Sicilia

Sicily is situated on the tip of Italy. It is the largest island of the country and is bordered by three seas. One of the pearls of Southern Italy, very nice to see, is recommended for those who want to live an experience of nature, history and tradition. Nature seems to have intended this land its greatest wonders: in fact from the beautiful beach with crystal clear water to the mountains and hills this region excels in many aspects. In this land, the Mediterranean sea offers beautiful scenery from sunset to night, the colors of the sun on the sea are wonderful the scents and flavors are so unique and intense that just a unspoiled nature can offer. Besides, this beautiful land is bordered by its smaller sister islands: the Aeolian, Egadi, Pelagie, Pantelleria and Ustica. Etna and Stromboli are the two volcanoes, symbols of the never dormant region. The fascination of Sicily is also made by precious archaeological evidence that tell the ancient origins of Trinacria (old name of Sicily) in fact this region leads the tradition of centuries of history and testimonies. The provinces are: Palermo (the capital), Agrigento, Catania, Caltanissetta, Enna, Messina, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani.

THINGS TO SEE

One of the symbols of the volcanic activity of Sicily are of Stromboli and Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Around this volcano you can admire unique landscapes due to the eruptions. Those interested in scenery can choose from the protected areas of the regional parks of Etna, Madonie and Nebrodi, and the volcanic paradise of Pantelleria, dotted with enchanting glimpses, such as those donated by “Pertusa di Notaro” (cave that release fresh air) and the characteristic dammusi (typical constructions made of lava stone). The Valle del Bove with its high walls up to 1000 m., The Grotta del Gelo with the only example of perpetual ice at these latitudes, the Alcantara Gorges, a dense network of canals crossed by rocky cold waters of the same name river, are just a small part of what you can visit in Sicily. The Aeolian islands A special mention deserve the Aeolian islands, included in 2000 in the World Heritage List (WHL) as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The archipelago consists of 7 islands – Lipari, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea – and a series of small islands of various sizes. The Aeolian Islands are linked to volcanoes as its history, in fact, here you can go hiking in the nature but also plunge to explore the deep blue sea; you can alsoadmire the caves scattered in the area, before devoting the attention to the local food all based on seafood The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento This treasure by UNESCO has been for the Magna Greece one of the most important cities. Here, among the olive tree, almonds and citrus groves that stretch down to the sea, lies the Valley of the Temples with its monuments built 2500 years ago, when the ancient Akagras Agrigentum was a center of power and culture. Syracuse Another UNESCO site since 2005, along with the Necropolis of Pantalica, overlooking the natural harbor in the east of the island of Ortigia, offers the most valuable evidence with the ruins of Ancient Greece. Mandatory is the visit to Taormina with its landscape “created by the earth to seduce eyes” (cited Maupassant); which is a small diamond between Messina and Catania.

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What to do

The king of this beautiful land is the sea, to live in a thousand of different ways among beaches with beautiful backdrops and waves created by the wind that offer windsurf or kitesurfing. This place is heaven for those who like to fly on the water between the crystalline waters, kissing the shores of San Vito lo Capo, Mondello, Cefalu, Marina di Ragusa, Taormina, the Aeolian islands, Pantelleria, Lampedusa, Ustica. Needless to say, for those who love the nature trails, Sicily is one of the most beautiful places for trekking or biking or horse backing. You can also practice golf, indeed here takes place the Open of Sicilia. This region already famous in Roman times for its spa, nowadays offers a wide choice for those who want to relax at a temperature of about 40 °, from those of Sciacca or Stoves S. Calogero at the Baths of Acireale, where the underground water of the sea are mixed mix with the sulfur Etna. This beautiful country is not only fun and relaxation but also give his visitors the opportunity to discover culture and knowledge of the past. Great writers like Salvatore Quasimodo, Giovanni Verga, Luigi Pirandello, Leonardo Sciascia, Tomasi di Lampedusa, they found into the evocative atmosphere of their land, the inspiration to write great works like “Il Gattopardo” or “I Malavoglia”. From literature to the traditions here comes to life the stunning scenery of the Teatro Antico in Taormina: every year a number of events are organized in this stunning place, including the famous Film Festival dedicated to the awarding of the best films. Here in the warmth and joy of the Sicilian, take place one of the most popular festivals, the Carnival, indeed the “most beautiful Carnival in Sicily”, for the creativity and originality with which are realized its allegorical papier-mâché or flowered, showed to the population with parade accompanied by vivid, colorful masks. There are also many other regional festivals such as the Feast of Santa Rosalia in Palermo and the Festival of Saint Agatha in Catania, which are are some of the many religious events that every year are celebrated throughout the country.

What to taste

Wisdom and joy of these lands do not miss the good food and fine flavors. To whet your appetite we start immediately with rice “arancini”, to move on cazzilli (delicious potato croquettes) and crispeddi of Catania. Among the main courses we find the eggplant, which is the basis of many dishes (caponata, pasta alla Norma and parmigiana), as well as fish: from couscous of Trapani, to pasta with sardines or with ‘muddica. Without disdaining delicacies made of tuna, swordfish, hake and dogfish. The meat is up, however, the role of fist lady in badduzze (meatballs) and the baccafico in the onion. The desserts on the other hand are always accompanied with almonds, sovereign also in Christmas cakes. Sicilian products sold all over Europe are recommended also by DOP and IGT marks , famous for the Mediterranean diet for the genuineness of its ingredients. Famous Sicilian products are the extra-virgin olive oil, juicy red oranges and the sweet grapes of Canicattì, Pachino tomatoes and Pantelleria capers, prickly pears and Nocellara del Belice olives, just to list some of the excellence that characterizes Sicilian gastronomy. Do not forget the dairy products like the famous cheese, Ragusano and pecorino, or tasty sausages like salami of Sant’Angelo, or, finally, the fragrant baked products such as Dittaino loaf. All this accompanied by the wines: from Marsala, Trapani, Belice or Victory.

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