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Palermo was founded by Phoenicians who sailed there from their native Carthage. Cheap accommodation 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. Egadi Islands weather forecast. Around those glorious sites they planted Sicily's first olive trees and grape vines. Nightlife Entertainment in Messina 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. Egadi Islands weather forecast. In Palermo, these groups were known as mafia. Cheap hostels in Egadi Islands Egadi Islands weather forecast

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. Acireale lodging 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. Egadi Islands weather forecast. The Normans took over in 1061. Egadi Islands weather forecast They tore down almost all signs of Arab culture. Discount hotels Taormina 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. Egadi Islands weather forecast. It is to the Normans that we owe the most spectacular of Sicily's architectural treasures. Cheap Vacations Sicily From the cathedrals of Cefalý, 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. Egadi Islands weather forecast. 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. Discount cheap lodging Giardini Naxos Eventually, in 1302, the French gave way to the Aragonese (part of the same dynasty which sponsored Christopher Columbus), who dominated until 1734. Egadi Islands weather forecast. The aristocracy created during this realm left their magnificent homes, such as Palermo's Palazzo Sclafani and Palazzo Chiaramonte, scattered all over the island. Discount holidays Sicily 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.  

Begin your Sicilian odyssey in its capital city - Palermo. Egadi Islands weather forecast Spectacularly situated along a wide sweep of bay at the foot of Monte Pellegrino, Palermo was the wealthiest and most magnificent city in Europe in the 12th century. Discount accommodation Egadi Islands Today Palermo has an air of faded grandeur and an unrivalled display of Norman art and architecture and Baroque churches. Egadi Islands weather forecast. Stroll along the Via Roma and Via Maqueda in the heart of the old town and get a sense of what Palermo is all about. Agritourism in Sicily Donít miss the magnificent 12th century Norman cathedral at Monreale, 8 kilometres southwest of the city. Cheap hostels in Acitrezza The inside of the cathedral is covered in breathtakingly glittering mosaics.

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

Egadi Islands weather forecast