erice 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. Cheap flats in Erice. The island is divided into nine provinces: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani. Enna Holiday Flats Throughout history islands have been invaded by foreign powers. Giarre Map 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. Cheap flats in Erice

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. Nebrodi Holiday Accommodation And today it's still a land of fire and passion. Cheap flats in Erice. 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. Cheap flats in Erice. In ancient times, Sicily was covered with extremely rich farmland, whose copious wheat harvests fed virtually the entire western part of the Roman Empire. Cheap flats in Erice 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. Tourist Information office centre Giardini Naxos Like much of southern Italy, Sicily has been the ground upon which the boots of Western civilization have trod. Nightlife Entertainment in Marsala  

Palermo was founded by Phoenicians who sailed there from their native Carthage. Piazza Armerina photos The Greeks colonized the whole island, leaving some of the most beautiful and best-preserved temples they ever built at Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta. Cheap flats in Erice. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Agrigento Accomodation 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. Cheap flats in Erice. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Nightlife Entertainment in Pozzallo

The Aeolian Islands off the coast at Milazzo are well worth a visit. Cheap flats in Erice 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. Cheap flats in Erice. The island of Lipari is the most developed. Acitrezza Holiday Flats Sample some of the islandís sweet white Malvasia wine while here. Head for Taormina Ė Sicilyís most picturesque town. Hotel Reservations Eolie Aeolian Islands 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. Cheap flats in Erice. The town was an important centre for trade and art through successive Roman, Norman, Spanish and French rules. Flats in Catania

Cheap flats in Erice