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Ironically, the earthquake that devastated the southeastern provinces in 1693 became the springboard for Sicily's most glorious period, the baroque. Hotel Reservations Marsala 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 accommodation in Capo D Orlando 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. Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina. 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. Houses to rent in Lipari Sicily remained in Bourbon hands until 1861, when unification created the Kingdom of Italy. Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina

Over the centuries the Sicilians have valued a close family life with all its responsibilities. Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina. In turn the Sicilian people have looked to themselves in the face of foreign occupation and imposed government. Cheap flats in Palermo Partly in response to invasion and colonisation a purely Sicilian hierarchy emerged. Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina This became known as the Sicilian Mafia organised upon what can roughly be translated as "respect", "dignity" and "silence".  

Sicily, the largest of the Mediterranean islands, lies between southern Italy and North Africa. Farmhouses in Sciacca The island can be seen as a "stepping stone" between Europe and Africa. Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina. 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 hostels in Piazza Armerina 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 hostels in Piazza Armerina. The island is divided into nine provinces: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani. Self catering accommodation Messina Throughout history islands have been invaded by foreign powers. Houses to rent in Caltanissetta 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.

A source of revenue for the Sicilian economy has been money sent home from migrants. Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina Like many Europeans, in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, a number of Sicilians migrated to countries such as the USA in search of work. Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina. Although far from home strong links bound Sicilian migrants to their families and communities in Sicily. Car Hire Pozzallo In fact, today, some Sicilian Americans are thinking of returning to their roots and small complexes of retirement houses are being constructed for American Sicilians. Tourist Information office centre Erice It is hardly surprising that Sicily should exert its "pull" on its own people as it has done to many others in the past. Cheap hostels in Sant Agata Militello

Cheap hostels in Piazza Armerina