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Guide to Sicily

It's more than an island! Discover Sicily and discover the world. The world's first multicultural society, our island is Italy's (and Europe's) most historically cosmopolitan region, having been ruled by Asians, Africans and Europeans. Sicily is black and white and a million shades of gray. There's no other place on Earth like it. Our island is a unique place full of art, archeology, history, folklore and breathtaking scenery. And, of course, great food. It's almost a nation unto itself. The enchanting land where Archimedes taught and Saint Paul preached was a Greek colony, a Roman province, an Arab emirate and a Norman kingdom. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese and Jews made this unique island their own, leaving behind an eclectic history that you can still touch today. And Sicily will touch you. Sicily is Europe, Africa and Asia on one island. Greek tyrants, Arab emirs, Norman knights, Byzantine bishops and Holy Roman Emperors made it the place it is. Experience their eternal legacy in Phoenician settlements, Punic cities, Greek temples, Roman amphitheatres, Norman-Arab castles and Aragonese churches. Thirty centuries of history expressed in the Classical, the Romanesque, the Gothic, the Baroque...

Sikania to its most ancient peoples, our island was Sikelia, Plato's utopian society, to the ancient Greeks. Later, the sonnet was created at the Court of Frederick II, and the Sicilian language claimed its place in the literature of Dante and Boccaccio. Sunny Sicily is Punic Palermo, towering Taormina, ancient Agrigento, splendid Siracusa, and medieval Monreale and Cefalù.

And God created Sicily. The place where the mountains meet the sea. Sicilia,the island in the sun, is home to Heavenly beaches, majestic mountains and Europe's greatest natural wonder, Mount Etna. Sicily's coasts are gold with orange and lemon orchards. Each scenic region offers something different. In northeastern Sicily's Nebrodi Mountains you'll find unexpectedly lush forests. In the central regions you'll encounter rugged land and rolling hills. Dignified vineyards, ancient olive groves, hardy almond orchards and endless wheat fields complete the picture. Summer is amber land under a sky of blue. Winter finds palm trees dusted with snow in a surreal symphony. Spring is a rainbow of wild flowers set against greenest fields...

If you could choose just one place to visit where you could witness everything from the culture of Hellenic antiquity to the glories of the Middle Ages and the wonders of the Renaissance, shaped by a dozen civilizations, Sicily would be that place. And this website would be a good starting point.

Is Sicily Italy? Yes, our island is Italian. And French and Spanish and Greek, with a few German and Arab nuances in its cultural mix. It is the world's island. A place where time and tradition have been forged by peoples and faiths from the north and south, from the east and west. Beauty in diversity: Europe, Africa and Asia in one magical moment...

Bedda, the Sicilian word for "beautiful," is the way we Sicilians describe this place.

You won't be the first guest to enjoy Sicilian hospitality. Cicero, Saint Louis, Richard Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine have already tested the waters for you. Yes, our island has been extending hospitality to first-time visitors for three thousand years. You can be one of them.

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