“…is the land of oranges, the flower soil where the air in the spring, everything is a fragrance … But what makes it necessary to look at a land unique in the world, is the fact that, from end to end it can be called a strange and divine museum of architecture“
Guy de Maupassant – Trip to Sicily, 1885
Origin of the name: Sicani, the ancient inhabitants of the island, called it Sicania, when it was colonized by the Greeks was called Trinacria for its triangular shape. The current name comes from the ancient people of Sicily Sicilians.
PaesaggioLandscape: for its beauty and for its contrasts the Sicilian landscape is among the most interesting in the world. You can admire the coastline of the Cyclops with the background the snow-covered Etna; yellow expanses of wheat fields and lush gardens with typical Mediterranean vegetation; the lava rocks and citrus orchards in bloom; the sunrises and the multicolored sunsets that redden the deep blue sea.
Provinces: Agrigento, Caltanisetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa, Trapani. The capital is Palermo and has an area of 25,708 sq km.
Population: Sicily is one of the most populated Italian regions (second in Italy after Lombardy). Now it has approximately six million inhabitants. Palermo and Catania (fifth and ninth, respectively, among the Italian cities) are the most densely populated cities.
Tourist areas: Sicily offers a wide range of tourist offers for its natural jewels and the richness of cultural heritage. Here are just a few of the most popular tourist destinations: Taormina, Palermo, Etna, Agrigento, Syracuse, the Aeolian Islands, Cefalu, Erice, Acicastello and Acitrezza, Catania, Acireale, Lampedusa, Ustica.
Reliefs: Most of the land is mountainous. In the northern area is located the Apennines Siculo, which is divided into three mountain areas: Peloritani, Nebrodi (or Caronie) and Madonie (highest peak: Pizzo Carbonara, of nearly 2,000 meters). In the west lie the mountains Ghibellines. In the south central part of the plateau there are solfifero and the Erei; in the South East of the mountains Iblei. Etna near Catania, is one of the even larger active volcanoes in the world (its nose cone reaches 3269 meters).
Pianure: le principali aree pianeggianti si trovano nei pressi di Trapani, Marsala e Palermo (la rinomata Conca d’Oro). Ai piedi dell’Etna si trova la Piana di Catania, la più vasta dell’intera isola.
Coasts: the coasts are high and jagged in the Tyrrhenian coast, low and swampy at some point in the eastern part of the island. The southern part of the coast is sandy (even with the presence of dunes and marshes).
Islands: Tears of lava, limestone plains windswept, sunny lands the color of bronze: each of the islands decorate the Sicilian coast like a string of pearls on the neck of a beautiful woman. There are fourteen of these daughters of Sicily, not including Motya, which at low tide is sometimes joins the coast of Marsala. Fourteen paradises of untouched beauty. Some African charm, such as the Pelagie, in the province of Agrigento, and Pantelleria in the province of Trapani. Others, however, the uncontested mistresses of the sea and its secrets, Levanzo, Favignana and Marettimo Egadi in the sea of Trapani. Further north, in splendid isolation, it is Ustica, the island of Circe, with its unspoilt marine reserve. While in the Aeolian, in the province of Messina, will give the conference the water and the fire. Here, in short, is still nature that dictates its rhythms, and travelers can let themselves be enchanted by the magic of the fishermen and farmers of the islanders, the last custodians of the ancient Mediterranean traditions. You have the choice between the lively Aeolian, the peace and quiet Pelagie or the perfumes of the Egadi.
Climate: The climate is typically Mediterranean, very hot in summer (especially when the south wind blowing), mild in spring and autumn, mild short winter. The rainfall, low abundance, are concentrated in the winter months from October to March. The maximum temperature recorded in July and August on average from 26 ° to 30 ° and the lowest from December to February on average between 10 ° and 14 °. For a trip to Sicily that has not only bathing purposes are recommended spring and autumn months, especially from mid-April to mid-June and September-October.
Kitchen: Sicily at the table is a journey of flavors and traditions. Kitchen full of simple and genuine products, flavors that are, as well as the geographic location of the island, in a perfect balance between land and sea. A gastronomic culture inscribed in the Mediterranean tradition that offers a variety of products rich dishes, spices and scents which demonstrate that the island is formed from the merger of peoples tastes which have dominated. Famous arancini, large stuffed rice bullets of a meat sauce, peas, cheese, … breaded and fried; numerous are the pastas, with seasoning indulges with sardines sauces, eggplant, zucchini and ricotta. The abundance of fish of the coast favors the presence of seafood dishes such as fish soup, tuna, swordfish chops and the famous fish couscous. The pastry department is no exception: cannoli filled, cassata, almond pastries and delicious granite.La kitchen? An ancient pleasure if already Plato, once visiting Syracuse, criticized those citizens guilty, in his eyes, sitting down to table several times a day.
Restaurants: find restaurants and pizzerias for all tastes and budgets. Definitely worth experiencing are the town festivals where you can taste the typical Sicilian dishes.
By Night: pubs, discos and small typical local animate the evocative Sicilian nights. On the island there are also places that offer folklore shows and live music.