SICILY

SICILY

THE REGIONS

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EASTERN SICILY

The Eastern side of Sicily is dominated by the mighty Mount Etna, overlooking the Ionian Riviera and Sicily’s second largest city, Catania. The East is also home to the romantic resort town of Taormina which has been drawing visitors for centuries. Parts of this area have been devastated by wars, earthquakes, tidal waves and lava flows, but the land and its people steadily bounce back after each ordeal.
Wine production plays a key role and thanks to the fertile

volcanic soil, the lower slopes of Etna are carpeted with vineyards and blood orange groves.
Many of the towns in Eastern Sicily are thousands of years old, dating back to when the Greeks first landed at Giardini Naxos around 5BC. Mount Etna has played an integral role in the settlement of the area and many houses in the mountain villages are built of lava stone.

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NORTHERN SICILY

Stretching from Messina to Palermo, the Northern coast is characterized by four varied landscapes. You will find several superb beaches along the Northern coast, especially around the small resort of Cefalu, and small pleasant coastal villages. The dramatic Nebrodi and Madonie Mountains ranges with their traditional mountain villages rise over the hills of Sicily’s Northern interior with vast agricultural fields and vineyards. It often seems like nothing has changed here for centuries - the

same castles safeguarding the royal passageway now overlook the modern autostrada. Off the coast, you will find the wonderful volcanic Aeolian Islands with black sand beaches, steaming fumaroles and the always active Stromboli volcano. Stretching from Messina to Palermo, the Northern coast is characterized by four varied landscapes. You will find several superb beaches along the Northern coast, especially around the small resort of Cefalu, and small pleasant coastal villages. The dramatic Nebrodi and Madonie Mountains ranges with their traditional mountain villages rise over the hills of Sicily’s Northern interior with vast agricultural fields and vineyards. It often seems like nothing has changed here for centuries - the same castles safeguarding the royal passageway now overlook the modern autostrada. Off the coast, you will find the wonderful volcanic Aeolian Islands with black sand beaches, steaming fumaroles and the always active Stromboli volcano.
Settled by the Phoenicians in the 8th century. Palermo fell first to the Romans, then the Arabs, who chose Palermo for their capital, making the city one of the most magnificent and powerful in the world. This splendor was compounded during the Norman reign. Today, what remains of earlier ages coexists with modern life. Buildings destroyed in World War II have been left open to the sky and today Sicilians seat restaurants in crumbling courtyards or bombed-out churches.

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WESTERN SICILY

Culturally, the Western side of Sicily was strongly influenced by Africa, especially by the Arabs and Carthaginians. Here you will find gorgeous medieval villages, magnificent ruins and some of Sicily’s most beautiful islands and seascapes.
From the olive groves, vineyards and fertile plains of the interior to the salt pans of Trapani and the small pebble beaches of the Zingaro Nature Reserve, the landscape in this area is very varied and until recently, much of the area was

till quite remote and presents great opportunities to wander through fishing villages, watch shepherds at work and witness a slow and traditional way of life that has grown for centuries. The rocky mountainous interior has some of the harshest terrain in Sicily with scarce water resources, relentless heat and frequent earthquakes. Offshore, you will find the Aegadian Islands and the volcanic island of Pantelleria with vert dramatic landscapes.
The region is home to the sweet Marsala wine and you will often come across Arab-influenced dishes. Some of the islands best wines and olive oils are grown in this area.

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SOUTHERN SICILY

Sicily’s Southern regions are characterized by small fishing towns along long sandy beaches and rich agricultural land with silvery olive and dark green citrus groves in the interior. Further, the area is home to some of the greatest Greek archaeological treasures outside Greece and outstanding Roman relics. Small farming villages of the unspoiled interior remain isolated on their hilltops between rocky mountains or rolling fields. Due to the lack of infrastructure, the area

remained mainly remote until the mid 19th century, leaving those villages nearly stuck in time.

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SOUTHEASTERN SICILY

An area packed with ancient treasures, baroque architecture and prehistoric tombs, yet you will also find long lonely sandy beaches, nature reserves and some of Sicily’s best food and wine. While you will find Greek and Roman remains in Syracuse, including the magnificent city of Magna Graecia, the towns of the Valle di Note have been rebuilt at the peak of the baroque period after the destruction during the 1693 earthquake. The towns of Caltagirone, Modica, Noto,

Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli have all been declared UNESCO World Heritage.
The area has become a hot spot for foodies as many young chefs return to traditional roots and ingredients, which help to preserve the authentic cuisine in the region. Some of the best Nero d’Avola wines also come from this region.

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